Operation Nutrition

nutrition, fitness, motherhood, & everything in between

Category: Weight loss tips

Fitness Now & 2017 Goals

Hi everyone! I hope you had a nice holiday. Our Christmas was wonderful. I’ve always loved Christmas, but I love it even more since having my daughter. Seeing Christmas through a toddler’s eyes is truly magical.  As 2016 winds down, I wanted to share my personal fitness goals for the upcoming year.

In 2016, I was fairly consistent with my workouts. A typical week consisted of 3 full body strength training days, and 2 or 3 days of cardio. My cardio workouts were a combination of Zumba, running (not as much as I would’ve liked to do), LISS, and HIIT. Some weeks I got 5-6 workouts in and other weeks I would only manage 3 days. Even though, I stayed pretty consistent, I haven’t reached my personal fat loss goal. I don’t really focus on the scale that much, but I do weigh myself every few weeks. I mostly take my measurements and gauge how my clothes fit to determine how my body is changing.

This past year, my body has been fluctuating due to hormonal imbalances. When I was nursing my daughter, my body fat was lower and I was losing inches. As soon as I stopped nursing, my body stored every ounce of fat (as if a switch went off). Despite my healthy eating and exercising, my body continued to hold on to the unwanted body fat. This upcoming year, I am determined to lose it. So, I thought I’d share my goals on here as a way to hold myself accountable.

Here are my 2017 fitness goals:

  • Run at least once a week (preferably outside)
  • Exercise 5-6 days a week
  • Strength train 3 times a week
  • Zumba once a week
  • Lose body fat

I have some really fun (and new) things that I’ll be doing in 2017 to help me reach my goals.

First, I’m taking part in Young Living’s 60-day Slique Challenge.





picture source

Young Living has an incredible product line called, “Slique”. The Slique Essence  (which is the supplement that I’ll be taking) combines the following essential oils: grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, spearmint, and ocotea.

Some of these oils help to:

  • support healthy digestion
  • control craving
  • provide powerful antioxidants

For 60 days, you pair your Slique supplement with a nutritious diet & regular exercise. Young Living will be giving away fun prizes to everyone that participates. In addition, they are offering some amazing prizes to people that have the biggest transformations. You can read more about the challenge here.

The other fun thing I’m going to be doing is the 2017 Tone It Up Challenge.





picture source

The Challenge starts on January 1st and it will run for 6 weeks. Karena & Katrina from “Tone It Up” will be providing a meal plan & workout plan. I’m really looking forward to trying something new (as I am getting bored with my own workout routine).

What are some of your 2017 Fitness Goals? I’d love to hear them!

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Forget Crash Diets, Here’s What A Sustainable, Healthy Diet Looks Like

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you’re having a nice week. We are enjoying some beautiful and warm weather here in Maryland. I took the little one out for a run this morning. Running outside was such a nice change compared to running on the treadmill. I feel like it’s so much easier to be active once the weather breaks. Along with the warmer weather, I know a lot of people (including myself) start thinking about getting in shape for the summer. It’s also the time of year when you’ve probably noticed an increase of “loose weight now” or “quick weight loss” commercials on the radio and on television. The media sure knows how to appeal to our desires. However, anything that seems “too good to be true”, probably is.

Here is an article about crash diets I’d like to share with you.

It is very common to overlook what the definition of “diet” is the dictionary. At its most basic roots, the word “diet” means the foods you routinely eat. In the 21st century, however, “diet,” has been a buzzword for losing weight. Most diets are thought of as a means in which we change our eating pattern to induce weight loss. The trouble, though, is that most people approach dieting wrong. They think of it like, “If I just do this for a little while, I will lose weight, and then I can go back to eating how I normally do.” Or people think dieting is a magic fix for poor eating habits, believing dieting will “reset” their metabolism and get them to finally enjoy unseasoned chicken and bland, raw vegetables. So how do we change this? First, we must understand what a sustainable, healthy diet (or eating style) really is. It is four parts: whole food based, balanced, simple, and enjoyable.

Crash diets don’t work for a variety of reasons, but the major piece to the puzzle is understanding that good, healthy eating is a lifestyle, not a 30-day reset. Crash diets work on the premise of “cleansing” you of your rotten ways instead of establishing habits that make the doing part easier. Think of the last time you binged on a bag of chips, candy, or popcorn. Wouldn’t it be sweet to do the same thing with something healthy? Healthy eating is not about making you eat less, but instead finding the best foods for you, and eating them until you aren’t hungry. Sustainable, healthy diets are built to, well, be sustainable, and this just isn’t found in your typical crash diet.

Whole foods are the basis of any sustainable, healthy diet. Whole foods do most of the work for us when it comes to weight management, energy, and of course better health. Fiber is a major component of whole food. Not only that, but fiber helps us feel full longer, and more importantly, sooner, than food without it. One of the reasons so many people over eat is due to the low amount of fiber found in processed foods. Why is this so important? It is important because while eating a sustainable, healthy diet, you don’t need to worry about counting calories as much, which is a big proponent in losing weight. Fiber helps tell your brain when you have had enough food, which naturally keeps you from eating more than you need.

Balance is also important in a sustainable, healthy diet. While it is great to consume most of your calories from whole foods, you should not feel guilty for indulging in sweets from time to time. This balance is actually easier when you follow a whole foods based diet because you consume less of the sweet stuff than you did before. Why? It is simple. When you are hungry, you want to eat everything, am I right? But, when you regularly eat whole foods, you won’t be as hungry, so you won’t want to binge on sweets. This balance creates a more well-rounded relationship with food that only furthers a better, sustainable eating style.

Lastly, a sustainable, healthy diet needs to be simple and enjoyable. Yes, it might be a pain to have to prepare your food ahead of time, or cook every day, but the positive turn around for your health is tenfold. Start small if you are a beginner. Instead of just having pasta with sauce, add a few vegetables you like to the mix. If you are a yogurt fan for breakfast, try finding one with less sugar and adding your own sugar in the form of fruits. Little changes like this make all the difference, and they follow the sustainable, healthy diet strategy we have talked about without making the experience intolerable. This ties in nicely to enjoying the process. Try not to think of changing your eating habits overnight. Understand that for many this takes time! It is hard to go from a processed food heavy diet to one where every meal, seemingly, need to be cooked or prepared at home. Some days you might not be able to cook that vegetable stir fry you planned on because of a last minute event. That’s okay! Get it tomorrow night. The idea is not to feel guilty for not being perfect, but rather strive to do your best every single chance you get. Once you have a plan and are focused, you can nail it!

This is a guest post written by Ivii Clement, a proud contributor to NutritionInspector. If you have never checked out this website before (www.nutritioninspector.com), I highly recommend you check it out. There you will find a plethora of information on nutrition, fitness, supplements, and weight loss. Also, if you enjoyed this article, make sure to share it on your social profiles. Stay healthy!

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Exercise Tips

Exercise Tips

 (Remember you should always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program.)

Just as eating nutritious foods is a part of healthy living, so is exercising. It is good for your heart and good for stress management.

Finding time to exercise is one of the most common complaints from people. With schedules like they are today, it’s no wonder that it is difficult to find the time. It’s difficult, but not impossible.

So what can you do?

Once you know your weekly schedule (whether it’s work, taking the kids to after school activities, taking classes, etc.), it can be very easy to fit a quick exercise session into your day.

A lot of people think that you have to spend hours exercising in order to see results. This is so not true. It’s not necessarily the time you spend exercising, but the intensity at which you’re exercising (investing in a heart rate monitor can help you keep track of how hard you’re working out). The key is to keep your body moving.

Here’s what you can do to make exercise a part of your daily routine:

  1.  Use a planner or notebook to write down all of your weekly appointments. 
  2. Next, find at least 3 days in which you can schedule a 20-30 minute exercise session in either before work or after work. If you know you’re going to have a busy evening, then try to wake up 30 minutes earlier to squeeze in an exercise session.  You can have a great workout right at home without going to the gym.
  3. Plan 3 different exercises for the week. Doing this can prevent boredom and you’ll have something to look forward to each day.
  4. Break your exercise into 2- 15-minute sessions if you absolutely cannot find 30 consecutive minutes to exercise. 
  5. Treat your exercise schedule like meetings or doctor’s appointments. You’ll be less likely to cancel it then.

Another complaint that is quite common is that exercise is boring. If you don’t enjoy doing it, well, you most likely won’t do it.

Plan exercises that you enjoy doing. For example, if you hate running, then don’t plan a workout that involves running. This may seem silly, but a lot of people will do a workout that they don’t enjoy, just to make sure they are exercising.  Do something that you enjoy doing, so that you look forward to it.

Here are a few exercise ideas:

  1. If you’re new to exercise, set small goals for yourself. Something like, “I’ll walk for 30 minutes today”. Don’t try to jump into it and burn out before you’ve given yourself a chance to succeed.
  2. If you like to dance, check out a Zumba class. (The 60-minute class will go by so quickly because it’s so much fun and you’ll be sure to burn a ton of calories).
  3. There are some great exercise DVD’s out there that are extremely fun. One of my favorites is the TurboFire series by Beachbody. It’s intense, but a lot of fun!
  4. If you enjoy playing Wii games, they have some great exercise games that include dancing and boxing. 
  5. If you’re short on time, try to incorporate lifting weights and cardio all into 1 session.  For example do 2 sets of weights and then 1 minute of cardio (jumping jacks, jump rope, punching in place), and then repeat until you’ve completed a full body workout. Just be sure to keep your heart rate in your burning zone. 
  6. Download inspiring tunes onto your iPod. Music definitely gets me more into my workouts. 🙂

 The most important thing to remember is schedule workouts that are fun and you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

I hope this was helpful or at least gave you some new ideas to try out. 🙂

What do find to be the most challenging part of making exercise a part of your day?

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Tips and tools for weight loss

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday. Mine was wonderful. It was filled with lots of family, friends, laughter, love, and food.

As the end of the year winds down, I can imagine a lot of us are thinking about our goals for 2011. I know a lot of people that have the goal of losing weight. I thought I’d share some weight loss tips with you.

 I think these two items are the most helpful when it comes to weight loss:

The food scale is an incredibly helpful tool (and one that I use every day). The food scale helps take the guess work out of portion control.  If you notice on most packages, they give you either grams or ounces as a serving size. Instead of trying to figure out what that serving size might be, you can simply place your food on the scale and it will tell you. That way you know exactly how much of that food you are consuming.

The measuring tape pictured here is such a great tool for tracking your weight loss. A lot of people tend to focus on the scale and measuring their weight loss by how many pounds they’ve lost.

Sometimes the scale can be extremely deceiving. How many of us have watched what we’ve eaten and stuck to our exercise and then get on the scale and it hasn’t budged at all? This can be very discouraging to someone trying to lose weight. As humans, our weight fluctuates based on our sodium intake, how much water we’ve drank, and many other factors.  The scale doesn’t account for this.  Using a measuring tape to track how many inches you’ve lost can be more accurate.  You should measure your chest, waist, hips, thigh, and biceps. Make sure that you record the measurements in your journal so that you can monitor your progress. 

Weight loss tips

  1. Set small attainable goals for yourself (“I will exercise 3 days this week” or “I will limit processed foods from my diet this week”)
  2. Plan your meals for the week. I mentioned this in an earlier post (Making a List and Checking it Twice)
  3. Use a journal to keep track of everything you’ve eaten. There are also some incredible food tracking websites and apps out there to help with this.
  4. Measure your portions using a food scale.
  5. Focus on shopping on the outside isles at the grocery store. They mostly contain all of the non-processed and healthier foods.
  6. Take your measurements once a week (at the same time every day) preferably first thing in the morning.
  7. Motivate yourself with rewards (try not to use food as a reward). If you reached your weekly goals, reward yourself.  I use these stickers to motivate me:


I place them on my calendar on the days I reached my weekly goals. They give me a visual reminder that I did something good for my body.

8. Don’t get discouraged. Results don’t come without putting the effort into it. The best gift you can give yourself is a healthy body.

 Be proud of yourself for taking the first steps in making your body healthier.

 Stay tuned for a new recipe tomorrow! It’s one that will keep you warm in the middle of winter…especially for those people getting slammed with the snow.

 What do you find to be your biggest obstacle when it comes to weight loss?

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