Happy IWD


Happy International Women’s Day! My lightbulb moment came the year I turned 40. Several friends share the same belief. It’s an awakening. A sense of liberation that seems to immediately take over your existence. If you’re over forty, you know what I mean! 
International Women’s Day is officially celebrated tomorrow. When I lived in the UK, I wrote a poem that was proudly displayed on the UK based IWD site womenforwomen.org. I marched alongside thousands of other women, proudly holding the banner. The year after I moved back to America, I also marched. In honor of this beautifully transformative stage of our lives, and in line with health and wellness theme, I wanted to share tips for healthy living.
Our wisdom and compassion often increase as we grow older, but so do our health challenges. More than 90% of older adults have at least one chronic condition, and more than 75% have more than one. Plus, these figures are even higher for women than for men. Natural changes like menopause and your family medical history, play a part. A healthy lifestyle can help you stay as strong and independent as possible in the years ahead. Take a look at these tips to help you maintain your health as you age.

Dealing with Menopause

Stay cool. Hot flashes can make you uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. Reduce them by limiting triggers like alcohol and caffeine. Dress in layers and keep a fan next to your bed.
Manage stress. Stress can aggravate hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. Meditate daily and think positive.
Lose weight. Your muscles shrink and your metabolism slows down as you age. The distribution of your body fat changes too, so more of those pounds wind up around your waist, increasing your risk for heart conditions and diabetes. Fight back by eating less and exercising more.
Eat soy. Many women find relief from menopause symptoms with soy and supplements, even though studies give conflicting results. See if tofu and soymilk work for you.
Talk with your doctor. Your doctor can tell you whether you’re a good candidate for hormone replacement therapy or other treatments. Share your concerns and questions.

Staying Physically Fit

Condition your heart. You’re about 5 times more likely to have heart disease after you turn 40. Aerobic exercise, along with a diet high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats, can help your heart start stay strong
.Build your muscles. Slow down muscle loss, and thicken your bones with strength training. Lift weights or try movements that use your own bodyweight for resistance, like planks and pushups.
Increase your balance. Avoid falls by becoming steadier on your feet. Practice yoga, pilates or just stand on one foot while you’re talking on the phone.
Ask a trainer. Do you already have stiff hips or a sore back? Some professional trainers specialize in corrective fitness that will target the areas you need to limber up.

Other Health Tips for Women Over 40

Sleep well. You may find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep these days. Stick to a consistent schedule and block out nighttime noises.
Watch your blood pressure. Your blood pressure and heart rate rise, as plaque deposits stiffen your arteries over the years. Losing weight, exercising, and limiting salt may help you to avoid needing medication.
Screen for cancer. Age increases your risk for many forms of cancer. Talk with your doctor about screening tests that spot cancers early, when they’re easier to treat and cure.
Check your hearing. You may already be noticing signs of age-related hearing loss. Shield your ears from loud and persistent noises by lowering the volume on media devices, and wearing earplugs when necessary.
Protect your vision. Ensure your eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions are up to date, especially if you’re having trouble reading the fine print. While no studies have shown a way to prevent cataracts, regular eye exams and managing conditions like diabetes can help.
Remain engaged. Staying connected is essential for vibrant aging. Cultivate close relationships and learn something new each day.

Staying informed and making healthy lifestyle choices can help you prevent and manage many of the conditions that come with aging. If you’re a woman over 40, start now to maximize your chances of staying mentally sharp and physically fit in your golden years. While this post is geared to women of a certain age, I recognize age-related issues will not apply to you. If you know someone who can benefit, share the love and pass this message along.

Until the next post
Best,
Juan

 

#travelingonadiet


 

 

 

Between hotel rooms, fast food stops, and unfamiliar restaurants, how do you eat healthy while you’re on a road trip or abroad? It’s not always easy, but sticking to a healthy diet is very possible. I travel at least twice per year, to multiple countries during the same trip. The temptation to every devour local dish in each country is overpowering. Often, I returned home at least ten pounds heavier, that is, until I became more disciplined. Discover how you can maintain your diet and your travel plans at the same time, with the following healthy eating tips.

A Traveler’s Guide to Healthy Eating While on the Road

1. Plan ahead. The sooner you start planning, the easier it will be to stay on your diet. Where are you going? How will you get there? What will your schedule be like? Once you’ve narrowed down the schedule for your trip, you can begin to plan for healthy food options. Do some online research for the locale you’ll be visiting. Where are the nearest grocery stores? Do you see healthy cafes or restaurants? What about nearby farmer’s markets? Find safe and healthy locations that offer food choices to fit your lifestyle, goes a long way in maintaining your diet.
2. Select grocery stores over fast-food chains. Instead of stopping at a fast-food chain and trying to decide how many calories are in the fries or burgers, try a grocery store instead. Grocery stores are more likely to have delis that offer healthier options, such as packaged salads, bags of nuts, trail mix, healthy dips, and other choices. You can usually find cut up fruit and vegetables in plastic containers for sale. You may also want to reach for the yogurts, cheese, and smaller containers of milk. Dairy has protein in it, so you’ll feel fuller for a longer period of time. You can find a variety of dairy products in small or travel sizes. 
3. Bring your own snacks. If you’re going on a road trip, you can pack a cooler with ice and bring healthy meats, vegetables, fruits, bread, and other snacks. If a cooler is not an option, then consider shelf-stable foods that can fit in a bag or purse. Can you find healthy nuts, crackers, or trail mix to fit your diet? What about dried fruits and vegetables? Having your own snacks on a transatlantic flight always saves the day!
4. Stay hydrated.  Especially when you travel. Dehydration can sometimes lead to overeating because your body becomes confused. Bring at least one water bottle with you, or purchase them along the way. Water helps avoid dehydration and cravings for other foods.
5. Avoid simple carbohydrates. You may crave comfort food as you travel, but it’s not always a healthy option. Simple carbohydrates can raise blood sugar and cause it to later crash dramatically. This can leave you irritated and tired. Instead of simple carbohydrates, reach for multi-grain, complex carbohydrates. Add protein such as peanut butter and nuts. You can purchase travel-size containers of peanut butter. Also, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day helps avoid cravings. Try to schedule your stops and get food at the same time. 

Being on the road doesn’t mean you have to give up eating healthy. You can still maintain your healthy diet by planning ahead and following these guidelines. 

Until the next post,
Best,
Juan

 

Dieting No-No’s


If you are reading this, chances are you have decided to make a change in your eating habits. Too often, we get so caught up in the fray of everyday life, we fail to realize just how poorly our choice of food becomes! No matter what your job, hobbies or goals may be, the choices you make when it comes to fueling your body, are the absolute foundation for performance. Frequent stops at the drive-thru on your way home, and microwaved “meals” only lead to decreased performance in everything you do, as well as the overall quality of life. Diets come and go every single day, this post will not focus on naming specific diets to avoid. Instead, we will look at the four key characteristics of any diet you may consider starting and allow you to steer clear!
Extreme Caloric Restriction
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of fad diets make is encouraging people to drastically reduce their caloric intake from day one. For example, the standard diet usually consists of around 2,000 calories. If any diet instructs you to only consume, let’s say, 1,200 calories from the very beginning, forget about it! This is a fallacy for a couple of reasons; the most important aspect of any diet is consistency. If you fall off the wagon after a week or so, every eating plan ever created is going to fail. Do you want to know a great way to avoid sticking to a diet? Being miserable will get you there QUICK!
Another reason this type of diet is a no-no is the bodily response to acute caloric restriction. Sure, reducing your caloric intake equals weight loss. However, this should be done gradually. Ironically, when you instantly begin eating far fewer calories than the body is used to, you actually signal a sort of starvation response. Your body is hardwired for survival, and instead of shedding excess bodyweight; it will do everything it can to spare it. The end result: being hungry all the time and still not losing weight.
Completely Eliminating A Macronutrient
In case you are not aware, carbs, protein, and fat are the three key macronutrients. Your body needs each of these to repair and carry out vital functions. While it is true that consuming a proper ratio of these nutrients is beneficial, eliminating any of them entirely is a mistake. Many diets you are sure to come across will advocate the miracle of abstaining from a certain macronutrient for a lengthy period of time. Simply put, don’t buy into it!
Weekly Or Daily “Cheating”
Remember, consistency is very important when sticking to any diet. A healthy relationship with food needs to be a lifestyle, not a 6-week crash course. If you notice, a lot of diets basically have you starving yourself or eating things you hate all week before “allowing” you to have a cheat meal or day on the weekend. Essentially, you deprive yourself of enjoying food for days on end, and the gorge on an unhealthy feast of your choice for one day. Make no mistake; one day of stuffing your face with junk food CAN undo an entire week of healthy eating. Your body doesn’t just reset its caloric calculator every morning; there is no “cycle”. Furthermore, this way of eating significantly increases your chances are developing an eating disorder.
General Absurdity
Let’s keep this one simple. If a particular diet sounds absolutely ridiculous, it is. The things you can find out there can get crazy. For example, consuming every single meal in liquid form,  weightloss earrings, only eating celery sticks and quinoa for two weeks, is not going to magically chisel out your beach body. Use your own discretion here. You are not a lab rat taking part in a clinical trial. Any diet you decide to adhere to needs to at least appear reasonable from the get-go!
No one can tell you which diet to try or ignore, this is a very personal decision. You should, however, use information readily available to help you make an informed decision. Beware of advertisements that create an urgency to “buy now”, or use celebrities’ pictures and names they are not familiar with, etc. Interestingly enough, recent reports by the Federal Trade Commission reports at least 6.5 million people to fall victim to weightloss scams every year. Don’t be a statistic. Consult a Doctor or Nutritionist, for the best ways to lose weight for YOU.

For my final diet/weightloss post of the month, I will have at least two free products and reports for everyone!
Until the next post,
Best,
Juan

Changing Habits


Now that we have a working knowledge about SMART goals, it’s time to focus on the baby steps to meeting your goals.  Some people lose weight through intermittent fasting and adopting new diets. Others try to make such major changes, but they start missing their afternoon candy bar or go-to snacks. Pretty soon, they revert to old habits and wind up gaining back the pounds they lost and more.
If you’re tired of watching your weight fluctuate, you may need a more gradual approach. Little changes add up, until you see a big difference on your bathroom scale. In fact, minor adjustments are often more sustainable because they suit your lifestyle. See how easy it can be to slim down, starting with these simple things to incorporate into your diet and workouts.

Small Eating Habits That Help You Lose Weight

  1. Cook more. Preparing your own food allows you to control the ingredients. Restaurant meals tend to have more calories, salt, and sugar. That’s true whether you’re eating at a fast-food outlet or a fancy bistro.
  2. Plan your meals. Write out a menu for your daily meals and snacks. You’ll be able to tell at a glance if you’re getting all your required nutrients, and you’ll probably eat less.
  3. Stock your kitchen. Keep healthy snacks on hand, along with staples for light meals. You can make room for good things by getting rid of junk food.
  4. Increase your fiber. Some studies suggest that eating more fiber is the single most significant change you can make in your diet. The top sources include split peas, lentils, and black beans.
  5. Boost your protein. Foods rich in protein fill you up and recharge your metabolism. Plus, your body has to burn more calories to digest them, compared to carbohydrates and fats. Include some protein in each meal and snack.
  6. Eat breakfast. Refueling in the morning helps to prevent excessive eating later in the day. Start out with something hearty and nutritious, like Greek yogurt with berries and nuts or a bean burrito.
  7. Control portions. Forbidden foods can become so tantalizing that they lure you off your diet. Reduce your serving sizes so you can enjoy your favorite treats without any guilt.
  8. Focus on whole foods. Make vegetables, fruits, and other natural foods the core of your diet. Cutting back on packaged items will eliminate the most empty calories.
  9. Drink water. Quench your thirst with plain water and tea, instead of beverages loaded with calories. Staying hydrated facilitates digestion.
  10. Be mindful. Slow down and pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Your food will be more enjoyable. You will likely notice when you’re full instead of continuing to eat more than you planned.

Small Workout Habits That Help You Lose Weight

  1. Be consistent. A successful exercise plan is one that you can stick to. Select preferred activities, and invite a friend to join you. Aim for at least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week if you’re trying to lose weight. That translates into about 35 minutes each day.
  2. Build muscle. Increasing your muscle mass enables you to burn more calories even when you’re at rest. Lift weights or do squats, and pushups with your body weight.
  3. Move your whole body. Speaking of squats and pushups, devote most of your workout sessions to exercises that target your whole body. They’ll burn more calories than smaller movements like bicep curls.
  4. Train in intervals. High-intensity interval training pays off. Alternate between brief bursts of intense activity and even briefer rest periods. For example, run for a few minutes while you’re taking a walk.

Eat healthier one small step at a time. You can shed weight without disrupting your life or feeling deprived. 

Until the next post,
Next,
Juan

 

 

STRONGER THAN YOUR EXCUSE


My first post of the decade Promises, Promises examined the goals we set each year, but sometimes never accomplish. By the time February rolls around, some goals are already a distant memory. My intent over the next several months is to provide additional support and resources, to help your goal setting journey. It’s never too late to start over. Let’s begin goal setting!
Too many people resolve to lose weight, but never actually have a plan in place. Therefore, year after year, they make the same New Year’s resolution, because their goal was never achieved. Has this happened to you? How can you change this relentless pattern? It might come as no surprise you are frustrated because you never seem to get it right. Not from a lack of trying either. Creating and following a goal-setting system, is crucial to success.

It’s important when setting goals to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal system. This system will help you accomplish what you set out to do in a timely fashion.
Specific. Be explicit in what you want. Write down a specific number of pounds that you would like to lose.
Measurable. Weigh yourself every week and take note of your weight change, either up or down. Keep track of this in a journal.
Attainable. Small goals that lead up to a larger goal are often easier to reach. The success of reaching these small goals will keep you motivated.
Realistic. Understand what your body is capable of doing and set your goals accordingly.
Timely. Keep your goal in focus by setting a completion date.

Consider the following weight loss tips, if this is one of your resolutions:
1. Have a plan of action. How much weight do you want to lose? Break your total down into a series of smaller attainable goals. For example, plan to lose _ pounds by _ (date). Make these goals realistic, and then follow a plan of diet and exercise to achieve them.
⦁ Your plan may require changes in your lifestyle. Work these changes into your daily routines one-by-one to attain your goals.
⦁ Write your goals down in a journal, and review them every day.
2. Change your diet. Figure out how many calories you’ve been consuming each day. If it’s over the recommended daily allowance, gradually decrease the number of calories instead of immediately dropping to the desired number. Eventually, you’ll reach your goal without being severely deprived.
⦁ Reducing your daily calorie intake will require healthy eating choices. Consult your physician for recommended nutritional guides, and choose the one that works best for you.
⦁ There are online programs and apps (my fitness pal, better me etc) which calculate your calorie and fat intake. All you do is write in your food choices. Use whatever tools you need to simplify your tasks, and stay motivated to reach your goals.
3. Get off the Couch. Set a reasonable exercise schedule to help you with your weight loss goal. Design your exercise regimen to target the areas that need the most toning (i.e. thighs, abs, arms, buttocks, etc.).
⦁ Keep your exercise goals realistic. Start small, and then increase your regimen. For example, running 5 miles every day will burn off a lot of calories, but it may not be feasible. First try walking to build up some stamina and then add running, little by little.
⦁ Setting goals that are too far from your normal activities, will quickly wear you out and discourage you. Start small and build on each success. Increase your exercise time (or treadmill speed, or incline, etc.) by a small increment each week.
⦁ Exercising a little bit each day will increase energy, and help you become healthier. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive exercise equipment either. Walk or run around your neighborhood, or use canned foods instead of weights. You can even borrow exercise DVDs from the library.
4. Make friends. The people who are usually the most successful in losing weight and keeping it off, are the ones who have a great support system. Nothing deters you, like knowing you’re accountable to others for every bite.
⦁ Your support team will encourage, serve as workout partners,, and bring inspire confidence in tough times.
⦁ Some people find it helpful to join a local weight loss support, or online weight loss group. Celebrating your weight loss successes with others will make them that much more meaningful. There is strength in numbers.

Losing weight is possible for anyone who approaches the challenge wisely. With some careful planning and determination, your weight loss goal can certainly become a reality in this Year. As with every article about diet and exercise, always consult your healthcare professional.

Until the next post,
Best,
Juan

 

Wander Often. Wander Always.


Macedonian Sunset 19′

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I like to travel. You also know, it’s been only two years since I upped my game. Since 2017, I’ve been to fifteen countries. In a few months, I’ll be off on a three-country Central American adventure, and later this year back to South America. I’ve climbed Macchu Picchu, went back to the Motherland, marveled at Ancient History in the middle east, and spent a week with retired elephants at ENP
Prior to 2017, I traveled when I could. Now I make it a priority to travel at least twice every year and visit multiple countries during the trip. I was a travel agent for a short time, before settling into my current vocation. I planned affordable family-friendly vacations. My first post for 2020 listed some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, one of which is travel. I’ve put together some helpful and timely group travel tips. In a few months, I will dedicate an entire month’s worth of posts to travel/vacations. Stay tuned!
Memories of family vacations last a lifetime. Even though everything is getting more expensive, you can still create those unforgettable travel memories for your children. One way to afford vacations is to travel in groups. Going on a trip with close friends or extended family members cuts travel costs dramatically.

Consider these tips:

  1. Save on the costs of traveling to your destination. Depending on how far away the desired destination is and how many people are in your travel group, consider renting a van.
    ⦁ Renting a van allows all of you to share the costs of the gas to get to and from your destination. Even if you’re traveling with just two other couples and no kids, you can save big when you all travel together.
  2. Rent a place to stay as a group. If you’re traveling together in a large group, consider renting a large place to stay together at your destination. For example, did you know you can rent entire houses when you vacation? Or even large condos that accommodate 10, 12 or even more people?
    ⦁ Everyone will be more comfortable. You’ll have the convenience of a full kitchen. Many times, these homes rent by the week, include swimming pools, and many other amenities. Yet, the costs will be far less than staying at a hotel.
    ⦁ When you rent these types of accommodations, you will save money by splitting the cost several ways.
    ⦁ Sharing this cost will cut both your food and lodging expenses and make your trip more affordable.
  3. Chip in together for groceries. Shop at a local Sam’s Club or BJ’s Club to buy in bulk. As you know, one of the big expenses, when you’re on vacation, is meal costs. If your accommodation has a kitchen or at least a kitchenette, with a microwave and refrigerator, you’ll cut your vacation food costs in half or more.
    ⦁ Eat out for a couple of special activities when you’re out and about all day. Otherwise, save money by eating at your home away from home. This vacation is more affordable than you thought. Your food bill on vacation won’t be much higher, than your food bill at home.
  4. When you dine out, take look for restaurants where kids eat free. It’s money in your pocket when you don’t have to pay for your kids’ meals.
  5. Babysit each other’s kids. When you travel with other families, take turns babysitting, so each couple gets a night out alone during the trip. There are no babysitting costs and everybody’s happy. Depending on the ages of the kids, there might be a responsible teen who’s happy to hang out with the kids and babysit.
  6. Get group rates when you take part in tourist activities. Many tourist attractions will reduce their admission rates for large groups. Take advantage of this money-saving opportunity!
  7. Before you leave, check online, to see if the attractions you want to visit have “free days.” Many museums and some amusement parks offer a day during the week when you can visit without charge.

Even though your budget might be crunched, consider traveling as a group with your friends or family members’ families. Always take trips with people you are close to, and whose company you truly enjoy! Nothing will spoil a vacation more than being stuck with someone whose values and belief systems are vastly different than yours. I know.
Enjoy cut-rate deals on vehicle travel, house and condo rental, bulk groceries, and some tourist activities when you travel in a large group. Yes, you can take an affordable vacation this year and enjoy your friends and family members at the same time.
Many people prefer to wander by themselves. Solo Travelling Made Easy was written for you! Here is what you can look forward to in the coming months; February- diet and lifestyle, March- financial wellness, April- time management, and May vacations and travel.
Thank you for being here! The internet offers a plethora of choices. I am grateful you made this blog one of yours. If you find my posts helpful or know of someone who can benefit, share the love!

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Fix Your Focus


Are you constantly wishing you had more time? Truth is, you probably have plenty of it. You’re just not focused, and not using your time wisely. Everyone receives 24 hours each day. There’s a reason why some people accomplish much more than others.

Reasons you never have enough time, and how to free it up

You fail to prioritize. What’s the most important activity you must do in order for you to accomplish your objective? If you’re not asking yourself this question regularly, you’re not getting the most bang for your time and effort. It’s easy to stay busy and accomplish very little. Once you decide what is important, the next question is “ “What is the best way to accomplish it?”
You waste it. This could be due to procrastination, and inefficient work habits. Make the choice to avoid wasting time, period.
You’re disorganized. When you’re not organized, everything takes longer than it should. You spend valuable time looking for a pair of clean socks, car keys, searching for computer files, trying to pull things off at the last minute.
Disorganized people never seem to have enough time, they’re frequently late with their work. There are countless resources available (apps, calendars, dropbox, project management software, etc.). Use them.
You have too many distractions in your life. Social media interactions, TV, needlepoint, your baseball card collection, noisy kids, clutter, or your prize-winning rose bushes. Remove unnecessary things and schedule. Minimize the distractions you can’t remove!
You don’t start your day early enough. Most of us do little in the evening. Often, we ly around the house, crawl social media etc. Many highly successful people skip these hours, by going to bed and waking up extra early. Your brain tends to shut down by the late afternoon, whether you started your day at 9:00AM or 5:00AM. Give yourself a few extra productive hours, by getting up early and going to bed early.
Failing to keep track of your time. Track how you spend your time every day. Switch tasks when appropriate so everything receives the attention it requires. Keep a simple journal. Make a record of how you spend each hour.
You don’t have a plan for the day. Your days shouldn’t be random or determined on the fly. Plan the next day before going to bed. Spend your day executing the plan as much as possible.
You’re not focused. We’ve been told to “focus” or “concentrate” since kindergarten. Too bad the education system never taught us how. If we sit down to work on something for an hour, how many minutes is our attention truly focused on the task? We probably have plenty of time to accomplish our daily tasks, if we focus. Practice meditation. Practice focusing. Every change we desire takes time. Be patient with your setbacks and failures.

Make the most of your time by prioritizing, removing distractions, and learning how to focus. You have all the time you need if you’re willing to make the necessary adjustments to yourself and your life. You have 24 hours each day. What will you have to show for tomorrow?

Until the next post,

Juan

Show Me The Money!


Where is Your Money Going?
At the end of each month, do you find yourself wondering where all your hard-earned money went? Discovering your financial drains will enable your money to work for you. Funding savings, debt repayment, or other things that are important to you instead of just disappearing into nothingness. A little detective work might be necessary, to figure out where your money is going. The best way to get a handle on your finances is to get everything accounted for, then tackle your financial goals.
How can we identify our money drains and improve our financial outlook? Consider the following tips:

  1. Calculate all income. The first thing to do is calculate all sources of income for your household. Put together a chart listing income sources and amounts for the past 30 days. This will give you an idea of how much money is coming into the household, which is the first step to determining, how much is going out.
  2. List your expenses. List all of your regular monthly expenses such as rent or house payments, car payments, credit card and loan payments, gas, food, utilities, cable, internet and others. Try to list exact numbers, or estimate if your expenses vary. This will give you a good idea of what your basic expenses are.
  3. Track every penny. Spend an entire month tracking every cent that you spend. Write down your beginning balance, and every dollar in and every dollar out. This is the key to determining where you’re losing money.
  4. Interpret the results. Compare how much money you’re bringing in, to how much you’re spending every month on bills, and other expenses. Are you spending beyond your means? Are you allocating money for savings, investments, and retirement?
  • If you have money drains, determine what they are. Are you spending $4.00 on an iced latte Monday through Friday? Is your dining out expenses much higher than you expected? Are you eating from vending machines or expensive fast-food joints at lunch, rather than brown-bagging it?
    5. Put this information to good use. Armed with your written guide (below) to your income and expenses, you can control your finances more effectively. Once you have this information laid out in front of you, it will allow you to fine-tune your finances little by little, until you’re putting more money into savings and less into “money drains” from month to month.
  • Determine ways to reduce these money drains. Can you brew coffee at home to save money every week? Can you cook at home to save money on eating out? A few dollars saved every month in different areas of your budget can definitely add up to your benefit.

Once you determine how much money you have coming in and going out, start directing your money toward what’s really important. Trim down your expenses or find ways to increase your income. Do not spend beyond your means. Your financial future will shine much brighter when you prepare for the future you desire. Use this free Budgeting-A-New-You-Workbook to help you get started!

Next week, look out for simple ways to take back more of your time.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Breakfast to Bed


The number one New Year’s resolution?! It’s no secret: lose weight and get in shape. Many diets over the years have promised weight loss and general improvements in body composition. How many of them actually work – and at what cost? The idea behind most diets is to maintain what’s called a caloric deficit. A caloric deficit is eating fewer total calories per day than your body requires in order to function normally.
Most people require around 2,000 calories daily in order to maintain weight. A traditional diet asks you to calorically restrict your intake by 20%, which works out to about 1,600 calories daily. This type of diet only focuses on calories, rather than the macronutrients each food provides. Of course, this method will work for many people, but you’ll be challenged when you run into a plateau in your weight loss. For years, people have been experimenting with the use of high-fat diets, and the potential benefits they can provide to weight loss – and fat loss.
Shortly after my return from Europe to the US almost two and a half years ago, the weight gain slowly inched upwards! One day, I weighed in forty pounds heavier. YES. Luckily for me, my height hides a multitude of sins. There was no one in my closet, sewing my clothes tighter every night. I did not indulge in fast food often and tried to visit the gym several times per week. Still, the weight kept coming. Tired of it all, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I never followed diet fads; they exist for one reason.
My search led me to Keto and intermittent fasting. I could eat my favorite foods, but in ways which allowed me to maintain a healthy weight. The result? I’ve managed to lose about thirty pounds. Menopause can be a bitch, when trying to maintain a healthy weight, and doesn’t help my cause. However, if you’re serious about giving the diet a try, there is hope and help available. Late last month, I published an ebook on Amazon about the Keto diet. It is comprehensive, precise, with all the information you need in one place. Packed with recipes, meal plans, tips to handle the “keto flu” and so much more. Use the links below to preview, buy, or share!            

How could a high-fat diet help me lose weight and more fat? It seems counter-intuitive, yet, a high-fat diet can stimulate your body into a state of ketosis – which is very effective at promoting fat loss and weight loss.
What is Ketosis? On a fundamental level, ketosis is a metabolic state. Your body can draw from various sources of energy when needed. Your body’s primary source of fuel is through glucose (from carbohydrates), but when it isn’t present the body will source other nutrients – namely, ketones. Ketosis is a metabolic state that utilizes ketones as fuel when glucose levels are very low. Eating a low-carb diet may enable you to enter ketosis, effectively burning more fat through your metabolic state.
How Do I Achieve Ketosis? Your body will enter ketosis any time you fast for a long duration. Many experts believe that runners actually enter a state of ketosis during the long run, especially if they’ve been carb-cycling. In addition to fasting and exercise, ketosis can also be entered when you’re eating very few carbohydrates – less than 15% of your daily calories, as your body will source its fuel from the fat your intake rather than the restricted form of carbohydrates.
Does Ketosis Really Help with Fat Loss? With any diet, there is always speculation and instances where it may not work. With that said, the ketogenic diet, or a low-carb diet, has been shown to be very effective in promoting weight loss and fat loss. Recent research has even shown that, along with the ability to promote fat loss and weight loss, a keto diet also decreases the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose. It increases the level of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). All of these effects are essential to your overall health.
Are There Any Downsides? There’s always a downside to any diet that doesn’t favor balance. We know that a high-fat diet can be very effective in promoting weight loss and total fat loss, but it may actually be dangerous for those who are diabetic or have pre-existing heart conditions.
You may also lag behind when it comes to certain types of performance. Fat is not a quick source of fuel, so some people, like powerlifters and cross-fitters, will want to keep fast-metabolizing carbohydrates in their diet in order to perform at their best.
Balance Your Keto Lifestyle. Long-term research on the keto diet hasn’t found any major negative health side effects to healthy populations. In contrast, research has even indicated that this diet does promote weight loss and benefits your internal health. Remember, however, that balance in your life is essential. It’s important to avoid thinking that just because you can eat high-fat foods that you should go around having greasy burgers all day. The purpose of the keto diet is to achieve a state of ketosis with whole foods, healthy oils, lean meats, nuts, and dark greens. There’s no doubt about it – healthy eating leads to a healthy lifestyle resulting in a healthy weight, greater vitality, and increased satisfaction in life.
Sharing my journey, providing information, and inspiration are the sole reasons for writing the book. The numbers on a scale don’t determine our value. We should not want to lose weight or change our appearance in any way, because of societal pressures, but rather for own sense of self, and in some instances improved health. I hope you found this post useful, practical, and beneficial.
Next week, I will provide timely and useful advice, along with free downloadable resources, on time and money management.

Until the next post,

Best,
Juan

 

Promises, Promises



At this time of year, you may be considering whether you’re going to make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’ve made them in the past and lost interest over time. Or perhaps you buckled down and followed through. Either way, you’re now facing the beginning of another new year. Even if you’re less-than-thrilled with your follow-through in prior years, the new year brings amazing opportunities to challenge yourself in all kinds of ways. Try these ideas to help you set up your resolutions so you’ll be successful during the coming year:

Select an area of your life that’s important to you. One of the keys to choosing your New Year’s resolutions is selecting a goal that truly matters. Ideally, you can find something you want more than anything. This will help keep you dedicated.
Be specific. The whole idea of making a New Year’s resolution can seem over-simplified. You’ll hear people say, “My New Year’s resolution is to get in to shape” or “I want to work less.”
What do statements like, “I want to spend more time with my family this coming year” really mean? Here’s how to be more specific: For the resolution to get into shape, why not state it in more detail? Consider committing to specifics, such as, “I want to lose 2 inches from my waist and 3 inches from my hips.” Another example of being more exacting might be “I want to increase visual muscle definition in my abdominals and my upper arms.”
Make your resolution measurable. How will you measure your results? For example, spending more time with your family may manifest as, “I plan to work 4 hours less per week in the coming year,” or “I won’t work on Saturdays, starting January 1st.”
Structure your resolution using mini-goals. Consider cutting your overall goal into smaller, separate goals. Select the first mini-goal to accomplish in the process and designate it as your New Year’s resolution for the first 3 months.
Consider this example: You want to lose 30 pounds. You’ve struggled to drop the weight in the past. But you want to get serious now. Here’s one way to cut this into mini-goals: Lose 10 pounds in the first 3 months of the year, lose another 10 pounds in the second quarter of the year and drop the final 10 pounds in the third quarter of the year. In the fourth quarter of the year, plan to focus on maintaining your weight loss.
Be realistic. It might not be possible for you to accomplish everything you want in just one year. But you probably can be well on your way to your goal by the end of the year if your New Year’s resolution is within reasonable standards.

When selecting your New Year’s resolutions, focus on what matters to you. Be specific and make your resolutions measurable. Use mini-goals and be realistic in establishing whatever resolutions you select. By addressing your resolution as a process rather than just a goal, you’re much more likely to succeed. And when you achieve one goal, you’re more apt to set resolutions and accomplish them in the years that follow. Start this year to make each year your best one ever!

According to research, losing weight, financial and time management, traveling, and self-care, are among the top resolutions each. In the coming weeks, watch for posts on each topic with helpful resources to help make this new decade meaningful! I’ve also written another book and will share the link with you!

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Ron Tamir Nehr

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