7 Habits Wrecking Your Health (Part 3)

Hey folks this week we wrap up our series on the 7 Habits that are wrecking your health. If you haven’t already read the first two blog posts go back and read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE so you understand all the habits to avoid.

This week we are going to take a closer look at some of the common emotional triggers that can damage your health.

Discussed below we will be covering how your emotions are impacting your dietary decisions and how your relationship with the scale is negatively affecting your fat loss goals from a mental standpoint.

6. Your Emotions Are Controlling Your Food Choices

When there is a stressful event or we experience sadness or depression we are drawn to certain kinds of food because they provide temporary comfort from the negative emotion.

Cravings for particular foods are not all caused by the same things in our body. There are actually three different types of cravings that people experience on a regular basis.

3 Types Of Food Cravings

  • Supportive: The body is trying to fulfill a deficiency. You crave dark chocolate because you are severely deficient in magnesium.

You crave peanut butter because your body is trying to make sure you get an omega 6 fatty acid that is missing in your diet.  

  • Emotional: Trying to find a food to fulfill a feeling ,even if it’s short lived. You get depressed as a result you eat ice cream which elevates your mood for a short period of time.

When you come down from the ice cream high your low is much worse. The surefire way to elevate your mood again is to eat more ice cream. This is a tricky cycle to follow because this is how food addictions are created.

  • Associative: Associating a food with a memory or experience. Let assume you are  very close with your family and used to regularly share meals with them. You liked the food but what you really loved was seeing and spending time with your family.

You get a new job and move out of state away from your family and miss them very badly. Suddenly you find yourself cravings the foods you used to eat with them at family gatherings.

You aren’t actually craving the food, but because of the association the food has with your family whom you miss you crave the food.

Many of the food cravings that people experience are directly tied to how they impact the chemicals in the brain to make the person feel better.

I don’t know anyone who describes feeling powerless or addicted to purple cabbage or broccoli like some people do with sugar and processed carbohydrates.

People choose less than healthy options when they have food cravings, because these foods impact their emotions.

There have been multiple studies that link the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body to consumption of junk food. Those with higher levels of cortisol ate more junk food than those with lower cortisol levels.

Another study showed that these negative moods not only lead people to eat the wrong foods but also caused those folks to eat much more of those poor food choices as well.

Do you find yourself eating poor food choices out of because of sadness, anxiety, depression or any other negative mood when you know that you feel no physical hunger ?

Try eating the foods below next time your mood takes a negative turn. These foods will  help to  boost your mood, and improve your health long term.

Break The Pattern:

Another strategy can be to replace eating food with a habit that also boosts your mood. This Going for a walk, listening to your favorite music or heading to the gym for a workout have all improve a person’s mood.

When it comes to the foods you eat on a daily basis they can negatively or positively impact your mood and energy throughout the day.

There are specific foods that can be especially helpful for boosting mood because they contain the precursors to the brain hormones (neurotransmitters) that control how you feel.

Those two main neurotransmitters that control your mood are serotonin and dopamine. Let’s cover some of the foods that help to boost production of these hormones.

Foods That Boost Serotonin

 

  • Turkey

  • Chicken

  • Shrimp

  • Tuna

  • Salmon

  • Halibut

  • Sardines

  • Cheese

  • Pumpkin Seeds

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Cashews, Almonds, Walnuts

  • Legumes

  • Spinach

  • Sweet Potato

  • Lamb

    Foods That Boost Dopamine

 

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • Chicken

  • Turkey

  • Red Meat

  • Beets

  • Artichokes

  • Raw Almonds

  • Sesame Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds

  • Almond Butter

  • Tahini Butter

  • Avocado

7. Letting the Scale Impact How You Feel

I don’t like scales when it comes to tracking fat  loss or reaching goals. A lot of people  get up in the morning and step on the scale.

Those people  let the number on the scale dictate how they feel about themselves starting at the very beginning of the day.

If the number on the scale  higher than expected they person feels depressed, if it’s lower than expected they feel excited.

I hate to see this because the scale is very easy to manipulate, and is never a true gauge for fat loss or health.

Scales don’t tell the whole fat loss story, and can have powerful impacts on a person’s emotions and self esteem, typically those impacts are negative.

3 Big Problems With The Scale

  • Weight Fluctuates Dramatically

The human body is truly amazing, and very responsive to the signals we send it. We are constantly eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, sweating

Morning and night time weights will also fluctuate because of what you have been eating, drinking, salt and carbohydrate consumption and your hormones.

  • Weight Alone Doesn’t Reveal The Whole Story!

We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, but in the process of losing “weight” you never want to sacrifice hard earned muscle!

Ignore losing “weight” are interested in losing fat, and scales that give a body fat percentage are very inaccurate.

The goal is to reduce body fat while preserving and even building muscle mass. Weight loss doesn’t answer if we are losing fat, or burning up muscle.

  • Your Self Worth Is Greater Than A Number On A Scale

Having a goal and wanting to make changes is an amazing part of life, but DO NOT let a number on a scale control how you feel about yourself!

Don’t fall victim to playing the up and down emotions game associated with scale addiction. Look how far you have come, and realize you have EARNED every step along the way.

Everybody is a work in progress and has their own journey in this life. Focus on your journey, and  the distance you have traveled since first starting on this path!

Break The Pattern:

Before we cover how to track progress without a scale let me say this: DON’T TRACK ANYTHING DAILY!

Any form of daily tracking can become an addiction, and fosters an unhealthy relationship with your body and food. Once more  DON’T TRACK ANYTHING DAILY!

I recommend tracking your progress every 2 weeks. Take these pictures and measurements  at the same time, on the same day of the week. A Monday or  Friday morning before you eat breakfast are the best options.

Tracking Progress Without A Scale (Non Scale Victories)

Fill out the form below if you’re looking for a coach who can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health, fat loss or muscle building goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained, while keeping you accountable along the way.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

7 Habits Wrecking Your Health (Part 2)

Hey folks we are going to be pick up where we left off last week discussing the 7 habits that are wrecking your health, and what to do if you are stuck in one of these cycles.

If you haven’t already read part one of this blog series  HERE. It will help to provide the context necessary for you to get the most out of this blog post.

4. Sitting Too Much and Disease/Death Risk

As a society most of our daily activities take place with us sitting. Everything from our morning commute, the work that you do at a computer or your leisure activities like watching a movie or TV places place sitting.

It’s not that sitting in general is a horrible practice, but the amount of it you do on a daily basis  is where it begins start to damage your health and  increase your risk for diseases, and premature death.

Unfortunately sitting for prolonged periods of time is linked to premature death, and yes you read that correctly premature death and sitting are associated.

The interesting fact is that even if you exercise for an hour everyday, it does not offset the general sedentary lifestyle of sitting too much, these people are at the same level of risk.

Sitting for six hours or more per day can increase your risk of heart disease by 64%! Your risk for certain types of cancer is dramatically increased,  and your life expectancy is decreased by 7 years.

Based on the above factors and the risks they put you at for an early trip to grave site it is safe to say that sitting is killing you... slowly.

Now that we have covered how sitting too much damages your health we are going to take a look at the new habits and patterns you can implement in your life to solve this problem.

Break The Pattern:

The goal is to create periods of moderate daily activity that break up the time spent sitting.

To break up these periods of sitting that take place throughout the day you are going to be focusing on two different actions:

  • Taking a break from sitting once every hour
     

  • 30-45 minutes of Non Exercise Activity

While your trip to the gym does have huge health benefits, it does not count towards your 30-45 minutes.

These forms of non exercise physical activity could be walking to work, doing yard work, walking your dog the possibilities are endless. The focus is to get your body moving around for periods of at least 10 minutes at a time.

You want your non exercise activity to be done throughout the day, not all at once.

Next we will be looking at some strategies that help you to incorporate these periods of movement into your day and take the stress out of the new habit.

Activity Alarm:

We all live busy lives, and it can get very easy to lose track of time when we feel the squeeze, especially at some place like work.

Set an alarm for every few hours so you are reminded to get up and walk around for at least 10 minutes.

This same alarm system is a great reminder to stand up at least once an hour and  take a short stroll around the office before getting back to work.

Drink More Water:

While consuming more water has its own health benefits, the purpose here is to force yourself to get up more frequently from your desk to fill up your water bottle or go to the bathroom.

Schedule A Walking Meeting:

We spend a lot of time inside and don't get to truly enjoy the fresh air or  beauty outside enough. Break up the monotony of a meeting by scheduling a walking meeting instead.

By combining walking with a client or business meeting it can enrich the process and  provide mental and physical stimulation.

Make All Your Phone Calls While Walking:

This is a great trick for remembering to make phone calls, but also using the phone time to increase your daily movement.

This is a great habit for sneaking in an extra 45-60 minutes, that you would have otherwise been sitting.

Afternoon Slump/Food Cravings Walk:

Everyone has experienced the afternoon slump that typically results in a cup of coffee or a sugary snack.

Sometimes it is just boredom or the fact that you have been sitting down for too long. Use this opportunity to wake your body up, go for a walk and have a glass of water instead of hitting the vending machine.  

For people who experience strong food cravings for poor foods I encourage them to go on a walk.

5. Eating Too Fast Or Stressed


To properly digest food you need to be in a relaxed state, otherwise your digestive system will not function properly and cause dysfunction.

Do you ever experience bloating, gas or burping shortly after meals ? Trying chewing your food better and see if those symptoms improve.

Eating quickly can appear to be a time saver, but it causes people to overeat and not pay attention to the signals the body is sending.

As a society digestive problems, stress and rushed eating all go hand in hand, and are interrelated.

When you are distracted while eating your attention is not on how full you feel, or your digestion.

You have an innate system in your body that connects your digestive system to your brain. This system is designed to regulate hunger in your brain based on the amount/quality of  food in your stomach.

The signal from your stomach to your brain takes 15-20 minutes. However if you eat an entire plate of food before your body can send or receive the signal you can easily overeat.

Break The Pattern:

To help break this pattern you will need to become more aware of your habits around food, and whether you are eating on the run or sitting down and relaxing.

By incorporating more mindful eating into your daily life you will naturally reduce stress and eat in a more relaxed state.

This relaxation when eating allows for better digestion and a person to be more in tune with their hunger from the brain and stomach stand point. 

Here are the top five ways you can start to incorporate more mindful eating in your everyday life and   meals, starting with the next bit of food you take!

5 Ways To Increase Mindful Eating

  • Get away from screens and stressful activities - Take 5 deep breaths

  • Think about three things you are thankful for in life before taking your first bite of food

  • Admire the colors and smells of your food

  • Put your fork down in between bites. This habit leads to better chewing and digestion

  • Eat until you are no longer hungry for the next bite, not until you are “full”

Part 3 Next Week!

The 7 Habits Wrecking Your Health (Part 1)

Everything in our body  from head to toe is interconnected and all works together as a system. What you eat and how you sleep can impact your hormones. How you exercise and manage your stress can impact your adrenal health.

Most folks focus on a singular area such as nutrition or exercise, but forget to address other areas like stress and sleep which are just as important.

The  bigger picture of  health includes: nutrition, sleep, stress management and exercise in a balanced manner, and they all impact one another.

When you get  overly focused on one aspect of health and don’t address the other areas your health will suffer.  

An important part of this health picture is understanding your habits that create patterns. These patterns drive your behaviors everyday.

The habits you develop that control your behaviors can improve or hurt your health, but the best part is you can change your habits!

Here are the top seven habits wrecking your health, and how to break these patterns if you find yourself stuck and don’t know what to do.

1. Undereating Leading To  Overeating

You start an extreme calorie restricted diet, and think that the less you eat the better your fat loss results are going to be.

You start eating  1,200 calories every day  unaware of the health problems and potential binges that are going to result.  

You have no energy and are hungry all the time. At some point you give up on the diet calorie and gorge on all the foods you have been restricting.

You feel guilty for not staying on the diet , and think that you can make up for the gorging by eating 1,100  calories per day instead of 1,200.

As a result of eating even less you are hungrier, you have no energy and your sleep is starting to get worse and your food cravings feel out of control.

You continue on this path and then it happens again, you have a day where you gorge on all the food you have been craving for the past few weeks.

To “make up” for the overeating,  you choose to lower calories even further trying to eat 1,000 calories per day.

Over time this pattern leads to hormonal dysfunction, thyroid and adrenal damage, insomnia and metabolic damage.

Breaking The Pattern:

Realize that you are not your food choices, what you eat doesn’t make you a bad or a good  person.

Stop trying  to punish yourself for food choices or going off a diet. Know that with any dietary change there are going to be bumps in the road.

Eat whenever you experience physical hunger and stop eating when the next bite of food no longer looks as appetizing as the first bite.

Avoid eating around stressful situations or out of habit or entertainment. Don’t let your emotions become a driver for hunger. Emotions can trigger cravings not actual physical hunger.

Center your meals around one to two  palm sized portion of protein ( eggs, chicken, ground beef)  and fill up the rest of your plate with non starchy vegetables (brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, asparagus, onions, peppers) and one to two thumbs worth  healthy fats (butter, coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil). Include some starchy vegetables ( potato, squash, sweet potato,taro) if you do well with them.

2. Riding The Blood Sugar Roller Coaster  

You start your day with a breakfast of granola, toast with jam and a glass juice with a cup of coffee. This breakfast is extremely high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, while lacking any healthy fat or protein.

This breakfast fills you up but doesn’t provide the lasting energy you need, as your blood sugar levels crash from breakfast you feel a significant mid morning energy dip and cravings.

To help get your energy back you grab a Kind bar from the break room, again very high in sugars and processed carbs and low in protein and fat. This sugar pick me up works until at lunch you are starving again.

You have a sandwich at lunch while is the most filling and satisfying meal of your day so far, but mid afternoon you feel the crash again need a snack to make it to dinner after work.

The fact of the matter is while some of these foods are not the type of sugar you find in candy, they still break down into sugar and  react the exact same way in the body.

These foods that are converted into sugar are more dangerous because they masquerade as health foods and people assume are good for their health.

Someone who eats this way is riding the blood sugar roller coaster. They are constantly hungry and need to snack and eat to boost  energy. These folks experience frequent dips in energy, mood and cognition due to low blood sugar.

Breaking The Pattern:

Center all your meals around one to two  palm sized portion of animal protein, vegetables and some healthy fats. Breakfast could be two or three eggs cooked in coconut oil or butter with asparagus or kale. If you are still hungry have a fourth of an avocado or a half cupped hands worth  of raw nuts.

Is your mid morning snack the result of physical hunger, a mental craving or just a habit ?  Keep some beef jerky, coconut chips, hard boiled eggs or a small vegetable tray on hand if you are physically hungry before lunch.

There are going to be some sugar cravings to break , but avoid the urge to give in to the cravings. Realize that most of the time these cravings are a mental feeling not  actual physical hunger.

Make sure you aren’t turning to another source of sugar and over consuming that instead. This is common with people who are giving up sugar, but start to consume a ton of fruit instead.

Use distraction to your advantage. Develop a new habit that you will do when you feel a sugar craving, over time this becomes a patterns and a new behavior takes the place of eating sugar. Drink a glass of water and go for a walk instead of heading to the vending machine.

3. Stress and Poor Sleep

The two biggest dark horses when it comes to health are stress and sleep, and they never get the attention they truly deserve when it comes to the health picture.

Although most people wouldn’t see an immediate connection between stress and sleep they are very interrelated.

We have a hormone named cortisol that is secreted in a specific rhythm with our sleep and wake cycles.

The hormone cortisol has gotten a bad reputation as of late, but the fact is that we need this hormone in the right amounts to be healthy.

The poison is in the dose with regards to cortisol, and many people force their body to make more of this hormone than is good for them.

How It’s Supposed To Work, But Doesn’t

When you wake up in the morning you have high amounts of cortisol which triggers you to feel awake and alert. You may get  spikes throughout the day but  your cortisol  levels overall decrease the longer the day goes.

Cortisol is at its lowest levels at night so other sleep promoting hormones can be secreted. These low levels of cortisol help you sleepy and help you stay asleep during the night.

Because cortisol is a stress hormone you can interrupt this pattern your body has by inserting stressors throughout the day in the form of; exercise, diet and regular life stresses, and lack of sleep.

What’s extra harmful to your health is that stress and lack of sleep feed into each other amplifying the negative effects of the other.

As an example you ride the blood sugar roller coaster all day using sugar, processed carbohydrates and coffee to give you energy.

Your job has lots of stresses that you take home with you in the form of late night emails and extra work. You go to the gym and crush yourself for a few hours as a stress relief.

When you get home and eat and try to go to sleep you sit there wide awake, eventually falling asleep and but getting poor quality sleep.

The next day you are way more tired because of the poor sleep so you rely on caffeine and sugar to get you through the day.

Even though work is less stressful today you are creating an internal stress with the lack of sleep, caffeine and sugar. Then this cycle repeats itself!

Breaking The Pattern:

Find some time throughout the day to practice a form of stress management. This could be meditating or going for a walk while listening to music or read. Find something that helps you deal with life stresses.

Try not to consume caffeine past noon, even though some people  are non responders to caffeine and can fall asleep the sleep quality they get is still negatively impacted.

Balance your meals and not rely too much on carbohydrates for energy, make sure that your meals include sources of healthy fats and proteins to give you a longer lasting energy and prevent crashes.

Don't exercise within three hours of bedtimeWhen you hit the gym too close to bed the stress hormone cortisol that is released when you are deadlifting is also keeping you wide awake at one thirty in the morning. Allow yourself enough time to wind down between exercise and bed.

Have the majority of your carbohydrates at night time. This helps to dampen higher cortisol levels. 

 Carbs at night also  allows your body to turn more of the tryptophan from your protein into the sleep promoting hormone melatonin.

 If you have trouble with sleep eat protein and a good sized serving of starchy carbohydrates at dinner instead of taking a melatonin supplement. 

Part 2 Next Week!...

Fill out the form below if you’re looking for a coach who can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health, fat loss or muscle building goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained, while keeping you accountable along the way.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

12 Simple Nutrition Changes That Make A Big Difference

When it comes to making changes some people are ready to go all in right away, and others need much smaller habits that are built over time.

Neither one of these approaches is better than the other. I have noticed that a lot of people do much better developing small habits that add up over time to big  lifestyle changes.  

I speak with clients frequently who have made large changes going all in on diets and exercise routines. As a result they lost twenty pounds and got in good shape for little bit, but it didn’t last.

Eventually they returned to their old default habits which isn’t surprising. Habits built over time allow people to lay the groundwork for long term change.

I like to use the example of laying the foundation for a house to illustrate my point. You can build the foundation for a house out of poor quality materials and go too fast to meet a deadline.

That house will look good and stay up for a bit, over time though it will fall apart because it lacks the foundation to support the house.

This is the equivalent of the diet mentality. The foundation of this house is just like trying to take on too many big habits at once  - poor quality materials are used,  and the foundation is built too fast, as a result the house can be held up for a short while but eventually falls apart.   

A different example is the foundation for a house made out of good quality materials carefully crafted over time.

As a result of the quality materials and the time spent to build a solid foundation the house is built to last. The foundation of this house took longer to build, and it will last longer as a result.This type of foundation is the equivalent of building habits over time. With a foundation like this you can make add ons to the house without worrying about the foundation falling apart.

In this blog I am going to be discussing the small habits that people can implement on a daily basis that can will over time lead to a new healthier lifestyle.

In my nutrition practice I have clients work on a new habit every two weeks, but you should go at whatever pace you need to keep things move forward in a sustainable fashion.

The beautiful thing about using habits is that they allows you to rely on a routine instead of willpower. The problem with willpower is that we have a limited amount each day, it is a limited resource.

We are bombarded with decisions from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep each night. The more decisions you can put on autopilot per day using habits and routines the more you can use that willpower to focus on other aspects of life and health.

Changes pertaining to lifestyle and health can be very challenging in the beginning, but over time the more you develop these habits the easier they will become. By mastering one small habit at a time you will achieve long term success and end up with a healthier long term lifestyle.

Drink More Water Daily

Our bodies are made up of 60% water, yet as  society water is the most common macronutrient deficiency. Water is the most important macronutrient in the body, period.

No matter what your health goal is drinking more high quality water on a daily basis will help you reach that goal quicker. Drinking more water is one of the smallest habits  that will elicit the big changes.

One of the biggest problems is that most folks assume all liquids contribute to their daily water consumption. The majority of liquids people drink on a daily basis are diuretics, and pull water from the body instead of adding to it.

The most common diuretics are: coffee, caffeinated/some herbal teas , soda, fruit juice, dried fruit and alcoholic beverages.  

Habit: If you currently drink 32 ounces of water a day start by drinking 48 ounces of water 4  times a week for the next two to three weeks. Set a timer or keep a water bottle on your desk to to help remind you about the habit. Over time work your way up to half your bodyweight in ounces as a goal.   

Keep Your Own Snacks On Hand  

Preparation is key when it comes to changing food habits. Food temptations are everywhere and making sure you have good quality snacks on hand reduces temptations.

If you have already paid for a food and brought it to work, you have invested time and money into this habit change.  

Everyday life will throw schedule changes and delays, if you find yourself unprepared and hungry, no worries.

It's easy these days to track down a place that has nuts and a piece of fruit or hard boiled eggs and veggie sticks. The goal is over time to not reduce the need for snacking in-between meals.

Habit: Keep a stash of healthy snacks on hand to make sure you are not left with poor options or tempted by the typical afternoon hunger. When you feel the afternoon low, instead of grabbing coffee and a pastry have small healthy snack. The goal is over time to reduce the need for snacking.

Include Vegetables At Every Meal

There are a lot of subjects up for debate in nutrition, but everyone can agree that eating more vegetables is a great to improve health.

Vegetables are some of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet and provide tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients that contribute to health. Another added benefit is that vegetables are very low in calories and leave people feeling fuller for longer.

By increasing the vegetables in your diet you are leaving less room in your stomach for processed carbohydrates.

Habit: If you are currently eating one serving of vegetables a day, make a habit out of having one serving of vegetables at every meal 3-4 times this week. Aim for a fist sized portion of veggies on your plate 3 times a day. As this becomes a habit over time, make a greater percentage of your plate vegetables.

Batch Cook

When adopting a healthier lifestyle you are going to end up doing more cooking, there is  no way around it. It is not sustainable to try to cook every meal from scratch three times a day, but there are ways to save time while cooking healthier meals.

The biggest time saver is to cook large batches of food instead of single meals, and eating leftovers.

You may end up chopping  extra veggies or waiting for the larger batch to cook. The trade off for this is that you have healthy leftovers that can be eaten for breakfast,lunch or dinner without having to make a decision about what to eat.

Habit: Pick one night a week and set aside extra time to make one of your favorite meals in a larger portion than normal. Over time as this becomes a part of your routine, increase the batch cooking to 2-3 dishes or 2-3  times per week. Another option is to pick a day like sunday and make that your meal prep day where cook a few different meals to fuel you throughout the week.

Embrace The Salad

Salads are a quick and easy on the go lunch that includes everything we are looking for in a meal. Salads have lots of vegetables and when you add a protein source and some healthy fats in the way of dressings you are good to go.

An added benefit of embracing the salad is even if you are out to lunch/dinner salads are served served everywhere. Making requests to add or subtract something from a salad or opt for olive oil and vinegar as a dressing are simple changes that allow you to keep on track.

Habit: You can batch make a huge salad packed with veggies and store in the fridge at home. Each day toss a few handfuls of pre made salad in your lunch container and add some protein. To avoid the soggy salad situation bring salad dressing to work leave there for daily use.

Use The Crock Pot

There are very few things on this earth as simple as using a crock pot, it literally does all the cooking for you. From cooking roasts to making soups and even batch cooking quiches, the crock put is a gift from the powers that be.

My typical crock pot recipe includes a large chunk of meat with spices rubbed all over, chopped root vegetables, and a 1 cup of water or broth. I leave these ingredients in a crock pot and turn it on medium. When I come home I have a few days worth of meals that have been cooked for me.

Habit: If you are low on cash and need a  crock pot visit the nearest Goodwill. Goodwill always has a few crock pots in great shape at a great price. Pick one morning or night and make sure you have fifteen to twenty minutes extra to get everything ready. Put all the ingredients in the crock pot and turn it on and let the magic happen. The crock pot is an awesome tool for meal prepping and batch cooking. There are millions of healthy crock pot recipes on google.

Relax and Chew Your Food

We have our parasympathetic and sympathetic states that are better known as the rest and digest and fight or flight. To adequately digest foods we need to allow our bodies the relax and not be stressed.

The problem is that people do not take the time to relax before or while eating. Meals are eaten while staring a computer, TV or cell phone screen leading to digestive problems.

To add fuel to the fire most people are inhaling their food, and barely chewing before swallowing.  Chewing is an important part of the digestive process. Saliva contains an enzyme named amylase which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth.

The more we chew our foods and break them down, the less our stomach has to pick up the slack left by our lack of chewing.

By not taking the time to chew our foods we can also consume much larger quantities of food than we need. We have finished our entire meal before our body has the time to realize we have over eaten.

When eating the gut sends a signal that it is full and well nourished in effect turning hunger off in the brain. When you eat very fast and do not chew you can eat far more food than your body requires. You will end up exceeding what your body needs, and excess will be stored as body fat.

Habit: When you sit down at a meal take 5 deep breaths before your first bite and look at your food for a few seconds. Over time increase the amount of breaths you take before the first bite. When you are starting a chewing habit don’t worry about the number of times you chew, but instead put your fork or spoon down between bites to start with. By putting your utensil down you will naturally slow down and chew more. Focus on one meal a day that you are not going to be rushed at and put the fork down between bites. As the habit progresses aim to chew every bite  20-30 times and make it a liquid before you swallow.  

 Eat More Protein To Stay Satiated For Longer

Eating more protein boosts your metabolic rate increasing the amount of calories you burn while resting. Protein also helps to curb appetite making people eat fewer calories overall.

By consuming more protein rich foods you will feel fuller for longer. Not to mention whether you are trying to build muscle or burn fat, consuming more protein can help with either of these goals.

Eating more protein is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to give your metabolism a push in the right direction. By keeping appetite regulated and not focusing on hunger other changes will be much easier to make when food is not on your mind all the time.

Habit: When eating more protein avoid the bars and protein powders, they are packed full of nasty ingredients. Focus on high quality whole food sources from animals and plants. You can begin this habit by batch cooking three different different protein sources for the week.Then focus on eating a palm sized portion of protein at each meal. If you find yourself hungry in between meals include more protein at meal times to help.

 Replace Bad Fats and Oils With Quality Ones

Something as simple as switching out the processed unhealthy fats for traditional ones  can have long reaching health impacts.

Most people today consume large amounts of trans fats and hydrogenated oils from processed foods. Vegetable oils are another problem with our current diet.

These rancid vegetable oils create inflammation oxidative damage in the body. The vegetable oils I’m referring to include: soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, canola or cottonseed oils.

Replace these highly processed fats with the nutritious traditional fats that have nutritive value such as grass fed butter or ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil.

Raw nuts or nuts that have been soaked are another good source of fats. The caveat  with nuts is that they are very easy to over do. Use nuts like condiments in the diet, sparingly!

Habit: Read labels on foods at the grocery store to avoid  trans, hydrogenated and vegetable oils.Remove these fats and oils from the house, and throw them in the trash. Next time you go to the store purchase grass fed butter/ghee , coconut oil and avocado oil to cook with at medium to high temps. Use olive oil for low temp cooking or cold uses.

 Eat a Protein, Fat and Veggie  Breakfast

By eating a breakfast that is mostly protein and fats you are able to feel more satiated on less food, and stay full for much longer.

When you choose a fat and protein breakfast instead of something like a breakfast cereal you can avoid the need for constant snacking and that  mid morning coffee crash.

The protein and fat breakfast combination allows you to keep more stable blood sugar for longer. You will be able to avoid the blood sugar highs and lows that most people experience when eating processed carbohydrates and sugar for breakfast.

An added benefit to the stable blood sugar is that your body burns body fat and dietary fat for fuel in the absence of carbohydrates. By keeping insulin low you allow the body to take advantage of the fat burning hormones.

Habit: If you are currently eating breakfast cereal with skim milk and toast don’t try to overhaul everything at once. Start adding more of the protein and fats every few weeks. If you are currently eating a bowl of cereal with low fat milk and two pieces of toast with jam start with one or two small  changes at a time. Two immediate changes would be using whole milk in your cereal instead of low fat milk, and adding one hard boiled egg while subtracting one piece of toast. After those changes have become a habit reduce the cereal by ⅓ and add another hard boiled egg to breakfast. On your other piece of toast substitute grass fed butter or peanut/almond butter instead of the jam. Continue making small tweaks to breakfast until you eat a breakfast that looks like a few eggs and ½ avocado or leftover meats and some veggies drizzled with olive oil.

 Read Nutrition Labels

When it comes to food advertising and packaging every food company would like you to believe that their product is a healthy option.

When you flip over most packages and read the ingredient list it tells a very different story. Most of these foods contain multiple sources of hidden sugars, vegetable oils, chemicals, preservatives,dyes  and are very dense in processed carbohydrates.

By simply flipping a package over and taking a few seconds to read the ingredient list and knowing what you are putting in your body you have the necessary information to  make better decisions about what you are going to eat to improve your health.

Habit: If you are currently going to the grocery store and not looking at labels I encourage you to read the full label of every 3rd item going in your basket. Ask yourself the honest question: Is this food going to make me healthier or damage my health ? Use this label reading habit to seek out healthier alternatives to foods you know will damage your health. Over time read more and more labels, and make the transition to buying whole natural foods that don’t have labels.

 Know The Difference Between Thirst, Boredom and Hunger

With the amount of people walking around chronically dehydrated everyday our  bodies are screaming out for water. The problem is that we as a society ignore this thirst signal to such a degree that we mistake it for being slightly hungry.

Another common theme amongst people is eating out of boredom. We are very lucky to live in a society of abundance, especially with regards to food. Many people eat because they are bored, not because of hunger.

Many common snack foods are so hyper palatable that they trigger the pleasure centers in the brain and release feel good hormones. This food gets associated with the feeling good which in turn keeps us going back for more. This mindless overeating leads to weight gain and many health problems.

Habit: The next time you feel hungry in between a meal drink a glass of water and wait 10 -15  minutes. After the 10- 15  minutes check in if you still feel the hunger grab a small snack. If you are not feeling hungry anymore chances are good you are thirsty not hungry and should have another glass of water. Next time you find yourself looking in the fridge or cupboard even though you are not hungry stop and think am I hungry or bored ? Instead of giving in to mindless eating go for a walk outside.

If you’re tired of working hard, and not getting the results you want, I can help you adopt the simple habits necessary to reach your health or fat loss goals.

These habits are based on getting you to your goal in a sustainable fashion that can be maintained. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Get on a Strategy Call with me to Discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with more knowledge on how to achieve your goals.

 

Evolve Nutritional Therapy Strategy Session


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone