Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Category: Weight Loss

Think Like a Thin Person, Lose Weight and Keep it Off

Weight loss is not about what you eat, it’s about why and how you eat.

So many of us struggle to feel comfortable and confident with our body and I really think it’s time to change this. So today I want to share with you some powerful insights into how thin people think and how it can help you lose weight without dieting.

Please take just five minutes right now and read this post. You’ll be glad you did. By the time you’ve finished reading this you will have the tools you need to start ‘thinking thin’. I promise you, weight loss will be a joyous consequence… Read More…

21-day-sugar-detox

21-day Sugar Detox

Have you over-indulged this Christmas? Are you ready for a sugar-free challenge? It’s not as hard as you might think. Just follow this simple plan that includes some great food ideas.

Are you addicted to sugar? Do you find it impossible to stop eating it once you start? Do you crave bread and sweets?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be ‘sugar sensitive’. Kathleen des Maisons, the author of Potatoes not Prozac, coined the term sugar sensitive’ to describe someone whose body has a strong reaction to sugar and sweetened foods — even foods made with alternative sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.

If you’re sugar sensitive and use sugar to self soothe, to care for stress, or to numb out, your sugar habit can turn into a full blown addiction, where you can’t say no, are plagued by painful sugar cravings, are obsessed with sugar, and eat more and more sugar to get your ‘fix’.

Can You Really Be Hooked on Sugar?

Some people use sugary foods in ways that aren’t healthy, even though it may not be an actual addiction. Some signs: You crave sugar, lose control, and eat more than you planned.

Sugar fuels every cell in the brain. Your brain also sees sugar as a reward, which makes you keep wanting more of it. If you often eat a lot of sugar, you’re reinforcing that reward, which can make it tough to break the habit.

Why do you get a rush when you eat a midday candy bar? The sugar in it — called a simple carbohydrate — is quickly turned into glucose in your bloodstream. Your blood sugar levels spike. Simple carbs are also found in fruits, veggies, and dairy products. But these have fiber and protein that slow the process. Syrup, soda, candy, and table sugar haven’t.

Your body needs to move glucose out of the bloodstream and into your cells for energy. To do this, your pancreas makes insulin, a hormone. As a result, your blood sugar level may have a sudden drop. This rapid change in blood sugar leaves you feeling wiped out and shaky and searching for more sweets to regain that sugar “high.” So that midday candy bar has set you up for more bad eating…

Starch Can Equal Sugar

Think you don’t have a sweet tooth, but crave bagels, chips, or french fries? These starchy foods are complex carbs that the body breaks down into simple sugars. Eaten without better foods, starches can make blood sugar surge and crash like sugar. White rice, white flour, and potatoes do this. Highly refined starches like white bread, pretzels, crackers, and pasta are worst.

Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

Sugar itself doesn’t cause diabetes. But lots of sugar splurges can point you there. Too much of anything, including sugar, can pack on pounds, for one thing. Heavy bodies have a harder time using insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar. When your body resists insulin, blood sugar and your risk of diabetes go up.

Do Sugar Detox Diets Work?

Can you beat your sugar habit by quitting cold turkey? Some sugar detox plans urge you to avoid all sweets. That means all fruit, dairy, and refined grains. The idea is to purge your system of sugar. Diet changes like this are too drastic to keep up. Changes that you can do only for the short term mean you’ll fall back to your old habits.

The good news is you can stop sugar and carb cravings naturally with this three-week program designed to help you change the way you think about the food you put on your plate.

21-day sugar detoxNo pills, powders, or potions necessary, The 21-Day Sugar Detox will teach you new ways of eating that you never thought could be so healthy and so enjoyable.

The 21-Day Sugar Detox is a comprehensive, yet simple and effective program to help break the chains sugar and carbs have on you — and help you find food freedom.

The Premium program package includes two printed books and membership to the online portal that contains dozens of additional program guides, eCookbooks, workout programs, audio support call recordings, and an expertly moderated forum for world class support, 1:1, when you need it most.

21-day sugar detoxWhat’s more, your membership doesn’t expire – and you’ll have access to all of the future materials they’re added to the site.

So, if you decide to return for another round of the program, your materials, resources and our support team will all be there, waiting for you.

THE POWER OF THE PROGRAM IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND

  • Need to figure out if something is a Yes or No food?
  • Wondering what’s best to eat while dining out?
  • Want to ask other detoxers a question?

You can access the eBooks, Forums, discounts, and audio files anytime from anywhere with your mobile device.

Get started on The 21-Day Sugar Detox now…

 

food cravings and your brain

Food Cravings, Addictions and Your Brain

Why food cravings can be hard-wired

Do you wonder why sometimes, despite trying to maintain iron willpower, you still end up craving and eating things that you shouldn’t? It could be that you are addicted to certain foods.

21 day sugar detoxA recent press release from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology describes a study that looked at brain function and addiction. A team of scientists from two universities: the University of Grenada (Spain) and Monash University (Australia) analysed 39 obese people and 42 normal weight people.  They were given a buffet-style meal and told to help themselves.

Afterwards, they were shown photos of the food from the buffet to stimulate cravings while their brains were scanned via MRI. The MRI scans showed different brain connectivity for food cravings depending on whether the individual was normal weight or overweight.

The scientists found far greater connectivity in the areas of the brain associated with reward in the overweight. They also found in the obese individuals that their average 11% weight gain three months later, was predicted by the increased activity in the brain that registered reward. These parts of the brain are stimulated in a similar way to substance abuse.

This means that breaking bad habits such as sugary foods (and drinks) may not come easily, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try. It just means that you will have to be patient with yourself and find lots of healthy alternatives to unhealthy foods that you may be hard-wired to crave.

Why not try the 21-day Sugar Detox?

 

6 Ways to Stop Stress Eating

6 Ways to Stop Stress Eating

In a previous article, we looked at why we turn to food for emotional reasons.

If you really want to be free of this self-destructive habit for good, you’ll want to increase awareness of your eating— this means tuning into your thoughts and feelings on a regular basis, and making needed adjustments to prevent you from reaching for the chocolate chip cookies whenever you’re having a rough moment…

When we fight with ourselves about tucking into the cookie jar, the two parts of our mind at work are the emotional and the rational. The “emotional mind” drives us when we do things without thinking them through first — these actions are based on how we happen to be feeling at that particular moment. For example, “Feel sad—must eat cookies.” The ‘rational mind’ is at work when we take the time to think things through before acting: For example, “I know I want to eat cookies right now, but it won’t solve my mood and I’ll feel bad about myself afterwards.”

The goal of eating with increased awareness (EWIA) is to have these two parts work together harmoniously. Ideally, we want to increase our awareness of what is going on for us emotionally, while at the same time, use our rational minds to solve the problem at hand. This is where EWIA can help us make good food choices that leave us feeling healthy, peaceful and in control. Of course, like any new skill, EWIA takes time and practice in order for us to be successful. Even though it may feel awkward and difficult at first, over time, it can become as second nature as brushing our teeth.

6 ways to stop stress eatingEWIA is not so much about being aware of what foods are on our plates but, rather, awareness of what and how much we’re eating and why we’re eating it. If you’ve ever practiced meditation, you’ll be familiar with how your mind tends to wander, and can appreciate the discipline required to keep bringing it back to the present moment. The same thing happens when we eat without conscious intention and awareness.

Here are two major, relatable roadblocks to EWIA. For each one, I will give you tools you can use to bring more awareness to food and the eating experience. Here are 6 ways to stop stress eating.

6 Ways to Stop Stress Eating. EWIA Roadblock #1: Distracted Eating

Who among us doesn’t multitask on a daily basis, especially while we are eating? In today’s fast-paced world, the preparation and consumption of food seems to be little more than an inconvenience in our stressed-out, busy lives.
Do you eat while also:

  • Watching television?
  • Working?
  • Being totally stressed out?

To help you let go of distracted eating, try the following:

  • Only eat while sitting, and focus solely on the act of eating your meal.
  • Eat away from your work area: in a lunchroom, restaurant or outside.
  • Take a few deep breaths before you eat to calm and center yourself.

6 Ways to Stop Stress Eating. EWIA Roadblock #2: Eating Without Enjoyment

A 2006 survey showed that Americans are eating more but enjoying it less. Just 39% of adults said they enjoyed eating “a great deal,” down from the 48% who said the same in a 1989 survey.
To help you eat with more enjoyment, try the following:

1.    Take a minute before each meal and ask yourself what food you’d really enjoy eating at that moment, and try having that particular food if you can get it.
2.    When eating something you really love and enjoy, eat it very slowly and enjoy the senses that go along with it like taste, texture, temperature, etc. Try to really be in the moment while enjoying the food.
3.    Choose a small portion of your favorite foods to experiment with and notice how satisfying less can be when you slow down the eating experience and really enjoy it.

If this sounds like you and you need some help with weight loss due to emotional eating, join my next programme starting Monday… nutrition advice

Break Free from Emotional Eating

Break Free from Emotional Eating

Sometimes we turn to food not because we are physically hungry, but because something is “eating us” emotionally.

Many of us were taught that food can “soothe a mood,” and that by eating something when we’re upset, we will find comfort. Can you remember being a child when you fell down and scraped your knee and your mom gave you a cookie to make you feel better?

Even into adulthood, we continue to use food to soothe our moods, only now with negative consequences: We realize that we still haven’t dealt with what was bothering us in the first place after we’ve consumed an entire tub of ice cream, plus we’ve eaten way more calories than our body needs. And we usually end up getting mad at ourselves for overeating.

This sets us up for a vicious cycle of stuffing feelings with food (and thus not dealing with them), possible weight gain or excessive exercise and self-recrimination … until the cycle starts all over again. How frustrating!

How to Break Free from Emotional Eating

Three emotional states in particular often lead to bouts of emotional eating: sadness, anxiety and anger.

Discomfort-Food-Avoiding-Emotional-EatingSad Eating 

Let’s face it—when heartbreak hits, eating a tub of ice cream seems like a good idea. A bit of sweeteness to drown out your sorrow. But before you know it, you’re caught in a self-perpetuating negative cycle and it can be very difficult to get out of it once it’s started. You eat because you’re sad, then you feel even more blue because you’ve even so much; this can lead to a “what-the-heck” attitude, increasing the likelihood of overeating when the next bout of the blues hits.

Healthy alternatives: 

1. Talk it out. If you’re feeling blue, it probably has something to do with an upsetting incident that has happened and you may feel a whole lot better to get it off your chest by calling up a friend and sharing what you’re feeling.

2. Exercise. Research has shown over and over again that one of the best ways of battling the blues is by moving your body and getting your heart pumping. Even doing 30 minutes of moderate exercise boosts the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain.

3. Boo Hoo it out. This is the non-technical term for having a “pity party for one.” Really indulge yourself here: Take a hot bath and light candles, listen to sad music, and cry until you run out of tears. You’ll feel a whole lot better after.

emotional-eating 2Anxious Eating 

Many of us eat in an attempt to lower anxiety and a way of self-medicating ourselves. In fact, research has shown that carbohydrate-rich foods actually boost serotonin levels, a chemical that makes you feel calm. This explains why we often reach for carbohydrate-rich comfort foods when we’re stressed.

Healthy alternatives: 

1. Take a nap or go to bed early. Research has shown that people who are well-rested are less susceptible to anxiety and stress, and are better at resisting the urge to overeat. Strive to get at least 8 ½ hours of sleep each night to reduce the urge to overeat in your waking hours.

2. Do something relaxing and calming. We all have different ways of relaxing. The next time you feel stressed and anxious and instinctively turn to food, resist the urge to run to the cupboard or fridge and, instead, practice one of the relaxing activities you enjoy the most.

Angry Eating 

Often we will eat instead of focusing on what is “eating us.” We stuff our anger down with food to cope but, unfortunately, this doesn’t get rid of our anger. It simply buries it and if we don’t deal with it, it will keep popping up until we do. To make matter worse, we hurt our bodies by overeating and then add the feelings of guilt and shame to the anger we started with.

Healthy alternatives: 

A way to get out of the “angry-eating trap” is to delay eating (even 10 minutes will do). Sit down, take a deep breath, and tune into what you’re really feeling and what you need to do to let go of your anger. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What happened today that may have made me angry?
  • Why did that event stir up angry feelings?
  • What do I need to do in order to let go of this anger and feel peaceful?
how to stay at a healthy weight

How to Stay at a Healthy Weight

Have you gradually gained weight over the years? Or have you lost a significant amount of weight then gained it back quickly?

Do you think you’ll never learn how to stay at a healthy weight?

So, should you even bother to try and lose weight at all?

The answer is yes, if you are already having weight-related health problems or if you are putting on extra weight every year and are likely to have health problems in the future. You can learn how to stay at a healthy weight.

On the other hand, studies that have examined how much weight people are able to lose and how much they are able to keep off long term are fairly dismal. Most people gain weight back. It can be hard to stay at a healthy weight. Here is a pretty predictable formula for gaining weight in the long term:

  • You lose weight quickly…
  • You go back to your old way of eating when you lose weight…
  • You continue to eat and exercise exactly as you have been as you get older…
  • You eat the same way “everyone else” is…
  • You make excuses for why it’s OK to eat when you shouldn’t…

Let me explain each of these scenarios and how to stay at a healthy weight:

  1. Losing weight quickly:
    One of the best ways to gain weight quickly is to drastically cut your calories. Research shows that the faster people lose weight, the faster they tend to regain it.
  2. Going back to your old way of eating when you lose weight:
    It’s plain biology. If you lose weight on 1200 calories a day, for example, and then your weight plateaus, you will start to gain weight back once you go up to 1300 calories a day. That’s the equivalent of one good sized apple or four crackers. And if you return to eating 2,000 or 3,000 calories, as perhaps you did before, of course your weight will increase.
  3. Continue to eat and exercise exactly as you have been as you get older:
    It seems unfair, but it’s true. Metabolism tends to decrease with age. If you don’t start eating less and/or exercising more, you’ll gain weight. Now it’s reasonable to gain a little weight, especially if you’re eating in a healthy way, but those pounds can really add up as the decades go by.
  4. Eat in the same way you assume everyone else is:
    It’s possible that you know the rare person who can consume a great number of calories a day and not gain weight. But it’s more likely that the people you know (especially if they’re over 40), are either restricting their eating in some way or are themselves gaining weight each year. In any case, it’s irrelevant. If you don’t want to gain weight, you’ll need to figure out what’s right for you to eat — which isn’t necessarily right for another person.
  5. Make excuses for why it’s okay to eat when you shouldn’t:
    Your body processes calories in exactly the same way, regardless of circumstances. It doesn’t care if you’re stressed, tired, or celebrating; if it’s a special occasion; if no one is watching you eat; or if the food is free. It may be reasonable to plan in advance to eat a little more in some circumstances but understand that if you don’t compensate by exercising more or cutting an equivalent number of calories another time, you will gain weight.

It seems unfair. It’s so hard to lose weight and so easy to gain it back. But once you learn the thinking and cognitive behavioral skills you need, the process of losing and maintaining a weight loss (it’s the same process!) becomes much easier…

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Weight Loss works… so why not get started today by reading more here and signing up for a 6-week online programme? What have you got to lose… apart from some extra weight…?!

Are Food Issues Really About Food

Are Food Issues Really About Food?

Do you think you have ‘food issues’? Do you find yourself wondering why you just can’t keep away from the Nutella pot?

You know you’re not really ‘meant’ to eat too many carbs or too much sugar… but what the heck? Are you always eating more than you ‘should’? If so, you’re not alone…

And, most of the time, we blame it on our lack of willpower, or on the food itself. But are food issues about food?

“If Nutella wasn’t so yummy, I’d be able to stop… If I had more willpower, I wouldn’t have eaten four slices of cake at the office party” … and so on… and on… and on…

Are food issues about food? Well, I’ve got news for you. News that may completely change your perspective.

Food Issues Aren’t Really About Food

And it’s not about eating, or the fact that you need more willpower around the office cakes. It’s something else. I know that can be hard to hear. But if it was about food, then you could just find the perfect diet, and everything would be fixed.

But your food problem isn’t really about food. And until you work out what is going on with the Everything Else that’s causing you to have a Food Issue, you will always have a food issue.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is going on with my relationships? With my career?
  • With my feelings around ambition, authenticity, success?
  • Who do I think I ‘should’ be in the world, and who actually am I?
  • What about your family and their expectations, and your friends and their needs?
  • What is going on with how you spend your day and how you’d like to spend your morning, evening, and night?

CBT for weight lossLet me put this another way:

Are you dressing, moving, talking, laughing, loving, walking, sleeping, working, thinking and striving in a way that expresses your deepest, most truthful self?

Most of us generally find that our food issue isn’t really about food at all. It is much more a sign that our lives are not in balance.

Of course there are things that we need to do to look at our eating in more detail (like eating when we’re hungry, stopping when we’re full, and eating without distractions), but often, the point of those practices is that they are the warning sign.

  • If you’re eating when you’re not hungry, something else is going on.
  • If you’re still eating when you’re full, something else is going on.
  • If you always need to be distracted, something else is going on.

So, if you find it uncomfortable to even contemplate not reading or fiddling with your phone while you eat lunch, you might want to work out what’s up.

  • Is it uncomfortable to think about eating without distractions because you never get any time to yourself and this is your time to relax and have fun?
  • Or maybe when you write down your distractions, all kinds of thoughts and feelings come up that are completely overwhelming?
  • Or perhaps you feel rather awkward eating without distractions because nobody else at your office does?

Whatever your answer, it gives you a whole insight about how you spend your day, how you deal with feelings and thoughts, and what your relationship to your job is.

  • You may need more time to relax.
  • You may need to deeply investigate your thoughts.
  • You may need to re-evaluate what you want out of your job.

What I’m interested in is your ‘deepest’ truth, your wants and needs and desires and everything you hate but think you should love.

I’m not particularly interested in dieting, although metabolic typing and healthy eating can be an extremely useful. What I am interested in is helping you understand core, essential insights about what you do and do not want from life.

And if you seize that opportunity — if you truly look deeply into what is driving your behavior around food — you have the potential to make peace with your food, and radically improve your life as a whole.

And who doesn’t want that? If you need some help, the next 8-week CBT for Weight Loss Programme starts Monday. Or if you feel you need one-to-one help and can set aside 30 minutes each week for a Skype or phone consultation drop me a line on the contact page and we can have a chat and work out an individual plan for you.

eat this for breakfast

Eating This For Breakfast Can Reduce Food Cravings Later in The Day

What you should eat for the ‘most important meal of the day’ to reduce food cravings.

New research shows that eating a good breakfast — particularly one rich in protein — boosts a critical neurotransmitter, which may reduce food cravings later in the day.

The research comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that many teens skip breakfast and adolescent obesity has quadrupled in the last 30 years.

Dr. Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology who led the study, said:

“Our research showed that people experience a dramatic decline in cravings for sweet foods when they eat breakfast.

However, breakfasts that are high in protein also reduced cravings for savory — or high-fat — foods.

On the other hand, if breakfast is skipped, these cravings continue to rise throughout the day.”

The study looked at how different breakfasts affected the levels of the critical neurotransmitter, dopamine (Hoertel et al., 2014).

Dopamine is involved in how we process rewards, including cravings for food. When you eat, a burst of dopamine is initiated, which gives you the feelings of reward.

Dr. Leidy explained how this relates to obesity:

“Dopamine levels are blunted in individuals who are overweight or obese, which means that it takes much more stimulation — or food — to elicit feelings of reward; we saw similar responses within breakfast-skippers.

To counteract the tendencies to overeat and to prevent weight gain that occurs as a result of overeating, we tried to identify dietary behaviors that provide these feelings of reward while reducing cravings for high-fat foods.

Eating breakfast, particularly a breakfast high in protein, seems to do that.”

This is particularly important, Dr. Leidy, given the rising levels of obesity:

“In the U.S., people are skipping breakfast more frequently, which is associated with food cravings, overeating and obesity.

“It used to be that nearly 100 percent of American adults, kids and teens were eating breakfast, but over the last 50 years, we have seen a decrease in eating frequency and an increase in obesity.”

 

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