cheat meals

Greek Yogurt: Healthy in Every Way

 

Greek yogurt is a product I definitely endorse. Not everything in this world that is claimed to be good for you actually is. We have to pick and chose by doing some research and finding out the real deal out there.  As someone who lost 150 lbs, I can tell you first hand that a high protein diet is absolutely key in losing weight and maintaining it.  Greek yogurt is just that.  It is a snack that I think anybody who is trying to lose weight, tone up or simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle can benefit from. I have never been a big yogurt guy to begin with but the protein content contained in Greek Yogurt caught my attention and then as they say, the rest is history.  I really like to mix the plain kind right into a nutribullet drink, which makes the shake super thick and delicious. Other times if I am lazy I’ll just eat it out of the container like a normal yogurt.  Greek yogurt is not just a healthy “option” but it is proactively healthy for you and we should go out of our ways to eat it. There are literally thousands of ways to incorporate it into your diet.

One of the best things about Greek yogurt, besides its amazing protein content, is how cost friendly it is and how full it makes you feel.  As a guy who eats like a guy, and who is capable of stuffing their face, (because I like to eat) the fact that it satisfies me that much is a tough task. This makes it ideal for weight loss. The reason you feel that full is because it takes your body double the amount of time to digest this type of yogurt over traditional.  This will in turn cut down your cravings, helping you get to your next meal without binging on snacks, and also satisfying your sweet tooth, all the while taking in some goodies like protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium along the way. This promotes healthy bones as well.  One thing to watch out for is sugar content.  Plain Greek yogurt will always be the ideal way to go.  Not vanilla, plain.  If you chose to get a flavored one, look for containers with the least amount of sugar possible.  I can’t stress that part enough. Sometimes that is hard to avoid.  Even a brand like Chobani, which is known to be great brand, and it is, has 19G of sugar in their strawberry flavored choice.  Not a terrible amount of sugar but if you are trying to watch your sugar intake for what ever reason, 19G is still a decent amount.  The best of both worlds is going with the plain kind and dressing it up yourself by using natural sweetener like Stevia, then adding some fruit and granola and bam; you have a perfectly healthy option.  There is another factor to consider with plain Greek yogurt at the grocery store.  Some like the 2% because it tastes better while some prefer no fat and opt for the 0%.  The fat portion in the 2% or higher may include a little bit of saturated fat but will usually have no trans fat, therefore it is not that unhealthy for you.  If the 0% makes you feel more comfortable, go for it but remember: you want to enjoy it or else you won’t go back to it.  Another way to incorporate Greek yogurt into your diet is using it in savory dishes such as sour cream or a sauce thickener.  It can also be used as a veggie dip.  Recipes can be found all over the Internet.  Remember, Google is your friend.

Greek Yogurt has other health benefits too. I can make a whole piece just about probiotics, which are microorganisms found in Greek yogurt that support good digestion and assist in having a healthy gut.  Your gut area is one of the most crucial and sensitive areas of your entire body because that is where most bacteria lies.  Also, on a social level, people desire smaller waistlines and flatter stomachs.  The probiotics in Greek yogurt will promote a healthy gut and help you accomplish just that. In short, your digestive system / gut contains both good and bad bacteria. Greek yogurt contains a lot of good bacteria so by increasing the intake of good bacteria, it will leave less room for bad bacteria to exist, making many diseases such as diabetes harder to form. Greek yogurt is a great preventative measure. It also helps greatly with digestive & intestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease and is the reason why people with those issues still can resort to yogurt.

Getting back to basics, yogurt is yogurt. It is probably the most common snack ever. I just hope now you know a little more about it and if the Greek variety was not something you were already doing, maybe you’ll try it now. Greek yogurt is simply a great snack that I would endorse to almost anyone with any goal. This is a weight loss website but I know most of us can benefit from eating more Greek yogurt. Both varieties can be had in large quantities on the cheaper side at any grocery store. Individual containers of yogurt can go for under a buck, sometimes 50 cents.  My favorite kind to buy is Fage 2%.  Hope you all enjoyed and please share.

Crossfit: A Guest Piece by Daniel Arfin

So I wanted to change it up a little bit this time.  My good friend, a guy I’ve known my whole life, fellow NY Mets fan, and partner in crime from back in the day Mr. Daniel Arfin joins us this week in giving us an insight to his workout regime.  I am lucky enough to talk to my friend regularly, and I’m always hearing about his Crossfit endeavors.  Crossfit is a program developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected.  From their website:  “CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.” Arfin is so enthusiastic about it and I’m always amazed hearing about what he did next; which is basically on a daily basis.  He truly is a beast.  Crossfit routines really fascinate me and I have so much respect for this man.  That is why I thought it would be a good idea for you to hear about it from him.  A guy who completed Shaun T’s Insanity program with what seemed like ease, here is someone with credibility in my book.  This is what Arfin had to say:

I’ve been in love with Crossfit for almost 10 months.  For the large part of those 10 months I’ve been in the box 5 or 6 times a week.  I’ve found it to be right up my alley in achieving balanced fitness.  It addresses all areas to make you into a complete athlete.  Many people, including myself for a long time struggle with getting themselves to the gym consistently because they get bored of doing the same thing.  Crossfit hooked me so fast because there is always so much variety.  So it isn’t just challenging, it’s interesting.  It almost feels like you’ve never tried it before every day because there’s so many different things to do.  There are often several points of technique for whatever movement you’re doing.  Whether it’s for strength and you’re doing Olympic weightlifting movements, or if you’re just simply jumping on top of a box.  Everything looks easy watching someone who is experienced perform it, but it’s very easy to have one misstep and not do the movement correctly.  Especially with the Olympic weightlifts, it is imperative you do the movement right to keep moving up in weight, and to not get injured.  But there’s no prerequisite to joining in.  You can always scale the movements so that it’s tailored to what you can do.  If there’s a certain type of movement you’re not quite comfortable doing, you can do something else in its place.  An example of that would be if you do not want to do handstand push-ups against the wall, you could take a 45lb. plate and press it above your head instead.  Or if you can’t do strict pull-ups, you can use a band to assist you.  This way you’re still getting the benefit of the workout because you’re not really changing the movement, you’re only adjusting the workout to what you can do so you will always benefit from it.  It is for this reason that anyone can benefit from doing Crossfit so above all else that is why I recommend it.

5k in June

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Very excited to announce that along with some friends, we registered for a 5k out in Coney Island in June supporting the Coney Island Sports Foundation.  Link is down below but wanted to get this out bec I’m excited.

http://www.roadracerunner.com/re_136232/ConeyIslandSportsFoundation5KCharityRunWalk.html

New Days

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I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back doing all things Adam’s Angle again. It has been a hectic week and a half between all of my extra responsibilities. Sometimes life gets in the way right? Not only did I not have time to make a post but I didn’t make it to the gym most of the week either. My two newfound passions had to take a back seat. During this time off, I had to re-focus my efforts in the gym and make some clear new goals. I firmly believe that none of us are perfect and we can always improve.

Marla and I are now back in the gym working together, fired up as ever, to accomplish these new goals. It was brought to my attention that my exercise regimens and eating habits have been slightly off. Excess to a degree is good. Too much of one thing is not. Yes, even if it’s a good thing. In this case it was a whole lot of cardio and not enough weight training to supplement it.   When this happens, your appearance is susceptible to look draggy or gaunt, in other words skinny. The word skinny is not a word that I, Adam David Tracey, EVER thought I would hear pertaining to me considering my history of being overweight. That being said, this is not a look or body type that I was ever going for. I thought the weight training aspect for me was fine but it clearly was not. This is why Marla is the best. She was able to see this in me and because of her background and because she cares so much, she is helping me get it right. We are focusing now primarily on weight training combined with upping my protein intake. We have been back at it now for two weeks and I can’t even begin to tell you how much better I feel already and the amounts of brand new energy that I have.

You may be saying to yourself, come on Adam, you lost 147 lbs, didn’t that alone give you new energy? Didn’t that make you feel amazing? Of course the answer is yes. Like anything else in this world though, we should never be content. Change is key and variety is the spice of life. I got to where I wanted to be but I fell into too much of a routine. The word routine is funny because you want to be in one, yet you want to always change it up and shock your universe. My routine was getting stale on me without even realizing. This is why I am beyond grateful to have the people in my life who love me and will point this out to me. You come to realize that it’s not out of criticism or to be mean but rather out of love. I am lucky to have these amazing friends and family around me. If you take anything out of this piece, I hope I can inspire you to never be content and always strive to be better. You are already great in what you do, the question is, can you do it better?

I truly love this quote.  It is from the book Fight Club and makes all the sense in the world:

May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect.”   ~Chuck Palahnuik

Fad Diets Don’t Work!!

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As a follow up to the last post, I want to talk more about success.  Success is a very subjective word because it means completely different things to different people. Sometimes we think it can simply happen overnight or within a specific time frame.  More often than not it does not work like that. While overnight success may occur for a miniscule few, it is certainly not the norm. The majority of time we have to work hard to achieve our goals. As they say, nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort. In this day and age, so many of us are all about immediate gratification.  I am guilty of this as well.  I learned my lesson the hard way in certain situations.  Nothing comes easy and as WWE star John Cena would say, “Never Give Up.” While John Cena may not be my favorite wrestler, his simple motto and everything he is about in that regard truly resonates with me.

I’ll restate it again because I passionately agree. Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.  The key is sticking with it and not giving up even when the chips seem down.  This couldn’t be truer as it relates to my life and weight loss combined.  Through the years, we all come face to face with many different diet fads and new “miracles” that people will preach about. I know speaking for myself I have gone through tons such as Atkins, South Beach, Shakeology, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and many others. I even tried these pills called “Alli” which did nothing but make my stomach upset which in turn always made me upset. These diets are horrible because they tell you to cut out important things such as carbs, calories, etc.  Once you wean off the diet and get back into regular life, more times than not our bodies are confused, cravings increase, and we put the weight right back on.  I have also tried the simple approach of watching my portion control.  As a natural big guy, I would say that this method worked the least for me. I was simply never mentally engaged in any of the diets tried. Not engaged to the point where you need to be and since I firmly believe this is a mind game, my chances of success was zero. Looking back, knowing what I know now, these diets may work in the short term but it is not the way to carry out your everyday life going forward.  I wouldn’t recommend ANY of these diets to anybody.  Not even weight watchers. I truly believe living a healthy lifestyle is the greatest attempt to control your weight and all other aspects relating to your health.  Every diet that I failed with made me believe more and more that being overweight was just something people as well as myself needed to accept.  I always knew though, even if it was subconscious, one day I will somehow make a grand transformation and shock the world. I didn’t know how, when, whom it would be with or anything like that.  I sort of just knew.  Just remember; failing is the key to success.  Every failure is part of the journey.  You can’t be where you are without making mistakes.  Mistakes allow you to make corrections because they expose your flaws. This is great news because once we know our flaws, we can attack them head on.

I would like to abruptly end this post here by thanking all of my supporters and followers to date.  It is literally because of you that in only two months of being fully up and running, we have over 100 happy followers and are constantly growing by the day.  We are ahead of our trajectory.  Your feedback, comments, personal critiques and more have been invaluable to us. We would also like to invite you to submit any topics that you want me to cover in any facet of the website. Please continue to enjoy everything the site has to offer including the ever changing One Sweet World tab.  We look forward to digging deep and giving you our unique perspective on various topics.  This is only the beginning.  Thank you again.

Episode #4 – Emotional Eating, tips, more

Today I go solo to discuss emotional eating and how it relates to both my own weight loss journey and yours.  I also recap some things from the post earlier in the week.  Enjoy.

Emotional Eating: Make Your Own Momentum

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Emotional eating can happen for a variety of reasons.  Maybe you are celebrating a great accomplishment or coping with a sad occasion.  Perhaps you are dealing with a bad day at work or having the best day ever.  The problem is this.  If you are off to a hot start in your attempt to lose weight or you’re right in the middle of your journey, different meals during these emotional times can either be your worst enemy, or a real treat to reward all of your successes. While it may be ok to treat yourself (if you must), developing a strategy on how to attack this cheat meal will benefit you greatly into the next few days that follow. This is crucial because this is the time when we are most vulnerable. Sticking to your original game plan will be proof to yourself that you can do this for the long haul.  It will show discipline and provide encouragement that you are serious about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.  A game plan may include something simple like eating slower to savor your food, cutting down portion size, cutting the dessert course out of the meal, or simply picking and choosing to cut out sauces and dressings.  You may decide to use one or all of those tactics. Each strategy will differ because each person has their own tendencies. All of these necessary moves you make will give you so much confidence going forward. Since I truly believe weight loss is a mental game, every single positive thing you do is a building block and will serve as enormous momentum factors.  Of course, momentum is everything.

From a personal aspect, when it comes to eating healthy, discipline is something I have not been able to commit to for a sustained period of time all my life. However in this go around, as time rolled on in my weight loss journey, every single minor act of discipline that I followed through on was monumental for me.  Finally, I started doing little things more and more such as not eating after 7PM (except water) and eating a protein meal in the morning.  It’s small victories like that which made a significant difference in weight loss results.  It also gave me the confidence to tackle more aspects of weight loss, and the ball just kept on rolling from there.  In the past after one cheat meal, all the momentum I had would be completely shattered.  The reason why is because had zero strategy going in.  It always bleed into the next meal and days that followed.  Again, it may not be shocking news but most diets go wrong not because of the cheat meal in itself, but because of the next few days since we are most vulnerable at this point. This is why I stress that if you develop a simple strategy going into a given meal, your cheating will begin and end right there.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on social media. New podcast episode is coming later this week. Thank you for your support!