9 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds

That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here’s how.

    Cookies: Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch, bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in, pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.Juice: Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons, limes, or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer ¡ª it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.Herbs: Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store, stuff washed and chopped herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro into each section and fill with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups, sauces, and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.Smoothies: Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze, then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and super quick low-calorie breakfast, snack, or dessert.

    Ice cubes with a boost: Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender for smoothies, throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a great way to add potassium to your diet, which will help you rehydrate even more effectively. You can freeze soy or almond milk too.Fruit: Puree fruit such as strawberries, peaches, pineapple, or mango and freeze. Pop out a cube or two and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt ¡ª it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.

    Veggies: Freeze pureed veggies such as peas, spinach, sweet potato, squash, and carrot to add extra fiber to soups, baked goods like these oatmeal cookies, mashed potatoes, dips, smoothies, cooked whole grains, pancake batter, and pasta dishes, or use as a sandwich spread. For a time and money saver, you can also buy greens like spinach and kale in bulk, and puree and freeze them for smoothies. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.Quick snack maker: Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese, and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag. Leftover vino: No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

Remember, be sure to use BPA-free ice cube trays. These OXO Tot 2-pack baby food trays are meant for freezing homemade baby food, so you know they’re safe. Plus they have a cover that slides on securely so you can stack a few trays without worrying about the contents spilling or getting contaminated.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

9 Ways a Simple Ice Cube Tray Can Help You Drop Pounds

That unassuming little ice cube tray that sits in your freezer isn’t just for water. It can actually be an effective tool to help you lose weight. Here’s how.

    Cookies: Anyone who’s ever baked a homemade batch of cookies knows it’s impossible to eat just one. So the next time you craft a batch| bake half and scoop the rest into ice cube trays. Then when your sweet tooth kicks in| pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.Juice: Freeze juice from fresh-squeezed lemons| limes| or oranges to add a touch of sweetness to water or seltzer ¡ª it’ll be much fewer calories than a full glass of juice or soda.Herbs: Whether you grow your own or buy them fresh at the store| stuff washed and chopped herbs like basil| oregano| rosemary| and cilantro into each section and fill with veggie broth or water. Pop the frozen herb cubes out to add to soups| sauces| and whole grains for a flavor boost without a lot of calories.Smoothies: Make a huge portion of your favorite smoothie recipe when fruit is overripe or on sale. Fill an ice cube tray (or two) and freeze| then pop a bunch out to easily blend in a blender for a healthy and super quick low-calorie breakfast| snack| or dessert.

    Ice cubes with a boost: Instead of adding plain ice cubes to the blender for smoothies| throw in frozen cubes made of coconut water. It’s a great way to add potassium to your diet| which will help you rehydrate even more effectively. You can freeze soy or almond milk too.Fruit: Puree fruit such as strawberries| peaches| pineapple| or mango and freeze. Pop out a cube or two and stir into plain yogurt to make your own flavored yogurt ¡ª it contains fewer calories than store-bought brands that contain added sugar. You can also add the pureed fruit to oatmeal instead of brown sugar or thaw and pour on top of pancakes instead of high-calorie maple syrup.

    Veggies: Freeze pureed veggies such as peas| spinach| sweet potato| squash| and carrot to add extra fiber to soups| baked goods like these oatmeal cookies| mashed potatoes| dips| smoothies| cooked whole grains| pancake batter| and pasta dishes| or use as a sandwich spread. For a time and money saver| you can also buy greens like spinach and kale in bulk| and puree and freeze them for smoothies. Eating fiber fills you up so you eat less and it also keeps you feeling full longer so you’re not tempted to reach for high-calorie pick-me-ups.Quick snack maker: Each section of an ice cube tray is roughly an ounce. Use it to quickly measure out one-ounce portions of nuts or cheese| and then spoon them out into your own snack baggies to take to work or throw in your purse or gym bag. Leftover vino: No need to polish off the last few ounces in that bottle of wine so it doesn’t go to waste; you could end up drinking an extra 100 calories or more. Freeze it instead and you can use the frozen wine cubes in recipes later.

Remember| be sure to use BPA-free ice cube trays. These OXO Tot 2-pack baby food trays are meant for freezing homemade baby food| so you know they’re safe. Plus they have a cover that slides on securely so you can stack a few trays without worrying about the contents spilling or getting contaminated.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

Your 24-Hour Detox Plan

Whether you overindulged last night or just need an extra push in the right direction, this one-day plan will help get you on your healthy way!

Morning

    Upon waking: The benefits of lemon juice are plenty, so start your day off on the right note by drinking some hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Aside from giving the body a boost of vitamin C, says Dr. Frank Lipman, specialist of integrative medicine, hot water with lemon also helps to stimulate the digestive tract. Be sure to continue to drink water all throughout the day ¡ª hydration is key to a healthy detox!Before breakfast: When detoxing, an intense workout isn’t recommended, but it’s still important to keep the body warm and the blood flowing. If you’re feeling a little sluggish, there’s no better way to wake up the body than with some gentle, energizing yoga. This short three-minute morning yoga sequence from yogi Tara Stiles is designed to wake up the body, helping you get energized for the rest of the day.Break the fast: Set the day up for success by eating a meal that will keep you feeling satisfied without weighing you down. If you’re a fan of PB&J, you’ll love this strawberry smoothie recipe from celeb trainer Harley Pasternack. Since it contains over a day’s worth of fiber, it will definitely help to keep things moving. Another option is this recipe for a flat-belly smoothie, which contains ingredients known to ease digestion and eliminate uncomfortable feelings of bloat. Both smoothies contain about 300 calories.Midmorning coffee break: While it’s encouraged to give up caffeine during a detox, sometimes it’s not always feasible. Instead of ordering a cup of coffee, opt for green tea. Rich in antioxidants, green tea has also been shown to boost metabolism. If you’re feeling like you need a little snack before lunch, grab a fiber-rich apple, or pair some belly-fighting blueberries with probiotic-filled Greek yogurt ¡ª each snack will aid in digestion.

Afternoon

    Break often: Use this time to really care for your body’s health, so as much as you can, try to move throughout the day. Get up from your desk frequently to take short walks around the office (every 20 minutes is a good benchmark). If you can’t get up that often, take a moment to do these desk stretches throughout the day, and give your eyes a break by looking away from your computer using the 20-20-20 rule: look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds.Lunch hour: Avoid the afternoon slump by eating a light lunch that won’t weigh you down. We recommend choosing one of these detox soup recipes or this fiber-rich cabbage salad that contains heart-healthy fats; round out the meal with some lean protein. Take this time to eat away from your desk ¡ª put away your phone and focus on the delicious meal in front of you. Once lunch is done, allow yourself 20 or 30 minutes for a walk.Snack time: If you feel like you need something to hold you over until dinner, there’s nothing quite like a green juice. This nutrient-dense beverage has a knack for instantly boosting energy and making you feel like you have done something really good for your body. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s packed with a host of essential vitamins. If you aren’t able to make your own juice, pick up one of these store-bought cold-pressed juices from your grocer.

Evening

    Unwind: Before heading home to plop yourself in front of the television, find a way to treat yourself! A great way to unwind and detox is to get a massage or spend time in a sauna. Both will help to ease any tension in the body and offer relief to sore muscles or joints.Dinner: This is the perfect time to relax with a healthy dinner full of lean protein and fresh veggies. This panko-crusted fish over kale is full of fiber, protein, and vitamins; it also only takes 20 minutes to prepare. If you’re sensitive to gluten, try POPSUGAR Food’s cod with asparagus en papillote instead. Instead of eating in front of the TV, sit down at a table to take the time to really enjoy your dinner. You’ll find that by doing so, you can focus on your food and not eat mindlessly, which is a common reason for overeating.Wind down: One of the best ways to detox the body is to make sure you have enough quality sleep. Sleep is connected to weight loss, stress levels, and overall health. Make a point to decompress from technology tonight, take a relaxing shower, and give yourself enough time to get a good night’s rest. You can also unwind with this before-bed yoga sequence that will help you relax.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Your 24-Hour Detox Plan

Whether you overindulged last night or just need an extra push in the right direction| this one-day plan will help get you on your healthy way!

Morning

    Upon waking: The benefits of lemon juice are plenty| so start your day off on the right note by drinking some hot water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Aside from giving the body a boost of vitamin C| says Dr. Frank Lipman| specialist of integrative medicine| hot water with lemon also helps to stimulate the digestive tract. Be sure to continue to drink water all throughout the day hydration is key to a healthy detox!Before breakfast: When detoxing| an intense workout isn’t recommended| but it’s still important to keep the body warm and the blood flowing. If you’re feeling a little sluggish| there’s no better way to wake up the body than with some gentle| energizing yoga. This short three-minute morning yoga sequence from yogi Tara Stiles is designed to wake up the body| helping you get energized for the rest of the day.Break the fast: Set the day up for success by eating a meal that will keep you feeling satisfied without weighing you down. If you’re a fan of PB&J| you’ll love this strawberry smoothie recipe from celeb trainer Harley Pasternack. Since it contains over a day’s worth of fiber| it will definitely help to keep things moving. Another option is this recipe for a flat-belly smoothie| which contains ingredients known to ease digestion and eliminate uncomfortable feelings of bloat. Both smoothies contain about 300 calories.Midmorning coffee break: While it’s encouraged to give up caffeine during a detox| sometimes it’s not always feasible. Instead of ordering a cup of coffee| opt for green tea. Rich in antioxidants| green tea has also been shown to boost metabolism. If you’re feeling like you need a little snack before lunch| grab a fiber-rich apple| or pair some belly-fighting blueberries with probiotic-filled Greek yogurt ¡ª each snack will aid in digestion.

Afternoon

    Break often: Use this time to really care for your body’s health| so as much as you can| try to move throughout the day. Get up from your desk frequently to take short walks around the office (every 20 minutes is a good benchmark). If you can’t get up that often| take a moment to do these desk stretches throughout the day| and give your eyes a break by looking away from your computer using the 20-20-20 rule: look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes at a spot 20 feet away for 20 seconds.Lunch hour: Avoid the afternoon slump by eating a light lunch that won’t weigh you down. We recommend choosing one of these detox soup recipes or this fiber-rich cabbage salad that contains heart-healthy fats; round out the meal with some lean protein. Take this time to eat away from your desk ¡ª put away your phone and focus on the delicious meal in front of you. Once lunch is done| allow yourself 20 or 30 minutes for a walk.Snack time: If you feel like you need something to hold you over until dinner| there’s nothing quite like a green juice. This nutrient-dense beverage has a knack for instantly boosting energy and making you feel like you have done something really good for your body. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s packed with a host of essential vitamins. If you aren’t able to make your own juice| pick up one of these store-bought cold-pressed juices from your grocer.

Evening

    Unwind: Before heading home to plop yourself in front of the television| find a way to treat yourself! A great way to unwind and detox is to get a massage or spend time in a sauna. Both will help to ease any tension in the body and offer relief to sore muscles or joints.Dinner: This is the perfect time to relax with a healthy dinner full of lean protein and fresh veggies. This panko-crusted fish over kale is full of fiber| protein| and vitamins; it also only takes 20 minutes to prepare. If you’re sensitive to gluten| try POPSUGAR Food’s cod with asparagus en papillote instead. Instead of eating in front of the TV| sit down at a table to take the time to really enjoy your dinner. You’ll find that by doing so| you can focus on your food and not eat mindlessly| which is a common reason for overeating.Wind down: One of the best ways to detox the body is to make sure you have enough quality sleep. Sleep is connected to weight loss| stress levels| and overall health. Make a point to decompress from technology tonight| take a relaxing shower| and give yourself enough time to get a good night’s rest. You can also unwind with this before-bed yoga sequence that will help you relax.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

These Instagram Pics Prove That Losing Weight Is an Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

These Instagram Pics Prove That Losing Weight Is an Emotional Roller Coaster Ride

I’m not shy to admit that losing weight was a huge struggle for me. Aside from making a lot of mistakes along the way (what| I can’t eat an entire jar of peanut butter?)| losing 40 pounds takes a long time. And it takes all the willpower in the world to stay on your healthy path| so if you’ve ever had to lose weight or are trying to drop pounds now| you’ll relate to this completely.

| After Stepping on the Scale| I Think| “OK| I Start My Diet Today””

Source: Instagram user jayelu

| But I Want to Eat Everything

Source: Instagram user sugassweet

| Nope| Not That Salad

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness

| Yes| That Brownie. The. Entire. Pan.

Source: Instagram user renatoabella

| And Sometimes I Do

Source: Instagram user clacera15

| And I Feel So Bad About It

Source: Instagram user coach_kristy

| But the Next Day I Get a Fresh Start

Source: Instagram user getposturefit

| I Curse My 6 A.M. Alarm

Source: Instagram user leana_rhea

| But Remember That Sweating Makes Me Feel So Awesome

Source: Instagram user emiliedev_fitness

| Even Though I Secretly Despise Those Fit Girls at the Gym

Source: Instagram user emiliedev_fitness

| Their Determination Is So Inspirational

Source: Instagram user jessicaccoughlan

| I Know I Can Look Like That One Day

Source: Instagram user jaymieroberts21

| But Boy| Do I Really| Really Hate Squats

Source: Instagram user badbitchesworkout

| I Am Loving My New Butt| Though

Source: Instagram user fit_christine_farris

| Too Bad For My Butt That I Love Eating and Drinking More

Source: Instagram user grayseaness

| Stress Makes Me Want to Eat

Source: Instagram user sammyannem

| But So Does Being Happy

Source: Instagram user yvonne_parker

| Or Bored

Source: Instagram user mzcheef

| What Can I Say? I Love Carbs

Source: Instagram user mzcheef

| And Ice Cream

Source: Instagram user iveyjeanbean

| And Anything Deep-Fried| Served on a Stick| or Smothered in Chocolate or Cheese

Source: Instagram user sammmly

| Yep| I’m Always in the Mood to Eat

Source: Instagram user easton__5

| But I Stand Firm and Think About How Hot I’ll Look in My Bathing Suit

Source: Instagram user k_rigby

| Or How Jealous My Ex Will Be

Source: Instagram user abigayleamara

| Or How I’ll Be Healthy For My Kids

Source: Instagram user mrsgamber

| Yep| Losing Weight Isn’t Easy

Source: Instagram user ksakoe

| But Feeling Good in My New Body Makes It All Worthwhile

Source: Instagram user emiliezvensson

| So I Make Spinach Smoothies For Breakfast

Source: Instagram user popsugarfitness

| Run Instead of Hitting Happy Hour

Source: Instagram user olahonko

| And Do Some Reps While Watching Game of Thrones

Source: Instagram user slfastpitch

| It’s All About Baby Steps| but I’ve Got My Eye on the Prize

Source: Instagram user julemarie_h

The 10 Rules of Weight Loss You Should Always Follow

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

There’s no magic bullet or secret pill ¡ª sustainable weight loss does not happen overnight. If want to take off weight and keep it off for good, some major healthy lifestyle changes need to occur in order for your results to last. Here are the 10 rules to live by every day.

1. Thou Shalt Eat Breakfast

Healthy foodie trends may come and go, but breakfast is a must. People who eat breakfast regularly lose more weight, since it jump-starts your metabolism, helping your body to burn more fat. With that said, any old breakfast won’t do! Follow this nutritionist-approved weight-loss breakfast formula to choose yours wisely and start seeing results sooner.

2. Thou Shalt Keep It Clean

One of the very fastest ways to see and feel results is to cut out processed foods and fill up on fresh foods straight from the Earth. Whenever possible, opt for whole, natural foods and follow our clean eating dos and don’ts. Once you clean up your diet and cut out the junk, you’ll start feeling and seeing enormous changes. After a few weeks, you’ll wonder how you ever ate any other way.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

3. Thou Shalt Control Portions

Even when you choose healthy foods, overeating these good-for-you choices can sabotage your weight-loss goals, and you might not even realize you’re overdoing it. Use this handy printable chart to start learning about just how much constitutes one serving, or instead of eyeballing your meals, pick up some portion-control products so you can be as precise as possible.

4. Thou Shalt Welcome a Sweaty Workout Session

When it comes to working out and losing weight, 15 minutes a few times a week is simply not enough. For her clients who want to lose weight, Michelle Bridges of The Biggest Loser Australia recommends working out “six days a week, ideally for 50 to 60 minutes at a time,” and you can’t be afraid to go intense, feel the burn, and build up a sweat. Your clothes should not be dry when you leave the gym! Not every workout has to be a crazy sweat session, but Michelle says three of your workouts every week should be “hard” exercise like interval training in order to see results.

5. Thou Shalt Set Minigoals

As you move along on your weight-loss journey, there is so much more to revel in beyond a tiny number on the scale. Setting specific and personal minigoals like training for a race, slipping into the old pair of jeans, or grabbing heavier weights will help you stay connected and realize just how much progress you’re making every day. These may seem like small wins, but they’re absolutely worth celebrating.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

6. Thou Shalt Drink (More) Water

You’d be surprised just how many people confuse hunger with dehydration. Keeping your water bottle full all day long keeps your body in tip-top shape and helps you steer clear of unnecessary snacking. To maximize your water intake for weight loss, dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, recommends “drinking about half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water (or other calorie-free beverages). Cold water provides a brief shock to your metabolism, raising it by about 30 percent so that over the course of a day, your body will burn about 100 more calories.”

7. Thou Shalt Plan Ahead

Occasionally enjoying a sweet treat or special meal out are essential parts of any sustainable weight-loss plan, but it only works when you’re realistic about your indulgences and learn to plan ahead. Heading to the beach next weekend? Keep your diet extraclean leading up to your getaway. This way you have a little more wiggle room to enjoy as you please. We’re big believers in the 80/20 rule over here; eighty percent of the time you keep your diet clean and the other 20 percent of the day you’re able to indulge freely. The math is simple: if you eat three square meals a day, three of those meals are the 20 percent of your week up for grabs.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

8. Thou Shalt Strength Train

If you were fed the myth that strength training impedes weight loss and messes with results, it’s time to change your tune. Strength training builds muscle mass while boosting your metabolism. You might not tip the scale, but strength training is where the real resculpting of your body happens. Once you start lifting and moving through bodyweight moves at home, you’ll be hooked.

9. Thou Shalt Rest Well

Getting adequate sleep every night makes sure you have the energy to power through your workout, but it’s also been proven to help curb a ravenous appetite, since those who get adequate sleep eat an average of 300 calories less than those who don’t. Sleep also surprisingly fights against “fat” genes. In one study that looked at twins, the twin who slept longer had a lower BMI than the twin who did not. In short? Wind down and get to bed earlier. Your body thanks you in advance for supporting all its hard work in the kitchen and the gym.

10. Thou Shalt Remain Positive

When you treat yourself with kindness, you’re able to bounce back faster and stay on track for longer. Keep a healthy sense of humor, leave room to laugh, and take it day by day. Every experience won’t be perfect, but when you’re kind to yourself and keep a positive outlook, this whole weight-loss thing will feel a lot easier.

Related: 100 Simple Ways to Lose Weight

The 10 Rules of Weight Loss You Should Always Follow

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

There’s no magic bullet or secret pill sustainable weight loss does not happen overnight. If want to take off weight and keep it off for good| some major healthy lifestyle changes need to occur in order for your results to last. Here are the 10 rules to live by every day.

1. Thou Shalt Eat Breakfast

Healthy foodie trends may come and go| but breakfast is a must. People who eat breakfast regularly lose more weight| since it jump-starts your metabolism| helping your body to burn more fat. With that said| any old breakfast won’t do! Follow this nutritionist-approved weight-loss breakfast formula to choose yours wisely and start seeing results sooner.

2. Thou Shalt Keep It Clean

One of the very fastest ways to see and feel results is to cut out processed foods and fill up on fresh foods straight from the Earth. Whenever possible| opt for whole| natural foods and follow our clean eating dos and don’ts. Once you clean up your diet and cut out the junk| you’ll start feeling and seeing enormous changes. After a few weeks| you’ll wonder how you ever ate any other way.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

3. Thou Shalt Control Portions

Even when you choose healthy foods| overeating these good-for-you choices can sabotage your weight-loss goals| and you might not even realize you’re overdoing it. Use this handy printable chart to start learning about just how much constitutes one serving| or instead of eyeballing your meals| pick up some portion-control products so you can be as precise as possible.

4. Thou Shalt Welcome a Sweaty Workout Session

When it comes to working out and losing weight| 15 minutes a few times a week is simply not enough. For her clients who want to lose weight| Michelle Bridges of The Biggest Loser Australia recommends working out “six days a week| ideally for 50 to 60 minutes at a time|” and you can’t be afraid to go intense| feel the burn| and build up a sweat. Your clothes should not be dry when you leave the gym! Not every workout has to be a crazy sweat session| but Michelle says three of your workouts every week should be “hard” exercise like interval training in order to see results.

5. Thou Shalt Set Minigoals

As you move along on your weight-loss journey| there is so much more to revel in beyond a tiny number on the scale. Setting specific and personal minigoals like training for a race| slipping into the old pair of jeans| or grabbing heavier weights will help you stay connected and realize just how much progress you’re making every day. These may seem like small wins| but they’re absolutely worth celebrating.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

6. Thou Shalt Drink (More) Water

You’d be surprised just how many people confuse hunger with dehydration. Keeping your water bottle full all day long keeps your body in tip-top shape and helps you steer clear of unnecessary snacking. To maximize your water intake for weight loss| dietitian Julie Upton| MS| RD| recommends “drinking about half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water (or other calorie-free beverages). Cold water provides a brief shock to your metabolism| raising it by about 30 percent so that over the course of a day| your body will burn about 100 more calories.”

7. Thou Shalt Plan Ahead

Occasionally enjoying a sweet treat or special meal out are essential parts of any sustainable weight-loss plan| but it only works when you’re realistic about your indulgences and learn to plan ahead. Heading to the beach next weekend? Keep your diet extraclean leading up to your getaway. This way you have a little more wiggle room to enjoy as you please. We’re big believers in the 80/20 rule over here; eighty percent of the time you keep your diet clean and the other 20 percent of the day you’re able to indulge freely. The math is simple: if you eat three square meals a day| three of those meals are the 20 percent of your week up for grabs.

Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart

8. Thou Shalt Strength Train

If you were fed the myth that strength training impedes weight loss and messes with results| it’s time to change your tune. Strength training builds muscle mass while boosting your metabolism. You might not tip the scale| but strength training is where the real resculpting of your body happens. Once you start lifting and moving through bodyweight moves at home| you’ll be hooked.

9. Thou Shalt Rest Well

Getting adequate sleep every night makes sure you have the energy to power through your workout| but it’s also been proven to help curb a ravenous appetite| since those who get adequate sleep eat an average of 300 calories less than those who don’t. Sleep also surprisingly fights against “fat” genes. In one study that looked at twins| the twin who slept longer had a lower BMI than the twin who did not. In short? Wind down and get to bed earlier. Your body thanks you in advance for supporting all its hard work in the kitchen and the gym.

10. Thou Shalt Remain Positive

When you treat yourself with kindness| you’re able to bounce back faster and stay on track for longer. Keep a healthy sense of humor| leave room to laugh| and take it day by day. Every experience won’t be perfect| but when you’re kind to yourself and keep a positive outlook| this whole weight-loss thing will feel a lot easier.

Related: 100 Simple Ways to Lose Weight

Your Cheat Sheet to Slashing 100+ Calories All Day Long

Your Cheat Sheet to Slashing 100+ Calories All Day Long

Cutting calories doesn’t have be a confusing battle. Whether it’s morning| noon| or night| these helpful swaps will make a big difference in your total calorie count for the day. It might be difficult at first| but with time you’ll find that these switches feel like second nature. Make one at every meal| and you’ll be saving over well over 400 calories a day!

| At Breakfast

  • Save 104 calories: Skip two cooked sausage patties (170 calories) with your eggs| and eat two ounces of smoked salmon (66 calories).
  • Save 113 calories: Instead of pouring two tablespoons of honey (128 calories) on your yogurt| top things off with one-fourth cup fresh blueberries (15 calories) for a little sweetness.
  • Save 114 calories: Instead of one-half cup of all-natural granola (280 calories)| opt for one cup of oatmeal (166 calories).
  • Save 139 calories: Skip two tablespoons of Coffeemate (150 calories)| and try two tablespoons of skim milk (11 calories).
  • Save 165 calories: Instead of starting the day with a plain bagel (285 calories)| opt for an English muffin (120 calories).

| At Lunch

  • Save 107 calories: Instead of one-half cup crushed Oyster crackers (147 calories) on your favorite chili| add three tablespoons low-fat shredded cheddar (36 calories) and two tablespoons fresh chopped scallions (4 calories).
  • Save 112 calories: Instead of dressing your salad with three tablespoons of Italian dressing (128 calories)| opt for four tablespoons of lemon juice (15 calories) with one-fourth teaspoon dried oregano (1 calorie) and one-fourth teaspoon dried basil (less than 1 calorie) for a similar flavor.
  • Save 126 calories: Instead of two slices of cheddar cheese (226 calories)| enjoy two slices of low-fat Swiss cheese (100 calories).
  • Save 165 calories: Instead of spreading two tablespoons of mayo (180 calories) on your sandwich| try three teaspoons of Dijon mustard (15 calories).
  • Save 180 calories: Since one flour tortilla has (190 calories)| enjoy all your favorite burrito fillings on three ounces of shredded lettuce (10 calories) for a taco salad.

| At Snack Time

  • Save 109 calories: Instead of a tiny order of french fries (267 calories)| snack on a serving of unsalted tortilla chips (138 calories) and two ounces of fresh pico de gallo salsa (20 calories).
  • Save 114 calories: Instead of 15 classic potato chips (160 calories)| snack on one and one-half cups air-popped popcorn (46 calories).
  • Save 150 calories: Instead snacking on cheese with 15 Ritz crackers (240 calories)| get crunching 15 fresh apple slices (90 calories).
  • Save 123 calories: Instead of one full-size Snickers bar (250 calories)| enjoy two fun-size Three Musketeers bars (127 calories).

| At Happy Hour

| At Dinner

  • Save 95 calories: Skip the half-cup of alfredo sauce (160 calories) on your pasta for just as much marinara sauce (65 calories).
  • Save 103 calories: Instead of serving your favorite stir-fry over one cup of brown rice (216 calories)| serve it over one cup of soba noodles (113 calories).
  • Save 106 calories: Quit eating your share of deep-dish pizza (586 calories)| and order thin-crust pizza (480 calories) instead.
  • Save 145 calories: Instead of splitting an order of fried calamari (240 calories)| share a shrimp cocktail appetizer with cocktail sauce (95 calories).
  • Save 250 calories: A typical sushi roll is served with one cup of white rice (267 calories); ask for your sushi to be wrapped in cucumber (17 calories) instead.

At Over 500 Pounds, I Was Finally Tired of Being Fat and Unhealthy

The following weight-loss success story was originally featured on DDP YOGA| a fitness and health community that helps people struggling with weight| lose hundreds of pounds with yoga.

There are some stories that are so incredible that Dallas himself questions if they are real. Dallas first met Jared while in Park City| UT| premiering the documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake| at the Slamdance Film Festival.

After an extremely emotional screening of the film| Dallas was outside the theater| thanking people for attending| and that’s when Jared first walked up to him. He was tentative waiting in line to talk to Dallas| and when he did| he said| “I just wanted to thank you for creating DDP YOGA. I’ve been doing it for nine months| and I lost 180 pounds so far.”

Dallas was a bit skeptical| so he asked Jared| “Did you happen to join TeamDDPYOGA.com?” As much as Dallas believes in DDP YOGA| he knew that losing this amount of weight was a monumental task ¡ª and at the same time| Jared was still a big guy. He had started his journey at over 500 pounds| so he was still at least 380 pounds.

“Yes| I did.” Jared responded.

Dallas got a little more excited.

“Did you happen to take your before photos?” he continued.

“I did after my first week.” said Jared.

“Thank God!” Dallas exclaimed. There was actual proof of such an amazing accomplishment.

Nine months later| Jared was invited to the DDP YOGA Performance Center to be a part of the new workout videos ¡ª starting at over 500 pounds| Jared had managed to get so fit that he could do the most challenging DDP YOGA workouts. Everyone| including Dallas| was amazed by the progress Jared had made since we had last seen him . . . everyone except Jared. It seemed like| although he was happy with his results| he didn’t quite understand how big a deal it was to everyone around him.

So that’s when Dallas asked Jared to read his very first blog entry. As you can see in the video| above| there’s an incredibly powerful moment when Jared realizes just how far he has come. After over 40 years of being overweight| Jared had managed to lose 300 pounds in just a little over one year| by eating real food and doing DDP YOGA. His story continues to inspire us all| and hopefully it will inspire many| many others that it’s never too late to change your life.

Image Source: DDP YOGA

At Over 500 Pounds, I Was Finally Tired of Being Fat and Unhealthy

The following weight-loss success story was originally featured on DDP YOGA, a fitness and health community that helps people struggling with weight, lose hundreds of pounds with yoga.

There are some stories that are so incredible that Dallas himself questions if they are real. Dallas first met Jared while in Park City, UT, premiering the documentary The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, at the Slamdance Film Festival.

After an extremely emotional screening of the film, Dallas was outside the theater, thanking people for attending, and that’s when Jared first walked up to him. He was tentative waiting in line to talk to Dallas, and when he did, he said, “I just wanted to thank you for creating DDP YOGA. I’ve been doing it for nine months, and I lost 180 pounds so far.”

Dallas was a bit skeptical, so he asked Jared, “Did you happen to join TeamDDPYOGA.com?” As much as Dallas believes in DDP YOGA, he knew that losing this amount of weight was a monumental task ¡ª and at the same time, Jared was still a big guy. He had started his journey at over 500 pounds, so he was still at least 380 pounds.

“Yes, I did.” Jared responded.

Dallas got a little more excited.

“Did you happen to take your before photos?” he continued.

“I did after my first week.” said Jared.

“Thank God!” Dallas exclaimed. There was actual proof of such an amazing accomplishment.

Nine months later, Jared was invited to the DDP YOGA Performance Center to be a part of the new workout videos ¡ª starting at over 500 pounds, Jared had managed to get so fit that he could do the most challenging DDP YOGA workouts. Everyone, including Dallas, was amazed by the progress Jared had made since we had last seen him . . . everyone except Jared. It seemed like, although he was happy with his results, he didn’t quite understand how big a deal it was to everyone around him.

So that’s when Dallas asked Jared to read his very first blog entry. As you can see in the video, above, there’s an incredibly powerful moment when Jared realizes just how far he has come. After over 40 years of being overweight, Jared had managed to lose 300 pounds in just a little over one year, by eating real food and doing DDP YOGA. His story continues to inspire us all, and hopefully it will inspire many, many others that it’s never too late to change your life.

Image Source: DDP YOGA