Although we all struggle with that stubborn sweet tooth after a meal, Weekend Today Show News Anchor and Personal Trainer Jenna Wolfe shared a few healthy alternatives to satisfy sugar cravings.
“I wish I could tell you the secret is chocolate mousse!” Jenna laughed.
“Unfortunately, you have to get creative.”
Jenna offered a few healthy alternatives to curb the cravings, including sugar-free sucking candies, a cup of tea or coffee, low-sugar applesauce or fruit.
She also suggests simply waiting—as hard as that may be—when you have a craving, as many studies have shown that the intensity of the craving will lessen by half in 10 minutes and disappear entirely after another 10 minutes.
For more of Jenna's exercise tips, view the slideshow below:
Try to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. It may not be exciting, but water is the best appetite suppressant, as well as the best way to properly hydrate your body. And water is available almost everywhere. When you first wake up, have 20 sips of water, and before a meal, have two glasses of water. These tricks will help manage your weight and curb your appetite.
No time to go to the gym? Bring the gym to you. If you can find 10 minutes to spare, do the following set three times: 40 jumping jacks, 30 butt-kickers, 20 squats, and 10 push-ups.
You can always find a way to burn a quick 100 calories. Find a flight of 10 or more steps at work, home or school. Walk up all 10 (or 12 or 15 or 20) steps. Walk back down. Walk up 9. Walk back down. Walk up 8. Walk back down. Keep going until you get to one -- and done! Want to make it more challenging? Increase the number of steps, or do two at a time.
The weight-loss “plateau” is essentially a rut, and the only way to get out of it is by switching up your typical routine. If you generally run on the treadmill a few times a week, try taking a class, like a boot camp or spin class -- something that challenges you in a different way. You can also change the time of day you ordinarily work out. And in all cases, try to limit your carbs after 6pm, and enlist the help of friends through social media.
Keeping a food diary is the best way to hold yourself accountable to everything you eat over the course of your day. Read this log at the end of the day, and figure out where you can save yourself some extra calories the next day. Want an added motivator? Send the diary to a friend every night, and ask her or him to help encourage you to be even stricter.
Love snacks but hate calories? Here’s the solution: stash good, healthy food all around you, so if you need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, you can indulge while knowing that you're doing your body good. What Jenna keeps in her office all the time: Wasa crackers and almond butter; string cheese; raw mixed nuts; fresh fruit; avocado slices; rice cakes; hard-boiled eggs; and sugar-free hard candy -- for a sweet treat!
Jenna likes these two moves to help strengthen your core: PLANK ROTATIONS: 1. Move to a plank position on the floor. Lie face down in the pushup position. Brace the abs tight and lift up your hips. You should be creating a straight line from heels to head. 2. Twist your right hip up, keeping your hands and toes on the floor. Come back to center. Twist your left hip up. (These are small but important movements. They’re just enough to engage your core and oblique muscles.) 4. Repeat 10 times on each side for a total of 20 reps. SEATED LEG LIFT: Sit on a chair, and lean back slightly. Lift both legs off the floor and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
These are short bursts of paired exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. Jenna tries to link strength training with cardio training by matching an upper-body move with a lower-body or cardio move. POCKET EXERCISES : These exercises pair many target muscle groups -- including the hamstrings, shoulders, abs and obliques -- for a great strength-training workout. 50 APPLE-PICKERS: 1. Begin with your feet together, both arms reaching overhead. 2. As you bring your arms down, bring your knee up, toward your elbows, essentially crunching the abs. 3. When you're done with the first set of apple-pickers, move to hip-ups. 50 HIP-UPS: 1. Lay down on a mat with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms by your sides, palms facing down. 2. Raise your hips as high off the ground as you can, squeezing your glutes. Then bring them down. 3. For a more advanced version, you can put one leg up in the air and raise your hips from there. 4. If both legs are down, repeat 50 times. If legs are raised, repeat 25 times on each side.
If you're stuck at the office all day long, Jenna has three great exercises you can do right at your desk. First, slowly sit down with your legs flat on the ground. Come up slowly, using all muscles in your body. You shouldn't make a sound changing from these two positions. Next, lean over and put your hands underneath the top of your desk. Push up against the desk, engaging your biceps for 30 seconds, then resist for 30, using your body's own natural resistance. No weights needed! Finally, drop 20 paper clips on the floor. Instead of bending over, squat down to pick them all up. "Do these three exercises every day at the office, and you will see a difference," Jenna said.
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