Cut Your Cravings and Lose Weight During the Holidays

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Yes, you can lose weight during the holiday season, and if you start applying some of these strategies now, you might discover how you don’t crave all the sugary, sweet and fattening foods that snared you in the past.

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#1 Drink Water

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Hunger is often confused with dehydration. Next time you feel like having a snack, have a glass of water. Even mild dehydration can alter our body’s metabolism, so aim to drink eight glasses a day and limit soda, caffeine, and alcohol. Drinking water before meals can help promote weight loss, and studies show that those who drink two glasses of water before meals feel fuller and eat less.

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#2 Eat Carbs! Real Carbs

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Replace refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, bagels, cereal, and pretzels with complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which slows digestion and promotes stable blood sugar levels. Complex carbs are also packed with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the body. Whole grain carbohydrates should always be chosen over refined varieties. Think about eating foods in their most natural forms. For example, breads are made from wheat that’s milled, while brown rice is simply taken straight  from the plant – complete with fiber and phytonutrients the way Mother Nature intended they be eaten!

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#3 Choose Healthy Fats

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A common misconception is that fat should be completely eliminated. In reality, we could not live without fat. The body utilizes dietary fat for energy, healthy hair, skin, nails, vitamin absorption, and normal everyday bodily functions. Good fats promote several health benefits such as protection against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression as well as reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Choose sources such as nuts, seeds, fish, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.

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#4 Emphasize Lean Protein

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Our bodies require protein to continuously renew and replenish our cells, stabilize our blood sugar, and give us energy. Our bodies are literally made out of the amino acids that make up protein in our food. Many foods contain protein, but the richest sources include animal products like meat, dairy, eggs, and fish as well as plant sources like beans, nuts, and seeds. When choosing animal protein sources, be conscious of the way the animal was raised and what it ate. Grass-fed beef and free-range chicken are healthier and more ethically sound choices than feed lot meats. Organic yogurt and cage-free eggs are great for vegetarians, while tofu, tempeh, and peanut butter are good vegan protein sources.

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#5 Eat Breakfast

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By eating a hearty breakfast, you’ll give your metabolism a jumpstart and be in better control of your cravings. When we miss our first fuel of the day, we are often hungry by mid-morning and more likely to engage in mindless nibbling, snacking, overeating, and over compensating for any calories “saved” by skipping breakfast. Studies repeatedly show daily breakfast consumption is associated with maintaining a healthy weight.1 But if you’re not ready for breakfast early in the morning, listen to your body and eat when you feel it’s best for you.

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#6 Eat More Frequently

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It’s important to balance your food intake throughout the day to help maintain normal blood sugar and decrease the chances of binging when hunger strikes. Try to keep track of your meal choices and balance your caloric intake. Feeding your body on a regular basis lets it know food is available and it’s okay to burn energy rather than conserve and store it as fat. And go for nutrient density. This means eating a balance of healthy carbs, fats and proteins that will load your body with vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients which helps reduce cravings for foods with empty calories that supply no added nourishment.

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#7  Exercise Your Body and Mind

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Exercise has enormous benefits for your mind and body, with research boasting decreased body weight, smaller waist circumference, lower resting heart rate and blood pressure, AND it boosts your mood! Strive to  be active at least 30 minutes every  day to help keep your body strong  and lean. Remember: It doesn’t have  to be expensive. Even playing with your children in the park or trying a hand at gardening will keep your body active. It’s also just as important to keep your mind active. Boost brainpower by spending time thinking positively, meditating, or practicing activities that require deep thought like reading or playing Sudoku.
Try these tips for starters:

• Get off the subway or bus  one stop earlier

• Take the stairs instead  of the elevator

• Go on routine jogs or walks with a friend or your dog

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#8 Catch Some ZZZZZ’s

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Research suggests that those who sleep five hours or less weigh five pounds more than those getting at least seven hours of shut eye per night.  Lack of sleep disrupts circadian rhythms and can lead to inefficient body regulation of energy balance, metabolism, and appetite. Abnormal leptin and ghrelin levels – hormones that tell your body “I’m full, stop eating” – can go away with too little sleep. Said simply: Sleep more, eat,  and weigh less! Strive for 7-8 hours  of sleep each night.

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#9 Learn to Cook

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Cooking meals at home allows you to control portion sizes, the quality of ingredients, and cuts your intake of sodium, fat, and calories. Try to avoid frying foods by learning how to roast or bake, and eat more raw foods to boost flavor and cut calories. Also try experimenting with herbs and spices to reduce salt intake. Cooking is also a fun, creative and enjoyable way to learn new things, plus share time and delicious food with others.

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#10 Keep Track of What You Eat

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Be a food detective and investigate what you choose to put into your body. Check labels and avoid ingredients such as sugar, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and long chemical names that are hard to pronounce. The healthiest foods are those found just as nature intended – whole and unprocessed. When was the last time you saw an ingredient list on a stalk of broccoli or a fresh fillet of wild caught alaskan salmon?

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#11  Bonus Tip: Don’t Beat Yourself Up, and go for 90/10

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The 90/10 rule of health eating means this: if you eat whole, delicious, healthy and nutritious foods 90% of the time, is really is okay to be “bad” 10% of the time. Your body knows what to do with real food, and given half a chance, it will begin to heal itself when you give it what it needs to be healthy. If 90/10 feels way too strict of a place to start, go with 80/20 or 70/30 … and you’ll still see results.

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Money-Saving Superfoods Swaps

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Healthy foods, especially superfoods, have a notorious reputation for being expensive, and a lot of people use that as an excuse to grab fast food and sacrifice their health.

While high-quality food is the greatest investment you can make for your health, sometimes you just can’t afford to splurge on goji berries, maca, and that fancy camu camu powder.

Fortunately, there are plenty of nutrient-packed foods proven to protect against cancer, prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and more – that won’t break the bank.

Next time you run out of an ingredient for your superfood smoothie, save yourself a little cash and swap out high-priced items for their more accessible counterparts.

Superfood: Goji berries
Instead choose: blueberries
Chock full of vitamin C, goji berries are famous for their super sweet taste and bright red color. They’re abundant in China and the Himalayas, where they’ve been used for centuries as a medicinal plant that can treat everything from eye problems to liver disease. But these tiny berries are high in fructose and typically pretty pricey.

Instead, opt for blueberries. You can buy them frozen or fresh (frozen fruit typically retains the same amount of nutrients as the fresh kind!), and they’re just as good as gojis. One serving contains a quarter of your daily recommended value of vitamin C and almost 20 percent of the fiber you need. Plus, they’re proven to contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and improve memory.

Superfood: Kombucha
Instead try: apple cider vinegar
The fermented, vinegary drink is popular among the health set for its probiotic benefits—but it’s pretty difficult to tell just how much beneficial bacteria is in a glass of Kombucha tea. Instead of shelling out $4-$6 for the stuff, take a swig of organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV). Brands of ACV like Bragg’s contain beneficial pectin, enzymes, and probiotics that encourage healthy gut bacteria. And you can use ACV so many different ways—from facial toner to kitchen cleaner, it’s a staple for any healthy home.

Superfood: Cacao
Instead: dark chocolate
Cacao is the raw form of chocolate. Pure cacao has over 300 beneficial chemical compounds, and loads of antioxidants, but it can be bitter and expensive! Grab some dark chocolate. Yes, it’ll be a little bitter, too. But very dark chocolate—the kind without any added dairy—retains the initial benefits of cacao. Remember to grab a bar that’s low in sugar, additive free, and is made from organic, fair-trade cacao beans.

Superfood: Wheatgrass
Instead pick up: bok choy
Wheatgrass had a big moment in the nineties—remember how it was available at practically every juice bar around? And it’s still a popular ingredient in superfood green powders. But it’s not exactly delicious and it’s difficult to get enough of it to see much benefit. Instead, try bok choy. This cruciferous vegetable is one of the most nutrient-dense items you can find at your local farmers’ market; one serving of bok choy delivers vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Superfood: Maca
Instead go for: chia seeds
Known as an adaptogen, maca root powder is prized for its energizing powers and often cited for its ability to balance hormones. Despite the fact that it’s mighty tasty in smoothies and super elixirs, there isn’t much scientific evidence that maca has an effect on our hormonal levels. One way you can support healthy hormonal function? Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Try out chia seeds—they’re full of good-for-you fats, protein, and fiber. Nicknamed “runner’s energy,” one tablespoon mixed into a smoothie or oats can give you a boost in the morning if you’re feeling sluggish.

Could it be Adrenal Fatigue?

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Tips for recovery if you’re struggling with brain fog, fatigue and low energy

Do you ever find yourself asking … why am I so tired all of the time?

It used to be that an extra cup of coffee, a high-sugar snack, a quick nap or an extra hour of sleep over the weekend gave you the boost that you needed to rebound from too much stress. But now, forget it! Nothing seems to give you the energy that you need to keep up with the pace of life. You’ve been under stress for so long that those quick and temporary fixes just don’t work anymore. Your nervous system has been running on high alert and your adrenal system has been trying to compensate, but you just can’t keep up with this pace. The signs have been there for a while, but you’ve been too busy to really address them. Until one day, your body says, “Enough!”

If you have been under prolonged stress, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue

About 70-80% of people in the United States go to doctors complaining of fatigue. The same percentage of people seek out help for stress-related conditions. Why is this?  Perhaps it has become the norm to push ourselves to the point of exhaustion. Our society has come to value productivity and high activity as more important than rest, balance and taking a more sensible and slower approach. Yes, we all have responsibilities that are very real and pressing. However, when does it all become too much?  Most people are dealing with some level of adrenal stress, apathy or fatigue. Chances are, you are too, or you will be at some point in your life. You may not even be fully aware of it. Your adrenal glands, which are situated above your kidneys, are designed to help your body respond to threats on your safety. The adrenals are amazing in that they regulate numerous hormone responses to deal with stress, but they are not meant to be turned on all of the time.  Doctors and practitioners of wellness believe that an acute episode of stress or chronic stress can cause the adrenals be less effective.

I had to overcome my own severe adrenal exhaustion. I went to several doctors and specialists who couldn’t pinpoint the problem so I did a lot of research on my own. It took me nearly 11 months to recover, but I did so through diet, life and lifestyle changes. In fact, I felt better after my recovery than I did for a few years prior. This is why I have such a passion in helping other people do the same.

Adrenal stress can be caused by:

  • A poor diet
  • Lack of exercise, or too much strenuous exercise (over training)
  • Stressors like serious illness, divorce, losing a job, surgery
  • Lack of sleep
  • Relationships that cause negative, hopeless feelings such as a bad work environment
  • Financial hardship or emotional trauma

Here are some signs that you may have adrenal fatigue:

  • You’re tired and fatigued much of the time
  • You find it hard to think clearly and you feel like you spend your days slugging through a thick mental fog
  • It takes way more energy and effort to accomplish things than you think it should
  • You are jumpy and startle easily. While you are tired, you are also edgy
  • You have a hard time concentrating. It’s hard to process new, incoming information quickly
  • You get anxious about being able to cope with events coming up on your calendar, and worry that you won’t have the energy or the mind-power to pull it off
  • You don’t sleep very well at night. You might not fall asleep, or not sleep well until the early morning hours. Even, if you do sleep, you might not feel rested in the morning
  • You get dizzy when you stand up too quickly. You may also have problems with low blood pressure or low blood sugar
  • You crave sugary, sweet things to give you a boost of energy or you feel like you just can’t get your day going until you’ve had your cup of coffee
  • You hit a mid-day slump and find yourself nodding off at your desk

Your adrenal glands are your “fight or flight” regulators that give you that surge of adrenaline that you need to deal with survival. They are the bodies mechanism for helping you ready yourself for battle, or run from the tiger. They are the cortisol regulators that tell you body to hold on to belly fat under stress or deprivation, just in case you need these stores for the next famine. Your body doesn’t know what your brain is thinking. For example, if you decide to skip a healthy breakfast, are running late for work, or are anxious about that stressful meeting on your schedule, your cortisol levels rise to help your body with the “fight, flight, or freeze” survival strategy. And again, cortisol tells your body that it needs to hold on to fat to preserve something for later. If, during this stressful morning, you do grab a donut in the break room on the way to your desk, your adrenals are also the glucose regulators that give you the insulin surge needed to deal with it. And, then later, you crash.  Sound familiar?

With some diet and lifestyle changes, you can break this cycle. It’s rarely too late to make positive changes that help your body heal over time.

Go for Nutrient Density! This means eating healthy fats and proteins, and getting plenty of foods loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients

Quick food tips include:

  • Reduce caffeine, sugar and alcohol
  • Reduce processed foods, and microwave dinners
  • Reduced hydrogenated oils
  • Add good fats such as coconut, olive oil, avocado and organic butter
  • Eat your nuts, seeds and vegetables
  • Choose high quality protein sources such as wild caught salmon, grass-fed beet, chicken with no hormones or antibiotics
  • Supplement with fish oil, vitamin D3, magnesium, plus B and C vitamins

Lifestyle changes include:

  • Your environment is a big factor. Minimize your time in harsh, negative and toxic environments
  • Spend more time with uplifting, positive people and create space between yourself and draining people
  • Incorporate self-care practices such as quiet time, deep breathing, meditation or yoga
  • Rest when you need to. Be kind and patient with yourself
  • Avoid staying up late and stay on a regular sleep cycle
  • Moderate exercise, such as walking or riding your bike can help. Avoid extreme exercise if you feel exhausted afterwards

If you need help with healing your fatigue, dealing with stress and finding effective foods and lifestyle methods for coping and recovery, Contact me and let’s get started.

Given Half a Chance, Your Body Will Heal Itself

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Powerful Choices that Give Your Body a Boost

Your body is a somewhat incredible and miraculous healing machine. Your heart never skips a beat, you never forget to breathe, you maintain a stable temperature within a small margin of change, your immune system is constantly on-guard against foreign invasion, and your body will digest and assimilate your food without your involvement. It’s actually quite stunning and amazing when you think about it.

And while it’s true that our bodies are constantly working toward a state of health and wellbeing, as a society, we are in trouble. We are getting sicker, fatter, and more stressed out. We are also seeing alarming rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, behavior problems, and neurological disorders. While we should be getting healthier as a nation, statistics suggest that we are actually getting sicker. You might notice this on any given day at the airport, shopping mall, or during a trip to the grocery store: many people just don’t look all that healthy, strong and vibrant.

So, what on earth is going on? One predominant theory is the idea that we have become disconnected from our food source. This means, we are failing to eat real food, whole food, and food as nature created and intended for us to eat. Far too often, we are reaching for the fast, easy, convenient, chemically-laced, over-processed “foods” that aren’t really food at all.  Almost daily, we are ingesting  the pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modifications found in our “food” supply. Yikes! Sad, but true.

While quick, easy, and on-the-go is attractive, I believe in getting back to basics. This means eating whole, real foods from nature, straight from the source. Part of the issue that people are experiencing with their health is that they are so far removed from their food source. When we look back to the era of our grandparents, they didn’t have the processed and packaged “food” that we have now. They didn’t have “fast food” that so many people are now addicted to. Instead, they grew, raised, preserved and prepared their own food. They used basic, full, nutritious foods, they all sat down and ate together, and they didn’t have the additives and modifications that we see in the food source of 2016. Our great grandparents would walk into a typical grocery store today and not recognize much of what we eat. While it may not be possible for you to fully go back to that way of life, deep down that is what your body craves. That is what a healthy body needs. And given half a chance, the body will begin to heal and repair itself more quickly and easily when you give it the energy, building blocks and substance that it needs to do so.

Here are some things to try:

  • Cook at home as much as you can
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store and limit the packaged stuff found in the aisles
  • Read labels and understand what is in your food
  • Plant a garden in your yard, or use pots to grow veggies on your back porch
  • Try a local farmer’s market this summer or join a CSA (community supported agriculture/farm)
  • Buy organic when you can afford to
  • Change your lifestyle and slow things down a touch
  • Chew your food, sit down and eat, take your time and enjoy
  • Try grass-fed beef, and pastured, organic chicken (with no hormones and antibiotics)
  • Look for non-GMO popcorn when you reach for this snack. Look for the certified  NON GMO project label on food packages:

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When you start to eat more of the good stuff, you’ll naturally crowd out more of the bad stuff, and you’ll have more energy, vitality and strength.  If you need some support in getting started, contact me for a free consultation.

Will Eating Fat, Make Me Fat?

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Get the Skinny on How Fat Can Be Good for You

The idea of having fat in the diet is a confusing one to a lot of people.  You may be wondering, is dietary fat good or bad for me? The answer is; BOTH! You see, not all fats are created equal and your body absolutely, unequivocally needs fat in order to be healthy. However, heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods and dressings can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure and liver strain. That said, our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, provide power fuel for our brains, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Where to Find Healthy Fats

  • Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild caught salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs
  • Whole nuts and seeds and their butters like almond butter and tahini
  • Look for the highest-quality organic oils when shopping:

Words to look for are: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined Avoid: expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.

How to Use Healthy Fats:

  • Add almonds, cashews or walnuts to your bowl of oatmeal in the morning
  • Add chia, flax and hemp seed to your morning smoothie
  • Throw some organic pumpkin or sunflower seeds on your salad
  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir fry and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil
  • When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil
  • Oils like flaxseed, sesame, walnut and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings

Try this Delicious, Easy Recipe: Avocado Dip Prep Time: 3 minutes Makes: 1 cup 1 large peeled and pitted avocado 2/3 cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt, goat, coconut or almond yogurt) 1 diced tomato A squirt of lemon or lime juice A dash or two of cayenne pepper, sea salt and black pepper

  • mash avocado with a fork until very smooth
  • add yogurt, tomato, cayenne. blend until smooth (in a blender or with a fork)
  • add sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables
  • Tip: best made a maximum of one hour before serving

If you need help getting on track with healthy, delicious, REAL food, contact me for a FREE 60- minute health consultation, and we can discuss a plan that will work for you.

Copyright Christen Resmo, CMR Healing Arts. All rights in all media reserved

Don’t Be Perfect, Be Healthy

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The 90-/10 rule for maintaining your sanity with food

In my entire life, the only time that I’ve been able to adhere to eating a strict set of foods was when I was recovering from adrenal fatigue and gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of the good and bad microbes in my GI tract). Out of sheer necessity, I was super strict with food for about 2 months and then I went through another 8-month period of recovery until l was completely well.  Even though I had plenty of motivation to feel better, and was careful about what I ate in those last few months, I did slip up from time to time.  I love eating healthy foods most of the time, but there also are times when I enjoy going out to dinner with my husband, or having friends over for a feast. During those times, I am not counting calories or wondering about what’s in the food. I’m just enjoying it. This is a key to a happy life! I’ve noticed that when people try to adhere to a set, strict diet or to only a totally clean and pure way of eating, they can only do so for a limited period of time. Sometimes it’s a day, a week, a month or even a year. But at a certain point, no matter how strong our idealism or willpower, certain foods that we’ve been avoiding become appealing. And, there may be a reason why a person starts to crave meat for example. It could be the body’s way of saying that it needs more protein.  And, strict rules of eating aren’t always balanced and healthy anyway. Have you ever met a junk-food vegetarian, for example? Since most people tire of too many rules when it comes to food, the 90/10 rule states just one thing:

90% of the time eat real food, what is healthy and good for you, and 10% of the time, eat whatever you feel like eating.

Why turn our dietary mistakes into sins, anyway? Since so few of us can eat 100% good all of the time, it’s okay to go ahead and be “bad” from time to time. And when you do, really allow yourself to enjoy it.  The Integrative Nutrition Diet, created by IIN’s founder and director, Joshua Rosenthal, MScEd, promotes this approach to eating healthy foods most of the time (90%) and eating less healthy foods on occasion (10%). There is no set plan for this diet, and it’s easy to follow!

General food recommendations include more fruits and vegetables with a focus on sweet vegetables like carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes, to satisfy sugar cravings. Whole grains are also encouraged, along with beans and lots of water. The concept that overrides any specific food recommendation is bio-individuality: one person’s food is another person’s poison, and no one diet will work for everyone. Experimentation is required to discover what works best for the individual.

Lifestyle recommendations include increasing home-cooked meals, engaging in physical activity, doing fulfilling work, developing spirituality, and fostering healthy, supportive relationships. When all of these areas are balanced, the body will heal itself by itself. Toxic relationships, unhealthy habits, and stress should be minimized.

Pay attention to emotions surrounding food and notice what makes the process of eating enjoyable. Do certain emotions lead to certain food choices? Food journals can be an effective tool in the 90/10 Diet. I do offer 90-minute Food  Journal  Consultations. To learn more about food journaling, contact me, and I’ll help you get started.

Ditch the Diet: it doesn’t work anyway

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It has been fascinating for me to talk to my friends, family and clients over this past year as I have been finishing up my education with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. When I talk to people about what I am learning, all kinds of interesting things pop up in our conversations. The most common thing I hear people say is, “I just can’t seem to lose weight!”, and “I have tried ‘such-and-such’ diet, and I lose a little bit for a while, but then I gain it all back.” If this is you, you are not alone. So many people are coming to the realization that they can follow a trendy fad diet for a while, but soon learn that the latest greatest thing, just isn’t doing the trick.  More and more people are realizing that diets simply don’t work. If there was a tried and true formula, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? And wouldn’t everyone be at their ideal weight, side-stepping obesity and heart disease? In 1982, Bob Schwartz figured this out and wrote a book, Diets Don’t Work, which has been updated several times.  In his book, Bob discusses an approach to weight loss without dieting. He advocates eating only delicious foods and claims that dieting damages your natural system of satiety and metabolism. He emphasizes the relationship between food and lifestyle, and encourages dieters to develop a positive relationship with themselves in order to end their weight struggles for good.

Foods to include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains (this includes oats, brown rice, and popcorn)
  • Refined grains (limited; remove for a time for greater weight loss results)
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Dairy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils and fats (avocados, olive oil, coconut oil; butter)
  • Sugar (limited; no more than 25 mg added sugar/day)

Foods to avoid:

  • Processed foods (foods with ingredients that you don’t recognize)
  • Refined grains (white bread, many cereals, rolls, semolina pasta)
  • Trans fats
  • Junk oils
  • Added sugars
  • Fast foods

Pros:

  • Honors bio-individuality and self-awareness
  • Considers primary food
  • Can be a lifestyle rather than a diet
  • Supports sustained weight loss

Cons:

  • Some may prefer a structured diet plan
  • Only works for those ready to explore their relationship with food
  • Not a quick fix for weight loss

Sources:

Bob Schwartz’s Diets Don’t Work  Diets Still Don’t Work

Reasons Not to Diet in the New Year www.sheerbalance.com

I find that when people start dieting, they can easily develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Negative feelings and experiences surface like restriction, obsession, hunger, cravings, deprivation, guilt and finally, failure. Keep in mind that most authors of the dieting books with flashy titles are really writing about a diet that has worked for them, but it may not work for everybody. Bio-individuality is completely taken out of the equation. This means that something might work for one person, but could be quite unsuccessful and unhealthy for someone else.  I have tried different diets over the years , too. The one that really sticks out in my memory is the South Beach Diet. Eventually, the diet adds back the foods that I really like (fruits, veggies, salads) but for the first few weeks, I was eating ricotta cheese for dessert (ick!) and bland and boring foods that left me feeling moody, unsatisfied and generally obsessing about when and what I could eat next. Is this any way to live? No way. The best thing that came of that for me was I was reminded of the importance of getting enough protein; but the rest was just torture and I was thrilled when I decide to scrap it. Some of my own personal food rules include: “If it grows in the ground, eat it”, or, “If I recognize it as food, (like I would recognize an apple or an orange) eat it.”  If I read a food label and I don’t know what most of the ingredients are, I’ll either pass on it entirely, or use very small amounts.  In general, 5 ingredients, or less, is best.   If you need help getting on track with healthy, delicious, REAL food, contact me for a FREE 60- minute health consultation, and we can discuss a plan that will work for you.