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June 19, 2017

How to effectively handle emotional eating

“Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full.” It sounds so simple, yet countless people struggle with putting this principle into practice. Why is overeating such a battle? One of the main reasons is because people aren’t tuned in to their bodies. They lose sensitivity to true stomach hunger, and get it confused with a multitude of other signals and needs.
What is stomach hunger?

Stomach hunger–or physical hunger–involves a complex interaction between the digestive system, endocrine system and the brain. When the body needs refueling, we start feeling tired and weak, while finding it harder to concentrate and work. The stomach, which is located just below the ribcage, starts to ache and rumble. This is true stomach hunger. When we begin eating in response, we really enjoy the food and start feeling better, because a bodily need is being met.
What happens when I ignore my stomach hunger?

If you don’t feed your body when it needs food, the physical symptoms intensify. The stomach starts to really hurt. You find it more difficult to concentrate and may experience lightheadedness. You may also get irritable and short-tempered. In addition, some people get shaky and nervous, while others get a headache. Because you are so ravenous at this point, once you do start to eat, you’re very vulnerable to uncontrolled eating or bingeing.
When I eat, how do I know when to stop?

Hunger and fullness is regulated by the hypothalamus in the brain. When your body has had enough food to satisfy its needs, signals are sent to the hypothalamus, registering fullness (also called satiety). When we are in tune to our bodies, we recognize when it’s time to stop eating. The stomach feels comfortable, and satisfied–not stuffed. We soon begin to feel calmer, more alert and energized.

It takes approximately 20 minutes for fullness signals to transmit from the stomach back to the brain. So, if you eat too fast and aren’t paying attention, it’s easy to override this system and eat more than what the body is calling for.
How do I know when I am overeating?

When you are eating at a calm, relaxed pace and paying attention to your body, you will notice the following when you have eaten more than physically needed:

-You are mechanically taking bites and swallowing, but you aren’t really enjoying the food anymore.
-You are feeling pressure and discomfort in your stomach. If filled further, it starts to hurt. You may even feel queasy.
-After a while you start to feel sluggish.

What if I can’t detect hunger and/or fullness signals in my body?

Assuming that you’re not eating too hurriedly or with many distractions, there are several possible reasons for having difficulty perceiving these internal bodily cues. If you’ve been ignoring your hunger and fullness signals for a long time, you may have temporarily lost your physical sensitivity to them. This is often the outcome of frequent dieting, chronically restricting food intake, being raised to “clean your plate,” or struggling with any kind of disordered eating. If this is the case for you, it will take some time to rediscover hunger and fullness cues, which may require professional guidance. Outside help is especially crucial if: 1) you are never hungry and routinely get full with just a few bites, or 2) you are always hungry and never feel satisfied after eating.

Sometimes, there are emotional reasons for a person being unable to access their hunger and fullness signals. Getting in touch with body sensations stirs up painful memories for some people, while others feel undeserving of meeting their own needs. If you are one of these people, it is important to work through these issues with a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.

Lastly, in some cases, there are medical explanations for problems with hunger and fullness. For instance, certain medications, specific diseases, depression, stress and pain can clearly increase or decrease the appetite. But overall, there are still many unanswered questions regarding the body’s regulation of food intake. Research is currently underway to try to better understand the complex mechanisms, and to figure out why some people struggle more than others.
What are some “false alarm” signals that are often confused with stomach hunger?

Sometimes, we mistake other signals in our bodies for physical hunger. They are legitimate sensations, but not true stomach hunger. Here are some examples:

“Teeth Hunger”

Sometimes, especially if we’re feeling irritated or stressed, we want to chew our frustrations away. Our bodies are not calling for food, but we put it in our mouths as an attempt to relieve anxiety.

“Mouth Hunger”

We see or smell something that looks so delicious that our mouths start to water. Sometimes just thinking about a food brings on a craving for it. We desire to taste the food, but really aren’t physically hungry.

“Mind Hunger”

We look at the clock and think we have to eat a certain amount of food because “it’s time”, even if we don’t feel like eating.

Thirst

Sometimes we confuse the sluggishness of dehydration with actual hunger. The body is calling for fluids, not food.

Fatigue

When we sense that our energy levels are low, some of us automatically think that if we eat something, we’ll feel better. However, if we’ve been working extra hard and/or haven’t been getting enough sleep, our bodies are calling for rest, not food.

“Heart Hunger/Emotional Hunger”

We feel an ache and emptiness in our hearts due to unmet emotional and/or spiritual needs. Rather than acknowledge our feelings and work through our issues, we try to fill the void with food. Or sometimes we try to use food to “stuff” our feelings down. Although there can be physical discomfort in the gut when we’re upset, it is a distinctly different sensation from stomach hunger.
Moving forward…

As you can see, the simple design of physical hunger and fullness is often overshadowed by other body signals, habits, needs and emotions. Identifying and dealing with them appropriately is a huge step in the process of discerning true stomach hunger. Learning to eat intuitively–meeting your body’s true physical needs for fuel and nourishment–will help you naturally reach the healthiest weight for your one-of-a-kind body.

Article source: http://www.findingbalance.com/articles/understanding-hunger-and-fullness-cues/

April 5, 2017

Get more protein in your diet

Here are some high protein foods that will not only help you feel fuller, LONGER, but may also help you win the war vs. body-fat. Protein helps the body to ‘repair and recover’ from strenuous activity, but can aid in weight loss, building lean muscle, and getting you stronger.

Almonds

Packed with vital nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin E, fiber, and manganese.

Chicken breast

This is packed with protein. You can bake, crock pot, BBQ, cook in coconut oil, etc.

Greek Yogurt

Thick and creamy, this can satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth and it is high in protein and fiber (depending on brand).

Lean cuts of beef

Packed with iron and B12, and it taste great.

Fish (salmon/tuna)

High in nutrients and Omega 3’s, a healthy fat.

Oats

Chock full of fiber, manganese, magnesium, and other nutrients. This can help you feel full for hours.

Whey protein

This is a protein source taken from dairy. The body can easily utilize it to help build muscle and may help weight loss.

Hemp protein

High in fiber, Omega 3’s, and protein. This is a great option for Vegans or those who need help getting in daily fiber.

Lentils

A great source for plant based protein. They are high in potassium, iron, folate, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.

Broccoli

Loaded with Vitamin C and K, fiber, and potassium. It may also help in warding off cancer.

Pumpkin seeds

High in nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium.

Ezekiel bread 

This bread is made with organic and sprouted whole grains and legumes. It is high in protein and fiber.

There you have it! Some foods that you can add to your current diet to get your protein in, build muscle, lose fat, and feel great. I bet there were some on here that never crossed your mind when you thought of moderate to high protein foods.

Which ones do you have heavy in your rotation right now? Which will you add? What are some of your favorites?

March 27, 2017

9 easy ways to avoid a weight loss plateau

Here are 9 simple things that you can do to get your weight loss moving in the right direction if you’ve hit a plateau.
Exercise more.
This seems obvious enough, but many don’t do it. If you’re training 2x a week, then try adding in another 2 days of activity to your training program. You may also need to increase the intensity of your training as well. The benefits of strength training are many, but some of the most important are they negate a metabolic decline as you diet, and help you to retain lean muscle mass. Both are important for weight loss.
Be aware of what you are eating.
Track your food. It can prove to be invaluable if you’re struggling to lose weight. We can forget what we had at breakfast, grazed on before lunch, and what we had after dinner. If you track what you’re eating (calories/macros) then you will start to see a pattern of why you’re not losing weight. You are most likely still eating too much if the scale won’t budge. I use the Nutritionist app myself to track, but there are others out there. Most people tend to under-report what they are eating so this is a good thing for many of you to try.
Chill out, bro.
No, seriously. You need to learn to relax. Being stressed out all the time will wreak havoc within your body. Being stressed out will cause the body to release cortisol, which can help to manage stress, but also lead to a bigger belly. If you’re constantly stressed out, you’ll be producing more cortisol which will make fat loss hard. You’ll also notice you don’t sleep as well, crave sugar more and pretty much suck to be around. Try to find some ways in which you can reduce your overall level of stress. You can walk, meditate, volunteer at a local shelter, etc.
Ditch the alcohol.
Who doesn’t like a nice cocktail from time to time? If your goals are to decrease body-fat you may want to abstain if you can’t limit yourself to just 1 or 2. Not only is there no nutritional value in alcohol, but many who drink end up consuming more calories than if they were not to drink at all. Alcohol lowers inhibition and all the sudden you don’t care about your diet and that hunk of chocolate looks pretty dang good! Alcohol may also suppress fat burning. If you’re going to drink you need to know what a serving is. Those wine glasses of yours hold more than one…I’m just saying.
Eat more protein.
This seems to be a hard one for people, especially women, to do. Not only does protein help keep you feeling fuller for longer periods of time, it can also help you to retain lean muscle mass as you diet down. The thermic effect for protein is also higher, so this may give your metabolism a little boost. Eat a little bit of protein at each meal, aiming for 15-25 grams.
Go to bed.
Unless you want to look and feel like an extra in the Walking Dead you need to get your sleep. Studies have shown that those who don’t get enough sleep can experience metabolic decline, weight gain, crave high sugar/fat foods, and hormonal issues within the body. I do well with 7-9 hours of sleep as do many of my clients. Turn off your smart phone, TV, and iPod and go to sleep!
Eat more fiber.
Getting enough fiber (soluble/insoluble) in your diet can help you to lose weight because you feel fuller longer. It slows the rate at which the food moves through your digestive tract. It also helps to keep you regular so you don’t feel like a bloated whale. Most of us don’t get enough fiber in our diets and that is due to the over-consumption of too many processed foods. Try to get 20-30 grams in daily. I like to use hemp protein to help in this area.
Eat your veggies.
Vegetables are an amazing way to help facilitate weight loss. Not only are they packed with vitamins and minerals, they are typically low in calories, high in fiber, and fill you up. When I sit down to eat my major meals, half of my plate is loaded with veggies. Get in mah belly!
Keep moving.
Don’t expect to lose much weight if you only go to the gym for an hour, but spend the rest of the day sitting on your gluteus maximus. You need to stay active! You can do this by just doing regular household chores, stand at your job for 5-10 minutes for every hour you sit, walk on your lunch break, etc. Find creative ways in which you can add more activity into your day.
There you have it folks, 9 simple ways in which you can help to keep the weight loss train moving, choo! choo!
February 21, 2017

4 Fitness Myths That Must Die

There are a lot of fitness myths out there that really need to go away. There is no legitimate basis for these and they are continuing to be spread by folks who may have good intentions, but are misinformed.

  1. Eating eggs are bad for you: People believe that eating eggs, or the yolk for that matter, will drive up your cholesterol. This simply isn’t true as the body has its own natural “checks and balances.” The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body (liver) will produce. The vast majority vitamins and nutrients are in the yolk, so eat it!
  2. Eating smaller, frequent meals daily, stokes the metabolism: This is absolute rubbish and I wish it would go away. The amount of meals you eat per day is as unique as you are, but it will not have an impact on your metabolism or help you magically burn more body-fat. If you prefer to eat 4-5 meals per day as it helps you adhere to your diet, go for it, but it isn’t necessary. The thermic effect is the same if you were to eat 3 meals @500 calories for a total of 1500  calories or 5 meals @300 calories for again, a total of 1500 calories. Many studies have shown that there is little to no effect on metabolic rate or calories lost.
  3. High protein diets are bad for you: Most research shows that there is no real evidence to show that high protein diets are harmful. In fact, diets higher in protein help people to feel fuller longer. lose weight and give the muscles what they need to repair and rebuild.
  4. Eat less and move more to lose weight: While this sounds great, it isn’t very helpful for long term weight loss. There are many factors that will help one to lose weight and keep it off. The foods we eat will influence how and what we eat. If you’re eating a bunch of processed junk, don’t be shocked if that is what you are constantly reaching for. Drastically reducing your calories and exercising more can only be sustained for so long. Eventually, you will find yourself gorging on your favorite treat and giving up exercise altogether. Cutting calories can also have a negative impact on your metabolism (metabolic rate), making it very difficult to lose any weight. You need to eat for your specific fitness goals and this means fueling your body with the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

 

January 16, 2017

How to avoid a plateau

You start a new diet. You see some fantastic results pretty quickly. The struggle, of course, is then maintaining this weight loss. Changing eating patterns for a short period is different than sustaining them. This is the area people seem to have the most problems with. Once frustration and boredom sets in, once dieters have reached that plateau, it becomes so easy to just give up in disappointment.

Dig Down Deep

When you are in a rut, don’t give up! That’s the worst thing you can do. Boredom might be leading you back towards your old habits, but fight back! What’s vital to overcoming this sense of apathy is to set goals. Not just in the beginning of your diet, but throughout it. Goals should be specific, yet flexible. They should allow for some minor setbacks, and yet encourage you to keep moving forward.

As an example, say your goal is to lose 50 pounds. Great! But how are you going to get there? Is it by eating a specific amount of calories? Perhaps by eating enough servings of fruits and vegetables? Are you going to try to work out a few times a week? Be accommodating to yourself. Realize that you are not perfect and you might splurge on something tasty every now and again. Don’t view this as diet failure.

Be sure to set S.M.A.R.T goals. Make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Based. This will help you to have very clear, detailed goals.

Keep it Fresh

One of the biggest things that can be seen as contributing to diet boredom is a regimen that is so specific; it eliminates certain things from your diet, such as a low carbohydrate diet. These diets are not inherently bad, but it limits the variety of food options. So do your best to keep it fresh.

When struggles of tediousness come, counterattack! Change the types of food you eat. Don’t have the same dinners every week. Try new things out. It might take a little extra effort in the kitchen, but creativity in the kitchen can be fun. One way to do this is to splurge on a new healthy cookbook. Try out a new recipe once a week. Also, get your family involved in healthy cooking. Perhaps each family member can have a night of the week, not only to help cook, but to help pick out a recipe. You can also do a healthy recipe exchange with friends.

Choose variety
Above all else, a diet is nothing without combining other aspects of healthy living. Drink plenty of water, as always. This will keep you from munching throughout the day. Also, eat more fruit, veggies and protein. Be sure to find something outside of the gym that also brings you joy.
Finally, concentrate on fitness aspects as well. You won’t lose weight effectively if you do nothing to train your body. Hit the weights, start walking, and find activities that you like doing. You’ll be more inclined to stick with it if you do.
October 26, 2016

How to begin training again after a layoff

If you haven’t trained since George Bush was in office, you will want to be smart about how you approach training this go around. If you rush into things, and go too hard, too soon, you may end up injured, burned out, and back on the couch feeling defeated.

Here are some simple, no nonsense ways in which I help my clients who haven’t moved in a long time to ease back into training. This ensures that they can allow their body to adapt to the new stress, wrap their mind around the new changes, don’t injure themselves, and ensure that this becomes a lifestyle change.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up for being inactive, eating junk, abusing yourself and your body, and focus on getting started.

Born Again Fitness

Focus on making one change at a time

Research shows that you will be more successful if you focus on making one change at a time vs trying to change a million things at once. Instead of trying to eliminate all foods you like from your diet, try adding one healthy food per week to your diet. Focus on eating more veggies, fruit, and lean protein choices. Once you have mastered this you can move on to the next thing. That could be meal prep, a consistent exercise routine, etc. This way you don’t stress yourself out, and quit, if you don’t live up to those lofty expectations you used to set for yourself.

Plan to fail

Look, it is going to happen. At some point, you will binge, stress eat, or miss a work out or two. Changing behavior and creating new habits will take time. You must be kind, and patient with yourself during this time. I tell my clients all the time that, “failure is nothing more than feedback.” There is no need to shame or judge yourself when you hit a bump in the road. You just need to look at what occurred before you fell off the wagon, and see what you can do differently the next time you are in a similar situation.

Shift your focus from solely weight loss

Losing weight is an amazing thing, but it isn’t the only thing; keep that in mind. Far too many of us just focus on what the scale says to our own detriment. You may not have lost those 10 pounds you set out to lose in the first 4 weeks, but you can walk further, not get winded going up a flight of stairs, are stronger in the gym, feeling better, sleeping better, and the list goes on. The only problem is many of us focus on the weight we haven’t lost and miss sight of all the other things you have accomplished. Just be sure to not lose sight of the bigger picture. Health and wellness isn’t just about a number on the scale.

Break past your fear of the gym

I know many of you have a fear of the gym. You don’t want to stand out, look stupid because you don’t know what to do, and fear being judged. Look, I get all of that, I do, but you must most past that. You can’t allow the thoughts of what another person might think to get in the way of you achieving your goals. You need to take back that power and stop giving it to other people. If you’re unsure of what to do you can hire ME! or a trainer in your area to show you what to do. At some point, you are going to have to financially invest in yourself if you want to learn how to take care of your temple.

Take baby steps

If you haven’t trained in the last 6 months or longer, ease back into it. Don’t set these unrealistic expectations of working out 5 days a week, only to fall short. As you know, this will cause you to feel defeated, shamed, and cause you to quit. Instead, set a realistic goal of 1 training session per week. If you get in more than that, it is to be considered a bonus. Then the following week you can set a goal of 2x per week, and so on. Set yourself up for success and not failure.

Track your progress

To know if you’re making progress or not, you need to track it. I suggest you take measurements in bust, waist, thighs, arms, etc. Then in another 4 weeks you can measure again and you’ll see a reduction in inches, this will reflect fat loss. You can also take some selfies as well. As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words. It will be nice to do a side by side after 4 weeks and show how much your hard work is paying off.

Find an activity that you enjoy

Don’t follow the latest fitness fad in hopes of losing weight, especially if you hate it. You need to seek out those activities that you enjoy and can see yourself doing long term. If you hate running, don’t do it! You don’t have to kill yourself to get in shape. You just need to move your body daily, be consistent, and you’ll be successful.

Focus on creating new habits

We can’t eliminate old habits, but we can create new ones. I want you to put your energy into creating new habits vs. trying to eliminate the old ones. This could be you getting up 10 minutes earlier and doing a Bible devotion, stretching, meditation, etc. It could be taking the stairs at work over the elevator, drinking a protein shake for breakfast vs eating a doughnut. If you can begin to do this daily and remain consistent, eventually this new behavior will overrule the old, and you’ll have created a new habit.

Be patient with yourself

This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. You didn’t put the weight on in 4 weeks and you certainly won’t lose it in that short amount of time. You will be successful if you set realistic goals, seek out activities that you enjoy, get adequate rest, eat enough protein, try to eliminate unnecessary stress from your life, and are consistent. Keep in mind that the lessons you need to learn about yourself can only be found on this journey. Don’t be in a hurry to rush the process.

October 21, 2016

I want to work with you: how my coaching program works

I’ve gotten some questions on what I do exactly and how my coaching program works.
 Am I a fitness coach? life coach? psychologist (No, but working towards my LCSW)? wizard?
 
The answer is: Yes.
 
When I first started out in the fitness industry over 10 years ago I was a personal trainer, majoring in Kinesiology.
 
Throughout the years I noticed something with virtually all of my clients. They were coming to me saying that the wanted to lose weight, but were really seeking something else. For many it was to be free from the bondage of food, to get over a bitter divorce, work through abuse issues from childhood, address low self-esteem, etc.
 
What I quickly realized was I could write the BEST fitness program, but the results would be short lived. I found out by doing my own inner work, that we must address what is driving the behavior or one will only experience short term success. It’s like slapping a band aid on a gaping wound and expecting everything to be okay.
 
It won’t.
 
Fast forward to today, and my coaching program has radically changed. I’m now pursuing my Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) along with my CADC (drug and alcohol counselor).
 
My coaching program addresses the mind, body, and spirit. You see, it is easy to lose the weight, but it is very hard to keep it off.
 
Most people set out with the good, but often misguided intentions at the onset. You need to be thinking about how you’re going to keep the weight off once you lose it.
 
This is going to involve a change in mindset, behavior (habits), addressing some ‘stinking thinking’ (negative self-talk) identifying triggers, and changing your relationship with food.
 
I use the tools that helped me to come down from nearly 3 bills, change my thinking, create new habits, improve my self-esteem, set and achieve goals, and free me from the bondage of food with my clients.
 
If you’ve ever struggled with any type of food dependency, or any addiction really, you will understand what it is I’m saying.
 
You may use the food to avoid, numb yourself from feeling unpleasant emotions, eat because you’re bored, stressed, happy, etc.
 
You are in bondage to food, and it is my belief that all addictions are a spiritual issue.
 
This is why I believe that we must address all aspects of the person (mind/body/spirit), and not just via an exercise and meal plan. Although, I do recognize that for some people that is all they need, but for the clients I work with, it goes beyond that.
 
Maybe you feel hopeless.
 
You’ve tried to lose the weight and have been unsuccessful. You think that you’re a failure and will always be this way. Maybe this has now affected your home life, personal relationships, and work. You have difficulties with your mate, you no longer feel attractive.
 
It is possible that you can’t seem to find a significant other because you don’t feel worthy. You find yourself not being able to keep up with your kids or grand-kids. Perhaps your self-esteem is in the toilet, you’re depressed, and feel tremendous anxiety.
 
The good news is you always have HOPE through Jesus Christ.
 
No one is too far gone to be saved. If I was able to change, I know you can.
 
It isn’t going to be easy.
 
It will be very emotional.
 
It will be uncomfortable.
 
But all of the above beats remaining in your current state for another minute.
 
If you’re willing to look at those things that are continuing to hold you back you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to step out of denial and look at your situation honestly, you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to shed that victim mentality, you can be free.
 
If you’re willing to finally take action, you can be free.
 
If you’re ready for long lasting change, I want to be your coach. I will help guide you along this difficult journey. You won’t be alone and I’ll help provide you with the tools that you need to be successful.
 
Feel free to reach out to me today for a consultation. You can be local to me or anywhere in the world. I have clients all over the U.S. and the U.K.
 
July 28, 2016

10 Successful Habits For Long Term Weight Loss

Here are some things that many people have done to not only lose weight, but keep it off long term. I have found not only with myself, but with the clients I coach, that your weight loss plan is as unique as you are. I do feel that some of these habits should be in everyone’s plan as I have seen them work for almost all of my clients.

Keep in mind that for anything to work you must be consistent and take action every single day.

I have compiled data from all of my clients over the years and put it into a blog post for you: 10 Successful Habits For Long Term Weight Loss.

1.They Eat Breakfast

Not only does eating a healthy breakfast fuel your body for the day, it can help to ward off those evening binges when you get home. Most people who skip breakfast usually end up eating more later in the day because of it. They are ravenous by the time they get home and find themselves eating everything in sight.

2. Eat According To Your Goals

In order to decrease body fat you must be in a caloric deficit. Many people set out with good intentions on their fitness journey but neglect this point. You must eat according to your goals. You can eat as ‘clean’ as you want, but if you’re still consuming too much food, you will gain weight. You can use an online calorie calculator to determine how much you should be eating for your specific fitness goal. Keep in mind those numbers aren’t set in stone and you may need to make some adjustments to them.

3. They Set Realistic Goals

My goal is to lose 50 pounds in a month! Those who set out with this type of thinking usually end up quitting. Why? because their goals are not realistic. You didn’t gain that much weight in a month, so don’t expect to lose it in a month. Use the S.M.A.R.T. method when goal setting. Make sure it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. An example would be: I want to lose 10 pounds by working out 5 days per week, and eating fast food only once per month as a treat. I will also focus on eating more fruits/veggies and lean protein sources. I will weigh myself once a week and measure myself every two weeks. I will accomplish this goal within 60 days of starting. This is very realistic and something most people could accomplish.

4. They Celebrate Small Wins

Weight loss isn’t a linear process, you will have ups and downs on this journey. The most important thing to remember is to celebrate every ‘small win’ that you have. If you went for a walk after dinner when you would normally sit down to watch T.V., that is a small win. If you had an apple vs. a hunk of cake for dessert, again, a small win. It’s recognizing these little victories that will help to keep you going over time. It’s easy to get discouraged and feel as if you’re not making any progress, but celebrating these small wins will remind you that you are in fact changing.

5. They Don’t Moralize Food

When we moralize food, or label it as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ these will only keep us stuck on that guilt & shame cycle. When you eat food that you have labeled ‘good’ you feel great, right? but when you eat food that is ‘bad’ then you feel like crap about yourself afterwards. This only leads to further binge eating and feelings of self-loathing, shame, and guilt. Then before you know it you have given up on trying to get healthy altogether.

6. They Don’t Think in Black & White

You know what I’m talking about. It has to be this or that, there is never a middle. You either have to be perfect at your diet, exercise program, etc; or not at all. If you’re not perfect or you fail to live up to your unreasonable standards you will quit or not try at all.

Successful folks who have lost the weight realize that there is a middle ground. It is impossible to be perfect or to be on the top of your game at all times. In those moments where you slip up and make a mistake it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up or go eat a tub of ice cream. Just look at the situation, learn what you can from it, and move on.

7. They Do Those Things They Enjoy

You need to gravitate to those physical activities that you enjoy and can see yourself doing long term. I personally think that everyone should strength train, as the benefits to the individual are incredible. Think about what it is you like to do, and then find ways to do those things. If you like to bike, hike, run, swim, etc; those are the things you should be doing. This will help you to keep the weight off long term.

8. They Incorporate Physical Activity Into Their Daily Lives

All it takes is 60 minutes of physical activity every day. That isn’t that hard if you think about it. Taking a short walk here, doing a quick weight training circuit, bike ride, walk after dinner, etc; it all adds up. Be creative and find ways in which you can incorporate more physical activity into your day.

9. They Eat More Protein

Protein is the building block of muscle, and helps to repair and rebuild. It has also been shown to improve satiety, which means you feel fuller much longer. Try to find ways to add more protein to your daily diet. I like to use whey protein shakes before and after I train, cottage cheese with fruit for a snack, hard boiled eggs, turkey, chicken, fish, etc.

10. They Have A Solid Support Group

Most successful weight loss folks have a solid support system behind them. They have at least once person they can count on to help encourage them when they feel low. It is important to remember that your success is totally up to you, but it helps to have that added encouragement from your support system.

What are some things you have done that have aided you in keeping the weight off long term? Add your ideas to the comments section below.

June 3, 2016

Who wants to DECREASE body-fat and get in great shape?

In all honesty losing body-fat is easy but we tend to make it harder then it has to be. The #1 thing I see that trips people up is UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.

You want it NOW and quit if you don’t lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks…4 weeks! you didn’t gain the weight in 4 weeks so ditch the expectation that you will lose it in 4 weeks.

Here are some very SIMPLE tips that will get you to where you want to be if you follow them.

1. Drink more water. Often times dehydration can mimic itself as hunger. Keep yourself adequately hydrated.

2. Ditch the black or white thinking. Those of you who struggle with ‘all or nothing’ thinking will find yourself starting only to quit, again and again. There is a middle here…find it! allow yourself to be human and make mistakes.

3. Eat more protein. Understand that protein is the building block of muscle and is necessary for repair and rebuilding. Protein also increases feelings of satiation, so you will feel fuller longer when you consume more protein. Some great sources are: chicken, lean beef, fish, turkey, ground meat, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and protein powders.

4. Do NOT restrict/eliminate carbohydrates. Carbs are FUEL and are necessary in any healthy diet. The key is to eat according to your activity level that day. If you’re just lounging on the couch then you don’t need to be choking down tons of carbs, BUT if you’re active and training that day then you need to fuel your body. Some great sources are: brown rice, wild rice, sweet potatoes, whole wheat bread, wheat pasta, vegetables, fruit.

5. Fat is your friend. Yes, you heard that right. It is key in optimizing hormones for both men and women, improving metabolism and helping you feel satiated when paired with protein. Omega 3’s can also help to reduce inflammation in the body. Some great sources are: avocado, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, natural peanut butter, fish oil, krill oil.

6. Be more active. It’s pretty basic here folks. Get your butt up off the couch and go outside and frolic. We should get on average 10,000 steps per day but the average American gets only 2000-3000…no bueno.

7. Practice intuitive eating. I prefer to allow my body to tell me when to eat vs. just eating because it might be breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. We have been conditioned to eat at certain times even if we’re not hungry. Some people also believe that eating more meals per day boosts your metabolism. This simply isn’t true and the Thermic effect (TEF) is the same if you eat 3 meals at 1500 calories or 5 meals at 1500 calories. You must find what works for you.

8. R-E-L-A-X and allow the process to unfold. Stop weighing yourself every bloody day and just relax. Let the mirror and your clothes be your guide in determining body-fat reduction. Anything else and you’ll drive yourself mad, quit, and find yourself face first in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.

9. Incorporate strength training into your exercise routine. The more muscle you have on your frame the more fat you will burn. It will also help you develop a killer physique, help negate osteoporosis and improve bone density. When you look good you feel good and this feeling of “wellness” will spill over to every area of your life.

10. Last, but most important, love yourself. Just know that you deserve to have a healthy, fully functioning body that will allow you to do those things you want to do. That may be traveling, getting pregnant, keeping up with your kids, no longer being embarrassed to wear a bathing suit, increasing intimacy with your spouse, etc.

May 21, 2016

Are your beliefs holding you back?

The biggest thing that I see when working with clients that causes them to not be as successful as they would like is their beliefs. This change we want to see occur most always will mean a change in routine, behavior and in some cases can be a major change in lifestyle.

(Matthew 17:20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”)

It is not what type of diet they are adhering to or what type of workout program they are following. For most, but not all, it comes down to what they are ‘telling’ themselves.

Do you recognize any of these limiting beliefs?

-I’m too old to start.
-I have a family to look after and don’t have the time.
-I am older now and this is just what happens as we age.
-I’m never able to stick to anything…I’m a failure!
-What is the point in trying as I will only fail again.
-I’m not going to be able to do this, who am I kidding?

Look back and you will see that you have lost weight more times than you can count but did it stay off? Were you able to maintain that desired weight? Why or why not?

For the record I don’t personally think we should aim for a certain number on the scale but try to be the healthiest we can be at whatever weight that might be.

Go back to the last time you tried to drop the weight…were your thoughts powerful and full of optimism or were they of impending doom and gloom? Did you believe that you would get it right this time or in the back of your mind did you tell yourself that this time wouldn’t be any different than before?

(Matthew 8:26 And he said to them,” Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.)

There are many reasons why we hold onto our weight. You may have come from an abusive background and the weight now serves as your ‘protection’ from further harm. The weight may have helped you to remain ‘hidden’ from the world and it probably did help you at one point in your life cope, but now this way of coping is causing you more harm than good.

The weight may be a way of punishing yourself or keeping you from having to try something new. It gives you an excuse to remain stuck where you are at. Think about it, how different would your life be if you were no longer defined by your weight? That can be pretty scary, I get it, but it’s time to let it go.

We must believe that we will be successful and then begin to cultivate healthy habits that will stick. Start small and build up your confidence and from there you can begin to tackle larger goals. Find what works for you and do more of that. Give yourself permission to fail as it is through our failures that we are able to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Understand that this is a process that takes time. That is why I don’t advocate any type of ‘quick-fix’ diet. It isn’t about the food! The beliefs that drive your thoughts, habits and behaviors took years to develop and won’t be undone overnight. Remind yourself of that when you end up binging or find yourself eating when you’re stressed, lonely or bored. It’s all a part of the process of change.

(Romans 12:12 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.)