Monday, November 28, 2011

20 habits skinny people live by.

20. Skinny Habit #1: Eat an early dinner:
Experts have gone back and forth on whether eating late leads to weight gain, but a recent study published in the journal Obesity found a solid link. Northwestern University researchers looked at the eating and sleeping patterns of 52 adults and found that those who regularly ate after 8 p.m. ingested the most calories and carried the most body fat. An easy-to-follow rule of thumb: Stop eating three hours before you hit the sack. Then, while you sleep, your body is better primed to burn fat instead of creating more.
19. Skinny Habit #2: Weigh yourself daily:
Stepping on the scale can be disheartening, particularly after an indulgent weekend (“I gained five pounds since Friday?!”). But it's best to face your fears, because as it turns out, weighing yourself regularly can actually help you stay slim. Scientists at the University of Minnesota discovered that people who got on the scale every day lost twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less often. The assumption: Monitoring your weight keeps your mind on your health and prevents weight denial.
18. Skinny Habit #3: Eat a boring diet:
Researchers at the University of Buffalo discovered that people who ate macaroni and cheese every day took in significantly fewer calories than those who ate the cheese-covered noodles only once a week. The reason: The novelty of new foods drives us to consume more, so by removing the novelty, we feel fuller, faster. I’m not suggesting you choose one meal and eat it every day for the rest of your life, but the more routines you establish, the more your belly will shrink. Start with lunch. If you find yourself scratching your head every day when the clock strikes noon, you’ll end up eating impulsively and taking in more calories. Instead, pick something healthy, like a soup-and-salad combo, and eat it every day. Or grab a book like Cook This, Not That! Easy 350-Calorie Meals and commit to making more dinners at home.
17. Skinny Habit #4: Reward yourself:
Once you’ve established a healthy routine, you need to establish a reward system. Think of those pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail. It’s a trip known best for being rife with danger, but it was also rife with sluggish tedium. Early American settlers wouldn’t have completed the journey without the proverbial promise of milk and honey at the end, and neither will you stay the course of a repetitive diet without something more closely resembling literal milk and honey. A great way to stick to a low-calorie diet without breaking down into rebellious binge-mode is to reward yourself with a small dessert every day. Pick a food you love, and at the end of every day, reward yourself with a portion of about 200 calories. But remember—you only get the reward if you deserve it.

16. Skinny Habit #5: Read diet and exercise tips:
One Canadian study found that being exposed to nutrition and exercise advice led people to make smarter diet and lifestyle choices. To ensure you stay focused on maintaining a healthy weight, subscribe to a health-related magazine or frequent a nutrition-focused blog. Another simple way to eat great and still lose a ton of weight: Follow me right here on Twitter for the diet and fitness secrets I come across every day overseeing Men’s Health, Women's Health and Prevention magazines.

15. Skinny Habit #6: Eat breakfast:
A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothin’—eating a nutritious morning meal jumpstarts your metabolism and prevents you from overindulging throughout the day. For optimal weight-loss results, choose a breakfast dish with a healthy balance of protein and fiber, like eggs with fruit and whole-wheat toast.

14. Skinny Habit #7: Take snack breaks:
Snacking sometimes gets a bad rap, but planning nutritious snacks throughout your day can actually keep you skinny. A recent study released by the Nutrition Journal found that consuming low-sugar, high-protein snacks promotes weight loss. The reason: Healthy snacking keeps your blood-sugar from spiking, preventing hunger pangs, cravings, and body fat storage. An ideal snack choice? Nuts. The balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats is sure to keep you satisfied between meals.
13. Skinny Habit #8: Drink water:
Almost 60 percent of your body is water, which makes it vital to every important metabolic process. In one study of 173 overweight women, those who added 1 liter of daily water to their diets lost five extra pounds over the course of a year, and if you time it right, the effects can be even greater. When researchers from Virginia Tech had subjects drink two glasses of water before each meal, they found that those subjects lost 30 percent more body fat over 12 weeks. That said, making beverage blunders is one of the easiest ways to gain belly fatas the average American drinks 450 sugar-loaded calories a day. Replace half of what you drink with water and you'll save 23 pounds per year! Start by avoiding everything on this list ofThe 20 Worst Drinks in America.

12. Skinny Habit #9: Order a la carte:
A study from the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing found that diners consume more calories when they order combo meals because they end up with more food than they want or need. Our stay-skinny advice: Resist the temptation of the almighty “value” meal and order a la carte items, like a modestly sized burger and a non-fried side dish. You'll save both calories and cash.
11. Skinny Habit #10: Choose whole grains:
Choosing nutrient-rich whole grains over processed, white flour-based products can play a major role in keeping you lean. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that obese participants who added whole grains to their diets lost more belly fat than those who did not. One of the key weight-loss benefits of whole grains: Their healthy dose of fiber helps slow digestion, keeping you fuller longer. But don’t be fooled by “made with whole grain” labels. True whole grain products will list whole grains first on their ingredients list (think "whole wheat" flour instead of "enriched" or "bleached" flour).
10. Skinny Habit #11: Eat spicy food:
A 1999 study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that eating spicy foods may promote weight loss. Research participants who ate a spicy appetizer before a meal ate significantly less than those who consumed a non-spicy app. The explanation: A chemical compound called capsaicin, found in chili peppers, acts as an appetite suppressant. Capsaicin has also been shown to boost metabolism and fight inflammation. The take away: Routinely adding spicy ingredients like cayenne or red pepper to your meals is an easy, flavorful way to stay slim.
9. Skinny Habit #12: Sleep for 6 to 8 hours each night :
Getting a good night’s sleep has been linked to a host of major health benefits, not the least of which is maintaining healthy body weight. In a study from Harvard University, participants who slept for fewer than six hours or more than eight hours each night gained significantly more weight than those who slept for six to eight hours. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase appetite, lower willpower, and bolster cravings for high-calorie foods. That might be why you find it so hard to resist those doughnuts in the break room.
8. Skinny Habit #13: Manage stress:
A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that dealing with work-, finance-, or relationship-related stress can lead to weight gain. When you stress, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that promotes abdominal fat storage. If you find yourself overwhelmed in your work or personal life, try incorporating stress-reducing activities into your day. Join a yoga class or go for a jog, and when you start to feel stress coming on, pause and take deep breaths.
7. Skinny Habit #14: Take the stairs:
Most of us are aware that formal exercise is a key component in maintaining a healthy weight, but simple choices like taking the stairs can be just as important if you want to stay trim. One Mayo Clinic study found that participants who unconsciously moved more throughout the day were able to maintain their weight much easier than those who were more sedentary—even though both groups exercised the same amount. Make the most of daily motion by also walking to lunch, parking at the back of the lot, or skipping email in favor of short walks to deliver messages to coworkers. (As a bonus, you’ll make your face more recognizable around the office.)
6. Skinny Habit #15: Chew thoroughly:
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that chewing more and eating slowly caused participants to ingest fewer calories. According to the study’s researchers, the increase in chewing simultaneously lowered levels of appetite-stimulating hormones and increased levels of appetite-suppressing hormones. One way to make sure you chew your food thoroughly: Stop to eat. Eating on the go—in your car, for example—can lead you to quickly inhale a ton of calories before your body has time to let you know it’s full.
5. Skinny Habit #16: Walk after meals:
Taking a walk after dinner can help you lose weight, and not just because walking burns calories. According to one Mayo Clinic study, light, post-meal exercise—like walking—can lower your blood sugar and prevent your body from storing fat. Don’t have time for a walk, you say? Not a problem. As long as you keep moving after you eat, you will reap similar benefits. Even doing the dishes or completing other household tasks can help.
4. Skinny Habit #17: Keep healthy food on hand:
A great way to ensure you make nutritious food choices: Surround yourself with healthy options. Don’t use convenience as an excuse for a shameful diet. Keep fresh fruit on your kitchen counter, store healthy snacks like nuts (or anything from this must-have list of the 50 Best Snack Foods in America) in your desk at work, keep pre-washed, pre-cut vegetables in your fridge—whatever you have to do to make the healthiest choice the easiest choice, do it! You won't feel deprived or hungry as the pounds are dropping away.)
3. Skinny Habit #18: Learn to take a joke:
A 2006 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that laughing for 15 minutes each day can help you burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on your body size and the intensity of your laughter. This adds up to about one to four pounds of fat lost per year. That may not sound like much, but there's also been plenty of research linking happy people to all-around healthier lifestyles, and you, my friend, have an excuse to make the The Colbert Report part of your daily diet routine.
2. Skinny Habit #19: Eat protein:
A study in Nutrition Metabolism found that dieting participants who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their overall diet ate roughly 450 fewer calories throughout the day and lost about 11 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. Eating protein increases lean muscle mass, which keeps your metabolism running on high—even when you’re resting. Protein also keeps you full, making you less likely to overeat. For maximum health and weight-loss benefits, aim to include protein in all of your meals and snacks. The best options? Lean protein sources like fish, eggs, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and legumes.
1. Skinny Habit #20: Avoid dinner distractions:
With laptops, smartphones, and iPods aplenty, we've become accustomed to round-the-clock entertainment. But your mealtime may be one time of day we should fight our addiction to amusement. Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that diners who were distracted at mealtime consumed significantly more unhealthy snack foods later on than those who paid close attention to what they ate. One possible explanation: When you don’t pay attention to the meal you’re eating, your brain doesn’t fully register the experience. That leaves you less satisfied and more vulnerable to overeating.
20 habits skinny people live by. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

hold on to where you're from.

where will you be five years from today?

In five years Columbus opened up a whole new world by discovering the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, and North and South America.

In just under five years, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel.

In less than five years Shakespeare wrote "Hamlet", "Othello", "King Lear", "Macbeth", and five other immortal plays.

In 1961, Julia Child graduated from cooking school with a quirky idea for a TV show. Four years later she won an Emmy as America's favorite TV chef.

Fired from their home improvement jobs, Arthur Blank and Bernie Marcus created a business model called Home Depot and went public with their idea. Just three years after losing their jobs, their annual sales were $1 billion.

At age 30, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was living in a 500-square foot apartment. Five years later his net worth was $10 billion.

"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein."

(all from Where Will You Be Five Years From Today?)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

"to the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may be the world."

I know I post a lot about my friends, but I honestly couldn't enough. I'm so grateful for everything they do for me and for the fact that they'll always be there for me no matter what. I don't know where I'd be without them. This Thanksgiving, I reflected most about how thankful I am for the many friendships I know will last a lifetime. Through ups and downs, we always manage to rise above it and realize how important we are to each other. They are honest when they need to be, even if I'm not going to like what they have to say. We challenge each other to be better people and when it comes down to it, I have the absolute best time with all of them. Crying from laughing multiple times through the night is standard. I know that I'm going to stay close to them even if many of them go to different schools all over the country.  

Love you guys! XOX

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

live now. do it now. take risks. tell secrets. this life is yours.

I'm pretty sure I've posted this picture before, but I couldn't help putting it up again. I have it printed out and posted right next to my bed to remind me how to live, especially now in college. I can't believe that my first semester is almost over, that I'm almost 1/8th finished with college. Too often, people concern themselves with what others think way more than they should. Nobody should care what you do or how you act. If they do, then it means they are insecure with themselves and aren't worth paying any attention to. So, act crazy with your friends. Dance like a freak. Rap to songs as loudly as you want. Talk to as many people as possible at the parties. Life is short. Like a quote by Mark Twain said, you're not going to look back and regret certain things you did. You're going to regret not being yourself and not doing things you wanted to just because of what you thought others thought of it. When it comes down to it, most people are drawn to the confident people who are doing what they want, not the people trying to seem perfect all the time. Accept that you're not going to be perfect and own it; you're not going to be young for long, so own it and go out there and show everyone who you really are!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

One of my best friends, Marykate, just made a blog. She is always one of the people I could always look to for support and advice whenever I'm done. She's always filled with positivity and can make my tears of sadness turn into tears of laughter. I'm so excited to read her daily lessons and insights about life.

10 life-enhancing things you can do in ten minutes or less.

1.    Watch "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch. See it online at This is a deeply moving segment that may be the best ten minutes you've ever invested in front of a computer.
2.    Spend a little while watching the sunset with your mate. Nothing extra is necessary. Just sit and take in the natural beauty of the sky and appreciate being able to share it with the one you love.
3.    Sit quietly by yourself. It doesn't really matter where or when. Just let your feelings bubble up and then experience the thoughts flowing out of your mind. Clearing your head and heart will give you extra energy to get through the rest of the day.
4.    Write a thank you note to your mate. When was the last time you thanked your partner for just being who he or she is and being with you? Doing this in writing will give your partner something to cherish for the rest of his or her life.
5.    Take out your oldest family photo album and look through it. The experience will fill you with fond memories and perhaps make you a bit wistful for days gone by.
6.    Play with a child. Most kids have short attention spans; ten minutes of quality time from a loving adult can make their day. It will also help you stay in touch with the child inside of you.
7.    Visualize or imagine a positive outcome for any issue. Medical doctors recommend visualization to patients with chronic and potentially fatal illnesses. If it can help them, it can do the same for you. 
8.    Go to bed with the one you love ten minutes earlier than usual. Then spend that time just holding each other. Let the feeling of warmth from your mate move through you.
9.    Hang out by some water. Studies show that hospital patients who can see a natural body of water from their beds get better at a 30 percent faster rate. If you're not near the coast or a lake, try taking a bath. Doing so is also healing.
10.  Get your body moving. Shake, twist, and jump around. Let yourself feel the joy of moving to your favorite music, or just the sounds in your head. Run, walk, and bike to your hearts content. You will live longer and love it more.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"the unexamined life is not worth living."

I think it's important to constantly seek opportunities to improve yourself. Today, I decided to make a list of self-improvements that will make my quality of living better and raise my level of happiness. Life is all about challenging yourself and learning lessons, even if the lessons are sometimes hard to listen to and experience. Self-reflection can sometimes be difficult, especially when overcoming faults and obstacles can seem daunting and impossible. Try to write down 5-10 things that you ultimately want to achieve. This won't cause pressure, but instead motivate you to start thinking positively towards your goal. Of course, everyone is going to have bad days and take steps in the wrong direction, but the important thing is to have the intention to help yourself be the best you can be! Here are some of the ones I thought of for myself:

- stop overthinking --> learn to fully be myself without hesitation
- don't be afraid to tell someone something that may be hard to hear
- maintain old friendships and challenge myself to constantly make new ones
- find 5-10 minutes a day for meditation/self-reflection/prayer
- don't beat myself up when i'm not happy --> accept/own my emotions
- get out of my comfort zone as much as possible

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."