Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Top 3 Healthy Habits That Are Keeping You Fat

The food and fitness world are full of conflicting rules.

The food and fitness worlds are filled with conflicting information and outdated “rules.” As a general rule, the best nutrition and fitness guidelines to follow are the ones that work for your particular body, but there are a few that just don’t cut it if your goal is to get cut and lose weight.

I’m going to tell you which rules to break to lose weight the easy way.

In this three part series I’m going to share the top three healthy habits that are keeping you from losing weight – and what to do instead to lose weight and get strong and fit – fa’ good!
With action steps to take now to start burning fat for good.

I’m also going to share an action step at the end of each video so you know exactly how to stop making the healthy mistake and start turning your body into a fat burning, metabolic machine.
Let me preface this by genuinely appreciating you for having committed to these nutrition and fitness guidelines for so long and then lovingly and strongly suggest that you stop. It’s not that these are unhealthy, but they are counterproductive to your goal if your goal is to lose weight.

Let the countdown begin.

Number 3: Calories don’t matter.
I know this is going to be hard to believe, but calories do not matter as much as we’ve been told. The old rule “eat less and exercise more” will actually make you GAIN weight in the long term. Eating less and exercising more tells your body that we’ve got a major problem and it’s that we’re starving. Short term, you may see results. But long term, starvation sends a cascade of hormonal signals to keep you packing the pounds on and send you scarfing down the first crap you can find. Dropping calories below intake (or burning) makes sense when you’re playing a numbers game but your body doesn’t operate on numbers, it operates on nutrients.

Your body is a computer that runs on nutrients instead of code.

Think of your body like a computer. Computers run on code. When there’s a break in the code or a piece missing, the programs start to malfunction, slow down, or stop all together (you know it’s bad when that blue screen with all the random letters pops up). Your body works similarly. Only instead code, it runs on nutrients. Each of the hundreds of systems in your body needs nutrients, vitamins and minerals (like code) to function at its peak.

When nutrients go missing, systems break down.

When nutrients go missing, systems, including your metabolism, start to slow or come to a screeching halt. The really amazing this about the body is that if you’re getting the right nutrients in the right amounts, you naturally start to eat the right amount. Your body’s appetite mechanism will shut down when it gets the right nutrients (or code), so you don’t have to do any of the work.

Calorie counting weight loss foods short change you on nutrients.

Focusing on calorie counting typically includes picking processed and packaged foods that are marketed as healthy weight loss foods. These foods play the numbers game beautifully – but fail miserably at the nutrient game and leave your body’s appetite mechanism searching for more. You experience this as cravings.

Here’s what to do instead.

Swap out the calorie counting for an emphasis on high nutrient-dense foods. Dark leafy greens like kale, cabbage, collards, spinach, bok choy, brussel sprouts and arugula take cake on nutrient punch. But all veggies provide different nutrients.

Color and variety are key. Mix it up. Eat a big serving of vegetables at each meal and watch video two for the exciting reason that adding butter to your veggies will help you lose weight – especially around the belly.

Your action step.

Start each day this week with a nutrient-packed green smoothie. My favorite chocolate peanut butter morning milkshake is below!

In video two, I’m going to share the number one food you have to make up with if you want to lose weight…trust me, you’re going to like it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Burning Milkshake:

2 Handfuls of spinach (big ones!)
Small handful of unsalted peanuts (or 2 Tablespoons of natural peanut butter)
2 Tablespoons of ground flax
1 Tablespoon of Maca Powder (great for the sex drive and thyroid – but we’re most excited about the sex part!)
½ of a banana (Whole if you want it sweeter)
Almond milk to the level of thickness you like your milkshake
Blend a ton and serve topped with chunks of frozen dark chocolate

*The chocolate falls to the bottom and you get it last! Let’s be honest – this is the entire reason I drink the shake.

Discover which other healthy habits you’re making that are keeping you from losing weight with a Sexy and Strong Strategy Session!

If you're trying to lose weight and you're not having fun, then you're doing it wrong. Does that sound like you? Then book your "I Have Better Things To Do Than Diet" Strategy Session to discover more easy tweaks to take you out of struggle and into strength.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How Stress Affects Your Weight - And My Top Tip To Reduce Stress Immediately

In this two part article and video series I'm going to tell you the surprising reason that relaxing and having fun will actually help you lose weight. I'm also going to share with you my top tip for physically lowering your stress immediately and one for keeping it down for good.

I recently did a survey to find out what was missing from women's lives. Here are some of the answers I received:

Connect with more people
Feel satisfied with what I accomplish
Stress less
Wake up early, do yoga, hike
Spend more time with other women and feel less lonely
New and exciting

I see this often with my clients. On our never ending to do lists, stress, work and "shoulds" dominate the top of the list and fun, relaxation and self care fall to the bottom. And let's get real - the bottom of a to do list is a grave yard for dreams. 

Relaxing and having fun aren't just a bonuses for getting your work done. It's actually super important for losing weight and being physically healthy. When you stress, your body pumps a hormone called cortisol into your body. Very basically, it's a physical response evolved to help you outrun something that is trying to eat you. It kicks your body into survival mode. To your body - the best way to survive is to pack on weight. It's a physical response that made a lot of sense when our only stressors were starving - or becoming something else's dinner. 

Cortisol is also used to help control blood sugar levels - which directly impacts your weight. So when you stress out all the time - your cortisol levels are all over the place - which means your body will have a tougher time regulating blood sugar levels and therefore weight.

This is a pretty simplified explanation of a more complex process but the takeaway is this:

Today - our stressors are different,but the response is the same. Less stress helps control cortisol spikes which in turn helps your body better regulate blood sugar levels and this directly allows your body to release stored fat - after all, you're no longer in survival mode. You don't need to save that muffin top for later...

So let's do it. Ditch the stress right now. When we're all worked up and stressed out - it's not enough to just "not stress" or change your thoughts - you have to change your physiology and lower the stress response and get your brain back. Here's my number one trick for getting your body out of survival mode and into fun fat burning mode in 2 minutes. 

It's called 5-5-7 breathing. 

Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, inhale for 5 seconds, hold the inhale for 5 seconds and then exhale for 7 seconds.This is one cycle. Repeat this cycle 5 times. Notice how much calmer you feel. Breathing deeply actually physically lowers your body's stress response. Repeat this several times a day and each time you'll be taking your body out of survival mode and into thriving.

My top tip for staying relaxed:

Now take this zen body of yours and keep that stress response down with my top tip for keeping stress down. Plan at least one thing each week that gets you out of your routine and doing something unproductively fun. Seriously - get out your planner and schedule it in - non negotiable time for fun. When you have it scheduled into your week you don't end up not doing it because you thought of it too late and it fell through. You also can use it as fuel to get through the week knowing that you have some stress free, non productive fun to reset you for the next. I'd love to hear what you do for fun - share below or invite me next time!

In the follow up - I'm going to talk about how having fun and relaxing actually changes your relationship with food - putting an end to emotional and bored eating for good.

Join me the 18th of July for an hour and a half to destress with an easy yoga hike

Follow me on Twitter @BeyondtheMD