NUTRITION: DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR HEALTH?
Today I want to share why this is the case, and maybe this is why despite everything you aren't seeing or feeling any sort of shift or difference. I don't want to focus on the weight-loss per say, because this will be a outcome of a shift in your mind. I always love to bring my clients and people back to this fact: Everything is connected. We can't do one thing (Positive), while thinking something else (negative) and expect our bodies to change!
Let's take a closer look into some of the patterns and habits that maybe stopping you from the next step in your journey //
1. YOU’RE STILL OBSESSED WITH CALORIES/KILOJOULES
Many of us have been led to believe that if we burn more calories than we eat, weight loss will be inevitable, only to discover that this century old philosophy does not seem to apply to our body, no matter how hard we work.
This is often when the confusion sets in. If weight loss and weight management are defined by calories in versus calories out, then as long as you abide by this you will experience results. Right? Wrong.
This fundamental principle of nutrition has well and truly been relegated to an old school paradigm and we are seeing more evidence that not all of our calories are equal. Our bodies respond very differently with calories from different sources. The digestive process may be similar, but the biochemical reactions they trigger can be completely different.
To put this into context, let's compare how 1000 calories from coca cola are metabolized in the body versus 1000 calories from broccoli.
When you consume a fizzy drink your body quickly absorbs the fibre-less sugars. The glucose spikes your blood sugar, which stimulates insulin and subsequently signals to your body to store body fat. Inflammation is increased, triglycerides are raised (essentially fat in your blood), and leptin, one of the hormones involved in appetite regulation, is blocked. Leptin is responsible for signaling to your brain that you're satiated, and if the brain doesn't receive this message, you are likely to continue eating. Insulin resistance and subsequent challenges with leptin then alter thyroid function, and on and on the cascade of effects go. And all of these factors impact whether your body is getting the message to store fat or burn it.
On the contrary if you were to consume 1000 calories from broccoli – a high fibre option that barely registers an effect on your blood glucose – you don't trigger the same biochemical reaction at all. Firstly, you wouldn't even be able to consume 1000 calories from broccoli as that would be close to 21 cups – leptin would kick in and let you know you've had enough and you would experience the feeling of being full and incredibly nourished.
When my clients stop counting calories and focus on nourishing their body by eating real food, good fats and plenty of vegetables, they have a rapid improvement in their overall wellbeing, but they also feel satisfied. It changes their relationship with food completely. Often they end up eating more calories than previously, and yet they lose weight, often for the first time in years.
2. YOUR EMOTIONS ARE SABOTAGING YOUR PROGRESS
You may be progressing well with your new health and wellness plan, only to have a stressful afternoon at work. Through no conscious decision, you then miss your gym session, get home late and buy takeaway. You pair it with a bottle of wine to "soothe" your stress. Then you're so disappointed by what you call your "lack of willpower," you sleep in the next day and skip your early morning walk.
When you make changes to your lifestyle there will be times you may make choices that aren't necessarily nourishing – the most damaging thing you can do in this instance is judge yourself or give up.
You are not a failure (!!!) and you have not compromised everything by making these small choices.
Be kind to yourself as you make these changes. It's the harsh judgement that is often responsible for you not returning to your more healthful ways. Remember it is what you do every day that impacts on your health, not what you do occasionally.
3. YOU'RE LOSING WEIGHT FOR SOMEONE ELSE
As with any goal, the reasons for wanting to lose weight must be for YOU. If your goal is externally driven, for example, "because my partner would appreciate me more if I weighed xyz" or "because my mother is always telling me I need to lose weight", or " I want to look like x,y,z model or social media fitness guru" the internal motivation or drive is not there. In fact you usually feel criticized, rather than encouraged and the feminine essence responds to praise (the masculine to challenge; but that’s a story for another day).
Conversely, if you decide you need to lose weight because you feel lethargic and you want more energy, or you have elevated blood glucose and want to prevent type 2 diabetes, it is far more likely any changes made will be sustainable (key word!!!) – because they are adding to your life for reasons that hold meaning to you. When you focus on resolving a health challenge, such as fatigue, hormonal imbalance, orthorexia most people lose weight in the process. And the loss is sustained.
4. SNACK FOODS ARE COMPROMISING YOUR OTHERWISE HEALTHY WAY OF EATING
Many people manage to eat well during the "main meals" but let themselves down with poor snack choices. Often this is due to "convenience" and availability as it can be difficult to find nourishing snacks in a hurry – it's much easier to find high sugar, high (poor quality) fat snacks.
Being prepared with nutritious snacks is the best way to avoid this. Having an afternoon snack can be helpful to regulate your blood sugar – and ensure you don't walk in the door after work and engulf anything you see! Raw nuts, hummus and vegetables, a green smoothie / juice or homemade bliss balls are great alternatives. If afternoon tea time is your downfall, also consider adding more fat and protein from whole foods to your lunch.
5. UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES
If you have tried everything and are unable to lose weight, it may be beneficial to visit an experienced nutrition professional. You may need tweaks to your health and wellness plan, or you may need some blood tests to shed light on your biochemistry.
The main factors that interfere with the body getting the message that it needs to burn body fat include: stress hormones, sex hormones, thyroid function, insulin and gut bacteria.
I think the biggest take home is this / Most people will tell you that you have to lose weight to be healthy, when the reality is you actually have to be healthy to lose weight. When we focus on HEALTH, everything changes. When we focus on weight, our external body and pressures, we will never, ever, ever be fulfilled.
For those looking for major and sustainable transformation in their lives through holistic nutrition, wellness practices, using the mind / body connection and establishing NEW daily habits, I so look forward to connecting over a session when you're ready.
Have a beautiful weekends friend,