Low Calorie Cocktails- I’ll Cheers to That!

What’s better than a refreshing cocktail in the hot summer sun? One that won’t wreak havoc on your waistline! Summer is a time for social gatherings, vacation, and relaxation- and let’s be honest, often that means enjoying a cocktail (or two)! Alcohol and weight loss plans often don’t mix all that well; the calories in alcohol can add up fast! Furthermore, alcohol can stimulate your appetite and cloud your judgment; so not only will you feel hungrier, you may also be more likely to choose a less healthy option than you normally would. But remember, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is dependent on a lifestyle change- not a short term diet. Cutting out alcohol forever isn’t realistic for most- and that’s okay! Enjoy in moderation and follow these simple tips:

– Smarter options include light beer, wine, or alcohol with low calorie mixers such as soda water, seltzer, lime juice, lemon juice, coconut water or light juice.
– Modify cocktails by asking for less simple syrup or replacing juice with soda water and just a splash of juice.
– Enjoy your beverage in the middle or towards the end of a meal instead of before a meal; alcohol can stimulate appetite and cause you to overeat.
– Frozen drinks often are made with high calorie mixes that contain LOTS of added sugar. Skip them! Make your own version with frozen fruit for all of the sweetness and none of the guilt.

So remember, alcohol can be a part of your healthy lifestyle as long as it is enjoyed in moderation and you make smart choices. Below are links to low cal cocktail recipes to try! And make sure to check out my book Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies for even more recipes like the refreshing Blueberry and Mint Spritzer.

Cheers!

Low-Cal Summer Drinks

Healthy Cocktails

Skinny Cocktails

Visit me at www.erinpalinski.com to sign up for my FREE nutrition newsletter. Follow me on twitter @DietExpertNJ for all of my latest nutrition and fitness tips and like me on Facebook!

Difficulty Losing Weight? Your Personality May be to Blame!

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When it comes to weight loss, a lifestyle change that is customized to you and your dietary habits is the key to success. Just as we all have different personalities, we also each have a unique weight loss personality. This is why a ‘one size fits all’ approach to weight loss just doesn’t work. Tailoring a plan to your lifestyle is necessary for both weight loss, and most importantly- weight maintenance following weight loss. Let’s discuss different weight loss personalities and identify strategies for each one to promote long term weight loss success.

The Personality: ‘Perfectionist’
Do you find yourself always trying to do everything right, all of the time? Are you hard on yourself when things do not go exactly as planned? If so, you likely have a ‘perfectionist’ personality. When it comes to eating, it is nearly impossible be perfect 100% of the time. Life is going to throw curveballs that require a bit of leniency in your diet; and while you may not be able to make the perfect food choice every single time, you can still lose weight and maintain a perfectly healthy lifestyle! Often with this personality we see over restriction and emphasis on ‘forbidden’ foods. Even one diet ‘slip up’ can cause feelings of failure or hopelessness and lead to a cycle of overeating followed by over restriction.

The Strategy: Stop the cycle! Work on learning to forgive yourself when you do have a diet ‘slip up’, and try incorporating a small weekly indulgence to your diet. Adding flexibility to your diet will not hinder your health or your weight loss efforts, and you will likely feel more relaxed and at peace with your new lifestyle changes.

The Personality: Impulsive
Do you get halfway through the bag of Doritos before you even realize you grabbed them from the kitchen? Do you take seconds at dinner just because the leftovers were sitting there? These are habits seen often with ‘impulsive’ personalities. Changing your lifestyle usually requires a bit of planning and thoughtfulness, especially in the beginning while getting used to new foods and eating habits. Those with impulsive personalities are more likely make a poor dietary choice in the moment and less likely to consider the feelings of guilt that usually follow. Impulsive eating often leads to poor dietary decisions, disregard of hunger cues, and overeating.

The Strategy: Get rid of temptation! Think about the food temptations you give into throughout the day and find a way to eliminate these temptations altogether. Stock your fridge and cabinets with healthy snacks and avoid buying sugary and salty treats. Contribute a healthy dish at the next BBQ so you know there will be something nutritious there for you to eat. Keep dinner leftovers on the kitchen counter or somewhere they will be out of reach. Making your food choices more planned and deliberate throughout the day will help you stay on track!

The Personality: Night Owl
Do you find yourself staying awake late into the night even when you don’t need to? The ‘night owl’ personality is a common one, and it can have a substantial impact on your weight loss efforts. Studies have shown that people who stay up later often engage in night time snacking and consume significantly more calories than those who hit the sack earlier. Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to clouded judgment when choosing foods the following day, and can also mess with your hunger and satiety hormones.

The Strategy: Commit to a bedtime! Choose a bedtime that is realistic for your lifestyle, preferably early enough to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and commit to it. To promote a more restful sleep, turn off electronics 30 minutes to an hour before getting into bed. Try practicing nighttime yoga or meditation to relax your mind and body. It will take consistency and patience while your body adjusts to the new sleep schedule, but I bet you will find the new rested you makes healthier choices throughout the day!

The Personality: All or Nothing
Have you started a nutrition or exercise program, strayed a bit off course, and then abandoned the program all together? This ‘all or nothing’ personality can sabotage weight loss efforts; any deviation from the plan will lead to feelings of failure and subsequent giving up. This personality often relies on a very structured plan for weight loss success. While structure can be helpful while losing weight, flexibility is essential for long term weight loss and weight maintenance.

The Strategy: Add flexibility! When you begin your weight loss journey, follow a structured plan while you are getting used to the changes. After a couple weeks, allow yourself to stray a bit from the plan. This may mean experimenting with one or two different meals a week, adding in a night at your favorite restaurant or enjoying a small treat at the Sunday barbeque. Adding flexibility to your plan will allow for continued weight loss while preventing diet burn out that can occur from too much structure.

The Personality: Short Attention Span
Have you ever given up on trying to lose weight after feeling bored with eating the same foods over and over again? Structure is important for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean the foods you eat have to lack variety! Someone with the ‘short attention span’ personality may find they get into a rut of eating the same foods every day that is not only boring, but is also unsustainable. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, and the greater variety of healthy foods you have in your diet, the more likely you are to feel satisfied and find success on your journey to weight loss.

The Strategy: Mix it up! There is no way to get around the fact that structure and planning are necessary components for weight loss. To add variety but keep structure, plan out a week of meals, Sunday-Saturday. Make sure these meals differ from day to day. Now, you have seven days of different meals that will help you stay on track without becoming bored. You can repeat these meals each week, or find new healthy recipes online or in a cookbook to swap with. Getting creative in the kitchen is a great way to stave off boredom while discovering new nutritious snacks and meals.

No matter what your weight loss personality is, the important thing to remember is that the changes you are making are lifestyle changes; they have to be sustainable if you hope to reach long term success. Once you identify your weight loss personality, work with the strategies that are tailored to you and your lifestyle (a registered dietitian can help you do this!).

Which personality do you identify with? Do you have a different weight loss personality that was not mentioned?

Visit me at www.erinpalinski.com to sign up for my FREE nutrition newsletter. Follow me on twitter @DietExpertNJ for all of my latest nutrition and fitness tips and like me on Facebook!

Just in time for Swimsuit Season- Blast Belly Fat & Fight Diabetes!

Summer is just around the corner and no doubt the thought of fitting into your bathing suit has crossed your mind. If you have noticed your waistline has been expanding over the past year, not only may you dislike the look of your swimsuit , but you may also be increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

I have teamed up with CDiabetes.com to offer a fun and exciting Twitter Party this Thursday, May 15th at 12pm EST to discuss “Top Ways to Fight Belly Fat for Swimsuit Season.” Join us to learn what foods and nutrients burn up belly fat, what the main culprits of belly fat accumulation are, and simple solutions to help you slim your waistline and achieve a flat belly. In addition, a few lucky participants will win a copy of my book “Belly Fat Diet For Dummies.”

Follow @DietExpertNJ @CDiabetesMag @BethRosen and use #DiabetesChat to join the fun! Visit CDiabetes.com/spring2014 for more information. I look forward to seeing you there!


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Visit ErinPalinski.com for more information.

Belly Fat Diet For Dummies is Released Today!

Today is the day!!! My new book “Belly Fat Diet For Dummies” is now available in stores around the country! If you are looking to shrink your waistline and improve your health, look no further- your solution is here! This book incorporates the latest research along with practical advice to help you lose weight quickly and effectively, but most importantly- keep it off for good!

To kick off the book launch we are having a blog tour. Follow the tour over the next two weeks for great recipes, interviews, and even giveaways! And to wrap up the tour, join me live for an interactive web-based video chat at Shindig Events shindigevents.com on November 26th at 7pm to discuss the book and answer all of your belly fat blasting questions and concerns!

November 7th Wednesday- Interview with Chew the Facts
November 8th Thursday- Book Review by Healthy Mom Magazine Blog
November 8th Thursday- Recipe with Fat Fighter TV
November 9th Friday- Review and Giveaway with Appetite for Health
November 12th Monday – Glamour.com 5 Ways to Fight Belly Fat Before Christmas (Vitamin G Blog)
November 13th Tuesday- Interview and Giveaway with Around the Plate
November 26th Monday- 7:00PM EST- Live interactive web-based chat with author at Shindig Events

Belly Fat Diet For Dummies can also be purchased at online retailers here.

Always Hungry?

 Are you always hungry? Do you have a hard time controlling your portions or pulling yourself away from the snack cabinet?

Well good news! You can get your hunger under control- which in turn helps promote weight loss!

Your appetite is regulated by chemicals within your body that send signals to your brain. As food enters your stomach, a hormone is released that signals your brain to let it know your stomach is full. Once this occurs, your appetite then gradually decreases. This process takes about 20 minutes, so if you eat too fast, your brain may not know you are full until you have overeaten. Focusing on eating meals slowly will give your body the time it needs to feel satisfied and therefore, lead to a decrease in appetite after a meal.

Exercise is also a great way to decrease your appetite. Research has shown that your appetite is actually lowered for several hours after activity. Planning to exercise an hour or two before a large meal may help to curb your appetite and consume less food.

Here are a few more tips to help control your appetite:

–          Eat on schedule. Don’t allow yourself to go too long without a meal or snack. If you let your body get too hungry, you will most likely end up overeating. Eating regularly throughout the day also helps to keep your metabolism increased to help burn calories and maintain your weight.

–          Drink plenty of water! Drinking 8 glasses of water everyday not only helps your body function correctly, but also helps keep your stomach feeling “full.”

–          Include some healthy fats everyday. Fat is digested in our stomachs slower than other nutrients, such as carbohydrates. This means that it will stay in the stomach for a longer period of time, leading to a lasting sensation of fullness and a decreased appetite.

If you are looking to revamp your diet, lose weight, or get in shape- you’re in luck! I now offer online and phone nutrition coaching, E-nutrition Mail packages, Mini Meal Makeovers, and Custom Meal Planning. Contact me today for more information or schedule your session online: http://www.erinpalinski.com/counseling.html

Copyright ErinPalinski.com 2012. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, check out my website, America’s Belly Fat Fighter, at www.erinpalinski.com

Follow me on twitter @DietExpertNJ

Just Because It’s Healthy Doesn’t Mean More is Better!


We’ve all heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And while that may be true, eating 10 apples a day may have you lining up at your doctor’s door. Now, you may not be eating 10 apples a day, but this metaphor holds true for many assumedly healthy foods. For instance, take nuts. I have lots of clients that tell me they are eating nuts throughout the day for good health. And that’s great! Nuts are loaded with heart healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and fiber. But did you know 1 cup of nuts contains almost 900 calories! If your snacking in excessive amounts, you may be packing on the pounds, which instead of helping your heart can be increasing your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Just like with anything in life, moderation is key. Healthy foods are great and even “less-than-healthy” foods can have a place in your diet occasionally, but it all comes down to how much you eat of them and how often you eat them. Having a handful of candy won’t hurt you if you have it once a week, but having multiple handfuls each day sure can. The bottom line is to be healthy and maintain a desirable body weight; you have to focus on your portions. To help with that, here are a few tips:

– Use smaller plates, such as salad plates over dinner plates to help your plate look “full” with smaller quantities of food
– Have a small meal or snack every few hours to prevent you from becoming too hungry and overeating
– Use your hand to guide you: a palm full of pasta is a serving whereas the tip of your thumb is a serving of oil or butter
– The only food group you truly can eat in almost unlimited amounts is non-starchy vegetables (vegetables other than corn, beans/legumes, peas, winter squash, and potatoes). So fill your plate with veggies to help you keep your other portions in check.

What healthy foods do you overeat at times? Can you think of some ways to adjust that?

If you are looking to revamp your diet, lose weight, or get in shape- you’re in luck! I now offer online and phone nutrition coaching, E-nutrition Mail packages, Mini Meal Makeovers, and Custom Meal Planning. Contact me today for more information or schedule your session online: http://www.erinpalinski.com/counseling.html

Copyright ErinPalinski.com 2012. All Rights Reserved.

For more information, check out my website, America’s Belly Fat Fighter, at www.erinpalinski.com

Follow me on twitter @DietExpertNJ