BLOG 278 SKIPPING MEALS
Whatever the reason be it getting busy or forgetting to eat, skipping meals has been a topic of debate whether is good or bad. The bottom line is that the brain’s main fuel is glucose, and not giving the body food is also not giving the brain food. Eating isn’t just about the stomach.
Contrary to popular belief, skipping meals doesn’t equate to weight loss. Most of the time, when a person does not eat for an extended period of time, they end of overindulging later. Hunger levels rise and binging can happen. Overeating out of extreme hunger can easily happen. Blood sugar can also start to drop. This leads to feeling tired and the body is communicating that it wants to shut down until re-fueled. When blood sugar drops, mood also tends to drop. Becoming irritable is common. Sometimes when you finally reach the point that you have to eating something, you ravenously take whatever is available and this might not lead to the best choices. Grabbing what you find first might temporarily solve the problem but can catch up with you later on the waistline.
Skipping meals might seem save like saving calories, but most time overeating ends up happening and more harm then good takes place. Not eating means no fuel in the tank and this means less energy. Less energy usually means less motivation, causing performance to suffer. Skipping meals can lower metabolic rate, which is not conducive to weight loss efforts. Blood sugar and insulin responses also change. Some people start to feel really fatigued and even dizzy.
Weight loss is a tricky game. Food is something we have to think about all the time. All the choices and the free will to have them makes temptation and taste-buds a troublesome combination. Not every day has to be centered around food, but the topic is addressed on a daily basis. The key is finding a healthy relationship with food, planning ahead, and knowing what triggers and environments lead to poor decisions. If we are what we eat, then we certainly don’t want to eat nothing. Our bodies deserve premium fuel, so don’t leave the tank empty and expect great performance. You can only go so far for so long before skipping meals just doesn’t seem to be beneficial in the end. Eat for your nourishment and for your health, not because you are bored, stressed, or just because it is there.
BLOG 277 BARS
The food world was struck by convenience when shelves became stocked with bars of all types. They’re an easy snack, treat, or addition to the day. The options include granola, candy, and protein. Some are more nutritionally packed than others. Cheap, easy, and for on-the go, bars seem to be the answer to the day’s food choice selection.
Granola is considered a breakfast food and contains a mixture of oats, nuts, and different sweeteners like honey or sugar. Some variations contain dried fruit. The typical bar ranges from 100 to 200 calories, 20 or more grams of carbohydrates, 8 or more grams of sugar, and are usually low in protein. Most are moderate in fat and do contain some amounts of vitamins and minerals. Although they are not entirely considered empty calories, they typically don’t contain much that is beneficial to the body. Children love them and adults find them in the vending machine. Be weary of added sugar and carbohydrate content.
They’re everywhere, especially when you check out at the store. The U.S. market contains over 80 different brands. From Hershey’s to Kit-Kat to dark or white chocolate, there’s an option for every taste bud. Loaded with calories, fat, carbs, and sugar, candy bars are a sometimes treat. Most have the intention of eating half and saving the rest for later, but that is a true test of will-power. Holidays and Halloween are the candy market’s golden time. Rotten teeth and a little extra on the waistline are the side effects. Children are rewarded with candy and can’t wait for a taste. It’s the addiction of sugar that the candy bar market has reeled us in on.
Now even sold at gas stations. There are incredible brands packed with nutritional quality and there are others that equate to just the same as eating a candy bar. Protein bars usually have 20 or more grams of protein, and vary in sugar, carbohydrate, and fiber content. Selection depends upon purpose of consumption. The best source of protein comes from whole foods. Always look for sugar, fat, and carbohydrate content to ensure you aren’t just having a candy bar with protein. Some are even used as meal replacements.
We live in a grab-and-go eating while I’m driving or in between meetings type of world. A bar gets the job done under these circumstances. There are a lot better whole food choices to be made. When a granola, candy, or protein bar becomes the answer to the growling stomach’s troubles, be sure to make the best choices. Your waistline and heart will thank you. After all, the perfect bar would just be too good to be true, so always read the fine lines and know what you are putting into your body.
BLOG 276 DENIAL
Denial is the self-belief that something isn’t true. It’s refusing to believe something is true that is being requested or that has been told to you. Denial is a defense mechanism. A statement made is just not true. The situation being faced is just too uncomfortable to acknowledge. Even if there is overwhelming evidence, it just isn’t true to you. Denying that something is wrong is a way to cope with an emotional conflict, stress, or with pain. Living in denial when it comes to your health leads to procrastination, worsening of conditions, and the inability to take proactive measures facing the truth.
Denial is the complete opposite of acceptance. It’s hard to deal with life when it doesn’t happen the way you want it to. It the biggest way we lie to ourselves. It is actually the first defense mechanism we learn and use. For example, when we ate the chocolate we weren’t supposed to and mom or dad asked if we did, we shake our head no even though we scarfed it down. The problem is that avoidance doesn’t make the problem go away. It can help the immediate emotional state of mind, but it can also do more harm then good in the end. Pretending something doesn’t exist doesn’t apply to the real world because we can’t exist in an imaginative state.
When our sense of control is threatened, we go into denial mode. Common scenarios include addiction, eating disorders, illnesses, financial problems, or relationship troubles. It takes a strong character to face these realities and deal with them. Living in denial of a medical diagnosis leads to a race a against time for your health. Living in denial about an addiction leads to high risk for poor health and risky behaviors.
It’s hard. I get it. No one wants to hear what is wrong with them or what they need to do. Problems don’t just go away though without addressing them face on. Therefore, on our fitness journeys, we have to address our health circumstances face on. We have to get to the “heart” of the matter. When I read someone their measurements, it’s facing fears and telling the truth that has to be told. Denial is only a temporary band-aid. It’s time to let the wound be exposed, become the better you, and build the character to be strong, fit, and an inspiration to others who have yet to face their truths.
BLOG 275 EXPECTATIONS
We all have expectations each and every day. We have beliefs that something will happen or should be achieved. We forecast the results like the weather girl and project the future like a psychic. We believe that if we do this, then that will happen. These expectations are sometimes met with such confidence that when the outcome doesn’t match, disappointment hits hard. When the world of any situation doesn’t live up to your expectation, you are let down, discouraged, angry, frustrated, and just plain upset be it sad or mad.
Why do we do this to ourselves?? Why do we expect to lose a certain amount of weight?? Why do we expect Mr. or Mrs. Right to always know what we want?? Why do we expect a pay raise, amazing service, low prices, fast answers and solutions, fast internet, and right here right now, for so many of life’s circumstances?? Then when the scale doesn’t read back what we want, he or she didn’t meet our relationship hopes, the food took forever to come out, the tires cost way more than what we were planning on spending, the boss didn’t email you right back, the website is taking way to long to load, and we have to wait in a long line at the grocery store, well…. our expectations have not been met.
Uncertainty makes us anxious to create expectations in our minds. Sometimes our expectations are so unrealistic, we set ourselves up for failure or self-destruction. We believe that someone or ourselves will behave or perform a certain way, and when they or we don’t do so, emotions get to the best of us.
Any of this sound familiar on your fitness journey?? You expect that you have been working out and eating right that the pounds should be melting off and the scale should read back leaps and bounds of major weight loss. The truth is that the scale will never meet your expectations. The data driven mindset likes to exaggerate itself in our mind. You somehow think that a candy bar can be worked off in 20 minutes with that jog?? No, it’s going to take so much more than that. The reality is that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Yet, you continue to expect to do this over and over again.
This is why I preach lifestyle change and daily choices that are realistic expectations and demands you place upon yourself to better YOU with or without a scale number. I get it. I get that when you feel like you aren’t losing fast enough or any at all then what’s the point?? But what you don’t see is your blood pressure lowering, your lipid and blood profile improvising, your cardiovascular system smiling, or your liver and kidney saying thank you for not making us work so hard?? So stop setting expectations that have led to your love-hate rollercoaster to no-where expectations about weight loss. It’s a daily grind, full of daily choices that need to be reasonable, attainable, and most of all…. doable.
BLOG 274 PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Being satisfied with appearance can be influenced by social pressures and self-esteem. We desire to meet the acceptance of our peers and to feel comfortable in our own skin. Appearance related social pressures can lead to the development of negative body image, eating disorders, and even depression. Unconsciously or not we do judge others based on appearance. Weight, clothing, piercing, tattoos, height, and other physical aspects are in the forefront of our every day lives. We shop, dress, and choose our appearance based upon our interests, careers, and culture. The way we look communicates something about us. That is why we dress up for interviews, weddings, and special occasions. We might dress down to feel comfortable and relax. The environment and the company we are with influence these choices as well. There is also another form of pressure to look attractive in fear of rejection by the same or opposite sex. We seem to have heightened sensitivity when it comes to rejection based upon appearance. How attractive we feel dictates our self-esteem. There are also media influences.
Think of all the adjectives used to describe appearance….. average, beautiful, adorable, cute, handsome, fancy, dirty, ugly, etc. A compliment or an insult go a long way. Encountering and interacting with others can be affected by their opinion of our appearance either good or bad. It is human nature to judge appearance, which sometimes overshadows character. We often times associate class or money with appearance too. Brands and trends are socially influencing the marketing and purchasing choices we are making. To some having high-end is important, and to others second-hand is perfectly fine. Someone we discuss knowing the difference, how much we spent on something, or where we bought it from.
Clothes and shoes cover up what is underneath, regardless of personality. Sometimes personality is also a reflection of these clothes and shoes. The two concepts are interrelated. Have you ever bought something just to fit in? Have you ever spent more than you are comfortable with because of the company you will be wearing it around? Have you ever just thrown on old clothes because you just are tired of caring that day? Have you ever felt out of place or under dressed? These are questions that could be a ”dressed” daily when you select the attire for the day. We have to like what we see and what we wear can make or break our spirits for that day. Even if you are sitting behind a desk all day and no one will see what you are wearing, when you dress down or up, you actually do feel differently about your self-esteem that day. It’s just human nature and physical appearance is an evitable factor of our lives.