Whether you carry your excess weight along your belly or thighs, and no matter what you call it, one thing rings true: you want it gone. Maybe you’re hoping to drown your sorrows in chocolate and compensate for the extra calories with plenty of exercise. Or perhaps you hope you can altogether avoid exercise by selecting the right diet. While it’s certainly possible to lose weight with only one of the two, it’s also significantly harder. Healthy, sustainable weight-loss is more likely to come from a blend of healthy eating and active living.

If you’re like most people on a weight-loss journey, you want to expend as little effort as you can to get the results you want.

Burning Calories, Burning Fat
If you have a problem area, like most people do, you might be tempted to endlessly exercise just that area of your body. The truth is that you can’t spot-reduce, no matter how many crunches or squats you do. Instead, the key to losing fat is to create a caloric deficit—a fancy way of saying ‘burn more calories than you take in’.

A single pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories—almost two day’s worth of food. Burning this many calories is challenging for anyone, especially if you rely on exercise or diet alone. To successfully diet to lose a pound a week, you’d need to cut the equivalent of 22 sodas, seven hamburgers, 20 bags of chips, or 44 cookies from your diet. That’s no small feat.

Exercising the fat away won’t be much easier. The number of calories you burn depends on a host of factors. Generally speaking, though, you can expect to burn anywhere from 100-500 calories with an aerobic workout. That means you’d have to exercise every day at a very high intensity—by, for example, running for an hour—if you wanted to be able to lose weight with exercise alone.

The solution seems clear: If you want to lose the most weight possible, you can get ahead of the game by exercising and eating less.

What the Research Says
Of course, people opt not to exercise or diet for a variety of reasons. Maybe health or time constraints figure prominently in your decision, or perhaps you’re reticent to adopt a new lifestyle. If you’re bound and determined to try only one approach to weight-loss, you should structure your plan around substantive research, not weight-loss gimmicks. Most research suggests that people are more apt to lose weight when they diet, so if you have to choose between the two, dieting may be your best bet. Of course, if you can add in a bit more activity—such as walking more places, spending some time walking your dog, or enjoying a game of baseball with your kids—you’ll lose weight more quickly, even if you never hit the gym.

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Hoping to fall pregnant sometime soon but it’s not happening?  If you’re currently trying to conceive, there’s a number of things you can be doing to help improve your chances of conceiving. Taking good care of yourself at this time is essential in order to ensure you’re doing everything possible to increase your fertility.

That includes getting enough sleep at night, doing regular exercise, cut out the alcohol, and ensuring you’re eating the best foods.

The food that you eat on a daily basis can have a huge influence on how quickly you fall pregnant.

So, let’s go over a few of the best foods to eat for optimising your body during this time.


First up, start serving beans more often.  Swapping out the red meat you’re eating for beans a few nights a week can do wonders for not only for your fertility, but your health as well.

Those women who tend to have the lowest consumption of red meat tend to show the greatest level of fertility as they typically have fewer issues getting pregnant.

Beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates, so are perfect for providing the energy you need. They’ll also provide some folate as well, which is a very important nutrient for optimal fetus development.


While most of your life you’ve probably avoided higher fat dairy products, now it’s time to add them back in.  Whole milk products can help increase your level of fertility while also providing the added calories you’ll need to ensure optimal health.

Women who have been using a lower calorie diet plan to lose or maintain their body weight for years may have a harder chance of conceiving, so upping your calories slightly can help.

One serving of full-fat Greek yogurt per day is perfect and will also provide another source of protein along with some calcium for strong bones.


Make sure you aren’t passing up the salad next time you sit down for dinner.  Leafy greens, including spinach are great for improving your ovulation, which can then lead to higher levels of fertility.

These leafy greens are also loaded with antioxidants and a variety of important vitamins and minerals, so will strengthen your immune system, boost energy levels, and may ward off disease as well.

Aim for two to three servings of leafy greens per day.


Finally, the last food you’ll want to ensure is making an appearance in your diet plan regularly is pumpkin seeds.  Not only is this food loaded with healthy fats, which will provide energy and help keep your sex hormones at optimal levels, but they also contain a good dose of iron, which is needed for conception.

Women who are suffering from iron-deficiency anemia will have a harder time getting pregnant, so if you are, make sure you take steps to increase your iron.


Now is the time to load up on nutrients that encourage cell growth. Beta-carotene, found in pineapple and also commonly found in leafy greens and yellow and orange foods such as carrots, melon and sweet potatoes, helps keep your hormones in check and prevents early miscarriage. In fact, the corpus luteum, which helps produce the progesterone necessary to sustain a pregnancy, is loaded with this powerful nutrient.

Pineapple is often highly recommended during the early stages of pregnancy. In addition to beta-carotene, pineapple contains a substance called bromelain, which has been shown to mildly support implantation through its anti-inflammatory properties. “There’s not a lot of research out there for the benefits of eating pineapple during the time of conception, but if you want to hedge your bets, you may benefit,” says Wright. “After all, pineapple is a healthy food with no downside.” Experts discourage taking bromelain as a supplement though because the dose may be too high, and anything that dramatically moves blood during this time could be counter-productive so stick with fresh Pineapple and you can’t go wrong!

So there you have it — a few of the best foods to optimize your diet as you prepare your body to conceive. Add these into your diet now and you will be that much closer to bringing a new beautiful addition to your growing family.

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A good diet isn’t really a diet at all; it’s a lifestyle upgrade that is sustainable for the rest of your life. However, you could be expending effort, depriving yourself of the food you love — for no good reason at all. When you deprive yourself of everything you love, not only are you miserable; you’re also more likely to back out of your healthy living plans and fall back into bad habits.

The good news: Indulging isn’t bad for your diet; it’s an essential part of it!

Here’s some ideas on how to indulge in the foods you love without going overboard:

The real problem with indulging is binging. If you can keep your portions small, then a cookie or two won’t hurt you. If you’re eating out, remember that restaurants typically give portions three or four times a standard serving. Cut your dessert in half or even better – share it with your friend. Not only will you get to share the love with your companions; you won’t find yourself rapidly expanding.

When you’re bored, frustrated, or feeling depressed, it’s easy to eat half tub of ice cream before you even notice it’s gone. The answer is to this problem, is to simply not buy it in the first place. If it’s not there – you can’t eat it. Instead, keep some small, healthy snacks on hand like nuts, dried fruit, frozen fruits, coconut flakes, or yoghurt and leave the sugary and salty stuff at the grocery store, where it belongs.

If you can’t resist indulging in a sugary or salty snack, select foods with healthier ingredients. Replace your preservative-filled store-bought cookies with home-made cookies with organic ingredients. Alternatively, consider replacing some of your favorite indulgences. A few easy ways to do this:

  • Ditch the milk chocolate in favor of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
  • Forget about salty potato chips. Try salted cantaloupe or some olives instead.
  • Craving chocolate cake? Try a truffle instead.
  • Feeling like candy? Snack on some frozen raspberries and blueberries.
  • Replace white flour bagels, bread, and pasta with healthier full-wheat alternatives.
  • Don’t buy something just because it’s sugar or fat-free. These products sometimes use unhealthy substitutes, so be sure to check the ingredients list before you buy into manufacturer claims that a product is “healthy.”

Th good news is: eating a few thousand calories doesn’t have to destroy your diet, and thinking that it does may serve as an excuse for even more overeating. If you find yourself overeating, a great way to counteract the bloating and form a new habit is to walk it off. Take a walk after your meals. Staying physically active, even for a few extra minutes each day, can help you stay in shape—and give you extra room in your caloric budget for the foods you love the most.

Become a member of Rocking Fit and join our community of Rocking Fit women for a 12-week holistic journey to health, wellness and empowerment and finally achieve your wellness goals. Find out more…