Create a personalized Circuit Training Workout in 5 easy steps

woman stretching for running in the city wearable watch for measure calories

by Samantha Clayton

Follow this balanced circuit training routine for a great full body workout that gets you the results you want, while limiting the possibility of overuse injuries.

Whatever your focus––be it improving your strength, cardiovascular fitness or endurance––you can benefit from doing weekly circuit training sessions.

Circuit training is a great way for people of all ability levels to exercise. Whether you’re new to exercising or a seasoned pro, you can use circuit training to help you improve your overall fitness level, and target and strengthen your trouble spots.

Circuit training involves performing lots of different exercises in one sequence. This makes it almost impossible to get bored during your session. Plus, because you get to set your own schedule, you can easily fit it into your day. Circuit training is also great because it allows you to squeeze in exercises that you don’t necessarily enjoy. Since you only have to do each move for a short amount of time, getting in some dreaded cardio or strength training work is a lot less daunting.

Here are a few simple tips to help you set up your circuit in a safe way that maximizes your time.

Choose Your Workout Duration

You can do a circuit that’s as long as 60 minutes, or as short as 5 minutes. Decide what amount of time will fit in with your personal schedule, while keeping in mind that the more intense training should be kept to a shorter duration.

Decide on Your Rest Time

You can do a continuous circuit, which is when you go from one exercise to the next without a rest until you have completed one full set. Or you can take a short rest after each exercise. The less rest you have in between exercises, the greater the challenge will be. However, having adequate rest between each full set of exercises is important, as it will allow you to work out at your very best. Base your rest times on your personal fitness level. As your fitness level improves, you will need less rest in between each exercise.

Choose Your Exercises

If you are doing a full-body circuit, try to include exercises that engage your largest muscle groups, such as legs, glutes, chest and back. Also, add in some stability-based moves that involve your core muscles, as well as some cardio. There are so many exercises to choose from, but a few of my favorites include squats, lunges, crunches, burpees, push-ups and jumping jacks.

Exercise Order

The best way to organize your workout is to avoid using the same muscle groups back to back. Alternating between lower body, upper body and core exercises can help you to avoid overworking a particular muscle. When you’re doing a targeted circuit workout and focusing primarily on one area of the body, it’s still important to think about how your joints work and how to avoid over-stressing your body. The shoulder joint, for instance, can become easily stressed out, so avoiding doing exercises like planks, push-ups and mountain climbers all in one set is important. Try to ensure that each exercise that you choose engages your muscles in a different way. When it comes to organizing your routine, common sense will steer you in the right direction.

Number of Exercises

The great thing about circuit training is that you can choose to include as many or as few exercises as you wish. I believe that it’s best to set up a circuit that allows you to repeat it three times. Adequate repetition is important when exercising if you wish to get results. For example, if you have 15 minutes for exercise, choose five exercises that will allow you to do each for 45 seconds, and perform three full sets with adequate time to catch your breath in between sets.

Planning out your own circuit can be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Though it takes a little bit of practice to design your own workouts, when you plan it out in advance and make sure it’s balanced, you’ll be well on your way to becoming your own perfect trainer.

Three Tips to Help You Squeeze in a Workout

athletic woman preparing for starting exercise

by Samantha Clayton

Here’s how to stop using excuses and finally squeeze in a workout.

When it comes to finding motivation to get up off the couch and improve your fitness level, sometimes it takes more than willpower alone to make it happen.

 ‘I’m too busy and I can’t find the time.

This is the number one excuse I hear for not exercising. You may find it hard to believe, but this was also my go-to excuse after having triplets. It was an excuse that really worked, because who would ever disagree? My four young kids sure do take up a lot of time.

And this ‘I’m too busy’ excuse sounds so much better and less embarrassing than the truth: ‘I’m just too tired and I don’t have the motivation.’

The reality is that we can all make time to add activity into our life. All we need to do is realize that excuses will only hurt us in the long term. Sometimes it takes a health scare or an embarrassing moment to force us to address the issue. But why wait for that to happen before improving your life?

My changing moment occurred when I was asked to leave a steam room at the spa after being lectured in front of a crowd on how heat could harm my unborn child. Sounds awful, right? The real problem was that I wasn’t even pregnant—my babies were five months old already. Talk about a cringe worthy moment! This was all the motivation I needed to get my body and fitness back on track.

Three ways to squeeze in a workout into your day:

  1. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier.
    This may seem like an obvious tip, but it definitely takes motivation not to hit the snooze button and lie back down.
  • My next piece of advice may seem crazy but it worked for me. For the first few weeks wear a loose fitting workout kit to bed or place your workout outfit with your tennis shoes right next to your bed. When the alarm starts buzzing, put on your socks and shoes and get to it.
  • Working out at home or close to home is the best way to start out, because it removes any excuses about joining a gym or having to travel anywhere. Sure, jogging along a beach at dawn may sound nice, but in reality, you probably need to get your workout done and dusted as quickly as possible.
  • As your body gets used to the time adjustment, add an extra 10 minutes so that you can actually comb your hair and brush your teeth before you go.
  1. Pack your workout clothes and take them to work.
    If you’re not a morning person, then it’s time for Plan B: the lunchtime power-walk. Schedule it in like you would a dentist or your hair salon appointment. It’s funny that we wouldn’t dream of not getting our hair cut, but taking care of our health often gets overlooked or sidelined.
  • Asking a co-worker to join you will give you the extra motivation not to skip a session.
  1. Split your workout into smaller segments.
    If finding a full 30 minutes is too difficult, then try to do three or more mini workouts. It’s fine to accumulate your workout throughout your day.
  • This tip works especially well for stay-at-home-moms with young children, because minding a child for 10 minutes while you jump around and squeeze in a workout is a realistic goal.
  • If you work in an office and sit down all day, try taking a brief 10 minutes to stretch out or walk around the office. It may improve your energy level and boost your concentration.

Making an activity part of your lifestyle instead of a chore makes results easier to achieve.

Once I decided to ditch my excuses and made time in my day to exercise, I was able to quickly progress to a regular spinning class, and being active became something I just did rather than something I had to think about. People even started complementing me on all the extra energy I seemed to have.

So, no excuses––everybody can find time to exercise.

For more tips on fitness and sports nutrition, visit I Am Herbalife Nutrition.

Get Fit Starting From Scratch

strong man on starting position of running in the highway

by Samantha Clayton

Do you wish you were more fit, but the days and weeks just seem to pass by without you doing anything active? Here’s how you can turn it around.

Despite your best intentions, it’s not hard to get caught in a no-exercise rut. You have a busy life, and sometimes fitness slips down the priority list. Unfortunately, for some it can seem like you’re so far out of shape that you’ll never get fit again.

But don’t worry, you can get fit again. Regardless of your current fitness level, today’s fitness advice may help.

I’ve gone back to basics and focused on what really helped me. There was a time when I didn’t feel great about my body – I lacked stamina, strength and flexibility. My self-confidence dipped, and I wanted to hide. I couldn’t believe that I’d let myself fall so far, and regaining my former fitness felt like a mountain too steep to climb.

This isn’t the usual fitness article about how you need ‘x’ minutes of this exercise and ‘x’ minutes of that exercise. This is for those of you who sincerely want to get fit and don’t know where to start, because right now all exercise feels too daunting to even try. Don’t despair – I’m here to give you fitness hope.

My ‘ABC x 3’ Get Fit Program

Using my own experience of adjusting to life with four children and a husband who was always traveling for work, these are my ABCs to help you get back on track. Give these tips a go and you could find yourself back in possession of willpower, confidence and energy in no time.

Fitness AAA

Action

Fitness and exercise can feel like too big a challenge, so let’s just push to become more active and get fit. That can mean adding in a simple stretch or a walk around the block. Any movement is better than no movement.

If you’re not fit, then you don’t need any high-pressure labels. So, let’s simply take ‘action’ by being ‘active’ in some way, every day.

Analyze

Look at your schedule and see where there is time for action. You don’t think you have two hours to get to the gym, change, work out, change and get home again? Fine. Let’s start small. Can you find a minute before breakfast or two minutes after work?

Just as you wouldn’t start climbing a mountain at breakneck speed, you can slowly ease yourself into action. Find a few minutes and use them to stretch. Reach to the ceiling or gently roll your neck and enjoy the feeling. Over time, try to build from two minutes of action to five.

Accountability

You know you need to exercise. I know you need to exercise. Add it to your daily to-do list and do something active every day.

If you stretch before breakfast for a minute, then write it down. If you walk to the end of your street, then write it down. You’re more likely to exercise if you hold yourself accountable, and after five days you’ll have at least five minutes of exercise to show for it.

You might not be at the top of the mountain yet, but you can see you’ve made a start!

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Breathe

For me, my falling fitness level was tied to an increasingly busy lifestyle and stress. That taught me that it’s good to make time to breathe.

Right now, as you’re reading this, take a deep breath in and feel your chest swell. Now breathe out slowly. Try to push all the air out of your lungs.

Mindful breathing can help us focus, so find something you do every day and use it as a reminder to enjoy some relaxation and deep breathing. You might decide to breathe deeply while waiting for the coffee to brew or as you water your plants. I do it after the kids clamber out of the car for school and I have a moment before driving away and tackling the next part of my day.

You won’t get far up that mountain if you don’t take time to breathe and assess your progress.

Break

Take a break. We’re all busy, and it feels like we just don’t have any time, but are you sure you can’t squeeze in a five-minute break from what you’re doing? Hard as it might be to believe, your productivity may go up if you step away for a moment. A break to walk from one side of the room to the other or to step outside can help you refocus while adding crucial action moments to your day.

If you do take a moment to walk around your place of work, then don’t forget to write it down. Every step takes you a little higher up that fitness mountain.

Balance

You’re more likely to stick with your daily actions if you can find a way to balance your new activities with your daily needs. You still need to do your chores, keep up your social circle and all the other things that make up your day-to-day life. No one wants to be boring, so find the right life balance. That means you need to add more action than you were doing, but don’t go over the top and become so active that it’s unsustainable.

To get all the way up that fitness mountain, you need to pace yourself.

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Change

Change won’t happen unless you make it. We can all wish and hope and dream, but we won’t get fit unless we take a first action step.

You have to be honest with yourself every day. If a day goes by and you haven’t had an action moment, then understand that you aren’t climbing the mountain. You’re standing still or even rolling back down.

Community

Use your community to help you rebuild and get fit. Your family, friends and coworkers can help you clock up action moments and may want to join you as you steadily climb the mountain. You probably aren’t the only person you know who wants to get fit. Tell everybody what you’re trying to do, and your friends will motivate you. They’re likely to be proud of you for actively taking back control.

Climbing that mountain is easier if you aren’t struggling up alone.

Commit

None of my ABCs will help if you don’t commit to taking action. As you read this, I hope you feel motivated. Use that feeling right now: move your body in some way, stretch your arms out or take a deep breath and point your toes. If you’re feeling really motivated, then do a little wiggle and feel yourself smile!

Now that you’ve started, commit to taking a few more steps up the mountain each day. Pretty soon you’ll look back and see how far you’ve climbed.

Four Fitness Tips for Healthy Aging

by Samantha Clayton

As you age, daily activity and dedication to balanced nutrition can have a positive effect on your body. Here are a few balanced exercise routines that can help you to get and stay fit for the long term, if you keep at it.

There are many benefits that are associated with living a healthy, active lifestyle. Reduced stress, improved body confidence and improved cardiovascular health are just a few. Regular physical activity is important regardless of your current age and fitness level. It’s never too late to get started with a new exercise routine.

Dedication to living a healthy, active lifestyle as you age can help to counteract aging effects, such as muscle loss, decreased bone density and decreased joint mobility. Yet, many people believe that as we age our need for activity diminishes. The truth is that the older we become the more focus we must put on staying active, so that we can maintain a good quality of life, perform daily tasks and maintain good overall health.

It can be difficult to understand what exercises are appropriate for your current age and level of fitness. Quite often, it’s not until after you get injured that you realize you were performing exercises that were too advanced. I believe that following a balanced and varied exercise routine that slowly progresses as your fitness level and strength improves is the best approach for people of all ages.

Understanding a few basic fitness terms can make a big difference in the way you approach your routine. Here are four modes of fitness that you should consider doing as part of your routine:

Low impact exercise involves movements that place minimal direct force on the body. It’s typically the best type of exercise for people who are just getting started with a fitness plan, or those who have taken time away from exercise. It’s also often recommended for people who have physical limitations due to injury. Examples of low impact exercises include walking, cycling, swimming and using a rowing or elliptical machine.

High impact exercise is any activity that places a direct force on the muscles and joints of the body. It generally involves having two feet off the floor at one time. Jumping, hopping and running are all examples of high impact exercise. Performing this type of exercise is essential for building strong muscles and bones. However, you should be cautious of doing too much too soon, especially if you are new to exercise or have a significant amount of weight to lose. High impact activity places stress on joints, and you should slowly build up to including this type of exercise in your routine.

Low intensity exercise refers to working out at a lower level of exertion. Intensity level and exercise are closely related. When you are exercising at low intensity, you will feel as though you could carry on a conversation and stay within 60-70% of your max heart rate.

High intensity exercise refers to pushing your body to work hard. Exercising at a high intensity has become increasingly popular in the fitness world. This type of training used to be reserved for athletes; however, there are many benefits associated with it, so lots of people incorporate high intensity training into their weekly routine. High intensity training sessions tend to be shorter in duration, making it a practical option for people who want to get results but have limited time available. It’s important for people to check with their health care provider to ensure that they are healthy enough to participate in high intensity exercise.

Mixing up your exercise and combining several types of training into your routine may help you to avoid overuse injury and get the healthy aging benefits you desire.

3 Tips to Max Out Your Daily Step Count

versatile Group of  young girl friends going outdoor to making exercise

by Samantha Clayton

Don’t underestimate the power of walking. Adding some extra walking minutes to your day can have a positive impact on your health and fitness goals, and your step count.

Want a fun, effective and sociable activity that will help you add exercise to your daily routine?
Aim to complete 10,000 steps each day. Read on to find out how you can add more steps to your day.

Fall in love with walking
Walking is fun, especially if you do it with a friend. And it’s cardiovascular in nature, so starting a walking program during the month of February is perfect because it’s officially American Heart Month. While love is in the air around Valentine’s Day, my advice is to love someone enough to take them on a walk this month.

Why walking can help you feel good
Many people see walking as an activity that’s too low in intensity to get them any noticeable fitness results. The truth is that the effects of adding extra walking to your day goes far beyond the physical, because walking can make you feel good, too. If you’re someone who dismisses the idea of walking as exercise, then think again. While walking isn’t a high intensity exercise, it has marvelous benefits that could help add extra pep to your stride.

How 10,000 steps can take you from inactive to active
Putting one foot in front of the other as you walk is a type of activity that is very achievable for many people. Walking is a great first step that inactive people can take to get them onto what I call the fitness ladder. Once you get up and moving with a simple activity such as walking, your body will naturally release feel good brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, giving you an emotional boost that may help to get you even more active.

How to increase your step count and add more walking to your day

100-1,000 steps
Change simple habits such as parking further from the store, getting off the bus one stop sooner, taking the stairs, avoiding escalators and moving walkways or a brisk 5 minute coffee-break walk to help you to accumulate this number of steps.

1,000-5,000 steps
To reach this number of steps you will need to start adding in walking on the spot while you are on the phone and a 20 minutes coffee-break walk. Make a conscious effort to get up from your desk a few times a day and walk for 5 minutes and get active around your home.

5,000-10,000 steps
Achieving 10,000 steps per day takes commitment. Aim to use stairs as exercise by taking them 5-6 times, walking 5km, taking a 40-minute dog walk, and taking two 20-minute coffee-break walks.

This is a significant number of steps because anything less than 5,000 means you’re quite inactive (according to ASCM guidelines, less than 5,000 steps daily is sedentary). Reaching 10,000 steps every day will help you feel like you’re really exercising.

The best way to track your 10,000 steps per day
Invest in a simple pedometer or phone app to help you to keep track.  There are lots of fancy gadgets but I suggest finding something that you can clip to clothing, wear or keep in a pocket so that every step counts.

Lots of wearable gadgets have indicators that monitor your daily walking steps. In fact, many of the mobile apps and bracelets even congratulate you when you have reached your goal for the day.

Why Strong Is the New Sexy

strong woman making exercise

by Samantha Clayton

It’s a fact: strong is in. A toned, muscular and functional body has become the new sexy for both men and women. The growing acceptance by the media and sportswear companies that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes is a positive step toward encouraging people to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

Best of all, a healthy body, which may come in different shapes and sizes, will never go out of fashion. Have you heard of the term ‘skinny fat’? This is when someone may look thin, but in actuality they have an unhealthy internal body-fat ratio that is detrimental to their health. There are also many people who may look a little larger, but are actually very health internally. With any exercise plan, your main priority should be to benefit the inside of your body. But as a bonus, exercise benefits your external appearance as well.

The following are important reasons why you should add weight and strength training to your regular fitness routine.

Three Reasons to Get Stronger Now

1. Burn More Calories

By lifting weights and becoming strong, you’ll change every aspect of your body. People with increased muscle mass burn more calories at rest than those without. It takes more energy for your body to sustain lean muscle and, therefore, your resting metabolic rate may increase as a result of lifting weights.

2. Improved Bone Density

Weight-bearing exercise is very beneficial for bone health in people of all ages. The aging process is linked to a decrease in bone density and a greater risk of fractures. So, consider how you can add weights to your workout, because your bones rely on resistance training to stay healthy and strong.

3. Improved Performance

If your body gets used to lifting weights, imagine how much easier just lifting your own body weight will be. Improved strength means that your daily activities will become easier, and if you’re training for a sport, an increase in muscular strength can significantly improve your performance.

Becoming stronger has so many benefits, and you don’t need to be worried about looking like an out-of-proportion body builder. Unless you’re dedicating hundreds of hours to lifting heavy weights and following a very specific body-building nutrition plan, the chances of you getting bulky are slim. Adding weight training to your routine two to three times a week and eating a protein-rich diet will have you well on your way toward achieving a healthy muscular physique. Also, don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights. But do make sure that you start out with manageable, lighter weights so that you can focus on technique for 12-15 reps and slowly work your way up to heavier weights. As you increase the weight you’re using, decrease to 8-10 reps.

Your body will start adapting to weight training right away, so get started today.

 

For more tips on fitness and sports nutrition, visit I Am Herbalife Nutrition.

Do-It-Yourself Strength Training Workout

young woman stretching outdoor

by Samantha Clayton

Setting up an at-home gym can be expensive, but there are plenty of DIY strength training alternatives.

If you look back at the history books, strength and muscle-building competitions existed long before the invention of commercial exercise equipment and expensive gyms. Strong and fit men and women used logs, stones, water containers and heavy farming equipment to test their strength and enhance their physical skills. They simply improvised with the items that they had at hand. If you want to avoid the glam and cost of joining a gym, but still want to do tough muscle-building workouts, then you, too, can improvise.

Getting fit and active should be fun. The activity that you choose should keep you engaged so that you progress and stay dedicated to being healthy. You shouldn’t use the excuse that you don’t have access to a gym or equipment, because you can use children’s equipment at a local park, items found in your garage and many other DIY methods to get a good workout.

Cross training style gyms and many boot camp style classes have gone back to using the basics to ensure that all people, regardless of their economic status, can have fun with training in a more natural at-home environment.

Here are some ways to add organic at-home strength training to your fitness routine.

Use water containers

Water containers, large and small, can be used to perform many traditional gym-based exercises, such as bicep curls, squats, dead lifts and chest presses. If you live in an area where there’s a drought, don’t use water that you’ll dispose. Use drinking water containers and then drink the water once you’re done.

Buy ropes

Fancy gyms have started using what they call “battle ropes” as part of their core training programs. However, you don’t need to use a sports-specific rope to reap the benefits of exercising with ropes. A heavy rope secured to a post can provide hours of workout fun. Place a rope in each hand and perform jumping jacks. Lift and slam the ropes to the ground for a challenging upper body and abdominal blast. Secure a rope that you can climb to get a strong upper body. Small jump ropes are fantastic for working up a sweat or helping you to increase your range of motion while stretching. Ropes are one of my personal favorite training tools.

Chop wood

Using an axe on a large log is great for toning your upper body and oblique muscles. It’s, however, a little too dangerous for most people to manage. Using a weighted bar in an open area and mimicking the wood-chopping motion will give you all of the benefits of chopping wood, without the danger factor.

Find tires

Car and truck tires are very difficult to dispose of and have become quite an environmental nuisance. But used tires can make a great training tool, especially if you have a good amount of outdoor space to work with. You can flip over large tractor tires to gain strength in your legs, upper body and core. Drag tires using a rope to work on the posterior chain muscles, glutes and hamstrings. Use them for stability training, such as push-ups and step-ups, or create an obstacle course using smaller tires for cardiovascular fitness and agility. There are so many ways you can make use of tires to get fit and strong. Often, you can get them for free from used car lots.

As a former athlete, I believe that following a well-balanced and structured training program is essential if you have specific goals in mind. But if your goal is to simply get strong and fit, you can have fun being creative with your workouts in a way that suits you. Moving your body, lifting, jumping and throwing are all pretty natural human movements. So, just let your workout be organic and go with the flow every once in a while.

Always remember to be safe and only perform movements that feel natural and pain-free.

 

For more tips on fitness and sports nutrition, visit I Am Herbalife Nutrition.

5 Helpful Diet Fix Ideas

herbalife formula1 and tea for a healthy diet

by Susan Bowerman

It takes time and energy to adopt a new diet plan and to stick with it. Here are some common reasons why you might be tempted to quit your diet – and some diet fix ideas to stay on it.

Trying to stick to a diet takes work. Once you’ve made the decision to take charge of your weight, you’ve got to break away from your usual routine. Instead of mindless eating patterns and loafing on the couch, you’ve got to start planning and cooking your meals. You also have to count your calories and make extra time for exercise. That’s a lot to tackle, which explains why so many people have a hard time sticking to a diet.

How Long Does the Average Diet Last?

It’s generally recognized that people diet frequently (and often give up), but the average length of time people actually stay on a plan is a bit hard to pin down. One survey from the UK found that women start, on average, three different diets a year. And they stay on each one for an average of about 19 days. By day five, two-thirds will have already cheated – tempted by at least one of the top five diet deal breakers: chocolate, potato chips, wine, pizza and cake.1

Another poll from Britain was slightly more encouraging and a lot more precise. In the 1,000 women who were surveyed, it was determined that they quit their diets after an average of five weeks, two days…and 43 minutes.2 Similar to the other survey, a quarter of the respondents had given up after two weeks, and by week four nearly half had quit.

Whatever the time frame – whether it’s five minutes or five weeks – the point is this: many people have a hard time sticking to their diet plans. Why is sticking with a diet so hard? And, more importantly, what can you do about it?

5 Reasons It’s Hard to Stick to Your Diet

1. It doesn’t fit your lifestyle

I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: When you say you’re going “on a diet,” it implies that, at some point, you’ll be going “off your diet.” This often happens when people try to adopt a diet plan that just doesn’t fit their lifestyle. Maybe it calls for a lot of food preparation, and you just don’t like to cook or you don’t have time. Maybe there are too many restrictions. So you quickly get bored, or you can’t find anything you can eat when you go out with friends or family.
Easy diet fix: Rather than trying the latest “diet,” focus on making lifestyle changes for the long term. If you don’t have time to cook or don’t enjoy it, seek out recipes that are quick and easy, and learn your way around a restaurant menu so you can always find something that works for you.

2. Your expectations aren’t realistic

Once you’ve made the decision to “go on a diet,” you may have high expectations for your weight loss – especially if you find yourself making a lot of sacrifices. But if you expect to lose more than you can safely achieve over a period of time, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. And if you expect that you’re going to follow your new diet to the letter, you’ll probably abandon the whole thing as soon as you make a slip and cheat.
Easy diet fix: First, recognize that a safe and reasonable rate of weight loss is about one or two pounds (up to about a kilogram) per week. Recognize also that when you’re working to establish healthy new habits, it’s natural to slip once in a while. Rather than letting that diet slip turn into a diet fail and giving up altogether, try to learn from your mistakes and allow some time for the new habits to get established.

3. You don’t change your environment

Your environment has a big effect on your eating. Think about what you keep in your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards at home, the snacks you have stashed in your desk, the burger places you pass on your commute every day. There are temptations all around you, and if you don’t take charge of your environment, it’s just too easy to give in.
Easy diet fix: Clear out tempting, high-calorie foods from your house and replace them with healthier items. Rather than a jar of candy on your desk or a bag of cookies on your kitchen counter, put out some fresh fruit or protein snack bars. Cut up some fresh veggies and put them in a highly visible spot in your refrigerator where they’ll be the first things you see. Stock your freezer and pantry with healthy staples, so you always have what you need to put together a healthy meal. If you can’t drive past your favorite fast food restaurant without taking a detour into the drive-through, find another route.

4. You don’t eat regular meals and snacks

Too often, people think the quickest way to weight loss is to just eat as little as possible. So they skip meals and snacks, which leaves them hungry, tired and cranky. Then they crave sugar and caffeine to get them through the day. Skipping meals and snacks usually doesn’t help you lose weight, because you’re likely to just eat more at your next meal.
Easy diet fix: Work on establishing a regular eating pattern that will keep you from getting overly hungry. In general, people feel the need to eat about every three to four hours during the day, which means that most people need, at a minimum, three meals and a snack in the afternoon. When you know you’re going to eat every few hours, it makes it easier to control your portions at each meal and snack, too. You can teach yourself to eat just enough to hold you until the next time you plan to eat. And make sure that each meal and snack provides some low-fat protein to help keep your hunger under control.

5. You eat for reasons other than hunger

Emotional eaters turn to food when they’re feeling depressed, angry or stressed. If they start on a diet and deprive themselves of the emotional comfort of food, you can imagine what happens. They just get more depressed, angry and stressed. If you find yourself eating when you’re not really physically hungry, you’ll want to work on finding other ways to make yourself feel better.
Easy diet fix: When you get emotional and feel the need to eat, take a moment to stop and simply acknowledge what it is that you’re feeling. Rather than ‘stuffing down’ the negative feeling with food, just let it be. It might help to write down how you’re feeling, or call a friend and talk it out. You can also tell yourself that you’ll wait five or 10 minutes before giving in. Chances are you’ll get busy doing something else and forget about eating altogether. Exercise is one of the best mood-lifters around. Instead of drowning your sorrows with sweets, put on your shoes and go take a walk, or get down on the floor and stretch instead.

1Engage Mutual Assurance. Cost of Dieting. July 23, 2010.
Daily Mail Online. Five Weeks of Willpower. February 11, 2013.