Why exercise may not be near as important for weight loss…

Being the researcher you all know I am, and continuing along the lines of recent discoveries I’ve made, I recently came across this interesting video on YouTube:

Weight loss and exercise It’s less than 5 minutes long and worth every second!

In this video they talk about our resting, aka basal, metabolic rate which is the calories burned to keep us alive each day. This means just breathing, doing nothing, in a neutral temperate environment (neither too hot, nor too cold) and not in the process of digesting food. Important note, this by no means indicates that exercise is not necessary in our lives. Regular exercise does help keep us healthy and to live longer. This blog is about exercise and weight loss.

Our resting metabolic rate accounts for the majority of our calories burned, over which we have very little control. A good portion of our calories burned each day also goes to food breakdown. The rest of the calories burned, about 10-30%, goes to energy for physical activity. So that means that although 100% of our calories in each day are under our control, only about 30% of calories out are under our control. The old adage that weight loss is as simple as calories in versus calories out, no longer applies. Anyone who tells you that weight loss is that simple is not up on current research. If you’ve been reading my blogs about body shape types (part 1part 2) or my page on Breaking Free From Emotional Eating program, then you know that weight loss is most definitely not just about calories!

There’s also evidence of two other possible reasons why exercise doesn’t work for weight loss. 1) People tend to get hungry after working out and thus many eat more than they would if they had not exercised, and 2) people sometimes slow down, meaning are less active or move slower in other activities after exercise. It’s called “compensatory behaviour” and it’s one of the ways we unknowingly undermine our workouts.

The video states that research has also discovered something called “metabolic compensation”, as people start to slim down their resting metabolism can slow down so the amount of energy you burn at rest is lower (remember this is the part where most of the calories are burned and you have little control over).

It takes so much energy via physical activity to burn off some of the food choices we make that most people get discouraged, don’t have the time, might eat more because the exercise made them hungry, that it’s best to moderate your food intake rather than try to adjust the impact of overeating by vigorous exercise. Some quick examples of how long it takes to burn off some food choices: 60 min of running to burn off a burger & fries, 60 mins of vigorous dancing to burn off a few glasses of wine you had at dinner, 60 mins of intense bicycling to burn off 2 donuts! If you eat more than one of those types of food (or overeat in general) all in one day, you could spend 3-4 of your waking hours exercising! This is why I pay no attention to the calories (supposedly) burned that I see on exercise machines at the gym, I find it way too discouraging. Additionally, all that exercise is shown to be injury causing, disease causing (possibly – the science is still young), and stress causing.

If you’ve ever heard that weight management (loss, gain, maintenance) is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, now you know why. A clean whole foods, unprocessed, preservative free (or at least minimal preservatives) diet appropriate for each individual is the way to weight control! What’s more, the belief that “I can eat what I want and/or how much I want and not gain weight if I exercise enough” is also a falsehood. You may not gain weight (that’s a big maybe) if you do tons of exercise, but if you’re eating a processed, sugar filled (have you read food labels lately?), high carbohydrate, chemical heavy diet, then you’re not healthy, and won’t remain that way over the long term either. Overeating of a healthy diet is not good either. Too much of healthy whole foods is still too much.

It’s not impossible to lose weight with exercise but it’s a lot harder. If you go to the gym and use a significant amount of your valuable time and put in considerable effort to burn off calories, you can erase all of that in 5 mins by eating a slice of pizza! Seems a whole lot easier and much more effective to eat a moderate intake of clean whole foods, with an occasional/rare indulgence; and use exercise for the immediate and long term health benefits.

Advertisements

Challenges!

leaves and pumpkinAh fall, cooler weather, gorgeous colours, wood smoke, pumpkins, and crisp fresh air! I just had to get that out there, as I love the fall, but it’s not the topic of my blog today. 🙂

Today I want to talk about challenges, specifically around weight control. If you find yourself challenged with controlling your weight you may want to read my blog on emotional eating (Emotional Eating & a whole foods diet).

I’ve faced my own challenges with weight control. In fact it’s part of what drew me to Holistic Nutrition. I was an emotional eater and through learning to recognize triggers, reduce stress with methods other than eating, re-frame past history in my subconscious mind and with trial and error discover what works best for me I rarely eat emotionally. I still have challenges now and then, we all do. It’s how we keep learning and it’s also because we don’t stay the same all our lives, neither physically, emotionally/mentally or spiritually.

In the past 5 months I’ve been so focused on my professional development, and the emotional, stressful and mental impact of that, that I’ve been neglectful of my physical well-being. I know the connection between the physical and mental/emotional but sometimes I forget to pay attention to all of them equally, so my eating has been off and so has my physical activity level.

My eating has been off in a few ways. 1) Not always eating breakfast within an hour of getting up. This is an important one as it helps get my metabolism revved for the day. 2) I’ve been eating out more often. No matter how wisely I may choose when I eat out, you never really now how much you’re eating, or the real quality of the food. 3) Not planning meals and making sure I have what I need in my fridge and cupboard. This one is also important. If I’ve been out and about busy all day and I come home and don’t have something planned then I may not eat at all or may go out to eat and not make the best choices.

My physical activity level has also suffered. I’ve been doing tons of research and that means way too much sitting. That also creates neck issues for which I’m seeing my Chiropractor. I love walking and hiking. I have a great park to walk in only a very short block from my apartment but getting motivated to get out there can be a struggle when I’m tired from traveling on transit or mentally from seeing clients and doing research. The places I like to hike all require at least 45-60 mins on transit which is easy to use as an excuse when my brain is tired. I know of course that the physical activity relieves stress, balances the mental/emotional output, supports and speeds up my metabolism and just feels so darn good! I have also learned through those trial and errors mentioned above that for me I must exercise 5-6 days per week to feel at my best on all levels – physical, mental/emotional and spiritual.

For me, one who can lose control of my weight very easily, this has resulted in a small weight gain that I’m not happy with. I’m not feeling my best, not feeling as energetic as normal and feeling a bit stiff and sluggish. So today I said, “That’s enough of this, time to get re-balanced!”

The first thing I did was make a grocery list and a list of the healthy foods I most enjoy eating and put them in the breakfast, lunch or dinner category. I didn’t list meals per se, more so foods I like to eat in those meal time categories. Then I grabbed my trusty grocery baggage cart and walked to the grocery store at the mall.  grocery bag  When I got home from the mall, I cleaned out my fridge and cupboard of any expired food or of anything that I wasn’t eating and was not going to eat either. Man that feels good to be organized and have a fridge and cupboard full of yummy healthy foods. I am so very blessed! BTW, my grocery shopping buggy looks similar to this one. I can fit a lot in it! ->>

 

 

White Pine Creek, Stevens Pass, Washington

Next on my plan is my physical activity. My boyfriend and I have already been talking about more exercise. He lives not too far from me and there are some lovely parks in his area to walk in. (No, that’s not him and I in the photo, but it could be) 🙂 I love walking in nature. The connection and peace and grounding I get there is priceless! I can walk the city streets for exercise when no other place is available but my heart belongs in nature. 🙂

I know for me 45-60 mins of fast walking, or 60 mins or so of moderate to difficult hiking, 5-6 days per week is ideal. My first step is a walk in the park tomorrow morning. I’m also going to reach out to my best friend in Vancouver and get together more for walks and hikes, she loves too do both also and I know she’s been wanting to re-balance and up her physical activity.

So, just to make a simple list of what I am doing to meet this challenge and what you can do too:

  1. Plan your meals and always make a grocery list before going to the store. Don’t shop on an empty stomach, if you’re tired or in a rush.
  2. Be flexible with your meals as there’s no point in making something you won’t eat, at the same time deciding in the morning what you want for dinner that day is important so that you do plan for when you’re rushed or tired getting home.
  3. Follow the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time you eat healthy and well, 20% of the time you are more flexible and indulge a little.
  4. Schedule exercise into your day and with trial and error figure out what time of day works best for you. For example for me exercising (first thing) in the morning works best. I feel better, I’m more likely to do it and it revs me up for the rest of the day. You may find that getting in a workout on your lunch suits you best, or maybe right after work but before dinner. Find out what works and just do it! (To borrow a famous phrase)
  5. Work with a buddy/friend to be accountable and/or to exercise with, if this is something that works for you! Working out/exercising with a friend or partner is a good idea for a lot of people, just make sure the two of you are on the same page and the same level of fitness. You don’t want resentment building if one can’t keep up with the other. Sometimes just sharing with a friend or two is all you need to keep you on track and motivated, sometimes you need more structure.

Challenges are lessons waiting to be learned, or to keep us growing, or maybe just to keep us on our toes so to speak. 🙂

Meet them head on, tackle them sideways, announce your plan to the world or keep it to yourself. However you handle challenges is all up to you. Who knows you better than you?

Red Faced!

No, no, not with embarrassment! When I was a child and then into my teens I was quite active in sports. I used to run track (the middle distance events like 800-1500 m, or the long distance like 3,000 m or more), and I also ran in cross country events. I used to play Volleyball at school and on an Ontario competitive team. I noticed and other people noticed that I got quite red faced when participating in those sports, or even just exercising for fun. People used to ask if I was ok, I always was!

Being the researcher type that I’ve always been, I went looking for information on why that happened and whether is was a good or bad thing when it came to my health. I remember reading an article many years ago that said the red face meant your blood vessels were wide open and your body had a greater than normal cooling system. Now that’s just my own words from what I remember from that article many years ago, but recently when my best friend (here in Vancouver) and I went for a 10 km walk on a very hot Sunday afternoon the topic came up again. I told her what I had read in the past about it, then when I got home I went looking for that info again, and I’m going to share what I found with all of you here in my blog. 🙂

Getting a red face during exercise is as normal as sweating for some people. In most cases, a red face following exercise is perfectly normal and no cause for concern. It is more prevalent in people with fair skin and is just part of your genetic make-up. I am definitely fair skinned!

Your heart rate increases as your heart works harder to increase the blood flow to the muscles that you are working. So that your cardiovascular system can work harder, small blood vessels and capillaries widen to deliver the oxygen to the muscles and remove waste products. This widening is called vasodilation and makes your face redden as more blood is being carried by the capillaries beneath your skin.

Heat Dissipation Through Vasodilation

As you exercise and work your muscles, your body temperature increases. The dilated blood vessels carry an increased blood flow to your skin where it transfers heat to your surroundings to prevent you from overheating. You also sweat to cool down. Both of these factors can lead to a red face, and you can expect your face to get redder when exercising in hot weather than in cool weather. Our faces were certainly very red on that day as it was about 28*C (about 82*F), and we were in full sun for 99.5% of that walk. We did have water with us, and there were drinking fountains in several spots along the way too. We made sure to take advantage of them all.

Just as a warning though, please be very aware if a flushed face is also combined with dizziness, nausea or fatigue, it could be due to other reasons and you should stop exercising immediately. If it is accompanied by a dry mouth, thirst and dizziness, it can be a sign of dehydration. This can lead to hyperthermia or heatstroke which is a serious medical problem. Symptoms of hyperthermia can include a red face; dizziness; nausea; fast, shallow breathing; vomiting; and a fast heart rate. If your red face is accompanied by these symptoms or by light-headedness, heart palpitations or difficulty breathing, then you should see a medical professional immediately. 

Toning Down the Red

While you are unlikely to stop your face from getting red when you exercise, there are preventative measures you can take to minimize the redness. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and exercise in a cool environment. If you exercise outdoors, avoid the middle of the day and early afternoon during the summer months, as keeping your body temperature low can minimize the redness. Wear loose-fitting clothing and reduce the intensity of the workout to reduce redness. I feel no desire to minimize the redness just for the sake of not looking so red, but I do desire to take care of myself, my body when I’m exercising. I always have water with me, I always wear sunglasses and now I’m starting to wear a loose thin cotton baseball cap to shield my eyes even more (I’m finding my eyes are getting more sensitive to the sun then before, hmm – a topic for another blog?). Sunscreen is also important and I know I’m not as vigilant about that as I should be, so there’s another topic for a blog. 🙂

Take care of yourself and enjoy the sun. I know I’m going to get out there again today!

Where does the fat go??

It’s been a while again since I’ve posted a blog. I’ve been happily focused on hypnosis and working with clients in that regard. I also have been working with clients with nutrition AND with the two combined. With the help of my mentor/teacher (Brian Wallace – I’ve mentioned him often and posted his bio here), I’ve created a Weight Control/Healthy Metabolism Hypnosis protocol. This program addresses the metabolic process and the underlying emotional connections we have to food which lead us to make poor choices. With these methods we can create effective permanent change at the subconscious level that creates a physiological response in the body. After all, What the mind believes the body accepts! 

The reason why I’ve titled this “Where does the fat go?” is because of the article I’m posting below in it’s entirety from Dr Mercola (www.mercola.com). I very much respect him and the information/knowledge/views he puts out on his site. And some of the information in this article I use in my Weight Control/Healthy Metabolism Program (in a scaled down format). This whole article has great information!

By Dr. Mercola

The vast majority of doctors, dietitians, and personal trainers believe that when you burn fat during exercise, that fat is being used up as fuel for energy or heat. Some believe it’s excreted through urine or feces, while others think the fat is turned into muscle.

All of these ideas are to some degree incorrect, according to Ruben Meerman, a physicist, and Andrew Brown, a biochemist specializing in lipids, who say there’s “surprising ignorance and confusion about the metabolic process of weight loss.”

When You Lose Weight, Where Does the Fat Go?

Their calculations, showing where the fat really goes when you lose weight, was recently published in the journal BMJ.1,2 As explained by Medical News Today:3

“Excess dietary carbohydrates and protein are converted to a type of fat called triglyceride. When people attempt to lose weight, they are attempting to metabolize these triglycerides while keeping their fat-free mass intact…

Triglycerides are comprised of three types of atoms: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Triglyceride molecules can be broken down only by unlocking these atoms, through a process known as oxidation.

The researchers chose to follow the path of these atoms when leaving the body. They found that when 10 kg of fat were oxidized, 8.4 kg were converted and excreted as carbon dioxide (CO2) via the lungs, and 1.6 kg became water (H20).

In order for 10 kg of human fat to be oxidized, the researchers calculated that 29 kg of oxygen must be inhaled. Oxidation then produces a total of 28 kg of CO2 and 11 kg of H20.”

The researchers note that this is not new to science—rather the process has simply been misunderstood. The equation does involve release of energy; it’s just that the process isn’t as direct as one might think. According to the law of conservation of mass, it’s actually quite difficult to convert matter into energy.

As noted by The Atlantic:4 “If you were able to convert your fat stores [directly] into energy, you would explode in a glorious, catastrophic spectacle…” According to their calculations, you basically exhale 84 percent of your lost fat. The remaining 16 percent is metabolized into water, which is excreted through sweat and urine. (words bolded by me, as this is the part I use in my program with a bit more explanation connecting it to metabolism)

The authors estimate that by substituting one hour of sedentary lounging with one hour of moderate exercise—to increase your respiratory rate—your metabolic rate is increased sevenfold. However, they note that you can easily hamper any potential weight loss by eating too much food—and I would stress, by eating the wrong kinds of foods.

Your Food Choices Make a Huge Difference

It’s important to recognize that most people who struggle with excess weight have some degree of insulin and leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that helps you regulate your appetite. When your leptin levels rise, it signals your body that you’re full, so you’ll stop eating.

As you become resistant to the effects of leptin, you end up overeating, as your body gradually loses its ability to “hear” the signals leptin sends out. Dr. Richard Johnson’s research clearly shows that refined sugar (in particular processed fructose) is exceptionally effective at causing leptin resistance. Fructose also effectively blocks the burning of fat.

Basically, if you are insulin or leptin resistant, as long as you keep eating fructose and grains, you’re programming your body to create and store fat. This is one of the key reasons why, if you are overweight, you’d be wise to restrict your fructose consumption to about 15 to 25 grams of fructose per day from all sources.

This means switching out most processed foods for whole, unprocessed foods, and avoiding any and all sweetened beverages. Clean pure water is really the only type of fluid your body needs. For further dietary guidance, please see my comprehensive nutrition plan.

If you’re insulin/leptin resistant and/or are overweight, you can also greatly boost your body’s fat-burning potential by incorporating intermittent fasting, as it helps reset your body to use fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel. It is by far the most effective way I know of to shed unwanted fat and eliminate your sugar cravings.

Exercising in a fasted state (such as first thing in the morning) will bring it up yet another notch. A simple way to get started with intermittent fasting is to simply omit breakfast, making lunch the first meal of your day.

Maintain this daily eating schedule until your insulin/leptin resistance improves (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol ratios, or diabetes normalizes). After that, just do it as often as you need to maintain your healthy state.

White versus Brown Fat

While we’re on the topic of fat, it’s worth noting that there are different kinds of fat cells in your body, and from a metabolic standpoint, they respond differently. They even appear to have different biological functions. None of this was discussed in the featured research, but it likely also plays a role in the big scheme of things. For a number of years, scientists have been studying so-called “brown fat”—a type of fat that generates heat that burns energy instead of storing it. So-called “white fat” is the kind that is primarily stored, and because it’s also difficult to burn off, it tends to cause obesity. Research has shown that certain groups of people tend to have more brown fat than others, and there appears to be direct correlations between the activation of brown fat and metabolic measures of good health. For example:

Slender people have more brown fat than obese people do
Younger people have more brown fat than elderly people
People with normal blood sugar levels have more brown fat than those with high blood sugar
How to Transform White Fat into Healthier Brown Fat

Newborns have a supply of brown fat to keep warm, but most of these stores are lost by the time adulthood is reached. However, although you have far less of it as an adult, scientists have found that you can activate the brown fat still present in your body by exposing yourself to cold temperatures. This has the effect of causing your body to burn more calories to keep warm, and there’s evidence suggesting ice therapy can be helpful for boosting weight loss. Animal research has also shown that animals convert white fat into brown fat simply by exercising.

The study,5 published in the journal Disease Models and Mechanism, found that during exercise the animals’ muscles released an enzyme called irisin, which triggered the conversion of white fat cells to brown. Preliminary studies presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association revealed that this holds true in humans as well. Among men, the benefits were found after 12 weeks of training on an exercise bike. One of the researchers, a postdoctoral fellow at Joslin Diabetes Center, said:6

“Our results showed that exercise doesn’t just have beneficial effects on muscle, it also affects fat… It’s clear that when fat gets trained, it becomes browner and more metabolically active. We think there are factors being released into the bloodstream from the healthier fat that are working on other tissues.”

As you can see, the human metabolism is extremely complex. On the one hand, exercise helps convert unhealthy white fat into healthier, heat-producing and more metabolically active brown fat. Exercise also increases the oxidation of fat, which then leaves your body via your lungs, in the form of carbon dioxide, and your bodily fluids, in the form of water. What’s not so complex however, is how to optimize your metabolism—even if you don’t understand the exact mechanisms involved. Following simple basics described below will catalyze your body’s ability to achieve your ideal weight and leanness.

Your Weight Reflects Your Lifestyle Choices

Simply eating fewer calories and exercising more usually doesn’t work very well, and the reason for that is because not all calories are the same. As mentioned, processed fructose in particular causes leptin resistance far more effectively than other sugars, with refined sugar coming in close second. Glucose is not nearly as harmful in comparison. Fructose also blocks the burning of fat. So, instead of focusing on calories, you need to address the quality of the foods you eat, and avoid chemical exposures. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as BPA and phthalates, for example, can cause or exacerbate weight gain. Following is a short list of proactive, easy-to-remember guidelines that can go a long way toward improving your health, nutrition, and body weight.

Exercise regularly, and stay active all day long: Engage in high-intensity Peak Fitness exercise to burn fat and increase muscle mass (a natural fat burner). Also, strive to sit less (much less—ideally no more than three hours a day) and walk 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day in addition to your regular exercise program.
Consider intermittent fasting: If you’re insulin/leptin resistant and/or are overweight, boost your body’s fat-burning potential by incorporating intermittent fasting. This is one of the most powerful approaches to reverse insulin resistance. It is only necessary to do until your insulin resistance resolves.
Buy real food, preferably whole organic and locally grown, and cook from scratch. Ditching processed foods will automatically reduce your sugar consumption, which is the root cause of insulin resistance and weight gain. If you buy organic produce, you’ll also cut your exposure to pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients, and in ditching processed foods, you’ll automatically avoid artificial sweeteners and harmful processed fats like trans fats and vegetable oils (such as peanut, corn, and soy oil), the latter of which actually degrades into oxidation products when heated that may be more harmful than trans fat.
That said, most people do need upwards of 50-85 percent healthy fats in their diet for optimal health. Sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include avocados, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, raw organic dairy, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, raw nuts and seeds, organic pastured egg yolks, and grass-fed meats. For more detailed dietary advice, please see my free Optimized Nutrition Plan.

Opt for organic grass-fed meats to avoid genetically engineered ingredients, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and other growth promoting drugs.
Opt for glass packaging and storage containers to avoid endocrine disrupting chemicals.

*link to the original article- http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/01/09/fat-burning.aspx *

HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND SUCCESS!!

It’s Dec. 22nd and for those of you who acknowledge and/or celebrate Christmas in some way, that means it’s only 3 days until the big day! 3 days until the birth of Jesus (if that’s your belief), 3 days until Santa Claus comes (if that’s your belief), 3 days until a day full of love and giving and family (chosen or blood), 3 days until you eat so much awesome food you think you might bust! 

Or for some people it is a day of being alone, either chosen or not. For others it is just a regular day. Still for others it may be a day in the beginning, middle or end of other celebrations like Hanukkah. There is also other celebrations that I am not as familiar with such as Kwanzaa.

My whole point being, whatever you do or do not recognize or celebrate at this time of year, I hope the season brings you love, happiness, peace and continued success.

Speaking of success, I recently ran some ads on Craigslist for Stop Smoking and New Years Resolution Success (most people set New Yrs resolutions that they want to begin Jan. 1st), and I’ve already had several clients go through the Stop Smoking Hypnosis sessions. It’s been a great experience for me, and the comments and reactions from clients have ranged from stunned to “Wow!” as they walk out the door knowing they are now a non-smoker!

The Stop Smoking Hypnosis is a two session protocol and I do those sessions pro-bono. This gives me experience and allows me to give back to the community at the same time. A philosophy that is important to me. I will continue offering those sessions all the time, but if someone you know or you yourself are looking to stop smoking as their/your New Years Resolution please contact me at nourishment3@gmail.com or 778-985-8807.

The New Years Resolution Success is also a 2 session protocol for a Seasonal Special rate of $120 (valued up to $395). This special will run until January 17th – meaning at least one of the appointments must be booked by that date. The appt may happen after that date but you must book it by the 17th.

We all know New Years Resolutions are made with the full intent to be successful. We may want to lose weight, stop smoking, develop healthier habits, succeed in business, etc and yet quite often we find within only a couple of weeks of setting these goals/resolutions we are back to where we started from and feeling like a failure.

Why not give yourself the gift of success? Create that success by changing your mind, by setting those intentions deep into your subconscious mind with the aid of hypnosis!

Willpower which happens in the conscious mind won’t be enough, if it was then we would all be successful all the time at whatever we decided we were going to do. Real change, real success takes place when positive suggestions are accepted into/by the subconscious mind and the change happens like changing the programming on your computer. Once new programming is installed and accepted by a computer, the computer has to operate with that new programming. Your subconscious mind works the same way. 

NewYearsResolutions 1 7657

 

Again my contact info for hypnosis or nutritional consultations is nourishment3@gmail.com or 778-985-8807.

 

Wishing all of you, my lovely followers, a wonderful Holiday Season, success in the New Year (whatever success you are looking for) and health, wellness and happiness always!! 

 

8%

Only 8% of people keep there new years resolutions! Are you one of that 8%? 

I already talked about using the SMART acronym in an earlier blog (https://nourishment3.com/2014/01/01/2014/) to help you reach your goals. So today my blog is more specific. It’s some tips to help you keep that number one (most common) new years resolution: To eat healthy and/or lose weight.

1. Instead of doing a radical diet overhaul that will make you feel overwhelmed, try just changing one meal a day, but everyday. For example, instead of your egg and cheese sandwich or bagel for breakfast that you had every day last year, try fruit, oatmeal or a green smoothie in the morning. Changing just part of your day will influence other decisions you make about eating and this could be the start to making everlasting changes.

2. Don’t just say you are going to “exercise more” or “get fit” – Do something every single day that will lead to that result. Develop a habit, routine and schedule it in your day. Everyone should devote and schedule at least 1 hour a day for wellness- it does not have to be one solid 60 minute block of time, break it up if you have to. Before work, during a lunch break, or right after work are often great times for this. If you do this at the same time everyday, your body and mind will adapt and it will become easier for you to create a new habit. Focus less on the end result and more the habit forming activity that you like doing. << That is so very important!

3.  Don’t set weight loss goals. Focus less on weight and more on getting healthier for life. If you are drinking or eating things you shouldn’t – linked to obesity, cancer, etc, try replacing those foods with something better. For example, try replacing soda with sparkling water or your artificially colored and flavored chips with baked homemade ones. Also, you could replace the artificial sweetener in your coffee with organic stevia extract or coconut palm sugar. You don’t have to deprive yourself if you make better choices. Also follow the 80/20 rule (or 90/10 if you like a bit more structure)- 80% of the time you eat well and make those healthy choices, 20% of the time you’re more flexible on your choices. That doesn’t mean that 20% of the time you let go of all the great choices you’ve been making, it just means you bend a little on those choices.

4. Don’t give up carbs. Going without carbs for life is just crazy and not sustainable – could you imagine not being able to eat a piece of cake ever again? Try going for the best carbs available instead- Quinoa over rice, sprouted wheat instead on white bread.

Instead of a crash or liquid diet, add one organic green drink a day before breakfast or dinner. Chlorophyll rich foods like spinach, kale, and collards blended with fruit or juiced can alleviate cravings because they provide a burst of nutrition that the typical diet doesn’t get. When your body doesn’t get what it needs nutritionally speaking, cravings continue which lead to weight gain.

Instead of going all out vegan or vegetarian which is hard to do cold turkey, vow to only eat meat that you know the source of and that is not factory farmed. Go vegetarian one day a week, and when that becomes a habit, add a second day. You can add more and become a full vegetarian/vegan or stop when it feels right for you and your lifestyle. When you go to a restaurant to eat, ask about the meat, if they don’t have a sustainable option available go for a vegetarian option. Just make better choices as often as possible.

5. When all else fails…. try one of these habits below to start and see if you can make them stick!

Drink warm water with lemon every morning (warm as in room temperature)
Ditch refined sugar
Drink a green drink every single day
Change where you shop

More importantly…don’t give up! Take it one step, one change at a time. If one isn’t working, try something else! Take small steps if something seems too big or overwhelming. Small steps are still steps in the right direction, you are still moving towards your goals. You don’t have to, nor should you worry about, taking the same or same size steps as anyone else. You are uniquely you…do what works for you! 

Exercise: The News You Don’t Want to Hear!

This article from Dr. Jonny Bowden is fantastic for explaining why we should exercise and why we should change our thinking about some of its proposed benefits. Most people know that daily exercise is very important to a healthy lifestyle, as is nutrition. The important facts to remember are there, but thinking it is the be all and end all to weight loss is old thinking. Here’s a link to the article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jonny-bowden/exercise-benefits_b_1777630.html , but I have copied it below for you. I had to do this blog today after working out with my trainer and doing my own high intensity circuit. What a fantastic workout!!

“My mentor, the late great nutritionist Robert Crayhon, used to say this: “The two great dangers with nutrition are thinking it does too much, and thinking it does too little.”

The same can be said of exercise.

This article is about exercise. And about weight loss. And about the relationship between the two. Which, sad to say, is probably a very different relationship than you might think.

Now before we get started, a disclaimer. I exercise regularly. I think you should too, no matter who you are. I think exercise is the greatest anti-aging activity on the planet. And the data are clear: Exercise can help with depression, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, and reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. It can even grow new brain cells.

What it can’t do is cause you to lose weight.

(I told you this was news you didn’t want to hear.)

In a new book called The Cure For Everything: Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness, Timothy Caulfield summarizes the data on fitness and exercise, and takes apart some of the common myths associated it. And the news ain’t good.

Although the benefits of exercise are legion and well-documented, the fact is that most people exercise for vanity reasons, not primarily for health. Weight control and looks top the list of every client I ever worked with back in the days when I was a trainer at Equinox, and they continue to top the goal list of gym members everywhere. (Sure, everyone gives lip service to heart health, but most people secretly just want six-packs.) So here — in Caulfield’s terms — is “a crummy dose of reality”: It’s horribly difficult to seriously change the way you look through exercise alone.

Sure, there are tons of exceptions, and you’ll see them in “before” and “after” pictures in dozens of infomercials and print ads for weight-loss products, though the fine print always says “results not typical.” And that’s precisely the point — those results are very far from typical.

For every person who managed to make the annual weight-loss issue of People magazine, for every healthy guy smilingly holding up an old pair of pants twice the size of Cleveland, for every 100-pound-lighter winner of The Biggest Loser, there are thousands more who lose, regain, lose, regain, give up and essentially look the same year in and year out.

If exercising alone could produce weight loss, we’d be a whole lot skinnier as a nation and those “success” stories would be far more common.

In general, and in the long run, as Caulfield notes, “The data simply does not support the use of exercise as a primary tool for getting thin.” Here’s Caulfield quoting Todd Miller, professor in the Department of Exercise Science at George Washington University: “People don’t understand that it is very difficult to exercise enough to lose weight. If that is why you are doing it, you are going to fail”.

The idea that exercise causes weight loss is firmly embedded in our national consciousness, and is accepted as a basic truth even by people who don’t exercise. One reason is the widely-accepted theory that weight loss is all about calories.

According to the theory, weight loss is all about calories in, calories out. (There are more than a few problems with this hugely out-of-date oversimplification, but let’s just go with it for a minute.) Since exercise burns calories, it stands to reason that all things being equal, exercise should cause weight loss. After all, if you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll lose weight, and since you burn “a ton” of calories during exercise, the pounds should just melt off.

Good luck with that.

For one thing, you don’t burn a ton of calories during exercise, unless you’re Michael Phelps. Fact is, you only burn about 300 calories a half-hour, if that — a calorie “deficit” that is almost immediately wiped out by a couple of Gatorades, let alone one mocha low-fat latte or a “low-fat bran muffin.” (Don’t believe for a minute the calorie readouts on the exercise machines at your gym — those manufacturers have an interest in overstating the calorie number, making you think you’re burning a ton of calories by using their devices.)

Problem number two is the phrase “all things being equal.” They’re not. The calorie math works great if you eat the same amount of food but increase the number of calories you “burn,” creating a calorie deficit. But most people don’t. Mounting evidence suggests that exercise makes us hungryand that we wind up eating more extra calories in response to that hunger than we “burn up” doing the exercise that made us hungry in the first place.

Caulfield calls out those among us — you know who you are, my friends — who are fond of saying things like “I work out so I can eat what I want.” Umm… not so much. As trainers are fond of saying, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Knocking out 300-600 calories on the stairclimber doesn’t begin to “compensate” for a supersized fries and a medium shake, nor even the most modest dish at El Torito or Olive Garden. So sure, working out may allow you to “eat whatever you want” if whatever you want to eat is limited to meat and broccoli. But if you think that hour in aerobics class bought you a free pass at the all-you-can-eat pasta station at the Bellagio buffet, you’re delusional.

But exercise does have a relationship to weight — it’s just not as perfect a relationship as most of us would like. While exercise by itself is fairly useless for losing weight, it appears to be critical to keeping the weight off once you’ve lost it. But to do that, you may have to work harder or longer than you thought.

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed the exercise habits of over 34,000 women and concluded that it took about an hour a day of moderate (3 mph walking) exercising to maintain weight. This research supports the findings of the National Weight Control Registry, which reports that 90 percent of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off exercise on average for an hour a day.

Now that sounds like a lot. But remember that nearly all of this research focuses on moderate-intensity exercise like walking. And walking is fine — for all the health benefits mentioned above — but it’s pretty inefficient for weight loss.

A much better and more efficient way to exercise — and one that research is clearly showing works a lot better — is to do high-intensity circuit training. Put the beauty bells down and lift some iron. Shorten your rest periods. If you’re doing “aerobics,” do some interval training where you sprint for a while then jog to catch your breath.

And by the way, forget about “toning.” It doesn’t exist. You’re either building muscle, maintainingthe muscle you already have, or your muscles are slowly shrinking. The first two are accomplished with weight that’s heavy to lift. The third is accomplished by doing nothing.

Please understand: No one believes in exercise more than I do. But trying to lose weight with exercise alone — particularly the long, slow, arduous and generally not-fun method of running mindlessly on a treadmill — is a doomed strategy if your goal is to lose body fat.

Here’s a much better strategy:

One: Revamp your diet, concentrating on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates — particularly sugar, soft drinks and starches like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, cereals and crackers — drive levels of insulin, your “fat storage” hormone, through the roof, which makes it brutally hard to lose body fat. Eat more protein and fat, get your carbs from vegetables and fruits, and eat less of everything.

Two: Exercise regularly, but exercise smart. Increase the intensity and shorten the time. Circuit and interval training are the modalities that have trainers and exercise physiologists the most excited these days when it comes to both health benefits and fat burning. Pay attention — they’re right!

Three: Recognize that fitness and six-pack abs aren’t the same thing. Exercise for fitness and for health, and to maintain your gains. But don’t expect your morning walk to transform your body, especially if you don’t take serious aim at your diet.

Eric Ravussin, professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. and an expert on weight loss, put it best: “In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss.”

But — as Robert Crayhon would have reminded us — that hardly means it’s useless for anything.”