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7 Habits Of Highly Successful Dieters

I remember The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People being one of the first books I recognized on my Dad’s bookshelf as a kid, right alongside Zig Ziglar. Those two were my intros into the personal development and self-help world. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was a book I read for the first time in my freshman year of high school, and I still remember having my mind blown by the differences between principles and values, and how Stephen Covey explained one being external and one being internal.

 Many of us are talking about habits and dieting right now, so why not blend the two?

Here are the 7 Habits of Highly Successful Dieters

1. Consistency

Weight loss is a fickle game. The scale moves around like it’s got no method to its madness. That’s especially true whenever we’re highly inconsistent with our food intake throughout the week. A day where we’re spot on with our numbers, another day where we’re slightly under and yet another day where we’re 10-20g over on each of our macros can play out on the scale for days to come.

Inconsistency muddies the water as we try to gauge what is going on, how our body responds to these numbers and evaluating whether or not we need to make a change.

On the other hand, consistency offers a clearer picture of what’s going on. It helps give us a reliable idea of what we’re looking at and when we need to make changes. Each one of us is like an always moving, constantly evolving experiment. We have all kinds of things that help influence our behavior and decision-making, and our bodies are incredible at changing how much you do or do not move based on how much you’re feeding it.

So like all good scientists, we want to try and keep one of these variables stable to see if we can see change. For us, the easiest variable to stay constant is food intake. The more consistent you are on that front, the more we can help you based on the data and feedback we get.

2. A Growth Mindset

Dr. Carol Dweck, from Stanford University, is responsible for what I think is one of the most impactful books there is when it comes to behavior change. In Mindset, Dr. Dweck lays out the difference between two mindsets: a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.

Dweck explained that those who had a fixed mindset were typically people who believe that many of our qualities were fixed traits. Things like beauty, intelligence, and willpower are thought to be mostly set and unchangeable. In contrast, those who have a growth mindset believe that most basic abilities are merely a starting place and that with time and effort, just about any skill or attribute can be improved.

I think it’s pretty clear how the difference between a growth and fixed mindset plays out in the real world. Especially when talking about dieting.

One of the phrases that we hear most often from people who are thinking about joining Stronger U is that “Tracking just isn’t for me.” a phrase that could serve as a hallmark example of a fixed mindset.

In reality, weighing food, tracking, measuring, and moderating yourself are skills that we can develop with time and practice. They represent things that we can grow into. Those are all things that were probably hard for you when you started this program. But as time has gone on, those are things that have gotten easier and easier.

That’s the result of adopting a growth mindset towards dieting or any situation that life might throw at you. Your first attempt at something will only ever represent a starting point. Let yourself try, fail, and try again. That is where the lessons are learned, and it’s in those lessons that change happens.

3. The Real Goal Is The Process

It’s no secret that Stronger U encourages process-oriented goals. We fully believe that the real goal for all of us should be the process.

I think it’s useful to always be setting new goals in several different areas in life. It’s also important to remember that goals are temporary. They come and go, changing shape, form, and function. Because of that temporary nature, it’s important to look at them as guideposts, ensuring you’re on the right path.

But what doesn’t change in any of these scenarios is the process you use to reach that goal. You still do the same things. You still eat your food. You still weigh it and log it. You still get your miles in and put your time in at the gym.

Those are the anchors that you can always rely on. Those are the things that are going to carry you through any time or trial that might come your way. Those are the things that are dependable and will be around long after the goals are gone. Those are things that you can lose yourself in, finding a sort of comfort and rhythm in how you handle the day to day work that helps you reach those goals.

4. Forgiveness

Want to know what one of my favorite things to tell a client after they slip-up?

“Congratulations! You’re a human! Now let’s start today fresh, find the smallest positive action we can do, and make that our top priority for the day.”

I do this for a couple of reasons:

  • I think it’s important that we set up a place where we can all feel safe to talk about the fact that we’re not perfect all the time, even though our Instagram may say otherwise.
  • We all screw up. It happens—time to move on.

Slipping up is a profoundly human trait. The phrase “human-error” exists for a reason. We’re not all mindless automatons that exist solely on oil and WD-40. We’re people. We have thoughts, feelings, emotions, wants, needs, desires, and all kinds of other things that come with trying to navigate our way through the world.

And in case you hadn’t figured out, navigating your way through the world can be a pretty confusing and terrifying thing at times.

That’s why it’s essential to understand that you’re going to mess up. It’s going to happen on your diet, in the gym, at your workplace, and in your family life. The critical thing to understand about mistakes is that they provide an opportunity for reflection, understanding, and learning. (Growth mindset, anyone?)

When you slip-up, objectively recognize it for what it is. Work to understand what went on, why it happened, and what you can do in the future to try and handle that same kind of situation better. And then forgive yourself, accept that it happened, and move on with your life.

Nobody has the time to walk around beating themselves up for the cookie they had last Friday.

5. Listening to Feedback

We know that things are working when we feel good about what we’re doing, and we’re taking steps towards a version of ourselves we want to be. That’s the feedback that says we’re doing the right things. That feedback provides us the opportunity to listen, recognize that we’re on the right path, and keep on doing what we’re doing.

On the flip side, if we’re unhappy with how we feel, how we look, and how we’re living our day-to-day life, that’s feedback that we need to change some things.

Notice the consistent theme between both? Recognizing that everything is feedback, and it’s on us to listen to that feedback.

The sooner we can adopt that approach, the more quickly we can start objectively evaluating where we’re at, where we want to be, and how we can get there. Listening allows us the opportunity to ask ourselves if we’re treating this attempt at change with the respect it deserves. And if we’re not, it helps to provide a clear answer in how to fix that. Both through the form of a Coach offering you advice, but also through looking back at past behavior metrics like a daily nutrition log, habit trackers, etc. 

6. Avoiding The Comparison Trap

In the digital age, it is almost impossible to altogether avoid comparing ourselves to others. We live in a hyper-connected world where most people work to show off the most glamorous and staged highlights of their lives.

When we start beating ourselves up for the things we don’t have that other people do, we have to remind ourselves that we don’t live the life of that person. We don’t have their struggles, their wants, or their wins. We don’t have their body, their goals, or their relationships.

There is so much that comes along in a weight loss journey. So much of it is about who we are, our values, and what is important. The worst and most ill-advised thing we can do on a journey like this is start trying to look to other people as a measuring stick.

The only measuring stick that we can reasonably use is ourselves. We can look into our past, see how we’ve behaved in similar situations, and use that as a measure to see if we’ve improved or made strides.

7. It’s All About Trade-offs

There’s a saying that I remember reading somewhere:

“Show me your bank account, and I’ll show you your priorities.”

That’s uncomfortably true – but it can be extended to so many other metrics that we use to track our decisions, like our MyFitnessPal (or any other food tracker).

Our food log is a running history of the decisions we’ve made. This means it’s also an excellent place for you to look back and objectively evaluate if you’re really acting in the way that you say you are

Maybe your priorities are more socially inclined. Or perhaps they’re more inclined to eating take-out than you think. No matter what they are, what’s important to understand is the next part:

Many of us are afraid to look at those priorities, because we don’t want to, in turn, change those priorities. Change hurts. It’s hard and it’s uncomfortable.

What we have to understand is that this is really nothing more than making a choice. It’s choosing your no. And whenever you recognize that you’ve already been choosing your no for years before this, you recognize that all you have to do is switch what you’re saying no to.

All of the sudden your behaviors are more in line with your priorities, and in no time you’re making strides towards those goals. All because you recognized you were already making trade-offs, now you just switched those trade-offs.

No matter if we’re someone who has been involved in the fitness and nutrition world for 20+ years or if we’re someone who is just now thinking about taking the leap. Each and every one of these things are skills that will help carry you forward towards success.

15 Ways Our Members Are Safely Celebrating Thanksgiving

One of the lessons we teach at Stronger U is the value of planning. Planning our food, planning our workouts, and more. But with planning also comes learning how to adjust when a plan falls through. After all, we all know that old saying about best-laid plans. Never has that felt more true than 2020. This year has asked a lot of us. Many of us have been forced to adapt on the fly and think up new and creative ways to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. Kind of like having to adapt to one long unplanned meal at a buffet! 

That’s why we turned to our members to see how they are incorporating some of the lessons they’ve learned around adaptation to Thanksgiving this year. 

Here’s how 15 Stronger U Members plan to be creative and adapt on the fly when Thanksgiving plans go awry. 

 

Melissa Copeland: We normally do a huge meal with 20+ people where everyone makes something that was a traditional dish for their family (so when the friend from Maine makes stuffing, it has oysters in it, or someone makes a dish you don’t even normally associate with Thanksgiving.) Since we can’t do that this year we’re doing the mobile potluck. Everyone is prepping like they normally would and then dropping off portions at each other’s houses. This way we all get to share the same meal and have the things we enjoy without all the leftovers.

 

Jennifer Vestuto Hubbartt: I’m cooking the Thanksgiving meal for the first time ever. It’s going to be fun trying new recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. Plus I’ll know every single macro I’m putting together.

 

Amy Dean: I entered my homemade rolls and sweet potato casserole recipes in MFP for tracking and awareness! Some recipes you can’t change!! Now I have a few days to plan the rest. Thinking part of the plan will be a longer workout on Thursday!!

 

Hilary Lefko: We are planning the day around a hike instead of the meal. Just having a “normal” fall-themed dinner when we get back from the hike (pork tenderloin with roasted with cranberries and apples, shaved Brussels and pomegranate salad, and mashed cauliflower and potatoes).

 

Rebekah Subit: Met an 82-year old Navy Veteran eating alone at Bob Evans last week. He lost his wife of 60 years just two months ago. My husband, kids and I are meeting him at Bob Evans on Thanksgiving day!

 

Molly Brown Hart: We are doing closet purges! The largest purge wins $50. (May have to award multiple winners because children are contesting volume over percentage…) Out with the old! Donate! Shedding old habits! (They don’t know it yet, but December is a pantry challenge. I need junk foods and orphan ingredients used up or donated.) wayyyyyyy too much clutter!

 

Nicole Siener Lowman: I finally get to participate in a Turkey trot since we are not hosting festivities this year. Instead of 1000s of people, it will just be my sis, my niece, and her BF.

 

Holli Rahmings: I will continue my tradition of waking up at 4 am to make homemade cinnamon rolls that we share with nearby neighbors and friends. We are having our traditional Cuban/southern dinner and using the MyIntent bracelet set to find our powerful message to help remind ourselves of our strengths. I thought it was a cool idea to make this year memorable.

 

Taylor Ann: One of our daughters was diagnosed with celiac disease this year, and her older brother took up gluten-free cooking classes immediately afterward and has prepared himself for thanksgiving all year. We will be indulging in gluten-free alternatives to our favorite meals, getting our hands messy, and baking all day long! Lead by our sweet oldest boy who has the menu all planned out. Just us this year but it feels pretty special!

 

Molly Eloise: I’ll be cooking with my eight-year-old daughter, starting new traditions with foods my kids can call theirs.

 

Deb Hannah: We’re going to celebrate as our little family of four and eat food we actually like! No wasting calories on dry turkey and gross casseroles! The menu is filet, crab legs, broccoli, and dinner rolls, with sourdough brownies for dessert. Throw in some Peloton in the morning, a movie in the afternoon, and I’m so excited for the day!

 

Amanda Glaser: We are going to take a break from cooking and let a local restaurant prepare it this year so we can just enjoy the day with low fuss and no leftovers to wrangle. I can easily plan for one indulgent meal without making it my whole week. Also looking forward to staying active over the long weekend and connecting with family via video chat.

 

Keirsten Littlefield: Spending five days in an oceanfront cottage completely by myself. I will be reflecting on my year, what I’m thankful for, what I’m aiming for in 2021, and enjoying “me” time.

 

Vicki Ferreira: Thanksgiving weekend with Hubby in Lake Luzerne at an Airbnb. Lots of hiking and exploring. Coffee on the rocks as the house is on the gorge, it isn’t a traditional family food fest this year. I look forward to spending time away within NY. Will miss my kids and family though but making the best out of this crazy situation!!

 

Kayla Beasley: I’m looking forward to my first year preparing a Thanksgiving meal at my own home and not traveling. We normally drive 4 hours to my hometown and then bounce from house to house to house until we’ve seen every member of our combined family, feasting at each place. This year, however, we’ll be able to take our time and enjoy our home, our decorations, and the work of our own hands. I won’t be tracking for Thanksgiving, but the last few weeks of SU has helped me to get out of the habit of eating until I feel stuffed. I look forward to enjoying my food and also enjoying the feeling of being satisfied but not overfull. We’ll miss everyone this year, but I am so looking forward to the change.

Nutrition Myths That Are Cursing Your Weight Loss Goals

Black cats. Walking under ladders. Bringing umbrellas inside. They’re all superstitions that are supposed to bring us bad luck. But what about nutrition superstitions? Are there components in your nutrition routine that are sabotaging your progress by giving you false hope? As Michael Scott from The Office, we’re not superstitious, but we are a little stitious. So let’s look into some of the nutrition myths that might be casting bad luck charms on your weight loss progress.

Myth 1: Eating clean is necessary for weight loss

Bodybuilders have been talking about the importance of eating clean for decades. And who better to listen to than a group of people that get more ripped than just about anyone else? Except we’re not all bodybuilders. We don’t all live the lives of bodybuilders. We don’t all have the time and energy to devote to the gym and kitchen that most bodybuilders do, which is why eating “clean” isn’t the most reasonable thing for most people.

Time and life choices aside, there’s a question we have to ask ourselves when we’re talking about clean eating: what is clean? 

This is a real question, and it’s one of the major knocks on eating clean. While clean eating might sound great in theory, it comes with a loose and ambiguous set of restrictions. Nobody knows where the line between clean and unclean exists, and depending on who you talk to, that can change. 

So, what does that mean in practice for a lot of people? Accidentally eating some cheese or bread might send a normal person spiraling because that food isn’t deemed clean. 

Eating more fruits and veggies and less processed food is a great thing to aim for.  But if your goal is weight loss,  eating clean isn’t going to make a significant difference in your progress if you don’t also focus on consuming the appropriate amount of calories. 

Myth 2: Carbs are bad. Cauliflower is king.

Say goodbye to bread. Pasta? That’s a thing of the past. Rice? Better make it cauliflower.

But is it really necessary to go low carb to lose weight? Hardly. Low carb dieting works because it reduces calories. But we don’t have to reduce calories from carbs alone; we can do that by reducing calories across the board.

Similar to the pitfalls of clean eating, when a low-carb dieter finds themselves in a carb-laden situation, it can lead to a moment of panic and uncertainty. Do you say no to everything? Do you try to indulge just a little bit? Low-carb doesn’t provide a robust framework to make these kinds of situations work. And when we fail to uphold an intense restriction, who do we beat up? Ourselves. 

Weight loss is hard enough. Don’t make it harder by eliminating all carbs. 

Myth 3: Intermittent fasting is the best way to metabolize fat

Skipping breakfast or skipping meals for a day is something that works great in theory. You’re eliminating a meal (or meals) out of the day. Which means you’re removing opportunities to add calories into your day.

But you know what comes with skipping meals? Hunger. Sometimes an intense hunger. There’s also fatigue, hunger’s tired cousin. For some of us, dealing with this is okay. We can accept some hunger and fatigue. For others, though? Those intense feelings can drive us over the edge. It might cause us to eat a gigantic takeout order of nachos and wash it down with a milkshake.

You know what happens after that blow-out meal, right? Your weight loss goals for that week are washed away. Gone are the results that you hoped would come with turning down that breakfast bagel. So don’t skip meals because you think there’s some magic component to fasting.  It’s just another way to achieve a calorie deficit. 

Myth 4: Cleanses will help you drop weight fast

Juice cleanses are nothing new.  For decades, people have been juicing in the hopes of shedding pounds as fast as possible.

But is any of that necessary? Nope.

When doing a cleanse, most of us are just booking an extended stay in our bathroom for the next week or two. Since most cleanses are full of laxatives and diuretics, They “work” because they help flush a lot of the existing food and water in our digestive system. Not because they speed up fat loss

Along those same lines, cleanses are hardly necessary to clean out toxins or chemicals that we eat. We have organs, specifically our liver and kidneys, that are great at their jobs: eliminating toxins. They filter everything we put into our bodies, and they do this all the time. All-day every day. In that sense, doing a cleanse is just being a little rude to your internal organs. 

So, if you love consuming fruit and vegetable juice because it makes you feel good, excellent! Keep downing that kale concoction.  But don’t expect any magic weight loss effect if you’re not focusing on what you’re eating the other 90% of the time.

The common theme.

Weight loss is hard. It’s a process that forces us to change our behaviors and stay patient. Can all of the above help you lose weight in some way? Absolutely! And there are plenty of people you can find on the Internet who swear by the magic of eating clean, going low carb, juice cleanses, and fasting to help them reach their goals. 

But the unspoken golden rule of weight loss is that you have to find a way of doing it that fits your life. Find a way to eat and behave that helps you move closer towards your goals while also living your life. This is why at Stronger U, we aim to teach you as much about food as possible. We want you to understand where your calories are coming from and how you can structure your day and week in a way that works for you. We want you to eat the foods you love while losing weight, so you never deal with those constant restriction feelings.

So get out there, eat your breakfast, enjoy your carbs, and only prioritize clean eating and juicing if it makes you feel good. 

Why We Wish Stronger U Was Around When We Were Pregnant

“Lisa L:

I signed up for Stronger U at the start of my 3rd trimester in an effort to manage my weight gain in the final stretch when I found myself craving all the sweets! In full disclosure, I don’t think I really realized what I was signing up for but looking back, I am so glad I started when I did because it enabled me to get up the learning curve before chaos ensued with the arrival of my 3rd child.

I was really surprised to learn that I wasn’t eating enough carbs and was probably consuming a bit too much fat. Oddly enough, I didn’t have much trouble hitting my protein. At first, I couldn’t believe how much food I had to eat and thought for sure I would gain more than I needed but as they say, trust the process and your coach… It was incredible how great the right mix of carbs, fat, and protein made me feel. With this being my 3rd child, I vividly remembered how I felt in the final stretch with my other two and this pregnancy was so much different and I am certain it was due to SU which forced me to drink more water, pay more attention to my sleep and NEAT and in general, gave me more energy. It was truly an incredible feeling.

After I delivered, I took some time off but by 2.5 weeks post-partum, I was really itching to get back to my SU routine. I joke around that it was the only thing in my life I felt I was in control of 🙂 so I dove back in by 3 weeks post-partum which also happened to be right smack in the midst of Thanksgiving and Christmas but I made it work!

My little guy is now 14 months and I’m down almost 70 pounds from when I delivered and almost 50 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I accomplished all of that while nursing and rarely ever felt deprived. 

If I had known about SU sooner, I would have started it even before I became pregnant and would have done it throughout my entire pregnancy because I believe having a coach to guide you during such an important time is wonderful and such a relief to know you are in the hands of a professional. I am so grateful I found SU and HIGHLY recommend it for women thinking about getting pregnant, pregnant and who are nursing. But one of the best reasons to do it pregnant and/or nursing is because you get ALL THE CARBS :)”

Did you know that Stronger U works with pregnant women?! That’s right! Our team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) have helped 100s of pregnant women eat the correct amount of food (based on their individual needs!) to set both them and their babies up for the best possible pregnancy outcomes. Four of our RDN coaches, who are also moms themselves, decided to join forces to write this blog to tell you a little bit about our approaches for ensuring the success of our members. Also, since we have 8 kids between the 4 of us we’re going to share some personal experience as well!

When we started talking about writing this blog, all of us agreed that we wish Stronger U was around when we were pregnant. We all loved our OB/GYNs and had overall great pregnancy experiences however we never felt that nutrition was discussed enough. Our docs have so many other things to assess and are well trained in making sure mom and baby stay healthy, however, in the 15-minute visits we get with them every few weeks, there just isn’t a lot of time to talk about nutrition too. I received a pamphlet about nutrition when I first became pregnant and was weighed at each visit (so I know weight gain was tracked) but that was mostly it as far as the diet advice I received. Docs do their best but they can’t be experts in all things. This is where Stronger U fits in! We have a team of experts whose job it is to help you focus on optimizing this specific area that is so important to your and your baby’s health.  Our members report that their OB/GYNs are so thankful to have us on their team to support moms on their way through a healthy pregnancy.

How do you know if you’re eating to support your pregnancy?

One of the best predictors to determine if a mother is eating the correct amount of food to support a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery is the amount of weight she is gaining. The Institute of Medicine developed weight gain recommendations that are based on a mother’s prepregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI). Our Stronger U RDs use these recommendations as guidelines for working with our pregnant members. On top of overall weight gain, we also track the rate of weight gain throughout pregnancy. Recommendations are ~3-5 pounds gained total during the first trimester, and 0.5 – 1.5 pounds per week gained towards the middle of the pregnancy up until delivery (for many women, weight gain will slow down during the last few weeks). This normally means adding 300-500 calories broken down into a combination of fat, carbohydrate, and maybe even protein depending on the situation from around the 2nd trimester on. 

If a mother starts her pregnancy within the “normal” BMI range of 18.5 -24.9 kg/m2, it is recommended she gains between 25-35 pounds total during the entire pregnancy. Women are often concerned about gaining that much weight. Another thing we are able to help our members with is easing their fears about this process. While some of the weight gained during pregnancy IS maternal fat stores (you are supposed to gain some fat, this stored energy is used to meet both mom and baby’s needs during pregnancy as well as for breastfeeding afterward), if a mom gains within the recommended amount of weight, most of pregnancy weight gain is a result of an increase in tissue (the baby, placenta, increase size of the uterine wall, breast tissue) and fluids (blood supply and amniotic fluid). 

Karen P:

”Signing up with Stronger U for my Pregnancy was one of the best decisions I could have ever made for ME while growing this tiny human. As a Registered Dietitian myself I understand the importance of being COACHED. I knew once I was pregnant I wanted to be coached in terms of my nutrition so I could continue to fuel myself for baby and my active lifestyle. Coach Maggie Watson kept me fueled up and strong enough to be able to continue CrossFIt and Olympic weight lifting 6 days/week up until I delivered my little guy. Her knowledge, motivation and inspiration surpassed by expectations and I cannot wait to see what we do together post-pregnancy.

Fun Fact: I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within a week of delivering my little dude and back to the gym in under 3 weeks. Stronger U is where it’s at.”

However, when weight is gained in excess of recommendations during pregnancy, oftentimes the extra is gained as excess maternal body fat and that body fat tends to stick around for awhile after the pregnancy too. Research shows that women who gain the recommended amount of weight retain less body fat even years later. In addition to setting you up for less weight retention postpartum, gaining the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy is associated with infants born at a healthy weight and reduced incidence of Cesarean section deliveries and postpartum weight retention.  Currently, only about 32% of women in the US gain weight within the recommended ranges (48% gained more, 21% gained less) so it’s clearly something that MOST women struggle with. The amount of weight gained during pregnancy is important and is a key indicator of the overall healthy progression of a pregnancy. It’s also a strong predictor of postpartum weight retention.

So how do the Stronger U RDNs help women gain the recommended amount of weight?

There are no magic pregnancy macros that will get you there. In order to be successful, we rely on all the information provided to us by our members each week (their weight, their macro intake, how they are feeling, sleeping, exercising, etc.) and adjust as needed to keep gain within guidelines. Now, anyone who has experienced pregnancy knows that the gain is not always linear. But, we strive to keep it as steady as possible and to maintain nutritional integrity throughout pregnancy. The first 20 weeks or so are really aimed at maintaining weight (unless otherwise directed by their OB). This means that we have to find a balance of macros that will create an equilibrium. If someone has been in a fat loss phase, then coming up incrementally to find that maintenance zone might take a few weeks. My rule of thumb is not to move anyone more than 10-15% up in calories simply so that they are more inclined to just add more of the foods that they are currently consuming. For someone moving from a ‘cut’ phase, that means they are likely consuming lean proteins and lots of high volume carbs such as fruits and veggies. If we can keep that nutritional integrity, we are on the right path! We don’t want anyone falling into that old trap of “eating for 2“.

“Jenna M:

I had been doing Stronger U for about 2 years and was in the middle of a session when I found out I was pregnant. Stronger U quickly paired me with a Registered Dietitian (Maggie) and our focus shifted from “cutting”/body composition to growing a healthy baby. Continuing Stronger U while pregnant was the best decision I’ve made when it comes to nutrition. Maggie helped me navigate through morning/all day sickness, food aversions and cravings, changes in appetite, and meal prepping for postpartum all while teaching me ways to provide both myself and my growing baby with the nutrients we both needed. After having my son at almost 41 weeks, I continued with Stronger U. The habits we established before and during pregnancy have carried over into postpartum. I gained a healthy 20 pounds while pregnant. I was back to pre-pregnancy weight 1 week after having my son and was able to start tracking again 2 weeks postpartum. Now, Maggie is helping me adjust macros to focus on maintaining adequate supply for nursing while gradually improving body composition. I can’t say enough positive things about this experience. I am so thankful I’ve had Mike, Maggie, and the Stronger U team by my side throughout this huge life-changing experience. It’s given me even more confidence in the habits I’ve established as part of this program.“

The first trimester can be a challenge, but that is a great time to build rapport with a coach and use teamwork to get through those times that can be plagued with nausea, food aversions, etc. If women have food aversions or nausea, we are there to offer support and ideas on how to manage through them.  This may mean that protein comes down a bit in the first trimester to accommodate some of those aversions and upset stomach. The low-end recommendation for reducing risk of deficiency for protein during pregnancy is 71g/day, but if one can handle more protein, that number is kept higher. If protein does need to decrease, then naturally those calories have to get filled with carbohydrates and fat. So, the balance may shift a bit. The big thing to remember in the first trimester is that perfection is not the end all be all. There are always going to be days that feel off, but making sure that we can get some nutritional value in that first trimester aside from crackers and ginger ale is crucial. 

 If a first-time mom were to Google “pregnancy protein requirements,” it’s highly likely the information she’d get from her search would tell her she only needs 40-60g of protein per day. But that is based on protein recommendations that are increasingly falling out of favor with nutrition researchers because we’re realizing they’re inadequate for optimal health in most people. More recent research suggests optimal protein intakes for women in early pregnancy are at least 0.6g/lb/day, increasing to nearly 0.8 g/lb/day (much closer to the recommendations Stronger U provides its members). Of course, a Stronger U RD working with any pregnant member will balance these updated recommendations with the mom’s tolerance for protein, which is often low in the first trimester due to nausea. We understand that while optimal ranges are great to shoot for, it doesn’t do the mom any good to encourage her to choke down protein when she can barely stand the sight of food in those early days! So we do our best to balance “optimal” with “what can mom handle right now?

Now you may be wondering why protein intake recommendations have changed, or why the ideal amount increases during pregnancy. Recommendations changed because nutrition researchers realized that older recommendations weren’t actually created following studies in pregnant women – they were best guesses. Updated research demonstrated the increased need for protein in response to the demands pregnancy places on a woman’s body. In early pregnancy, even though the embryo is still very very small, the amount of cell division and growth going on requires an increased amount of building blocks (e.g., protein) to be available to the growing embryo. And decades of research surrounding pregnancy have concluded that in almost all cases, the growing embryo will pull whatever it needs from the mother’s body. Negative side effects of inadequate protein intake during pregnancy include intrauterine growth restriction and low birth weight, which can predispose the baby to health problems throughout its lifespan. This is why Stronger U RDs make these recommendations to our pregnant members and follow the mom’s intake closely as her pregnancy progresses – to make appropriate changes so, at the end of ~40 weeks, we end up with TWO healthy members of the SUniverse!

Preparation and planning are key.

Understanding how much food is necessary is important, and so is giving members a plan for applying these guidelines. Building strong habits during pregnancy can make ALL the difference when the world turns upside down and that sweet baby comes! Understanding how to plan a day to hit your macronutrient goals is one of the first things that we ask people to master. The chances of taking the time to sit down and work the puzzle when you have a newborn that needs you 24/7 is PROBABLY not going to go so hot. So, taking the calm before the newborn storm to learn how to plan a day is where it all starts. After creating a plan, the next step is developing the skills to implement the plan.  One of our biggest tips is that if food is prepped and ready to go, the chances of sticking to that plan are so much greater. I challenge most of my pregnant members a couple of months before baby to take stock of their freezer and start preparing some freezer meals so that they have easy access to healthy food in those first few weeks postpartum. All they need to do is get out of the haze of sleep deprivation long enough to thaw out a freezer meal. That can help bridge that time from birth to getting settled into a routine. 

Erica L:

“The best thing about doing Stronger U while pregnant is knowing I’m giving my baby a well-rounded diet. I felt like I was much healthier and had a much easier pregnancy”

Simplification is a key principle that can be learned through the process of tracking macros. Taking something that seems overwhelming and breaking it down into steps that are manageable is simplification. It might mean even cutting out steps that are unnecessary. Simplification is learned quickly in the world of tracking macros. There is no reason to overcomplicate things. If you can prep one day a week and have basic foods that you can eat then spice up AND help you hit your macros, life is just so much easier and members are more successful. Learning to cut down on FANCY and stick to good ol’ fashioned simplicity is actually beautiful as it gives you time for other things, like finding a place to store all those new baby shower gifts!

Routine really is a major carryover strategy. In terms of macros, it is important to identify the things that keep you successful. Getting up at the same time, identifying a workout time, having food ready to go for your scheduled meal times, etc. are skills we work on with all members and that is not any different for our pregnant women.  Keeping health as a main focus is something that I personally emphasize to my mamas. 

There is no way that a mom can be at her best for everyone who needs her if she is run down and frazzled. Self-care is a must. That doesn’t always mean going out and getting your nails done (or maybe it does for some!). Self-care is eating right for your body so that you have strength and confidence. It is prioritizing exercise for physical AND mental health benefits. And guess what, your exercise might not look exactly like it did before you were pregnant when energy probably was higher and time was feeling less filled up. Choosing to take care of yourself is not only for you, mamas, it sets an example for your current and future kids. You are looked up to more than you know, so live a life that sets the example that you want out there! 

Valerie S:

“Stronger U gave expert guidance to ensure I was getting the nutrition my body and baby needed to grow without gaining a ton. I didn’t trust myself to do it alone because pregnancy was so new and foreign and I didn’t want to undo my hard work getting to my pre-pregnancy weight”. 

In summary, Stronger U can work with you at any stage of pregnancy to provide up to date evidence-based nutrition advice, and dietary evaluation to help you achieve appropriate pregnancy weight gain, and promote adequate fetal growth and development. Stronger U offers unlimited, one on one access to a nutrition expert that has the ability to spend more time with you to address any nutritional concerns you or your OB provider may have. When your OB makes your individual recommendation about pregnancy weight gain, we collaborate with you to ensure weight gain is progressive through diet and lifestyle while keeping up with your increased nutrient needs, hunger/fullness cues and food preferences. Throughout pregnancy, if common issues arise such as constipation, nausea, reflux, and/or nutrient deficiency, in addition to your providers recommendations, we can take a look at your current food intake, offer nutritional recommendation to promote improvements by collaborating with you to utilize the food you eat to better manage these symptoms. We can work alongside you and your OB provider to promote healthy pregnancy by addressing adequate hydration, key nutrients, and meal planning, all while taking into account your particular food preferences, allergies/intolerances, schedule, food accessibility, and individualized nutrient needs.  

In the first trimester, Stronger U can help you adapt your current lifestyle to meet your bodies changing nutrient needs; provide education about foods to avoid/limit/add more of and further customize eating patterns and meal composition to best achieve weight gain targets for your pregnancy. In the second and third trimesters, while food intake continues to be essential in assessing weight gain, maximizing energy, and promoting overall health, you will continue to receive our nutritional expertise on an as-needed basis, offering daily to weekly points of contact, offering you added accountability, and support throughout the remainder of pregnancy. We collaborate with you to build better habits around food that support positive lifestyle outcomes, empowered eating and food decision making during pregnancy and beyond. Stronger U is an excellent resource for answering and clarifying all of your nutrition related questions, concerns, and debunking myths and beliefs that promote unnecessary dietary restrictions during pregnancy. Such as the misconception of pregnancy means the mom should be eating for two, and therefore calorie needs double. 

Stronger U often works with individuals from pregnancy through to postpartum and beyond. Stronger U can work with you to provide adequate nutrition to support breastfeeding while simultaneously working to achieve your post-partum weight loss goals. 


This blog was written by Dr. Jessica Bachman along with fellow RD’s: Maggie Watson, Katie Leahy, and Josette Curtis. If you’re interested in learning more about Stronger U, email us at info@strongeru.com or to schedule a free informational phone call with someone on our Member Experience Team just CLICK HERE! Can’t wait to hear from you!

What You Should Know About Dietary Fat And Heart Health

Much like fashion, diet trends come and go in cycles. Keto, for example, is like baggy jeans in the late 90’s: it’s all the rage. But this isn’t the first time that keto has had its moment in the sun or been a popular trend, and it sure won’t be the last. At the core of the keto movement is the importance of what was once the health demon of the 1980s and ’90s: fat. 

Most health trends aren’t all that they seem. It’s hard for a headline to paint an accurate and nuanced picture that is so often needed when talking about health and wellness. That goes for plenty of things, but it’s especially true in the world of nutrition, and fat, specifically.

Fat is one of the more misunderstood pieces of the nutrition world. That’s not only the case when we’re talking about the role that dietary fat can play in the weight loss world, but also when talking about overall health and well-being, and especially heart health. That old phrase “we are what we eat” rings true. The foods we eat on a regular basis become the building blocks for our bodies, all the way down to the cellular level. This means we can eat to be stronger or more fit, but in the case of nutrients like fat, we can also eat to protect our internal organs. So this week we’re going to be taking a brief look at the role dietary fat plays in our diets and weight loss goals, as well as how dietary fat can impact our heart health. 

What role does dietary fat play in our weight loss goals?

At their core, fats are essential to health and survival. Humans can’t live without fats. We need them for cellular health, brain function, hormonal health, recovery, and they are the densest source of energy in our diets.

Fats are actually the energy source that we depend on most of the time when we’re living and breathing. When you’re sitting down reading this blog post your body is using fat to fuel all of the necessary processes it uses to keep you alive. The same goes for when you’re walking or doing any activity that doesn’t really get your heart rate up by very much. Which should be enough to explain just how important fat is to helping someone stay alive on a day to day basis.

But, just because you need fats to survive doesn’t mean that you should go dunking a stick of butter in your morning coffee, despite what you might have seen someone do or say on the Internet.

See, when we talk about weight loss, we’re implicitly talking about creating a calorie deficit, because that’s how the weight loss process works. But anyone who has ever attempted to lose a significant amount of weight knows that getting into a calorie deficit may be simple, but that doesn’t make it easy. Fats tend to be the culprit that undo most diets because they’re the highest in energy and the least satiating, making them the easiest to overeat.

A great example of this is that it’s a common thing when people start logging their food intake on a consistent basis to be surprised by just how much fat, not sugar, they were previously eating on a daily basis. 

Here’s a general breakdown to give you an idea of why we prioritize certain things:

  • Protein: 4 calories per gram and the most satiating.
  • Carbs: 4 calories per gram and a little less satiating, and even this varies depending on the source. Veggies are definitely more filling than sugar, after all.
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram and the least satiating. 

We certainly don’t mean to paint a bleak picture of fat intake and how it plays into our diet, though. After all, we know that fats are necessary for survival. Along with that, fats are also tasty! We’ve evolved to enjoy the taste of fat, and that’s especially true when fat is paired with other food sources like sugar. So just because fat is easy to over-eat doesn’t mean that it’s something we should avoid completely. That’s a recipe for disaster. Instead, it’s on us to learn how fat fits into our own personal taste preferences and how that aligns with our goals. 

But what about the role that fats play in heart health?

There is no component of our diet that is linked to heart health more than fat. What’s more, when we talk about our heart health, there seems to be conflicting information from all kinds of different sources. We hear we should avoid certain foods or certain fats one day. Then the next day we hear that we shouldn’t be avoiding fat, but should actually be eating more fat. So what is true? 

To clear things up, we’re going to get an overview of the sources of dietary fat in our diet and see what the research says. Because while it’s certainly a win to cut calories and get to a healthy body weight, knowledge is power. And if begin to gain a better understanding of the foods we eat on a daily basis, we’re better prepared to take care of ourselves in the long run. 

Saturated fats

Saturated fats get their name because saturated with hydrogen molecules. Saturated fat comes from animal sources, such as red meats, poultry, lard, and full-or-reduced fat dairy products.

An easy way to identify saturated fats is that they’re solid at room temperature. So things like cheese and butter are great examples. Oils that are solid at room temperature, like palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil, also contain saturated fats. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends getting only 5 to 6 percent of calories from saturated fat because saturated fat is linked to elevated cholesterol levels and in some cases an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So, if we take the 5 to 6 percent guideline seriously, this puts someone on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet with 120 calories or 13 grams of saturated fats per day. The 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend for up to 10 percent of calories per day to come from saturated fat.

Monounsaturated fats

These fats get their name because they are not saturated with hydrogen molecules and because they have a single carbon bond in the fat molecule, called a double bond. Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are found in fat sources like canola, peanut, and olive oil. 

Monounsaturated fats are most commonly known to have a heart-protective role and for good reason. According to the Mayo Clinic, they have been linked to improved cholesterol levels and they may also help insulin and blood sugar control.

But just because monounsaturated fats tend to be heart-protective doesn’t mean that we have clearance to eat them freely and with reckless abandon. At the end of the day, from a caloric perspective, fat is still fat. Which means it’s still important to watch our intake of monounsaturated fats. You can eat all the monounsaturated fats you want, but if you’re still overeating on a consistent basis that leads to weight gain, which can wind up increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Quick aside: How much fat should I be eating?

Answer: Assuming you’re tracking your food and controlling calorie intake, fat intake can vary person to person. But a good general recommendation is the range of .25-.5g per pound of body weight.

Polyunsaturated fats

Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats aren’t saturated with hydrogen molecules. Polyunsaturated fats get their name from having more than one carbon bond in the fat molecule, and like monounsaturated fats, they’re liquid at room temperature. 

The easy way to think about polyunsaturated fats is that they’re found mostly in plant food sources. Things like soybeans and soybean oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds. They’re also in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel, and trout. 

Polyunsaturated fats have been shown to have a positive impact on blood cholesterol levels, which can lead to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Polyunsaturated fats have also had their moments of popularity in the news because they provide other essential fatty acids that plenty of us have heard of: omega-6 and omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a polyunsaturated fat that can come from plant-based sources but are most commonly found in fish. Omega-3 fatty acids have long been thought to be a major factor in improving our overall health, and like other polyunsaturated fat. been shown to lower blood pressure levels.

Omega-3 fatty acids can also act as anti-inflammatories in the body. On a cellular level, omega-3 fatty acids work kind of like aspirin to inhibit an enzyme that produces hormones that trigger inflammation. But this doesn’t necessarily make them a cure-all specifically because of inflammation, which is complex and multi-factorial.

We get omega-3’s from cold-water fish like salmon, herring, tuna, and mackerel, as well as walnuts, olive oil, and canola oil. There are also plenty of people who take fish oil to up their omega-3 intake, though recent research on supplementing with fish oil is questioning that

As a general guideline, the American Heart Association recommends eating 3.5 ounces of fish at least twice a week to get a good amount of omega-3s.

Omega-6 fatty acids

On the flip side of omega-3’s are omega-6 fatty acids, which are also polyunsaturated fats, usually found in plant-based oils. Common sources of omega-6’s include vegetable, corn, peanut, grapeseed and sunflower oils, as well as things like mayonnaise and plenty of salad dressings. 

In excessive amounts, some types of healthy-omega-6 fatty acids may cause the body to produce inflammatory chemicals, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. This is important to note because in general, Americans get far more omega-6 fatty acids than necessary and far too few omega-3s. It’s not to say that omega-6’s are a dangerous compound we need to eliminate completely because that’s not the case at all. But this is to say that for some, the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 is worth paying attention to. The American Heart Association recommends that between 5 and 10 percent of calories come from omega-6 fatty acids. 

Trans fats

For just about every source of fat out there the research says that they’re neither good nor bad. There are layers and layers of context that determine how a source of fat fits into our diet. The one source of fat where that isn’t the case is trans fats.

Trans fats are sometimes found naturally in meats or dairy, but usually in small amounts. More typically, trans fats are produced by the food industry for the purpose to increase shelf life of a processed food product. This is done by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make the oils more solid. These are called partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats are usually found in convenient and pre-packaged foods like frozen pizzas. Other common sources of trans fats include baked goods, crackers, refrigerated dough, margarine, and coffee creamer. Fast food restaurants often use them in deep fryers because partially hydrogenated oil does not have to be changed as often as regular oil.

Trans fats are typically not recommended at all because they have a stronger link to heart disease. According to the AHA, they both lower your good cholesterol and increase your bad cholesterol. The potentially harmful role that trans fats play in the body has reached such a consensus that in 2013, the FDA took a major step and decreed that partially hydrogenated oils were no longer considered safe. 

A final word on fat

The world of dietary fat, triglycerides, cholesterol, and how all of those things come together to make up the overall picture of your heart health can feel hopelessly confusing at times. That’s especially true when the popular diets of the time preach the wonder of unlimited amounts of fat, which can feel deeply confusing when we compare that to the more nuanced advice we get from doctors and researchers. This is partly because internal health is incredibly nuanced. It’s hard to give blanket recommendations on what sources of fat any single person should be eating more or less of because that is entirely dependent on their own individual health markers, family history, and genetics. 

But just because we’re not in the business of giving blanket recommendations doesn’t mean you should give up all hope or stop trying to learn more about something like the various sources of dietary fat. Health, like many other things in life, is a process of continually learning. Through that learning comes awareness. And through that awareness, we can begin the process of taking charge and changing our health. 

Blogs like this are a good jumping-off point to learn more about the things we eat and what happens inside our bodies, but they only scratch the surface. So if you’re interested in taking charge of your health and learning more about what is happening inside your body, first start by consulting your doctor and getting a detailed workup. Go over the results with your doctor and get their insight into what your results say. 


Interested in learning more about Stronger U? Email us at info@strongeru.com or to schedule a free informational phone call with someone on our Member Experience Team just CLICK HERE! Can’t wait to hear from you!

What You Need To Know About Blood Pressure And Heart Health

We’re continuing the theme of heart health for American Heart Month. Earlier this month we talked about why losing weight is important for heart health, and how you can do so. Today, we’re going to talk about one of the greatest predictors for heart disease that’s out there. Today we’re talking about the silent killer, otherwise known as blood pressure.

First off, what exactly is blood pressure? 

When we talk about blood pressure, we’re talking about the pressure that blood exerts on the blood vessels as it travels through circulation. The reading you get measures pressure at two points: systolic, which is the maximum pressure during a contraction, and diastolic, which is the minimum pressure between contractions. Together, those two readings give us an idea of how well our heart is doing at moving blood throughout our body and how much strain it undergoes to do its job.

But why do we want to talk about blood pressure? And why does it even matter?

Well, if you’ve kept up with American Heart Month at all, you’re aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the western developed world. And what is one of the greatest predictors of your risk factor for heart disease? Your blood pressure! Makes sense, right? The harder a heart has to work over an extended period of time, the greater the risk of heart disease or another related complication.

We have all heard about heart disease and blood pressure at some point or another, but this is important stuff to touch upon. The sheer numbers of people who are impacted are astounding. There are about 103 million American adults with high blood pressure, or just under ⅓ of the population.

But knowing the numbers is one thing. However, knowing how many people deal with high blood pressure doesn’t exactly clear up what it is or what it looks like. So, just to be clear, how exactly do we define high blood pressure? This chart from the American Heart Association provides a great breakdown of what normal, elevated, and hypertensive blood pressure ranges look like. 

But what should you be doing with this information? First and foremost, if you’re not regularly monitoring your blood pressure that’s a great place to start. In fact, that’s the first place to start. No matter if you’re getting information from the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, or any other reputable source of medical information you’ll quickly see that developing awareness around your blood pressure is step one. Along with starting to monitor your blood pressure, consult with your doctor about what your blood pressure readings do look like and what they say about your health. 

 

Monitoring your blood pressure and talking with your doctor is a smart place to start because similar to what we talked about in the opening blog on heart health, taking care of our insides is the very epitome of that old saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And nowhere might that be more evident than when we’re talking about paying attention to and taking care of our hearts.

 

Chronically elevated blood pressure can wreak havoc on our health over the course of years and decades, all the while not giving us anything noticeable to worry about on the outside. But inside? That’s a whole different story. Elevated blood pressure can damage the arteries, leading to them be less elastic over time thanks to the collection of fats in the blood vessel walls. This stiffening of the arterial wall can also lead to an increased risk of an aneurysm. 

 

But hold on, the health of risks of high blood pressure doesn’t just stop in the arterial walls. The myriad of health consequences that follow living with high blood pressure for a prolonged period of time seems almost too many to name. Heart failure, dementia, stroke, kidney troubles, and sexual dysfunction are just a few of the more common ones. So when we’re talking about heart health and doing all we can to take care of our hearts, it’s relatively safe to say that monitoring our blood pressure is the easiest place to start. Similar to learning how to track your food and then adjust behavior, it’s the first metric that you can start to assign some meaning to. And once you understand that metric and what it says, you can start working on improving it.

 

How do we improve our blood pressure?

 

When talking about improving blood pressure, we’re going to talk about everything outside of medication. Prescription medication is outside the scope of our expertise here, and if there are questions you do have about medications, it’s best advised that you bring those up with your doctor. 

 

Like all things dealing with heart health, improving your blood pressure doesn’t come with a bunch of flashy recommendations. Instead, when you’re talking about blood pressure and how we can improve it, you’ll find some of the most timeless pieces of health advice out there.

  • Lose weight

If you’re overweight, that’s the first place to start. For a fact. It’s so important that we even spent an entire blog talking about it. 

  • Exercise regularly

Seriously, move your body. We’ve talked at length about why you shouldn’t use exercise as a weight-loss tool or a reason to eat everything in sight. But you should use exercise as a tool to manage your health because that’s what it is perfect for. Exercise is intentionally putting strain on your heart so that your heart can then, in turn, become stronger and more resilient. Making it better at handling planned and unplanned strain in the future. Move your body intentionally and often. Go on walks. Take classes. Ride the Peloton. Hit the weights. Whatever is fun and reasonable for you to do, make that a habit. Your heart will thank you for it. 

  • Take care of your stress

Stress is one of those things that we tend to forget can have an impact on our health. We go through our daily lives in varying degrees of stressed out, paying no thought to what that might be doing to us internally. But there might be no more dangerous and silent risk factor than living with unbearably high-stress levels. Nobody would argue that stress is fun, but plenty do argue that there’s not much that can be done about stress in our lives. And some of that is true. We don’t control when stressful situations show up, but we can control how we decide to cope with them. Spend time unplugged and outside. Make time to hang out with your loved ones. Get to bed earlier. Do whatever you can that allows you to feel like you’re not drowning in stress on a daily basis. Not only will this have a massive impact on your quality of life, but your heart will also be healthier because of it.

  • Moderate your alcohol intake

Alcohol can be one of the more confusing topics out there when we’re talking about blood pressure. A little seems to be on the healthy side, but a little can easily turn into too much. The general rule of moderate alcohol intake is one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men, so if you find yourself blowing past that on a regular basis, it might be smarter to spend some time not drinking to help reframe what moderation means to you.

Wait, but what about salt?

Reducing sodium intake is one of the most commonly suggested when it comes to managing blood pressure, and for good reason. There is plenty of research to suggest that lowering sodium intake has a big impact on blood pressure. However, when we’re talking about sodium and blood pressure it’s typically not as simple as saying to start eating less salt. 

For starters, sodium is an important electrolyte that does have a role in helping us stay hydrated, as we talked about here. If someone decides to eliminate salt entirely from their diet, that might actually wind up doing more harm than good. Especially if that person is an avid exerciser already. 

But the oft-overlooked part of limiting sodium intake doesn’t necessarily have to do with the hydration component. It’s got to do with the fact that when most people hear they should reduce sodium, they start eliminating table salt. Or they say that they already don’t use table salt, so they should be fine. In reality, roughly 75% of our sodium intake doesn’t come from table salt at all, but the foods we eat. Which means, sure, eliminating table salt can be a good place to start. But it’s not enough when we think about the totality of our diets. And when it comes to blood pressure, or anything else, it’s the totality of what we do that matters.

For a great read on the nuances of sodium and blood pressure, Examine.com has done an outstanding breakdown, which you can read here

When taking care of your heart, it’s all about the big picture.

You’ve got to do your best to think about the big picture. It’s never just the table salt or the alcohol that is leading us to have high blood pressure, just like it’s never the one cookie or the brownie that led us to being overweight. It’s everything coming together to create the full picture of your health and wellness. It’s how stressed you are on a daily basis. How much extra weight you’re carrying around. How little you’re moving your body on a regular basis. All of those things add up to create a picture of your health. 

In many ways, learning how to take charge of our health and wellness is learning how to view things from a big picture point of view. Through that big picture view, we learn the profound importance of the basics and the role those basics play. And as we learn the importance of those things, we begin to learn the importance of showing up for those basic behaviors on a consistent basis. 


Interested in learning more about Stronger U? Email us at info@strongeru.com or to schedule a free informational phone call with someone on our Member Experience Team just CLICK HERE! Can’t wait to hear from you!

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