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10 Ways to Cut 500 Calories Out of Your Diet

No matter what type of diet you follow, to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in each day. For most overweight people, cutting about 500 calories a day is a good place to start. If you can eat 500 fewer calories every day, you should lose about a pound (450 g) a week.

How to Cut Calories

Try these 10 ways to cut 500 calories every day. It is easier than you may think.

  • Swap your snack. Many people reach for a snack or two in between meals. Snacking is fine, just be sure to choose lower-calorie options. The key is to have some healthy snacks ready when hunger hits. Instead of a 3-ounce (85 g) bag of flavored tortilla chips (425 calories), choose a cup (250 mg) of air-popped popcorn (31 calories), a cup (250 mg) of grapes and a low-fat cheese stick (180 calories) or a small apple and 12 almonds (160 calories). Choosing healthy snacks twice a day will save you 500 calories.
  • Cut one high-calorie treat. Try to nix one high-calorie food item each day. Whether it is a donut in the morning, a brownie or bag of chips at lunch, or chocolate cake after dinner, you will save 250 to 350 calories or more. To burn another 150 calories take a 40-minute brisk walk after lunch or dinner.
  • DO NOT drink your calories. One 12-ounce (355 mL) regular soda has about 150 calories, and a 16-ounce (475 mL) flavored latte can pack 250 or more. Even fruit smoothies have lots of calories, as many as 400 in a 16-ounce (475 mL) serving. A couple of sweet drinks a day can easily add up to 500 calories or more. Choose water, sparkling water, or black coffee or tea instead and save your calories for foods that will help you feel full.
  • Skip seconds. Taking a second helping can add up to unwanted calories. It is easy to keep filling your plate when you serve food family style on the table. Instead, fill your plate once and keep extras in the kitchen. Or, if you still do not feel satisfied, add a second helping of vegetables, fruit, or salad.
  • Make skinny substitutions. Substitute lower-calorie options for some of your high-calorie favorites. For example, if a recipe calls for a cup (250 mL) of sour cream (444 calories) or heavy cream (821 calories), use plain low-fat yogurt instead (154 calories).
  • Ask for a doggie bag. The portions at most restaurants are much larger than recommended serving sizes. Instead of cleaning your whole plate, ask the server to put half in a container for you to take home for another meal. You can also share an entrée with a friend, or make a meal out of an appetizer and a large salad. Just be sure to go easy on the dressing and high calorie toppings.
  • Just say "no" to fried food. Frying food adds lots of unhealthy calories and saturated fat to any dish. Instead of fried chicken or fish, choose grilled, broiled, or poached instead. And skip the French fries. A large serving of fries alone can add almost 500 calories to a meal. Instead, see if you can substitute for the vegetable of the day or a side salad.
  • Build a thinner pizza. Skip the meat toppings, extra cheese, and deep-dish crust, and have a couple slices of thin-crust vegetable pizza instead. You will save a little over 500 calories.
  • Use a plate. Eat all food from a plate or bowl, including snacks. When you snack out of a bag or box, it is easy to eat more than you intend to. This is especially true if you are sitting in front of the TV. You may be surprised to learn that a large bag of chips will run more than 1000 calories. Instead, place one portion in a bowl, and put the rest away.
  • Avoid alcohol. Cutting back on alcohol is an easy way for many people to trim calories . Alcohol does not have any nutritional value, so when you imbibe (drink) alcohol, you are getting empty calories, up to 500 for some mixed drinks made with syrupy sweeteners, fruit juices, and ice cream or heavy cream. If you do order a drink, choose a 12-ounce (355 mL) light beer (103 calories) or a 5-ounce (145 mL) glass of wine (120 calories).


How to Stay In Shape While You Travel

Getting away from reality is good for the soul, and getting away from the usual workout routine is good for the body. However, a vacation can be the perfect time to exercise. By freeing yourself from your routine, you open your mind to new ways to move your body, have fun and keep your body fit while you're on vacation.

Cardio

If you want to maintain your cardio endurance while having fun, there are a variety of vacation that will give you a great workout without feeling like exercise. Some of the best workouts include:

  • Walking on the beach. Walking in soft sand is a killer workout and burns more calories than walking on flat ground. Some experts suggest that you can burn twice as many calories walking in soft sand. Keep it safe by wearing shoes (you may get shin splints if you go barefoot for too long) and going for a few minutes at a time to get used to it. You'll be surprised how hard it is.
  • Beach volleyball. You can burn more than 150 calories an hour, depending on how hard you work and it's a great way to meet other people at the beach while having fun.
  • Surfing, swimming, and snorkeling. Surfing is a total body workout that will challenge every muscle in your body. Even if you just paddle out to the waves and fall off, you'll get a great workout. Snorkeling is a bit more leisurely, but you can add intensity by swimming a little harder. If you're at a beach that doesn't have big waves, put on your snorkel gear and swim out and back for a few laps to get your blood moving.
  • Leisurely bike rides. Long bike rides are a great way to see the area while getting ​in some low-intensity exercise. If you take your time and go all day, you'll burn calories without even thinking about it.
  • Hiking. Anytime you add elevation to your walks, you'll burn more calories. If you carry a backpack, you'll challenge yourself even more, all while enjoying a little nature. Check with your hotel concierge to see about hiking adventures nearby or visit Local Hikes to find trails near major metropolitan areas.
  • Golf. Golf can be a dud of a workout if you ride around in a cart and drink beer at every hole. If you want to burn more calories, though, carry your clubs and walk the course. You'll burn around 200-300 calories per hour.
  • Tennis. Like golf, a game of tennis can be as easy or hard as you want it to be. Chasing the ball and hitting it like you're Serena Williams or Roger Federer will give you a great workout, burning up to 400 calories for a 150-pound person.
  • Shopping. OK, maybe shopping isn't the highest intensity activity, but it can be very aerobic under the right circumstances. If shopping is your activity of choice, make it count by walking fast, taking the stairs, and avoiding fatty foods at the food court.

Lifting Weights on the Road

Finding fun cardio activities is easy when you're on vacation. Lifting weights, however, presents more of a challenge. You usually don't have much equipment and the thought of going to the hotel fitness room isn't that appealing when you're trying to have fun.

You don't have to do much, however, to maintain your strength and muscle while you're out of town. A quick workout with body weight exercises, resistance bands or full water bottles will keep you strong and fit until you get back home to your usual routine.

What Happens If You Don't Exercise

If you decide to use your vacation to rest from exercise entirely, you may wonder what happens to your body. How long can you go before you lose fitness? How fast you lose endurance and/or muscle depends mostly on your genetics but below are some general guidelines:

  • Aerobic power can decline 5-10 percent in three weeks.
  • All your gains could be gone after about two months of inactivity
  • The fitter you are, the faster you lose your fitness, which doesn't seem fair, does it?
  • You tend to lose aerobic capacity faster than muscular strength. Muscles are resilient and retain a memory of all those exercises you did.

Taking a week off probably won't make much of a difference but, any more than that, and it may be harder to get back to your previous levels. Finding ways to stay as active as you can will keep you fit, help you avoid weight gain and make the transition back to real life a little easier.

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9 Signs You Need to Eat More Carbs

Carbs are unrightfully vilified and are often misunderstood—that's why where are so many myths about carbs that are completely bogus.

While low-carb diets, like the increasingly popular keto diet, have been proven to help you lose weight, that doesn't mean that eating carbs will make you fat. Or that they'll prevent you from losing weight.

Read More

Habits That Kill Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.

The higher your metabolism is, the more calories (energy) you burn each day.

As we age, our metabolic rate begins to slow down, which is part of the reason weight gain occurs as we get older.

But, aging isn’t the only thing that causes metabolism to slow down. A number of other factors also influence metabolic rate including gender, heredity, and amount of lean mass.

Your daily choices (lifestyle habits) also directly influence metabolism and can either help you burn fat or gain it.

Today, we cover 8 bad habits that kill your metabolism.

Let’s get started.

Read More

Recipes Under 400 Calories for Memorial Day Weekend

Whether you’re hosting a backyard party or going to a potluck, celebrate the holiday with nine of our favorite recipes — easy skewers, flavorful burgers, tangy chicken wings and healthy sides. Your Memorial Day weekend cookout will be the talk of the town!

Get the Recipes

Classes Outside of Forever FIT

Monday: Spinning® @ Washington Township Edge - 9:30am
Wednesday: Spinning® @ Washington Township Edge - 7:30am
Thursday: Spinning® @ Washington Township Edge - 5:30pm
Sunday: Spinning® @ Northeast Cycle - 8:30am
Sunday: Spinning® @ Northeast Cycle - 9:30am
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Forever FIT Offers Nutrition Coaching! 

If you are interested in learning more about balanced eating, maintaining health, and controlling some negative eating habits, join Forever FIT today! I am a certified Nutrition Coach! 
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lauren@laurenhanan.com
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