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Home Court Habits: The Secret to Effortless Weight Control

by | Jan 13, 2014

Photo by *sean

This time last year I introduced the healthstyle Recalibration. Recalibration is an excellent way to help reset your healthstyle (especially if you were a bit derailed by the holidays) and troubleshoot stalled weight loss, but it is not intended as a method of prolonged weight control. For that you need something that lasts.

No human on earth can eat perfectly healthy for every meal of his life. And if you think about it, that shouldn’t even be your goal. Food is too good and life is too short to deprive yourself all the time of things you enjoy. Besides, nobody has an endless supply of willpower, so even if you try for perfection you will likely fail.

What’s awesome is that you don’t actually need to eat perfectly all the time. To achieve and maintain your ideal weight, all you need is to eat healthy most of the time. In other words, the secret to long term weight control is not restricting certain foods or ingredients, it’s changing your habits.

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A Free Chapter of FOODIST to Start 2014 Off Right

by | Dec 30, 2013


Welcome back and happy holidays!

This week most of the people you know will declare a handful of ridiculous resolutions to “lose weight,” “get healthy,” “exercise more,” or “drink more water.” Some of them may even concoct a vague or impossibly difficult plan to get there.

And most of them will fail within a couple of weeks.

The problem, of course, is that for resolutions to actually work you need to figure out a way to change your behaviors permanently, and this is much easier said than done.

I’ve spent the past several years studying and testing just that: how to identify and change the behaviors that have the biggest impact on your health. It involves changing the way you look at and interact with food and your body, and breaking down the tactical as well as the psychological barriers that stand in your way.

It isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either. And it’s WAY MORE FUN than dieting.

In my book Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting I give you step-by-step instructions for how to stop trying and hoping for better health, and actually achieve it.

As a holiday present for you guys today I’m giving away a free chapter (one of my favorites) from Foodist to help you start 2014 on the right foot.

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9 Tips To Eat Healthy When Holiday Traveling

by | Dec 11, 2013

Photo by jondoeforty1

Tis the season for holiday travel. For the next couple of weeks airports will be the fateful purgatory for all of us venturing home (or away) for the holidays.

Since calorie rich meals are almost certainly in your future, why waste perfectly good indulgences on crappy airport food?

Unhealthy food should be a treat, never a symptom of laziness. Just a little planning can get you through most flights without the need to eat things you’d prefer not to.

Even in suboptimal situations (75% of my flights back to SF are delayed due to weather), there are a few tricks you can use to minimize the damage.
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5 Steps to Stop Emotional Eating

by | Dec 3, 2013

Photo by RenaudPhoto

Ashley Palmer is a Registered Nurse and holds a Masters degree in Human nutrition. She is the owner and founder of Youtrition®, a diet free, guilt free approach to lasting weight loss. Find her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

5 Steps to Stop Emotional Eating

by Ashley Palmer

Emotional eating can be frustrating if you are trying to improve your health. Even if you’ve worked hard to make good habit changes, emotional eating can cause you to reach for a carton of ice cream after a bad day and undo the progress you’ve made.

Emotional eating is one form of non-hunger eating, meaning it is triggered by something other than physiological hunger. For some people, emotional eating is a rare occurrence, only happening when a loved one falls ill or an incredibly stressful life event happens, while others may have developed a habit of daily emotional eating.

The danger in this is obvious on the surface: if we eat when our body has no true need for calories, it stores those extra calories (mostly in the form of body fat) for later use. But there can be danger beyond this: using food to calm emotions can become an unhealthy coping mechanism when underlying issues desperately need addressing.

Prior to receiving my Master’s degree in Nutrition and opening my own nutrition counseling practice, I worked as a Trauma Nurse in a large regional hospital. It was then that I learned, first hand, just how damaging emotional eating could be.

Although I was actively seeking positive change in my life and attempting to lose weight, I found that the stressful days at work made it all but impossible to stay away from large quantities of comfort food. Despite my desire to use food to make me feel better, it actually made me feel worse––uncomfortable, lethargic, sick, and guilty.

Over time I learned some incredibly useful strategies to help me overcome these tendencies. Years later, as a nutrition counselor, I continue to use many of these strategies successfully with my clients.

I’ve found that while each person finds one or two of these strategies to be the most beneficial, they still get the greatest benefit from using and implementing them in the order provided. So here they are, my top five tips for combatting emotional eating:
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Don’t Be Afraid of Thanksgiving

by | Nov 25, 2013

Photo by St0rmz

When I was a teenager Thanksgiving was my least favorite holiday. Not only did I hate that it was centered almost exclusively around food, it also signified the beginning of a holiday season filled with cookies, cakes, pies, pastries and all my other sworn enemies.

Thanksgiving meant needing to ramp up my willpower not just for a day, or a four-day weekend, but for the next six weeks. I was terrified.

For anyone who consistently worries about their weight, Thanksgiving can be scary. Fear of falling off the wagon, undoing all the work you put in over the summer, and ending the year worse off than you started is pretty close to your worst nightmare.

It’s daunting. But it doesn’t need to be.

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10 Simple Ways To Eat Less Without Noticing

by | Oct 14, 2013

Photo by Idle Type

What you eat is important, but even healthy food can stop you from losing weight if you eat too much of it.

I never recommend extreme calorie restriction (most people aren’t very good at it anyway), but there are some tricks you can use to slightly reduce the amount of food you eat without feeling deprived, or even really noticing.

Your brain is easily fooled by shifts in perspective. It’s also more responsive to external cues like an empty plate, than internal cues like a full stomach. Understanding these influences can show you how to tilt them in your favor.

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Oops, I accidentally lost too much weight. Now what?

by | May 20, 2013
Photo by supaztyler2

Photo by supaztyler2

Most people don’t start reading Summer Tomato with a desire to gain weight, but I’ve been surprised to receive more than a few emails over the past few years that read something like this:

“Thanks so much for all your work on Summer Tomato. I’ve been following your advice for about a year and absolutely love my new healthstyle. I’m exploring foods I never knew existed, and feel absolutely great. My only question is, what if I want to stop losing weight or even gain a few pounds? I hardly noticed that I’ve slipped below my ideal weight, and a few friends and family members have mentioned that I was looking especially thin. Is there a way I can put on some healthy weight without resorting to eating unhealthy foods?”

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Join Me on Lift for Your Foodist Healthstyle Recalibration

by | May 8, 2013
Shopping at the farmers market is one of my most rewarding healthstyle habits

Shopping at the farmers market is one of my most rewarding healthstyle habits

Now that you all have your copies of Foodist I’m sure you’re itching to get started upgrading your healthstyle, and I want to help.

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Foodist is HERE! – Show Yours Off on Instagram & Win a Personalized Copy

by | May 7, 2013
Post your hardcover copy of #foodist (w/hashtag) on Instagram now thru 5/14 for chance to win a personalized copy!

Post your hardcover copy of #foodist (w/hashtag) on Instagram now thru 5/14 for chance to win a personalized copy!

Foodist is finally released into the wild.

Every word I’ve ever written here at Summer Tomato has led up to this book. It’s what people have been asking for since I first started writing, a step-by-step guide to losing weight without the pain and suffering that comes with dieting.

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6 Ways Eating Out Causes Overeating (And How To Stop It)

by | Apr 22, 2013

Photo by Sebastian Fritzon

Among my health conscious friends, we unanimously agree that eating out is the biggest barrier to weight loss.

San Francisco residents are fortunate that local, high-quality ingredients are the standard in almost every dining establishment (same is true for NYC, LA and other US foodie cities). We have gastropubs serving up grass-fed beef burgers, street carts offering sustainable fish tacos and small neighborhood spots dishing up heirloom vegetables and artisan ingredients.

I know, we’re spoiled rotten. But there’s a downside to all these wonderful options.

Ironically, the problem is that everything tastes amazing and is relatively healthy. Also, the menus tend to change regularly (often daily) depending on what is in season. So there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever be able to enjoy a particular dish more than once.

These things make it really easy to justify overeating.

There are many factors that cause us to overeat when we’re out. Here are the most common, and what to do about them.
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