July 2, 2015

101 Summer Slimdown Hacks

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101 HEALTH HACKS

There’s just something about summer that makes you want to get more active and healthy.  Maybe it’s the warm weather (or maybe it’s because everyone wants to feel confident for swimsuit season.)  Whatever it is- summer is the perfect time to slim down and shed some pounds.  So today we’re sharing…

101 Health Hacks- The ULTIMATE Summer Slimdown Guide

Consider this your ULTIMATE 

Summer Slimdown Guide!  

 

From healthy snacks and meals to workout tips and weight loss tricks- we’ve included it all.  We’re even sharing our favorite fitness products and gear.  Since this is such a comprehensive list, we’ve divided it into categories to make browsing easier for you.  Below you’ll find…

 

  • 10 Healthy Summer Smoothies
  • 20 Healthy Summer Snacks
  • 10 Healthy Summer Salads
  • 10 Healthy {Oven-Free} Summer Dinners
  • 10 Healthy  Summer Treats
  • 10 Healthy Food Prep Tips
  • 10 Summer Workouts Tips
  • 10 Weight Loss Tips & Tricks
  • 11 of Our Favorite Fitness Products

 

So stop what you’re doing and pin this sucker right now.  (That way you’ll be able to find it easily whenever you need a healthy meal, a quick workout, or just some fitness motivation.)  Then come on back and start scrolling through the different sections to find your favorites.

Ready?!  First up…

 

Healthy Summer Smoothies

10 Healthy Summer Smoothies

My “health journey” started with smoothies.  After all, it’s a lot easier for me to sip on a yummy, cold drink than to try to make myself eat veggies that I don’t love.  I started with fresh fruit smoothies and then started trying different variations of green smoothies.  That was over 5 years ago and I’ve grown to love my salads and veggies- but I still love my smoothies!  My kids do too.  In fact, whenever we run out of spinach they are quick to remind me that we need to pick some up for our smoothies.   I discovered a long time ago that when I let them help me pick the ingredients or even the color of the smoothie- they are excited to drink it.  Sometimes they even ask if they can create their own smoothie recipe.  You can follow the “green smoothie formula” to make your own recipe, or try one of these ten tried and tested smoothie favorites.

Healthy Summer Smoothies

1.  Pink Power Smoothie– This is my girls’ favorite smoothie because it’s bright pink! They don’t even care that they’re drinking beets and celery because all they taste is the strawberries and apple.  Who said healthy smoothies have to be green?

2.  Apple Peach Carrot SmoothieThis smoothie is delicious and loaded with nutrients.  It’s a great way to sneak some veggies into your family’s diet too.  If your kids have a hard time with green smoothies, you might start with this one- since carrots are sweeter than greens.

3.  Golden Glow ElixirThis smoothie is one I’ve been wanting to try.  Doesn’t it just look so bright and happy?  It’s like drinking a glass of sunshine.  (You’ll need a high powered blender to get a good texture and consistency- otherwise I recommend juicing this one.)

4.  Mean Green Machine– Pack some power greens into a delicious smoothie.  This recipes calls for 4 cups of spinach and my kids slurp it right up!  All you need is pineapple juice, baby spinach, pineapple chunks, a granny smith apple and some ice.

5.  Blueberry Banana SmoothieThis tasty smoothie only calls for four ingredients:  blueberries, frozen bananas, almond milk, and almonds.  I love making this one during blueberry season.

Healthy Smoothie Recipes

6.  Sunrise Smoothie– This tropical tasting smoothie is a great way to start your day. All you need is frozen mixed berries, a frozen banana, an orange, and some vanilla greek yogurt.

7.  Strawberry Banana SmoothieStrawberry Banana is a tried and true classic!  I love switching things up and trying new and different recipes, but I always come back to this original as one of my very favorites.  (And of course it’s my girls love it too- because it’s pink!)

8.  Healthy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Smoothie– This smoothie doesn’t have any processed sugar (in fact it has a whole cup of spinach) but it still tastes like a Wendy’s frosty.  I use almond milk instead of water and the banana gives it a great consistency.

9.  Pineapple Mango Vitamin C Booster– This Vitamin-C packed smoothie is sweet, creamy, and citrusy.  Plus pineapple and mango is a fruit combination that I never tire of.  All you need is frozen pineapple and mango chunks (I like to buy the big bags of pre-cut frozen fruit), a banana, vanilla, and milk of your choice (I use almond milk).

10.  Protein Packed Blackberry Smoothie– This vibrant colored smoothie was the perfect way to use some of our blackberries this week.  And you don’t even need to throw in any protein powder if you don’t want to because there’s plenty in the greek yogurt.

Healthy Summer Snacks

20 Healthy Summer Slimdown Hacks

With the kids home from school sometimes the summertime snacking can get out of control.  But snacking doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  In fact, eating small snacks throughout the day is good for your metabolism- as long as you’re picking healthy, nutrient-rich snacks.  So stock your fridge and pantry with lots of healthy ingredients and options.  After all- it’s hard to eat junk food if it’s not around, and it’s a lot easier to eat healthy snacks when the fridge is full of them.  Here are 20 great ideas to get you started.

The first ten snacks are savory and the last ten are sweet.

Healthy Snack Ideas

11.  Meat & Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches Super easy and super yummy.  Just put slices of lunch meat and cheese between slices of cucumber.

12.  Avocado Toast– My husband grew up eating avocado toast but it was a new discovery to me when we got married.  We use whole wheat bread and it’s super filling.  (Sometimes we add sliced cheese on top too.)

13.  Zucchini Pizza BitesThese zucchini rounds are great for portion control and a fun & healthy finger food for the kids.  Plus they’re about a million times healthier than those frozen pizza rolls.

14.  Healthy Microwave Popcorn (Without the Bag)–  Did you know you can make your own microwave popcorn- without all that oil and butter?  You won’t believe how simple it is!

15.  Skinny Green PopcornThese soya beans are so much better for you than regular oily popcorn or potato chips, but you can still enjoy a bowl of cheesy, salty munchies to nibble on without guilt.

Healthy Snack Ideas

16.  Zucchini Parmesan Chips– The next time you have the urge to eat something savory, crispy, and crunchy- let these baked zucchini chips curb your deep-fried cravings. You won’t believe these easy crisps weigh in under 100 calories.

17.  Carrot Chips– These carrot chips only require three simple ingredients and are so easy to make.  Plus, they’re so much healthier than potato chips.

18.  Garlicky Parmesan & Rosemary Roasted Chickpeas– These are so easy to make and taste delicious.  And the best part is that you can use the same method with almost any flavor combination you want.  This recipe makes cheesy, garlicky, herb-roasted goodness.  But you could also do plain salted, cinnamon sugar, or even a spicy buffalo flavor.  The sky’s the limit.

19.  Veggies & Dip in a Jar– This is a great, on-the-go snack option.  Just fill the bottom of a mason jar with your favorite veggie dip or dressing than add in your veggie sticks for snacking.

20.  10-Minute Restaurant-Style Steamed Edamame– You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own steamed edamame.  All you need is a bag of edamame, salt, and water.  Nothing fancy, but it tastes divine.

Delicious Healthy Summer Snacks

21.  Almond Butter Banana Sandwich– When a banana alone won’t cut it, try making an open sandwich using your favorite nut butter, agave or honey, and toppings.

22.  Peanut Butter Banana Roll– All you need a whole wheat tortilla, some peanut butter, a banana, and mini chocolate chips for this yummy snack.

23.  Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries These are really yummy, plus they’re low calorie and high fiber.  Add in the protein from the greek yogurt and it’s a great option for a sweet treat.  (You can even leave out the berries and just make frozen yogurt dots.)

24.  Frozen Grapes or CherriesMy kids eat these like candy.  The iciness gives the fruit a sorbet-like consistency, and the sweetness will satisfy those sugar cravings.  Perfect for a hot, summer day.

25. Smoothie Popsicles– Turn your favorite summer smoothies into popsicles!  Whenever we make smoothies, we always seem to have a little leftover in the blender.  Instead of wasting it, we like to pour it in our popsicle molds for a cold dessert treat later in the day.  (Healthy chocolate smoothies make great fudgesicles too!)

Sweet Healthy Snacks

26.  Yogurt Pops– It doesn’t get any easier than this.  Just stick popsicle sticks into the tops of individual yogurt containers.  Then simply freeze for easy frozen yogurt pops.

27.  Chocolate Raspberries Sometimes you just need a little chocolate fix, but you don’t want to sabotage all your hard work by making (and eating) a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies.    These chocolate chip raspberries are a perfect healthy option to satisfy that chocolate craving!  And it doesn’t hurt that it’s a super quick and easy either.  (Another option is to melt a small handful of chocolate chips in the microwave for dipping strawberries.  It’s one of our favorite, easy date night treats.)

28.  Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites– You can use any kind of nut butter that you want to make these banana bites, and the frozen factor makes them perfect for summertime!

29.  Apple Cookies–  Just load up slices of apple with you favorite toppings- peanut butter, nutella, chocolate chips, and slivered almonds all work great.  My girls love making these with me.  Their favorite thing to do is stack up the slices to make “triple-layer” cookies.

30.  Healthy, Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips– These baked apple chips are easy to make at home, plus they’re healthy, cheap, easy, and totally delicious.

Healthy Summer Salads

10 Healthy Summer Salads

When we started changing our eating habits we started eating a LOT of salad.  Don’t get me wrong- I love salad- but I also get bored really easy.  So I started searching Pinterest to find fresh, new salad recipes to add some fun and variety to our healthy menu planning.  I was amazed at how many different, delicious variations there are to choose from!  Eating healthy doesn’t have to be bland or boring!  Have fun with it.  Try combining different fruits, veggies, meats, nuts, cheeses, and dressings and see what new concoctions you can come up with.  Here are ten of my “gotta-try” favorites to get you started.

Healthy Summer Salads

31.  Rainbow Chicken Salad with Almond Honey Mustard Dressing– This is one of my kids’ favorite salads.  It’s full of lots of juicy fresh fruit, tangy feta cheese, and the salad dressing is finger-licking good.  It’s made with almond butter so it’s super smooth and creamy too!

32.  Asian-Style Cobb Salad with a Sesame Vinaigrette– Mandarin oranges, hard-boiled eggs, green onions, avocado, carrots, chicken- what’s not to like?  It’s basically an Asian-style party in your mouth.  The sesame vinaigrette completes it perfectly too!

33.  Harvest Cobb Salad with a Poppyseed Dressing–  From the crispy bacon to the crunchy apples, pears, and pecans- I love everything about this salad.  The creamy poppyseed dressing is pretty decadent too!  The sugar and bacon make this salad a little bit of a splurge, but I decided that I’d rather eat some extra calories to help me enjoy my veggies and fruits than on junk food or baked goodies.

34.  Pomegranate, Pear, Pistachio Salad with Pomegranate Dressing –   This salad is SO addictingly delicious! Sweet pomegranate arils, pears, apples, crunchy cucumbers and peppers complimented by salty roasted pistachios and pepitas all topped with a creamy pomegranate dressing.

35.  Broccoli Apple Salad– Now this is how you enjoy your broccoli!  Pecans, cranberries, carrots, onions, and apples- there are so many delicious flavors and textures!  Did I mention the creamy dressing on top is to die for?!  If you couldn’t tell yet- I’m all about the dressing.

Favorite Healthy Salads

36.  Spinach Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette– Summer is strawberry season and the perfect time to make this delicious salad.  I love the flavors of the berries mixed with the gorgonzola cheese and toasted pecans.  You can use fresh bacon or even bacon bits will work in a pinch.  (I always have a bag of real bacon bits handy for salads.)

37.  Southwest Pepper Jack Salad with Avocado Salsa Dressing–  This recipe will get you craving salad!  It’s loaded with black beans, red bell peppers, tomatoes, fresh corn, pepitas, Pepper Jack cheese, and topped off with a creamy avocado salsa dressing.  You can add in some tortilla strips for a little something extra or leave them off if you prefer.

38. BBQ Chicken Ranch Salad–  This is my favorite salad to order when we eat out and it’s even better when you make it yourself.  (Then you can add extra your favorite ingredients.)  This is the recipe I used to get my oldest daughter to love salads!  I let her help me make it and it worked like a charm.

39.  Blueberry Chicken Chopped Salad with a Dijon Vinaigrette We went blueberry picking this summer and so I had to give this recipe a try- it was a hit.  It’s a great mixture of savory, sweet, and tangy and it held up great in the fridge after a couple of days- even with the dressing on top.

40.  Quinoa & Berries Barbecue Chicken Salad– If you like BBQ sauce on your salad you’ve got to try this version.  The added berries and quinoa give it a totally new and delicious flavor.  This post even has vegan options you might want to check out.

Healthy {Oven-Free} Summer Dinners

10 Healthy Oven-Free Summer Dinners

I don’t know about you, but on really hot summer days the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven.   So I’m always on the hunt for oven-free dinners that are both healthy AND delicious.  When I’m not making a salad, I especially love using my slow cooker in the summer.  These are ten of our favorite, healthy oven-free dinners!

Healthy Crockpot Dinners

41.  Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Bake– If you haven’t jumped on the quinoa bandwagon yet, you really ought to give it a try.  It’s a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains and it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source.  We eat a lot of quinoa these days, but this is one of my very favorite ways to eat it.  It’s super easy to prep and with all that enchilada flavor, the kids gobble it up.  

42.  Crockpot Seasoned Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans– This one is a classic and super easy to throw together.  With very little prep-time you can have a complete, healthy meal cooking in the crockpot and waiting for you when dinner time arrives.

43.  Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup– This healthy soup is SO easy to prepare. The only chopping is with the sweet potatoes. But once those are peeled and chopped into small pieces, it’s pretty much just throwing the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker and waiting for it to do its magic!

44.  Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas– These chicken fajitas are full of flavor and the slow cooker really makes the chicken tender.  You can serve them with whole wheat tortillas or pour it over rice or quinoa to make a delicious fajita bowl.

45.  Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps– These lettuce wraps are like the ones you can order at P.F. Changs, and you won’t believe how simple the recipe is.  It makes a lot so you’ll even have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.

Healthy Summer Dinners

46.  Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell PeppersThese peppers are stuffed with quinoa, black beans, corn, and salsa for tons of flavor.  Just put them together in the morning and forget about them until dinner.

47.  Stuffed Sweet Potatoes– No need to turn on your oven for this quick dinner!  Just cook your sweet potatoes in the microwave, then slice them open and stuff them with this Chipotle Black Bean & Corn Salad.  If that’s not enough, you can whip up a very quick and delicious vinaigrette with lime juice, lime zest, honey, and chipotle and pour it over the whole thing.  Yum!

48.  Southwestern Spaghetti Squash– It only takes about 15 minutes to cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave.  Then you can top if off with chipotle peppers, cilantro, and quest fresco cheese.  Sometimes we’ll even heat up some spaghetti sauce in the microwave to top it off.

49.  Cranberry Cherry Chicken Wrap– When it’s really hot outside and you just want a something light, and cool for dinner- this chicken wrap hits the spot.  It comes together really quickly too!

50.  Burrito Bowl with Creamy Chipotle Sauce–  I always have a big bowl of cooked rice in the fridge so I can just warm it up and throw together easy meals like this one.  If you want, you can even make the chipotle sauce beforehand to make dinnertime even easier.  Just pull everything out of the fridge and it’s ready to assemble.

Healthy Summer Treats

10 Healthy Summer Treats

It’s fairly easy to find healthy lunch and dinner options, but sweet treats are a little harder to find.  Luckily for you- we did the searching for you.  Here are 10 guilt-free treats for those times when you just need a little something sweet without totally blowing your healthy eating plan.

Healthy Treats and Desserts

51.  5-Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt– One of the hardest parts of healthy eating for me is getting over my ice cream obsession.  That’s why I LOVE this healthy option for a yummy frozen treat.  It uses honey or agave nectar instead of sugar, so you can enjoy a delicious treat completely guilt-free. (Or try this healthy peach frozen yogurt.)

52.  Chocolate Mousse Filled Strawberries– Would you believe that these decadent mousse filled strawberries are made using ingredients like silken tofu, chickpeas, and dates?  I don’t generally cook with those ingredients but these look so amazing- I think I have to try it.

53.  Chocolate Peanut Butter Apples Bites– These apple bites and healthy and filling, but the creamy peanut butter and chocolate drizzle makes them feel like a special dessert.  I could eat these all day.

54.  Apple Nachos– If you like the apple bites, then you’ll love these apple nachos too!  It feels like a decadent treat, but this fruity dessert is so much healthier than your typical sugary, processed dessert. 

55.  Dulce QuesadillaStrawberries, bananas, chocolate, and peanut butter- all heated together into melty goodness.  What’s not to like?!

Healthy Dessert Ideas

56.  N0-Bake Quinoa Crumble Bars– If you like granola bars, here’s a healthy option for you.  And you don’t even have to bake it!

57.  Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares– These Strawberry Oat Squares are like Strawberry Nutrigrain Bars- only healthier (and better.)  There’s only 1 tablespoon of sugar plus they have no butter or oil and are made with 100% good for you ingredients.

58.  Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt– Turn your regular greek yogurt into a sweet treat.  Just add 1 tbsp. of creamy peanut butter, 1 tsp. of honey, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 tbsp. of miniature chocolate chips and a dash of sea salt.

59.  Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal CookiesYou’re not going to believe this but, there is no oil, no flour, no eggs and no added sugar in these cookies!  The longer they sit- the better they taste too.

60.  Healthy Chocolate Muffins– These healthy chocolate muffins use applesauce and greek yogurt and don’t have any processed sugar.  Now, they’re not exactly chocolate cupcakes- but it’s a great healthy option when you’re craving some chocolate.

Healthy Food Prep Tips

10 Healthy Food Prep Tips

We’ve learned a lot about health and fitness over the last couple of years, but I think this has probably been the biggest game changer for us.  When life gets busy it’s really easy to fall off of the healthy bandwagon.  (We should know, we’ve done it a lot.)  But we’ve discovered that when we take one day each week to prep our food for the week- we have SO much more success.  Then when our schedule is packed (and there is no way I have time to cook something nutritious for dinner), we don’t resort to the drive-through or easy packaged meals.  Because it’s already set to go for us in the fridge.  Yes, it takes a little planning, but trust me- it will change your life!

Healthy Food Prep Tips

61. Prepare Fruit Snack Bags– Fill sandwich bags with fruit for easy grab-and-go snacks.  It’s perfect for when the kids are complaining that they’re hungry between meals or for a healthy option when you need to grab something before running out the door for errands or appointments.  (Besides, if you don’t bring a healthy snack in the car, you just might be tempted to stop at the drive-in.)

62.  Prepare Containers of Sliced Veggies– Slice up some carrots, celery, bell peppers, or other veggies for easy grab-and-go snacking.  Instead of putting them in the veggie drawer of the fridge (where you’re less likely to see them and more likely to forget about them)- store them in the door of the fridge.  Jen up-cycled Crystal Light containers for her veggies- smart!

63.  Pre-Chop Your Lettuce for Salads–  When dinner time rolls around, it’s super easy to throw together a quick salad if you already have everything chopped and ready to go in the fridge.  We go through our lettuce pretty quickly (and we have a food prep day every week) so we just wash it, chop it all up, and keep it in a plastic bowl with a tight-fitting lid.   But here’s a great post about how to store your lettuce to make it last longer if you don’t want to go shopping as often.

64.  Pre-Cook Your Meat for the WeekInstead of cooking chicken every night, we like to bake a bunch of chicken breasts all at once that we can use throughout the week for our salads and dinners.  Sure- you can buy bags of pre-cooked and sliced chicken at the store if you want, but this is so much cheaper and it’s really easy.

65.  Fool-Proof Oven-Baked Brown Rice– Every week, as part of my food prep, I like to make a big batch of brown rice to keep in the fridge.  That way when lunch or dinner comes around, I can just scoop some and warm it up for a healthy side.  And this oven-baked method is SO easy!  I always double it and use a 9×13-inch pan.   (We also like to make a big batch of quinoa for the week.)

Healthy Meal Prep

66.  Make a Batch of Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven We like having hard boiled eggs on hand for our salads to add some variety and they’re also great for an easy, healthy snack.  You can boil a pot on the stove or try the oven method using a muffin tin.

67.  Healthy Mason Jar SaladsWe try to keep all the ingredients for a mini salad bar in our fridge, but sometimes we like to make prepared mason jar salads too.  They make great lunches for my husband to take to work, and I like using them myself when it’s a crazy day at home and I don’t have a lot of time to cook.

68.  DIY Freezer Smoothie Kits– Create your own individual serving smoothie bags.  It makes it so convenient for busy mornings.  All you have to do each morning is grab a bag from the freezer, empty it into the blender, add the liquid, and breakfast is ready in less than a minute.

69.  Healthy Crockpot Freezer MealsWe don’t do this one every week, but we try to prep some healthy freezer meals about once a month.  In about two hours (or less if you have help) you can prep twelve healthy freezer meals for the crockpot.  Then when you’re having a busy day, all you have to do is dump it in the crockpot and you’re good to go.  It really is a life-saver when schedules get crazy.

70.  Fill Up a Healthy Snack DrawerFill a drawer in your fridge and pantry with healthy snacks (and get rid of the junk food!)  You’ll eat what’s in your house- so make sure you’re prepared with healthy snacks that you enjoy.  Cottage cheese, nuts, string cheese, apple sauce, and yogurt are all good options besides your fruit and veggies.

Summer Workouts Tips

10 Summer Workout Tips

Okay, now that we’ve covered the healthy eating- let’s move on to exercise.  You can lose weight with healthy eating alone, but you need exercise to get healthy, fit, and toned.  Plus it’s great for relieving stress.  I’m always in a happier mood after I workout and burn off some stress.  My roommate used to always say, “Don’t be moody- move that booty!”  Ha ha- I love it.  Here are ten tips for your summer workouts.

Free Workout Calendars and Exercise Programs

71.  Popsicle Stick Workout– If you struggle with getting active and moving more- here’s a fun tip using popsicle sticks.  Just write down different exercises on each popsicle stick and stick them in a cup. Then, whenever you get a free minute- pull one out, do the exercise, and move it to a different cup labeled “done.”  Set a goal to do 10 popsicle sticks by the end of the day- or try to do them all if you want.  If it’s broken down into individual exercises it often seems less overwhelming.

72.  Sworkit App You don’t need to go to the gym to get in a great workout.  Did you know that you can download the Sworkit Lite App for free and easily plan customized workouts?  It lets you choose how long you want to workout, what type of exercises you want to do, and even lets you set how long of a break you’d like between each exercise so you don’t fall behind.  It’s great for fitting in exercise during naptime or whenever you have some free time.  If you try it out and like it, I definitely recommend checking out Sworkit Pro.

73.  Blogilates Workout Calendar–  If you’re ever on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen Cassey Ho and her Blogilates workout videos.  But did you know that she has free monthly workout calendars?!  (Very similar to our love calendars.)  You can get started with her beginners workout calendar and then if you subscribe to her newsletter, you’ll get a new calendar each month.  Awesome, right?  She also has an app you can check out.

74.  Do a 30 Day Challenge– Cassey also has fun calendars for different 30 day challenges.  You can choose from her Flat Abs Challenge, her Butt Lift Challenge, her Thigh Slimming Challenge, or her Sleek Arms Challenge.  And if that’s not enough, Pinterest is always full of 30 Day Workout Challenges.

75.  Follow a Couch to 5K Running Calendar– Anyone can be a runner, it just takes training and dedication.  The couch to 5K program is a great way to get started. You can always try this Couch to 5K app, too!

Free Workouts

76.  Order a Challenge Pack– If you’re really serious about shedding some weight or just committed to getting healthier- you might want to invest in your health and order a Beachbody challenge pack and join a challenge group.  Remember the challenge group that we did in February?  Well, I lost 14 pounds and my husband lost 18!  I love that there are so many different workout programs to choose from and being a part of the challenge group was exactly what we needed to keep ourselves accountable.  In fact, I just joined another challenge group for the 21 Day Fix to keep myself motivated.  (Let me know in the comments if you wanna join in!)

77.  Elliptical WorkoutsClick on the link for 13 different elliptical workouts to whip you into shape.  These workout pages are great to print and take to the gym or just pull them up on your phone.  Just browse through and pick which workout you want to try based on the amount of time you have.

78.  Treadmill Workouts– If you have a treadmill at home (or a gym membership) pull up one of these treadmill workouts and get moving!  And if you’re really up for a challenge- try this Treadmill Shredmill workout.

79.  Weight Lifting Routines– If you want to get started lifting weights, this is a great place to start.  They have printable workout routines, free trainers, eating programs, and everything you could ever want or need.

80.  YouTube Workout Videos– I love my workout videos, but now because of YouTube there’s even more options!  Have you seen all the awesome workout videos on there?  Check out these 21 free workout videos.  And then if you’re ready for more- check out the top 13 personal trainers on YouTube.

Weight Loss Tips & Tricks

10 Tips & Tricks for Weight Loss

Okay, we’ve gone over nutrition and exercise- now how about some quick weight loss tips and tricks to get you started dropping the pounds.

Weight Loss Tips

81.  Track Your Water–  Drinking water is such an important part of health and weight loss.  You would think it would be the easiest thing, but in our workout challenge group we actually discovered that it was the thing that most people in the group were struggling with.  You might be surprised what a difference it makes for you.  Easier weight loss, less headaches, and better digestion are just a few of the benefits.  These detox timer water bottles are a great way to track your water intake throughout the day.  Or try the Absorb Water App.

82.  Get More Sleep Most people know that getting quality sleep is important for your health, but did you know it can be a big factor in your weight loss (or lack thereof?)  Researchers at Columbia University found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are heavier, gain more weight over time, and have a harder time losing weight!  So make sure you’re getting between 7-8 hours of sleep each night.  (Now that’s a weight loss program I’m willing to work on!)

83.  Keep Your Fruits & Veggies Accessible Instead of keeping your fruits and vegetables hidden away in the fruit and veggie drawers in the fridge- keep them somewhere accessible.  We bought a fruit basket and we always keep it full on the kitchen counter or dining room table.  Not only am eating more fruit, but the kids are too!  And whenever they ask for snacks, I tell them to get something healthy from the basket.  We also moved our vegetables from the fridge drawer to the fridge shelves.  I’m just more likely to grab them if I can see them.

84.  Divide Your Dinner Plate Pay attention to how you fill up your dinner plate. Proper proportions make a big difference in your health and weight loss.  Aim to fill it up half way full with vegetables first, then split the remaining half between your proteins and starches.

85.  Cut Out SugarSugar is biiiig problem in our country, just look at the statistics.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I have a HUGE sweet tooth.  Sweets have always been my weakness.  But you’d be amazed what a game changer this one can be!  I was working out and trying to eat healthier, but I didn’t see real results in how I felt until I cut out the sugar.  Suddenly I was having less headaches, feeling a lot less moody, and waking up with energy.  Now that doesn’t mean that I never have sweets- but I try to limit it to once a week.  It’s crazy hard at first, but it gets easier.  And remember, just because you fall off the bandwagon- doesn’t mean you can’t hop back on.  This isn’t a quick-fix, fad diet- it’s a lifestyle and it’s a learning process.  

Weight Loss Tips and Motivation

86.  Get Organized– If you’re struggling with your health and weight loss journey, then it’s time to get organized and set some goals to help keep you on track.  Our friend, Mique, has great Fitness & Health Binder printables that are perfect to get you started.  There’s a sheet to track your measurements, food journaling pages, and even printables to help with healthy meal planning.  If you want to find success, you’ve got to make it a priority.  I started putting my daily workouts and meal planning on my to-do list.  Yeah, there’s no real deadline like some of my other assignments, but it’s just as important!  Actually- it’s more important.  You only get one body to live in, so make time for yourself.

87.  Set Up a Visual Motivator– Aren’t these weight loss jars great?  Every time you lose a pound, you get to move one of the marbles from the “pounds to lose” jar to the “pounds lost” jar.  There’s just something motivating about seeing your progress.  I have a friend who uses dollar bills instead of marbles.  She made herself a little “sweat stash” and every time she works out, she gets to add a dollar to the jar.  Then she spends the money to treat herself to something fun.

88.  Invest in Your Health & FitnessNo, getting healthy doesn’t have to be inexpensive, but don’t be afraid to spend some money on yourself.  Your health is worth it.  Besides, you’re more likely to value something when you’ve invested in it.  Maybe that means buying some new workout clothes and running shoes to get you motivated, or maybe it means purchasing a new workout program that you’re excited about it.  Obviously you don’t want to do more than you can afford, but it’s a good idea to evaluate what you’re currently spending your money on and if see if you need to make adjustments.

89.  Surround Yourself with Supporters–  Getting healthy can be a hard journey, and sometimes it’s tempting to just give up.  That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with supporters.  Hopefully you have family and friends who are encouraging you in your health goals, but even if you don’t- you can choose to surround yourself with positivity.  Follow social media pages that are health and fitness oriented so you’ll see daily reminders and motivators in your newsfeed.  Join a challenge group for extra support.  There are even apps, like PumpUp, that connect you to a fitness community where you can motivate and encourage each other.

90.  Take “Before” PicturesI know, taking a “before” picture is not fun.  But just do it.  You don’t have to show it to anyone- keep it for yourself.  It’s a great motivator later on to be able to look back and see how far you’ve come.  Sometimes weight loss is a slow process, and it’s easy to get caught up with a number on the scale.  But the scale doesn’t tell the whole story.  And when you can see the difference in yourself in a picture- it’s a great feeling.

Our Favorite Fitness Products

Our Favorite Fitness Gear and Products

If you’re looking to invest in yourself and your health, then you need to check out these eleven products- they’re our fitness faves!

Favorite Fitness Products and Gear

91.  Victoria’s Secret Sports Bras– It’s really hard to find a good quality sports bra these days, but we’re loving the Victoria Secret sports line.  There are so many different styles and options and the quality is great.  (They also have a wide selection of workout pants, capris, and shorts and, of course, matching workout tops.  I like to shop their sales.)

92.  Lululemon Headbands– These headbands are awesome at keeping your bangs back and hair away from your face while working out.  Yes, they’re a little pricey for a headband but they’re totally worth it for the quality.

93.  Nike Free Running Shoes These are my favorite workout shoes.  They’re crazy comfortable, very high quality, and come in lots of fun, bright colors.  My husband laughs at me, but cute shoes totally motivate me to workout.

94.  Athleta Workout WearAthleta’s workout clothes are great quality and very comfortable.  They’re definitely on the pricey end, but they last forever.  (If you’re shopping on a budget, we’re also fans of Target’s activewear.)

95.  Anti-Slip Yoga Mat– This yoga mat is extremely high quality, ultra durable, and also comes with a yoga mat carrier.  The cute colors are just an added bonus.  It’s great for yoga, pilates, or really any floor exercises.

Favorite Fitness Products

96.  Fitbit Flex– The fitbit really is a great tool to get you motivated to be more active.  It tracks steps, distance, and calories burned- and it even monitors how long and well you sleep.  (You can even get fitbit replacement bands in all sorts of fun colors.)

97.  Fit Journal– This pretty fit journal is a great way to track your progress.  It has pages to log your food intake, workout logs, grocery list pages, measurement pages, motivational quotes, and even a place for your before and after pictures.

98.  FlipBelt If you’re a runner, you’ll love the FlipBelt.  It’s perfect for holding your car keys, cell phone, and some cash while you run.

99.  Wireless Earphones– Music makes every workout better and these earphones are great.  They’re lightweight, comfortable, stay in place while running, and are great for women with small ears (like me.)

100.  Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells– If you do any weight-lifting at all, then you NEED to check out Bowflex’s SelectTech Adjustable Dumbbells.  It’s basically 15 sets of weights in one, so you don’t have to have multiple sets of dumbbells all over the place.  Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds!  We invested in these a couple of years ago when they were on sale at Christmas time and both my husband and I love them!  Actually, everyone that I’ve talked to that uses them loves them.

101.  Weight Lifting Gloves– These weight lifting gloves are specifically designed for women, and the best part is- they’re 100 percent machine washable and dryable.  (Which comes in handy with all that sweat.)

Did we miss any of your favorite fitness products?  Let us know in the comments.  We love finding new tried and true products!

Phew!  And there you have it- over 100 health hacks to help you slim down this summer!  

For more ideas to get moving- make sure to check out our 50 Healthy and Active Date Ideas.  It’s full of fun ideas to “get physical” with your sweetheart.

50 fun active dates

 Hope you have a happy HEALTHY summer!

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