FLC Healthy Habit 5

No Snacking After Dinner

Hungry or Habit? I usually crave a little something sweet after dinner and eventually I hunt through my pantry, scanning all the shelves for a coveted chocolate, cookie, or candy. If no luck there, the freezer is next! I have a sweet tooth – or that’s my story.

After-dinner and before-bedtime snacking when not hungry can result in consuming pesky unneeded calories. Often this may be due to boredom, habit, stress or tiredness. Try these tips to banish evening cravings and curb after-dinner snacking; and, if you must snack, go for nutritious options.

How to do it?

  • Clean out the pantry and get rid of the tempting items. If they aren’t there, the temptation is removed.
  • Brush and floss your teeth after dinner. This will make you think twice before eating again.
  • Start a project or find an activity to immerse yourself. Get out of the house and take a walk. Take up a craft, read, knit, write, start a puzzle, get off your computer. Time to rewire and rewrite your sweet tooth story!
  • Drink a large glass of water. It is incredible how effective this is.
  • Go to sleep earlier. You can’t eat when sleeping plus getting adequate sleep enables you to make better food choices and improves your metabolism.

So get out of the frig or pantry and get outside!

FLC Healthy Habit 4

photo credit Hanna Harrington

  Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Why? Skipping it can cause your basal metabolic rate to drop significantly and eating within an hour of waking sparks the metabolic process called thermogenesis that turns the food you eat into energy.

How to do it?

  • Try eating dinner earlier and not snacking after dinner so you are actually hungry when you wake up
  • Wake up early enough so you have time to eat.
  • Eat more than one food item for breakfast – especially if you consider coffee a food item!
  • Include a protein and healthy fat so you feel more satisfied. Some favorites include avocado toast, all eggs from boiled to omelettes and frittatas, yogurt, granola with nuts, fruit, or a bowl of high fiber, whole grain cereal with fruit and nuts.
  • Throw in both fruit and vegetables to pack in the nutrients and fiber.

So don’t skip breakfast! It’s important to fuel up at the start of your day.

FLC Healthy Habit 3

  Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep

Life if busy and sufficient sleep is often hard to come by for many of us. There’s so much to do at the end of day that going to bed at a reasonable hour is hard to pull off. However, sleep is key to living a fit life. So many of us operate in a sleep debt that we don’t even know what it feels like to be fully rested.

According to CDC data, getting less than seven hours per night is “associated with increased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress, and all-cause mortality.” Insufficient sleep also impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and poor performance at work, driving, and basic daily functions.

In addition to the above if you are trying to lose weight, sleep may be just as important as your diet and exercise. Here are a few additional benefits of sufficient sleep.

  1. Weight loss: Getting more rest can help you lose weight. We often think we are hungry when fact we are tired due to the hormones that kick in when exhausted and we crave energy.
  2. Cravings: Proper sleep helps us fight cravings and make healthy choices.
  3. Affect on your metabolism: Poor sleep may decrease your resting metabolic rate (RMR), although findings are mixed. One contributing factor seems to be that poor sleep may cause muscle loss.
  4. Exercise: Lack of sleep may decrease your exercise motivation, quantity and intensity. Getting more sleep may even help improve performance.
  5. Calories: Poor sleep can increase your calorie intake by increasing late-night snacking, portion sizes and the time available to eat.

So get your rest! It sets you up for success for living a healthy active life.

Fitlife Challenge – Getting Started!

Welcome to our 8-week fitlife challenge (
#8WKFLC). Starting today we focus on getting healthier, fitter, stronger!  It’s my goal to motivate, inspire and help you achieve good nutritional habits and an active lifestyle. Here’s a few housekeeping tips to help you succeed.
1. Ask a motivated friend to join you in this 8-week program. It helps to have a FLC Buddy who holds you accountable to show up and sweat for the next 8-weeks as you start to form a habit.
2. Download the fitlife challenge tracker.
3. List 1-2 specific and achievable goals to reach in 8-weeks and think about how these goals will improve your quality of life. This is a long term healthy lifestyle program. Weight loss happens if you follow the program at a realistic pace. You get out what you put into this program. 
4. Record your weight and measurements. I find that i usually lose about 3-5 pounds when I am following the fitlife. That’s my reality and i’m good with it. I also lose inches around my waist which is my tough spot. 
5. Social. Sign up for Strava so I can cheer you on in your workouts. Follow @fitlibby on Instagram for related posts.
That’s enough housekeeping! Let’s do this. Be sure to share your pictures, challenges, victories, fears, tips, recipes, and thoughts. YOU are why I do this.
To your health!
fitlibby 🙂

FLC Healthy Habit 2

Drink 64 ounces of water daily!

This is important because you are exercising more and therefore need to stay hydrated. It is also common to think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty!

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.Your body and brain need hydration. Water helps your metabolism, it helps with satiety, it also helps your skin and brain function. So many reason to drink water and avoid all the other sweetened drinks we tend to grab on impulse.

I keep a water bottle with me all day at work and at home. Fill’er Up!

FLC Healthy Habit 1

  Stay between 3-6 on the hunger-satiety scale

Healthy Habit 1: Stay between 3-6 on the hunger-satiety scale. Eat when you are hungry and stop when comfortable.

0=Starving and 10=Stuffed to the point being uncomfortable, in a food comma. This allows you to quantify the extent of your hunger and fullness throughout the day. Its OK to let yourself become hungry. In fact, thats the natural physiological mechanism that signals you to eat. Problem is, if you get too hunger and allow yourself to reach 0-2 on a scale, they you’ll likely overeat to the point you hit 7-10. Let’s break this starving-binging cycle and back in tune with our natural hunger and satiety signal.

How to do it:
1. Set a goal of eating at least 3 meals per day, evenly spaced apart (3-4 hrs apart). I personally have to eat every 3 hrs and my goal is to contain my meals into 12 hrs i.e. 7am-7pm.

2. Include healthy snacks in between meals if necessary (I eat a yogurt, hummus, or cheese). Keep snacks handy in your bag, backpack, purse. Habitual snacking impedes weight loss, but healthful snacking can do a great deal to prevent overeating. Here a few suggestions; fruit, raw veggies, yogurt, hummus+pita bread, natural peanut butter on wholegrain toast, low sugar cereals (dry or with milk)

3. If you find yourself starving, trying drinking a large glass of water first and then eat slowly to prevent overeating.

4. Mindful eating. Try not to eat while watching TV, driving or working (me!). Distracted eating tends to make us lose awareness of how much we are eating and we may find ourselves stuffed. So sit down at a table, relax and enjoy the peace and pleasure of all those good foods with friends and family or by yourself.

5. Weekly menu: My big tip to all is to plan your weekly meal plan on Sundays including each meal and do your major grocery shopping today. I make 2 entrees on Sundays for Sun-Tues. and then have planned ingredients/menu ready for Wed-Fri.

Here’s a sample dinner menu.

Sunday: Grilled chicken atop Arugula and chickpea salad
Monday: Chicken tacos (leftover grilled chicken)
Tuesday: Vegetarian option (Salad, grilled veggies, Quinoa)
Wednesday: Pesto pasta, salad, veggie
Thursday: Salmon, rice, salad
Friday: Vegetarian option (Salad, veggies, beans)

Walking with my girl.

Life marches on. A few nights ago I invited my daughter to take a walk with me after dinner. After a few minutes into it she asked me why was I in such a hurry.  I slowed down and we fell into a nice rhythm walking and talking. Connecting with my teenager on a random school night – a true gift – priceless. No interruptions, no screens, just the evening sounds, footsteps, and connection.

Some of my best conversations, ideas, realizations, and inspirations come when I walk or run. The rhythm, the cadence, the beat seem to bring forward untapped inspired thoughts. Stanford researchers say there’s something to it. They found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.  So keep on moving. Your best work is yet to come.