5 Ways to Avoid Junk Food in the Workplace

5 Ways to Avoid Junk Food

Does your place of employment make it difficult for you to stay on your healthy eating path with regular treats and ways to cheat? Mine does!

So for now I say, “Yay for small victories!” Here’s why.

With my current place of employment, there are breakfast treats from a bakery provided every Friday. I am usually fine with that as long as I don’t go in the lunch room. Yesterday junkfood.workwas a little different though because our manager brought timbits (Canadian bite sized donuts lol… tasty little devils) and coffee. I was OK all morning until I went to refill my water bottle and saw the box. I figured the chocolate ones were gone anyway so I could just take a peek. Chocolate ones were in there. I stopped and stared like a doofus for a good 30 seconds with the devil on my shoulder telling me to take one.

I didn’t cave! I’m only two and a half weeks fully back on track with my fitness and nutrition, so I didn’t want to risk messing with my progress. Now to survive next week at work with a treat trolley, lunches being provided, suppers occasionally if you stay late etc. I think I’m in deep trouble lol.

I realized that if I am finding this to be a struggle, there must be others like me working in similar environments that are struggling with the exact same issue. I wanted to share a bit about how you can help make this process of avoidance a little easier.

Here we go!

Don’t say “I can’t have that”

Seriously! Instead of saying to yourself or to others than you can’t have something because you’re on a diet, start telling yourself and others that you “don’t want that”. If you allow yourself to think that you are restricting yourself from something that you want, it becomes a lot harder to resist. Think about how bad the treat can be for you, and how it can ruin your progress and set you off course, and think “I can have this if I want to, but do I really want to eat it?” If you think positively about the situation and say that you don’t want that because you owe it to yourself to eat clean and create a healthier life for yourself, you WILL feel better about the decision to avoid whatever tasty treat was put in front of you.

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Bring your own snacks and meals

This is a big one. Prepare your healthy meals and snacks before you go to work. If you get hungry, go eat one of the snacks or meals that you brought for yourself. If you don’t have a fridge handy and your meal needs to be kept cool (as most healthy meals would), then you can invest a small amount of money in one of the many cooler bags out there designed for health and fitness individuals. I have one, and I used it every single shift when I was working in an environment that had no fridge. Having snacks and meals readily available makes you far less likely to indulge on whatever treat your office is providing this time. If you don’t have these healthy choices available and you happen to be hungry at the time of the junk food option, you are way more likely to give in.

Avoid the area that holds the treats

For me I know to avoid the lunch room on Fridays because of the breakfast treats. If there are coffee and timbits provided, I know to avoid the table on which they are kept. If cupcakes are brought in to our daily morning meeting (which happens whenever someone in the office has a birthday), I know to leave right after the meeting to avoid seeing all of the other people munching down on the cupcakes. Don’t torture yourself by putting yourself around the foods that you crave, and instead try to avoid those areas if you can.

Celebrate the times you avoid the treats

Be really happy and proud of yourself for avoiding these office temptations! Pat yourself of the back. Join health and fitness groups and networks, and share your small little victory with others. See what I did here, I did exactly what I am telling you to do in this very blog post! When you learn to celebrate these small victories, it becomes easier and easier for you to stay strong each time an opportunity presents itself to cheat.

Get your office involved in your journey

Share what you are doing! Tell other people about your goals and what you are trying to accomplish, and ask them to please be respectful of your goals by not shoving things under your nose that can hamper your progress. Sharing your goals with others will help to keep you accountable, and it could also help you find a person to go through the journey with you. Having a partner go on the journey with you is definitely a huge advantage, because you will both help to keep one another accountable. If you’re REALLY motivated to keep on track, you could even try to get the whole office involved by doing a friendly competition. Have a little “biggest loser” competition, or have a “step counting competition”. Get the office doing something that will keep them active and guide them to a healthier lifestyle, because if you get them on board your life in the workplace will get a whole lot easier!

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Lastly, I just want to say that if you do find yourself in a position where you have “cheated” on your nutrition and your meal plan if you have one, DO NOT get mad at yourself and allow that to get in the way of your progress. So many people give in once, and then they use that as an excuse to binge for the rest of the day. “Well I already messed up once so I may as well make this a cheat day”. Don’t do it. Just don’t, please! That is a verrrrryyy slippery slope to be on you guys, and trust me, this is coming from experience because I’ve done it myself a thousand times before. A cheat meal can turn into a cheat day, and a cheat day very easily turns into a cheat weekend, which then can turn into a cheat week, and then all of a sudden before you know it… a month has gone by and you’ve barely worked out or eaten healthy, and you find yourself right back where you started having gained back some weight. If you make a slip up once, be like “that’s okay, one mistake is not going to hurt me and I can be really good for the rest of the week.” Stop yourself from being down and discouraged one one tiny mistake, and definitely don’t let that cause you to give up on your goals.

xoxo

Jess

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September Goal: Lose 10 pounds

Those who follow my blog will know that I recently pledge to get back on track with my nutrition and my exercise. This week was my first week back on the wagon, and though I had a bit of a rocky start, things are definitely getting better. I am sore all over my body (in the good way), which always happens to me when I start a new program, so it is pretty normal. I am happy to report that the headache and dizziness symptoms seem to be subsiding, which means that my body is getting accustomed to my new diet sans junk food.

I started this week with the goal of losing AT LEAST 10 pounds this month. I stepped on the scale this morning out of curiosity and was pleasantly surprised to find that I’ve already shed 5 pounds! That is pretty exciting stuff, however, you have to remember that a lot of that was likely just bloat from all of the junk that I had been putting into my body last month. For those of you wondering what I am doing, I thought I would fill you in!

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I am currently doing a Beachbody fitness program by Chalene Johnson (my favorite trainer of all time) called ChaLEAN Extreme. I love it because it provides a combination of the high intensity interval training (HIIT) that I love from her Turbo Fire program with the weight lifting aspect that I need to build muscle definition. That combination for me is perfect. Since there are two scheduled rest days with this program, I’ve also been adding in some extra cardio on one of those days and also on some of the shorter workout days. I just cherry pick from my catalog of programs or use Beachbody On Demand to do whatever workout I feel like doing that day!
In addition to the fitness aspect, I am also drinking Shakeology every single day for my breakfast meal. I prefer the chocolate Shakeology, and I mix it with a scoop of chocolate whey protein for an extra boost, almond milk, and frozen strawberries. It tastes like  milkshake, and it is totally delicious. My diet has been consisting of mostly natural foods. I have a fruit snack once a day an hour or two after my shakeology, I have veggies with lunch and supper, chicken, rice, greek yogurt, rice cakes with nutella, eggs, etc. I also just started using these soft chews from GNC called CLA 500mg in strawberry-banana. I have no idea if they work or not, but they are supposed to help with fat loss. The GNC folks must love to see me come through the door lol because they can take me into just about anything if the price is right!
There you have it guys! This is what I am doing, and you are welcome to take the pledge to lose 10 pounds this month with me. I have a free health and fitness group, and you are more than welcome to join if you need some extra motivation and accountability. Summer bodies are made in the winter everyone, so get to work now and get ahead of the holiday weight gain haha.
Thanks for reading, and feel free to message me with any questions you may have!
xoxo
Jessica

Banana Split Shake – AKA – buh-bye ice cream craving!

Summer is officially here, and one of my biggest downfalls – especially during the summer – happens to be ice cream. I love ice cream, and I practically lived off of gelato when I was in Europe last summer lol. I suffer from ice cream cravings pretty frequently during the summer months when it is hot. Sound familiar?

This is your solution! I normally make the same shake every day because I just love it, but I had recommended a banana split shake to someone the other day, and it stuck in my mind until I finally decided to make it today. This is super easy to make, and it seriously tastes AMAZING. If you have a craving for ice cream on a hot summer day, this will totally do the trick to get rid of that craving. PLUS – it will likely be the healthiest meal that you will have all day long.

What you’ll need:

  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/2 of a Banana
  • 3 or 4 ice cubes

How to make it:

  1. Start by putting in 1 cup of your almond milk, and I usually add a little bit of water so that the shake doesn’t wind up being too thick.
  2. Add your powders.
  3. Add your fruit, and I recommend cutting the banana half in smaller pieces for easier blending.
  4. Add ice
  5. Blend until smooth
  6. ENJOY!!

All of this takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and it is seriously awesome. You might not want to share this with your kids or significant other, because they just might try and steal it from you! Click Here to learn all about the benefits of Shakeology, or to purchase your risk-free bag now.

I have a limited amount of Shakeology samples!! If you’re local and you’d like to try this out, shoot me a message and I can arrange for you to get a sample.

Is it worth it?

If you allow yourself to cheat on your nutrition, you’re cheating yourself out of your results. Don’t sabotage yourself before you achieve your goals! I know that it is possible to still live your life, and enjoy the occasional cheat from time to time, but not in the beginning of your journey.

Trust me, I have been there, so I know what that feels like. One little cheat can easily turn into two, which again tends to snowball until you’re fully off the wagon. Avoid putting yourself through that! Allow yourself to become accustomed to your new and healthy lifestyle before you start adding in the occasional treat.

Once you have made clean eating and exercise a daily routine, then you can try to incorporate treats from time to time. Try not to think about it as a chore, or as though you “have” to avoid junk food. If you tell yourself that you CAN’T have something, of course you’re going to want it more. Instead, tell yourself that you won’t have it until you have reached a point in your journey where you know that it is not going to destroy everything you’ve been working towards.

If you would like to be a part of a group where you can learn more about healthy eating and nutrition overall, you are more than welcome to join us in my FREE Health and Fitness group. We’re also voting right now for the July Challenge, so you definitely want to get in the group ASAP!

“Obesity runs in my family”

I used to be the one to make that statement pretty frequently, but I now know that it is just another excuse for letting yourself go and not switching to a healthier lifestyle.

Yes, some families (like my own) are born with health issues or a less active metabolism, which can cause them to be more susceptible to weight gain. However, being in such a family I also know that the habits of the family could also be a huge factor. Junk food is a daily thing, overeating happens with almost every meal, and exercise is minimal to nonexistent. If those behaviours could change, I have no doubt in my mind that they could lose weight. The “obesity runs in my family” line is taking the easy way out, and I say this from personal experience.

And yes, some people are blessed with the genes to stay slim despite eating nothing but junk food, while others gain a lot of weight. Honestly though, you need to understand that being skinny does not necessarily equate to being healthy. What happens to a lot of people that are skinny throughout their youth, and take advantage of their fast metabolism by eating nothing but junk food just because they can? In many cases, that behaviour catches up to them. Over time their metabolism tends to be less and less active, so as they get older they will start putting on weight. By that point their behaviour is ingrained in them, and it will be much harder for them to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle.

Either way of life is unhealthy. You can be skinny and unhealthy, or you can be overweight to obese and unhealthy. They both come with risks, one more so than the other, but neither are good for you. You can choose to stay that way or you can work your butt off and make a change.

I would love to help you along your journey, so if you would like to get started on making some changes you are  more than welcome to join my FREE Health and Fitness group. If you are ready to make some BIG changes and really get serious about your health and fitness journey, you can should consider viewing our Team Beachbody June Specials as well as our Summer Blowout Sale!

Are you holding extra water weight?

Sometimes you don’t even realize how much your lack of water intake can be affecting your body. Water weight is just one side effect out of many that can happen for people that are dehydrated. When you think about it, the majority of our body is actually made of water, so it makes sense that we would need to drink a lot of water to keep it running smoothly. This way we are always clearing out the toxins, and bringing in fresh, clean water into our system.

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I never used to be a water person. I lived on root beer, juice, and chocolate milk! Now I actually like drinking water, and I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go. It was not an easy transition, but you just have to start out by easing your way into it. What I did was use Poweraid Zero (0 cals) to my water for a while to make it taste better, or I would add lemon slices or fruit to it. There are plenty of things that you can do to make it taste more appealing. Once you’ve gotten into that, you just slowly ease out of the flavoring – or not – a little flavor never killed anyone!

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With all of those benefits, why not give it a try?! Lemons and other citrus fruits can add a lot of flavor to your water, and as you can see, they help with a lot of other factors as well.

water bomb drink water

If you’re the kind of person that really struggles to get your water intake in, you can start by doing something like this! I did this for a while, and it really does help to be able to see exactly how much water you’ve drank throughout the day. This way, if you haven’t met your daily goal amount, you can easily finish it off at the end of the day. That is something that you probably wouldn’t do if you didn’t have the proof right in front of you that you haven’t drank the right amount yet.

I hope you’ve found this useful!

Click Here if you would like to have me as your free health and fitness coach!

How to Stay Motivated!

I know how hard it can be to stay on track with a health and fitness journey, and I have fallen off the wagon many times myself. It is HARD. If it were easy, everyone would be doing. It isn’t impossible though, and you just have to decide that you’re going to do this so that you can create a better life for yourself and those around you. You DESERVE to be healthy, happy, and confident! I found this photo online, and I thought that it was a great little tip for anyone trying to keep themselves on track with a health and fitness journey. It is also a great place to start if you’re thinking about making these positive life changes, because it allows you to prepare in advance to engage in positive self-motivating behaviours.

The first point says to take it one day at a time, which is great advice with respect to your nutrition and workouts. Tracking is crucial. Each day, you should track what you did. For your nutrition, you should track everything that you put into your mouth. I personally like to create a template of what I’m going to eat the next day a night in advance. It is MUCH easier to rearrange things to hit your macro ratios when you do this in advance, because once you’ve already eaten something, you can’t take it off your journal. Tracking is made SUPER simple with myfitnesspal, which even has handy apps for smartphones and tablets. Click here to learn more about tracking and macro ratios. In addition to tracking food, it is important to track what you do with your workouts. Once you complete a workout and have the number of reps you did on each exercise and what weight you used, you will then know what to do the next time you do that workout. It also helps to show you when you should move up in weight, and allows you to track your progress over time. Click here to learn about my tracking challenge.

Surrounding yourself with positivity is a big one. It is important that you spend time with people who lift you up instead of bring you down. Try to surround yourself with positive people who support your positive life choices. If you hang out with people that constantly bring you down, it is going to hamper your progress. Sometimes people close to you can even be unsupportive of your new shift to a healthier lifestyle and try to bring you down to their level. In many cases, they aren’t doing this to hurt you, but they see themselves reflected in your positive choices and don’t like what they see. They’ll realize that they should be making these changes too, but they don’t want to, so their subconscious tries to sabotage you and get things back to normal. This can be especially hard if it happens to be a spouse, living partner, or loved one. Click here to read more on this topic and what you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

One thing that you can do to help keep you focused is create a vision board. I actually put out a challenge to my health and fitness group a while back where I asked them to do this, so I won’t get into too much detail on this subject here. Essentially what this means is that you think in depth about where you are currently, and where you would like to end up. Then you create a board of all of the things you want to do when you achieve your goals, what you will look like when you achieve your goals, what is important to you and your family, things like that. If you’d like to take on this challenge, click here to read about it.

SMART with respect to goal setting is actually an acronym. The acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. I won’t get into too much detail here, because I actually have a blog post dedicated to this topic already. Click here if you would like to learn more about SMART and how it applies to your health and fitness goals.

One thing that helps many people stay on track is to reward themselves for achieving their goals. Some people find it helpful to reward themselves with a cheat meal at the end of each successful month. A healthier way to do this is to treat yourself to a new outfit. You could even just keep a jar in your workout area where you deposit a dollar for each workout that you do, and then when you hit your goal you can spend that money on something important to you. Maybe a spa day, who knows, that’s totally up to you! Be proud of all the small steps toward your larger goal, and allow yourself to be excited over those smaller successes.

Having belief in yourself is HUGE. It is really important that you believe that you can do it, because if you allow yourself to start thinking that you can’t do it, your thoughts will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you will quit before you achieve your goals. If you’re struggling with something, tell yourself in your head that you can do it, even if you aren’t sure. Positive mental talk repeated over time will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals. Even if you can’t do something right away, there are all kinds of ways to modify moves. You just have to do what you can until you gain strength to do more.

Continuing from the last point, it is also super important that you don’t focus in on what you can’t do or the things you don’t like about yourself. Instead, focus on everything that you can do, the progress you’ve made, and the things that you do like about yourself. If you focus on the negative, you’ll never get anywhere. In order to be successful on your health and fitness journey, you have got to make an effort to shift into a more positive mental mindset. If you’re working out regularly and you’ve seeing results, this should happen naturally if you follow the advice in this article.

With this next point, the tracking I discussed above will really come in handy when it comes time to recognize your progress. It really helps to have a record of where you started versus where you are now, and seeing that progress firsthand can be really motivating. This can be in the form of a food journal, exercise charts showing progress over time with reps and weight increases, progress pictures, weight, measurements, etc. Any and all of these things will help you to recognize the progress that you’ve made along your health and fitness journey, and you should focus on that success. It doesn’t matter if you are still a long way off from your larger goal, and you shouldn’t let that discourage you from continuing. As I said before, focus on the positive!

One thing that helps a lot of people when it comes to staying motivated is to visualize themselves achieving their goals. So in this instance, you would sit down and relax while thinking about what you’ll look like when you achieve your goal. Think about what you will do when you achieve your goal and how it will impact your life and the lives of those closest to you. It may help for you to refer back to your vision board for ideas before you do this, and you can even update your vision board over time as you think of new ideas.

Another really important factor to staying motivated is to be kind to yourself. This may sound silly, but it really is crucial. If you are always down on yourself, pointing out all of your flaws, mentally criticizing yourself, et cetera you should focus on shifting to a more positive mental mindset. If you’re unable to do that on your own, you should find someone that you trust to talk to, or consider seeking professional help. If you are suffering from depression, you may find that cardio helps. I have never personally been diagnosed as clinically depressed, but I was going through a really tough time in the years leading up to making the shift to a healthier lifestyle. I was engaging in a lot of self-bashing, and I criticized my every flaw in the mirror. This behaviour wasn’t healthy. When I started doing Turbo Fire, a high intensity interval training program that focuses on cardio, I found a significant improvement in my mental mindset. I’m by no means a doctor or an expert, so I cannot say that this will work for everyone. However, based on my own experience, I think it is a great place to start.

Lastly, DO NOT compare yourself to others. Especially those who have been exercising and eating clean for a long period of time. I struggle with this a bit myself sometimes because I have a lot of friends that do fitness competitions. You have to remember that those people worked hard for a long time to get to where they are, while you may be somewhere in the beginning stages of your journey. Everyone is different, and we all go through different things. The weight loss process is not the same from everybody, and comparing yourself to someone else is only going to hurt you in the long run.

I hope you found this article on how to stay motivated to be helpful, but if you have any questions, feel free to send them my way! If you have been considering making some positive changes with respect to health and fitness and you just aren’t sure where to start, you are invited to join my FREE Health and Fitness group.

Snacking Tip

It is SUPER easy to overeat if you let yourself just eat directly from a bag or whatever it is you’re having. Instead, try getting some snack sized zip lock baggies, and portioning out bags of 100 calories each!

This tactic makes it super easy to track what you’re consuming, and it is great when you’re on the go. I would even recommend keeping a bag or two of some kind of nut or single serving bag of some other healthy snack in your purse or in your vehicle for when you are out and about. This will keep you from buying something unhealthy on impulse when you are hungry and away from your healthy food at home.

You can do this with fruits and veggies as well, and just keep a container full of 100 calorie bags at eye level. It has been proven that you tend to go for whatever is at eye level when you open the fridge, so keep the fresh fruits and vegetables front and center!

For more helpful tips, you are invited to join my FREE Health and Fitness group!

Hump Day Humor

Lol here is some hump day humor for my followers!

I think it is important to note that this can be very serious too though. If you eat a lot of junk food you may find yourself suffering from diabetes in the future. A majority of my older family members are all suffering from diabetes, and they are forced to use insulin and/or check their sugars on a daily basis.

You don’t have to choose that path! If you start changing your habits little by little, you will be amazed by the changes in your body and your health a year from now.

I challenge you to do something today that will create a brighter future for yourself and your family. 

Feel free to email me at hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “Transform my body” if you would like to make some changes, and you just aren’t sure where to start. I would love to work out a long term plan with you that can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

You are also invited to join my FREE Health and Fitness group! 

Are you a yo-yo dieter?

I was one of those people who started and stopped repeatedly before something finally clicked in my head and I actually stuck with it . There comes a time when you realize that you just have to suck it up and work your butt off for what you want! For me, that time came when I was finishing my third year of university. I realized that I was about to enter into another graduating year. and I was quite a bit heavier than I had been in high school. I was miserable the year I graduated high school, and I spent much of the year by myself because I was too self-conscious about my weight to actually go to any of the events. I did not want to go through that again, so I decided to put my foot down and make a change.

Changing your habits isn’t easy, and I am not going to lie to you and tell you that it is. It is hard work physically, it is hard work in the kitchen, and it is hard work mentally and emotionally. You need to exercise regularly, eat clean 90% of the time, and deal with the mental battles you will face when it comes to temptation. You will also need to deal with the emotional ups and downs that comes along with a fitness journey. You are going to give in to temptation at some point, and you’ll feel guilty. You’re going to see progress and feel great. You’re also likely going to hit a plateau at some point or maybe even gain a few pounds back, and you’ll have to deal with the negative emotions that come along with that.

The important thing is not how many times you slip up or make a mistake, but in how many times to get back up and keep fighting. One bad day is not going to destroy your progress, but one good day is not going to help you achieve your goals. You just need to keep fighting the mental and emotional battles, keep on track with your nutrition 90% of the time, and keep working out regularly.

Slow progress is progress, so don’t give up! Each time you give up, you will just put the weight that you lost right back on. Then when you decide to get started again, you’ll have even more weight to lose. You need to remember that the time is going to pass regardless, so you may as well keep pushing toward your goals.

If you are ready to make the commitment to yourself and a healthier future, we should talk. Send me an email to hfmxj@stu.ca with the subject line “I’m ready to transform” to discuss the opportunity to be a part of a challenge group of individuals going through the same process!