Push yourself, surprise yourself, believe in yourself: “Go lower.” he said. I looked at him questioning what he just said to me as if I didn't hear it at first and then moved my gaze from him to over at the chair behind me. I paused. Squats. My initial instinct was to try to do them on the chair because I had done them there just a month before, and I knew I could do it. It was comforting to know I could. The only difference this time was I was hoping to do more of them to put me into the improvement category and to be honest -just to get them done. A lot had happened in that time since the last time and I know I had gotten better at so much BUT I was still uncertain I could go as low as I was being asked to go. “You mean low like ON the step?” I asked, even though I already knew the answer. “Yes, on the step. Go low. You can do it, do just one. I know you can.” He reminded me and smiled in a playful way that pushed me. And I felt it. That he genuinely believed in me. It’s amazing to me that he believed in me so deeply that day when I wasn’t sure if I believed in myself on the same level. Sometimes others see us before we see ourselves and it’s sometimes necessary when we hear from them what we should be telling ourselves all along. Even though I had been telling myself one thing that day - it was there. The desire to want to go for it even though I immediately went for the easier option and didn’t push myself. I’ve never really needed to push myself physically or known how to. But in that moment I just needed a reminder and reason to go for it and he saw me and gave it to me. It’s better to try it and not accomplish it than to not have tried at all so I decided to go as low as I could no matter how low I couldn't go. I moved my legs shoulder width apart, put my weight on my heels and I hesitantly lowered myself, lower, lower and then I felt the step under me. I stopped mid squat, looked up, and smiled, surprised, “I did it!?!?” He smiled right back and quickly said, “yeah, but now KEEP GOING!” And I raised myself up before lowering myself back down and up and down again and up and down again and did just that- kept going.
The American Heart Association recommends that the amount of added sugar consumed in a day shouldn’t exceed 25 grams for women and 37.5 grams for men, but since the sweet stuff is in everything from bread to tomato sauce, most Americans aren’t adhering to those guidelines and they’re fatter for it. In a review of 68 clinical trials and studies, New Zealand researchers reported in the British Medical Journal that increasing sugar intake meant increasing body weight while reducing sugar meant reducing body weight. Additional research has shown that cutting back on the granular stuff is one of the fastest ways to lose weight.
Think writing a grocery list before heading to the store is a waste of time? As it turns out, it may be the key to finally losing weight. A Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior study of more than more than 1,300 people discovered that shoppers who regularly wrote grocery lists also purchased healthier foods and had lower BMI’s than those who didn’t put pen to paper before heading to the store. Researchers hypothesize that shopping lists keep us organized, which in turn helps us fend off diet-derailing impulse buys (hello, candy aisle). Before heading to the supermarket to stock up, spend a few minutes taking inventory of your kitchen, and then write a list. Be sure to organize it by category to prevent zigzagging all over the place; that ups the odds you’ll walk by—and purchase—tempting treats that could derail your weight loss success.
A retreat joins like-minded people open to share their journeys and learning about yours. Practicing exercises, learning and experiencing new things together for several days or even weeks creates a foundation for friendship hard to topple in a busy everyday life environment. You might even end up supporting each other and sharing progress back home.
French superstar chef Michel Guérard is famous not just for his fantastically refined food but for something that seems wholly at odds with fine dining: weight loss. At his deeply chic manor-house hotel in Gascony, Guérard combines a delicious, low-calorie diet with sculpting treatments using sulphur- and magnesium-enriched water from the nearby hot spring. In between trips to the spa there is time to exercise with a personal trainer. It all feels very doable and therefore easier to maintain later, as does the calorie-controlled diet. The food is limited, but mouthwatering. A three-course lunch of tangy white-bean and tomato salad with soft pear followed by sea bass in a vegetable-and-herb tea is just over 500 calories. And that includes the chocolate-cream pudding.
Instead of depriving yourself of all your favorite indulgences or meticulously counting calories to drop a size, simply consume at least 30 grams of fiber daily. This simple, no-fuss method fuels weight loss and improves health just as effectively as more complex diet approaches, University of Massachusetts Medical School researchers discovered. “Very few people reach the goals that are recommended,” said lead study author Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, adding that “Telling people to reduce this or reduce that is just too hard to do.” However, asking people to focus on eating more of a certain nutrient—rather than eliminating things from their diet–can help people reach their weight loss goals, he explains. Interested in giving the diet strategy a try? Check out these 11 Best High-Fiber Foods for Weight Loss and start slimming down! 

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