One of the hardest things for most people on a fitness journey from skinny to strong (or fat to fit) is staying on track. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes you just want to eat ice cream. And sometimes you want to eat ice cream while watching people work out at the gym.
But that doesn't mean you have to stay off track once you've goofed up. As soon as you slip, aim to recommit to your goals immediately. And if you think that you can't keep yourself on track using independent tools, then it may be time to invest in a fitness coach or mentor.
A mentor is a professional who can help you stay on track. A mentor supports you in your goals and keeps you accountable. For fitness and nutrition goals, you may want to invest in a personal trainer and a nutrition coach to keep you on track. These mentors may request your weekly schedules, help you develop meal plans, go shopping with you, cook your meals for you, and workout with you. They will do whatever you need them to do to help you.
And a GREAT mentor will know how to get you from baby steps to full-blown autonomy. How do you find one of these miraculous people? Lucky for you, Skinny to Strong has a team that is happy to help. We can provide a fitness and nutrition coach to help you meet your goals. Simply contact us and we can talk about what you need.
And if you can't afford to hire a coach, then read this website that gives you tons of FREE resources.
While we don't recommend that those looking to lose weight or get in shape need to count calories (if you are eating 2-3 meals per day that do not include crap or booze, then you really don't need to count calories!). HOWEVER, not all of us have it so easy, and for some us, counting calories makes us feel accountable for our progress. It's the same thing a keeping track of workouts.
But before you can start counting calories, you need to know how many calories you should be eating per day. You can figure out how many calories should be eating if you want to lose weight by multiplying it by 10 or 12. It's also important to know that the body wasn't built to have the exact same number of calories every single day. You should stick within a range.
Here is a calculator to help you as well:
According to several surveys, Americans are pretty passive when they aren't at work. The most popular hobbies are watching TV, reading, playing video games, going to the movies, renting movies (seriously...the media consumption is through the roof), fishing, computering, shopping, sewing, board games, golf, crafts, etc...
Obviously these are not all of the hobbies in America, but these are the ones that are hogging the upper ranks. Active activities such as walking, hunting, hiking, sports, and skiing were barely holding onto the bottom of the survey.
And while all of those these listed are fine to do here and there, they should be done in moderation especially if you want to lead an active lifestyle. If you are new to the active lifestyle, you may be wondering what types of hobbies are available to you. And if you are a seasoned pro, perhaps you are looking for a new "thing". Let's look at nine hobbies that fit into an active lifestyle.
Fifty eight million pounds of chocolate are bought around Valentine's Day each year. Can you believe that! And most of that chocolate is sugar-laden and not the best kind of chocolate for you in the world. I mean chocolate is delicious, but it not all chocolate is created equal. These paleo-friendly chocolate truffles will appease your cravings for chocolate without all of the other junk.
Fancy people like to call trampolines rebounders, but we are regular folks here at Skinny2Strong, so we will just say trampoline! As kids, we all loved jumping on trampolines and were super jealous of the neighbor who had one in the backyard.
It turns out that trampolines aren't just super fun; trampolines offer a wealth of health benefits. From weight loss to improved balance, working out on a trampoline can change your fitness life. After reading this post on trampolines, you just might throw out your tennis shoes and buy a trampoline for your living room.
One of the best (and most expensive!) things to do at a movie theater is the popcorn. That yummy buttery, salty taste of freshly popped corn is enough to make me wear sweatpants every I see a movie. But woe is me -- I've learned to bring a bag of trail mix with me to the theater. Or better, yet, a bag of my own homemade popcorn. Because my homemade popcorn is delicious and not smothered in factory butter...which means that I can make it a part of my eating arsenal.
Popcorn can be a smart snack for a number of reasons. It's low in calories ( you can eat 3 cups of it for under 100 calories) and it is versatile. Popcorn transforms when it is dusted with curry powder or pumpkin pie spice. Seriously! It will change your world. And if you are loving popcorn, then try these three flavorings to spice up your popcorn:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn
**You can portion the popcorn into small bags to take with you to work or to the theaters (sorry Regal, we won't pay $7 for your popcorn anymore!)
Pumpkin Pie Popcorn
Evidence suggests that we don't need carbs to survive. We can subsist on fat and proteins. so long as we are consuming the entire animal and not just going to Safeway for chicken breast and turkey thighs. But you know what? What kind of person just wants to survive? We want to thrive. We want to live and be happy. And most of all we want the energy to be active.
Folks who live on just fat and protein (according to the study) don't have the same endurance or energy levels as a person who includes moderate carbohydrates in her diet. This have to do with the fact that there are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in carbohydrates that play an imperative role in our growth and energy levels.
Carbs not only make you happier mentally, they make it easier for your body to use fats and proteins. Amazing right. So the next time somebody tries to carb shame you, go ahead and give them the bird. Here are some great ways to incorporate carbs into your diet and be happy.
There comes a time in every one of our lives that forces us to eat out. And that can be dangerous to your health or your progress because most fast food joints serve up "meals" that are overflowing with sodium, saturated fats, sugar, and simple carbohydrates.
But you don't have to gine in to those nasty things when you eat out. Plenty of healthy, low-sodium, low saturated fat options are on the market. You just have to be smart and diligent with your orders. Here are the best fast food options for when you can't get home:
Panda Express is a healthy diet nightmare with most foods high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. The first rule for eating at Panda Express is to swap the rice/noodles for steamed veggies and then choose a wok smart protein or the grilled chicken breast.
Your best option is a Panda Bowl with steamed vegetable and teriyaki chicken without the sauce. This adds up to about 400 calories with over 35 grams of fat.
Burritos are really delicious, but at Chipotle, it can cost you about 800-1200 calories! WTF? So don't go doing that.
Instead, you should order the Chicken Burrito Bowl without cheese or sour cream. Ask for brown rice (optional) and pinto beans. You can load up on grilled veggies, lettuce, and two salsas.. This will run you about 600 calories with 45 grams of protein, 4 grams saturated fat, and 1300 mg of sodium. If you don't get the rice, then it drops it down to 400 calories and 41 grams protein.
For vegetarians, don't get the meat, get the sofritas. Without the rice, this is around 360 calories with 17 grams protein and 1400 mg sodium.
A subway sandwich or salad is a great option for when you are on the road. A 6-inch turkey sandwich without cheese and on whole-grain bread is around 300 calories. Top it with mustard, spinach, onions, tomatoes, pickles, bell peppers, and cucumbers. If you must have cheese, it will add 100-200 additional calories, primarly from fat.
Gotta have a burger on the road? Better make it count then and hit up the In'n'Out Burger (sorry folks who don't live on the best coast!). Ask for a protein burger.
The protein style burger swaps out the bun for lettuce, saving you a lot of unnecessary calories. The protein style burger with onion is around 240 calories and has about 13 grams of protein. Skip the fries. Ask for water.
Not everybody eats meat and it's important to understand that there are plenty of plant-based protein sources out there for those of you who do not LOVE tofu. Plant-based proteins are important in every diet, including the carnivorous meateaters diet.
These protein sources add variety, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals you may not be getting from your favorite chicken wing. Of course, if you were to eat the whole bird, guts, eyes, and all, then you'd be able to argue with that statement...
Now, it's important to note that "protein" isn't a food group, and that it can be eaten in many forms including vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
We selected these protein sources because they are affordable, flexible, and can be used for dozens of recipes. We'd love to hear how you use each of these foods.
1 cup serving = 28 grams protein
Not only do soy beans have an excellent amount of protein, these nutty green beans have an excellent amount of vitamin K, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and fiber. Soy beans can be purchased in the freezer aisle and added into chili, soups, or served roasted with some sushi!
2 Tablespoons = 6 grams protein
Chia seeds have really come up in the world, haven't they? We just love using them to make chia puddings, parfaits, and adding them into smoothies for an added punch of protein, fats, and fiber. To get the most out of your chia seeds, you should grind them up with a grinder because studies show that the body struggles to absorb the fatty acids from the seeds in their whole form.
1/2 cup serving = 5 grams protein
Almonds are a swell addition to any diet in moderation. These nuts are loaded with biotin, vitamin E, and omega-g fatty acids. And did you know that almonds have proven to lower cholesterol? Awesome. Consider keeping a container of them in your bag or adding them to a salad every now and again.
2 tablespoons = 2.5 grams protein
Okay, so flaxseeds are holding a ton of protein, but they are really nutritious and make a wonderful addition to smoothies, breads, and oatmeal. Flaxseeds have 133% of your daily omega-3 fatty acids.
We've read countless blogs and health-related websites that spout erroneous nutrition information. This is plain wrong and we don't want you to be misinformed any longer. Oftentimes, we see "nutritionists" spouting out the word carbohydtrates only when referring to bread, pastas, and grains...and then they usually say something like, "Don't Eat Carbs" or "Carbohydrates Are Bad For You," both of which are blatant lies.
To correct this problem, we want to give you the basic definitions in nutrition so you can make informed, educated decisions for your life. You can also weed out the good sites from the ones just trying to make a buck off you.
Week Three! At last, we have entered the home stretch. For many of you, this may very well land into Thanksgiving, and you have our permission to shorten up your challenge and have a turkey feast. For those of you just stumbling upon our vegan challenge, buckle up them straps and press on!
The recipes for Week One and Week Two are also available through the hyperlinks. You can read on to get the recipes for week three of our 21-Day Vegan Challenge
Hey All! Welcome to Week Two of the 21-Day Vegan Challenge. We hope that week one was great, and if you haven't started the challenge , then you can check that post out here to get the meal plan and recipes for the week.
We would love for you to post comments on how you feel or questions, if you have them. Our team is eager to earn your trust and build a community that wants to get strong and stay healthy.
If you've been following since last week, here are the recipes and meals for week two of the Vegan Challenge!
If it looks like pudding and it tastes like pudding, then it must be pudding, right? Not always as we recently proved when testing out a new recipe for you all! We stumbled upon a delicious peanut butter and chocolate pudding using three ingredients: tofu, peanut butter, and cocoa powder.
That's it. And guess what? It's delicious. Doesn't take like tofu. Has the texture and bursting flavor of traditional pudding, but without the dairy or sugar. We didn't even add sugar. Or honey. Or anything.
Let's just get to it, yeah?
Face it-- you're not Arnold or some rich celebrity that can afford to workout for hours a day (or afford it!), but you are capable of living an active lifestyle. Those who change from a sedentary to an active lifestyle see wonderful changes, both physically and mentally. Why? Well, the body is working properly. The body is doing what it was meant to do: move and work.
But maybe you aren't fully committed to trading your potato chips and Netflix for Nike shoes and day hikes just yet. I'm not saying that the chips and TV are acceptable, but I'm not here to force you into a lifestyle. But, I am hopeful that you can start thinking about making a change; after all, you are reading posts about health and nutrition...that right there is a positive step toward a healthier lifestyle.
So how can you go about making the transformation from skinny to strong? One day at a time with small steps toward a total change. This is a process and it begins with making smart food choices and incorporating fitness into your routine. From here on out, I will post a new change to this site every few days that I want you to try and add into your day. Simple. And every time you come on here and read about the change, I want you to make a comment to the post saying that you are making the change...if one thing I know to be true, it is that accountability leads to success. You need to be held accountable and you need to publicize your decision to change.
Are you ready for a change? Let's take a look at step one:
Skinny to Strong doesn't promote any one specific eating lifestyle. In fact, many of the members of the team are 95% vegan and about 5% meat-eating on a daily basis. That means that most days are plant-based with a few days throughout the month or week that include fish or another lean protein. Also, only one of us consumes eggs on a regular basis. We all agree that consuming wholesome food that doesn't come out of a box is the best way to go. Some might call that Paleo; we call it human because fads are just that...fads. Eating "clean" or "primal" are just fancy marketing tools people use to make money. We aren't those people; we are the people who will tell you that if you want to eat grains, go ahead. If you don't, that's also okay.
Eating for life is important. Our team has decided that we are going to go 100% vegan for the next month and we would like to invite you to join the bandwagon. The motive behind this is simple: eat right and see how the body feels when you lower the level of crap and increase the level of veggies in the diet.
To make it easy, we have set out a 4-week plan that includes all of the recipes for each day. You can easily print it out too! Hooray! We're excited and we would love to hear what you think about the challenge.
If you plan to join the challenge, leave a comment on the post. We want to know how it's going.
Got 20 minutes? If you do, then this lunchtime workout is perfect for you. We've created this simple circuit that you should do during your hour lunch right before eating.
We recommend that you do this right before lunchtime (or any meal really) because you will be in a fasted state and your body will be forced to burn fat instead of muscle or energy that would have been sourced from food. Studies show that women who exercise in a fasted state use more stored fat than muscle.
Be sure to plan your meal beforehand, so you don't go into Monster Mayhem and devour an entire jar of peanut butter. After this workout, it would be smart to eat a balanced carb-protein-fat meal. Aim for 25-30 grams of protein and solid complex carbohydrate. A peanut butter sandwich and celery sticks wouldn't be bad. Or a protein smoothie (may we suggest a peanut butter banana smoothie).
If you are doing this before breakfast, maybe you will eat a spinach omelet, or a blueberry banana spinach smoothie. No matter what, make it a smart choice.
Okay, enough talking! Here's your workout:
Five minute walk up stairs or around the block.
100 Jumping Jacks
100 Mountain Climbers
5 Minutes of Jumping Rope
5 Minutes of Running up stairs (or around the block if you don't have stairs)
Five minute walk to cool down
Hi All! Our team is offering several new packages. One of our packages is a customized meal plan that features an individualized meal plan tailored to your wants and needs by our in-house nutritionist. The package includes a one-on-one consultation via Skype or phone.
Because we really want to try out our new package, we are offering it for $19.99 instead of the standard $25 rate until November 12. We are super motivated to help you all out if you are looking for a new meal plan that can be used again and again. Give it a try! Our team is waiting for you.
Main Nutrition Facts
How to Include Pumpkin Seeds into Your Diet
Sites We Love
The Baker Chick
The Candida Diet
Super Healthy Kids
Wake Up World
No Meat Athlete
American Nutrition Assoc.
Lean it Up
Muscle and Fitness