Accept That You Will Have To Say No

This one can be a hard one, especially around the holidays, festive days, celebratory days, or any days with food outside of your healthy eating plan, but the truth is that in order to lose weight and to maintain weight loss, you will have to say “no” to a lot of things that you want to say “yes” to.

The food will look great, smell great, and everyone around you will look happy as they eat the food that you too would like to be eating. It takes strength and willpower, but you have to implement the “no” and the self-control if you want to lose weight and maintain weight loss.

You will need to do this on a daily basis, until you are eating healthy food most of the time without thinking.  Until then, make mindful food choices, and make “no” a word that gives you strength and momentum, when it comes to avoiding unhealthy foods.

Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back and to say the word ‘reward’ to yourself every time you say no and pick a healthy option.

 

Make Exercise Your Modus Operandi

Our bodies were made to be in motion and we suffer mental, physical, and spiritual effects when we are not moving sufficiently and when we are not getting enough activity in our daily lives.  So get moving and find and way that works for you to track it.

It can be with a pedometer, an activity log, a daily break checklist, or a hybrid of methods but you’ll want to hold yourself accountable and want to see that activity “add up.”

How To Adopt This Mantra

Let’s look at how to implement a strategy that allows you to adopt this mantra with the least amount of stress to the fact that you are making lifestyle changes.  Remember these two things:

  1. You want to be the best version of you.  You are not currently happy with how you look/feel and you want that to change.  That means changing your current lifestyle habits.
  2. You will need  to go all in on this project if you really want this to work and you need to get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable

Use these 3 questions to help you adopt this mantra

1.  How can you make this habit personal?

Choose how many times you are going to commit to exercise.  Pick a frequency you know you can stick to.  So it might be that you commit to exercise twice a week for the first week and gradually increase your exercise frequency.

2.  How can you make this habit easy?

Don’t make drastic changes overnight.  If you are not used to exercise at all, start by exercising for 10 minutes at a time.  Then build up to 15 or 20  minutes, then build up to 30 minutes and beyond gradually, so you don’t get put off.

3.  What can you piggyback off?

You will need to make some time in your day to do this. I highly recommend that start to schedule exercise into your diary, so you are making commitments. If you are are already getting up earlier, then I suggest exercise first thing.  You have already got a trigger (your morning alarm) and if you just get up and exercise, its done and out of the way before breakfast.  This will increase your motivation to have a day with healthy foods.

IT’S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME IT’S ABOUT MAKING TIME

If you don’t make time for exercise in the morning, you have to make time for it at some other point, for example after work.  Again, it’s really important that you schedule this into your diary and make sure you are 100% going all in.  Do not let yourself talk yourself out of this.

Exercise will feel hard to begin with, but with every passing workout done and with every week completed, you will start to feel so much much more positive, healthier and better about about your fitness journey. This following is so true….

YOU ARE ONLY ONE WORKOUT AWAY FROM A GOOD MOOD

Write down and say your personalised mantra out loud every night

  • I am going to exercise three times this week for 20 minutes each session
  • I am 100% ready to make changes in my life and I am ready to take the regular exercise challenge

Here are some of the benefits of exercise…..

  • It strengthens the heart. The heart is a muscle. …
  • It helps keep arteries and veins clear. …
  • It strengthens the lungs. …
  • It reduces blood sugar levels. …
  • It controls weight. …
  • It strengthens bones. …
  • It helps prevent cancer. …
  • It regulates blood pressure.

Cutting Alcohol Intake

Here’s the problem with all alcoholic beverages and the reason I recommend refraining from alcohol consumption for a short period.

Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that’s going on, your body will not burn fat. While you drink, you usually will not stop to consider the impact alcohol is having on your body; such is alcohol’s affect on loosening the inhibitions and decision making​.  The result of this relaxed thinking could mean more calories consumed and extra body fat gains. You might also eat more of the wrong kinds of food, without thinking of the consequences.

Alcohol lowers testosterone.  Testosterone, which has a powerful fat loss effect, is reduced whenever alcohol is consumed, thus halting its full potential as a fat burner.

Alcohol increases your appetite, making the combination of alcohol and a fattening meal all the more worse. A recent study showed that alcohol consumed before a meal greatly increased caloric intake.

How To Adopt This Mantra

Let’s look at how to implement a strategy that allows you to adopt this mantra with the least amount of stress to the fact that you are making lifestyle changes.  Remember these two things:

  1. You want to be the best version of you.  You are not currently happy with how you look/feel and you want that to change.  That means changing your current lifestyle habits.
  2. You will need  to go all in on this project if you really want this to work and you need to get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable

Use these 3 questions to help you adopt this mantra

1.  How can you make this habit personal?

Decide on some golden rules.  Fore example, not drinking in the week.  Or decide that you will allow alcohol twice per week but no more.  The best option is to go without any for 2-4 weeks.  That way, you can get used to saying no in social situations.  Learning to say no will be an important part of your success.

2.  How can you make this habit easy?

The best way to manage this is to get rid of all alcohol at home so you are not tempted. Now, I’m not suggesting you drink it all before you begin!

But I am suggesting you either give it away, or lock it away well out of reach. Think about this carefully, you will not be able to rely on willpower, especially at the end of the day, if it has been stressful and your usual behavoiur to relax with a drink

What can you piggyback off?

This is where you need to have a replacement, certainly to begin with.  If you have a stressful day, or you get to the weekend and its usually time for a drink, then try having a drink tht you enjoy, in place of alcohol.  If you like a drink now and then, you will probably have so a few drink triggers.  The key here is to reconise them, take them off auto pilot and make a considered choice that fits with your goals.  Then make sure you reward yourself with  mental recognition and a suitable replacement for the alcohol.

Write down and say your personalised mantra out loud every night.

  • I am going to drink lots of water and healhy non alcoholic alternatives
  • I am 100% ready to make changes in my life and I am ready to take the alcohol free challenge.
  • I am 90-100% confident that I will get eliminate alcohol for 6 out of the next 7 days

How To Eat Mindfully

What Does “Mindful Eating” Really Mean?

The term “mindful eating” seems to be tossed around a lot in connection with losing weight.

Mindfulness is a Buddhist meditation practice that involves bringing all your awareness to the here and now, to the sensations in our bodies and our breathing, for example, rather than letting much of our attention slip away in contemplation of the past and future or of thoughts and images that are not real. The assumption is that when we act with full awareness, our actions are more likely to achieve what we intend, and that when we feel with full awareness, we are more likely to feel fulfilled.

Many people eat semiconsciously, on autopilot, chewing and swallowing food without really tasting it or focusing attention on the next bite before they have enjoyed the present one. Others talk, read, or watch television while they eat, directing their attention incompletely to their food.

One consequence of this type of unmindful eating is overeating and, of course, the end result of that is being overweight or obese.

Have you ever mindlessly shoveled in quantities of popcorn or chips while watching a movie or staring at a television screen? Another consequence of unmindful eating is missing the full sensory pleasure of food and enjoyment of meals.

A famous exercise in mindfulness training is putting a raisin in your mouth to see how long you can keep it there without chewing and swallowing it, while focusing all your attention on its taste and texture. Try it for some firsthand mindfulness practice.

Have you noticed that when food is really good, conversation at the table is reduced to a minimum as people concentrate on the enjoyment of the moment?  As a result, they are likely to eat less and enjoy their meal more.

Eating mindfully means slowing down, expressing gratitude for the food we are eating, being satisfied with food, and paying attention to why we eat. Try rating your level of hunger, before, during and asfter the meal.  This will help to regulate how much food you eat.  If you get into the habit of mindful eating it will help steer you away from unhealthy relationships with food and that it heightens the pleasure of the experience.

FUN MINDFUL PRACTICE

  1. Prepare everyone’s favourite healthy snacks.  (chopped apples, fruit,
  2. Set the table for the family or friends
  3. when everyone is seated, explain that you will all be eating mindfully
  4. Ask everyone to close their eyes
  5. Ask everyone to notice their level of hunger for example
  6. Observe where that feeling of hunger is coming from
  7. rate how hungry you are btween 1-10
  8. Bring their food plates to the table
  9. Ask guests to imagine that when they open their eyes, they are looking at food for the first time!
  10.  Ask guests to look at their food and imagine they have never seen it
  11. Note the shape and colour with curiosity
  12. lift up food and hold it, how does it feel
  13. Smeel it and note the aroma.  Is it earthy, sweet, spicy, sour or fragrant.  is the aroma strong, or faint
  14. Notice what’s happeining inside your mouth in anticipation of eating
  15. Is it dificult to resist eating it
  16. bring it towards your mouth, does your tongue offer the food a place to sit
  17. place the food in your mouth, rest it on your tongue, but don’t chew it for a moment
  18. At last, slowly begin to chew your food, savouring it’s flavour
  19. Notice the texture and taste, observe the flavours
  20. Is it sweet, sours, salty or bitter?  Is it cruncy or smooth, or creamy
  21. How does it sound.
  22. Swallow your food and observe waht happens as it moves down into your stomach
  23. Are you left with an aftertaste?
  24. Now after swallowing, rate your hunger from 1-10
  25. remember to eat all of your food slowly!
  26. Take a moment to appreicate all the food you have eaten, where it came from, how the food miraculoously gets absorbed by the body for growth and energy

Plan, Prep and Be Mindful

So , you want a healthy food routine, but you have no idea what that looks like or how to implement it.  A ‘healthy food routine’ is a term that encompasses the entirety of your eating habits. This means the foods you buy, where you buy them from, when you prepare food  how you eat (at the table, in the kitchen, in a rush) , meal times, and even cooking habits and eating out schedules. It also means how mindful you are when you eat.

Planning your meals takes away the stress of having to figure out what you are going to eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner. Planning for meals also allows you to incorporate healthy eating within what you can afford. It is important to take into account your lifestyle/schedule/commitment. If you are not willing or do not have have time to make an elaborate healthy dish, then do not plan for that dish and buy groceries for that dish if it is unlikely or unrealistic for you to have or make that dish.

A good routine  should include schedules of as many of the the regular things as possible.  This will avoid decision fatigue.  All of the following should be scheduled in to your week:

  • Food planning
  • Food shopping
  • Food Preparation
  • Cooking time
  • Eating time
  • Eating out
  • Practising MINDFUL eating
  • Mouth hygiene after eating, especially at night.

So the amount of time and energy spent of these elements can vary on you.  Its your life, but here are some recommendations.

Not planning weekly food is really bad, especially  if you want to lose weight.  Because we are visual eaters and convenience eaters and we still genetically refer back to eating when we see food as a survival instinct, not planning will almost certainly mean that you eat when you feel like it rather too much

When it come to food shopping and food preparation, there are three major things to consider:

  1. The more time you make to spend on these planning and prep, the easier it will be to eat a healthy, balanced diet and the easier it will be lose weight.
  2. You can save time on shopping and prep with the food choices you make, but saving time will cost you more money.  (buying  oven ready meats and fish and ready made vegetable for your evening meal saves time buying and already grated cheese and diced onions for example save time when preparing your morning omelette, but cost more to buy).
  3. Saving time and spending more will almost certainly compromise on nutrient quality.

Now, obviously, the more ready prepared food you buy, the less prep time you will have. The issue here is that, in not buying single ingredient foods, you do not have control over what is in it.  Always check food labels and look out for carbohydrates and sugar levels and total calorie content.  This is where food tracking becomes really useful.  Keeping carbohydrates under 100 grams per daily should enable you to burn fat.

 

 

Establish A Food Routine

What we do know from lots of scientific research, based on real life studies is….

There is VERY little evidence to suggest that eating 6 meals a day compared to 3 will BOOST your metabolism.

There is also VERY little evidence to suggest that skipping breakfast will SLOW your metabolism.

So why do we recommend that establish a food routine? Well, we do know this….

There  is universal acceptance that the amount of calories you consume in a day affects your weight and there is a HUGE amount of research which says that skipping meals leads to HIGHER DAILY CALORIFIC INTAKE.

According to lots of studies, breakfast is really important and the chances are that if you skip breakfast, you will eat more calories in a day than if you eat a healthy breakfast.

It may seem counterintuitive, but skipping meals can actually hinder your weight loss. By skipping meals during the day you’re likely to become extremely hungry, which can lead you to make poor food choices or overeat later.  In addition, eating breakfast and the right foods can help you stay fuller longer.  This helps you stay on track for your weight loss goals.

Whether you’re filling up on fresh and free foods or enjoying a snack, it’s important to eat healthy snacks in between meals. The same principles that apply to skipping meals also apply to snacks; they keep you experiencing a dip in blood sugar (and energy),

If you’re just starting a planned weight loss program, you may be surprised at the sheer volume of food—meals, snacks, free foods and even desserts—that make up your daily plan. You may even feel that you’re eating too much!

But trust us: over time, eating more of the right things and less of the wrong things will help you distinguish between cravings (which typically pass in about 15 minutes) and real hunger.

If your meal plan calls for added vegetables or piece of fruit, don’t skip it! It’s an important part of your nutritional intake for that day.

Food Routine Elements

  1. Planning.  All good food routines start with planning.  So, either follow a food plan provided by a professional or take some time to make a food plan of your own.
  2. Preparation.  Make time to prep foods as much as you can.  Schedule this in to your diary.
  3. Tracking.  Make sure you track what you eat, but also why.  Find out if your poor meals are due to lack of preparation or if you have certain meal times where you eat poorly.
  4. Practice mindful eating.
  5. Brush your teeth after your evening meal
  6. Consistency is key.  Stick to the plan 6 days out of 7

How often should I eat?

his is a common question many people have when starting their weight loss journey.

You have got several options.

  • 3 meals and 3 snacks.  Evenly Spaced calories.  Regulated insulin and hunger

Your meal frequency should be spaced out and snacks at regular intervals, about 2-3 hours apart. Example: if you have breakfast at 7 a.m., you can enjoy a snack at 10 a.m., lunch at noon, your afternoon snack at 3 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m and a night time snack before bed around 9-10pm.  Make sure your night time snack does not contain many carbohydrates (keep it under 20 grams) or your body will not burn fat in the night.

  • 2-3 meals and informal snacks

If you are never hungry at breakfast, don’t always force yourself to eat it.  Try it out but don’t worry if you can’t do it.  Get a snack mid morning or when your body wakes.  Eat 2 good sized meals but again limit your carbohydrate intake later in the day to prime your body for burning fat.

  • Time restricted feeding

Another food intake strategy that is gaining support is called Time-Restricted Feeding and we all do this to a certain extent (we don’t eat while we sleep).  This uses our bodies natural circadian rhythm and metabolism to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Essentially, there is a 12- hour nourishment period during the day to consume your daily calories. After that, your body goes into a 12-hour rejuvenation period. This rejuvenation period is especially important and beneficial to weight loss, as your metabolism naturally slows down at night. This is why late-night eating stacks the deck against you.  An example of eating timing could be that you start the day with breakfast at 7 am and finish eating all your meals by 7pm.  Brush your teeth straight away and get ready to burn fat all thought the night!

PICK A ROUTINE AND STICK TO IT FOR A PERID OF AT LEAST 2 WEEKS TO SEE WHICH WORKS FOR YOU.

Picking a routine and sticking to it is going to be hugely beneficial for a number of reasons.

  1. Structure
  2. Consistency
  3. Control Hunger
  4. reduce over eating later in the day
  5. less likely to overeat during any one meal

 

How To Boost Your Metabolism

Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.

These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning.

However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn.

The higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.

Having a high metabolism can also give you energy and make you feel better.

Here are 10 easy ways to increase your metabolism.