When Goals Sabotage Weight Loss

Goals are great. They keep us focused and motivated. Except when they don’t.

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One problem with setting goals regarding weight loss is that we have less control over the success of the goal than we would like. Just because the calories in and out are where you want, your body may not respond as you would like. Stress and water retention alone can send the scale in the wrong direction despite your good execution.

One way of avoiding this disappointment is by changing the type of goal you set from a result driven goal to a behavioral goal.

End result goals should be secondary to behavioral goals when you are trying to lose weight or increase your fitness, and here is why.

You can’t always control when your body retains water or doesn’t drop the pound that the numbers say it should have. However, you can control the actions and decisions you make that are intended to get you to your goal. This is your behavior. Those daily and minute to minute actions and decisions should be the primary goal with some number on the scale being the secondary goal. Still important, but not primary.

When we set end result goals, we are generally not happy with ourselves until we reach that goal. Sometimes that goal is 6 months or a year out if everything goes perfect! That means you are delaying you happiness with yourself for 6 months.

Let’s look at a behavior goal strategy. Your goal is to live the life it will take to get to a healthy weight. While losing the weight is part of the goal, the focus is the life you are living instead of the number. The main difference here is that with a behavioral goal, you succeed every time you take action that benefits your end goal.

Eating breakfast before you take off to work = win.
Ordering the salad with vinaigrette and keeping your hands off the bread = win.
Workout as soon as you walk in the door instead of sitting on the couch = win.

These are behaviors and each behavior that supports your end goal is a victory and should be acknowledged and celebrated. It’s a great way to support yourself in your efforts.

This mentality allows you to feel good about yourself and your daily actions. Not only that, these actions are what it will take to hit that number on the scale.

Life is about execution so let that be the focus instead a number on the scale or a dress size. Set goals that you actually control. And what you control are your daily actions and decisions.

Check out our website at www.TruChoiceFitness.com
As always, your comments and questions are encouraged.


Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Take Your Health Back


5 Exchanges To Lose 100 Pounds

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Without eating any less, you can lose weight! Just swap “This” for “That”.

1. Turn a sandwich into a salad. Next time you are going to make a tuna, chicken or turkey sandwich for lunch, scrap the bread and put the same ingredients into a baby spinach and lettuce salad. This will save 200 calories every time and spinach is packed with nutrients you won’t find in bread. If you swap out one sandwich a day, you could lose nearly 2 pounds per month. You can even use 100 calories of dressing and still save the 200 Calories from the bread. The dressing simply replaces the mayonnaise most people put on their sandwiches. If you would normally put a slice of cheese on your sandwich swap it out with 3 tablespoons of parmesan on the salad and save another 50 Calories per day.

2. Take the sugar out of your hydration. Replace your soda, juice or sports drink with ice tea or water. A 12 ounce Soda has 140 calories  and they all come from sugar. Not to mention the host of chemicals that goes with it. Since diet soda has even more chemicals, I don’t ever recommend it as a replacement. If you eliminate 2 sodas per day, you will lose 2lbs per month. There are a lot of herbal teas that make great iced tea. You can also add lemon or mint to water to mix it up. Watch out for recipes that tell you to add 2 cups of berries to your water. This can add 160 calories to your once 0 calorie water and while it is natural sugar, it’s still sugar.

3. Daily veggie up. This is something that works well for me on several levels. In place of what I would call a “normal” meal of a vegetable, a protein and a carbohydrate, go all vegetables for 1 meal per day. Take 4 veggies and steam them, then add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce or teriyaki sauce or 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese or 100 calories of whatever you like. Crush up 10 mixed nuts or almonds. By crushing the almonds up they go further. Mix that up and dig in. I use broccoli, squash, celery, carrots, red pepper and toss two cups of baby spinach on top for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Use a full serving of each and you will end up with a huge bowl of nutrient rich foods with very few calories. This can easily save me 250 Calories or more every day. It’s filling and can satisfy the daily recommended servings of vegetables in one sitting. Stay away from the creamy salad dressings. 100 calories doesn’t go very far. You will see what I mean in a moment.

4. Re-address dressing. When I am cutting back to lose weight, salad dressing is an automatic swap. My “go –to” is medium spicy salsa. It tastes great. Other times I will use lemon and the other day I used some white wine vinegar with ½ of a diced up green apple. It’s a great combination and far fewer calories than some of these choices.

Ken’s Creamy Caesar: 2 Tbsp = 170 calories, 18 grams of fat.
Ken’s Steakhouse Country French: 1.5 oz = 190 Calories, 15 grams fat
Ken’s Steakhouse Blue Cheese With Gorgonzola: 2 Tbsp, = 140 Calories, 15 grams fat
Ken’s Ranch Salad Dressing: 2 Tbsp = 140 Calories, 15 grams fat
To be fair to Ken’s, they have some good choices.
Ken’s Light Olive Oil Vinagrette: 2 Tbs = 50 Calories, 4 grams fat
Ken’s Light Raspberry Vinagrette: 2 Tbs = 50 Calories, 0 grams fat

If you are dieting or just eating healthy, you may be eating 2 salads per day. Whether I use Salsa or the apple and Vinegar, it’s about 35 to 50 calories and the lemon is zero Calories. That’s a savings of 200 Calorie per day and you’re likely avoiding preservatives, artificial colors and other chemicals that many of the dressings use!

5. White for red: Red meat is much higher in calories than say Turkey breast, Chicken breast, Tuna. Check this out.
4oz of Flank Steak has 268 calories and 15 grams fat

Compare that to these options.

4oz Turkey Breast: 152 Calories, 1 gram fat
4oz Chicken Breast: 124 Calories, 1.6 grams fat
4oz Ahi Tuna: : 164 Calories, 5 grams fat

So let’s just take the chicken example and say 124 Calories. That’s 144 Calories per switch. That means that if you eat beef 2x per week (most Americans eat much more) and only have 4oz per serving (The average American eats 200 Lbs of beef per year) you will save 16,128 Calories or 4.61 lbs per year. That’s not dieting. Switching from beef to chicken is barely a sacrifice.

So let’s see what these 5 simple exchanges could do for you:

  1. Sandwich to salad:          200 Calories per day – 6,000 per month – 73,000 per year
  2. Water instead of soda:  280 Calories per day – 8,400 per month – 102,200 per year
  3. Veggie Up:                           250 Calories per day – 7,500 per month – 91,250 per year
  4. From Caesar to Salsa:    200 Calories per day – 6,000 per month – 73,000 per year
  5. Red to white:                      288 Calories per week, – 1,152 per month – 14,976 per year

Are you ready for this?

That equals

29,052 Calories per month – 354,426 Calories per year.
With a pound being about 3,500 Calories, that’s over 8 pounds of weight loss per month!
Now remember, you didn’t eat any less.
You just exchanged 5 things and lost 8 pounds per month or 100 pounds in a year!

Oh, by the way. I didn’t even count the Parmesan for cheddar swap which would be a savings of another 18,250 Calories or 5 pounds per year!

As always, your comments and questions are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund                                                                                                                                     TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Take Your Health Back

5 Reasons to Log Your food

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It has become trendy to argue against logging your meals and counting calories. From plans that let you eat as much as you want as long as its meat to critiques that argue it takes too long or makes people feel bad.


logging you food is great for anyone trying to improve their health. Whether you are losing weight, adding muscle, trying to control, blood sugar, cholesterol or sodium or simply want to eat fewer processed foods. Logging is a valuable tool for success and education.

  1. Calorie Count: Logging is the only way to truly know how many calories you consume, Especially when you first start paying attention to your intake or you go outside of your normal food routine. It also allows you to plan for events such as dining out. If I am going out to dinner, I will plan ahead, leaving myself extra calories. By logging, I know exactly what I have left myself and I am more likely to stick to my plan of reserving those calories.
  2. Awareness: logging your food creates a mindset. It keeps you aware of your actions and goals and provides you with some accountability. It’s visual proof of your actions that will either support or hinder your goals.
  3. Tracking nutrients: You may be able to argue that you can estimate your calories but few can do the same with macronutrients. If you trying to gain muscle and you’re only getting 20% of your calories from protein, your body won’t have the materials required to build lean mass. If you are trying to rid yourself of Pre-Diabetes but 60% of your calories are carbohydrates, you will likely go from Pre-Diabetic to Diabetic even if you are losing weight.
  4. Portion control: You can plug in food before you eat it to see how many calories it has per ounce or serving. This is great info when you’re at a restaurant deciding between the 6 or 8 ounce steak or what you want on your potato.
  5. Education: This is a biggie. I’m amazed at how educational logging my food is. It’s truly eye opening. By logging your food for a few months, you will learn the calories and macronutrient balance of the foods you regularly eat. This knowledge will help change eating habits and allow you to eat healthier without dieting. It’s not dieting if it’s just the way you eat. Education is knowledge and knowledge is how we change our mindset.

You won’t log your food forever. It is a tool for you to use to achieve a dietary goal and go back to when things get out of control or you have a new goal. It’s a way of staying focused and holding yourself accountable. It’s a way of educating yourself so you can live the healthy life you want to live.

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness From The Inside Out

When Nothing is Something – A Mental Rest

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Our minds are constantly racing. Sometimes into the future, sometimes back to the past. Even when we rest the body with sleep, our unconscious mind is still at work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always race to a good place. It tends to worry about real or perceived problems and it will race to the same place over and over again if we let it.

I call this type of ruminating thinking “not being present”. These are unconscious and often uncontrollable thoughts. And the problem with them is that they are exhausting and generally negative. This was a huge issue for me for most of my adult life. Here is one of the exercises I do to retake control of a runaway mind.

Think of nothing!

Sounds easy, but I bet you can’t do it for 30 seconds. Go ahead and give it a shot. I bet, that without even knowing it happens, you will begin thinking of something you have to do or some problem you have. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

A great way to shut down the minds obsessive need to race forward or back is to overload your senses. You can do this exercise anywhere and anytime which makes it a very useful tool.

While doing whatever you are doing (sitting at work, walking, driving, lying in bed) observe every sensation you can.

LISTEN to every sound. Cars, planes, people, typing, footsteps, the fan, your breath.
FEEL everything. Your chair, steering wheel, your heart beat, footsteps, the wind.
SEE everything around you. Cars, people, birds, buildings, clouds, your hands, everything.

And do all of it all at once. This isn’t zoning out or meditating so it is safe to do while driving or walking or running. It is the opposite of zoning out. It is observing and being present. This overload will force your mind to deal with NOW so it can’t race to the past or future. It is too busy processing.

As you do this exercise, do not allow yourself to think about these sensations. Don’t see the flower and think “that is beautiful”, don’t feel your heartbeat and think of your health, don’t hear the plane and wonder where it is going. Don’t think, just observe. No labels, no judgment, no questions.

I practice this when I go for walks or runs or while driving. At first it was difficult to see a hawk and not label it as “beautiful or amazing” or whatever. But as I learned to observe with all of my senses at the same time I could keep myself from thinking longer and be more present to what was actually around me.


It feels great! When you complete your moment of being present you will feel a great relief or joy wash over you. You have rested your mind. I have read that one minute of not thinking is equal to 20 minutes of sleep.

BEWARE! Your mind has been running the show your entire life and is a master at what it does (Race) so be aware that it will trick you into thinking again. It will do this by judging or labeling what you hear, fee and see. When this happens, simply start again. At first, you may only find 10 seconds of peace. But with practice, you will become more aware and take more control of your mind.

Give it a shot and let hear about your experiences with this.

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Health                                                                                                               weightloss@TruChoiceFitness.com                                                                        www.TruChoiceFitness.com

Fitness From the Inside Out

Sports Drinks – Diabetics and Dieters Beware

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  • Over 80 million Americans are Pre-Diabetic and 30% are considered obese.
  • Americans have doubled their intake of sugar sweetened drinks in the past 40 years.

The Marketers of our world do an amazing job. They know what we like, what we need and how to get that emotional response that will make us want their product. There is also a certain amount of “lie by omission”. They give us facts just not all of them.

Sports drinks are an excellent example of this. They show amazingly fit athletes, dripping sweat and tell us that if you want to get the most out of you workout, you’d better fuel up on their product.

Reality check. These drinks are packed with calories and sugar and few of us need what they offer during or after our workouts.

Sports drinks have 3 main components.

  • Water: For hydration
  • Electrolytes: Replenishes minerals such as sodium and potassium.
  • Sugar: to replace calories

Gatorade G has 130 calories per 20oz bottle and 34 grams of Sugar. All the calories are from sugar. This is a nightmare for those that suffer from high blood sugar or are trying to lose weight.

How many grams of sugar should I have?
The American Heart Association says the daily allowance for an average male can is up to 150 calories of sugar and the average women should keep their sugar calories to 100! That’s 39 grams for men and 26 grams for women.

So that one bottle of sports drink will put you near or over your limit for the day and good luck avoiding any more sugar if you eat anything out of a box, can, bottle or go out to eat.

What if you are Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic? While a few sips of sports drinks can help you out in a pinch if your blood sugar has crashed, it can also be a real problem if you are using them for hydration. These drinks are specifically designed to hit your system fast, spiking your blood sugar. This can be a disaster if you are insulin resistant so be careful. In fact, just avoid them altogether.

If you are dieting, that one bottle of sugar can easily put back 1/3 or the calories that you are working so hard to shed during your hour workout.

The bottom line:

  • If you are working out for 60 minutes or less at any intensity, you only need water
  • If you are sweating hard for more than an hour you may some CALORIE FREE electrolytes such as Nuun Tabs, Active Hydration, Zym Endurance Tablet, Elixir.
  • If you are doing and endurance event and the effort will be longer than 3 hours, you will need calories and electrolytes and sports drinks MAY be appropriate.
  • Never drink sports drinks during the day for hydration. They are barely better than a soda. Do your body a favor and grab some water.

For more tips on reversing Pre-Diabetes and weight loss go to www.TruChoiceFitness.com and like us on FaceBook to make sure you receive our weekly tips.

As always your questions and comments are welcome.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness From The Inside – Out

Truly Priceless Minerals – Calcium

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There are roughly 4,700 know minerals. Of those, there are 15ish that are vital to mammals. These can be broken down into trace minerals and major minerals.

Trace Minerals: iron, zinc, copper, selenium, iodine, fluorine and chromium.
Major Minerals: sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, cobolt and chlorine.

The mineral Calcium is the most common mineral in your body and is one we all know. Mainly thanks to milk advertisements.

Calcium plays a major role in our systems. Here are some of its functions.

  • Rids our bodies of free radical, acting as an antioxidant.
  • Plays a role in cell signaling
  • Assists our immune cells
  • keeps bones healthy
  • Helps keep blood pressure low
  • Assists in keeping weight under control

Our body can’t produce Calcium on its own, so where do we find this precious mineral?

Here are a list of foods that are high in calcium.

• Lowfat Milk: 1 cup = 299 mg
• Spinach 1 cup = 291 mg
• Kale 1 cup = 179 mg
• Okra/Collards 1 cup = 357 mg
• Soy beans 1 cup = 176 mg
• Orange Juice 1cup = 300 mg

As you can see, dairy isn’t the only source of calcium, so don’t rely on it exclusively for Calcium consumption. I am not a huge fan of milk or dairy products as a large part of ones diet. But that’s another blog.

• Adult men need about 1,000 mg per day
• Adult women need about 1,200 mg per day
• Teenagers need about 1,300 mg per day

So what happens when you don’t get enough Calcium?

Low bone mineral density

These are serious problems so it’s best to make sure you get enough Calcium in your diet. As is true with most of the vitamins and minerals we need, if you eat a well-rounded diet and get the recommend servings of fruits and vegetables you will probably be fine. Make sure you mix your diet up some since just eating one or two types of veggies will leave you deficient in some areas.

For more information on weight loss and fitness, go to www.TruChoiceFitnenss.com. If the info isn’t there, hit the contact button and send us an email.

As always, your comments and questions are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund
TruChoice Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness From The Inside Out

Can You Exercise the Weight off?

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When people learn that I’ve started a company designed to help people prevent or reverse lifestyle conditions such as Pre-Diabetes through weight loss and activity, they often have a story or question for me, which I always enjoy.

One comment that I frequently get is “I walk every day but I am actually gaining weight”. This comment then provokes the question, “Can you exercise the weight off”? Let’s look at some numbers.

In 60 minutes, a person weighing 200lbs will burn approximately:

320 Calories walking the dog
360 walking briskly
364 calories biking leisurely
700 calories biking vigorously
720 jogging a 12 minute mile
900 jogging a 10 minute mile

(Of course these are estimates but close enough for my point)

It takes 3500 additional calories (calories consumed vs calories burned) to gain a pound and the same amount of a calorie deficit to lose a pound, 3500.

If you are eating enough to gain 1 pound per week, which is an additional 500 calories per day, you would have to walk for 10 hours per week or run a 10 minute mile (which is fast for an inexperienced runner) for 4 hours per week just to break even.

Now double those numbers in order to lose 1 pound per week. 20 hours of walking!

So the answer to the question for most of us is “NO”. You can’t continue to eat poorly and just walk or jog the calories off. You need to combine sensible activities with an appropriate meal plan. You need to know how many calories you should consume and then track those calories.

I am certainly not implying that you shouldn’t exercise. Exercise does assist in losing weight and diet alone will not increase your fitness level. It does nothing for strength, bone density or cardiovascular improvements. It doesn’t release endorphin’s that make you feel good or accomplish any of the other things that being physically active achieves.

The goal shouldn’t just be to weight loss. The focus should be on health, physical, mental and emotional. And that requires balance of life. If you want to lose weight, focus on making good decisions for yourself. Eat well, stay active and take time for self.

If you have more questions on Pre-Diabetes, weight loss or increasing your fitness, go to:

As always, your questions and comments are encouraged.

Eric Soderlund

Truchoice Fitness & Nutrition

Fitness From The Inside Out