Salt & Weight Loss

By Weight Loss Tips

 

You’ve heard it before from almost every source: nutritionists, health coaches, personal trainers, wellness blogs, Sally from next door, they all say the same thing: “Salt is bad!” “Watch your sodium intake!”

But, why? Well, there’s a few reasons. Here are two that are particularly important if you are trying to lose weight:

 

Water Retention

Eating a lot of salt can cause your body to retain more water, which can show up on the scale as extra pounds. Here is why…

Your body tries to maintain a sodium/water concentration outside the cell walls that is approximately the same as sea water. When you consume sodium, your body holds on to water to maintain the right ratio. Consuming 400 milligrams of sodium (the amount in a single gram of table salt) causes your body to retain an extra 4 cups of water, which equals roughly 2 pounds of weight! So, when you eat that processed chicken or burger that on average has over 600mg of sodium, you will often see an overnight weight gain of 2 pounds. This can be extremely disheartening for someone who is working hard to lose weight.

 

Increased Appetite

There is also some evidence that high salt diets lead to an increase in appetite, causing us to eat more and ultimately consume more calories. A study by Friedrich C. Luft, M.D at the Center for Molecular Medicine found that urea, a bodily compound thought to be a waste product, has an important role in helping your body get rid of salt.

“Its function is to keep water in when our bodies get rid of salt,” Luft said. “Nature has apparently found a way to conserve water that would otherwise be carried away into the urine by salt.” But making urea takes a lot of energy, which leads to hunger! No wonder we so often fall completely off track after making only one small mistake in our diet.

 

Daily Salt minimum requirements are 180 mg with about 1500mg being a good standard to go by. If you choose a selection of different food options from your Ewyn food list, sticking to more complex carbs and non-processed food options, you will keep yourself within the recommended daily salt intake and watch those pounds drop off!

 

Changing Up Your Outdoor Activities

By Weight Loss Tips

It’s been a long couple of months. We’ve been stuck at home and our usual ways of exercising are off the table – no gyms, no organized sports or exercise classes, no playgrounds. Sure, many of us have made a point of figuring out other ways to exercise – but how many times can you walk or bike through the same neighbourhood before you tear your hair out from boredom? If you’re like us, you reached that point long ago – so we’ve scoured the internet and found lots of great ideas to change up your outdoor activities to keep you interested and keep burning calories! Check out these super fun activities you can do in your yard or neighbourhood – with lots to keep the kids entertained, too:

 

Plan an at-home scavenger hunt

Plan a weekend scavenger hunt for all the kids in the house. Go out the night before to hide small, cheap objects in and around the participating yard and house. Make the hunt as easy or as challenging as you want, depending on kids’ ages. Then on the big day, dole out lists of every item the children need to find and set them loose. Adults can play too!

 

Take a “Photo Walk”

A photo walk encourages you to get outside and looking at things from a different angle while taking pictures based on a theme.  Head  out with your camera and a theme (maybe choose one from the list below) and start snapping. Surprising things can be discovered this way, because you’re on the hunt for something specific and you need to work that little bit harder to find it.

 

Lawn Twister

Use circular stencils and spray paint to turn your lawn into a game board.

 

Water Balloon Dodge Ball

This one is pretty self-explanatory: dodgeball… but with water balloons. (Just don’t aim for people’s faces.) The kids will love this on a nice hot day, and do not underestimate the sweat you can work up with all that ducking and dodging!

 

Red Light Green Light

A good old-fashioned favourite that kids and adults can play together! First, you must decide on who will be the “crossing guard” and who will be the “vehicles”. The crossing guard gives commands and the vehicles will follow the commands. Designate a start and finish line about 50 feet apart (or as much space as you have in your yard or park area.) The crossing guard will stand at the finish line, and the vehicles will begin at the starting line. The crossing guard will either shout “green light”, which will allow the vehicles to move toward the finish line, or “red light”, which will force the vehicles to stop.

The first vehicle to reach the finish line wins. If any vehicle takes a step forward on a “red light” command, then that person must return to the starting line and restart. Be creative – the vehicles can move by not just running or walking but also by doing broad jumps, lunges, bear crawls, frog jumps, crab walks etc. for an extra tough workout!

 

Balloney Tunes Game

You will need at least 3 people to play this game, so it’s a great one for larger households or those with older kids!

Each person is designated a number from 1 to however many participants. One person will be standing with the balloon in hand in the middle of a square boundary (you can use chalk or washable paint on your grass to draw this boundary) while the other participants will be outside of the boundary. The participants outside of the boundary can be in a plank position, holding a squat position or standing in a normal stance. The idea is to wait for the participant holding the balloon to hit the balloon into the air and yell out the number of one of the other participants outside of the boundaries. Once another participant’s number is called, they are to run into the boundary and hit the balloon into the air before the balloon contacts the floor.

When the participant hits the balloon in the air, they must yell out the number of another participant (can be the number of the participant who called your number previously, it does not matter) and run back into the position they were in outside of the boundary. If the person outside of the boundary whose number is called does not stop the balloon from hitting the floor, then that person gets a point. That person will then be the next person to call out a number and continue the game. The participant with the LEAST number of points after three minutes of playing is the winner.

Ways to Beat the Bloat

By Weight Loss Tips

Feeling bloated? You’re not alone. Most of us find ourselves bloated from time to time even when the world is operating as normal. Now, with so many of us trying to lower our frequency of grocery store visits, we are eating more and more processed foods with longer shelf lives. We’re drinking less water and not exercising as much because our routines have been disrupted. All of these factors and more can lead to a very bloated tummy – so here are some simple solutions to help you beat the bloat:

 

Skip The Salty Food Options

Pickles, ham, peameal bacon, cottage cheese, tuna, and processed carbs are all saltier food options – and although they are recommended choices on many healthy meal plans, these are not the best options if you are feeling bloated or puffy. Look to cleaner sources of protein and carbohydrates such as eggs and brown rice.

Drink Water

Water helps boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste and control your appetite. WebMD states that drinking water before meals results in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. Drinking water before just one meal per day would cause you to ingest 27,000 fewer calories per year. Do the math: You’d lose about eight pounds per year just from drinking water! Try one of our EVO Revive BCAA flavours to add some fun to your water! Ewyn clients that drink at least 1 scoop a day see better water consumption and better weight loss results.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral. In fact, it is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that keep the body functioning. Increasing your magnesium intake may help reduce water retention as electrolytes (magnesium) control water balance and cell hydration!

Good sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, and leafy, green vegetables. It’s also available as a supplement. PMBM is one of our favourite sources of magnesium to aid digestion, decrease bloating, and regulate bowel movements. Stephanie at Ewyn’s head office says that PMBM was a game changer for her digestive system!

Bump Up Your Cardio

Exercise is a quick way to reduce water weight – as you sweat, you lose water! You can lose anywhere between 16 and 64 oz per hour during a good sweaty cardio session. Your body also shifts water into your muscles, which helps with that puffy bloated look from excess water retention. Exercise also helps with sleep and stress which both also contribute to excess fluid retention.

Peppermint Tea

Our favourite natural way to bring down fluid retention! Peppermint is a natural diuretic and has amazing digestive properties. One Ewyn staff member says, “Any time I fly, I get a big peppermint tea to take on the plane with me and sip it throughout my flight to control the bloating and swollen ankles!”

Meal Planning & Preparation

By Weight Loss Tips

 

In the midst of this pandemic, you are likely taking extra precautions to keep you and your family safe and prepared, including making sure you have everything you need at home. When it comes to food, how can we achieve this while ensuring we stay healthy and minimizing the stress and mistakes that often come with meal planning? This article contains information on food planning, including what to buy, how much to buy, and preparation tips to help keep you on track.

PLUS: Read on for a free downloadable Weekly Meal Planning Guide!

Check what you have at home first
Take a look at the foods you already have in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. (Don’t forget to look at expiration dates and best before dates!) This will help you plan meals around what you already have, and will help you limit the number of trips to the grocery store and avoid spending money on items you don’t need.

Make a grocery list
Shopping feels a lot more stressful than usual right now. Make a list ahead of time to stay focused, get the items you need, and keep your shopping trip short. Since stores may not have some specific items, create a list with general items like “fruit” or “bread.”

How much should I buy?
As scary as these times can be, resist the urge to buy in much larger quantities as this results in supply shortages and all too often, unnecessary wasted food & resources. It can also result in overeating. (Ever finished an entire bag of chips just because it was there? Now imagine what might happen if you have 6 bags of chips waiting for you in the cupboard.) Prepare a shopping list that will cover you and everyone in your household for 1-2 weeks.

Include fresh, frozen, and non-perishable items
Plan for a mix of fresh, frozen, and shelf-stable foods. Eat your fresh food first. Stock your freezer and pantry with items you can eat in the second week and beyond.

What foods should I buy?
Choose a mix of shelf-stable, frozen and fresh foods. Examples of shelf-stable foods include pastas, rice, legumes, nut butters, and dried and canned goods. Frozen options to think about might be breads, meats, vegetables and fruits. With fresh foods, buy a variety in quantities that you would normally buy. Remember to include the special needs of all family members, including pets, infants, or those with dietary restrictions. If you’re following a Ewyn® Weight Loss Studio meal plan, refer to your meal plan food list.

What should I make?
While everyone is home together, you may feel inclined to try a new recipe or experiment with new flavors to keep things interesting. For others, sticking to simple items or familiar foods and tastes provides comfort. Plan what works for you and your family.

 

To help you plan your meals, track your inventory, and prepare your grocery shopping list for the week, we’ve prepared this handy Weekly Meal Planning Guide as a free download. Print one out and get started this week! 

 

Struggle with weekends? Nicola D., International Service Supervisor at Ewyn®, says: “If I have clients who struggle with sticking to their meal plan on weekends, I tell them to treat Saturdays and Sundays like regular ‘work days’, then prep their meals accordingly. That way, their food is ready to go and they’re far less likely to fall off track on weekends.”

 

Time to start planning!

Adding Structure To Your Day

By Weight Loss Tips

Let’s face it: Most of our daily routines are completely out of whack right now. We are used to leaving the house for work on a regular basis, getting the kids ready, packing lunches, stopping for groceries and running errands on the way home, hanging out with friends and family on weekends. Having all this routine interrupted so significantly is something most of us have never experienced in our lifetimes. It’s no wonder it has left many of us feeling scattered, stressed, and in a general state of not knowing what to do next. And what do so many of us do when we’re stressed or stuck? We open the fridge! We crack open a bag of chips! We pour a glass of wine!

It adds up to a lot of potential health problems, not the least of which is guaranteed weight gain.

So how can we get this under control? How can we add some routine back into our lives to reduce stress and increase productivity & a sense of well-being, to prevent ourselves from forming unhealthy habits like “boredom snacking”?

We’ve put together a list of helpful ways to structure your day in these uncertain times, which will not only help with your productivity and state of mind, but prevent you from gaining those unwanted pounds:

 

Start The Day Off Right

Morning routines have two jobs: to signal to your brain that it’s work time, not goofing off time, and to give you time to gather your thoughts before you plunge in to the day’s tasks. Here are some ways to accomplish both:

  • Wake up on time – If you have to set an alarm, do it. Give yourself time to complete all your morning tasks before sitting down to work or home-school.
  • Fasted Cardio – Hey guess what? Working from home DOES have one added perk – it eliminates your commute time, which leaves more time to get in that much-needed fat-burning fasted cardio. Schedule a start and end time to make sure you don’t cut it short.
  • Breakfast – Be sure to take some time to prepare a healthy breakfast. If you start your day without a good, protein-rich breakfast, you’ll be much more likely to snack and overeat later in the day.
  • Ruminate – Take 10 minutes with your morning coffee or tea and write out your plan for the day. Separate your tasks into Work vs. Home. Make a short list of tasks you’d like to complete today for both. You can re-visit this list throughout the day to check your progress and keep you busy when you have a ‘What Now?’ moment.
  • Shower & Dress – The way we present outwardly affects how we approach the day. You don’t need to put on a suit, but don’t wear yoga pants either. When the work day is over, change your clothes and your brain will switch to ‘off-work mode’.

Stick To A Schedule

Take that short list of Work vs. Home tasks you created this morning and slot them into times you can realistically complete them.

Note: Household tasks such as throwing in a load of laundry or emptying the dishwasher are great ways to get you away from your computer screen if you’re working from home. Schedule them! At 10:30, take 5 minutes to pop in the laundry. Not only will this help you with overall productivity, it will rest your eyes and spine by getting you out of your chair.

Take a proper lunch break. If you’re working from home, do this away from the computer! Dealing with kids at home too? Get them involved in making lunch with you, and sit to eat together as a family, for a welcome reprieve from screen time for all.

End the work day at a predetermined time. (It helps to schedule something right after work, whether it’s a video call with a friend or family member, meal prep, or an activity with the kids.) Change into your comfy clothes or better yet, your workout clothes, and go for a quick stroll around the neighbourhood to get your brain switching gears. If you have kids or a dog, drag them along too.

Helpful trick if you have kids at home: Place a chalkboard or whiteboard outside your office door or in a central location. Instead of interrupting you, have the kids write down what they want to talk to you about. This prevents them from having to remember what was on their minds, and you can set aside time in your schedule to address it later.

 

Curb Cravings with Healthier Snack Options

Even with the best laid plans and purest intentions, we all sometimes fall victim to snack cravings. That’s why it’s important to make the healthier choices whenever possible. Plain popcorn, vegetables with hummus, or an apple with natural nut butter are quick and easy items to keep you satisfied in the evenings. But if these aren’t doing the trick, keep an eye on our blog for some decadent snacking options that you can eat and still stay on track! This week’s recipe for Protein Cake (yes, CAKE!) can be found here.

 

Above all, remember: You are only human. We are all navigating uncharted waters in today’s circumstances, and mistakes are bound to happen. But if you start creating a routine and begin to follow it, little by little, you will regain your sense of normalcy and keep yourself healthy – body and mind.

5 Reasons Why Summer Is The Best Time To Lose Weight

By Weight Loss Tips

One of the most common excuses we hear for putting off weight loss happens this time of year – the warm weather is here, the patio drinks are calling, and “it’s just so hard to lose weight in the summer. I’ll wait to start in the fall.”

The thing is… these people couldn’t be more wrong! Summer is a fantastic time to lose weight for many reasons, so we’ve outlined just a few of them for you.

By now we are all aware that in order to lose weight, in the simplest terms – we need to burn more calories than we consume. It’s easier said than done, especially in the winter months when all you want to do is eat comfort foods and curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket.

According to studies out of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Georgia, our average caloric intake decreases about 200 calories per day in the summer compared to fall and winter.

That being said, losing weight in the summer is much easier. We tend to be in a better mood, participate in summer sports, crave healthier foods, and sweat more. The hot weather plays a huge role in summer weight loss, as research has shown that we digest our food more slowly in hotter weather, which leaves us feeling fuller longer.

Read on for 5 reasons why summer is the easiest time to lose weight:

 

Hot weather suppresses appetite:

According to research, appetite decreases with heat mostly because the body is trying to keep cool. Heat causes bodily functions to work harder. This in turn results in suppressed appetite. It is also said that we digest our food slower in hotter weather, which leaves us feeling fuller for longer. This is great news if your weight control problems stem from over-eating.

 

Fresh, in-season produce is everywhere:

There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables in season during the summer, and these are all high in water to help keep you full, as well as providing an excellent source of dietary fiber. Added bonus: You can make an activity out of eating fruit! Go to your local U-pick blueberry or strawberry farm and collect your own fresh fruit straight off the plant. You’ll burn some calories while you’re at it!

 

You can take advantage of the grill:

Grilling isn’t just for burgers and hot dogs! Fire up the grill and sizzle a nice healthy chicken breast or other lean meat. Most fat will drip away, and the grill just adds so much more flavour. Heat up your veggies in a foil pack on the grill as well, or use them in kebabs. Less dishes, less fat, and more flavour!

 

Outdoor activities are waiting for you:

We tend to get outside more in the summer months, mainly because it’s so easy to do so. Beautiful weather is right outside your door. You can go on a bike ride or a long walk, or play outdoor sports. Not only that, your summer chores are also great for exercise! Mowing the lawn, weeding your garden, and washing your car are all great calorie-burning activities.

 

You’ll naturally drink more water:

Drinking water, especially before meals, can help you feel fuller. And in the summer, when the weather is warmer, you may be inclined to drink more water. Make it easy to stay hydrated—at meals, keep a pitcher on the table, and refill your water glass frequently. Bonus: If you stop to sip water every few bites, you’ll likely eat your food more slowly. This allows for better nutrient absorption and prevents over-eating.

 

Heard enough? Ready to get started? Check out our handy Studio Locator to find a Ewyn Weight Loss Studio near you!