Tuesday, July 12, 2011

7 Simple Strategies to Help You Stick With Your Plan

by JJ Virgin
Hey let’s face it, a weight loss plan only works…if you work it.   And there are a lot of challenges along the way that can throw you off if you let them.  Here are some of my top “stick” strategies to help you stay on the plan long enough so that it becomes your new way of living.  After all, if you live, think and feel like a healthy lean person you will become one over time.
  1. Get a clear picture of the result you are going for by taking a picture of your favorite celeb body out there and pasting your head on it.  Put a copy of these everywhere – keep on in your purse, put one on the frig, etc.  You have to see it to believe it!
  2. Make lateral shifts – trade your peanut butter for almond butter, your wheat pasta for rice pasta, your milk for coconut milk (unsweetened of course), your morning whey smoothie for a pea-rice blend, your butter for olive oil. 
  3. Add before you take away – add more veggies, your morning smoothie, iced green tea between meals and you will crowd out the foods you shouldn’t be having.
  4. Focus on what you can have and experiment with new foods in this category.  The best place to do this is at your local farmer’s market – check out arugula, mache, pomegranate, kale, cashew butter, coconut milk kefir, quinoa pasta….you’ll forget all about the foods you are eliminating.
  5. Focus on how much better you feel.  Take an initial assessment of your overall wellness: gas & bloating, fatigue, excess fat, skin issues, focus & mental clarity, pain & inflammation, sleep quality, cravings and mood.  Reassess weekly to check your progress.  Quite often we forget how rotten we felt when we start to feel better! 
  6. Create negative associations to help you break free from unhealthy food choices.  I know what happens when I eat foods that I react to and that has created a major negative association for me.  I just don’t look at cheesecake or sourdough bread as favorably anymore as I know I will pay for it later and it just isn’t worth it. 
  7. Build in rewards to celebrate your success along the way.  Plan to treat yourself to something special when you hit your short and long term goals.  Be sure these are NOT food rewards! Some great ideas are a mani-pedi, a massage, a new journal etc. 

JJ Recommends

Walnut Lentil Salad

As you may know, I am a Paleo Gal - I believe we should eat clean lean animal protein along with healthy fats, non starchy veggies and a small amount of “slow, low” carbs.   While I don’t subscribe to Veganism, there are some great recipes we can grab from the Vegan world that help deliciously increase our veggie intake.  I hope you enjoy this one from my new pal, the vegan expert, Alex Jamieson, CHHC, AADP. Author of Vegan Cooking For DummiesLiving Vegan For Dummies &  The Great American Detox Diet
Walnut Lentil Salad
1 ½ cups cooked brown lentils, cooled and drained
¼ cup sliced green onions, green part only
1 cup packed thinly sliced baby spinach
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
8 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
¼ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or umeboshi vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, green onions, spinach, tomatoes, olives, and walnuts. Mix well with a wooden spoon and set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper and whisk together. Pour over the lentil salad and mix well.
  3. Allow the salad to set at room temperature for at least 20 minutes, stirring a few times before serving. Alternatively, refrigerate in an airtight container for at least and hour hours before serving.
*Refrigerates for up to 3 days for picnics and lunch leftovers!
By Alexandra Jamieson, Plant-Based Wellness Expert

©2011 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin is a the author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy and the co-star of TLC’s Freaky Eaters reality series. Visit her at http://www.jjvirgin.com to grab her free audio: Top Ten Hottest Tips to Get Slim and Sexy Fast


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