healthy eating

Do You Still Need a Food Journal?

FLogg Journal

Even after you lose weight, it’s a good idea to keep a food journal. Why? Because it prevents you from slipping back into your old habits–the ones that caused you to gain all that weight you worked so hard to take off!

You don’t have to keep a journal every day or every week but it’s a good idea to write down what you eat for a few days each month. Keep a reminder on your calendar. Or, if you’re sitting waiting somewhere, take out a piece of paper or your smart phone and just jot down what you had to eat that day or the previous day.

Writing down what you eat has several benefits. One, you see patterns starting to form. Are you starting to eat more fried foods? Drinking more high calorie beverages? Two, you have to think about portion sizes. Did you have one cup of cereal at breakfast or did you just fill the bowl and not think about it? And three, it makes you count those little bites that you would rather not think about, like that chicken nugget you stole from your son’s plate or those fries your daughter didn’t finish.

So if you’ve lost the weight and tossed your food journal aside, consider getting it out again. It’s not just for dieters. It’s a useful tool for anyone trying to eat a healthy diet or maintain their weight.

Through her Des Moines-based nutrition company, SK Health Communications, registered dietitian Stephanie Karpinske writes and develops recipes for magazines, books, supermarkets and food companies. She is the author of Read Before Dieting: Your 4-Step Plan for Diet Success and writes a blog about healthy eating, She’s coaching the Lehman family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

7 Time-Saving Tips for Making Healthy, Home-Cooked Meals

Crispy Bean & Cheese Burritos

Cooking every night can be a daunting endeavor especially when you’ve been at work all day. It’s definitely one of the reasons many people resort to fast food, take-out or frozen meals. But don’t be discouraged by the clock. You can pull together a home-cooked meal in a snap. Here’s what I recommended to the Avaglianos because I know how pressed they are for time.

#1: Create a daily menu for the week.  It’s best to do this on the computer because eventually you’ll create enough menus and shopping lists that you can cut, paste, rotate and repeat the weeks instead of coming up with new ideas.

#2:  Decide who is in charge of what meal. It’s important to delegate cooking responsibilities especially if you have older children in the house.

#3: Seek out great recipes. Check out these 20-minute meals and shortcut suppers. And don’t try to make anything too complicated especially when you know you only have a short amount of time.

#4: Use your shopping list. Going to the store with a firm plan makes it so much quicker to shop. Don’t forget to double the ingredients if you want to make enough for the next night’s meal or the following day’s lunch. This will ultimately save you time and money.

#5: Stick to ingredients you need. Don’t get lured into buying what’s on sale that week or sweet treats you don’t need when you are shopping. But do leave room for healthy snacks and lots of fruit and vegetables to snack on.

#6: Prep ahead of time. If you know you need chopped onions in 3 recipes then get a bunch of them chopped on Sunday when you get back from the grocery store and keep them in a plastic container until you are ready to use them.

#7: Make it known. Print out and post the schedule and menu on the refrigerator so all family members know when it is their turn to cook dinner!

 Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

Tiffany, Week #21: Can We Have It All?


I say YES! In this game of weight loss and living a healthy life, getting to the gym and making low-cal meals takes time. Time away from your significant other, children, housework and extended family. How do I manage all that is on my plate and still have time to work out and be healthy? In a word…Partnership.

Andy and I have partnered with one another and have unwavering support for the other in this journey. Not just with in the Family Circle challenge but in life. We realize what we have to lead and its good for Anna and Jack to see us make time to do all that we have to and maintain good health and loss the excess energy.

Weight loss success also takes commitment. You have to be so committed to your goals and really stop and think how is this going to help me in reaching the end result.

How are you willing to work on your partnerships and commitment to win at weight loss? Post a comment and tell me!

How to Break Through a Weight Loss Wall

We’ve all been there. You’re working out and eating right, but suddenly the number on the scale isn’t moving down anymore. It’s just standing still. As the Avaglianos enter their last challenge they may find they’ve hit this weight loss wall. It’s very common and extremely discouraging, but there’s a reason for it. Perhaps the first big drop in weight was mostly water or your metabolism has slowed down. It’s even likely that now that you weigh less, you are burning fewer calories.

No matter what the case, don’t get discouraged because other changes may be happening. You may be losing inches and not pounds—which is just as important. Also you’re eating better and exercising so your overall health is going to be improved.

To get back on the weight-loss track, though, you’ll have to make some adjustments. Consider boosting your workouts (either in length or intensity) to burn more calories. Alternately, you may need to lower the number of calories you are taking in. Finally, make sure your weight loss goals are realistic. After all, if you can’t maintain the weight loss you’re striving for, there’s probably no point in losing it in the first place.

Registered dietician Elizabeth Fassberg runs Eat Food, a New York City-based company that designs and delivers custom food and nutrition programs for businesses, organizations and individuals. She’s coaching the Avagliano family through the six-month Healthy Family Challenge.

Challenge #6: The Grand Finale

healthy family challenge 2012

It all comes down to this. After five months, the Lehmans and Avaglianos will have to use all the skills they’ve learned before a final weigh-in. Who will come out victorious? And who will win the entire Healthy Family Challenge 2012? Check in every day as our families head toward the finish line.