Healthy Shopping List
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Healthy Shopping List: Condiments

Boy, can condiments be a hindrance to fat loss! Today I want to share with you the condiments that end up on my healthy shopping list. 🙂

We all know that eating for fat loss can get a little boring at times. For this reason, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite condiments that I use to make my food taste delicious, but have little (to no) effect on my fat loss efforts.

Having foods that I enjoy is very important to me because I really want “living the fat loss lifestyle” to be sustainable for a lifetime. Some of the ingredients in my favorites may not fall in line with everyone’s goals (such as high sodium in the hot sauces), but for me, this is somewhere that I personally “give in a little” in order to make eating for fat loss more enjoyable.

It’s important to find this balance between making meal choices that will help you to achieve your goals AND preparing them in such a way as to make those choices sustainable. Here are some of my favorites:

Healthy Shopping List – Condiments

  1. Cinnamon – Great for flavoring oatmeal, oat bran, fruit, and protein shakes.
  2. Cayenne Pepper – Great on any meat or in soups if you like spicy things like I do!

    Healthy Shopping List

    Just do NOT get these 2 confused! 😉

  3. Vinegar (especially Balsamic and Red Wine) – I mix balsamic vinegar with mustard and stevia to make a delicious low-calorie salad dressing.  I use red wine vinegar on my ground turkey burgers on Ezekiel bread or in salads. Healthy Shopping List
  4. Yellow Mustard – Delicious on any meat or mixed with different kinds of vinegar and hot sauces. I’ve even dipped steamed broccoli in it. Yes, I LOVE mustard!
  5. Any no/low-calorie hot sauce – If you like spicy foods, put hot sauce in soups and on meat. I’ve even mixed it with mustard and dipped veggies in it or put it on salads. Sounds weird, but you should try it if you like hot sauce! My favorites: Frank’s Red Hot and Louisiana Hot Sauce
  6. Salsa – Use on chicken or shrimp and avocado salad (with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime and a squeeze of fresh lime) and for dipping veggies into. Watch for added sugar, though. Healthy Shopping List
  7. Asian Chili Garlic Sauce, Thai Red Curry Paste, and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce – I put just a tad in soups or in ground meat to add a little kick! If you like a BIG kick like my husband, then spread it right on top of your meat or add extra to your own soup bowl. Healthy Shopping List
  8. All the Mrs. Dash spices – I use these in place of or in addition to sea salt and black pepper on just about everything!  Healthy Shopping List
  9. Liquid Smoke – Flavor meat, soups, or veggies with this delicious condiment. Your food will have a whole new twist when you use a little liquid smoke. My favorite veggie to use this on is roasted okra. Yummmmm! Healthy Shopping List
  10. 100% baking cocoaBaking cocoa is my favorite! It makes my protein shakes more chocolate-y! I add 2 Tbsp, along with stevia, to my coffee or with just plain hot water to make a mocha or hot chocolate. This is great for craving control! I add it to plain Greek yogurt with stevia to make “pudding,” and I’ve even mashed a banana with cocoa powder, stevia, water, and a scoop of chocolate protein powder to make a post workout pudding. Don’t judge. 😉 Healthy Shopping List
  11. Stevia – I used Sweet Leaf flavored liquid stevia drops and Stevia In The Raw to sweeten anything in place of sugar. 🙂 Healthy Shopping List Condiments

I would love to hear some of your favorite condiments that are fat-loss friendly! Please comment below and let me know what condiments are on your healthy shopping list. 🙂

xo -Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy through the link, the price is still the exact same for you, but I make a small percentage for recommending the product. The opinions expressed in the post are my own and all products shown are those I have used and truly believe in. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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Exercise at Home
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Top 6 Tools You Need to Exercise at Home

When I made the transition from working out at a gym to working out at home, I purchased just a few things to make my home gym awesome! I’d like to share with you the top 6 tools I suggest you purchase to exercise at home successfully. You don’t have to invest a whole lot of money, but these few tools will make working out at home a breeze!

First, let’s get this straight. You do not *need* a gym to get a boot camp body! While going to a group fitness class or boot camp is super fun and motivating, it’s not always possible. With crazy schedules, it’s often convenient to fit in a few of your workouts at home each week (or month). If you’re not prepared with some minimum supplies, however, it definitely won’t happen. 😉

This is why I suggest that you have a few things in place at home so you can be successful even on busy days.

Exercise at Home

Top 6 Tools You Need to Exercise at Home

  1. Weights – The most cost-effective way to add weights to your home gym is with dumbbells. They are very easy to find online and even at local stores like Target or Walmart. Kettlebells are my personal tool of choice. You can read why in these articles. 🙂
  2. Bench and or Stability BallThis adjustable bench has been a great asset to our home gym! It was affordable and has held up to many uses per week for a couple of years now!  A less expensive alternative to a bench is a stability ball. You can perform many of the exercises done using a bench with a stability ball instead. exercise at home
  3. Yoga Mat Yoga mats are nice to be able to exercise on the floor comfortably whether on your back or just to have something soft under your knees while stretching or elbows while planking. Plus, they roll up and go anywhere with you!
  4. Wall Clock – We do a lot of timed workouts and timed intervals. Having a nice clock that counts seconds is great! We have one similar to THIS that can go on the wall or sit on the floor (i.e. during a plank). Or you can go for a barbell plate clock to set the tone for your home gym! 😀
  5. Whiteboard – I love having my workout written on a whiteboard. We keep the whiteboard hanging under the clock so we can see both at a glance. It’s motivating to me to *see* the workout written out and be able to check off rounds. I love to check things off!
  6. A Workout Plan – Having a plan is KEY. When you head to your home gym, you want to be able to pull up your workout (on a pdf, video, etc) and get started! Free workouts are everywhere online, but if you want to follow a specific protocol or a program designed by a professional, you will most likely need to purchase a program that fits your needs, desire, and fitness level.

I have several plans that I can suggest! I’ve personally written a kettlebell program for busy women that want to workout at home. Find out more about that 8-week program called Simply Kettlebells here. Currently, David (my husband) and I are completing a 12-week program called Metabolic Prime.

The Metabolic Prime workouts are designed to be short (just 15 minutes!) and burn fat for 48 hours after! There are new workouts for each of the 4 phases. There are 3 workouts per week x 4 phases for a total of 12 video, follow-along workouts. Each phase also has a 5-minute burnout (or finisher) that can be done at the end of each workout. Some of the exercises use dumbells or bands (or you can use no weight at all – especially if you’re a beginner).

What’s included with Metabolic Prime?

  • Downloadable video workouts (or you can purchase the DVD version for the same price plus shipping charges)
  • A Workout Calendar
  • Progress Tracker
  • Accountability via a private facebook group with the other challengers
  • A 12-week metabolic meal plan with recipes, shopping list, and nutrition guidelines for the program
  • A Metabolic Blueprint Manual

If you have any questions about getting started with exercise at home or setting up a home gym, please comment below or contact me HERE. I’d love to answer any questions you may have.

xo -Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. If you buy through the link, the price is still the exact same for you, but I make a small percentage for recommending the product. The opinions expressed in the post are my own and all products shown are those I have used and truly believe in. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle” and Get Your Priorities Straight Once and For All!

A very common struggle among women today is a lack of time. I bet you can relate.

When subscribers sign up for my newsletter, I ask them in the very first email what their #1 struggle is. One of the top 2-3 answers I receive from subscribers is, not surprisingly, “lack of time” to workout.

That’s not shocking, right? We all suffer from the busy-ness bug!

I totally understand! I’m a mom, wife, teacher, coach, business owner, church member, friend, daughter, sister, and the list goes on……

Consider this for a second:

And here’s a (very kindly spoken) tough love alert…

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

I know, I know- we are certainly all in differing circumstances in our life. We don’t all have nannies, maids, and other hired help. But, even within our own circumstances- no matter what they are- we get to choose HOW we spend our time outside of work hours.

Being “busy” is an epidemic in our rushed society. How often do we hear from a friend that she can’t (fill in the blank) because she is “too busy.” You may even find yourself saying that. I do!

It has sadly become the norm for “I’m too busy” to fly out of our mouths in response to any request or invitation. What does “I’m too busy” really say? To me it says, “That is not a priority” or “I don’t find that important to do.” (Just being honest here, and I’m GUILTY as charged!) We can all agree that we each have the same 24 hours in our day. We choose to use those hours differently based on what we determine is important to us!priorities

It’s time to think about designing your life in a way that you are in the driver’s seat of your time. Don’t sit back and let life happen to you. When you sit back and let things happen TO you, you are giving up full control and just move from one frantic “thing to do” to the next. It becomes a vicious cycle of busyness that seems to be unbreakable. In the meantime, no one is really enjoying all the busyness!

4 Tips to Break the “Too Busy Cycle”

1) Schedule your top priorities FIRST. To find out what a person deems important, take a look at their calendar! Does your calendar match what you SAY are your priorities? I’ve come to realize that I’m not “too busy” for the things I find to be important. I make time for my top priorities each day. We all do! But sometimes we haven’t thought about it deeply enough, so we end up just living moment to moment, getting through each day.

Suggestion: Carve out 10-20 minutes each week to re-prioritize your life. Write down all the things that you need to make sure happen each day of the week – the things you will do no matter what. Place your most important priorities on your calendar or in your planner FIRST. Pick a night of the week to do this, and make “scheduling” a tradition. How much better do we all feel when organized?!? Or is it just me?? 🙂

Write down a typical day or 2 and look for time slots that you could use differently or more efficiently. This could be the first step to leveraging her time better. Once you find those time slots, use them wisely. If health and fitness are important to you, schedule in 20-30 minutes a day a few times a week for working out. Schedule in a couple of hours on the weekend for food planning and prep for the week. Writing it down is the first step to GETTING IT DONE!

Also, limit your time on email, facebook, twitter, or wherever you find a time-sucking black hole in your schedule. Turn off notifications on your phone so you aren’t bombarded ALL.DAY.LONG with beeps and rings that let you know there is email to be read or facebook posts to be “liked”. Set aside 30 or so minutes a day to catch up on emails or social media. This ONE thing alone has increased my productivity by leaps and bounds!

2) Get rid of the “victim mindset” when it comes to your schedule or your circumstances. I used to be the QUEEN of this! As a new mom, 10 years ago, I would often have a pity party about how I didn’t have any time for myself because I now had a baby that required my 24/7 attention. Of course, I loved my son dearly and wouldn’t have traded caring for him for anything else in the world, but I now realize that my attitude and thoughts around my new situation were causing me to feel miserable. Looking back, I see that I was getting something out of playing the role of a martyr. I enjoyed how others would feel sorry for me when I told them how my time was no longer mine and I was “too busy” to even take a shower. They would pat me on the back and tell me what a great job I was doing. I was getting affirmation out of playing a “victim” of my circumstances. Now I realize that when I’m in the victim mindset, I’m hindering myself from taking ACTION on what I really desire.

For me, I now choose TAKING ACTION over BEING A VICTIM. 🙂

How many times do you say or hear it be said, “I’m too overwhelmed to add anything to my day. I’m just too busy.” What that is saying is that whatever the activity is that is in question isn’t currently a priority. That’s ok! Just be truthful with yourself. There’s no judgment. It just is what it is – not important at the moment.

Consider this: How many of us will JUMP when called upon to send a snack for our kid’s preschool class or sports team. It doesn’t matter if you get the call at 10 pm, you are ON IT! React the same way to the things you say are important to you! If you say it’s important to exercise, for example, you will find a way just like you found a way to make those cookies for your child’s class or team (even though you were tired, it was late at night, or you were feeling overwhelmed).

3) Don’t take on new obligations that are unnecessary. (i.e. Learn to say “NO” sometimes!)

Self-imposed busyness is a way we sabotage our own goals. It’s how we justify not eating right (don’t have time to plan or cook meals) and not exercising (who has time for that?!). An authentic “no” is much more appreciated than a resentful “yes.” Agree? Would you want someone to do something for you that they didn’t want to do? I believe we’d all agree that the answer is no.

4) Prioritize LEISURE time in your own schedule as well as your KIDS’ schedules.

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing” –Lao Tzu

Our kids are scheduled down to the minute these days instead of outside running, playing, building forts, making mud pies, etc. Sports and other extra-curricular activities are important, but they don’t ALL have to be done at once. Set limits. Don’t be addicted to “BUSY.”

priorities

And for all you ladies, make sure that at least 5-10 minutes a day you can relax and enjoy a hot bath, a good book, a leisure walk with the family, or chat with a good friend. This is important to our own psyche and our stress level. It’s not selfish to prioritize meeting your own needs from time to time. I would argue that having your needs met makes you a better mom, wife, daughter, friend, and neighbor. 🙂

What does this have to do with health and fitness?

A lot.

When you don’t prioritize your health and fitness and the health of your family, no one benefits. Don’t be “too busy” to take care of your own physical needs! If you are healthy, active, and feeling alive, you are able to help your friends and family in an even better way – without resentment or being bitter about it.

If you need help, hire a coach to help you. Ain’t no shame in that! I’ve personally had several coaches in my life that have helped me better myself. 🙂

Health and fitness aren’t at the top everyone’s priority list. I get that! For me, it wasn’t for many years. I encourage you, however, to use these same principles in your life to make sure that “busyness” isn’t getting in the way of your TOP priorities whatever they may be.

I’ll leave you with a few quotes that I love about busyness…

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ~ Lin Yutang, The Importance Of Living

 

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

 

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves” ~Jack Kornfield

 

“The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much further.” ~Sir Heneage Ogilvie

xo -Jill


Here is information about a top-level coaching service that I recommend and have used! FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 Week Boot Camp that Utilizes Carb Cycling and Intermittent Fasting – a HIGHLY effective program!

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

 

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3 Ways Kettlebells Improved My 5k Race Time

I have trained with kettlebells for over 4 years now. Kettlebells improved my 5k race time, no doubt.

Running isn’t something I enjoy, but it is how I got back into an active lifestyle years ago. The running part made me want to die. All I wanted was for the training day to be OVER. That feeling at the end was awesome which is what kept me running, day in and day out.

Later, I learned a better way to get more powerful at running! In turn, I was faster. And, more importantly, I enjoyed training!

Live and learn, right?!

I created Simply Kettlebells as a way to share my love for kettlebell training with women who are intimidated to try kettlebells. I know I was at first! I’ve reaped many benefits from stepping out of my comfort zone and giving them a try. Below, I map out some of the benefits that kettlebells brought to my running game and how using kettlebells improved my 5k race time.

Note: Originally, the blog posted below was published as a guest post written by me on jillfit.com and includes a sample kettlebell workout!

By Jill Jacobs

In 2009, I was exclusively a runner. I ran anywhere from 3-6 times per week and I was constantly focused on my next 5k. My continuous goal was to beat my previous time. That was my motivation- beating myself! But honestly, my 5k time remained SLOW and I really didn’t understand why??? I seemed to be training and running ALL.THE.TIME.

Enter kettlebells.

I began training with kettlebells in 2011.

I also QUIT running.

I’m certainly not suggesting that you quit running. I think we all need to do the exercises that we enjoy and that we will ACTUALLY do! For me, I saw how kettlebells offered me a TWO-IN-ONE workout- both cardio and strength training, together in one package. As a busy mom that homeschools her two boys, this was a huge bonus that kettlebell training brought to the table for me. It was a no-brainer.

After training with kettlebells for 6 months, I decided to enter a 5k just for kicks and giggles. Surprisingly, I set a new PR with a crazy better time than before! I had decreased my time from 2009 of 32:21 to 25:32 just 2 short years later!!! Yeah! Who knew? I even won my age group against many other women who were “daily runners”. And who shaves nearly 7 minutes off of a short distance run like 5 kilometers? Truly, kettlebells improved my 5k race time!

THAT is what kettlebells can do for YOU, too!

This experience proved to me that kettlebell training truly “speaks for itself”.

Kettlebells Improved My 5k Race Time

How can this happen? How does one quit running and yet improve their 5k time with a round ball of iron with a handle on top? Let me explain…

Here are the top 3 ways that Kettlebells Improved My 5k Race Time (and will yours too!):

1) Kettlebells increase your power.
Through ballistic movements like swings and snatches, kettlebell training can truly improve your power and explosiveness in running. The swing is a hip hinge, hip dominant movement. The Russian kettlebell swing is well known for building a nice posterior chain (hello glutes and hammies!) giving you the famous kettle “booty.” And who doesn’t want that!

Having increased power from a strong posterior chain will certainly increase your speed and endurance during your run!

2) Kettlebells increase your strength.
Kettlebells can be utilized for traditional movements like the squat and the deadlift. Because of the kettlebell’s unique shape and size, kettlebell trainees are required to use a lot of force, core strength, and coordinated movement which in turn increases overall body strength. The control needed throughout kettlebell exercises magnifies your core strength for what I call a kettle “CORE.” 🙂

Having a strong backside and a strong core is a great way to improve your performance and decrease your chances for injury in ANY sport!

3) Kettlebells increase your endurance.
Kettlebells have the unique ability to combine both cardio and strength training in one. Utilizing the same explosive movements that increase your power, your endurance will also increase as you advance with kettlebell training. Your ability to swing a higher number of reps, to swing heavier bells, and by tracking your 5-minute snatch test results (fun, fun!!) can all help to measure your endurance progress. Your progress will also be revealed through decreased race times!

Your Quickie KB Circuit:

Set your timer for 20 minutes and go through the circuit AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):

  • 5 Swing Cleans (right)
  • 5 Squat Presses (right)
  • 5 Swing Cleans (left)
  • 5 Squat Presses (left)
  • 5 Rows each, R then L arm
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings

Do this circuit 1-2x/week for best results!

If you are a runner, I can tell you from experience that cross training (with kettlebells) will not only build a toned, leaner physique, but it will improve your race times and performance. The kettlebell has proven to be the perfect tool for me. It completely changed my physique and my performance, I’ll never go back!

If you’ve been on the fence about trying kettlebell training, I highly recommend my signature program, Simply Kettlebells. It’s a super accessible program for beginners with progressions throughout the 8-week program as you improve.

Kettlebells Improved My 5k Race Time

xo -Jill

How to Wake Up Early
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How to Wake Up Early to Work Out

I’ve not always been an early riser. It’s still a struggle sometimes. (Just ask my husband!) I can be the queen of snooze some mornings, but I try to be up between 5 – 5:30 am.  I discovered that the secret for me for how to wake up early to workout is just by doing it. Ha! I set my mind (and my alarm) and just get up.

However, that method doesn’t work for everyone.

How to Wake Up Early

My ideal schedule includes getting up around 5 am and getting my coffee. Ahhhhhh….yes, coffee is always first! I read my devo and have prayer time first thing. By 6 am, I have my work “power hour”. I get lots done during this time!

Around 7 am, my husband and I workout together. Next is breakfast and then we start our homeschool day. Once our homeschool time is finished, I have a couple of hours in the afternoon to work a bit more. By dinner time, family time begins. After dinner, I shut down my kitchen, load the dishes, get my water filled for the next day, and get the coffee pot filled and the timer set for 5 am the next morning. (David helps with all of these post-dinner chores as well.)

You may be wondering why it’s important to get an early start to the day. It’s really not for everyone, but women who have children often find that they can be most productive when the kids are asleep. For most, this is in the early morning hours versus after the kids are in bed when most of us as exhausted.

When your morning is productive, it sets the stage for a productive day, better eating choices, better sleep that night, and reduced stress. 🙂

Over the years, I’ve helped many clients start this new habit. Today, I want to share a few suggestions that have worked for these ladies.

How to Wake Up Early to Work Out

Suggestion 1: Adjust your habits.

Instead of waiting till the morning to get your clothes ready for the day, pack your laptop bag, or fix your lunch, do all of those things the night before. This will make it easier to workout first thing in the morning.

Suggestion 2: Have a set bedtime and wake time.

We do this for our children and need to take a page out of our parenting books for ourselves! Set your bedtime to 9:30 or 10:00 pm and your wake-up time according to your schedule and how much time you need for productivity in the morning.

Suggestion 3: Work out at home.

If you find it difficult to be up and at a gym class at 5 am, you can work out at home instead. This will save driving time plus you get to workout in your pjs!

Suggestion 4: Join a gym.

Opposite of the above suggestion, some ladies find more accountability signing up for a specific early morning class. I’ve done both and see the value in both! You will have to decide what will #1) work for your daily schedule and  #2) motivate you the most to get up and work out.

Suggestion 5: Utilize time-efficient workouts that are also effective for fat loss.

Many people, in general, are confused about how much time it takes to workout to get results. My personal clients utilize 30 minute fat burning workouts. I’m not currently taking clients, but I can recommend a top-notch coaching program that utilizes short, time-efficient, and effective workouts! FASTer Way to Fat Loss is a 6 week boot camp that utilizes carb cycling and intermittent fasting – HIGHLY effective program!

Suggestion 6: Scale back your wake up time gradually.

If “biting the bullet” and just starting to wake up at 5 am cold turkey isn’t your cup of tea, then by all means, take a gradual approach. Start on day one by getting your morning chores done the night before (see suggestion 1), and set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Without the added chores and the extra 15 minutes or wake time, you will find more than enough time to fit in some movement!

Suggestion 7: Record your television shows.

So many of us are addicted to tv series and “have” to watch them live. I suggest recording your favorites and watch them over the weekend. This will allow you to hop into bed at a decent hour.

Suggestion 8: Get in touch with your “WHY” or purpose for wanting to wake up early and work out.

Anytime you can channel a deeper reason for a goal, you will be more successful. More on that HERE.

 

How to Wake Up Early

Let me know. What’s your ideal morning like? What time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up? Can’t wait to hear!

xo – Jill


Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Your program pricing does not go up, but if you register through my link I get a bit for referring you. Thanks for supporting my blog!

 

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Food Cravings. How do I stop them?

One major struggle that women have is food cravings.

UGH! I know. It’s so frustrating to *want* to eat healthily but have food cravings pop up in the afternoon or evening when your willpower is at its lowest.

As you can imagine, I receive many emails asking the following question:

Q: How do I stop food cravings?

A: Besides eating for fat loss and making good lifestyle choices (like sleeping enough and de-stressing), there 2 primary supplements that I use to control or stop food cravings. Supplementation is rarely my recommendation, but when food cravings are a huge issue, these supplements are worth a try!

At the end of this post, I’ll give a few secondary ways to stop food cravings as well.

  1. Stop food cravings with BCAAs

BCAAs are branched chain amino acids.

Simply speaking they are broken-down protein molecules.

Usually, BCAAs are purchased in powder form and added to water. They can be used for multiple purposes.

Many people use BCAAs when working out fasted. The purpose for this is to provide the body with amino acids so that muscle tissue is preserved. When you workout, muscle tissue can be burned ALONG with fat. BCAAs help to preserve muscle tissue without having to eat protein prior to your workout.

BCAAs can also provide the body with energy similar to ingesting carbs but without the insulin response. This is another benefit to drinking them prior to working out fasted. BCAAs are also great for muscle retention and muscle gain, particularly in the post workout window.  This is why most all commercial protein powders include BCAAs in them.

Note that if you are eating a protein packed meal after your workout, you do not need to also supplement with BCAAs at that post workout time period.

BCAAs have been clinically shown to balance blood sugar (glucose) which makes them an excellent hunger and craving suppressant. Given the fact that fat loss often (not always) requires a lower carb intake than people are used to, BCAAs can become your best friend for achieving leanness. They can help in regulating hunger and cravings by supplying the brain with the energy it needs.

BCAAs can also lower cortisol. These lower levels will offer the overlapping ability to suppress your stress induced cravings.

Dosage is 5-10 grams pre (fasted) workout. If you are taking them to suppress hunger and cravings, 5 grams is a good dose.

My personal experience:

Although I’m personally a huge fan of getting all of my nutrition without supplementation, BCAAs is one of my exceptions. Most days, I work out fasted first thing in the morning. Working out fasted is good for fat loss, but can cause muscle loss as well. Having more muscle is great for fat loss. BCAAs can provide the best of both worlds and allow me to workout fasted without the loss of hard-earned muscle. I also use them successfully for my own cravings. When clients report having cravings, this is one proven way I can recommend that regulate body functions that fight those cravings.

Here are 3 of the name brands that I have used that taste great!

  1. Momsanity BCAAs are my top choice. It has all natural ingredients, perfect ratios of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and has a nice fruit punch flavor. This one is my top pick because of the ingredients and ratios of the BCAAs plus it mixes well in my water bottle! I featured this product in a blog post on the benefits of BCAAs for women.
  2. The MRM Reload is watermelon flavored. It is sweetened with stevia and xylitol which I prefer over artificial sweeteners. It stirs well with a spoon. They make a version sweetened with artificial sweeteners, so be sure to check the label in the picture before purchasing. The one I have linked was the correct version at the time of this blog post. 🙂
  3. The Scivation Xtend needs a little shaking to get it mixed well. It’s sweetened with sucralose (same as Splenda) and can cause some people GI issue (mainly gas and bloating) if used often. It’s very tasty in the green apple flavor (think: Jolly Rancher).
The science:

If you’re interested in the science behind BCAAs, here is a great article from Metabolic Effect which is where I received my nutrition coaching certifications as well as one of my personal training certifications.

2. Stop food cravings with 100% cocoa powder

Obviously, if you can get a handle on food cravings, you are less likely to grab that unhealthy food that’s calling your name. Consuming baking cocoa will also release serotonin in the brain causing you to feel happy and euphoric. 🙂 As a bonus, it has almost no calories, it’s high in fiber, and it contains compounds that blunt hunger and reduce cravings. Through research studies, it has been shown to lower blood pressure and balance blood sugar. Good stuff for the fat loss lifestyle!! Check out this blog post about cocoa by Metabolic Effect if you are interested in reading more.

Here is a way to incorporate cocoa into your daily fat-loss lifestyle. Grab a mug of this yummy drink as an after dinner treat or to curb an afternoon craving!

Hot Cocoa Drink

Ingredients:

  1. Hot Water
  2. 1-2 Tbsp of 100% baking cocoa
  3. Stevia to taste
  4. Optional: add a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to the drink, add a splash of almond milk, or even flavored stevia drops (like Sweet Leaf Sweet Drops English Toffee), add coffee to make it a mocha.

Directions: Heat a mug of water. Stir in a 1-2 Tbsp of 100% cocoa. Sweeten w/ stevia or Truvia to taste (approximately 3 packets but depends on your preferences). Enjoy!

Another pre-mixed option is Metabolic Effect’s Craving Cocoa. It has excellent reviews from many followers of Metabolic Effect!

food cravings

Additional Ways to Stop Food Cravings

  • Eat small amounts of protein regularly
  • Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep
  • Add flavor to water (lemon, lime, Vitamin Water Zero)
  • Unsweetened almond milk with cinnamon sprinkled on top
  • Drink hot tea
  • Chew gum
  • Brush your teeth
  • Eat a pickle
  • Have a piece of lower sugar fruit (sweet craving)
  • Have celery with peanut butter (crunchy craving)
  • Make an effort to avoid things that you KNOW trigger temptation and cravings
  • Go outside —> Get busy.
  • Give it time to pass
  • Know that success breeds success. Giving in will sabotage success.
  • Assure yourself that it WILL get easier the more you succeed!!!

Have you tried any of these methods? If so, comment below with what works best for you!

xo -Jill

p.s. If you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free copy of my Lean Lifestyle Guide for Busy Women. The included meal plan is designed to help balance out your hunger, energy, and cravings. I know you’ll enjoy the guide!
p.p.s. For more “Q&A” style blog posts, click here. http://jilljacobs.me/category/qa/

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