Oodles and Oodles and Zoodles of Fun!

The hardest part about living a low carb lifestyle is the pasta limitation. I have to be honest though, the part about not eating pasta doesn’t bother me as much as the convenience factor. It’s so easy to boil pasta and toss sauce or meat with it, right?

We have some pretty awesome alternatives that offer way more nutrition and way less carbs and calories. Zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, carrot and sweet potato noodles to name a few. Let me know if you have any other veggie noodle ideas, I am always open to trying new things!  

I wanted to make something quick, easy, and light for dinner.

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Shrimp Zoodle Scampi

Ingredients:

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 onion-chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce (we like our food with a kick!)
  • 2tbsp evoo
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup chicken broth or white cooking wine
  • grated parm cheese (optional)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  • Spiralize zuchini and squeeze out as much liquid as possible, season with a pinch of salt and put to the side
  • Heat 1tbls olive oil and cook onions and garlic till translucent
  • Add broth/wine, juice from 1/2 lemon,hot sauce and shrimp
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper
  • Cook till shrimp begin to turn pink and curl this is about 5 min (don’t over cook or it’ll become too rubbery)
  • Remove shrimp from heat and add 1tbls evoo and zoodles
  • Once zoodles are cooked, toss the shrimp back in, add butter, red pepper flakes and parm cheese

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Willpower versus Motivation

People blame their shortcomings on a lack of willpower. But do you treat willpower as if it’s a static personality trait?

..Because it’s not. Willpower is simply a measure of two things:
1. your level of motivation for a particular outcome; and
2. your willingness and ability to take a concrete action in furtherance of that outcome

When you see a cheeseburger, you easily conjure the will to eat it. That’s because it’s salient. It makes your brain cells dance, and you suddenly experience a high level of motivation to just stuff it into your mouth.

When you are highly motivated to do things, suddenly it becomes difficult to NOT do them. So really – your willpower problem can actually be seen as a problem of motivation.

And if you know yourself, and you know the things that really interest you – you can increase your willpower by increasing your motivation. Over time, mundane acts (like exercising) will become a source of familiarity and joy as they become habits engrained in your mind.

Here are just a few ways you can increase your motivation, and thus, your willpower:

  1. Temptation Bundling. Research has shown that coupling highly enjoyable acts with less enjoyable acts can increase your motivation to participate in the less enjoyable acts. For more details, check out my post on temptation bundling. And while you’re at it, check out my Serial Challenge for Gym Haters.
  2. Make Exercising Social. Don’t focus on exercising so hard. Instead, focus on making exercise a fun and social event. Take a dance class with a friend or go for walks with coworkers. It’s not exercise, it’s just fun with friends. (But shhh…it’s also exercise.)
  3. Create Small Goals. Maybe you want to lose 50 pounds. Of course it’s doable. But 50 pounds is a lot of weight, and it’s a very demotivating thought when you’re just starting out. But what if you only wanted to lose 4 pounds? Losing 4 pounds is easy. And if you do it over and over again, you’ll eventually get to 50 before you know it. Set small goals to increase your motivation. It works!! See my post about setting small goals here.
  4. Buy one dress that doesn’t fit. When I first started my weight loss journey, I bought an adorable dress that was several sizes too small. I hung it up, and I promised myself that someday soon I would wear that dress. It was bright yellow, so I noticed it every time I opened my closet. When the dress finally fit, it was incredibly rewarding. Say YES to the dress!
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Summer 2015, the day the yellow dress fit! I’ve lost about another 20 since.

What are some ways you keep your motivation high?

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What’s More Important – Diet or Exercise?

I’m going with diet.

Yes, they’re both important. Blah blah blah. But I firmly believe that when it comes to weight loss, physical activity is secondary to food intake.

While it’s true that some people don’t move enough, it seems to me that many more people are reasonably active, and still experiencing issues with their weight.  Perhaps I am biased because this was my personal experience – always overweight, and yet always quite active. But in any event, I’m not the only person who feels this way.

The typical Western diet is calorie dense.

In general, food is primary because while we are designed to want to eat until we’re full, we are also designed to eat foods that had a much lower caloric density than the foods we typically encounter today. Admittedly, we were also designed to work a bit harder for those foods (a factor in favor of exercise, I suppose).

Still, typical Western foods are so calorific that even a large amount of exercise won’t offset poor eating habits. And to make things worse, the caloric density of these foods  is probably magnified by our general over-reliance on carbohydrates – the consumption of which tends to affect our metabolic state in favor of storage.

For some, exercise can increase appetite.

My advice to anyone, simply based on my own experience, would be to avoid starting caloric restriction and a workout regimen at the same time.

Of course, you have to know yourself. But in my experience, exercise increases my appetite noticeably. In fact, exercise has been shown to both increase or decrease your appetite depending on a number of factors.

In life, we expect clean and predictable answers. People will say “Oh you can never lose weight without exercising.” But that’s simply untrue, because the truth is much so much more complex than what some person put in a single news headline.

You can look at what scientific studies tell you, or you can sit down and mindfully examine your own life experience, incorporating what you pick up from the news as well. Our bodies and brains are unique, and in the end, what works for you depends on more factors than a scientific study can possible consider. You need to know yourself.

Consider – how did you get where you are now?

If you have a lot of weight to lose, maybe it’s time to consider this – what caused you to put on the weight in the first place? And be honest with yourself.

If you overeat often, you should probably deal with your eating habits before dealing with your physical activity. If you find it’s difficult to get full, then you want to begin opting for more veggies with every meal. Simply adding veggies may cause you to eat less of other more calorie dense foods. This was the case for me. Of course – I still exercise regularly for the health benefits.

On the other hand, if you’ve put on a pound or two each year slowly throughout the years with age – maybe you’ll do fine just adding enough activity to compensate for your slowing metabolism. Try it out, and see how it works for you.

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(We won’t spam you)

We’d love to hear about your progress.
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