One Question You Gotta Answer

1How long have you wanted to lose weight? Exercise regularly? Get your cholesterol down?

If you’ve wanted to make those kinds of changes for a while, you’re not alone. Most of us have at least one area where we would like to see some change.

We tend to ask ourselves questions like “Why can’t I lose this weight?” or “How often should I be going to the gym?” or “What should I be eating – or not eating?”

“Should” and “why can’t I” questions are rarely helpful.

Here’s a powerful question that can help us move the needle when it comes to changing things:

How much energy am I willing to put into getting what I want?

Stop a moment and allow yourself to give this some thought. Be sure to ask with a kind and sincere tone. If you have an accusatory or critical tone (like you should be willing to give it your all!) the question will be meaningless.

This is an important question to answer sincerely. Until we know this, we tend to set ourselves up for disappointment, expecting more than we can or will invest right now.

When we ask this question several important things happen:

1. You take “should” out of the mix

Should is a notoriously poor motivator. It’s pushy and usually leads to shame. Shame might push us into doing something for a while but never leads to lasting results.

2. You give yourself permission to be honest.

Knowing how much energy you’re willing to expend right now helps you make realistic plans.
If you realize you don’t have a lot of energy to spend (or even enough “want to”) you can adjust accordingly. This is a great time to pick the low hanging fruit – which leads to another good question:

What small step could I take right now?

Sometimes doing one new thing, even if it seems small, can jump-start a whole cascade of good things.

So, if you’ve been wanting to make changes in your exercise routine, your weight, or your cholesterol, try starting right here…

How much energy are you willing to put into getting what you want?

One Good Doc With One Good Answer

diabetes-1326964_960_720Nobody likes feeling stuck!

Many of the wonderful people I get to work with are stuck when I meet them. One good reason to hire a wellness coach is to get unstuck. Together we can find our way over, through or around any obstacle!

If your weight and health are not moving in the direction you want, here’s a book I often tell people about:

Always Hungry? by Dr. David Ludwig.

Now before you read any further, please do not hear me saying you should eat this particular way. This is merely one possible solution that I’ve found to be scientifically sound, especially for people who are struggling with weight related health issues.

Here are some of the reasons I like this book:

  1. It’s written with the understanding that eating mindfully and intuitively (liberated eating) is foundational. Without a reasonably healthy relationship to food and body none of us will ever enjoy a balanced or peaceful food-life, no matter how “perfectly” we eat.
  2. It’s especially beneficial for those with serious health concerns like diabetes, health disease, etc.
  3. It’s good science – as we know, there’s a lot of bad so-called-science out there.
  4. It’s not about deprivation, so people aren’t hungry eating this way.
  5. It’s not impossibly strict. There’s room for all foods “as tolerated”. After you have followed the eating guidelines and reached a comfortable weight, you can add back what you miss. You will know how much you can add by keeping an eye on how well your pants fit.

I admire Dr. Ludwig’s research and conclusions. As I’ve read other articles and interviews with him I find that I admire his balance. He doesn’t tout that he has THE ONLY ANSWER for everyone. He acknowledges there is not one perfect way to eat. He leaves room for individuality and intuition. He  admits that studies can contradict each other, and that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for everyone when it comes to eating for health. He seems to be genuinely concerned about people and their quality of life.

If you and your doctor aren’t happy with the progress you’re making with your health, this is a resource worth reading. Click here to check it out.

If I can help, just holler!

Is Late Night Eating Sabotaging You?

eating-refridgerator-night-200x150Late night eating can sabotage our weight and health goals.

Here are some changes/thoughts that will help:

  •  Late night eating happens often for people who try to “eat light” all day. Not fueling well during the day catches up with us and we end up snacking at night.
  • This leads to another unhelpful pattern – NO BREAKFAST. When we eat late at night we may not be hungry for breakfast…or think we don’t deserve it. The cycle perpetuates itself. Eating light during the day leads to overeating at night. Try a protein-rich breakfast for two weeks and see what happens.
  • You need fuel during the day. In the evenings we’re gearing down for bed. This makes heavy dinners or late night snacking unnecessary and counter-productive.
  • We often want a reward at the end of a long day. Make dinner slow and enjoyable, satisfying and memorable. If we fly through dinner at the frenetic speed of the day we’ll keep “wanting a little something” all evening.
  • Make dinner substantial. Savory protein, healthy fats, whole grains and fresh plants. Fats and proteins are the most satisfying foods and your stomach will be happy with them all night.
  • Remember carbohydrates are high energy fuel. They burn fast and don’t satisfy for long. They belong in the high energy part of the day – from morning to afternoon. Get enough complex carbs in the day to scratch that itch and begin to make dinner more about slow burning fuel.
  • Change things up! If everything stays the same you’ll probably continue to act the same. If you don’t want to eat after dinner but you’re sitting in the same place, doing the same thing, wearing the same cozy PJs, in the same room where you always eat at night – chances are you’ll eat – even if you aren’t hungry. Change begets change.
  • Find 3 new ways to treat yourself. Try them out this week. You’ll probably be surprised how invigorating a change of pace can be!  Music, a warm bath, a peaceful stroll, a good game of poker…

Don’t miss how powerful this is. Changing this one late night habit can change your health and weight drastically.

Let us know what’s helped you change your late night eating scripts…

5 Great Reasons to Enjoy “Steady Carbs”

LGILow Glycemic Index. I wish it had a better name. LGI foods are simply carbohydrates that digest slowly, keeping your blood sugar level steady. That’s a big deal if you want to feel well or release weight.

When we eat carbs with a low glycemic load some very good things happen:

1. Easier weight release & maintenance: Low-glycemic foods are nutritious, filling and delicious so you don’t feel deprived. They are NOT diet foods.

2. Disease prevention: A LGI menu reduces your risk for Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, and breast cancer. WOW!

3. Increased energy: Your body digests and metabolizes LGI foods more slowly so your energy is steadier throughout the day, not on a roller coaster. A LGI breakfast keeps you feeling good all morning. A LGI lunch means you’re not yawning midafternoon due to a drop in blood sugar. Plus you won’t be prowling around for a snack after dinner because…

4. Decreased Cravings: Since your blood sugar level is not acting crazy you feel more sane and satisfied all day long.

5. Improved mood: The amount of serotonin in your bloodstream and brain is strongly linked to the carbohydrates you eat. LGI carbs make for high serotonin which boosts your mood and promotes restful sleep.

Sugary foods (high glycemic index) cause a quick release of glucose into your blood stream which feels great at first but then – as your blood sugar and serotonin levels come crashing down shortly afterward – you feel grumpy, gloomy and tired.

Filling your menu with mostly low and medium glycemic index food makes a big difference today, and for the rest of your life.

Here’s one easy guideline: Limit foods with added sugar and white flour and you are well on your way to keeping your menu in the LGI range.

Click here for an easy list: http://www.the-gi-diet.org/glycemicindexchart/

 

2 Things About Carbs & Weight Release

nutIf weight release is on your mind here are a few powerful things to know about carbohydrates:

1. If you want to weigh less, choose unrefined carbohydrates

Carbs that are refined/processed (made in a factory) jack your blood sugar and insulin way up high then drop it low. When your blood sugar is riding this roller coaster you end up feeling hungry all the time and craving even more processed carbs.

Whole food carbs are hefty and take longer to digest so they don’t affect your body in such a dramatic way. The more “real food” carbohydrates you choose the easier it is for your body to release fat. Think fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts. An extra added bonus is that your cravings decrease too!

2. If you want to weigh less, pair your carbs with protein and/or fat

When eating a carbohydrate, have some fat and/or protein too. Think banana and peanut butter or pear and smoked mozzarella. Fats and protein slow down your digestion. This means your blood sugar and insulin are not on a roller coaster so you have more energy, you feel less hungry, you feel more sane and your body can burn fat.

This is NOT about good food/bad food.  This is about biology.

Making these changes will give you more energy, less mood swings, looser pants, and full satisfaction. These are delicious, filling foods; they will not lead to feeling deprived and hungry like we used to feel when we were dieting. This is powerful knowledge.

What hearty carbohydrates are you enjoying these days?