Weight Loss Extends to Your Daily Life

Weight Loss Extends to Your Daily Life

Blog Uncategorised

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.

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 relationships 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 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, 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 with 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 my 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.h

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 8 hours every night. Read more here
  • 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
  • Genetics – eat lots of vegetables, fruits and lentils

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. If you need a little extra push in achieving that goal weight, perhaps you would benefit by joining my next Eat Sleep Move Repeat Challenge starting 1st September.

If the holidays have taken their toll on you and you are struggling to regain focus I can help and support you to shift some weight, get cravings under control, improve your mood and most importantly boost those flagging energy levels!

Nothing complicated, simply regain some control and nourish your body. So you can feel your best.

During the challenge, we’ll focus on one transformation strategy each week. I will provide a 7-Day Meal Plan to get you started along with loads of great recipes, meal ideas that will fit around the entire family. You will receive all your content and information within my app where you will also gain full access to my food and mood journal to help track your calories all in the one place!

Once you join you will receive a link to the challenges private Facebook Group where all the fun will happen! Great chat, support, motivation and that all-important accountability we all need!

If you have been struggling, come and join us! For more information click here.

Wishing you good health and happiness,

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

Healthy Emotions for Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Healthy Emotions for Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Blog Guest Blog

Making healthy food and drink choices is something we all know how to do on a logical and intellectual level. Nowadays we have easy access to an abundance of healthy-eating advice and information, and healthy living is a hot topic.

We all know that an apple is a better choice than a bar of chocolate. We know that our bodies are crying out for a drink of hydrating, cleansing water and not a chemical-laden can of Diet Coke.

Why, then, can it be so difficult to make the right choice?

Why can it be so difficult to break a bad habit, even when we know that the benefits of doing so would be immense and probably even life-changing?

The answer to these questions is not that we are lazy or weak or greedy or undeserving (or whichever negative narrative we have come to believe).

The answer to these questions is programming. We are programmed from the time we are in the womb and this programming goes on for our whole lives.

Our conscious mind accounts for only around 5% of our entire mind. Just 5%! This, of course, means that the other 95% of the time (i.e. almost always) we are functioning from the programmes which have been embedded into our subconscious at some point in our life.

A good analogy for this is learning to drive. It is only a conscious process when we are actively learning and have to consciously remember to put the clutch down before we change gear or remember ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’, for example. Once we are competent and experienced drivers, driving becomes a subconscious process and we often arrive at our destination and struggle to remember how we got there!

What’s more, the subconscious mind processes information billions of times more quickly than the conscious mind. So, this fact coupled with the fact that the subconscious accounts for around 95% of our mind as a whole should give you some idea of how incredibly powerful the influence of our subconscious programming is.

This is absolutely fine – in fact, it’s great! – if we are operating on positive subconscious programmes like ‘I am worthy’ or ‘I deserve to be happy’ or ‘I love my life’.

Often, however, we are operating on more detrimental programmes:

‘I’m not good enough’

‘I don’t deserve to be happy/healthy/attractive’

‘I’m not clever enough’

‘My sister is the pretty one’

‘I can’t do anything right’

‘My mum has always been overweight so I will be too’

‘Food is the only thing that makes me happy’.

And many, many more.

Do any of these sound familiar? Do any of these resonate with you or make you feel uncomfortable/sad/angry?

Our bodies record every experience we ever have, from our time in the womb onwards (quite a thought, I know!). So even when we can’t consciously remember an experience because we were very young (or often because we have managed quite successfully to push it right to the back of our minds), our body still holds on to the memory.

Any feelings with a high emotional charge, e.g. inferiority, guilt, jealousy, failure, etc., stay with us until we take steps to acknowledge them and clear the relevant emotion from our bodies, minds and energy systems.

Of course, food and emotions are intrinsically linked, hence why we can inadvertently sabotage our attempts at healthy living (or indeed anything else we are attempting to change in our lives). 

Eating to fill an emotional void, eating due to loneliness, powerlessness, boredom, stress…the list goes on.

As incredible as it may seem, we can even choose to hold on to excess weight at a (deeply!) subconscious level as it can give us a feeling of protection; it creates a barrier between us and a harsh world. Or perhaps if we have been badly hurt in a relationship then we can (again, DEEPLY subconsciously) decide to make ourselves feel less attractive in some way so that we are less likely to be approached by prospective partners and can therefore avoid being hurt again.

Huge steps forward can be made when we clear these old, stuck emotions and outdated subconscious programmes which no longer serve us.

When we are functioning from an emotionally-balanced, positively-programmed mindset it is significantly easier to opt for the healthy choice, not only because we are operating from a healthier, more neutral perspective, but also because we are far more in tune with our bodies and emotions.

So, to help yourself along the path to lasting change, as well as following advice from a qualified Nutritionist, take some time to tune into yourself and see if you can identify where and/or when these emotions originate from (you might be surprised).

With a bit of time and effort, it is absolutely possible to clear the negative emotions and programming which are holding us back and to implement balance and positive programming in their place, allowing us to move forward with greater ease and confidence.

Melanie holds the International Diploma in Integrated Healing, a revolutionary healing system that which works on the whole being (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) to release blocks to health, happiness and true wellbeing. Integrated Healing combines the best of modern Psychology, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Physiology, Applied Kinesiology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, complementary medicine (and many other therapies) with its own unique methodologies.

www.melaniehigginbotham.com

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

It is the best decision I have made in years

It is the best decision I have made in years

Blog Inspiration Testimonial

“I have followed every diet under the sun and my weight has gone up and down for years. No matter which diet I was on I always wanted to reach my goal weight so that I could stop starving myself! As soon as I came off the diet the pounds piled on again. Now I have found a way of eating that I know I can sustain for the rest of my life. The food is delicious and I never feel hungry. My friends are all commenting on how well I look and how much weight I have lost. I can’t thank Christy enough for introducing me to this way of eating.
So if like me you are fed up being on the diet yo-yo then take the plunge and contact Lose It and Love It.

It is the best decision I have made in years.

Thank you Christy.”

MOIRA PARK

To read more client testimonials click here.

Better Gut Health & Well-Being

Better Gut Health & Well-Being

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Learning to support your gut and the beneficial bacteria that live there is the best thing you can do for your health.

The good news is that feeding the gut with foods can be fun. Good bacteria love so many delicious fruits, grains, legumes, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Beneficial fats found in butter, olive oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, avocado oil, and coconut oil provide nutrients that nourish the gut and, of course, protein is always needed to build a healthy home for the bacteria.

Maybe you react to certain foods. That is a sign you do not have the needed good bacteria to digest the food properly. Working on your gut health may help you to stop reacting. So, what do you have to lose? Feed your gut and feel the rewards.

In a perfect world, we would all have known more about the beneficial microbes in and on our body and how to look after them. We would know how to feed them, and we would be reaping the amazing health they help us achieve.

Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in, and many of us live with results of poor gut management and the symptoms that go with it – gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and inflammation.

This is a complex issue, and what we know is that poor gut health is being linked as a factor to every other health condition. No matter what health condition you may have, being nice to your gut microbes should be part of any plan for repair and recovery.

Refined and processed foods:  They do not feed the microbes properly so that they can thrive and protect us.

Antibiotics: They deplete both good and bad bacteria and for some reason, the bad recover faster from antibiotic use than the good.

Other Medications: Corticosteroids, birth control pills, aspirin, ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) interfere with the mucus lining – the home of the good bacteria where they reproduce.

Stress: In today’s world, we run around like crazy with too many activities and responsibilities and it’s taking its toll. Amongst many other things, excess stress depletes good bacteria levels. In return, too much bad bacteria stimulates cortisol production, our main stress hormone.

Poor Sleeping Habits: Our gut bacteria sleep when we sleep, and just one night of no sleep can lower the quality and quantity of our gut microbes. Think about what it must mean when poor- quality sleep occurs night after night for many years.

Bad Digestive Habits: Chewing food properly is key to digesting good food properly. Forty-five per cent of the bacteria in the gut is seeded by the bacteria in the mouth. And to make sure the bacteria is primarily beneficial, we need to secrete lots of antimicrobial saliva to keep the bad bacteria levels low. Chewing stimulates saliva production and we need to chew more.

Exercise: Too little or too much doesn’t help us maintain our good bacteria levels. Moderate exercise on a regular basis is the best option.

What you need to know:

There are two types of beneficial bacteria:

Residential bacteria are native to you, and this is what you need to build and maintain long-term health.

Transient bacteria are found in probiotic supplements and fermented foods – they help while they are there, but they’re just passing through.

Do you suffer from foods sensitivities or allergies?

Food sensitivities are not caused by the food. They are a digestive issue due to lack of enzymes and/or lack of good bacteria. We do not know what strains any one person is missing, but we do know that different strains help us digest different foods. For example, lactose intolerance is due to lack of the good bacteria that helps break down lactose. Improving the quantity and quality of the strains will improve the ability to digest all types of foods.

What is dysbiosis?

It’s the name given to the condition in the gut when there is no longer the right ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria. The gut should have 85 per cent beneficial microbes. Anything less than this can result in symptoms, and as the ratio gets further out of balance, more symptoms occur. Dysbiosis has been linked to all major health conditions.

It’s residential bacteria that need to be re-established. Probiotic supplements can help in the short term, but the permanent solution is finding the right balance of foods and lifestyle that the gut requires to function at it best on its own.

What do residential bacteria like to eat?

They like fibre like FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides), polyphenols, and resistant starch. Dairy products contain two types of food for bacteria – lactose and GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) They also function best with lots of vitamins and minerals. So, load up on the fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.

The key to a healthy gut is increasing the number and diversity of strains. Different foods feed different strains so variety is the key.

 Instructions: Take a look at the suggestions in each section. Pick the ones that are easiest for you to add to your daily life. Add one at a time if that is what works best for you. The goal is to add more suggestions as you go until you find the right combination for you. Look for your digestive, elimination and energy functions to improve. To view the above table click on this link 3 Best Steps To Better Gut Health and Well.

If you need further help and support please get in touch with me.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x

 

6 Simple Tips For Adding  Healthy, Whole Foods

6 Simple Tips For Adding Healthy, Whole Foods

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The dietary changes you’re making should not feel restrictive, overwhelming or hard to live with.

Most Britains have grown up on processed foods. This may be a big change for you, so take it a step at a time. Pick 1 or 2 changes to make now, and once those are in place, pick 1 or 2 more.  This is the best way to make it part of a lifestyle change and something you can totally live with.  

Transitioning to a healthier way of eating may seem daunting so here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Eat vegetables at most meals. Think salads, side dishes, soups, or even adding veggies to your sandwich or wrap.
  2. When you are having a craving for something sweet, opt for a serving of fruit to satisfy your craving.
  3. When you eat meat, it’s best to choose organic, grass-fed, and hormone-free so you get the maximum nutrients possible without the harmful pesticides residue, antibiotics, hormones, etc.
  4. Fill your fridge and cupboards with healthy food choices that are ready to eat and go. Snacks like nuts, seeds, or fruit are good for ‘grab and go’.
  5. Never leave the house without food if you’ll be gone for more than 2 hours. Remember, eating healthy foods on a regular basis will help you avoid unhealthy choices. Make up some of your own trail mix (avoid ready-made trail mix as most of them have hydrogenated oils and other undesirable, processed ingredients) or bring a small cooler to keep in the car.
  6. Most importantly, don’t be too rigid. Making small changes over time will make a huge difference and it makes the changes easier to stick to.

If you need some help implementing these changes, please get in touch here.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x

How Food Can Affect More Than Your Weight

How Food Can Affect More Than Your Weight

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What you eat can affect many areas of your health from your mood to how well you sleep. Your body needs a wide range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to keep you in great physical and mental condition so it’s important to nourish it with the right foods and drinks. Here’s how your food can affect your mood, sleep, concentration and even your chances of developing depression.

How Food Affects Your Mood

If your blood sugar fluctuates too much, it can leave you feeling tired and irritable. Ideally, you want to be eating foods that keep your blood sugar stable which includes complex carbs such as brown rice, oats and whole grains. Nuts and seeds are also great for this.

Some foods can have a direct effect on your mood too. Fatty fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids that affect the production of neurotransmitters in your brain, especially serotonin and dopamine. Both of these have a really strong link with your mood and low levels are linked to mood disorders. Fatty fish isn’t the only food that gives you an omega 3 boost; flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts also count. For dopamine, make sure you’re getting plenty of poultry, fish, eggs and leafy greens in your diet.

Protein is another nutrient that can affect your mood. A lot of foods with protein contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can help your body to produce more serotonin and dopamine. Chicken and turkey are good sources but if you’re a vegetarian, you can eat beans, lentils and quinoa to reap the benefits.

What you’re not eating can also be important. According to studies, not getting enough folate or B vitamins, in general, can make you more prone to depression and have a negative impact on your sleep and energy levels. Greens are a great source of folate so be sure to include plenty of leafy greens, broccoli and peas if you’re struggling with low mood.  Low selenium levels are also linked to fatigue, anxiety and even depression. Snack on walnuts or a handful of Brazil nuts to get your selenium levels up.

Depression may be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain but some nutrients are thought to make this more likely, especially if you’re deficient in them. For example, low levels of vitamin D are linked to a higher risk of depression and experts believe that getting enough vitamin D can be crucial for a healthy mind. Natural sunlight is the best option but you can also get vitamin D from your diet through fatty fish, eggs and liver. This is the better option when the sun isn’t out in colder climates.

How Food Affects Sleep

You might not realise it but what you eat can have a big impact on how well you sleep. Some foods are known to encourage sleep because of the nutrients they contain and anything containing magnesium is a good bet, according to studies. Need a magnesium boost? Go for leafy greens (especially spinach), almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and high-quality dark chocolate.

Another important nutrient is vitamin B6, which your body uses to make both melatonin and serotonin. If you’re not aware of melatonin and its role in the body, it’s known as the “sleep hormone”. This gives you an indication of how important it is for sleep! Our melatonin levels can be disrupted by “blue light” from screens and devices and as low levels of melatonin can make it hard to sleep well, it’s definitely something you want to be producing a decent amount of.

When it comes to melatonin, tryptophan helps here too (not just with mood!) as it helps your body to make more melatonin.  Chicken, turkey, milk, nuts and seeds all contain tryptophan and can help more melatonin be produced.

How Food Affects Concentration

If you find yourself struggling with concentration and focus, it’s time to look at your diet and whether you’re eating foods that are known to help.

A 2013 study found that people who were drinking 2 cups of cacao every day for a month were able to improve blood flow to their brains, which led to better results in memory tests. If you’d rather not drink a cup of cacao, a square of high-quality dark chocolate (minimum 70% cacao) can have a similar effect as long as there aren’t high sugars or other additives.

In a 2012 report, drinking blueberry juice daily for two months also led to better performance on memory and learning tests. This means that snacking on blueberries can be perfect if you need a focus boost!

And of course, there’s always water! Dehydration can cause tiredness and concentration problems, even if you’re only slightly dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water could be all you need to get more focused if dehydration is the problem.

Food wise, the omega 3 fatty acids in salmon can reduce cognitive decline and keep your brain sharp and focused. Another good reason to eat fatty fish a couple of times per week!

Now that you know how food impacts your mood, what did you notice you might need to add to your diet this week to counteract your nutritional imbalance?

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x

Is Not Enough Sleep Making You Fat?

Is Not Enough Sleep Making You Fat?

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Sleep is one of the best things you can do from a self-care perspective but it’s also one of the areas that are most likely to be neglected. 

The recommended amount of shut-eye is eight hours a night (preferably more!) but lots of us are falling far short of this and it’s having a massive impact on almost every aspect of wellbeing, from health to weight. You can live healthily in every other area of your life but unfortunately, it’s probably not going to do much to counteract the damaging effects of poor sleep habits.

Here’s a look at why getting enough sleep is so crucial for your health and wellbeing, and why diet alone can’t undo the effects of not sleeping well.

Sleep Duration Versus Sleep Quality

We’re always being told how many hours we should be sleeping each night but is it definitely enough even if we can manage to achieve it?

Sleep quality refers to how well we sleep and is a completely different prospect to how long we sleep.  It’s pretty easy to tell how long you sleep but the quality of it is a bit harder to determine.

Poor sleep quality means that you’re not sleeping in line with your circadian rhythm or going through all of the important sleep phases (particularly with REM sleep).

Some of the signs that your sleep quality isn’t as good as it could include:

  • Waking up during the night
  • Not waking up naturally e.g. you have to be abruptly awoken by your alarm clock most mornings

Sleep and Health

What exactly does your body experience when you don’t get enough sleep? Pretty much everything is affected but here are some of the more serious effects that poor sleep patterns can have on your health:

  • Lower immunity. If you seem to get every cough and cold going, your sleep habits may be to blame. In one study, researchers deliberately exposed people to the common cold virus to see how likely they were to go onto develop a cold. Participants who had been sleeping for less than 7 hours per night had lower immunity and were almost 3 times more likely to be impacted. Even a small sleep debt has been linked to lower immunity.
  • Higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have looked at the link between lack of sleep and developing heart disease and stroke and it’s a scary connection. Getting less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night means a higher chance of developing Coronary Heart Disease or having a stroke – and dying from it.
  • Higher risk of diabetes. A sleep debt can pave the way for developing Type 2 diabetes.  In this study, just a week of not sleeping well-reduced insulin sensitivity and raised concerns about whether consistently sleeping badly might open the door to developing health issues linked to insulin resistance.
  • Increased inflammation. Inflammation is now linked to lots of different health problems and can be increased by sleep loss.

Sleep and Cognition

You’ve no doubt heard that eating the right foods can boost your brain health but it’s not just diet can affect your memory and concentration.

Sleep is an important factor too, and lack of sleep has been shown to impair them. In fact, one study has suggested that even moderate sleep issues can be as damaging as alcohol in affecting performance!

The deeper stages of sleep are particularly vital when it comes to clear thinking, focus, memory and learning. This is when your brain does a lot of its mental ‘sorting’, such as filtering out information that isn’t really needed right now. It doesn’t sound a lot but it all adds up to better cognition and performance.

Sleep and Weight Gain

If you don’t sleep well, it can be a lot harder to maintain a healthy weight. The main problem? It sends your metabolism a little bit crazy and can ruin your good intentions for eating well.

Lack of sleep has a big effect on hormones that are linked to appetite – namely leptin and ghrelin. Leptin helps to keep your appetite in check while ghrelin does the opposite.

Ideally, you want to have more leptin and less ghrelin but not getting enough sleep throws this balance out and effectively switches them around. This means you’re a lot more likely to overeat, even when you’re technically full. And you’ll find it harder to shift stubborn fat on your stomach, as sleep deprivation encourages fat to build up in this area in particular.

Improving Your Sleep Quality

  1. Some of the things you can do to try to get better quality sleep each night include: Making your room as dark as possible to support your circadian rhythm. Pitch black (or as close to it as you can get) is best.
  2. Setting a bedtime routine that involves going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at a specific time each morning.
  3. Switching off electronic devices at least an hour before bed (even your phone!) to reduce the amount of ‘blue light’ you’re exposed to just before bedtime. This ‘blue light’ means your body finds it harder to produce enough of the sleep hormone, melatonin, to help you sleep well.

If you haven’t been seeing sleep as a key part of your wellness routine, it’s definitely time to change that!

Wishing you health and happiness,

Christy x

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
Sugar, the dangerous ingredient in almost everything

Sugar, the dangerous ingredient in almost everything

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As a whole, we consume massive amounts of sugar in our diet each day even though it has been linked to a slew of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer just to name a few.

Sugar is a carb that is naturally found in many foods, including lactose (in milk) and fructose (in fruit). These aren’t necessarily the big problem for your health; it’s the processed and added sugars that pose the biggest dangers and it’s not as easy as you may think to avoid them.

Sugar is in so many foods – much more than you may realise. Soft drinks are the obvious culprits, with just one can of fizzy juice having as much as 7 teaspoons of sugar – but that’s not all you need to watch out for.

Low fat “diet” meals often contain plenty of sugar to make up for the lower fat content and to stop it tasting bland. Processed foods, in general, have added sugar, including tinned soups and ready-made sauces. You may not realise, but even bread can be a victim of sugar! This is why checking your food labels is key to ensure your diet isn’t falling victim to sugar.

What Does Sugar Do to Your Health?

Too much sugar essentially spikes your blood sugar levels and then leads to a big dip. You might get a sugar high in the short term but it’ll be followed by a crash that affects your mood and makes you crave more sugar. This vicious cycle is one of the main reasons why sugar is so heavily linked to obesity as it encourages you to keep eating more sugar.

The health problems associated with sugar can go far beyond this though. One of the main concerns is focused on high fructose corn syrup. Fructose in fruits isn’t all that bad and this can fool you into thinking that high fructose corn syrup can’t be that dangerous either.  In reality, it’s one of the worst types of sugar you can consume. It’s a major ingredient in a lot of foods these days as it’s cheap to produce, so it’s definitely one to watch out and stay away from as much as you can.

Why is it a problem?

Our ancestors didn’t eat fructose other than the amount that was naturally included in fruit and some vegetables. Your liver can metabolise fructose to a large extent but when it reaches the tipping point, it starts turning it into fat instead and this is where the health problems begin. In the modern world, a lot of us eat more fructose than the body can handle.

Eating too much fructose can make your liver inflamed and start building up fat. It also encourages uric acid to be produced, which raises your blood pressure and even lead to gout. More worryingly, it also affects blood lipids and cholesterol levels,  which can lead to cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes.

Even fruit juice can contribute to this as it is high in fructose. According to studies, its fructose content can encourage the body to store abdominal fat, especially the type that surrounds organs.

You’re better off choosing whole fruits (rather than fruit juices) or juice your own fruits as the fructose in these is naturally occurring and in no way a danger to your health. You’ll also get more fibre from whole fruits and you’d have to eat an unrealistic amount for their fructose content to become a cause for concern.

TIP: Mix natural sugars with protein to balance your blood sugar levels and to stop the sugar being absorbed into your bloodstream as quickly. For example, team a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts or some yoghurt. This can also help to curb cravings too.

What to Look For

Sugar often won’t be included on the ingredients as sugar. Food manufacturing companies are getting crafty when it comes to labelling their products. Sugar can be labelled as a long list of other names and it can be hard to really understand what you’re eating. Anything ending in “ose” is an obvious giveaway, including glucose, sucrose (better known as table sugar), fructose and maltose.

Less obvious signs that something contains sugar are syrups such as rice syrup and corn syrup. And then there’s the big one – high fructose corn syrup.

“Sugar-free” foods generally contain artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame. Studies have suggested that these don’t do a lot to satisfy sugar cravings and may actually make you overeat. There are also concerns that they may pave the way for health problems.

If these type of ingredients are high up on the list, meaning they are in the first few ingredients listed, then you know that there’s a good amount of sugar hiding in the food!

Today, go through your pantry and check your labels. What has hidden sugar in it?

I provide one to one sugar detox and weight loss plans. If you are at a loss as to where to start, or you have tried everything then feel free to book a free telephone consultation with me and let’s discuss your situation in more detail and find out how I can help you. BOOK NOW!

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

Getting Back on Plan

Getting Back on Plan

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WOW……NO MORE SNOW DAYS PLEASE!!!

Have you fell off the plan? I have big time BUT don’t fret, these things happen and lets be honest before the cabin fever set in it was fun, right? Don’t be hard on yourself or feel disappointed just get back to the plan. This is so important, the quicker you do that the quicker you will feel better.

So often, we set goals only to be quickly get distracted, thrown off track and find ourselves unmotivated again – and frustrated!

Before you even set your goals, it’s important to look at your priorities first.

Why? If you have a goal to get in shape and lose 20 pounds, but you haven’t made that possible by way of your other priorities, it’s not going to happen. Sometimes, a shift in priorities can be a huge eye opener.

As you pinpoint your goals, and revisit your priorities, decide on ONE healthy habit to focus on this for the week.

Some ideas include (pick ONE, or come up with your own).

1. Get at least 20 minutes of physical activity each day
2. Replace at least one sweetened drink with water
3. Prepare more meals at home
4. Add more veggies to at least one meal each day
5. Slow down when you eat, and chew your food more
6. Get enough sleep
7. Bring a healthy snack or meal with you when you leave the house.

These are just some simple steps to get you back on track!

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….

Healthy Eating on the Go

Healthy Eating on the Go

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How to fuel your body for better health and more energy even when you have a crazy busy schedule.

One of the biggest struggles that most people face today is a hectic schedule.

We are so busy that it makes eating healthy a real challenge. Quick and convenient foods end up taking the place of healthy, nourishing food when we are on the go, go, go all the time. These less-than-ideal food choices put us on the hamster wheel of experiencing low energy, weight gain, and potential health problems.

What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way? You don’t have to be a slave to your schedule and resort to fast food or processed foods on a regular basis.

It’s possible to eat healthy foods, even with a jam-packed schedule. It just requires a little bit of pre-planning to ensure success. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and your waistline will thank you too.

When you start fuelling your body with healthier choices, you’ll probably also find that you don’t have that 3 PM slump or need that afternoon caffeine boost.

I’ve included a list of healthy snack ideas to get you started, so keep reading.

Eating Healthy When You’re Not Home

There are plenty of circumstances that will take you away from home, and make it more challenging to eat healthy food. Take the time to plan ahead and you can relax knowing that you won’t be derailing your healthy living efforts by consuming empty calories that only make you hungry again a short time later.

Daily Activities

Most of us spend several hours in our vehicles every week running errands, stuck in traffic or shuttling kids back and forth between activities. If we don’t plan ahead, it is easy to fall into the trap of swinging through the closest drive through when you (or your family) are hungry.

Don’t wait until the point that you’re starving to make food choices, as this will almost always lead to bad decisions. Instead, plan ahead, so you don’t have to rely on your willpower alone to keep you on track. Pack easy to carry healthy snacks. This way you always have healthy choices right at your fingertips.

Long Car Journeys

Just because you’re on holiday or travelling, doesn’t mean you should take a total hiatus from your health goals. You can still live a healthy lifestyle on road trips by packing healthy foods to eat in the car. You can pack a cooler to keep handy so you have easy access to snacks while on the road. If you’re planning on stopping at rest areas along the way, pack a nutritious picnic lunch to eat before you head back out on the next leg of your trip.

Airports

Even though you can’t pack liquids in your carry-on bag, there are still plenty of options for what you can bring. You can pack wrapped whole food snack bars, nuts, seeds or even pieces of fruit in your hand luggage. With a little creative planning, you can keep your nutrition on track, and save yourself a bundle of money you would have otherwise spent on pricey (and often unhealthy) airport food and snacks.

Foods That Are Easy to Pack

The following items are all easy to prepare, and convenient to take on the go. Feel free to experiment, and find out which snacks best fit your preference and lifestyle. Mix and match options to see what works for you. Be sure to keep any perishable foods in a cooler or use an ice pack.

Easy transportable snack ideas:

  • Sliced or whole apples with peanut butter
  • Carrot and cucumber sticks with houmous
  • Clementine or mandarin oranges
  • Grapes
  • Sliced or whole pears
  • Smoothie (if you plan to drink it within 30 mins or so)
  • Nuts and raisins (you can make your own trail mix)
  • Pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
  • Low sugar protein bar
  • Sandwiches or wraps (whole meal)
  • Cheese
  • High quality beef jerky
  • Cut-up pieces of chicken
  • Hard boiled eggs

 

Make Midweek Meals Easy

Just because you have had a busy day doesn’t mean you have to resort to fast food or processed foods for dinner. With a little forethought, you can make sure your family has healthy meals ready to go when you walk in the door.

 There are thousands of healthy one pot meal ideas available for free. Do a quick search and see what recipes may interest you and your family. If you prep everything the night before, or even earlier in the morning, you can come home to a delicious home-cooked meal that is ready to serve.

TIME SAVER TIP: Batch cook and plan for leftovers. When you do have time to cook, simply double the recipe and set the extras aside to use later in the week on a particularly busy day. It takes very little extra effort to double the recipe, and you will reap the benefits of time savings later in the week.

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Make Healthy Eating Strategies Work for You

Even with a busy schedule, you can still make sure that you are eating healthy, nutritious meals. By putting in a little bit planning, you can ensure that you and your family enjoy healthy foods that support your lifestyle and your goals.

You can do this!

Let me know if you need my help.