Category Archives: Uncategorized

RECIPE | Protein Boosted Granola Clusters

savory-indian-protein-granola-1With this onslaught of rainy days, and more rainy days, and more rainy days, it brings out the baker in me. Even if you don’t consider baking to be among your greatest skill sets, I have a comforting recipe that’s really easy and perfect to make on days like today.

My passion is to help people make high quality foods more convenient, and this recipe can be one of your go-to snacks for healthy munching. So let’s practice making unhealthy foods 20 seconds harder to get to; stash the chips in hubby’s car trunk, up on a high shelf, or simply resist buying it to begin with.  And let’s make healthy food more convenient by making this great new recipe to have on hand.

Now this isn’t just any granola recipe because it’s more of a savory than sweet flavor and I’m excited about it because I designed it this morning. It turned out light, crunchy and savory with an undertone of sweetness from the honey and tartness from the cranberries. This can be made gluten free by buying gluten free rolled oats which are grown in dedicated fields so there is no cross-contamination. And of course, you can substitute the cranberries if you have a favorite alternative.  The spices I selected are typically of Indian dishes; you can also substitute with sage, thyme, basil, etc. Experiment and have fun!

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Dry Ingredients |

3 cups Old fashioned rolled oats

¼ cup Quinoa

1 T Chia Seeds

6 T Plain or vanilla protein powder (I like Show Me the Whey best)

1 cup Chopped almonds

2/3 cup dried cranberries

¼ t salt

 

Spices from India |

2 t Coriander

2/4 t Cardamom

1 t Cumin

¼ t Turmeric

¼ t Paprika

 

Wet Ingredients|

¼ cup oil (use whatever variety you like such as olive, canola etc.)

1 t Vanilla

2/3 cup Honey

Pre-heat oven to bake at 300 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together wet ingredients in smaller bowl. Combine all ingredients, tossing until moist and crumbly.

Pour ingredients onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, spreading out evenly. Bake on top rack just until lightly browned, around 18 minutes. Allow to cool completely and enjoy on yogurt or by itself.

Please share this with your friends who would enjoy this healthy and fun protein granola snack!

From my heart to yours,

Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert, and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a 50-something mom of four!  She is also the creator of TONI’S High Performance Protein Meals, a complete and healthy hot protein meal that’s ready in minutes. Visit www.ToniJulian.com

Design Your Body | Design Your Life

Eating breakfast is saying good morning to your body

Eating a healthy, balanced meal is saying good morning to your body!

 

You know how you try hard to make the right food choices, but sometimes find yourself snacking on something that you later regret? Do you occasionally feel like you delay making a healthy meal and find yourself grazing on carbohydrates to get through the day? Perhaps you skip breakfast, have an apple in the afternoon, then a low quality protein bar or crackers before dinner, not realizing you are actually deferring your need for a balanced meal to keep you satiated. Carbohydrate snacking creates fluctuations in your blood sugar because they metabolize so quickly, setting you up for weight gain, mood swings and headaches, not to mention the potential for Diabetes.

The food choices you make have a tremendous impact on how you look, and more importantly, how you feel. You can design your body, design your wellness, and design the quality of your life by making optimal nutrition choices. After all, the goal is to be as vibrant, energetic and healthy for as long as possible, right?

Here are some tips to help you stabilize your energy level and conquer your cravings for salty, crunchy, or sugary foods that will leave you feeling guilty!

  1. When making food choices don’t think “what sounds good?” think instead “what does my body need?” It will elevate your thoughts from considering leftover Chinese takeout to actually considering your nutritional needs. Take a moment to think whether you’ve had any veggies that day, have you eaten enough protein, are you drinking enough water. For me personally, it’s a great time to consider a veggie smoothie if I’m low on my greens, or an egg-white omelet for a protein boost.
  2. Make every time you eat, a meal and not a snack.
  3. Eat a balanced combination of lean protein, complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits or vegetables) and healthy fats (avocados, almonds, olive oil, etc.) in every meal. Most people do well with a balance of 20% protein | 60% complex carbs | 20% healthy fats.
  4. 70% of your foods should be plant based (grains, fruits, veggies, nuts) so it should be easy to hit a good balance.
  5. Keep each meal about the same in calories. For example a woman might need 5 meals of 350 calories per day, and a man may need 5 meals of 550 calories per day.
  6. If you are hungry before bed, lean toward eating protein, like a nonfat Greek yogurt, that you can use for muscle repair at night, rather than a pure carbohydrate that will likely be stored as fat while you sleep.
  7. If you are having sweet cravings, try making yourself a cup of Good Earth Sweet & Spicy herbal tea. It’s naturally sweetened and helps curb night time cravings with zero calories.
  8. Take a little time over the weekend to plan out a few meals, and you’ll find you are better prepared to make good decisions, at least most of the time.
  9. Plan to do your major grocery shopping over the weekend, and another quick stop to Sigona’s mid-week to replenish your fresh produce supply.

I look forward to connecting again next time, and I’ll share with you my deliciously hearty Turkey Bean Stew recipe, that has the perfect balance of macronutrients to keep you satisfied for hours!

Please share this with your friends who are interested in how to balance their foods for a healthier lifestyle!

From my heart to yours,

Toni

Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert, and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a 50-something mom of four!  She is also the creator of Toni’s OatMEAL, a complete and healthy hot protein meal that’s ready in minutes. Get yours at www.ToniJulian.com

Taking Time for YOU: Rejuvenate, Recover, Refresh

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My waking thoughts this morning are focused on YOU. In the midst of the celebrations I know you have given your all to make the holidays so joyful and fulfilling for all you love. You’ve undoubtedly made your home magical with lights; put great thought into gift giving so you can make your little ones eyes dance –or grown children, or better yet, grandbabies! You planned delicious dinner menus and took the time to share a fine bottle of wine with a friend.

Today, my hope for you is that it was, and is, everything you intended.

My thought for you today is to treat yourself kindly. Take some time to rejuvenate, recover and refresh. Here are simple ideas for you to incorporate over this next week:

  • Drink this upon waking in the morning, to detoxify your liver, boost your metabolism, decrease inflammation and boost your immune system:

Lemon Water Detox

1 cup warm water

½ fresh squeezed lemon

1 teaspoon Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

Dash of Cayenne pepper

  • Keep your meals simple, local fresh produce, lean proteins and plenty of water.
  • Take a walk in the forest, along the ocean, through a garden or anywhere that brings you peace
  • Take a warm bath with Epson salts, Himalayan pink salt or lavender oil
  • Destress by expanding your breathing. Lay comfortably on your back. Expand your rib cage by taking a deep breath and hold it for three seconds. Take another small breath on top of that breath and hold for another three seconds. Release the air slowly through your mouth and feeling any anxiety or stress going with it. This technique helps expand the rib cage, stretching your intercostal muscles (the muscles surrounding your ribs) so you breathe more freely. We tend to breathe shallowly through the day. Feel the difference?

Please share this with your friends who are looking for a healthy way to destress after this busy week!

From my heart to yours,

Toni

Toni Julian is a nationally renowned health advocate, nutrition adviser, fitness expert and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time, as well as a mom of four.  She is also the creator of Toni’s OatMEAL, a complete and healthy hot protein meal that’s ready in minutes. Visit www.ToniJulian.com

 

You can have it all and be healthy too

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If you think getting just a few hours of sleep a night is good for you, think again!

I come from a long lineage of women who once strived to push the bounds of societal norms, who said “I want it all” and questioned if they could truly manage to balance their career without compromising their personal values and priorities. Oprah once said “You can have it all, just not at the same time”. This resonated with me, and I was left questioning just which aspect of my full life did I need to neglect? For many of us, it’s a subconscious choice, the investment in our own health.

The real truth is that time is your most valuable resource. When you prioritize and focus on your personal health goals, you may just be able to have it all.  Rather than thinking about the next diet to plunge headlong into, switch your thinking to lifestyle changes that are sustainable for long term success.

Here are four major contributors to your wellness, listed in order of positive impact on your health. So if you had a lousy night’s sleep and wondering if you should still get up early to work out, you might be surprised at the answer.

1  SLEEP | Our bodies heal only when we sleep. Getting at least seven hours each night, helps us regulate our blood sugar, think clearly and positively. Sleep deprivation causes us to self-medicate; when we feel exhausted our bodies crave simple carbs, metabolizing quickly to sugar to give ourselves an immediate mood and energy boost.

2  FOOD QUALITY | Food is not just fuel. Foods break down into chemical messengers directing all kinds of signals in your body, to repair, to grow and to produce estrogen (please!). Whole foods, locally grown that are mostly vegetables and lean meats sans hormones and antibiotics, and carbohydrates that are complex–think 100% whole grains–is a solid go-to plan.

3  FOOD QUANTITY | Keep your metabolism revving as high as you do! Eat small meals, with balanced macronutrients—start with protein and add complex carbs and healthy fats—and be careful not to go more than four or five hours between meals. Practice this, and you’ll help maintain your lean muscle, while training your body that it’s okay (ahem, more than okay) to let go of the fat.

4  EXERCISE | Start with weight bearing exercises. You’ll build muscle, which boosts your metabolism, while maintaining bone density. A win-win as we age. And simply keep moving. Walking, hiking, swimming and dancing are great ways to exercise the most important muscle, your heart while also spiking your happiness quotient!

Start prioritizing these four critical lifestyle habits and you truly may have it all!

| Toni Julian is a northern California-based health advocate, accomplished motivational speaker, author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time,  and creator of Toni’s {Hot Protein Meals in Minutes!}. Visit her at http://www.ToniJulian.com

The Ultra-Healthy GF Summer Burger

Turkey Bison BurgerSometimes you get that craving. Yes, THAT craving. The one that nothing else will satisfy except the deliciousness of a REAL burger. That hunger-stomping, protein indulgence, that is as satisfying as it looks.

Make this your new go-to burger with fewer fat calories than the full beef burger. I use half ground bison and half lean turkey for the patty. Bison is only 10% fat versus it’s beef counterpart. This is an especially good option for people who are “transitioning” to a healthier lifestyle and not ready to go cold turkey.

Patty Ingredients:

1 lb ground bison

1 lb ground lean turkey

1 cup glutino gluten free breadcrumbs

3 egg whites

6 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

3 tablespoons granulated garlic or fresh chopped garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder

Garnish:

Chopped cilantro

Sliced red onion rings

Sliced tomato

Queso fresco

Generously top with non-fat Greek yogurt

Half whole wheat or GF bun

What to do: Mix together with hands and form patties. Place on cookie sheet and freeze until firm. Grill or pan fry 6 for family dinner. Place remaining patties in freezer bags and store for future meal.

 

 

10 Tips for Post Workout

Updated - 10 tips for post workout

Workshop: Cut calories and save flavor!

Join us in the community classroom at New Seasons Market Evergreen and learn how to make delicious and easy meals and snacks with healthy foods from the aisles of New Seasons, while reducing calories and boosting the flavor and appeal. Toni Julian will share techniques and tips to make your own family recipes more healthful, while reducing calories without sacrificing delicious flavor. Sip on mock-tails, snack on healthy hummus, and get 10 free new recipes from Toni’s Test Kitchen. Sing up through eventbrite, or at the Solutions Counter inside New Seasons Market.

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Toni Julian is a Northern California-based health advocate and nutrition advisor, fitness expert, author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time and creator of Toni’s OatMEAL–Healthy and Completely Balanced Meal Solutions.

In the News: Toni’s OatMEAL Featured in Double Runner Magazine

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Toni’s OatMEAL 

How tragedy turned into triumph and a dream for a better future after Toni Julian lost her best friend and found her true calling.

By Daniel Brown

Double Runner Magazine | November/December Issue 2015

 

 


Toni Julian was 48 when her best friend, Barbara, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. “And there’s no good end to that,” Toni said.

The two had been pals since they were both 11, a bond that only intensified as the years passed and the women reached every signpost of adulthood – graduation, marriage, kids.

Still, as Barbara’s condition deteriorated, Julian kept at least one secret from her best friend.

“She was so sick that I couldn’t even tell her what was going on with me,” Julian recalled. “She was on her death bed. I didn’t want to worry her. It wasn’t something she had the bandwidth to even deal with.”

The truth: Julian had early stage cervical pre-cancer. It was a high-risk version, but fortunately doctors caught it early.

Barbara died with Toni Julian by her side. and even though Julian and her family immediately embarked on a planned trip to Italy, her thoughts never strayed far from back home in San Jose.

“I was really distraught because of what had happened,” Julian said. “I had to find some reason to make some good out of this.”

She decided to use Barbara’s death, as well as her own medical scare, as a rallying point for a better life. Julian promptly walked away from her marketing communication and jumped full bore into the world of fitness, nutrition and a healthier lifestyle for her and her family.

The ripples of that decision made their way to the starting line of the Double Road Race this summer. Toni’s OatMEAL – the signature product borne from Julian’s transformation – is a key sponsor for the San Jose Double Road Race on Aug. 22.

“Helping people to have lives that are sustainable is my whole goal,” the San Jose State graduate said. “I’ve applied that to myself, I’ve applied that to my family. To me it’s really personal. And so I’m very, very motivated by it.”

Having learned that nutrition alone can only get you so far, Julian also jumped in as a Double Run coach. She set up Double Training runs three days a week starting July 1.

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Toni teaches core training during the Double Training halftime break with her team in preparation for the San Jose Double.

The schedule is disciplined, with an emphasis on having all the runners finish together (or roughly so). At one recent session it was 13 minutes out, 13 minutes back and 13 minutes of core exercises. to simulate the second leg, runners then ran again – this time 6.5 minutes out and back.

 

Such workouts underscore that, in an odd confluence, the dish that Julian set out to make for her family wound up well-suited for Double Racing’s unique format. Toni’s OatMEAL for breakfast was created with the goal of delivering a slow burn — food that metabolizes at an even rate.

Having turned competitive herself, Julian said she’s seen plenty of athletes slam sugary fuel just because they’re looking for calories the fastest way possible. Nutrition is often an afterthought (if it’s a thought at all).

“So I thought, ‘What if I could give them both? What if I give them something that provides a slow release of energy over time?'” Julian said.

“If they need something to supplement, they can. But at least they’ll have a really strong food foundation, so that they can get through many hours (of activity) and actually feel good.

Bob Anderson, the founder of Double Racing, is among the early supporters. At Julian’s urging, he tried her OatMEAL before one of his races. Anderson reported back that he mostly felt the same for the first leg of the race — then discovered a new well of energy for the second.

“I was delighted to hear that,” Julian said. So I think we had a mutual respect for each other. I decided to sponsor his race and help spread the word about his new sport.”

It’s been a remarkable transformation. At the time of Barbara’s death, Julian was approaching 50 and hardly a fitness guru. “Back then, I was called ‘skinny fat,'” she said with a laugh.

At 5-foot-3, she weighed about 125 pounds and was a size-6. That doesn’t sound so bad, but Julian was out of shape. A Hydrostatic Body Fat Test revealed that her body fat was at 30 percent — a far cry from the 20 to 24 percent normally considered healthy for a woman.

Julian began doing resistance training three or four times a week and eating with discipline. Within two months she shed 14 pounds of fat and gained six pounds of muscle.

She was soon lean enough to compete in a Natural Figure Competition. Julian, at age 48, took first place in the sports model category (“I got pretty cut,” she said).

Along with her workouts, she took nutrition into her own hands. There was more than her own waistline at stake. Julian had a husband and four kids. She wanted to bring them along in  her quest for a healthier life.

When Julian started experimenting with her OatMEAL, the family breakfast table served as her laboratory. The three girls and one boy were happy to play the role of guinea pigs.

“Kids get bored with food very easily,” Julian said. “And they wouldn’t eat breakfast before they were running out the door for school. “So I thought, “Okay, I’ll make something convenient for them.’ The first formula I made wasn’t all that good. I was all about the ‘healthy’ and the taste came secondary. They weren’t overly in love with it at first.”

But with her offspring’s input, Julian wound up creating a whole new line of products. Two of her kids have celiac disease, so her offerings included gluten-free breakfasts.

The flavors are clearly kid-approved, as the menu at tonijulian.com makes clear — “Savory Cinnamon-Raisin,” “Sweet & Creamy Coconut-Blueberry”, “Tart Cherry Chocolate-Almond” are among the possibilities.

Julian said that she is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach and earned her Nutrition and Personal Training Certifications through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. She’s also written a book – “BITE ME!  Change Your Life One Bite at a Time.”

She’s also selective about where she plagiarizes. She ripped off the basis of her OatMEAL recipe from Mother Nature.

“I was in athlete mode and I wondered, ‘How do I find something that’s going to give me all the nutrition I need, plus keep me full for a while?” Julian recalled.

“I actually looked at mother’s milk. What’s the macro-nutrient combination of that? It’s 20 percent healthy fat, 20 percent protein, 60 percent carbohydrates. So I thought, ‘Okay, I guess Mother Nature wanted people to have that formula.'”

Toni and Bob New Seasons

Toni Julian and Bob Anderson heading into New Seasons Market in San Jose, CA to check out Toni’s OatMEAL on store shelves

Julian has plans to expand her OatMEAL business soon, launching Grab and Go cups and 7-meal foil pouches at more Silicon Valley-area markets. She also has a booming online business.

Still, she thinks of Barbara often.

“I want people to be healthy,” Julian said. “If they get their food and fitness in order, they can become role models, inspiring others to do the same. That’s my bigger vision.”

See the story on Double Runner Magazine’s website at:  Toni’s OatMEAL–A Gift From Mother Nature

To sign up to join Team Toni at the Pleasanton Double Road Race click here.

Use promo code Toni6 for a registration discount at checkout.

Toni’s OatMEAL is a trademark of Toni’s Kitchen LLC

Toni Launches Healthy Meal Solutions at Sigona’s at Introductory Pricing–Exclusively at Stanford Location

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Toni’s OatMEAL is now featured at Sigona’s Farmer’s Market located at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA. Toni wanted to meet the demand of her growing clientele and offer convenient access for her local customers.

John Nava, General Manager and Grocery Buyer of Sigona’s commented “We’re ardent supporters of our local food artisans. Healthy, high-quality and whole foods is what our customers have learned to expect from us.”

Sigona’s offers everything from fresh olive-oil to organic produce and specialty wines and cheeses. Now with Toni’s OatMEAL added to the line-up, customers can also come by for a uniquely healthy meal solution.

What makes Toni’s OatMEAL so different is that it’s a complete meal, boasting one-third the protein people need in a day, provides sustained energy and is simple to make.

It’s not conventional oatmeal. Instead of eating pure carbohydrates, it’s designed to metabolize slowly, to keep people full and fueled for hours. The hidden benefit to this of course, is that when people are satiated and satisfied, they tend to eat less, have fewer cravings and can hit their goal of leaning down.

There is an extra benefit for athletes, in that it provides sustainable energy. Toni’s OatMEAL has recently been endorsed by Bob Anderson, Founder of Runner’s World Magazine and the Double Road Race Federation for it’s ability to provide him with the sustained energy he needs for his runs.

Toni’s OatMEAL is being offered at introductory pricing for a four week period, beginning October 16 through November 16. She has recently introduced Grab and Go Cups and 7-meal pouches in all five flavors and wants to meet the needs of families and athletes who are looking for convenient foods that are healthy too.

Five Cup Sampler Large-ProfessionalDelicious flavors include Sweet & Creamy Coconut-Blueberry, Crunchy Cranberry-Walnut, Savory Cinnamon-Raisin, Sweet & Spicy Ginger Apple-Raisin and her newest in the line-up, Tart Cherry Chocolate-Almond.

Sampling events at Sigona’s are scheduled through the next several weeks so people can try all the flavors and take advantage of the introductory reduced pricing.

Sunday, October 25th 11am-1:30pm

Friday, October 30th 11am-2:30pm

Friday, November 13th 11:30am-2:30pm

Sigona’s Farmers Market Location:

Stanford Shopping Center

399 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA 94304

Is this location out of your area? Order your five meal sampler cups online and get 25% off using coupon code DOUBLEFUEL at ToniJulian.com/oatmeal

Toni Julian is a San Jose-based health advocate and nutrition advisor, fitness expert, author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time and creator of Toni’s OatMEAL. For more information visit ToniJulian.com

Group Fitness Makes Good Habits “Stick”

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TEAM TONI kicking off her trademark “Group Hug” at the start of the San Jose Double Road Race August 22, 2015.

Sustainable Lifestyle Changes Start with a Comprehensive Fitness Program

Every person is beautifully unique. We may share values, social norms and ethics. Our children may attend the same schools, and as a community we collectively look out for another. One commonality I think about often is that we all want to be healthy. But when it comes to fitness our physical abilities differ, our behaviors, our mindsets, our goals. How do we accomplish our goal becoming fit and healthy while making it work for us as individuals as well?

It comes down to starting comprehensive approach of making sustainable lifestyle changes to your fitness regimen as a foundation and gradually adding nutrition and other lifestyle choices to set yourself up for success. Research has shown that people are 75% more likely to maintain new behaviors if changes are incorporated incrementally.

There’s a formula to success:

Incremental Changes in Diet + Exercise + Time = Sustainable Lifestyle Changes (SLC)

What a Sustainable Lifestyle Change means specifically is a better quality of life, healthier relationships, improved sleep quality, confidence, ability to handle stress, and the list is endless. The challenge is that most people are unsuccessful taking on too many aspects at once and can’t understand why their good health habits and progress they’ve made just doesn’t “stick”.  If they can’t adhere to a strict program they feel they’ve failed and can become frustrated, doubting their ability to succeed. Even their self-esteem can erode. It becomes a self-fulfilling downward cycle.

Step One:

Make one change at a time and start with stepping up your fitness. I usually suggest that people allow themselves to become acclimated to a new routine and the good feeling they get from being consistent and feeling their body change. Fitness programs have as many shapes as there are shapes of people. It can be as simple as daily walking, joining groups, gyms or recreational teams. I recently was introduced to Bob Anderson, founder of Runners World Magazine and was inspired to sponsor his San Jose Double Race Festival. I started a walking/jogging/running team called TEAM TONI and offered a free training program for our local community three days a week to prepare. Our team of close to 60 people of all age ranges (15-71) just completed our first 5k or 15k.  It was a great way to come together as a community and inspire and encourage each other. Small group fitness programs also work well because the routine can be customized to each individual. For people of all activity levels, be certain to incorporate balance and stability training which is needed at any age, and especially important as we approach our golden years.

I have been teaching my {revive} personalized group fitness program for nearly nine years. It cultivates mutual accountability, nurtures peer support, and instills confidence. A variety of different workouts, including balance and stability, core training, upper body strength conditioning and switching up the workout prevents stagnation and plateauing.

“A single behavioral change becomes habit, habit evolves into a healthy lifestyle, which eventually will be come your preference.”

Step Two:

Once a fitness program is underway, it’s time to turn to making incremental nutrition changes. From an emotional standpoint, it’s more inspiring to consider eating well because people don’t want to “undo” or undermine all the efforts they put forth during their fitness regimen. They have a reason and purpose to start eating better quality foods. Modify the portion control and target a daily deficit of 500 calories (this will result in a one pound weight loss each week), jumpstarting momentum toward weight loss goals, toning, improving body composition and overall feelings of strength and accomplishment. The idea is to lose fat and build muscle, which in turn builds metabolism.

Build metabolism through building muscle. For every pound of muscle on your frame, you’ll burn between 30-50 calories per day. Each pound of fat only burns only two calories, so you can see that building muscle works to your benefit.

Scale weight isn’t nearly as important as body composition. Most people of average weight can be around 30% body fat or more. The ideal is between 20-24% to be considered fit. This is very different from BMI which is based on height and weight only, and does not take body composition, or the amount of lean muscle into consideration.

“It’s fascinating to watch people hit their stride; getting their nutrition dialed in and the empowerment they feel after just a few months.”

Here are three ways you can make incremental lifestyle changes so you are set up for success:

  1. At the Office: Ask your employer if they offer internal lifestyle, nutrition and fitness programs for the employees. Many companies have cafeterias, or at a minimum a break room or micro-kitchen. If they provide food services, voice your preferences for healthy food options and reducing the amount of low quality snack foods and sugary beverages. If it’s not there to tempt you, you’ll be more successful at improving your food quality and reducing unnecessary calories.

If you are eating to maintain your weight, but you fall victim to an extra daily snack—even something as seemingly innocuous as a plain bagel—that alone will provide a surplus of 300 calories every day, and can result in nearly 15 pounds of added weight gain in only six months.

If fitness programs aren’t offered, start your own walking group. Thanks to a plethora of apps, you can download one that tracks your steps as long as you have your phone with you.

  1. Home Hacks:

Build your meals to build your metabolism. Always start with a lean protein and combine complex carbohydrates and healthy fats into each meal. This combination will keep you fuller, longer and can aid in weight loss. Protein is critical for your immune system and we all need about 50% more after age 65.

Keep your portions small and balanced. To learn portion control weigh and measure you food for about a week so you get a good sense to ballpark later. Check out BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at Time to learn how to design your meals to build metabolism.

  1. Eating Out and About:

In general people are less successful in their attempts to eat healthy in social situations, and the more people, the more challenging it is. According to the National Institutes of Health, compared with eating alone, individuals eat 35% more when eating with another person, 75% more with three other persons, and 96% more with a group of seven or more. Environments with harsh lighting, hard seats and fast-paced music affect our behaviors by eating more quickly.

Being mindful of this scenario will make you more effective if you plan ahead. Bring a healthful side dish or snack to social gatherings so you are sure to have something you can eat without guilt.

Plan on bringing “emergency food” with you such as high-protein muffins (found in the BITE ME! book) so you don’t have to make nutritional compromises if you’re caught hungry without good options.

Lifestyle changes that start with a supportive fitness program and gradually incorporate incremental nutrition changes over time will provide lasting, sustainable results!

Toni Julian is a corporate lifestyle and nutrition advisor, fitness expert and author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time. She is the owner of {revive} fitness programs for women and the creator of Toni’s OatMEAL, a completely balanced, high-protein meal solution. Visit ToniJulian.com