News & Updates
June 19, 2017
“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:
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes we confuse the sluggishness of dehydration with actual hunger. The body is calling for fluids, not food.
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.
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/
May 8, 2017
If you’re having difficulty following through on those things you want to do, or are struggling to reach your goals, these tips might help you. I have used them myself and with my clients, with great success.
- Vision: You must know what the outcome will be; you must be able to ‘see’ what it is you want to accomplish.
- Focus: You must focus on what it is you want to see happen and not what you don’t. Far too many people start out trying to accomplish a new goal, and waste all their energy worrying about the worst-case scenario. Put that energy into focusing on the changes that you want to see occur.
- Belief: Work on changing your internal beliefs so that they line up with your vision. If you don’t believe you will be successful, why would you be?
- Physical Health: You must take care of your temple by moving and eating a diet rich in veggies, fruit, lean protein choices and healthy grains. If your body is polluted with ‘junk’ all the time it will make it difficult to function at an optimal level.
- Choice: In every moment, you have the power to choose. Make choices that connect with your vision.
- Self-talk: The words you speak become the house you live in. You must be aware of your negative self-talk and do your best to end that habit.
- Be Real: Be a ‘truth-seeker’ and do those things that align with who you are at your core. Be authentic, and give yourself the freedom to be who you really are.
- Stinking-Thinking: You must have a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. Learn that mistakes are okay and a vital part of the learning process. They are opportunities for you to ‘get it right’ the next time, not feel like a failure. No one learned anything from getting something right the very first time.
- Action: You must act, but make sure it is action that is moving you towards your goal, and not just action that is keeping you busy. Learn to be move by your dreams and not your fears.
April 5, 2017
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.
Packed with vital nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin E, fiber, and manganese.
This is packed with protein. You can bake, crock pot, BBQ, cook in coconut oil, etc.
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.
High in nutrients and Omega 3’s, a healthy fat.
Chock full of fiber, manganese, magnesium, and other nutrients. This can help you feel full for hours.
This is a protein source taken from dairy. The body can easily utilize it to help build muscle and may help weight loss.
High in fiber, Omega 3’s, and protein. This is a great option for Vegans or those who need help getting in daily fiber.
A great source for plant based protein. They are high in potassium, iron, folate, magnesium, and other essential nutrients.
Loaded with Vitamin C and K, fiber, and potassium. It may also help in warding off cancer.
High in nutrients like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
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
March 20, 2017
Easy ways to get in daily activity
Here are some simple and easy ways for you to add more activity to your daily life. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, no worries! Just add some of these tips to your day.
Yes, simple walking is a fantastic way to exercise. You can park further away from your job and walk there, walk the kids to school, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk after dinner with the family.
Yep! Just doing regular chores around the house adds up!
Start a garden
Not only will you grow your own food, but gardening in incredibly relaxing and will keep you active.
Hang with the kids
Go to the park, take a hike, fly a kite, ride a bike, etc. Not only will you bond with your kids, but you’ll work up a good sweat!
As you can see, not everything has to revolve around the gym. You can still find ways to remain active if you can’t hit the gym that day.
What are some other ways you remain active if you can’t go to the gym? Hit reply and share them with me.
February 28, 2017
How many diets have you been on in your lifetime?
Too many to count, right?
The problem is that many weight-loss diets simply don’t work and here is why.
Most diets are stressful
Most diets require you to make major changes to your current lifestyle. This is incredibly hard to do long term, given the fact you are going to have to create new habits to replace those old ones. This takes time and many diets don’t take this into account. You may do well for a week or two and then you find yourself face first in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
Most diets leave you feeling deprived and hangry
Many traditional weight loss diets ask you to eat a ridiculously low amount of calories and eliminate all the foods you enjoy. This may work in the short term, but deprivation diets can only work for so long. You will find yourself thinking about that food you have made ‘off limits’ and before you know it, you’re binging on that forbidden food. Deprivation diets aren’t necessary to losing fat. Weight loss will occur in a caloric deficit, so this means that you can still have those foods you enjoy in moderation and still reach your goals. No, you don’t have to eat 800 calories a day to lose fat. Just eat according to your fitness goals and let the magic happen.
Willpower only lasts for so long
Your diet will make you rely on willpower to stay on course. This may work the first week or so, but willpower can only last for so long. You may find that your willpower can be strong one day and weak the next, as life will affect us. Once your willpower is gone, so is the diet.
Diets don’t address the reasons behind emotional eating
I always tell my clients that the food isn’t the issue, what they are running from is. You may be using food to cope with a bad day at the job, a fight with your spouse, or not having to feel uncomfortable emotions. Going on a diet without addressing the emotional issues is futile and will leave you feeling like even more of a failure. If you’re using food as a means to cope, then address that issue first and the food will usually take care of itself.
Diets do nothing to teach you new habits
Most diets have you focusing on a goal, but do nothing to guide you beyond this point. I always tell my clients to ask, “what happens after the diet is over?” before going on one. What will you do after you come off of a crazy low cal diet? HCG diet? low carb diet? what next? many don’t have an answer and find themselves right back where they started, but 10-15 pounds heavier. You must learn new ways of doing things; how you exercise, thoughts about self, and change your relationship with food. This is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. If your diet doesn’t address habit changes then you will most likely not be very successful.
There is a better way
If diets don’t work, what does? You must commit to making this a lifestyle change, period. Get rid of the black and white thinking and fantasies of dropping 30 pounds in a month. You must set realistic, S.M.A.R.T. goals and be patient. You need to know how many calories you need to take in daily for your specific fitness goal. This means you may have to track your food for awhile so you know exactly how much you’re eating and there are many online apps that can help you do this. I suggest you add strength training to your fitness routine and walk daily. Look for ways in which you can reduce the overall stress in your life as well. Also, the most overlooked thing is sleep. If you’re not sleeping you will most likely have a very hard time losing weight.
These are just some of the ways in which you can begin to make some healthy lifestyle changes. If you need further help, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I know how overwhelming this can be and having a professional help you is often times the kick start you need to a great life.
February 21, 2017
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Dig Down Deep
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.
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.
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.
December 29, 2016
December 20, 2016
How many times have you caught yourself in bed, staring at the ceiling, ruminating over the day’s events. Maybe you’re worrying about the next big meeting you have, asking that new person out or stressed that you won’t be able to retire until you’re 99 years old.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from anxiety in one way or another. The only difference is the severity of the anxiety and the related symptoms.
Here is some science backed ways for you to help alleviate your own anxiety issues. I have used some of these myself and with my clients. They really work, but only if you do the work and use them daily.
- Don’t fight your thoughts. You may catch yourself thinking some horrible things or wondering if you’re legitimately crazy. Remember, our brain is constantly at work and we can’t control the thoughts that pop into our head, but we can control how we respond to them. Don’t judge yourself, but just observe your thoughts as if you were at a movie. You could say, “oh, that is interesting, I’m thinking about slapping Sally.” We all have ‘crazy’ thoughts from time to time. Don’t judge yourself and just observe and then allow them to pass by like floating clouds.
- Breathe. Yes, just breathe. When you become anxious you begin to take very shallow breaths, causing your body to tense up. I want you to imagine you’re blowing bubbles when you feel anxiety coming on. Just take a nice deep breath in through the nose and exhale through the mouth, pretending that you have that little wand in your hand and you’re blowing bubbles. This is an effective technique to not only calm your nerves but your mind as well. I want you to focus on the sound of your breathing each time your mind wants to go back to whatever it was you were anxious about. Stay in the moment and be present!
- Look for the evidence. Those things that you’re anxious about or fearful of happening, most likely never will. I want you to look back at all those times you worked yourself into a tizzy over something you thought would happen. How many times did those things come true? Very seldom if at all, right? By “looking for the evidence” you will be able to remind yourself that this thing I’m worried about most likely won’t come true and I know this based upon past events.
- Schedule time to have a meltdown. Yep, you read that right. Set a specific time every day to allow yourself to obsess over everything you think will go wrong; after that you must go about your day. So, set aside 30 minutes to allow yourself to ruminate over those things you are anxious about and after that go about your day. If you find yourself beginning to go back to those things you are anxious over, remind yourself that you already did that for today and you’ll have your 30 minutes tomorrow to be able to think about it. Overtime you’ll find that you stop wanting to think about it at all.
- Pray. Take it to the Lord and cast all your cares on Him. The problem is most Christians ask God to take these things from them, but often take them back. You must pray, believe that God has taken these things from you and leave them at the foot of the cross.
- Valerian root. This little herb has been around for a long time and has been used to treat insomnia as well as anxiety. Valerian root has been shown to increase the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps regulate nerve cells and calms anxiety.
- Get up and get moving! Research has shown that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may also improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. A recent study showed that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.
What are some ways that you have been successful in dealing with anxiety? Share them with me in the comments section.