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

8 Tips for Achieving a More Positive Attitude

8 Tips for Achieving a More Positive Attitude

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Following on from my last blog 7 Signs You Could Benefit from a Change in Your Mindset I have put together my top tips on how to be more positive!

Having a positive attitude can have a big impact on your life. According to studies, it can make you feel happier and make you more resilient. And potentially, it may also be able to help you live longer too! If you’ve had a negative attitude for a while, it can feel like a massive challenge to turn that around and be a more positive person. With a few mental shifts, it’s more achievable than you might think. Here are some tips for getting and keeping a more positive attitude.

Recognise that change starts with you

A lot of us feel that life is something that happens to us, which can make you feel as though luck is a big factor in how it plays out.

Realising that you actually have much more control of your future is a mental shift that is super important for maintaining a positive attitude.

Change starts with you – if you believe something is possible, there’s a much bigger chance that it will happen. And if you don’t believe it’s possible? You’re not likely to take any steps towards change and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Any changes you want to make to your health and wellbeing all start with your mindset.

Know that you’re enough

Accepting who you are and not comparing yourself to other people is a big part of having a positive attitude. Those ultra confident people you’ve been secretly envious of are probably not as super confident as you think. What they do have in bundles is self acceptance.

We all have different things to offer to the world and finding ways to embrace this can help you to move past the negative mindset that usually comes with feeling inadequate about yourself. Positive affirmations can be a great way to encourage your mind to recognise that you are definitely enough.

Switch negative thinking for positive

Negative thinking is one of the hardest things to change but it’s also one of the most important shifts to make for a positive attitude. If negative thought patterns have become second nature to you, you might not even be aware of just how negative and self destructive your thoughts are.

Isolating your thoughts is the first step, and mindfulness can be great for this. You might find that within your negative thoughts, you tend to repeat a few more often than others and pass judgement on yourself with specific bits of self talk. Whenever you find yourself talking negative to yourself, try to stop it in its tracks and turn it around into much more positive self talk.

Start the day off right

How you start off the day can help you to get off on a positive note for the rest of it. Positive affirmations along the lines of “This is going to be a good day” can put you in the right mindset. Morning rituals can also include eating a healthy and filling breakfast, drinking a glass of warm water and lemon to get your digestion going and doing gentle stretching exercises to improve your circulation. Spending a bit of time on these every morning can be a game changer for a more positive start to the day, even if you find that you have to get up a little earlier to make it happen.

Find enjoyment in the little things

We often rely on the big things to trigger happiness but you’re more likely to find contentment if you look for positives and enjoyment in the smaller things in life. Instead of believing that money and a great career will bring you joy and fulfillment, switch focus and get into the habit of appreciating the things around you. From the sights and sounds of nature to enjoying a calming cup of tea, there’s lots of opportunity to enjoy small moments that can help you to feel more content with life.

Gratitude can be really good for helping you to look deeper and turn negatives into positives. When you’re faced with a stressful situation or just one that isn’t going as you planned, dig deep and flip things around to find a silver lining that you can express gratitude for. Even in a traffic jam, you can find a positive such as being thankful for a chance for some “chill” time to relax, for example.

Smile a lot

How often do you smile on an average day? If it’s not a lot, you’re missing out on chances to release some feel-good brain chemicals, including serotonin. Smiling sets the scene for genuine happiness so even if you don’t feel happy right now, making sure to smile can change that. Even a fake smile can do this, according to studies.

Look for opportunities to learn and grow

How do you tend to feel when things don’t go to plan? If you usually feel that it’s a sign that life isn’t fair, try reframing your thinking. Instead of asking why these kind of things always happen to you, switch it up and ask what you can learn from the fact that it did happen. How can it help you to grow as a person, for example? In this way, you can turn failures and mistakes into opportunities to learn and develop.

Surround yourself with positive people

Another top tip for maintaining a positive attitude involves the people you surround yourself with in your day-to-day life. Be honest with yourself here and ask if the people around you are really inspiring you to be positive or helping to drag you down and reinforce negative thinking? If it’s more the former than the latter, you might want to rethink the company you keep and look for people who can help you to project positive energy.

I hope you find my tips helpful, they work for me so should work for you too.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x

7 Signs You Could Benefit from a Change in Your Mindset

7 Signs You Could Benefit from a Change in Your Mindset

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Your mindset is super important for personal growth and self-acceptance, especially if yours tends to be a negative one. If you’re stuck in a fixed negative state of mind, it can be difficult to recognise when you would benefit from changing your mindset, even when the signs are staring you in the face. Feel like that could be the case for you? Here are my 7 signs that it’s time to switch up your mindset.

You only see negative things

Do you tend to put a strong focus on what’s wrong in your life and rarely (or never! ) acknowledge the good parts? This is a major sign that you’ll benefit from changing your mindset to a more positive one that will help you to build better mental strength.

As you probably know from personal experience, negative thinking paves the way for stress, anxiety and other mental health problems. It also lowers your expectations if you’re constantly expecting the worst case scenario to occur.

You put yourself after everyone else

How are you doing when it comes to self care and taking care of your own needs? If you still feel that it’s selfish to focus on yourself rather than other people, this is another sign that it’s time to alter your mindset and make yourself more of a priority.

Putting yourself first sometimes is super important for your own health and wellbeing, especially when it comes to things like sleep and healthy eating. Self care also triggers a relaxation response, which can help to stop the stress response affecting your health. These days, we know that chronic stress and the inflammation it can trigger is a big factor in a lot of health issues. Self care can therefore be a lot more crucial than you might think and changing your mindset to reflect this can be one of the best things you can do for your health.

You blame yourself for everything

When things don’t go to plan, do you usually put the blame solely on yourself and refuse to recognise that other factors may be involved too? Excessive self-blame is linked to mental health problems, including depression. It’s also something that holds you back from being able to learn and grow from mistakes and experiences.

Instead of blaming yourself, try recognising that it’s time to shift your mindset towards self-acceptance and self-forgiveness instead. We all make mistakes and having a mindset that accepts this and looks for ways to use them in a positive way

You worry (all the time)

Everyone worries now and again but if your worries are consuming you, you’ll definitely benefit from a mindset change.

A negative and anxious mindset can be very exhausting and it’s also very unproductive. A lot of the time, you’re worrying about things that will never happen or that you can’t change so it’s literally wasted energy. Finding ways to stop worrying about things you have no control over is super important for a more positive mindset. And for the things you might be able to change? Focus on what you could do to make that happen.

Your expectations stress you out

If you’re expecting things to happen without the right mindset, it’s usually going to end in frustration and disappointment. This is particularly true when it comes to happiness. We often expect happiness to just happen to us, usually in line with material things or other people. Expectations about who you should be and what other people expect from you can also super stressful.

Shifting your mindset to recognise that your expectations start with you can be a game changer as it helps you to feel that you have control over them. Experts have suggested that lowering your expectations can be a secret weapon in the road to happiness.

Your routines have changed

Have you noticed a shift in your sleep, appetite and mood lately? If this isn’t for the better, it’s another sign that your mindset could use a more positive stance.

A negative mindset can have an effect on your health so it’s probably no great surprise to know that negative changes in your routines can come about as a result of your mindset, especially if you don’t have a positive one. Negative thought patterns can affect your sleep patterns and mood, and can also lead to emotional eating.

You feel your priorities/values aren’t matching your life

Have a think about your biggest priorities in life. Maybe these focus on your health, happiness or family, for example. Now have a think about whether your life is really helping you to work towards your priorities. Were you surprised to recognise that your priorities and values don’t fit too well with how you’re living your life? It’s another sign that you’re in the right position to change your mindset and bring your life in line with your values.



Are you self-sabotaging?

Are you self-sabotaging?

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I used to have an all or nothing attitude when it came to my diet and the food that I ate, I either ate really well or really bad with nothing in between. So, when I was good, I thought I was being good – in fact it was the opposite of that. I restricted calories, skipped meals and exercised to excess. Guess what, it didn’t last long. I would feel low in energy, moody, lethargic, weak, couldn’t concentrate or focus on anything and generally felt miserable. The way I was eating was unsustainable long term and deep down I knew it. I would literally crash and burn and end up going on a massive binge, eating everything I had previously restricted myself from eating. I craved sugar and refined carbohydrates for energy. The initial rush of energy would feel good for a day or two until the guilt set in! The negative feelings I had about myself became worse I would feel like a failure and the horrible cycle of the yo-yo diet would start all over again.

Why would anyone want to put themselves through all that? Life is hard enough as it is juggling family, work and social commitments so why add self-torture (which is what this mentality is) to the list. I lived my life with the attitude that if I was being good then having a treat would undo all my hard work. My attitude was to hell with it, let’s just eat the entire cake, pizza, sweets, chocolate and anything else I could get my hands on. I would believe I had failed and ruined everything I had achieved so far, so why not! That attempt at one treat would turn into a month-long binge! I was self-sabotaging by falling into the mindset that I was only allowed to be good or bad never finding that healthy balance. This led me to a poor relationship food. Something I now see often in so many of my clients.

The biggest turning point for me was when I finally accepted that what I was eating and why I was eating the way I was, was down to so many factors. Stress, emotional eating and mindless eating all impact greatly on my day to day food choices. Not to mention hormones and lack of sleep to add to it! This is why it was important that I worked through those emotions, built new healthy non-restrictive habits that made me feel healthy and positively in control of my nutrition.

Creating the perfect plan for me meant that I had to no longer see myself following any kind of diet. SPOILER:  Diets DO NOT work long term! I now eat the foods my body needs for overall health and wellbeing. I no longer view a treat as a disaster, finding a healthy balance and knowing that consistency is what brings positive change, not perfection. For me now my diet is healthy 80% of the time. Generally, I eat well Monday to Friday and will enjoy a treat at the weekend. It’s not the entire weekend, maybe a pizza on a Saturday night with a bottle of wine. We can do a lot of damage over a weekend which can really impact your goals so you must be realistic. However, if on a random Tuesday afternoon, I fancied a treat or a glass of wine with my evening meal then I enjoy it, own it and move on. It is all about a healthy balance, with no damage done.

I now have the freedom to enjoy all foods from all food groups without the guilt. My mind is at ease and food is no longer all I think about anymore. I no longer feel anxious or nervous around food. I have the confidence now to make the best choices for me. Choosing food that makes me feel good! Food is meant to nourish our bodies, fuel us with the calories we need to function as human beings. It is not meant to be used as a way to punish ourselves through starvation or bingeing both of which have serious long-term side effects.

I recommend to all my clients to practice mindful eating as part of their journey to help overcome all the negative diet habits that develop over time some of which can be seriously deep routed. This is what really helped me find the healthy balance so I know it works.

So, what is Mindful Eating?

  • a peaceful eating relationship with food according to your body’s needs
  • eating to support your body’s natural healthy state
  • balance, choice, wisdom, and acceptance
  • eating consciously in a way to make our bodies feel well
  • being aware of our surroundings, mind, body, and spirit
  • being “in the moment”

Mindful eating is NOT about:

  • dieting
  • measuring or weighing food
  • restricting or avoiding foods
  • counting fat grams or calories
  • worrying about body size or the number on the scale’

Be aware of what your habits and mindless eating triggers are.  We all have them. Maybe it’s a stash of sweets in your desk drawer or eating while at your computer or on the phone. Maybe it’s when you come home from work and grab a bag of crisps or when you sit down to relax and watch a show on T.V. It could also be a trigger when you’re bored.  Think about what the triggers are for you, acknowledge it and make a plan to work on it.

For most of us, triggers come down to the habits that we have formed over the years. Many habits have us on autopilot without being consciously aware of the decisions we’re making. This is a great time to take a step back and evaluate which habits you’d like to change that will be more in alignment with your goals.

Mindful eating is an awareness that can take some time to acquire. It certainly does not come automatically for most of us.  Our environment is definitely working against us here, and so is the hectic pace so many of us are keeping.  Maybe this is a good time to evaluate some things that are causing a lot of stress and find ways to reduce it.  Stress affects us on every level – emotional, mental and physical. By taking steps to eat more mindfully, we can at least know that a few times each day we get to slow down and do something good for ourselves, our health and our bodies.

Do you suffer from self-sabotage? Are you stuck in the YO-YO diet revolving door?

As always if you need help and support to get away from the diet mentality then let me know. You can book a nutrition package with one to one personal support or simply book a free consultation call to discuss your situation and find out what tools I have in place to help you make that positive shift.

Best wishes,

Christy x