Having someone to talk to about your health goals and progress could be the missing part of your weight loss routine.
Numerous studies have shown that people exercise more when they have an exercise partner, especially one in better shape. But just telling someone you intend to work out or eat better is enough to help most people make healthier decisions. In fact, people have 73% higher weight loss success when they check in with someone once a week.
Why? Because you don’t want to let other people down. Humans inherently want to look good in front of each other, so when you know you’ll be reporting your decisions, you make better ones.
Last week we talked about how Margaux from Team Noom Coach helped motivate teammate Therese to get moving and get over her tent fever. Undoubtedly this type of teamwork will amplify throughout the race, which started yesterday. Already we’ve seen cross-team sportsmanship, with teams cooking meals for each other, and Prince Harry leading the US team in practice exercises.
"Teamwork is vital," says team member Ivan Castro. "In my case, being blind … I can’t make it to the South Pole without the help, assistance, guidance, and motivation of my entire team."
The person holding you accountable doesn’t have to be your exercise companion (after all, not everyone is down to sweat in front of someone they see in other aspects of life). Look for someone whose opinion you care about — a spouse, sibling, coworker, or friend — and tell them about your goals. Ask them to hold you accountable checking in every so often.
Not sure who to ask? Noom Pro users are put into a Group that they can lean on for accountability and support. Active groups share recipes, cheer for each other’s accomplishments, and nudge group mates to keep going when they’ve dropped off. We’ve seen Groups run virtual marathons, share family stories, and become true friends.
It’s been a week of bad weather in Antarctica as Team Noom Coach waits to start the race to the South Pole against teams from the UK and Australia and Canada.
On the plus side, the team has had plenty of time in Antarctica to acclimate. Early this week team guide Inge Solheim led members Mark Wise and Alexander Skarsgard on a 24km skiing outing. The guys ended up at an Indian research center where they were treated to a big traditional Indian meal. (Sounds a lot like Thursday’s festivities here in the U.S., huh?)
We also received the first of the team’s meal logs this week, which topped out at over 4,000 calories in a day. Because of the cold weather and extreme activity levels, the team needs to eat huge amounts to stay energized.
In order to hit high calorie goals, Mark relies heavily on red foods, like macadamia nuts, which provide 450 calories in just 1/2 cup. These make up many of his snacks, along with beef jerky, full-fat cheese, and chocolate.
Breakfast is also a hugely important part of the team’s calorie intake. Their 1400-calorie meals include cheese, deli meats, oatmeal, butter, toast (whole-grain!), and jam.
And how are the celebs keeping up? Mark says, "Alex Skarsgard eats twice as much as everyone else. He’s a monster!"
Teams will start the race tomorrow, Decmber 1. You can track the team’s progress here.
Team Noom Coach was delayed several days due to unseasonably strong storms. Once arriving in Antarctica from Capetown for acclimatization, the team got a special bonus of getting the “most rustic” living arrangement of all the teams.
"For me, I’m very used to this situation. I take news as facts and just deal with them," Team Noom Coach mentor Inge Solheim told us.
Admittedly it’s a little easier to just deal when your life career is exploring. However, it’s not bad life advice for any goal. The situation is what it is, so don’t stress about things you can’t change — like the past, what other people are doing, or the weather conditions.
He tells us that when there are delays, people get too comfortable — and that’s exactly what happened to Therese. She got tent fever and ended up sleeping too much and losing motivation.
It’s hard to fault her: the weather is terrible (windy and -40 degrees), and in the 50 yard walk to get food, her goggles would fog up if not put on 100% correctly. So when some of her teammates went out for a day ski trip, she passed.
Luckily her teammate Margaux jumped in, offering to do a smaller, less intense trip. Therese agreed, and that’s all she needed to get out of the funk.
"Even though it was scary, I was glad I got out. The next day wasn’t so harsh," she told us.
Starting a personal journey, whether it’s skiing to the South Pole or trying to lose weight, means you have some form of motivation. But the fact is that many people will lose steam somewhere along the way. For Therese, having a partner is an essential part of keeping motivation.
Here 5 more things you can do to help maintain motivation as you work toward your own goal:
- Have a clear destination, and write it down. Writing down a goal means that you’ve given it real thought — and have probably thought about how you can realistically get there. Without it written, you’re more likely to change your goal (from maybe 15 pounds to 10) on a rough day. Keep yourself accountable.
- Tell a friend. The power of (positive) peer pressure: if you tell a friend about your goals, you’ll want to maintain them more than if you keep them to yourself — even if that person never says a word to you. Why? Because we’re social creatures, and we want to show ourselves in the best light. Even better, that person can help you:
- Celebrate little victories. You may be doing an awesome job of achieving your weight loss goal of 150 pounds, but even when things are going well, progress can seem slow. Set smaller goals along the way to give yourself a steady drum of achievement and inspiration.
- Don’t be scared to change your goals. Or build on them. Or ditch them for something totally and utterly better. Many Noomers start with a goal of looking a certain way but find that health, family, and self-confidence is what they really seek.
- Forgive yourself. One of the #1 ways to derail your plan is to beat yourself up if you get off track. Did you gorge and eat way more than you know you should? Gain weight? Not go to the gym and give it your all? It’s ok. You’re human and that’s a beautiful thing. Smile, start fresh, and get back into good habits today.
Be sure to download the latest version of Burn the Turkey to watch your waistline through the holidays.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, you might be noticing a flood of Thanksgiving recipe alternatives, ways to “healthify” your dishes and how to substitute this dessert for that dessert.
While this is an ideal route rather than consuming a full-blown Thanksgiving meal that will average out to be about 5000 calories, we understand that creating “healthy” versions of a Thanksgiving meal isn’t feasible for everyone and their families. You may not be the one doing the cooking or if you’re visiting another home, bringing your own meal to eat while everyone is enjoying the chef’s meal isn’t very fun to do.
That’s why when you go into the holidays this year, we want you to be equipped with the tips necessary to be able to eat without the post-indulgence guilt or negative consequences. After all, Thanksgiving should be focused around family and gratitude — not what you can and can’t eat.
1) Plan in advance: There’s a difference between planning to indulge versus attempting to use willpower to abstain from over-eating. It’s much easier to prepare for before and after the special day rather than trying to will yourself into thinking that you’ll be able to resist eating your mom’s homemade pumpkin pie.
2) Create a calorie deficit for the week: So you know you’re going to be having a feast in a week? Awesome! That will be great motivation to follow a cleaner diet for the upcoming days. Your diet should consist of lots of vegetables, moderate amounts of lean protein, and a small amount of healthy fats (like coconut oil and avocados). Saying no to snacking will be easier because you can tell yourself that you can have it — just later in the week. Preferably, these clean days will be lower in carbs, so you begin Thanksgiving carb depleted and have a bigger budget for indulgence. With an overall lower intake of calories for the week, one day won’t wreck your efforts or waistline.
2) Eat with intent: Then again, just because you’ve prepared for this day, doesn’t mean you need to help yourself to 5 extra servings of stuffing and 4 slices of pie. Slow down and make sure to enjoy the food and you will find that a reasonable single portion is all you need. Would you rather savor a slice of sweet potato pie and leave the table feeling satisfied, or would you rather eat five slices of pie, get a tummy ache and wish that you hadn’t gone to the buffet for a third time?
3) It’s not *all* as bad as you think: Turkey is a great lean source of protein. Did you know that when you opt for white over dark turkey meat, you can save you hundreds of calories (depending on portion size), and about 15 to 20 grams of fat per 6 oz serving? Plus, good news for those who prefer sweet potatoes over white — compared to regular mashed white potatoes, you save about 150 calories per serving. It’s possible not to stress out over what you’re eating and still make positive food choices.
4) Indulging can be healthy: Remember that it’s okay to break the rules and Thanksgiving is a day to really enjoy what’s in front of you and the people around you. Self-sabotaging thoughts like “I’m a terrible person for eating this,” or “I can’t believe I just ate all of that,” will only contribute to a feeling of loss of control and negative body thoughts. If you’re going to indulge, know that you went in prepared and are allowing for the moment. Heck, even if you didn’t, still enjoy every single bite. Because afterward, you will have the chance to redeem yourself. Everyone has slipups, the most important step is to forgive yourself and quickly get back on track.
On Sunday Team Noom Coach arrived in Capetown, the team’s last stop before heading to Antartica in their trek to the South Pole. Had you told any one of these team members they’d be in this place two years ago, I’m not sure they’d believe you.
But that’s the thing about achieving the impossible — it’s all a state of mind.
You want to lose weight and be healthier, but I don’t know how to eat healthy you tell yourself. Or maybe it’s I can’t run, or even walk, very far, so what’s the point?
This type of thinking is taking a physical state — which may or may not be as bad as you think — and letting it tell your mind how to think. It becomes cyclical, with your mind then choosing to not challenge your body to do better.
But you CAN overcome these obstacles. You can learn to cook healthy (we love Eating Well and Cooking Light), can take a few more steps each day, heck, SF Make-a-Wish recently proved to us that you can even be Batman.
The beautiful thing about your health is how much you are in control. Stop blaming those other things — something that happened in the past, what someone else tells you can or can’t do — and simply get going. Absolutely no one ever got to where they wanted to be by analyzing all of the things going wrong.
Do not let yourself be consumed by self-doubt.
To join Noom in supporting the South Pole Challenge, make a donation to Soldiers to Summits.
Anyone can do 600 squats in a single workout, polar guide Inge Solheim tells us. He assures us, even if you start at just 100, you can easily work up to 600 within a month or so. He ought to know. He is, after all, prepping the six members of Team Noom Coach to ski to the South Pole. The Americans of Team Noom Coach are participating in the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge, a race between the UK, Australia, Canada, and the US to reach the South Pole. What makes this expedition different from the average antarctic journey is that the teams are composed of military veterans injured in service. They’re also accompanied by actors Alexander Skarsgard and Dominic West as well as His Royal Highness Prince Harry.
So, why all the squats? In addition to cross-country skiing as long as 10-12 hours per day, the team will be transporting all their own gear — no sherpas here. Each team member is outfitted with a 75 kg sled, called a pulk. Team member Therese Frentz says her immediate reaction was, “You want me to pull that? And it weighs more than me?”
While the teams have done several training expeditions together, they’ve had to maintain their exercise regimes while at home. In addition to strengthening their legs with squats, the team preps with the closest warm-weather equivalent to dragging a pulk: They take hikes while pulling a tire behind them.
While at first Frentz could only pull a 50 lb tire for 15 minutes, she can now drag it for eight hours, no sweat (OK, maybe some sweat). “More importantly,” she says, “I felt mentally prepared.”Team Noom Coach members share their progress with each other through the Noom Weight Loss Coach “Noom Groups” feature, which allows them to post their workouts and food logs, plus share messages, comments, and photos.
"Before I was addicted to the couch." says team member Margaux Mange. "Now I’m addicted to sweating."
The other half of the training is managing calorie intake. While in Antarctica, each person will burn as much as 8,000 calories per day to keep warm and fuel the extreme levels of activity. However, the body can’t consume more than 6,000-7,000 calories per day. To accommodate the deficit, team members are actually attempting to put on weight before they leave.
Before training for this trip, Mange was on anti-depressants (she has PTSD) that made her lose her appetite. Through the support of her team, she’s been able to get off the meds and regain her appetite. She finally loves eating pasta again.