Why Mindful Eating is Your Secret Weapon Against Cravings

Why Mindful Eating is Your Secret Weapon Against Cravings

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Hands up if you’ve tried pretty much everything to kiss goodbye to cravings and had no luck whatsoever?

With mindful eating, you don’t need to spend heaps of time and energy on crushing your cravings completely.

Telling yourself that you absolutely can’t have a particular food can work against you in the long term.

Think of it this way: if I tell you not to think about a pink elephant, guess what immediately pops up in your mind? No matter how hard you try, it’s super hard to shift the mental image of the pink elephant!

Your cravings can be a little bit like this too. Denying yourself completely often means that they don’t magically go away, even if you take tons of action to distract yourself. It’s pretty common for them to actually get stronger … a lot like the thought of the pink elephant.

It can also encourage a “now or never” way of thinking if you do give in to the craving. Often, this means that you’ll eat far more than you intended. After all, you’re not supposed to be eating it again seeing as it’s off-limits, right? In reality, it will most likely happen again and you’ll carry on feeling bad about it.

There’s another problem with craving ultra-processed food: according to research, it affects hunger hormones and makes it harder for your body to recognise when you’re genuinely full. Unsurprisingly, this means eating a lot more calories than you would otherwise … usually involving other unhealthy foods.

Another finding from the study involved the speed at which food was being eaten. The group eating the ultra-processed food tended to eat more quickly, leading researchers to question whether this was a big factor in the brain being able to recognise signals that they were full.

How mindful eating turns the tables on cravings

Mindful eating can really come into its own in several different areas. In a nutshell, it puts you back in control of your food choices, which can often feel impossible when you’re constantly trying to beat your cravings into submission.

A few reasons why mindful eating can work so well:

You’re not giving in to your cravings and letting them take control but you are allowing yourself a little bit of what you fancy and taking the opportunity to relish it. Your mind knows that there will be other chances to satisfy the craving so the “now or never” mentality isn’t a big issue. The end result? It’s a whole heap easier to bring your cravings in check.

The trick is to be super-mindful with how you eat. When you take that first bite of something you’ve been craving, resist the urge to dive straight into the next one. Put your fork, knife or spoon down in between bites or keep putting your food down if you’re eating with your hands. The more you can chew each bite before swallowing, the better.

Take the time to really notice the taste and texture as you chew. This bit might surprise you, especially if you’re used to eating quickly on autopilot. If you’re eating junk foods, being more mindful with your eating might flag up how salty, sugary or just plain processed the taste truly is. And chances are, it’s going to be a whole lot less appealing once you get clued into this.

Even if this doesn’t happen, taking more time to savour your food helps you to enjoy it more and sometimes, you’ll realise that your cravings weren’t quite as strong as you thought and feel satisfied after just a few bites.

It can also lift the lid on why you’re getting cravings in the first place. Sometimes, you’ll know exactly what’s behind it but it won’t always be this obvious. Being more mindful with your eating can get to the bottom of what is triggering your cravings and the emotions that may be a factor.

It’s not always easy to get to grips with mindful eating, especially if you’re used to eating quick and not tuning in to your body’s hunger signals. Over time, it gets a lot easier to overcome unhealthy relationships with food, including cravings, overeating and emotional eating.

According to the results of a 2014 study, a mindful approach to eating can help to build a healthier relationship with body image and curb “disordered eating” such as binge eating. And from a cravings perspective, many of the women who took part in the study also reported that they spent less time yearning for high fat and sugary treats.

If you’re struggling with cravings, mindful eating could be the lifestyle change that helps you to get back in control of your eating habits and spend more time enjoying what you eat.

Best wishes,

Christy x

Weight loss isn’t just about the food that you eat

Weight loss isn’t just about the food that you eat

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Weight Loss Extends to Your Daily Life

Many people go on diets, eat only certain types of food, and exercise. Sometimes you get the results that you want, which is great! Sometimes you can’t, which can be super frustrating. Something I see so often with many of my clients.

This is because there are many things that can impact how much weight you lose – from how stressed out you are to your personal biology. Weight loss actually does involve a lot more than just counting calories and cutting back on certain food groups.

I am going to cover how your biology, your emotions, and the environment you live in can impact your weight. Hopefully being aware of factors that can impact your overall health and body weight, can help you reach your goals with a bit more ease!

Poor Sleeping Patterns

Sleep is the first factor on the list because sleep impacts so many different areas of life.

There have been several reasons found as to why sleep loss can impact your eating habits or even your ability to function at a good capacity. You know those lazy days – you need coffee to wake up in the morning, you buy takeout food because you don’t want to cook, and you skip the gym because you’re so tired.

Another reason is our metabolism. Of course, we know this impacts how much we can eat or should eat in a day. But, without enough sleep, our metabolism will slow down to save our energy. When our metabolism slows down like that, a hormone called cortisol will be released into our system to make us want to eat more.

Less sleep will also release more of the hormone that tells us when we are hungry and less of the hormone that tells us when we are full. So the less you sleep, the more you are going to want to eat and continuously eat!

Stressed Out to Stress Eating

I think almost everyone who is trying to lose weight knows about stress eating. Stress eating how some people handle their stress – they decide to eat more and more food, often unhealthy food, in order to feel better and try to not be stressed out.

This isn’t only because eating your personal comfort foods (mmm, chocolate…) can help make you feel better emotionally, but also because stress also releases more cortisol.

This means you will want to eat more the more you are stressed because your body is releasing hormones that make you feel hungrier, even when you really aren’t.

Another reason why stress can make it so much harder to lose weight is that stress is a more negative emotion. Negative emotions or states of mind are difficult to deal with when you are trying to lead a healthy life because your mind and body will often make you feel more pessimistic or only allow you small amounts of energy.

Pessimism and low energy are the main ingredients in making you lazier and wanting to eat food that isn’t very good for you. Trying to keep your spirits up, having a good support system, or finding the good motivation to keep working out or eating well can help you make it through these times.

Speaking of a support system…

Living Without Supportive People

This is another reason why it can be hard for you to lose weight. After the first two points of this article, you may have realised by now that every aspect of your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing can bleed into another aspect of your life.

So you could have a family that is supportive of your change of lifestyle – but you won’t be able to reach your weight loss goals well if they aren’t supporting you well in other areas. Constant negative critique or pessimism – from your looks to your hobbies – won’t help you on your weight loss journey.

That’s one reason why joining a group full of others who can cheer you on through life or having many friends can help you lead a healthier life – positivity is infectious, after all. It may be difficult, but having any group to turn to for positivity or support can help you reach any of your goals with a lot more ease than you may expect – especially if you are trying to lose weight. Come and join a free support group here.

Happiness

Happiness or unhappiness can make a difference in the amount of weight you can or can’t lose.

Pessimism or unhappiness will make you lose far less weight, typically, because your motivation is gone. You will also have a higher tendency to be unwilling to do anything because the amount of energy you have will be lower.

Positivity and happiness can go a long way. It can help bring your spirits up, even slightly, so you have the energy to do what you need to do and what you want to do.

Chemicals in The Home

Something that you may not often think about is the toxicity of the household you live in – from literal chemicals to emotional toxicity. The chemicals in your cleaning supplies to the formula within your facewash could actually be impacting your weight loss regimen.

The chemicals in the everyday items we use are important because we absorb some of it every time we use it. So having a product with something like lead – for an extreme example – inside of it will negatively impact your body.

Even in the emotional sense, being constantly surrounded by negative people can impact how you’ll reach your goal. That’s one of the reasons why having a support system is so important – it can bring you down so much. But I’ve talked about that already.

Something We Can’t Change – Genetics

There are bacteria within our digestive system that has a large impact on how lean a person can be. People with this type of bacteria in their system have a tendency to gain less weight.

So if you are really struggling with losing weight – this could be part of the problem.

But you can’t change your genetics. So what do you do? In this case, you can eat more non-processed foods and foods like vegetables or lentils. This will help promote the change of your gut bacteria into better quality gut bacteria, helping you to fight inflammation and aid digestion, which will help you to keep the weight off.

Now that you know the Potential Factors… What Do I Do Now?

I gave a few solutions, but here is a more concise list of the reasons I mentioned that could be preventing you from losing weight.

  • Sleep Troubles – go to bed at a set time and wake up at a set time (if possible) to establish better sleeping patterns; sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night
  • Stress – take a break every now and then to relax; try to stay positive; keep in touch with your support system
  • Support System – talking with them about your struggles; talk to them about everyday life; spend some time together; stay positive together
  • Happiness – think about how much progress you have made since day 1; do activities that make you happy
  • Chemicals – check for certain ingredients in the formulas of the things you use; use less harsh chemical cleaners (like bleach)
  • Genetics – eat lots of vegetables, fruits, lentils, and other healthy food products

Hopefully, now that you are aware of the potential reasons as to why you aren’t losing as much weight as you want – or none at all – you can at least be more aware of your actions and take steps so you can lose more weight.

Need a little extra push in achieving that goal weight? Perhaps it’s time to join one of my programs. Find out how I can support, motivate and encourage you to shift those pounds here!

Best wishes,

Christy x

4 Simple Strategies to Lose Weight with a Healthy Mindset

4 Simple Strategies to Lose Weight with a Healthy Mindset

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When it comes to losing weight the healthy way, your mindset can play a big part in whether you are going to be successful. Approaching weight loss from the wrong perspective is one of the biggest reasons why so many people fail with diets and eating plans. And on the flip side, getting your mindset right can be a game changer for successfully losing weight.

Here are some mindset shifts that worked for me and could help you to supercharge your weight loss and keep the pounds off!

Think About Why You’re Doing It

Why you want to lose weight can make a lot of difference. Basing your reasons for being happier or looking good are a lot more likely to fail as there’s no saying that losing weight will actually make you feel good about yourself or bring you happiness.

Instead of choosing these kinds of reasons as your basis for weight loss, look at things differently. Think of your weight loss as part of a journey to becoming healthier and not just a means of getting to an end target. It’s a great opportunity to introduce healthy habits into your life that set the scene for both improving your health and losing weight into the bargain. When your ultimate goal is to live a longer and healthier life, weight loss will probably happen as a nice extra bonus as a result of these new habits.

Don’t Go for Broke

Trying to do too much too soon with your weight loss can work against you and this is one of the reasons why fad diets and drastically reducing your calorie intake aren’t successful in the long term. You might lose some weight, to begin with, but chances are, this will quickly tail off and depending on your mindset and eating habits, you might even start gaining more weight.

When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady tends to do a lot better than trying to lose weight as quickly as possible.

You’re a lot more likely to succeed if you go for smaller shifts that add up to bigger lifestyle changes. If you do them every day, they’ll soon become habits. This is more of a long game and you probably won’t see results straight away but there’s a better chance of actually achieving your weight loss goals compared to focusing on one big goal that could fail.

You want your healthy choices to feel natural and not like a chore or as though you’re depriving yourself and this is where healthy habits can really come into their own.

Breaking the Food-Emotions Cycle

One of the factors that can make it hard to lose weight involves emotional eating. We often eat when we’re not really hungry and because we’re feeling certain emotions. Breaking the link between your food and your emotions is a key mindset shift to master if you want to lose weight and keep it off.

Moving away from emotional eating helps you to react to genuine hunger cues so you’ll eat to fuel your body and not in line with how you’re feeling. Mindful eating is a great way to get back in touch with your body’s hunger signals but it can be a big challenge to master, especially if you’re used to emotional eating. Finding ways to address your emotions that don’t involve food can make a huge difference in being able to lose weight naturally.

Visualising Weight Loss Success

Visualisation can be a powerful technique for weight loss, especially if it’s combined with positive self-talk. How does visualisation work? The theory is that it helps to rewire pathways in the brain so it can be great for breaking habits and learning new ones.

To get the most from it, visualise yourself at your ideal weight, with your body fat transforming into a much more positive form of energy. Keep this mental image in mind as much as possible.

You can use positive affirmations and self-talk to highlight to yourself how you’ll feel when you get to this point. Don’t forget to focus on how you’ll feel with your health, fitness and wellbeing and not just how much better you’ll feel about being thinner.

Even though this is going to happen in the future, keep your self-talk in the present tense and not the future to make visualisation a more effective mindset shift. Tell yourself that you have the power to change your body through the power of your mind as the finishing touch.

Doing this every day can be a lot more effective than you might think.

Start making a plan for your life long goals for your health, not just the short-term ones.

I hope you found this blog useful and will be able to implement some of my tips. However, if you’ve been struggling to get in shape for some time, and you’re tired of trying new crazy diets that don’t work long-term, then I might have a solution. 

I am running a 30-Day Food for Thought Group Challenge starting 12th May. I have run several successful group challenges in the past. This challenge is focused around emotional eating, cravings, stress management and portion control. These are the key areas that can really affect your long-term success when trying to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Lots more information about the challenge can be found on my HOME PAGE. It will be packed with lots of useful content, eBooks, meal plan, recipes, weekly challenges and sooooo much more. If you need that extra accountability and motivation to reach your goals this will be a fantastic place to start making some BIG changes.

I hope you can join this amazing, growing community, where we will encourage and support each other along the way! What’s not to love!!

Best wishes,

Christy x

Are you in? 

Why you aren’t losing weight after 30

Why you aren’t losing weight after 30

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If you notice your weight starting to creep up once you hit 30, your lifestyle could be having more effect than you think. We all know the obvious triggers such as eating too much and not doing much exercise but there are some sneakier factors that can play a big part in weight gain. Here are some of the most common ones to avoid so that you can keep your tummy trim and within a healthy weight range.

Too Much Stress

Struggling to keep your stress levels under control? There’s a good chance that it’s affecting your weight – especially for women. Your body releases the stress hormone, cortisol, during stressful periods and this can send your blood sugar levels haywire. According to studies, high cortisol production leaves you craving sweet foods and means you’ll probably eat more calories.

Cortisol also changes how your body uses glucose, makes it harder to burn fat and makes it easier to store fat. Women are more likely to store fat on their stomach but this can also be true for men. Abdominal fat has been linked to health issues so it’s definitely something you want to keep to a minimum!

Falling Into Emotional Eating Habits

Not taking care of your wellbeing can mean that you eat in line with your emotions rather than when you’re genuinely hungry. Feeling sad, stressed, lonely, bored or disappointed can lead you to eat to fill an emotional void and crave particular foods (usually the unhealthy kind!).

You might feel a little bit better in the immediate aftermath but in the longer term, this type of emotional eating can have a big effect on your weight. Most of the time, you won’t get a signal to say that you’re full and it’s all too easy to find that you’ve eaten a lot more than you planned in a very short space of time. And you probably won’t feel any better afterwards. In fact, you may well feel a whole lot worse as it’s common for emotional eating to make you feel guilty and ashamed of your food choices.

Not Sleeping Well

Poor sleep quality makes you more likely to eat more calories and gain weight. This is because it disrupts hormones that control your appetite. Lack of sleep increases production of ghrelin and decreases leptin levels, which means it’s harder to manage your appetite.

Sleeping well is one of the underrated ways to keep your weight in check as your levels of these hormones will be a lot more balanced.

Not Building Muscle Mass

If you spend a lot of time sitting down and aren’t very active, you probably don’t have much muscle mass. This might not seem like a big deal but it’s a common weight gain trigger.

Lean muscle boosts your metabolism and makes it that little bit easier to burn calories. If you don’t have much lean muscle, your metabolism doesn’t get this benefit and it’s harder to burn calories.

One of the best ways to build more muscle mass is through strength training. Don’t worry- you won’t end up looking like a bodybuilder! The idea of strength training is to build a toned body with minimal body fat rather than the bulky look we often associate with weights.

Not Eating Enough

Being on a diet more often than not means you’re definitely going to lose weight, right? Not always! Restricting your calorie intake too much slows down your metabolism and encourages the body to go into “starvation mode” so that it can run on fewer calories. This also means you burn fewer calories too as your body uses most of your intake to survive.

These kind of diets are very hard to stick to in the long term. Chances are, you’ll go back to a less restrictive way of eating but your body can still be more likely to store fat. This is why many people find that they gain weight after coming off a low-calorie diet.

Eating “Low Fat” Foods

Just because a food claims to be “low fat” doesn’t always mean that it’s going to help you to stay in shape. A lot of supposedly “low fat” options are often high in sugar and salt to make them tastier and can also contain a lot of calories. Eat too many of these “low fat” foods and you’re probably going to put weight on!

Tips for Avoiding These Triggers

So, what can you do to avoid these common triggers and get your body in the best shape?

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that isn’t too restrictive on calories and stay away from “low fat” foods that can promote weight gain
  • Be physically active and help your body to gain a bit more muscle mass
  • Get plenty of sleep to keep appetite hormones in balance
  • Make stress reduction a big part of your self-care routine and finding healthier ways to manage your emotions that don’t involve emotional eating
  • Adopting a more mindful approach to eating so that you don’t eat on autopilot
Binge Eating vs Emotional Eating

Binge Eating vs Emotional Eating

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When does indulging in your favourite snack cross the line from comfort to concern?

The difference between emotional eating and binge eating lies mainly in how much food you consume. But, other key features may help you distinguish between the two and put an end to unhealthy snacking.

Emotional Eating

Stress manifests in different ways, but most of us can relate to the concept of emotional eating. Ever catch yourself wallowing in a container full of ice cream after a particularly stressful day? Emotional eating or stress eating is when you consume food not out of hunger, but out of anxiety, frustration, or sadness. For some, emotional eating is triggered by a particularly traumatic event but for others, it can just be a habitual reaction to financial or emotional turbulence.

But don’t worry- emotional eating is somewhat normal, and in some cases, better for your mental health depending on how you handle it.

In fact, emotional eating can be great for relieving stress with THE RIGHT FOODS, provided it doesn’t get too out of hand. Eating puts our body into a state of relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nerves. Indulging in and savouring the flavours of food feels good and can lift our moods instantly.

But when emotional eating no longer relieves but rather contributes to stress, it can get out of hand.

At a point, emotional eating gives way to self-loathing as we feel ashamed of our indulgence. We want to hide our “binging” episodes, but because of a lack of other emotional coping mechanisms, they spiral out of our control.

To prevent emotional eating from advancing to the next stage, we need to tackle the problem at its roots: stress, frustration, and other emotional ruts.

Take up meditation or yoga to simultaneously tackle stress and improve your self-discipline. Engage in a stress-free activity like painting or fishing and take plenty of time to distance yourself from whatever may be causing your stress – whether that is work, a stressful home environment, or relationship woes.

To make sure your stress eating never borders on binge eating, keep a food journal. Records of your day-to-day eating choices will help prevent you from putting on unwanted pounds and improve your overall mindfulness when it comes to consumption.

And finally, to manage your emotional eating in a far more healthier way, look for healthy alternatives to your favourite go-to snacks such as oven baked sweet potato fries instead of the regular deep fried kind or carrot sticks and hummus instead of crisps.

Binge Eating

Binge eating, unlike stress eating, is considered by nutritionists as a potentially severe eating disorder. Characterised by constant overconsumption, BED (Binge Eating Disorder) involves consuming huge quantities of food in a relatively short span of time. It’s not just your average bloated belly after a heavy dinner, but a constant overeating that leaves the body uncomfortable and unhealthy.

The transition from emotional eating to binge eating occurs when you lose your sense of control: you move from being conscious of your reason for eating and how much you eat, to eating without any control over intake. It often leads to guilty eating, which is worse for your mental health and stress levels as well. This leads to a vicious cycle: your stress turns into binge eating, and your binge eating fuels your stress.

What’s worse is that the guilt of binge eating (which usually occurs when alone) traps us in a “shame cage”- we don’t want to reach out to friends or family for fear of revealing ourselves.

But the BED is too serious of a condition to keep under wraps. Instead, it is vital to talk to someone if you are experiencing any one of its symptoms. Your attitude towards your body image, your history with other mental health complications, and eating habits, in general, could be contributing to BED.

Total recovery from binge eating is absolutely possible. It doesn’t need to take over your life. To start your healing process I encourage you to keep a food journal to track your habits to work out the emotional triggers that affect your binge eating and the thoughts and feelings you have while on a binge episode. This gives you amazing insights into the WHY of your situation so that you can easily manage the HOW of getting out of it.

Remember to remain body-positive. I am always here to talk if you need to. You can take advantage of my free consultation call if you feel you need some 1:1 guidance. It’s my way of giving back – I’ve been on the binge eating path and having someone to lean on is the only way forward.

Christy x

My Personal Journey to Health and Happiness

My Personal Journey to Health and Happiness

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I have made the decision to share my personal journey with you all. This wasn’t easy to write as I am a very private person but as a coach, I feel it is important to be able to relate to my client’s struggles and be able to offer support and encouragement from a place of personal experience. I see so many people struggle with their own health and weight loss issues for lots of different reasons. Healthy eating and managing your weight isn’t just about what we put in our mouths. It’s so much more than that.

After having my second child I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and generalised anxiety. I lived in a constant state of fear.  I can only describe it as living with that same sensation of that split second a car pulls out in front of you. You slam on your breaks, you get a fright, your heart is thumping, you can’t breathe and your legs are shaking. Depending on how big a fright you get this sensation of panic will pass. However, for me, I lived in this constant state of ‘fear’ day in and day out. I stopped leaving the house and was utterly terrified my kids and I would be killed in a tragic accident. We stopped going to the shops, I stopped walking with the buggy and we stayed in the house all day long. I lived like this for around 6 months before getting help.

Help for me came in the form of antidepressants, a particularly nasty kind because I was breastfeeding. After about three weeks the sense of impending doom lifted and I was able to function again. I went back to work a few months later and things were good. I was a bit of a zombie and gained a lot of weight which I couldn’t shift on my medication. Looking back now, I wish I knew then what I know now about the true powers of exercise and good nutrition.

When I was well and feeling better I weened myself off the antidepressants. My diet at this time was poor, highly processed and I consumed a LOT of sugar! I tried various diets and they worked for a few weeks but were unsustainable long term. I would lose some weight then put it back on, or I would reach my ‘goal weight’ then revert back to my old ways and pile it back on and feel like a failure. A common story for so many people. That diet treadmill is a horrible cycle to be stuck in.

Fast forward one year and I fell pregnant with my third child Charlie, he was a pleasant surprise, however, I was scared post-natal depression would rear its ugly head again. Fortunately, it didn’t. In fact, I felt amazing. I had three gorgeous boys and I felt really good. This came as a big relief to me, I was more sociable, outgoing and generally a much happier mummy. I believed my days of depression were behind me at last.

Five months later my world was turned upside down in a split second when I discovered my husband was having an affair with someone I viewed as a friend and had been since before I fell pregnant with Charlie.

My husband and I separated almost overnight and I found myself a new place to live. Due to the situation, I also made the decision to move my kids to a different school and nursery. (This all happened in a matter of weeks, 2 weeks to be exact!)  This was such a difficult time for me mentally, I was terrified of the thought of being a single mum, bringing up three wee boys all by myself. It wasn’t how I thought my life was going to turn out. Silly things would sadden me, like family holidays, how would I ever manage two weeks on my own in Spain with three kids, silly I know but I felt like my dreams of a family life had been taken away from me.

At first, I muddled on the adrenaline got me throw the first few weeks but as the dust settled I could feel myself slipping down ‘that’ horrible road again. I just couldn’t go through all that again, my kids needed me more than ever! They needed a fully functioning, happy, loving mum. They also needed me to support them through this sudden change to their family life. Everyone I confided in about my concerns for my children, told me how resilient kids are and to not worry about them too much. How right were they, thank goodness!

After several trips to the doctor, I was prescribed another course of antidepressants. I reluctantly accepted them as I felt it was my only option.  After arriving home from the doctor’s surgery clutching my prescription, I sat at my kitchen table staring at them, not wanting to take them but also not wanting to feel this bad either, I wanted the old me back.

I knew deep down this depression was caused by a situation in my life that I knew in time would get easier. I made the choice to researched how to help improve my depression and anxiety without medication. It became very clear quickly, that exercise was up there as one of the main ways to help improve mood and reduce anxiety.  Nutrition also played a massive roll in alleviating the symptoms of depression. So that was it I was hooked! I threw my anti-depressants to the back of the cupboard and decided to get myself through this with healthy eating and exercise and it worked, it worked fast. I am not saying anti-depressants are bad or should be avoided because they helped me in the past. This time I wanted to help myself in a way that I knew would benefit me long term. I would not recommend coming off medication without consulting your doctor first.

So my journey to a happy, healthy Christy began nearly 5 years ago. I started walking every day with the buggy, then running and I started training weights, lifting heavy weights made me feel strong, with no man around the house I needed to be strong physically as well as mentally. I cut sugar from my diet and cut out alcohol Monday to Friday. I started my journey by eating clean, cutting all processed food from my diet, including flour, sugar, bread, pasta and avoiding preservatives, colour additives and fat replaces. I felt amazing, strong and above all HAPPY. At a time where I could have easily gone in the other direction, I managed to help myself through self-care and love. I nourished my body with everything it deserved. I was so passionate about how wonderful I felt I wanted to support others through their own struggles and help them make positive changes to their diet and lifestyle. I knew I could do this because I had gone through the changes myself. I 100% do not view this type of eating as a diet but as a lifestyle approach to food.

Honestly, I can say I felt amazing almost instantly, more energy, alert, I was losing pounds every week, my hair and skin started to glow. It truly did change my life and relationship with food forever. I was so pleased with my results and keen to learn more I went onto to study Nutrition.

It was at this point I decided to create Lose It and Love It, I wanted to help others achieve what I had with my health goals. My mission was to help my clients feel fabulous by nourishing their bodies with wholesome foods. My approach to weight loss, nutrition, my one to one coaching and accountability helps clients make lasting changes to their diet and lifestyle. I feel so privileged to have helped so many women make the change.

Life throws so many curve balls and that’s what life is about, right? I hope my personal journey has shown you that things have not been smooth sailing for me and that I struggle sometimes but I always know that if I focus on a healthy balance of exercise and good food I will feel better again very quickly. If you are struggling just now my biggest piece of advice is to start taking good care of YOU.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x

How to Reduce your Food Cravings

How to Reduce your Food Cravings

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I used to suffer from really bad food cravings, I was addicted to sugar and didn’t realise that what I was eating was impacting my life so much. I was moody, tired, lacked focus and energy and my general mood was low. I was going through a massive change in my personal life and found myself a single mummy of three wee boys under 5. It was a scary time but I knew I had to keep strong and take care of my babies.

This was when I started focusing on my nutrition and how it was impacting my life and so much more than just my weight. I became so interested in my health and well-being I went on to study nutrition and sports nutrition. I implemented everything I learnt and I transformed my health. I am realistic in my approach and live a balanced life, I am not 100% good all the time and I certainly enjoy my treats and a vino or two.

Finding that balance has set me up for a life of healthy eating and no more yo yo dieting. I eat without the guilt and all the other emotions we feel while we follow horribly restrictive diets. It has been a really positive journey that I  now feel so privileged to be helping lots of other people make some positive changes.

 

 

So, what can we do to reduce cravings? By adopting the following eight practices, you can reduce your cravings for sugar or other unhealthy foods and drinks.

1. Don’t skip meals.

It’s super important when it comes to eliminating cravings. When we skip meals, we may think we’re reducing our calories for the day. The problem with this is that by mid-afternoon, hunger hits with a vengeance, we give in to the temptation and then we get mad at ourselves for failing. This often leads to eating even MORE empty calories, more sugar, more processed food, because now we again feel we are starving and we’re stressed from failing. It’s easy to just start to shovel in the closest food you can find when you’re “starving.”
When you can spread out your meals as evenly as possible throughout the day, ensure that your meals are based on whole foods, and add a healthy snack when needed, your blood sugar is likely to be more stable. This mean no more energy crashes which result in a craving for sugar to get your energy level back up.
Often, sugar cravings are our body’s response to needing energy. By eating balanced meals throughout the day, our energy levels stay up, thereby reducing cravings.

2. Don’t bring temptation home

This sounds simple, but it’s oh so true.
If you want to make good choices, only keep good choices in the house. I like to keep the veggies and fruit at eye level and up front for my kids. When they see healthier choices first, they go for what’s within easy reach. Keeping washed, pre-cut veggies with a pre-made yummy dip means healthy snacks are all ready to eat.
Plus, if the junk food, sugary cereals, cookies, cakes, ice cream, crisps, etc., are not there, you can’t eat any, right? Stock your kitchen with whole foods that fill you up, satisfy your hunger and give your body the nutrients it needs. This greatly aids in the reduction of cravings, because you don’t feel so hungry.

3. Eat enough protein and healthy fat

The low-fat diet craze caused people to fear all sources of dietary fat, including the healthy fats that our bodies desperately need to function properly. Healthy fat is crucial to providing essential fatty acids, the absorption of vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals and are a source of energising fuel. To make up for the lack of fat and taste in their products, the food companies added more SUGAR! Low fat foods are not very satiating, which leaves us hungry again a short time later. This leads to consuming more calories, which is not good if your goal is weight loss.
By eating more whole foods that are packed with the nutrients our bodies need, the less junk food we crave. Our bodies need real food – whole food in its natural state – to thrive. Providing our body with what it needs can reduce addictive cravings.
If eliminating junk food from your cupboards is a challenge for you because your children or spouse have snacks they “have to have,” try replacing one type of snack at a time. For example: Maybe instead of Doritos, which are full of artificial ingredients and MSG, transition to something like organic tortillas. Be sure you have a great fresh salsa or guacamole for the dip and serve with a plate of fresh cut veggies too! Starting with small changes and transitioning little by little can avoid a major mutiny. You don’t have to do a major overhaul all at once. This can take some time. It’s good to introduce new foods and see what everyone likes. You never know what may become a new favourite.

4. Get a good night’s sleep

Are you sure you’re getting enough sleep each night? And do you get quality sleep?
What does sleep have to do with healthy eating and achieving your ideal weight range? A lot!
Think about the difference of how your entire day goes when you wake up tired vs. how you feel and how your day goes after you get a full night’s rest. It’s typical that we make different food and activity choices throughout the day when we are rested and feel energetic compared to days when we are dragging.
Tiredness, stress and exhaustion all trigger food binges. When we’re tired, we get stressed more easily. Studies show how signals from the brain, which control appetite regulation, are impacted by sleep restriction. Our body craves more energy and we get more energy from food, so we end up eating more, and usually end up making less healthy choices.

5. Be a food label detective

We’ve been taught to look at the calories and fat content on labels, but not the actual INGREDIENTS. It’s shocking what our food is made up of these days. When we consume sugar, we CRAVE more sugar, so it’s important to know where it’s lurking.
To eat healthy food, you need to know what’s in it! That means you have to read the label! Sugar is often disguised under different names as well as being listed more than once under the different names.
Here are just a few of the names sugar goes by: high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, raw sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, sucrose, dextrose, maltose.
Before you put something in your trolley, know what it is that are buying to eat. The front of the package is designed to be an advertising billboard to “sell” you the product and the food manufacturers know how to trick us! They know the buzz words that fool us, don’t they? Words like “healthy,” “natural,” “baked,” “whole grain”, etc. You might think baked would be healthier than fried, right.
IGNORE what the front of the package says and look at the list of ingredients. If it sounds like a science experiment full of names you can’t identify, put it back on the shelf.

6. First eat something healthy

Don’t tell yourself you can’t have something you feel you’re craving!
Instead, tell yourself, “I can have it, but first I’m going give my body something nutritious, such as a banana and a few nuts or a fresh salad with some protein.” This way, by the time you’re done with the healthier choice, you are way less likely be craving the sugar anymore and will skip it. Try it and see what happens. Some of my clients that try this are sceptical at first, but are pleasantly surprised to see how well it works.

Look at what some of your habits are and the food choices that go along with them. Do you pour yourself a cup of coffee and automatically reach for that biscuit? Do you nibble on a cookie before dinner to “hold you over” and then not feel so hungry when you sit down with your family? Does dessert automatically mean ice cream or cake?

7. Are you hungry for food or are you really craving something else?

What do you crave that’s not food?
Sometimes cravings are caused by things we feel are missing from our lives and food fills the void for us. We may be conscious of the void, or not. Stress, feeling bored or being lonely can do this as well. When you feel cravings coming on be real with yourself about whether it’s the food or something else. Get in touch with what you’re craving that’s not food and learn ways to nourish yourself without food.
Ask yourself if you’re REALLY hungry…or is it something else? If you just ate a meal an hour ago and felt satiated, maybe you aren’t really hungry. See if doing something else takes your mind off of mindless munching as a distraction. Boredom can be a big trigger for cravings.

I hope my top tips will help you reduce your cravings….