BLOG 114 INTUITIVE EATING
Our bodies speak to us. Signals of hunger, pain, emotion, etc. tell us an action is required. The act of eating is mandatory, but certainly not a science we all have down pact. Intuitive eating is an anti-diet line of thinking that involves listening to your body’s hunger cues and responding accordingly. I’m not sure how I feel about this approach, but I figured some solid research might help us understand this concept better.
Intuitive eating was an approach I discovered while reading the weight loss memoir by Kelsey Miller (2016), Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting & Got A Life. Kelsey is a writer for Refinery29 in New York and she created a project for herself at work that got world-wide attention. She decided to write her articles on her own journey of intuitive eating coming from a background of a lifetime dieter seeking a way to find a suitable relationship with food. She simply ate what she wanted, when she wanted, because she knew that if she wanted more she could have it. There was no restriction or off-limit foods. Having that in mind let her have a couple bites of French Fries instead of attacking them on her plate then asking her friend to polish off their serving. This approach takes some serious self-control.
This led me to that classic Google search. And I came across Intuitiveeating.org. There is an entire community of counselors and books available. Here are their 10 Principles: (http://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/).
- Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently.
- Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat.
- Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
- Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
- Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry.
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience.
- Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food.
- Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint.
- Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference.
10 Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy.
This surely sounds like the diet to end all diets, but gosh there’s not a lot of structure. I think that if we all could just tune into our hunger and put down the fork when we should, well there would be a whole lot less obesity in this world. If only it were this simple. But I think the principle of this approach is great…. just don’t know many who can successfully do it. For example, here’s a clip from another article I read, “Some days, my body needed french fries. Other days, a big salad. Sometimes I’d have two breakfasts because I was just that hungry. Other days, a light dinner was more than enough. I learned that a small piece of dark chocolate could actually satisfy a craving and that I didn’t actually need three glasses of wine with dinner to enjoy it. Butter, burgers, donuts — nothing was off limits as long as I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full (but not stuffed). It took a few months, but it’s funny how once you realize you can actually have any food at any time, a lot of food’s irresistible draw vanishes” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennipher-walters/intuitive-eating_b_3976172.html).
I personally may not relate to this approach, but I’m in full support of those clients who can do this. In fact, maybe I envy them haha. Every BODY is different so we all have to find what works for us best. If logging food and counting calories sends you into a resistance mode to not follow orders, then by all means find another way. If 30 day tactics work for you, then do it. Lifestyle change my friends. That’s what I believe. And one better choice at a time we are getting to that level of success we are aiming for.
BLOG 113 FATS
Society deems the term “fat” in a derogatory manner for sure. The word doesn’t shout positive images or associations with good concepts. Our bodies do need fat. Over the years we have learned of low-fat, less-fat, and reduced fat items. So what are the healthy fats we are supposed to have?? Let’s take a look at good vs. bad fats for us.
Fat in the body is an energy source for us. This to me is ironic in the sense of the simplicity of the statement. Having more fat seems like activity becomes harder to complete and health risks increase. But in reality, “It helps you absorb some vitamins and minerals. Fat is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation” (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good).
Good Fat = monounsaturated & polyunsaturated
Somewhere in the middle = saturated
Bad Fat = Trans fats
It’s that crazy cellular form jargon of hydrogen bonds that make the different types of fat.
Vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish
These are liquid at room temperature
Monounsaturated Fats: “Good sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, and most nuts, as well as high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils” (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good)
Polyunsaturated Fats: “Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats. That means they’re required for normal body functions but your body can’t make them. So you must get them from food. Polyunsaturated fats are used to build cell membranes and the covering of nerves. They are needed for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation” (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good)
Good sources are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil
In the Middle Saturated Fats:
Keep to about 10% of calories per day because can increase cholesterol (moderation right??)
“Common sources of saturated fat include red meat, whole milk and other whole-milk dairy foods, cheese, coconut oil, and many commercially prepared baked goods and other foods” (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good)
Trans Fat: Think solids
Increased risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes
Usually you see on the label as partially hydrogenated oil
So the fats turn solid and clog our arteries
That oil that fast food is cooked in
Our bodies are unique to exactly how much fat we need. Good vs. bad as most choices become. Just know that a healthy fat doesn’t mean it’s a free for all on the portions. Watch your total daily intake and plan accordingly. And ask me questions. So maybe some fat is good, unlike what we have been socially taught to believe
BLOG 112 GUT vs BRAIN
Well that good old Amazon Prime account of mine led me to the movie, “The Gut: Our Second Brain” (2013) by Cecile Denjean. This documentary was fascinating as so many clients suffer from stomach issues. I’m sure we can all relate to our bellies trying to be the almighty ruler of our day. So I’d like to share some of the research this movie explored.
Dating back to the cave man, our bodily features and functions were developed as needed mechanisms to seek and find food. Think of the “raw” diet that used to be consumed compared to our digestive systems now that have undergone quite the change in the types of food we eat. Even when cooking from “scratch”, realistically the flour or spices have been through some type of manufacturing process already before our purchase of it. The stomach cannot physically be the same as it was thousands of years ago.
The brain and the stomach use the same neurotransmitters. Serotonin is the “well-being” chemical found in both the brain and stomach. 95% of serotonin is produced in the gut. So if serotonin is said to dictate our mood stability, no wonder the stomach is impacted when we feel stressed or uneasy. Adding to this, 1 in 10 people are said to have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) digestive pain problems. The brain and gut have communication issues. I was surprised to learn that Parkinson’s disease originates in the gut.
Different approaches are used to help with gut problems. Recent holistic type methods and Chinese medicine suggest hypnosis and acupuncture. This has also been shown to help with depression (again the brain and gut communicating better). Chinese medicine believes in the finding the source of the problem, which most times is the stomach.
Bacteria helps with digestion and we need it in our system. Having this good type of bacteria date back to when we are babies and are building immunity. Obesity and bacteria have been closely studied. Some research has revealed that obese people have more of a certain type of bacteria. Obesity boils down to 10% genetic, 10% bacteria and 80% lifestyle. Antibiotics kill bad bacteria. Probiotics help develop the good type of bacteria we need which can be found in yeasts and yogurt. There isn’t a clear understanding yet of how probiotics work, but in a test that gave women yogurts, they were less reactive to situations, meaning they were in a better stable sense of mind. The images of the brain were in a calmer state.
The more we know, the better we set ourselves up for success on our fitness journeys. This documentary help make sense of a lot of the stomach issues clients face. There is more to that growl in the belly than we think. Feed the mind and stomach as best as possible and listen to what your body is trying to communicate.
BLOG 111 YO-YO DIETING
Sticking to the plan can be challenging. We know that. But starting and stopping the plan, on and off, go then stop…. well that temporary approach hasn’t worked. Yo-yo dieting can be that “all or nothing” tactic to weight loss, which typically starts off strong and then abruptly stops. Then the motivation to start again returns and the cycle starts itself all over.
Any of this sound familiar?? 30 day jump start, 21 day fixes, cabbage diet, grapefruit diet, the list goes on and on. Here’s the basic truth: “The yo-yo effect is usually caused by weight loss plans that involve missing meals, fasting and crash diets that drastically lower your daily caloric intake” (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/the-ins-and-outs-of-yo-yo-dieting.html).
This cannot be good for us. Here are the side effects/risks:
- Metabolism: “When you deprive your body of the calories it needs for energy, it adapts to the change by slowing down your metabolism. Metabolism is the process where your body burns the food you eat in order to produce energy. Your metabolism may not get back to normal even when you resume your normal lifestyle. A slower metabolism means more weight gain. In some cases, not only will you gain back the weight you lose during the diet, but you may even gain more than before” (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/the-ins-and-outs-of-yo-yo-dieting.html).
- Muscle Loss: When the body is not being sufficiently nourished, it may have to pull from other energy sources like your muscles. So now the body is burning through muscle and the less muscle the body has, the less calories it burns at a resting state and all day long. You get my point.
- Psychological: This approach doesn’t always “fix” what is truly going on. Rapid weight loss then re-gaining weight can lead to eating disorders, depression and anxiety with the fluctuations.
- Other risks: “Fluctuating weight can also result in a higher risk of developing cancer and heart disease. You might also suffer from losing hair and developing osteoporosis, among other health conditions. This is due to the fact that most crash diets are lacking in nutrients that are essential for healthy hair, bones and good health in general. Because of the low caloric intake, fatigue and difficulty in concentrating might also result from yo yo dieting” (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/the-ins-and-outs-of-yo-yo-dieting.html).
When there is an event that is near or a purpose behind losing the weight so quickly, temporary gimmicks come to mind first. But understand this is usually water and muscle loss, not true fat loss. That is why I am determined to teach lasting, sustainable, lifestyle changes to my clients. Maybe the scale won’t move as fast, but at least the scale will keep moving the right direction for a long period of time. Patience is difficult with goals in mind, but trust the process and continue to become the best version of yourself.
BLOG 110 PUGS
So where did Steve Nash come from?? I know you are dying to know the history of pugs, but as a designated “pug person”, I feel obligated to inform you on this matter. Pugs have such a great sense of humor, are wonderful companions, and are a whole lot of character in such a small body.
Pug 101: Steve Nash:
Height: 10 – 12”
Weight: 14 – 18 pounds 22.3 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years Currently 5
Breed Type: Companion The BEST
Pugs came from China from the Han Dynasty. Pugs do act like they are pretty special. No wonder: “Some historians believe they are related to the Tibetan Mastiff. They were prized by the Emperors of China and lived in luxurious accommodations, sometimes even being guarded by soldiers” (http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/pug#C3XZhCJgrhmgkA1J.99). Trading with the Europeans expanded the popularity of the pug. Queen Victoria liked pugs. They made their way to the U.S. after the Civil War.
These little joys of fun have smooshed in faces and a curled tail like a cinnamon roll. Pugs are known for their wrinkles. Check this out: “Legend has it that the Chinese, who mastered the breeding of this dog, prized these wrinkles because they resembled good luck symbols in their language. Especially prized were dogs with wrinkles that seemed to form the letters for the word ‘prince’ in Chinese” (http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/pug#/slide/1).
Health concerns involve breathing issues, over-heating and possible eye problems. Lots of people do ask about pugs and their medical conditions. Proper feeding, exercise, and care are the nurturing elements of love.
The companionship, loyalty and love of a pug are definitely demonstrated here at the studio with Steve Nash. Pug love runs deep. I have had pugs my entire life and the breed has never let me down. So now you know a little bit more about my son haha.
BLOG 109 CARROTS
We were always told to eat your vegetables growing up. In fact, I can remember one of my go-to snacks after school being carrots and ranch dressing. Those crunchy orange bites are filled with nutrients. So let’s look at the goods and bads of eating carrots on your fitness journeys.
On the positive side, there are a number of benefits as to why carrots are good for us. Here are 10 (http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-benefits-of-carrots.html) :
1.Improve vision: Carrots are good for your eyes: “Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision”.
2.Prevent Cancer: Up to 1/3 reduction of lung, breast, and colon cancer.
- Slows Down Aging: Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant
- Healthier Skin: Carrots contain Vitamin A: “Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes and uneven skin tone.”
- Prevent Infection: can be used on wounds and cuts
- Healthier Outside Skin: can be used as a face mask to help with acne and blemishes
- Prevents Heart Disease: “Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein. The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids”.
- Cleanses the Body: helps to flush out toxins in the liver
- Protect Teeth & Gums: “Carrots stimulate gums and trigger a lot of saliva, which, being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria. The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.”
- Prevents Stroke: studies show carrot consumption less likely to have a stroke
However, everything in moderation right?? Carrots do have a lot of sugar (the good kind) but too much of any one item isn’t good for us. If you are eating too many carrots this could cause Carotenimia which is the yellowing of the skin. As such, “Eating large quantities of carrots doesn’t put you at risk of vitamin A overload because your body only converts beta carotene as needed. However, having large amounts of carotene in your blood can cause carotenemia, or yellowish discoloration of the skin. The harmless condition is typically most apparent on palms, soles and ears and disappears gradually on a lower-carotene diet” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/286531-side-effects-of-eating-too-many-carrots/). And then of course having too much fiber can lead to bowel problems. Be careful if you are a “dipper” and have to have each bite coated in ranch, hummus, or peanut butter (yes peanut butter is a popular carrot dip haha). Carrots don’t have the kick to keep you full long enough so this snack could use some protein with it.
Bug Bunny vs. your fitness journey. And yes with it being around Easter time when writing this Blog, the idea came to me. Plus, I see carrots in food journals a lot. The winner seems to be the pros/positives, but we know that regardless, portion control is our best fitness journey friend (other than me haha). So crunch away, but just a few!!!! Serving size would of course vary by size ?
BLOG 108 NUTRITION BARS
Bars are a snack we can utilize on our fitness journeys to keep us fueled until the next meal. They are convenient, ready to go, and an easy “to take with” item we can use as a better choice. There are a number of nutrition bars on the market and knowing which one to grab can be confusing. The three main types I see in client’s fitness journals are Luna Bars, Quest Bars, and Cliff Bars. So let’s compare and contrast and get ourselves educated about these popular selections.
Luna Bars (CLICK FOR IMAGE)
Calorie count High in Carbohydrates
Low in fat High in Sugar
Cons: Low in Protein
High in Carbohydrates Low in Fiber
Lower in Sodium
High in Protein Higher in Sodium
Low in Carbohydrates
High in Fiber (what makes low carbohydrate)
Low in Sugar
Lower in Fat
Low in Sodium High in Calories
Lower in Fat Low in Protein
High in Carbs
Low in Fiber
Most clients know I’m a cheerleader for Quest Bars, and now maybe some folks might see why. Taste and flavor does come into play, but know that nutrients are what count in the end. Use bars for those 3 hour in between snacks to reach the next meal. Don’t go for the crackers, chips and candy. Give your BODY what it needs. Do the comparison when in doubt and I’m here to help as well.
BLOG 107 MUSCLE VS FAT
Well we all know which one we like better haha. There are a number of misconceptions when it comes to these two subjects. So I’m here to debunk some myths, tell you the truth, and help guide you on your fitness journey.
Let’s start with the basics. Muscle: “Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. There are three types of muscle in the body. Muscle which is responsible for moving extremities and external areas of the body is called “skeletal muscle.” Heart muscle is called “cardiac muscle.” Muscle that is in the walls of arteries and bowel is called “smooth muscle” (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4464). Oh then that pesky fat: “The soft flesh on the bodies of people and animals that helps keep the body warm and is used to store energy” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fat).
Most of us want to replace fat with muscle. Say good bye fat and hello muscle. It then needs to be said that we aren’t exactly able to spot reduce fat. Certainly we can emphasize target areas and pay a little more attention to detail on improvement zones. Yet, when our body uses the energy to perform tasks, it pulls from our energy sources collectively as a whole…. not just biceps for bicep curls.
Does muscle weigh more than fat?? We all would say yes. The reality is that a pound is a pound. But, “This means that if you look at five pounds of muscle and five pounds of fat side by side, the fat takes up more volume, or space, than the muscle. That’s important when you’re on a diet and part of your goal is the lean look of muscle, not the flabby look of fat” (https://everydayhealth.com/weight/busting-the-muscle-weighs -more-than-fat-myth). The best part about replacing fat with muscle is that the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism operates, so even at a resting/no activity state, you are burning more than you would be if fat was the majority of your body’s composition.
How can you lose 1 pound of fat?? Well, if 3,500 calories equals one pound, you would need to “burn” an extra 3,500 calories. Hmmmm…. so cutting 500 calories down every day (7 days per week), means you could lose 1 pound per week. My trouble with this is that all calories are not created equal and that activity levels vary. Calories in vs. calories out is the basic premise of weight loss. Easier said than does as most concepts in life are.
At Every BODY’s Fit, I do emphasize the importance of strength training. Because clearly having more muscle means we burn more. We know that the treadmill for hours doesn’t kill that fat like we want it to. So get that heart rate up and put those muscle to work by lifting. Steve Nash says he will help me watch your form.
BLOG 106 INSECURITIES
Having self-doubt, questioning yourself, feeling a lack of confidence…. I’m sure we can all identify with bouts of feeling insecure. This could be something very minor like whether your top matches your shoes, or something major like whether your spouse is cheating because you aren’t “good enough”. This negative thinking can be debilitating and certainly impedes on the journey of becoming the best versions of ourselves. But it’s natural to feel this way from time to time. We just need to reel it in and know how to move forward because these feelings don’t validate truths.
It’s human nature to worry about what other people think about us. As a business owner, I constantly am under public watch and have to remind myself that as long as when I turn the lights off when I go home and say that I gave my 100% today, then that’s the best I can do. We live in a culture that seeks approval. Meaning, recognition gives us value.
It takes courage to face what we are insecure about. Leo Babauta from Zenhabits.net discusses the obstacles that a person may face that derive insecurities (https://zenhabits.net/insecurities/)
- Past criticisms. If a parent or other relatives criticized us while we were growing up, or if we were bullied, we’ve probably internalized.
- A negative self-image. When people criticize you over the years, you start to criticize yourself. All this criticism, along with unfavorable comparisons of yourself to others, results in a self-image that isn’t so great.
- Needing approval. The becomes a fearful cycle of need.
- Lack of trust. We learn not to trust other people to stick with us, to accept us, to see our side of things as understandable.
- Images in social media & the media. We compare ourselves.
- Not accepting things about ourselves.
We have to forgive the past, know that the media is not 100% real, trust our intuitions, stop comparing ourselves, and accept ourselves. Certainly easier said than done, but taking these thoughts and practicing them in good faith can lead to better outcomes.
Clients come to me fully aware of their insecurities, but not quite ready to let them go. As we get stronger, more FIT, and develop relationships with myself and others at the studio, we find an uplifting community of acceptance. That is the environment I create. After all, those who judge you are only there in your life for a moment, so move forward without them. There are certain aspects in my life that I don’t doubt or question one bit (like my work ethic and passion for fitness) so I thrive on these elements and focus on letting go of what transpires feelings of insecurity in my life. I ask you to do the same and I will do my best to help you with this.
BLOG 105 VOICES
Our own voice, the one no one else but ourselves hears in our head, is the most powerful dictator in our lives. That chatter box is the greatest influence. And on our fitness journey, those voices are strong indicators of the choices we make. So let’s talk about “The Voice”.
I believe there are 3 voices in our head:
- Negative/Demon: the ruler of our addictions, poor self-worth, and self-destruction
22.. Down to earth: rational, neutral, logical
- Change/Forward Thinking: vision, dreamer, what needs to happen in order for future
A recent book I read, Suddenly Skinny Day by Day (2012), by Freya Taylor, was a comedic weight loss memoir about Freya’s weight loss journey while on the Medifast diet. Her story was relatable, funny, and completely honest. Freya refers to her voices as:
- Addict: “It wants more more more. It thinks it needs food for comfort, or to quit anger, or to alleviate boredom”.
- Practical: “I have to live my life side of ourselves”.
- New, emerging, wisdom: “The voice that can listen to the other inputs and weed out the garbage from the healthy”.
We are tested every minute on our fitness journeys when it comes to eating and healthy habit making. In a world that equates food with celebration, communication with technology, and a want for instant gratification, the voice in our head opts for the most convenient, desirable, choice regardless of consequences. The mind and body can be at odds. There are influences all around including the media, relationships, peers, and the medical industry. Deep down, that gut feeling is the voice I turn to and the honesty of knowing what is the right choice, all emotions aside, tells me what to do when in doubt.
I’m sure you can all relate to these voices. You have told yourselves to have that cookie, “Oh just one won’t hurt anything” (Negative/Addict). When out with your friends at happy hour and asked if you want another…. “Well I still want to have a social life” (Down to earth/Practical). When the alarm goes off in the morning to wake up, “I can’t hit snooze I have to go workout” (Change/New).
These voices truly indicate that we can be our own worst enemies on our fitness journeys. Don’t talk yourself out of change and know that you are worthy of becoming the best version of yourself. The old addict will put up a good fight. The practical will tell you to just take your time. And the change will be me on your shoulder leading the way to great healthy and wellness. So tell yourself to make today ridiculously amazing!!!!
Taylor, Freya. Suddenly Skinny Day by Day: A Weight Loss Memoir. (2012).