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    10 Weight Loss Myths, According to a Registered Dietitian

    As a registered dietitian, I’ve seen and heard my fair share of diet and weight loss myths. Especially during this time of year when goal setting, weight loss, and overall health are on everyone’s minds, it can be challenging to discern fact from fiction. And with technology at our fingertips, there are many sources of information that are simply more harmful than helpful. So while I always recommend considering the source, I don’t think reading research papers is necessarily anyone’s idea of a good time—which is why part of my job is to break down these myths in order to help others achieve their health and wellness goals. Read on for the 10 weight loss myths I hear most often as a registered dietitian and how to actually achieve your goals.

    Myth #1: Losing weight is a linear process
    Anyone who has ever tried to intentionally lose weight, whether it be to improve their overall health or simply to feel more confident in their own skin, knows that the journey is a classic case of Instagram vs. reality. Weight loss relies on a variety of factors and is really more of a jagged up-and-down than a straight line. I’ve seen first hand how discouraged individuals can feel when they’re doing their best and the scale is not going in the “right” direction. If this is the case for you, remember that it’s about the steps to get there rather than the end goal. Cliché, I know, but making small, sustainable changes will result in lasting habits in the long run. 

    Myth #2: You need to be in a large caloric deficit
    Whenever someone tells me they are trying to eat 1,200 calories or less per day in order to lose weight, alarm bells immediately ring in my head. For the average adult, 1,200 calories is way below your daily needs, yet we have been conditioned to think that eating less automatically means we will lose more weight. In reality, eating too few calories can actually stall weight loss and cause you to miss out on key micronutrients from food sources. The truth is, every individual requires a certain amount of calories to maintain normal body functions (you can calculate your daily caloric needs here). For most people, a modest deficit of even 200 calories per day can help achieve sustainable weight loss, but it’s more important to focus on the quality of your food than the calories. As always, speak with your health care provider prior to beginning any sort of weight loss journey.

    Myth #3: Fat makes you fat
    If you’ve been around as long as I have (which admittedly isn’t that long), you may remember the peak of low-fat food labels in the ’90s (Snackwell cookies, anyone?). The low-fat frenzy took the ’90s by storm and had everyone believing that eating excess fat would, in fact, make you fat. In truth, fat alone doesn’t cause weight gain. It is an important macronutrient that the body needs for nutrient absorption and hormone production. Additionally, poly and mono-unsaturated fats have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower LDL cholesterol. So when it comes to looking out for your overall health, opt for those heart-healthy, unsaturated fats found in foods such as avocados, walnuts, flax seeds, and salmon.  

    Myth #4: All calories are equal
    By definition, calories are a measurement of energy. All foods (even healthy options) contain calories. So in essence, all calories are equal as a measurement in a lab, but what calories do to your body is very different. I’ll spare you the science lesson and just say that every food goes through different metabolic processes, which affect your overall metabolism, hormones, hunger/fullness levels, and weight. When it comes to losing weight, whole, fibrous foods and lean protein will put your gut to work (in a good way!), resulting in a metabolism boost. 
    Myth #5: You need to eat more protein to lose weight
    Admittedly, this isn’t totally false. Protein is an important macronutrient that helps keep us full, build lean muscle mass, and repair tissues. And some research has shown that increasing the amount of protein in your diet can lead to weight loss. But these days, there is so much confusion around how much protein you actually need. While a general rule of thumb is to aim for .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, don’t go pulling out your calculator just yet. The amount of protein you need can vary significantly depending on your physical activity level, age, gender, or if you’re pregnant and/or breastfeeding. So instead of focusing on grams and percentages, opt for adding nutrient-dense, lean protein sources into your meals and snacks like eggs, legumes, tofu, fish, and chicken. 

    Myth #6: Weight loss supplements will help you lose weight—fast
    Supplements are exactly like they sound: a supplement to your overall diet. As a dietitian, I always recommend food first and supplements to fill in the gaps. There’s no shame in taking daily vitamins or minerals to help promote your overall health (hello, vitamin D), but I often see people falling victim to weight loss supplement claims. There’s the old saying of, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” So before you buy the skinny tea, keep in mind that at best, it won’t replace eating whole foods. At worst, it could be damaging to your body.

    Myth #7: Carbs make you fat
    Is butter a carb? No. Do carbs make you fat? Also no. For decades, we have been taught to demonize foods such as white bread, pasta, pastries, etc. And I am here to say that carbs are not the enemy. No one food, or macronutrient, is responsible for weight gain. In fact, your body needs carbs to produce energy for your cells. You may be wondering, “Why is eating low-carb so trendy then?” Currently, there are studies that have exemplified how eating a lower-carb diet can aid in weight loss.
    However, when people are successful with “low-carb” diets, that’s usually because they’re cutting out sugary or processed foods and not because whole carbohydrates can cause weight gain. That being said, nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so what works for some may not work for others. When it comes to eating carbs in your diet, I recommend opting for fruits and veggies, whole grains, and legumes. These will help keep your blood sugar stable while optimizing overall health. 

    Myth #8: Healthier foods are more expensive
    For many people, a barrier to achieving health and weight loss goals lies within their financial constraints. Walk into any grocery store and it’s easy to see why choosing healthy foods can seem financially unattainable. Fortunately, choosing foods to achieve your health goals without compromising your budget is attainable. When shopping for produce, don’t forget about frozen and canned goods. Both are budget-friendly options and are just as nutrient-dense. However, I recommend choosing low-sodium or no-salt-added canned goods.
    For fresh produce, check and see if your local store has an “ugly” or slightly damaged section, which includes fresh produce at a reduced cost (a few bruises doesn’t mean less nutrient value). Grain staples such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta are great items to base meals around while typically being cheaper in cost. Lastly, protein sources such as canned tuna, frozen chicken breasts, or canned legumes are easy ways to get more bang for your buck.

    Myth #9: You have to give up your favorite foods
    When I tell people I’m a dietitian, they often assume I only eat “healthy” foods and I’m going to police their plate too. The same goes for clients wanting to lose weight. I’ve had so many people tell me they’ll never be able to eat pizza and lose weight or that they shouldn’t enjoy their favorite dessert because it will ruin their progress. Luckily, this is completely untrue. I always remind clients that all foods fit and you can definitely enjoy that dessert while also choosing foods that supply your body with sustained energy. The key is not to take away from your meals but instead add nutrient-rich options. An example of this could be eating a side salad with your Friday night pizza. This creates a better balance for your body while also bringing joy to your life. 

    Myth #10: It’s all or nothing
    Akin to giving up favorite foods, many clients believe they have to go “all in” or cut out all processed foods and exercise seven days a week in order to be successful with weight loss. Having an all-or-nothing mentality leads to burnout and can make us feel as if we are lazy, a failure, or have no willpower (not true, by the way). So what really works when it comes to mindset? Some of the very first things I ask when someone tells me they want to lose weight are, “What is your ‘why?’ Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to feel strong in your body, have more energy, or run around with your kids?”
    Whatever the reason, this is the inspiration and motivation that you will keep coming back to to achieve your goal(s). In the end, it is not about having a lack of willpower or being lazy, it is about understanding your “why” and how to make meaningful changes to your daily habits and routines to live into your “why.” If you are struggling to find your why, ask yourself: How would losing weight make me feel? What does my healthiest self, physically and mentally, look like? What are my values or what do I value?

    Small, Easy Changes to Make If You Want to Lose Weight More

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    What You Should Add to Your Wellness Routine, Based on Your Enneagram

    The new year is a great time to reassess your wellness routine and figure out how to best nurture your most important asset: your well-being. Whether you set resolutions or not, this time of year serves as an important reset for identifying what your mind and body actually need to be healthy—and what better way to find out than by asking your Enneagram? In other words, rather than adding everything under the sun to your self-care list (a recipe for burnout!), we’ve narrowed down what may resonate best based on your Enneagram type for further personalization.
    With this added layer of awareness, you can nourish your needs on a deeper level and give yourself the self-care you’ve been craving. As an Enneagram coach, I believe that your Type can offer a lot of insight into what your mind and body really need (because self-care should be totally personalized), so I talked with Giselle Wasfie, a doctor of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, about how to incorporate these practices into your routine. Read on to find out what wellness practice you should try in 2022 based on your Enneagram. 

    Meet the expert
    Giselle Wasfie, L.Ac., Dipl. OM, MSTOM, DACM,
    Doctor of East Asian Medicine and Acupuncture
    Giselle is a nationally board-certified acupuncturist and herbalist and doctor of traditional East Asian medicine. Giselle is also the founder of REMIX Acupuncture + Integrative Health, which is based in Chicago.

    Splurge on more massages or try self-massage
    Type Ones are rational, disciplined, and hardworking. They also put a lot of pressure on themselves to do things right and to do things well. Because of their perfectionistic tendencies, they may have a hard time relaxing and can experience tight shoulders and neck muscles as a result. Wellness practices like massages or cupping are important to reduce stored tension. Cupping is an ancient therapy that can be especially beneficial for Ones. “It takes the weight off your shoulders both literally and spiritually, allowing you to let go of pressure and move through the world with more ease and lightness,” Wasfie explained. Getting regular massages not in your budget (because same)? Try a self-massage by picking your favorite essential oil and working through any tight spots on your neck and shoulders before bed or when you need a reset.

    Eat more mindfully
    Twos are caring and big-hearted, tending to push their needs aside to be there for others. Being mindful about eating habits can help Twos prioritize their own well-being and receive nourishment when they give so much. We’re all guilty of scarfing down a quick lunch when there are important things going on, and Twos might find themselves doing this quite often or might overindulge in sweets and comfort foods because they’re not giving themselves comfort in other ways. Try to eat more mindfully by looking at each meal or snack as a meditation: close the laptop, put down your phone, and spend time enjoying each bite. Also try more principles of intuitive eating like treating food as self-care or identifying engrained food rules.

    Use breathwork when you feel stressed
    Threes are ambitious and adaptable. While pursuing their many goals, they can also overwork themselves and seek approval. Taking a (literal) breather from the hustle helps this fast-paced type stay grounded and connect with themselves so they can make sure they’re pursuing what’s right for them. There are many types of breathing exercises you can do throughout the day. Before a big meeting or presentation, you might try the 4-7-8 breathing technique or alternate nostril breathing to help slow down and relax the body. Or if you’re in the midst of a stressful situation or frustrated by something, box breathing can be a good strategy to help you calm down before you react. 

    Experiment with crystal healing
    Four Types are self-aware and sensitive, and they can get lost in their own emotional world. Crystal healing not only plays to their love of aesthetics, but it also inspires peace and balance when things feel overwhelming. You can use crystals in a variety of ways, including holding them in your hand when you need support or placing them on your desk or yoga mat to draw from their many healing properties. “Crystals can be an expression of emotions and desires, so they can especially help Type Fours express their emotions or find balance,” Wasfie said. As for where to start if you’re a newbie to crystals, she recommended clear quartzes, as they don’t retain any negative energy and can help Fours see the big picture more clearly. 

    Improve your sleep-care
    Fives are curious and cerebral, but they also need lots of alone time to recharge their batteries. Because they can get “in their heads” and over-rely on facts and logic, self-care is all about recharging and relaxing, and quality sleep can help them not only feel their best but also find balance. Focus your energy on sleep-care by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, have a go-to bedtime routine that helps you totally unwind from a busy day (a bath, yoga stretches, a lighthearted read, etc.), and check in with your doctor if you’re having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling well-rested during the day (because being an active patient is a key part of your wellness routine too!). 

    Try more confidence-boosting workouts
    Sixes are loyal and hardworking, but they tend to worry a lot about the future. To combat some of their worst-case-scenario thinking, a confidence-boosting workout can help them feel more in control. Confidence looks different to everyone, but think of a workout that pushes you while still feeling fun, like jogging an extra mile, going to a Zumba class, or trying more challenging yoga poses. Exercise is known to boost self-esteem and resilience and even promote mental clarity, and since Sixes can be quite indecisive, this can be a positive way for them to step into their power. Loyalists also love the comfort of a routine, so it’s important to pick an activity that makes you feel good that you can do consistently.

    Incorporate aromatherapy
    Sevens are optimistic and spontaneous, which also makes it harder for them to stay focused, slow down, or be present. Adding aromatherapy into their wellness routine is a great way for Sevens to reconnect with the present moment. Plus, they love to indulge themselves and can find a lot of joy in experimenting with different scents. Aromatherapy has many stress-reducing benefits and can be a great way for Sevens to check in with their emotional state. “The sense of smell is activated by inhalation, and scattered energy gets folded into a vivid emotion or a therapeutic moment, helping to ground and center,” Wasfie said. You can use a diffuser while you work or sleep or keep your favorite essential oils on hand for a quick inhale in the morning, before bed, or when you’re feeling stressed.

    Try acupressure
    Eights are confident and assertive. They want to move quickly on their goals and ideas but can become controlling and defensive when stressed. A self-care ritual like acupressure can help Eights feel more balanced and clear any emotional blockages that may manifest as anger. “If anger festers in the body, it generates heat and inflammation, which only makes a Type Eight more on edge,” Wasfie explained. “Among many other benefits, acupuncture helps the body relax to release the need for control or defensiveness.” Ask your doctor for a local acupuncturist near you, or try a practice like ear seeding for acupressure you can do from the comfort of your own home. And if you’re looking for a totally free wellness practice, you can still tap into the powers of acupressure. Apply gentle pressure to specific areas for a wide range of stress-relief and health benefits.

    Set structured goals
    Nines are peaceful and adaptive, wanting to avoid conflict or anything that might cause disruption in their environment. Therefore, they can fall into habits where they get too comfortable, letting their goals and priorities fall to the wayside. It’s important for Nines to stay “alert” to themselves and identify what they really want so they can take action on the things they want. While setting wellness goals isn’t always beneficial for everyone, clear intentions and structured timelines can help Nines avoid getting too comfortable and foregoing self-care. For some goal-setting inspo, check out this list of 60 resolutions to help you reach your healthiest body and happiest mind.

    What Your Resolution Should Be This Year
    Based on Your Enneagram More

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    TBH, I Hate Vegetables—Here’s How I’m Eating Healthier This Year Without Sacrificing Taste

    All throughout college, eating like absolute garbage was one of my strongest personality traits. My affinity for Taco Bell, pizza rolls, and microwaveable mac and cheese was mostly due to a combination of 1) despising veggies and not knowing that nutrient-dense foods could be tasty, 2) being an absolute novice in the kitchen, and 3) not knowing how to tackle the learning curve that stood in the way of becoming my healthiest self. At the time, my friends all seemed to know the secret of how to cook at home and how to eat healthier than me, and meanwhile, you could find me ordering pizza to the library (for the third time in a single week).
    Once I graduated, I took some baby steps and made some copycat meals of my favorite takeout spots, but due to redundancy, lack of direction, and the fact that I’d set the fire alarm off pretty much every time that I cooked, I hadn’t quite nailed the “not-ordering-out-every-weeknight” bit. A few years later, wellness came to the forefront in my life and I decided that if I was going to continue to have the palate and cooking skills of a toddler, I’d have to re-strategize. And so began my journey of figuring out how to pull off some bomb recipes that would make me fall in love with finding balance in my meals and in the kitchen.
    After a few years of getting my meals down to a science, my best hack that I give to anyone who will listen is to order meals through Blue Apron. If you’re looking to take a holistic approach to your health this year, look no further—here are three ways that Blue Apron has helped me lean into a balanced lifestyle where I’ve found that veggies aren’t so bad after all.

    1. It’s introduced me to tons of new recipes and ingredients
    When I tell you that my idea of cooking pre-Blue Apron was boiling some noodles, adding some store-bought Ragu sauce, and loading on far too much parmesan, I wholeheartedly mean it. No slight to a good ole basic pasta dish—I love your work! But when it’s the only thing that you know how to make, it can get old—fast.
    When I first laid eyes on the recipe options that Blue Apron had to offer, I had two thoughts, the first being: “Damn, everything looks so good!” And quite quickly after, the second: “There’s absolutely no way that I can pull that off on my own.” I took the leap of faith, and after my first box, I was hooked. I made a broccoli-filled pesto pasta and—wait for it—I absolutely loved it (plus I didn’t burn my apartment complex down). Progress. It was one of the first meals I tried that made me realize I wasn’t bad at cooking or being mindful about the foods I was using to fuel my body—I just needed a little help.
    With over 50 chef-designed recipe options per week (including vegetarian, Weight Watchers-approved, and low cal), the ability to customize recipes, and more weekly wellness meals than ever before, Blue Apron has made finding balance with my meals (without sacrificing flavor or creativity in the kitchen) easier than ever before.

    2. It makes meal planning and prepping a breeze
    While meal planning and prepping might come naturally to some, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just never going to be one of those people. The idea of planning my meals before a trip to the grocery store sounds good in theory, but it hasn’t ever been something I’ve been able to stick to. I’ve made enough grocery trips where I forgot one crucial recipe item to know that it’s just not in my genes. And that’s OK.
    Because I’m not a pro in the kitchen and grocery shopping for one recipe can get expensive, ordering my meals through Blue Apron has been such a game-changer. When I grocery shop, I just focus on getting breakfast foods and snacks to keep things simple, and then I rely on Blue Apron to take care of the dinner portion of my meal planning. And despite my affinity for setting off the fire alarm when I cook, I have time and time again proven to myself that I can successfully whip up Blue Apron meals with ease, which has totally skyrocketed my confidence in the kitchen.

    3. It’s saved me a ton of money in the long run
    I can’t lie, when I first heard of meal delivery, the first question that popped into my head was, “is it worth it?” I’d never given much thought to how I had spent money on food prior to Blue Apron, and when I took a closer look at my finances, I audibly gasped at how much of my budget was going to DoorDash, eating out, and huge grocery trips that resulted in a lot of wasted food because I didn’t get to produce or meat in time.
    Now that I’ve worked Blue Apron into my budget, I’ve saved so much money in comparison to my previous non-system system. I eat out a lot less because I actually look forward to cooking (mostly because I know it’ll be a success as opposed to before when there was truly a 50/50 shot of absolutely destroying whatever I was attempting to whip up), and I always have leftovers that I usually eat for lunch or dinner the next day. Now, when I eat out, it’s a treat that I intentionally enjoy rather than it being the only option because I didn’t know anything else.
    Whether it’s your physical, mental, relational, or financial health, Blue Apron can help you meet your unique goals and find balance within your life. Sign up for Blue Apron to get $110 off across 5 boxes plus free shipping on your first box! 

    7 Hacks That Have Transformed My Cooking Routine

    This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    Making These 5 Changes Totally Transformed My Mental Health

    I’m going to be honest: My mental health has been struggling for the past few years. I’ve always prioritized therapy, stress relief, and general mental health since my first panic attack at 13 years old, but it feels like an extra challenge RN. Like most of the world, a pandemic, an overpacked holiday season, scary headlines, and an extremely busy work schedule have left me feeling drained, exhausted, and anxious. Throw in the added guilt of ditching resolutions or the sadness of post-holiday blues, and it’s no wonder the most depressing day of the year is on Jan. 17.
    I urge you to focus on your mental health even more than you typically do right now: take your sick days when you just need a break (and don’t feel guilty!), schedule extra sessions with your therapist, and make small changes to your routine to give yourself grace and extra care. If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’ve made some recent changes that have drastically helped me through this bleak time of year. Read on for five minor changes that have majorly improved my mental health:

    1. Incorporating CBD into my daily routine
    Important PSA: If you have not hopped on the CBD bandwagon to improve your focus, energy, stress relief, and even anxiousness, you are seriously missing out. CBD has made a huge difference in promoting a sense of calm and stress relief without making me tired or have lower energy. Whether I’m stressing about an overpacked schedule or huge meeting at work or just feeling a little extra anxious lately, CBD is my secret ingredient.
    We love Equilibria because their products are high quality, organically grown, and made without GMOs, heavy-metals, and pesticides—it’s basically like the farm-to-table version of CBD. I’ve been adding the Daily Drops to my morning coffee for about a year now, and it has made a huge difference in my overall stress relief. Also, when I’m feeling moments of stress or anxiousness come on (like before big meetings or when I did too much doomscrolling on social media), I rub the Calming Roller onto pulse points .

    Daily Drops
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order!

    Dynamic Roller
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order!

    2. Practicing self-love (actively)
    At the risk of sounding dramatic, you should know that I transformed my confidence, stress, and energy levels when I realized that self-love is a practice that requires work, not something that happens when you achieve a pants size or job title. Self-love is a skill, not a circumstance. It’s a muscle that needs to be worked repeatedly in order to make it stronger, and once I started working that muscle, my mental health changed.
    For examples of “working the self-love muscle,” I view every negative thought, moment of self-doubt, or criticism that comes up like a practice round to improve self-love by recognizing the thought and choosing a more positive thought instead. I also pick one new affirmation every day to repeat to my reflection in the mirror and keep an ongoing list of things I love about myself. Most importantly, I make an effort to act in a way that I’m proud of: eating and moving in the way my body deserves, being genuinely kind to other people, and finding more passion in my work life. When I genuinely care and love myself, my stress and anxiety levels are so much better.

    3. Making a daily list of top stressors and then fixing what I can
    Many people avoid facing their stressors or sweep them under the rug until it comes out in moments that wouldn’t typically cause a ton of stress, like your roommate leaving dishes in the sink or your boss scheduling an extra meeting. I’ve found that spending a few minutes every day or week identifying and writing down my top 10 sources of stress drastically helps me feel more in control. When I know where my stress is coming from, I can find solutions. I also take my top stressor and come up with five things I can do right now to minimize it (and then actually do them). If some of my stressors aren’t solvable, it’s also helpful because I can begin to accept what cannot be changed. Accepting life circumstances as they are can also help ease stress, even if you can’t actually change them (because you can always change mindset). 

    4. Getting outside more often
    Full disclosure, of all my other mental health changes, this one was more so forced upon me. Getting a dog changed my life in a lot of ways: Besides the obvious unconditional love, I’m getting outside more (nature calls!). B.L. (“Before Louie”), I went days without stepping outdoors (especially in wintertime). Now that the temperatures have dropped and the weather is gloomy, we’re all less inclined to go on walks during our lunch break or drink coffee on our balconies, but getting outside can drastically boost mental health. Besides the fact that less time outdoors and a lack of sunlight cause seasonal affective disorder, being outdoors can have restoring effects in general. 
    Forest bathing is a Japanese practice that has been around for thousands of years and is known for its mental benefits, and one study even found that participants felt restored when they just looked at pictures of nature. Whether you’re walking your own dog or just walking yourself (or sipping coffee by an open window—whatever floats your boat), try to spend more time outdoors. If it’s cold where you are, bundle up and take a brisk walk when you feel stressed or get some sunshine first thing in the morning. If it’s too cold where you are, try a light therapy lamp that mimics the effects of the sun (safely) to improve the low energy or seasonal effects you might be feeling due to lack of sunlight. 

    5. Focusing on enjoyment instead of just survival in moments of anxiety
    In the past, my response to anxiety was just to take deep breaths and focus on getting through it. Sure, it kept my anxiety from going into panic attack mode, but it still kept me in a steady anxious state and definitely never relieved negative feelings altogether. Whether it was the fear of getting carsick while on a road trip with my family, stress about waking up early the next day taking over a night out with friends, or even a stressful to-do list at work that seemed to have no end, my default was to focus on just getting through until it was over. 
    A year ago, I was describing one of these said situations to my therapist when she answered, “But why not focus on enjoying the moment rather than just getting through it?” Mindfulness is a tale as old as time, but I never associated enjoyment as a cure for anxiety. Since I started asking myself “How can I enjoy this?” instead of “How can I get through this?”, my outlook on anxiety has changed. Of course, it doesn’t work for every situation when anxiety gets the better of me, but constantly reminding myself that the purpose of life is to enjoy it provides the shift in perspective I need to get through any workday stress or minor life worry. 

    The Self-Care Ritual My Therapist Recommended for Anxiety

    This post is sponsored by Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    I Only Have 3 New Year’s Resolutions—This Is the Hack I’m Using To Achieve Them

    A fun fact about me: I’m not a fan of new year’s resolutions. In theory, they seem like a harmless way to reevaluate who you want to be and where you want to go. But over the years, I’ve found myself making CVS-receipt-long laundry lists of all the things that I want to change about myself and am subsequently flooded with shame and dissatisfaction months later when I burn out and return to old habits. 
    Instead of completely overhauling my routines and nit-picking all of the things that I dislike about my life, I’m viewing 2022 as an opportunity for growth rather than a “detox” or a “reset.” This year, I’m focusing on small changes that’ll make a big impact and ones that I know I can totally achieve. So when I sat down and resisted the urge to scribble down 24 aspects of my life I wanted to revamp, I had a bit of an epiphany. In this season of my life, I’m focusing on finding balance, treating myself as I would a friend, and making minor adjustments that’ll have a large payoff in the long run. I only have three resolutions this year, and CBD from Equilibria is helping me achieve all of them:

    Resolution 1: Gain control over my work-life balance

    I started a new role in October, and I’d be lying if I said that the transition was an easy one. I used to be a nurse, and while the emergency department kept me on my toes and challenged me in ways I never thought possible, I definitely underestimated how mentally tolling working from home and no longer being an expert in your field can be. I’d often times find myself too anxious to start a new task, unnecessarily terrified to speak in meetings, and overwhelmed, and then, in an effort to compensate, I’d stay online hours past sign-off in an attempt to get ahead.
    This year, I’m taking a breath and I’m being consistent with my CBD routine. CBD has been known to improve anxiety, focus, mood, and concentration, and whenever I take one of my Equilibria Rapid Release Melts, I’ve found that I’m able to more calmly tackle tasks that would otherwise stress me TF out. By approaching my day with a more level head, I’m hoping to be able to use my productive hours to be productive and actually sign off at 5:30 p.m. Plus, it’ll help me sleep more soundly so that I have more energy to take on challenges throughout the workweek.

    Calming Melts
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Resolution 2: Stay social but drink less

    Source: @equilibriawomen
    I’m getting to a point in life where participating in a girls’ night out sidelines me for one to two business days. My hangovers have gotten significantly worse over the last year, and while I love a good espresso martini every now and then, one of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to reevaluate my social life and how it relates to alcohol. For me, that means planning more sober dates, coordinating nights out with friends that aren’t centered on drinking, and swapping mocktails for cocktails whenever I can.
    One of my favorite mocktail hacks is to add a 10 mL dropper of CBD oil to my non-alcoholic drink to help me summon a little extra zen, and let me tell you: I’ve found that CBD mocktails are something I actually look forward to. 1) They’re fun to make, 2) help me chill out, and 3) don’t leave me with a crippling hangover like my typical vodka soda. Gone are the days of exuding awkwardness at a social gathering and feeling the need to occupy my hands with an alcoholic beverage that I end up drinking quickly to curb my social anxieties—so long, I won’t miss ya.

    Daily Drops
    Use code theeverygirl for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Resolution 3: Carve out (and actually schedule) more “me” time during the week

    In previous years, my idea of “me” time was to treat myself to something I loved if my schedule allowed it. It took me far too long to learn, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that if I let my schedule rule the rest of my life, there will never be time to connect with myself, rest, or recharge. I’m reclaiming my power over my schedule this year by physically writing down self-care moments into my planner and treating them as I would a meeting. 8 p.m. bathtime and a light read with myself? Can’t cancel that again.
    One of my favorite ways to block everything out and to reset is to take a fancy bath, use Equilibria’s Mindful Mineral Soak, and read a few pages out of a novel. There’s no better way to wind down and reflect on my day quite like calling upon the 30 minerals + 200 mg of CBD of the Mindful Mineral Soak that help me purify, destress, relax, and reset. So this year, it’s one of those non-negotiable weeknight activities that I want to make a consistent part of my nighttime routine.

    Mineral Soak
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    This post is sponsored by Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

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    I Finally Lost Those 10 Pounds—Here’s Why It Didn’t Change My Life

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to change something about my body. When I was in high school, it was that I felt too thin and wanted to put on weight; in college, I wanted to lose the pounds I finally put on, and it felt like weight loss was always in the back of my brain. No matter what stage of life I was at or what my body looked like, it felt like something was holding me back from being truly, completely confident in it.
    When I was growing up, I was extremely thin. I was a competitive swimmer, which meant that my prepubescent and then-teenage body was burning more than it ever took in, and it left me never having to think twice about what I ate—if anything, I was always trying to eat more, regardless of what it was. I felt scrawny and bony and altogether undesirable, and I remember countless late-night conversations with my friends that started with “if I could just put on a little weight…”
    When I graduated high school and went to college, with the one-two punch of no longer swimming and the weight gain that comes with most people’s freshman year, I put on around 20 pounds within a few months. Obviously, that was something I needed—and had even wished for at the time—but instantly, seeing my body in a form that it had never been in before was jarring. While my face finally filled out in ways I was happy with, as my pants size went up, it didn’t come with the feeling of transformation I thought it would. Instead, I was insecure in a whole new way, worrying about the new stretch marks on my thighs and cellulite on my stomach instead of what had occupied my mind before.

    Since then, there has always been a nagging voice at the back of my mind that told me that if I just put my head down and lost 10 pounds, I would finally be what I considered “perfect.” I’ve always been good about consistently exercising and eating healthy, so every time a new year rolled around, I told myself this was the time that I’d do it; I’d make the change that meant I’d be happy with my body at last—and in 2021, I did it.
    After months of waking up early to exercise, meal-prepping, and being extremely meticulous with my health, I saw the number on the scale that I thought was the key to my happiness. The morning it happened, I thought, “huh, I did it” and went on my way. The world didn’t stop spinning and I didn’t look in the mirror and see a flawless person; I was still just me, flaws, insecurities, and all.

    The world didn’t stop spinning and I didn’t look in the mirror and see a flawless person; I was still just me, flaws, insecurities and all.

    While I was proud of the accomplishment and finally—finally—checking it off my to-do list, it gave me a slap back to reality that I needed, but not in the way I thought it would. I still have the same stretch marks at the tops of my thighs and still have days where I don’t feel my best, and I realized that the green light I had been chasing for so long was fruitless; I didn’t need to change anything about myself to be confident, I just needed to figure out how to love myself even when I had things I’d change if I could. Changing something about myself was never going to make the rest of my insecurities vanish, even when I swore up and down that it would.

    When I hear New Year’s resolutions about weight loss and the constant stream of talk from women who have their own 10 pounds they want to lose, I wish I could go back and tell myself what I know now and give myself the grace that I so often forget to. I will never be someone who believes you need to not have insecurities in order to love yourself, but loving yourself despite them is what makes all the difference—and forbidding yourself from being happy with yourself until you reach a goal is not the way to get there.

    I will never be someone who believes you need to not have insecurities in order to love yourself, but loving yourself despite them is what makes all the difference—and forbidding yourself from being happy with yourself until you reach a goal is not the way to get there.

    I will always have things I’m insecure about—more metaphorical 10 pounds that I could say I need to wait for to be truly confident—but instead, I’m choosing to put the same effort I’d put into obsessing over that into being unabashedly confident in myself, perceived flaws and all.

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    How To (Actually) Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals in 2022, According to an Expert

    I’ve been coaching clients looking to achieve weight loss for years and writing about weight loss for even longer, and here’s what I know to be true: The tips or fads that make headlines typically don’t work in real life. Weight loss often feels frustrating and impossible, and the fact that we relate weight to self-worth makes it emotionally exhausting. Just like you, I am so over the confusion around weight loss and tips that never work. So to help you achieve your healthiest weight once and for all, I’m asking top experts for what they (actually) recommend.  
    A brief prelude: Your weight says nothing about your health or worth. There are lots of ways to feel healthy (instead of just look healthy) and lots of ways to improve your self-love that has nothing to do with changing your appearance (because that’s kind of counter-productive). However, if weight loss is a goal because you feel out of touch with your body, lack energy, or because it was recommended by your doctor to improve your health, that’s OK too. Let’s stop judging all women for the health goals they have and instead focus on what will make us feel best, whether that means weight gain, weight loss, or no weight change at all. If your 2022 goals do have to do with weight, read on for sustainable tips from a celebrity weight specialist.
    I’ve been lucky enough to interview some of the coolest health experts around the world, but I’ll be honest: This one had me a little star struck. Corey Calliet is a personal trainer for Hollywood’s biggest stars, was a leading trainer on E!’s Revenge Body by Khloe Kardashian, and is best known for transforming Michael B. Jordan for the Creed trilogy as well as Black Panther (I think I can speak for all of us when I say thank you, Corey). Here are six things he swears by for reaching a healthy weight:

    Meet the expert
    Corey Calliet
    body transformation specialist and personal trainer

    1. Keep yourself nourished
    While some weight loss experts may rely on what not to eat (which is just damaging, BTW!), Corey focuses on what to eat. To keep it simple, he recommended basing meals off of a simple formula to get a wide variety of nutrients in your diet. “Eat to fuel your mind and body. Aim for three quality, nutritionally dense meals per day. Think: colorful, balanced, and fulfilling,” he said. “When constructing your plate, be sure to get a good source of protein, accompanied with an energy-enriching carbohydrate (whole grains, sweet potato, etc.), colorful veggies (not only great for much-needed nutrients but also to add quality volume to your meal), and a healthful source of fats (avocado, nuts, omega-rich oils, etc.).” Corey also recommended having high-quality snacks on hand if hunger or cravings strike. Try fruit and veggies that are easy to eat on the go, nuts or seeds, or a whole-food protein bar. 

    2. Hydrate (more than you think)
    So you already know drinking water is important for your health, but proper hydration affects weight goals more than you think. “A majority of the population in the U.S. is estimated to be chronically dehydrated,” Corey explained. “The body often mistakes hunger for a need for hydration, so if you are behind on your water goal for the day and catch a craving, make sure you drink some water before reaching for the food.” In other words, dehydration can be responsible for many symptoms, but one of them is hunger or cravings when the body does not actually need or want food. Corey also suggested to start water consumption as soon as you wake up and steadily drink throughout the day. If plain water is boring or you want to make it more exciting, try adding fresh fruit or unsweetened cold-tea infusions for natural flavor.

    3. Eat mindfully
    Weight and overall health are not just about what you eat but also how. If you’re eating all your fruits and veggies but still eating lunch at your desk or downing food on the go, you’re missing a major piece of the puzzle. “First and foremost, enjoy eating your food,” Corey said. “Mindful eating allows us to be more in-tune with our bodies and know when we have eaten what we need. Mindless eating happens when we are distracted, and it can lead to overeating.” When we mindlessly eat, we’re unable to actually feel when we’re full, which can lead to overeating. Also, if we’re not truly enjoying every bite or not mindful about the deliciousness on our plate, we won’t be satisfied, which can lead to more cravings later. You don’t need to measure out your food or look to serving sizes for portion control. Instead, you just need to eat more mindfully—your body will tell you the portion it needs. 

    4. Find hidden ways to move
    I don’t know who needs to hear this, but there are lots of ways to work out and get in shape that does not have to be a two-hour weight lifting session or intense HIIT workout. In fact, Corey’s main focus as a trainer is not just about where to fit in time at the gym or workout classes but where to move more throughout our lives. He suggested parking farther away from the entrance, taking stairs instead of the elevator, or taking your next conference call standing up or walking if possible. In general, add more non-exercise movement to your life. Walk your dog more often, stand while working, try gardening if you have a yard, clean your house more, walk everywhere you can, dance while cooking or getting ready, stretch while watching TV, and get outside to take conference calls.

    5. Stress less
    Yes, stress over weight gain is worse for your body than the actual weight gain. It sounds like an unfair cycle that stress about our bodies can actually prevent us from losing weight, but it’s also an important reminder that the way we feel emotionally is more important for our health than what we eat and how we move. And not just stress over appearance but chronic stress in general—whether it’s about work, relationships, or what to eat for dinner—can affect weight. “Stress hormones wreak havoc on our bodies, especially our immune and metabolic functioning,” Corey explained. “Take care of your mind. Take the time to reflect and release at the end of each day while giving yourself the time to unwind (even if only for a few minutes).”

    6. Prioritize sleep
    Bad news for those of us who stay up way too late bingeing Netflix: Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight. “Don’t underestimate the power of quality sleep,” Corey said. “Find your best routine to ensure good, consistent sleep hygiene.” Not getting seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night can make you eat more than what your body needs because the body releases hunger hormones when it didn’t get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can also affect how your body stores fat, which can make maintaining a healthy weight more difficult. Revamp your nighttime routine to help you fall asleep faster and make sure to always get at least seven hours of sleep.

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    2022’s Biggest Fitness Trends To Start RN, According to This Viral Expert

    Let me introduce you to a fitness icon, wellness expert, founder of The Sculpt Society, and my personal #fitspo: Megan Roup. Roup is a professional dancer-turned-workout pro (#goals), and after listening to her expertise on a podcast interview, I knew she was the right person to help us all get out of the fitness rut that typically comes this time of year: It’s cold outside, we’re more tired than usual, and motivation is lacking. But exercise does not have to be a chore to check off the to-do list or a boring habit we keep up with for the sake of routine; it should always be enjoyable, challenging, and exciting, no matter the time of year (or weather outside). So to put us all out of our fitness rut misery, I grilled Roup on the trends we can expect to transform our fitness routines this year. Read on for her 2022 predictions that you can start trying right now.

    Meet the expert
    Megan Roup
    Founder of The Sculpt Society
    After a successful career as a professional dancer, Roup combined her passion for dance and love of fitness to create The Sculpt Society, a workout method designed to empower women through movement.

    1. Shorter, quicker workouts
    So long, 90-minute workouts! 2022 is all about ditching extensive training if you only have time to fit in quick workouts, whether that means a few five minute spurts of yoga flows throughout the day, a 15-minute walk, or 30 minutes of an online class. “There will be a big emphasis on quick, effective workouts (i.e The Sculpt Society “quickie” workouts). My affirmation is to commit less so you can show up more,” Roup explained. “Small chunks of movement each day adds up to big wins, and consistency is the key to the success of any fitness journey.” Shorter spurts of exercise is not just a trend; it makes perfect sense. Committing to shorter workouts is way more realistic and sustainable, since you’re setting yourself up for success when you’re busy, traveling, or just don’t feel like spending an hour exercising (which, let’s be honest, happens a lot). 

    2. Gyms are coming back, but digital fitness isn’t going anywhere
    In 2020, we learned to break our gym addiction and exercise at home. But even though our favorite yoga studios and fitness centers are opening back up, digital fitness isn’t going anywhere. “When it comes to gym memberships or digital fitness, it is and, not or,” Roup said. “Many people will have a gym membership and a membership to an app.” If you think about it, having both offers the perfect workout routine.
    With digital fitness, you have the flexibility of exercising anywhere for any amount of time. But boutique fitness classes or a gym membership offers a different environment, type of workout, or equipment from you could do virtually. With both, you have the best of both worlds. Roup said that she’s even seeing more members using The Sculpt Society at the gym so they have more space and equipment for their favorite workouts they can also do at home. Don’t have a budget for both? Switch it up by trying a drop-in class every couple of months to challenge yourself and get out of your routine or check out free YouTube videos at home on the days where you don’t have time to get to the gym.

    3. More focus on pelvic floor muscles
    You know to work your ab muscles and glute muscles, but what about your pelvic floor muscles? In the next year, Roup predicted this important (and overlooked) area will become more of a priority, and for good reason. “In 2022, there will be more conversations around the pelvic floor and fitness, especially as it relates to pregnancy.” She explained that just like other muscle groups in the body, the pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened and lengthened, and focusing on these muscles help support pregnancy as well as help with recovery after labor. Pregnancy not in your plans? Pelvic floor exercises as part of a well-rounded workout routine will continue to grow in popularity since they have been connected to everything from better sex to ab definition. To start, try The Sculpt Society’s 360 Breathing classes or try exercises from a pelvic floor expert like Courtney Virden.

    4. Less equipment
    Good news for those of us who hate going to the gym or live in studio apartments: Bulky equipment and even weights are getting less important for fitness. “Workout equipment can be a limiting factor for a lot of people who are traveling, working with a budget, have limited space, or are on the go,” Roup said. “Workouts that require no equipment or light equipment that’s easy to travel with will make the entry point easier and more cost-effective to get started.” In other words, fitness is way more accessible in 2022. While weight lifting has amazing benefits or machines can be a great way to challenge yourself, you don’t need any equipment to reach your fitness goals. Body weight is good enough. And if you like having something to guide your workouts, leave the weights at home (we need to reserve all the weight in our suitcases for curling irons and shoes!) and pack a light jump rope or resistance band instead. 

    5. Prioritizing fun workouts
    And now for my personal favorite 2022 trend: having a lot more fun. Gone are the days of intimidating fitness classes where the instructor scares you into running faster, accountability coaches who get you to the gym by bullying disguised as “motivation,” or forcing yourself into a boring run on the treadmill or lift at the gym because you think that’s what’s good for you. Let’s all agree to ditch fear-based fitness and instead opt for what feels good. Feeling more confident, proud, motivated, and excited isn’t some woo-woo self-help advice; it’s the most powerful fitness hack to actually stay consistent. “The more fun and enjoyment we find in workouts, the more consistent we will be with them,” Roup agreed. “People are looking to exercise to find positivity and be uplifted.” And in 2022, we could all use a little more uplifting. 

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