(Medifast Cappuccino - so super delish)I hate the word diet. Diet, to me, means going without. When you go without then that is all you can focus on. Can't eat chocolate? Now I want ALL the chocolate every chance I can get. Can't go out to that favorite restaurant? Now I want to camp out and basically live there. I prefer to look at weight loss as a lifestyle change. Lifestyles changes are permanent, diets are temporary. Whether or not you have the money to join a weight loss plan to make that lifestyle change (see below for some discounts for Medifast Go that might help), there are 5 things you can start doing right now to set you on the right path to lose weight. Eat a high-protein breakfast Protein is like the golden child of every weight loss plan. It boosts your metabolism, decreases hunger and as you are losing weight, adds lean muscle. Of course, you don't have to just eat protein, you can drink it, too. Eat small meals every few hours Eating smaller, healthy meals several times a day helps to maintain your blood sugar at a consistent level helping you to avoid energy crashes. It also means you feel full longer decreasing your chances or excessive snacking. Psychologically speaking, you may think that eating more often means you'll gain weight, but as long as it is low calorie, low fat, high protein and minerals, then it is much better than the potential for eating 3 large meals and snacking in between - because let's be honest here, snacking is what often does us in. Decrease Stress Easier said than done, but it's well known that stress can pack on the pounds. If you don't incorporate any form of stress management techniques into your day, then there is no time like now to do things like: download the Calm app to your phone, start going to bed earlier, learning basic yoga, meditation and even just exercising for 30 minutes a day. Some days just chasing my two year old around from room to room for 30 minutes straight and making a game of it counts as my exercise for the day - and it boosts both our moods, too. Drink water before and after meals I'm not a fan of water, however I've come to not mind it as much when adding Medifast's Calorie Burn Mixed Berry Flavor Infuser (it tastes so good!) Drinking water a half hour before a meal acts as an appetite suppressant because you feel fuller prior to your meal, helping you to either eat less or just the proper portion size. Since water has no calories (the flavor infuser I mentioned is only 5 calories btw), you avoid loading up on empty calories that would only contribute to weight gain. Decrease sugar and starch Oh the addiction to sugar is real my friends. Sugar gives you temporary pleasure, but then converts to fat and you have to work that much harder to lose it. Starchy foods also convert to sugar. When you significantly reduce them both, you'll begin to notice the pounds start to melt away. I say reduce because in the real world cutting them out entirely simply means you'll find a way to sneak them and overindulge. All of the above are steps you can take starting today to start your weight loss journey. There's no magic potion, only a committment to becoming healthy. I'm cheering you on! You can also follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like How Medifast Works How to Stick To Your Diet During the Holidays Can You Cheat on Your Diet and Still Lose Weight? If you’re interested in joining me on this journey, you can get 7 days of free Medifast meals + bonus gifts + free shipping on your the first order as part of the renewal plan. Or for a limited time you can get 20% off any order of $300 or more + Free Shipping with promo code BIGDEAL20! Valid December 26, 2017 through January 2, 2018 at Midnight ET. *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Medifast. All thoughts and opinions are my own.The holidays bring on the greatest tests of will power, especially when on you have been following a weight loss plan. Every chocolate dessert or new trendy coffee seem that much more tempting when you know they are forbidden. When choosing to jump on board Medifast Go, I was very much aware that I would be hitting every major holiday along the way. I kept feeling bouts of sadness that I wouldn't be able to partake in a cookie exchange or eat two helpings of my mom's famous chocolate trifle. What would I do when invited to a holiday party? It was completely stressing me out. And this is when any other time I'd fall off the wagon. You, too? But I chose to switch up my mindset and keep reminding myself that I am doing this to sustain the life of someone else (kidney donation if you haven't followed from the beginning) and so giving up is not an option. Someone's life depends on me. Then I remembered that Medifast has so many awesome Meal Makeovers in their Simply Well cookbook and on their blog. Below are a few holiday-themed recipes from Medifast that will not only keep you on track with your weight loss goals, but they taste soooo good! Pumpkin Spiced Latte 1 Medifast Meal | 2½ Condiments Yield: 1 serving Total Time: 5 minutes Ingredients ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree ½ cup strong brewed coffee 1 packet of Medifast® Gingerbread Softbake Directions Combine milk and pumpkin puree in a microwave-safe mug. Microwave for one minute, and stir. Add coffee and the Gingerbread Softbake, and stir until smooth. Serve immediately! Pumpkin Pie Whoopie Pies Yield: 4 servings (2 whoopie pies per serving) Per serving: 1 Medifast Meal | ½ Healthy Fat | 3 Condiments Ingredients 2 packets Medifast Spiced Pancakes 2 packet Medifast Gingerbread Soft Bake ½ tsp baking powder 6 Tbsp egg whites ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond or cashew milk 2 tsp vegetable oil ½ cup whipped topping ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice Cooking spray Directions Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine pancake mixture, soft bake mixture and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Add egg whites, milk, and oil, and mix until a batter-like consistency. Divide batter evenly among eight slots of a lightly-greased muffin tin (should fill only a third of each slot). Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Meanwhile, combine whipped topping and pumpkin pie spice. Once cooled, slice each muffin in half horizontally. Spread one tablespoon of whipped topping on the bottom half of each muffin, and top with the remaining muffin halves. Cauliflower Rice Stuffing Yield: 2 servings Per serving: 3 Green | 2 Healthy Fats | 3 Condiments Ingredients 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 cup diced celery 1 cup diced mushrooms 1/3 cup diced yellow onion 2 oz chopped walnuts 4 cups riced cauliflower ½ cup chicken stock 1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary ½ Tbsp poultry seasoning ½ tsp salt Directions Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, mushrooms, onion, and walnuts. Sauté for five minutes. Add cauliflower rice, sauté for an additional two minutes. Add stock and seasoning; mix well. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Frozen Pumpkin Shake Per serving: 1 Medifast Meal | 1 1/2 Condiments Ingredients 1 Medifast Vanilla Shake 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1/4 tsp cinammon 1/2 cup cold water 1/2 cup ice Directions Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The bottom line is that age old saying - everything in moderation. Adjust recipes to make them healthier, don't over-eat and eat smaller portion sizes. You'll thank yourself once the holidays are over and you may just find some really grest recipes that continue past the holidays and find their way into your everyday diet. Now for my 6 week stats – Starting: Weight: 183 lbs BMI: 35.7% (I’m 5′) Bust: 43″ Waist: 44″ Hips: 46″ Butt: 47″ Arm: 13″ Legs: 25″ Neck: 13.5″ Six week mark: Weight: 176.5 BMI: 34.5% Bust: 42″ Waist: 41″ Hips: 43″ Butt: 44″ Arm: 12″ Legs: 24″ Neck: 13.5″ TOTAL: 6.5 lbs lost, 1.2% BMI loss, and 12 inches lost. Follow my journey from the beginning: How to Lose Weight at Home What the First Few Weeks on Medifast are Really Like How Medifast Works If you’re interested in joining me on this journey, you can get 7 days of free Medifast meals + bonus gifts + free shipping on your the first order as part of the renewal plan. If you’ve already worked this weight loss program with success, I would love your encouragement and tips in the comments! *Average weight loss for Medifast Direct® customers using Medifast Go™ is 11 pounds. Medifast Direct customers are in weight loss, on average, for 8 weeks. Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!