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Fit 4 Teaching

50 Slim-Down Secrets

By | 2015, Fit 4 Teaching, Health Tips, Healthy Foods, Workout | No Comments

Tips to jump-start your weight loss:

  1. Remember the 25-25-50 rule: Fill your plate with 25% complex carbs (whole grains, beans, or root vegetables like sweet potatoes), 25% lean protein, and 50% vegetables and/or fruit.
  2. Don’t skip meals. This slows down your metabolism by 20% to 30% and could lead you to overeat later on.
  3. Eat a good breakfast. Research indicates that people who eat breakfast tend to consume fewer total calories throughout the day. A combo of high-fiber protein and carbs works best to keep you fuller longer (try high-fiber cereal with blueberries and milk, or eggs on an English muffin).
  4. Get enough sleep. Studies have found that sleeping fewer than 8 hours a night is linked to a higher body mass index (BMI); lack of sleep influences hormones that regulate your appetite.
  5. Cut back on simple carbs like white bread and sweets, which may cause spikes in blood sugar and lead to water retention and puffiness—not to mention a crash in energy levels.

  6. Get picky about beef. Choose loin and ground beef that’s at least 93% lean. Limit higher-fat “prime” or “select” cuts. (A 3-oz serving of rib eye, for example, has about 15 g fat, but a 3-oz lean sirloin steak has just 5).

  7. Visualize portion sizes. A 4-oz serving of meat, chicken or fish is about the size of your palm. A 1-oz serving of cheese is the size of 4 dice. For more info on portions, check out

  8. Put everything on a plate so you can see exactly how much you’re eating.

  9. Don’t eat the same lunch (or breakfast or dinner every day. Our bodies get used to the same foods—mixing it up will stoke your metabolism.

  10. Rate your hunger on a scale of 1 (not at all hungry but could nibble) to 5 (famished); aim to eat only when you’re in the 3 to 4 range.

  11. Get competitive. Sign up for a weight-loss challenge.

  12. Plan a week’s worth of healthy meals at a time, before you hit the grocery store. calander

  13. Make a list of lighter substitutions and post it on your fridge. For example, dip baked chips in salsa instead of nacho cheese and spread toast with jam instead of butter.

  14. Keep a food emotion diary. Write down what you ate and how you felt while eating it to help pinpoint possible overeating triggers (stress, sadness, etc.).

  15. Make an “eat plenty” list: foods that you can eat large quantities of without feeling the least bit guilty (plain air-popped popcorn, fresh veggies, etc.). Keep the list on your computer or in your kitchen.

  16. Eat the right foods after exercising. Avoid a post-workout binge by deciding what you’ll eat ahead of time (try yogurt with fruit and a few nuts, or a glass of skim or soy milk).

  17. Find an online support system (like to help keep you motivated. Research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that people with weight-loss partners (online or in person) lost nearly twice as much weight as those who dieted alone.

  18. Start a “have-done” list next to your “to-do” list to track all your diet accomplishments, big and small. Losing 1 pound, upping your daily fruit intake and weaning yourself from your late-night ice cream habit all count.

  19. Make nothing totally off-limits. A study published in the journal Appetite found that labeling foods as “forbidden” can actually increase your cravings for them.

  20. Pick a date to help you get motivated. Whether it’s a reunion or beach vacation, think of a special event that you want to lose weight for and aim to take off a reasonable amount by then. (Shedding 1 to 2 pounds a week is the safest way to go.)

    Spice it up and cut calories:

  21. Instead of sautéing green beans in butter, steam them and season with spices such as cumin and turmeric, then drizzle on 1 tsp olive oil.

  22. Sprinkle chili or red pepper flakes on corn rather than using butter.

  23. Toss some ginger and lemon zest onto cooked carrots instead of glazing them in honey.

  24. Cook sage, thyme and lemongrass into your rice instead of frying it in soy sauce.

  25. Sprinkle rosemary and minced garlic onto eggplant before grilling instead of topping it with marinara sauce and cheese.

  26. Add grated orange zest and cinnamon to roasted butternut squash, and skip the butter and brown sugar.

  27. Instead of marinating red peppers and onions in oil and vinegar, spray them with nonstick spray and season with oregano, paprika and pepper before grilling.

  28. Dust Brussels sprouts with mustard seeds and onion flakes instead of adding butter.

  29. Try imitation bacon bits and chives on your baked potato instead of sour cream.

  30. Put a dash of garlic salt and basil on an oven-cooked tomato instead of frying it in bread crumbs.

  31. Squeeze lemon juice onto spinach or broccoli instead of slathering on butter.

  32. pop cornMedium movie-size butter popcorn: 1,150 cal Burn it off by: Running for about 2 hours

  33. Chicken potpie: 740 cal Burn it off by: Jumping rope for about an hour

  34. 5-oz prime rib: 605 cal Burn it off by: Swimming freestyle at a slow-to-moderate pace for 75 minutes

  35. Slice of birthday cake: 340 cal Burn it off by: Working out on an elliptical trainer for a half-hour at moderate pace

  36. Snickers bar: 270 cal Burn it off by: Biking for a half-hour at moderate pace

    Our favorite lowfat recipes under 300 calories:

  37. TOMATO ARTICHOKE CHICKEN (serves 4; 286 cal per serving)

    Mix 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, . tsp salt and . tsp pepper in a gallon-size plastic ziptop bag.
    Add 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 oz each, tenderloins removed), close bag and shake to coat chicken evenly.
    Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
    Add chicken and cook 8 minutes or until cooked through.
    Remove to a platter and cover to keep warm.
    Using same skillet, bring to a simmer 1 can (14. oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano; 1 can (13.75 oz) artichoke hearts, sliced; and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
    Cook 3 minutes.
    Spoon on chicken; sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.

  38. GRILLED SWEET ONION AND CHEDDAR PIZZA (serves 6; 273 cal per serving)

    Heat outdoor grill.
    Unroll 1 tube (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil; press into a rectangle.
    Coat dough and 1 medium onion, sliced, with nonstick spray.
    Grill onion 10 minutes or until tender, then remove.
    Invert dough on grill; peel off foil.
    Grill 1 minute until bottom is lightly browned.
    Turn crust over and spread with 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce; top with onion and 1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar.
    Cover and grill 2 minutes until cheese melts.
    Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

  39. SCALLOPS WITH CREAMY PESTO (serves 4; 268 cal per serving)

    Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in a non-stick skillet over medium- high heat.
    Add 1 1/2 lb sea scallops, patted dry, and cook, turning once, 4 minutes or until golden and just barely opaque at centers.
    Remove to a plate.
    Off heat, add 1⁄3 cup refrigerated prepared pesto and 2 Tbsp heavy (whipping) cream to skillet; stir to blend.
    Spoon pesto-cream sauce onto serving plates and top with scallops.

  40. SIRLOIN STEAK WITH GOLDEN ONIONS (serves 4; 194 cal per serving)

    Coat a nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; heat on medium-high.
    Sprinkle 1 lb boneless sirloin steak, fat trimmed, with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Add to skillet.
    Scatter 2 medium onions, sliced, around steak.
    Cook, turning steak once and stirring onions often, 12 minutes or until steak is medium-rare and onions are tender.
    Transfer steak to cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.
    Meanwhile, combine . cup reduced-fat sour cream, 2 Tbsp each prepared horseradish and sliced scallions, and . tsp each pepper and sugar in a bowl.
    Slice steak thinly against the grain. Serve with the horseradish sauce.

    Smart fast-food switches:

  41. Applebee’s Instead of Grilled Steak Caesar Salad 1,190 calories, order this: Low Fat Blackened Chicken Salad 425 calories

  42. Dairy Queen Instead of Medium Chocolate Malt Milkshake 870 calories, order this: DQ Chocolate Soft Serve (1⁄2 cup) 150 calories

  43. Denny’s Instead of Fabulous French Toast Platter 1,260 calories, order this: Buttermilk Pancakes 410 calories

  44. Taco Bell Instead of Grilled Stuffed Chicken Burrito 640 calories, order this: Fresco Ranchero Chicken Soft Taco 170 calories

  45. Pizza Hut Instead of Slice of the Stuffed Crust Meat Lover’s pizza 520 calories, order this: Slice of the Fit n Delicious with ham, red onion and mushroom 160 calories

  46. Olive Garden Instead of Spaghetti & Meatballs 1,260 calories, order this: Linguine alla Marinara 550 calories

  47. Burger King Instead of TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich with mayo 790 calories, order this: 5-piece Chicken Tenders 210 calories Fit 4 Teaching July 7 2015

  48. Starbucks Instead of Grande Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee with whipped cream 380 calories, order this: Grande Skinny Mocha, no whipped cream 130 calories

  49. Subway Instead of Tuna 6-inch sub 530 calories, order this: Veggie Delite 6-inch sub 230 calories

  50. P.F. Chang’s Instead of Shrimp Lo Mein 1,135 calories, order this: Shrimp with Lobster Sauce 480 calories

Health Tips

By | Fit 4 Teaching, Healthy Foods, Workout | No Comments

The plank is one of the best moves for a hard core, even if it’s not the most exciting abs exercise. It forces your core to brace against potentially spine-injuring motion like rotation, flexion, and extension. The stronger you are in a plank position, the more weight you’ll be able to lift in every exercise.


Sleep: People who sleep fewer than six hours a night have a 50% increased risk of viral infections and increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep is also associated with mental decline and overeating. Half of men over 40 have trouble sleeping. If that’s you, create an environment where it’s easy to sleep. Dim the lights 15 minutes before you go to bed and wear loose-fitting clothing . . . or nothing.


You don’t need to completely eliminate dessert, indulge your sweet tooth in moderation. Try not to indulge immediately after dinner. Avoid sweets directly after a meal since sugar disrupts the absorption of nutrients. The best time for a sweet treat is about two hours after you finish your meal. And when it comes to what you eat, try dark chocolate. The flavonols found in cocoa improve circulation and increase blood flow to the brain, which helps you see more clearly.

The Jackson Heart Foundation

By | Fit 4 Teaching, Sponsors | No Comments

Our Mission:

To lead the fight against heart disease in our local community through education, prevention, and early detection.

Our Goals:

To promote and safeguard cardiovascular health for our community.

To empower people through education.

To encourage healthy lifestyles for our families.

The Jackson Heart Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in August 2009 with the mission to lead the fight against heart disease in our community through education, prevention, and early detection.

Mississippi is rated among the highest in the nation with incidences of cardiovascular disease. Based off of this statistic, we believe it is vital to the health and well-being of our citizens to educate and encourage healthy lifestyles for our families and to increase awareness among the public about heart disease prevention.

Our vision is a community where individuals live healthier and more productive lives because cardiovascular disease was prevented before it became a problem … a community where heart disease doesn’t affect each and every one of us.

Burn Fat Fast!

By | Fit 4 Teaching, Workout | No Comments

Trimming tap

Works butt, thighs Stand with feet hip-width apart, a resistance band around ankles. Squat with hands clasped at chest (as shown). With right heel, tap in front, return to center; tap to right, return to center; tap behind, tap right, return to center for one rep.

Do 15 reps.

Switch sides; repeat.

Super squat

Works arms, butt, thighs Stand with feet wide, toes turned out 45 degrees, a weight in each hand with arms down. Squat, then bend at hips until back is flat; return to squat. Stand as you curl weights to shoulders (as shown). Keeping weights near shoulders, point elbows toward ceiling, then straighten arms to bring weights directly overhead. Reverse arm sequence to return to start.

Do 15 reps.

Waist whittler

Works shoulders, abs, obliques

Start in a side plank with left wrist under shoulder, right hand behind head, elbow out; stack legs, left foot in front of right. Keeping abs tight, bend left knee toward chest as you draw right elbow toward knee (as shown). Return to start.

Do 15 reps.

Switch sides; repeat.

Get-lean lunge

Works shoulders, arms, butt, thighs

Stand with a stability ball pressed between your lower back and wall. Hold a weight in right hand, arm extended overhead, left hand on hip. Step forward with left foot and place sole of right foot flat against wall. Lunge until right knee hovers above floor as you bend right elbow, bringing weight toward shoulder (as shown). Return to start.

Do 15 reps.

Switch sides; repeat.

Saturday night slimmer

Works shoulders, abs, obliques, butt, legs

Stand with right foot about 2 feet in front of left, left heel lifted. Hold a weight in left hand, right hand on hip. Bend knees and lower torso to right thigh, reaching left hand to right foot. Stand as you pivot feet and torso forward, raising weight overhead on a diagonal (as shown). Reverse sequence to return to low lunge.

Do 15 reps.

Switch sides; repeat.

Crunch and punch

Works arms, shoulders, abs, obliques

Lie back on a stability ball, feet flat, holding a weight in each hand, elbows bent. Pull abs in and slowly crunch up several inches as you punch right, then left, rotating torso in direction of punch (as shown). Lower to start.


Do three sets of 15 reps.

Toning twist

Works arms, abs, obliques, butt, thighs

Start in a deep squat, holding one weight in both hands outside of right hip (as shown). Stand as you sweep weight across body to left and overhead to right while extending right leg to right side. Reverse sequence to return to start.

Complete 15 reps.

Switch sides; repeat.

Wall walker

Works chest, abs, butt, thighs, calves

Lie faceup in front of a wall with a weight in each hand, arms straight up, palms facing in. Place toes on wall, with knees bent and directly above hips, and raise butt off floor. Maintain hip lift as you draw left knee toward chest and open right arm to side (as shown). Return to start and repeat on opposite side for one rep.

Complete 15 reps.

10 Great Health Foods for Eating Well

By | Fit 4 Teaching, Healthy Foods | No Comments

Here are your best bets for eating well. These 10 health foods are some of the healthiest because they meet at least three of the following criteria:

  • Are a good or excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
  • Are high in phytonutrients and antioxidant compounds, such as vitamins A and E and beta carotene.
  • May help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions.
  • Are low in calorie density, meaning you get a larger portion size with a fewer number of calories.
  • Are readily available.


Why eat almonds? These tear-shaped nuts are packed with nutrients – fiber, riboflavin, magnesium, iron and calcium. In fact, almonds have more calcium than any other nut – 75 milligrams (mg) in one serving (about 23 almonds). Also, one serving of almonds provides half of your body’s Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin E. Like all nuts, almonds provide one of the best plant sources of protein. And they’re good for your heart. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated fat – a healthier type of fat that may help lower blood cholesterol levels.


Why eat apples? Apples are an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber that can lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fresh apples are also good sources of vitamin C – an antioxidant that protects your  body’s cells from damage. Vitamin C also helps form the connective tissue collagen, keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy, and aids in the absorption of iron.



Why eat blueberries? Blueberries are a rich source of plant compounds (phytonutrients). As with cranberries, phytonutrients in blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections. Blueberries may also improve short-term memory and promote healthy aging. Blueberries are also a low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin C – 1 cup of fresh blueberries has 84 calories, 3.6 grams of fiber and 14 mg of vitamin C.


Why eat broccoli? Besides being a good source of calcium, potassium, folate and fiber, broccoli contains phytonutrients – a group of compounds that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Broccoli is also a good source of vitamins A and C – antioxidants that protect your body’s cells from damage.

Red beans

Why eat red beans? Red beans – including small red beans and dark red kidney beans – are good sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and thiamin. They’re also an excellent low-fat, low-calorie source of protein and dietary fiber. Red beans also contain phytonutrients that may help prevent chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Why eat salmon? Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids – a type of fat that makes your blood less likely to form clots that may cause heart attacks. Omega-3s may also protect against irregular heartbeats that may cause sudden cardiac death, decrease triglyceride levels, decrease the growth of artery-clogging plaques, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke. In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein.



Why eat spinach? Spinach is high in vitamins A and C and folate. It’s also a good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and magnesium. The plant compounds in spinach may boost your immune system and may help keep your hair and skin healthy.

Sweet Potatoes

Why eat sweet potatoes? The deep orange-yellow color of sweet potatoes tells you that they’re high in the antioxidant beta carotene. Food sources of beta

carotene, which are converted to vitamin A in your body, may help slow the aging process and reduce the risk of some cancers. Sweet potatoes are also good sources of fiber, vitamins B-6, C and E, folate and potassium. And like all vegetables, they’re fat-free and relatively low in calories – one small sweet potato has just 54 calories.

Vegetable Juice

Why drink vegetable juice? Vegetable juice has most of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found in the original vegetables and is an easy way to include vegetables in your diet. Tomato juice and vegetable juices that include tomatoes are good sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that may reduce the risk of heart attack, prostate cancer and possibly other types of cancer. Some vegetable and tomato juices are very high in sodium, so be sure to select the low-sodium varieties.

Wheat Germ

Why eat wheat germ? At the center of a grain of wheat is the wheat germ – the part of the seed that’s responsible for the development and growth of the new plant sprout. Though only a small part of the wheat seed, the germ is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc. The germ also contains protein, fiber and some fat.