Should you diet or exercise; or both?

 

When it comes to losing weight, we feel overwhelmed and under-informed.

We believe when our best friend, Jan, tells us that the Keto diet is the only way to lose weight.

We get caught up in the latest hype, thinking this must be a new research finding that finally works wonders.

But the only truth is that it’s simpler than we actually want to believe. We want to believe it’s more complicated because at least that would give us some clarity on why we haven’t achieved our goals – and kept them – after so much practice. Does that say something about us?

Yes and no. We want to believe the hype because it’s, well, hype.  We love hearing the latest gossip, watch the latest episode of our favorite reality tv show and are obsessed with scrolling through our favorite social media newsfeeds.

How can weight loss and fat loss be so boring? It’s basically the same old thing you’ve heard a million years ago:

Move more + Eat less 

Ya, I know, BORING!

But so true and when you get down to it and finally accept this truth, it can actually help free you from ever believing another hyped up claim of fat and weight loss. You can simply smile and nod when your besties tell you they finally found the “golden bestest weight loss plan ever!” Because you now know better.

But it isn’t easy to give up our old habits this easily. We may feel like a fraud. We might secretly believe that there really is going to be another magical potion or balance of macronutrients that will burn off fat faster and give us the freedom we’ve always dreamed of.

But no. Not going to happen. Ever. So let’s stop putting off the inevitable and just start already! You can start today if you truly are ready. Just start tracking your foods. You don’t even have to count the calories yet. Just write down what you eat, make sure to take note of the amount and portions and tally it all at the end of the day. Easy peasy. Or is it?

At first, this is going to feel like the hardest thing you’ve ever done! But just trust me and stick with it. It will get easier. You might have to cut back on some of the foods after a day or two of tracking. If you aren’t sure how many calories you need to lose weight, I have a video tutorial on how to find your personal magical weight loss calorie deficit range.

Now that you know how to find your calorie range,  you have no reason not to succeed, right? Or do you? I find the biggest component of weight loss and successful results come from accountability and support. We all need to feel like we are not alone in any of our efforts and it’s important to work with someone who can answer our questions and help us when we get stuck or hit a plateau. If that’s something you are interested in, you need to join my support system. Just shoot me an email to: spazzykay@gmail.com and tell me what your goals are for this month.

Here’s a fun and FREE workout you can try out with your favorite playlist to motivate you through! (message me and let me know if you give this a go!)

 

FREE Playlist Workout Challenge (from Fitness Bootcamp Pros Newsletter):

Choose 4 of your favorite pump-up songs – they should be between 3:30 and 4:30 minutes long.  Each circuit is done for the duration of the song.

Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio, then some moving stretches (leg swings, arm circles, etc)

Song 1:

– 10 Jumping Jacks

– 10 Reverse Lunges (10/side)

– 10 Mountain climbers (10/side)

– 10 second rest (if needed)

Song 2:

– 10 Push-ups

– 10 BodyWeight Squats

– 10 Bent-Over Rows (10/side)

– 10 second rest (if needed)

 

Song 3:

– 10 Burpees

– 10 High Knees (10/side)

– 10 Walking Lunges w/ twist (5/side)

– 10 second rest (if needed)

Song 4:

– 10 Glute Bridges (hold 3 sec at top)

– 10 sec Side Plank (10 left / 10 right)

– 10 Mountain Climbers

– 10 second rest (if needed)

Dealing with food cravings

 

You know the feeling, you’re humming along on your new diet and exercise program and the BLAM!… you’re hit with the strongest cravings for every food item that isn’t listed on your meal plan.

What do you do?

For most of us, when we are at our most vulnerable (like when we are hungry and buzzing from less than stellar nutrients and calories) – we give in to the cravings and eat anything …and pretty much everything in our vicinity.

Why does this happen? Why do we sabotage ourselves when working on being healthier and and losing weight?

Here are some simple take aways you can implement right now to diminish these cravings when they come. Because, first of all, we can never stop them entirely. Why? For one thing, our bodies are used to a certain amount of food and energy we feed it and when it realizes that the “norms” have changed, it reacts by telling us to EAT MORE FAT! This is actually a good thing if we were really starving but in reality…we are not, but our body doesn’t know this. It also reacts erratically when it comes to hormone fluctuations that occur with stress in our lives, foods that we eat and a plethora of real life happenings that occur.

Simply put; we will have cravings at one point or another. We just need to understand how to minimize the power and impact over us and work on balance so we don’t feel deprived.  Here are some ways you can lessen and overcome these cravings as they come:

  1. Make sure you are eating enough calories to sustain your body’s basic needs. This means calculating (or doing some of your own research on foods eaten and satiety) your body’s calorie needs on a daily basis and then adding in additional calories for your workouts and activity levels. You’ll then subtract no more than 300-500 calories per day to be in a “calorie deficit” and be able to lose weight. The problem with this formula is that many of us underestimate our body’s needs and think that cutting back on calories more drastically, will help us to lose weight faster. This is a bad idea. Another common practice is to eat mostly “diet” food items that give us close to nothing in terms of nutrition and our body is now in hyper-active “starvation” alarm mode. How to change this? Once you know your calorie needs to lose weight (again, don’t cut more than 500 calories a day to minimize your body’s starvation cues), choose whole foods and eliminate all diet and processed foods. This will help to “feed” your body the nutrition it requires, even when you are cutting back on calories so that your body doesn’t work against you to eat more. Choose a large assortment of vegetables (the more colorful, the more nutrients), lean protein choices, whole grain carbohydrates (these are NOT bad for you) and don’t forget to get in enough healthy fats like nuts, nut butters, avocados, and olive oil. In order to create a “happy balance” in your mind and your body, plan to eat a food that’s completely off limits at least once or twice per week. This can be a decadent dessert you would crave or a serving of your favorite fat-laden foods. The key is to eat these fun treats with dignity and a fork or spoon in front of other people, rather than shoving un-portioned amounts into your mouth with your hands. Trust me, this will be one of the most important steps you can take in helping to curb those nasty cravings.
  2. Now that you’re on track with your food choices and getting in enough calories to sustain your body’s daily needs, let’s talk about what to do when you get a craving and aren’t planning your treat yet. Imagine this; you come home from a busy and stressful day at work and you eat dinner with your family and sit down to relax on the couch while watching the latest episode of “The Walking Dead”…when all of a sudden…BLAM! You need something STAT! On a commercial break, you head into the kitchen and open the refrigerator door to stare into the abyss…what do I want? What do I want? ..you ask yourself. You close the door and open the pantry door, only to repeat the process again. You may go back to the refrigerator and stare again…hoping to find what you’re looking for. But guess what? If you ever find yourself doing this, standing in front of the open refrigerator or pantry wanting something …but not quite sure what that something is…close the door and go someplace quiet. Sit down and feel that emotion. Because, that feeling of “wanting something” and not knowing what you want in food…means you are hungry for something emotional. It could mean you need to cry. You might need a hug and a close friend or loved one to listen to something that’s bothering you. You might need to grab a pillow and beat the crap out of it. Whatever it is, it is not about food. This is huge. We use foods for so many things and we wear foods when we overdo it on the emotional things. Start a journal and write down what happened that day and what you felt and start to process your emotional ties to food. Food used in this way is no different than overdoing it on a drug or alcohol. It gives us a rush of a good feeling and takes away that emotional need – but only for a brief moment. Then it passes and we need more…or we stop and find out how to deal with that emotion. I know, this one is deep but it’s important to get ahold of.
  3. Hormones and habits. I really don’t have much more to say except they can wreak havoc on our healthy plans. We may be humming along just fine and then BLAM!…we want to eat everything covered in chocolate. Or we may prefer crunchy foods when stressed out and hormones get out of control. Another issue is the habits we’ve created in eating certain foods when we feel these hormone surges. This takes some time to break. Again, it isn’t easy to do but trust me, it’s EVERYTHING as you move forward in your weight loss and fitness goals. Journaling will help you find patterns that bring about specific cravings and you can then learn how to better deal with them before they show up. One important thing to realize too, is when you give in to your craving and binge…you need to accept what happened and move on. Don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel. Find out what happened and why you had your break down…and deal with it better the next time around. Because there will be a next time if you don’t…and there might be a next time even if you do.

 

There you have it on simple solutions for your emotional eating. I struggled with this for many years and the only other thing I didn’t mention above is getting therapy when dealing with deeper emotional needs. I hope this helps you today and shoot me a message if you would like to share your story or questions with me! 🙂

Gluten Free Craze – Have you considered it?

Have you considered going gluten free?

One thing that makes me crazy is when I hear clients decide to follow the newest and latest fads because they have heard someone say that it’s the next “best thing” out there.
Really???

Let me take you back…back to a time, (if you are old enough to remember)to the 1990’s – when it was popular to eat low fat and high carbs. Remember that awesomeness? Yes, I do too. :p
Since then, our obesity in the US became an epidemic.

Coincidence? I don’t believe so.

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Once that craziness ended, then it was all about the Atkins diet and that had been originally popular in the 70s!! Carbs became the “bad guys” as proteins and fats were the secret to our success.

Or was it?

It’s addictive to think we can just cut out one food group and live happily ever after and now this popular fad is “gluten”.

Let’s begin with what gluten even is:
It’s a mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye.

It’s true that gluten can be bad for some people. But it’s not a “diet” phase in any way.

People who suffer with Celiac disease have discomfort and fatigue and gastrointestinal issues. There are other conditions were choosing to eliminate gluten containing foods can help reduce symptoms and discomfort.

This has lead to more gluten free products being sold and now, a new diet phase emerged.

People who remove gluten from their diets notice, at first, that they feel less bloated. This is usually believed to be “weight loss”, as the scale shows a drop (and why I don’t allow my clients to simply refer to the scale for success. It isn’t accurate most of the time).

 

Binge and Move On Already!!!

Bloating can release due to the initial removal of gluten from one’s diet since it contains less fiber. Fiber attracts water for digestion purposes and this may cause some temporary bloating. Take away more fiber, take away the bloat.

This is an example of what we think is happening (IE: weight loss) is really another cause altogether (less water in the body temporarily).

Now there are ridiculous amounts of foods being manufactured as “gluten free”. I have to caution you here because manufacturers will advertise foods as “gluten free” when they had never even contained gluten in the beginning! Don’t fall for these scams!

Let’s talk about what needs to happen to something in order to make it “gluten free”- when it contains gluten. It requires heavy amounts of processing. It’s during the processing phase, that many of the vitamins and minerals are lost and leaves many foods with very little nutritional value. As fiber is now lost, many B vitamins are also lost.

Gluten-free breads now contain almost 1/3 less the amount of protein as gluten options and instead contain twice the amount of fats and that is made mostly up of saturated fats.

So should you consider going gluten-free? Only if you suffer from symptoms that can be eliminated from cutting out gluten. Not for weight loss.

What are those symptoms? Do you suffer regularly from:

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Gas – Bloating – Diarrhea – Constipation – Foggy mind – ADHD behavior – Depression – Abdominal pains – Headaches – Bone or joint pains – Chronic fatigue – and some other symptoms that can be diagnosed by a physician. If you are worried about your symptoms, consult your doctor and ask them to run tests for a diagnosis. There is a blood test called the tTG-IgA that is the most accurate to date.

Otherwise, stop looking for the next food fad and eat to fuel your body and goals today!

What are some of the popular diets you’ve tried in the past?

How do you lose weight and keep it off for good?

How do you lose weight and keep it off for good? Have you been trying to lose weight and not sure why you keep repeating the same cycle? Lose weight, gain weight. Lose weight, gain weight. What is it that is creating this never-ending cycle of craziness?  Have you ever called yourself a “failure” and considered giving up altogether and just admitting defeat?

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I know that pain. I was stuck in it for over 15 years and now that I’ve found balance; I’m not surprised that most of the people I talk to today are also stuck in this cycle, with no idea how to get out.

I will be honest about weight loss. It is one of the hardest balances to maintain because of how we go about it. We treat weight loss as though food is the enemy. Yes, food can act like a drug at times by how it makes us feel; but it is not the problem. The real issues lie in how we perceive foods and how we feel about ourselves over years of ups and downs. Think about it; an alcoholic or a chain-smoker would need to give up their vice “cold turkey” in order to become free from the “drug” addictions, right? But with foods, you would die if you gave it up. So what do we do instead?

We take the next step that usually seems so “easy” which is to follow the hyped “diets plans” that promise quick results and the perfect body just by simply following their “magic plan”.

Well, I’m going to burst that bubble for you right now because it’s been going on for much too long now.

There is NO MAGIC PLAN OR SOLUTION! NONE!

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There will never be a magic pill that can do what we need it to do for our bodies and there will never be a food or a secret that will be unveiled in order for us to reach our goals and dreams for that desired body shape and weight we have always dreamt of.

Why? Because by focusing on these “bandaids” to our problems, we are never getting to the core. So, what should we do instead?

Honestly, it takes gosh-darned hard work. Yes, there are going to be some ways to make it all easier (as I will share with you what has worked for me) but the work and the effort will all still be a non-negotiable for your own success. Bummer, right? Actually, I believe this is really the silver lining that we’ve been searching for all this time. Since we are not true “failures” any longer, but just simply failing at a no-win solution; we have more power than we ever thought possible!

I have found that we tend to fall into two categories that seem to be hurting our efforts:

  1. We eat well below what is necessary for our bodies to sustain it’s primary needs. And then we expect our bodies to sustain the needs as we add in extra exercise, (which is just more stress) and “diet/processed” foods (which do nothing to fuel our bodies in any way at all, and instead start to break it down)  – AND/OR –
  2. We eat what we want, when we want it because we consider the fact that we can work out and exercise to the point of over training. We also may be using energy inducing products/caffeine drinks, thinking that this will all help to “burn it all off” and more…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, both of these methods are failures.

Would you succeed at first?

Sure! But that’s not saying much at all. Take for example, one diet I have seen in the past called, “the candy bar diet”.  I remember hearing all about it and thinking “Wow! Eat all the candy that you want and still LOSE WEIGHT??” #genius, right?

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!

Oh my goodness, that’s a tempting thought when we are stuck in these viscous cycles of craving sugars, fats and unhealthy foods but this is NOT going to help us at all!

Consider just for a moment, all of the foods and all of  the choices we eat in a given day or week. Now think for a moment of cutting them ALL out; one by one. What would happen, at first? Obviously if we are eating less; foods and food groups, we will lose some weight, right?  OF COURSE! This has always been the case, and probably why we get stuck in this cycle.

So for example, in the Atkins diet you cut out most everything that isn’t high protein and fat. Even in this “candy bar” diet, you are cutting out MOST everything that is good for you but the body only knows the fact that’s it’s getting in lower calories and less food choices.  So, it will lose weight in the beginning. Now think for a moment, what this looks like inside of your body.

If you are eating LESS calories but it’s all filled with TOO much of something that will lead to another bigger problem; and later down the road, leads to health problems and health scares?  Too much sugar? Leads to more weight gain over time; leads to diabetes, leads to heart issues, and more. How about too much protein? How about too many carbs? How about too much additives? How about too much of everything???

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Now, change needs to happen; and it needs to happen with us first understanding that we are not just here to reach this magical number on the scale. We must focus, instead, on the true health benefits of what we are doing to ourselves day after day.

Now I know it’s not as sexy to consider our health and our long-term good habits versus just losing some weight for summer season or a reunion or a wedding, right? But this IS honestly the #1 reason that we are becoming more obese and more unhealthy and that we are creating more health issues for ourselves than anything else. We need to stop this NOW!!! Are you with me?

If you’d like to learn more about the tips and strategies that have helped me and my clients in finding a better way and a natural balance for your life, please fill out the info below and I’ll contact you to to chat.