Archive for the ‘Health and Fitness’ category

You Have to Change Your Thoughts BEFORE You Can Change Your Life (written by Career Expert, Pete Leibman)

February 22, 2011

You know what you should do, but that does not mean you will actually do it.

For example… Being overweight or obese significantly increases your chances for developing heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and a host of other mental and physical disorders as you age, and nearly 80% of all colon, breast, and prostate cancers are linked to diet and lifestyle factors.  These statistics clearly illustrate the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  As a result, you would expect that everyone would be certain to eat the right way and to exercise consistently.

However, over 70% of the U.S. is overweight or obese!

Is this because overweight/obese people are not aware of the importance of eating healthy and exercising?  Of course not.

Instead, most people are overweight for 2 main reasons.  First of all, it’s because they have chosen (usually subconsciously) to ignore the long-term, negative consequences of repeating behaviors that feel good in the short-term (i.e. eating junk food or watching tv on the couch).  Secondly, most people are out of shape because they don’t believe they can get into better shape.  As a result, they don’t bother trying.

Our motivations (and subsequent actions) develop as a result of our associations and thought processes, most of which we are not aware of.  In brief, if you avoid something, it’s because you have subconsciously or consciously linked it to more pain than pleasure.  On the other hand, if you pursue something, it’s because you have subconsciously or consciously linked it to more pleasure than pain.

If you want to achieve a new goal, whether it’s related to your health, your career, or anything else, you will need to change some of your behaviors.  However, you need to change your thoughts FIRST.  Otherwise, you will just be relying on the ineffective motivational strategy known as “will-power.” 

Be open to the possibility that you can achieve your goal, and focus on all the benefits you (or others) will receive when you achieve your goal.  The right mindset is a prerequisite for being and staying motivated to endure the inevitable challenges we all face when we try to do something worthwhile.

Win the “battle” in your mind first, and you can win any “war.”

 Like this post or got something to add?  Please comment below!

-Pete Leibman

-President of Idealize Enterprises

-Creator of The Dream Job College Tour

Creator of The Washington Wizards’ Sports Careers Day


Twitter: @peteleibman

P.S. To learn more about my 1-on-1 career coaching programs or my speaking availability for The 2011 Dream Job College Tour, please visit or send an email to


Nutrition Sins That Sabotage Your Energy and Career: Part III

July 9, 2010

Read nutrition labels before consuming any food or drink!

This week, we are featuring a series on the 9 major nutritional sins most Americans commit, along with tips on how they can easily be avoided.  Greater energy at work is one of the many benefits provided by healthy eating.  Here are sins #7-9 with tips on how not to commit them:

7. Not reading labels or looking at nutritional information on what you eat/drink.  If you aren’t a food label sleuth, you’ll likely be surprised to find out just how bad some of the foods are that you eat frequently, including some foods that you may not even enjoy that much!  It’s getting much easier to read labels, as even fast-food chains and restaurants are getting better at providing complete nutritional details on their foods. 

8. Not planning ahead for meals and snacks.  Even the most disciplined eater will give in to temptations and cravings if healthier alternatives are not available.  Anyone who knows me probably thinks I am the healthiest eater they know, but even I get tempted to eat anything near me if I haven’t eaten in 5-6 hours or more: it’s not a question of will-power at that point!  So, always carry healthy portable snacks with you.  Fresh fruit, a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread, nuts, a small salad, a cup of light yogurt, and lean, low-sugar protein bars are all portable and very valuable since they can help prevent you from reaching for worse options that are just as accessible.  By spending a few minutes the night before to consider how/when/what you will eat the next day, you significantly reduce your chances for making bad choices the following day. 

9. Not being conscious of what you are eating.  This does not mean you need to track everything you eat/drink for the rest of your life (although keeping a diet log for a few days can be very eye-opening).  All you need to do is pay attention to what you are putting in your body.  Stop snacking unconsciously and start eating only at designated meal/snack times!

Do you want to have more energy at work?  Then, stop making excuses and start fueling your body the right way every day!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

-College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Nutrition Sins That Sabotage Your Energy and Career: Part II

July 8, 2010

This week, we are featuring a series on the 9 major nutritional sins most Americans commit, along with tips on how they can easily be avoided.  Here are sins #4-6:

4. Not eating lean protein at every meal.  Eating quality protein at each meal will help satisfy you longer and it will improve your metabolism as well.  This leads to greater energy.  Just make sure to stick to lean options (i.e. egg whites, beans or grilled chicken) rather than fatty protein sources and fried meats (i.e. prime rib or bacon).

5. Not understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats. It is actually good for your heart to consume monounsaturated fats in moderation.  Examples of “good fats” include extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, and fresh seafood.  On the other hand, foods that are high in saturated and trans fats (i.e. heavy, fried, or greasy foods, like onion rings, French fries, donuts, buffalo wings, mozzarella sticks, whole milk, egg yolks, and bacon) are disastrous for weight management and much more likely to lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, and an assortment of other mental and physical health issues.  They also make you more lethargic since they are harder for your body to digest.  Are the consequences of eating these foods really worth the limited short-term pleasure they may provide?  No!

6. Not recognizing how deadly liquid calories can be.  You are what you eat AND WHAT YOU DRINK.  As much as possible, reduce or eliminate sodas, sugary drinks and alcohol from your diet.  For instance, if you drink 3 sodas or iced teas a day, that can be the equivalent of 500+ calories each day or 1 pound of sugar a week!  Such consumption will have your energy levels spiking up and down all day long, which will make you more irritable and less energetic at work.  Stick to water, skim-milk (or 1% milk), and unsweetened tea as much as you can. 

Do you want to have more energy at work?  Then, tune in tomorrow for nutrition sins #7-9 and for additional tips on how to eat healthier!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

-College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises

Nutrition Sins That Sabotage Your Energy and Your Career: Part I

July 7, 2010

Is this what your breakfast usually looks like?

With nearly 70% of the American population classified as overweight or obese, our country’s eating habits are clearly disastrous.  This results in a variety of long-term health issues and also makes many people much less physically attractive than they could otherwise be.  Additionally, poor eating habits wreak havoc on our energy levels, drastically reducing our ability to perform at work.

This week, we will be featuring a series on the 9 major nutritional sins most Americans commit, along with tips on how they can easily be avoided.  Here are sins #1-3:

1. Not eating breakfast at all or eating the wrong breakfast.  This meal is the foundation for how you will feel and what you will eat (and be tempted to eat) for the rest of the day.  A proper breakfast will give you more energy, speed up your metabolism, and defend against cravings for bad foods later in the day.  It is absolutely essential to eat breakfast immediately upon waking (i.e. within 15-30 minutes of when you get up) regardless of whether you want to lose weight, maintain weight, improve body composition, or gain muscle.  Stick to lean proteins (i.e. egg whites, skim milk, soy milk, nonfat or low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese) and good carbohydrates, such as fresh fruit, 100% whole-wheat bread, bran cereals, or oatmeal.  If you are always in a rush in the morning, getting up 10-15 minutes earlier so that you can take a few minutes to prepare a good breakfast will also help you relax and start your day with less stress.  Another option for those in a rush is to mix up a smoothie or protein shake with skim/soy milk and some fresh fruit or yogurt.  You can also add in some whey or soy protein for an added protein boost.  Whatever you do, be sure to ditch the donuts, bagels, muffins, pastries, pancakes, waffles and sugary coffee drinks from Starbucks. Be careful with egg yolks also, as one egg yolk contains 215 mg of cholesterol by itself; we should eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol for an entire day, according to the American Dietetic Association! 

2. Not eating a meal/snack every 3 hours throughout the day.  By increasing the frequency of how often you eat (without increasing the volume), you speed up your metabolism and help improve your body composition and energy levels.  While some people may think they are being “good” by starving themselves throughout the day, such a practice can actually make you fatter, and it will also zap your energy!  Not eating every few hours slows down your metabolism as your body tries to hold on to any food that you give it, and it makes you more likely to “go nuts” when you finally do eat something.

3. Thinking that all “carbs” are the same.  Perhaps the main reason America has an obesity problem is due to our over-consumption of processed carbs.  While carbs have been demonized over the last few years, people don’t get fat due to an overconsumption of oatmeal or whole-wheat bread (i.e. good carbs)!   Instead, most people get fat by consuming the wrong carbs too frequently.  Make sure the majority of your carb intake comes from fresh fruits and whole-grains such as 100% whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, quinoa, and fresh vegetables.  Alternatively, if you are living on carbs from foods found in boxes and cans, you will usually be ingesting way too much fat, sodium, and sugar, all likely to cause you to gain bad weight and to have much less energy.

Tune in tomorrow for sins #4-6 and for additional tips on how to eat healthier for more energy!

Thanks for reading!

-Pete Leibman

-College Speaker and President of Idealize Enterprises