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

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….