Tuesday, May 30, 2017

How Hormones Affect Your Energy and Weight


Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and high weight?

Maybe not.  It might be your powerful hormones.

And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that control your energy and weight.

Let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones, and how they affect your energy and weight. The links may be stronger than you think.

What are hormones?


Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” these days.

And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body.
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).

Your hormones control not only your blood sugar, but also your metabolism and appetite (plus a host of other things). And you probably know that having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight.

So, how can your hormones get out of whack to zap your energy and pile up the pounds?

Common Hormonal Imbalances


In optimal health, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and be a good healthy weight.

But often there are problems with this whole setup. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism).

Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).

As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism and appetite, they can cause issues with your energy and weight.

Hormones & Energy


Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is...you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.

Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight.

What you want is an ideal metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and an ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.

Hormones & Weight


Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.

You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied...even if that’s not true.

And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be huge drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat - belly fat!

What You Can Do


Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a substantial number of functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, among others. And these directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.


Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg
  • Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds
  • Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water
If you need some support with your energy levels and/or weight, contact me (your wellness coach) for a free strategy session to see how I can help you.


REFERENCES

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fast-weight-loss-changes-hunger-hormones
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-thyroid
https://authoritynutrition.com/9-fixes-for-weight-hormones/

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 Effortless Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies Daily


Everywhere you turn wellness experts are telling you to eat more fruits and veggies.

You totally get it.

Yes, fruits and veggies are full, and I mean FULL, of nutrition (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, etc.).

Yes, people who eat more fruits and veggies live longer, healthier lives, not to mention protect their bodies and minds from just about every chronic disease out there.

Yes, eating more veggies can help you maintain a healthy body weight, and even lose some fat (as long as you don’t bread and fry them, or cover them with cream sauce).

Your question is not
“Should I eat more fruits and vegetables?” 
but
“How can I actually do it?”

Believe me, as a Wellness Coach I’m chock full of amazing, creative and delicious ways to help you eat more fruits and veggies.

Before we dive in, always start from where you are. If you’re not used to any fruits or veggies (like I was), try for just two per day. Build up from there. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to overhaul your entire diet I one day. Wherever you’re at now, I challenge you to increase it by two per day.

Now, let’s dive into my 3 helpful ideas on exactly HOW to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet!



Sneak Fruits & Veggies into Other Dishes


OK, this one may be, shall we say, “sneaky,” but I’m all about your health, so hear me out.

Some dishes are super-easy to enhance with a bit of strategically placed produce. What do you think of these ideas?


  • Add ½ apple, a small handful of spinach, or extra berries into your smoothie.
  • Dice or shred up an extra bit of carrot, broccoli, zucchini or pepper into your soup.
  • Love sandwiches? Why not add an extra slice of tomato, lettuce or cucumber to it?
  • How about chicken, tuna, or salmon salad? Dice up a stalk of celery and throw it in.
  • Love to bake? How about substituting ¼ cup of the sugar for ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce?
  • Used to having a small salad? Why not try a larger one?
  • Making tomato sauce? Add in some extra mushrooms or peppers.


Make Fruits & Veggies Taste Delicious with a Meal



  • Steam some frozen corn and add a touch of olive oil and your favorite herb or spice.
  • Use veggies as your sandwich “bread” by making a lettuce wrap.
  • Don’t be afraid to spice them up! Try sautéing them for 10 minutes with a drizzle of oil and flavor them with pepper, garlic, ginger or cumin.


Opting for Fruits & Veggies as Snacks



  • Why not throw a banana, apple or a couple of clementines into your lunch bag?
  • Ditch the chips and dip - Instead try some carrot, celery, broccoli, cucumber or cauliflower with a dip like hummus, guacamole, or even your favorite salad dressing?
  • Love sweetened yogurt? Buy plain, and immerse it with fresh or frozen berries.


YOUR CHALLENGE


Take two of these suggestions and try them tomorrow. Just add two more fruits and veggies to the number you’re at today. Two more.

And if you’re not an instant fan, well, try again. Research shows that sometimes it takes our taste buds several tries before actually beginning to like a new flavor. Try it; you might just find some new faves.

You can do it!


Let me know your favorite ideas in the comments below.

REFERENCES


http://www.precisionnutrition.com/dont-like-vegetables
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-fruits-vegetables



Sunday, May 14, 2017

Get Unstuck for Mother’s Day


This is for you, Moms.  In fact, whether you are a mom or not, this is for all the women out there who feel trapped in a cycle of, “One day, I am going to eat healthy, lose weight and really take care of myself.”

It’s time to get unstuck, and I'm here to help.


I know that it is hard to find time to focus on you.  And when you finally do take some time for yourself, you probably have a vague sense of guilt that there are other things more worthy of whatever effort or sacrifice you are making to work on you.

That’s part of being a mom.  You put others first.

But consider this.  Neglecting yourself is not good for you or those people who depend on you. The only way you can keep attending to your many responsibilities and joys is if your health is optimal. Once your health starts declining, you will have no choice but to focus on yourself.

Wouldn’t you rather do it now and know what it feels like to be fit and full of energy and still be there for those people who depend on you?


It’s hard to start


Yes, starting is hard.  In fact, it is probably the hardest part.

It may be hard because you’ve ‘started’ before and failed.  That doesn’t matter anymore.  You are not doing it alone this time.  I'm here to walk with you every step of the way.  We’re looking forward, not backward.



It may be hard because you have no idea where you will find the time to exercise.  I’ll help you with that too.  That’s what I do.


It may be hard because changing life-long patterns of eating seems completely undesirable right now.  I’ve been there.  And believe me; if some of us can do it, you can too.  The amazing thing is that once you get a taste of the energy and vitality that eating well brings, you won’t look back.


Waiting is dangerous


Listen.  The longer you wait to take your health seriously, the more damage you are doing to your body.

There is only one way to slow down, stop and reverse many of the effects of aging (whether you are 20 or 70 years old):  sensible eating and consistent exercise.  (Well, that’s two, but they have to happen together.)

  • Do you want to avoid the ravages of heart disease (the number one killer of women)?
  • Would you like to never experience the pain of a fractured, osteoporotic bone?
  • Do lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your knees and reducing aches and pains sound attractive to you?
  • Would you like to run a marathon (even if you’re 60!)?



It’s Yours


You’ve dreamed about it long enough.


Make this Mother’s Day the beginning of a new chapter in your life.  Thousands of women just like you are doing it.  And I want to help you do it.

Be strong, vibrant, fit and full of energy.


It’s time to start.  Apply today for your FREE Wellness Strategy Session. I’ll get you unstuck and feeling better than you ever have.





Monday, May 8, 2017

3 Fruits That Can Help With Weight Loss


When you start a weight loss journey, one of the first things you will probably do is look to your diet and make changes. When you do this, you may think of removing foods, but you may overlook the importance of adding certain foods. There are certain fruits that can help you drop weight and reach the goals you have a little faster. The major benefit of adding many of these fruits is the ability to have as much of them as you would like without taking on too many unnecessary or empty calories.

Watermelon


Watermelon is a go to for weight loss. There are a few reasons why. The first is the hydration benefit of the fruit. It is over 90 percent water. This means that you are keeping yourself hydrated while delivering the second benefit that watermelon has to offer to your body, amino acids. This combination comes in at less than 40 calories per serving. This means you are getting nutrients, vitamins, hydration, and a filling bowl of fruit at very little cost to your weight. In fact, you are releasing the hydration into your body which helps move toxins out. This means that the toxins are no longer stored and neither are any blocks that may be preventing you from dropping weight.


Apples


It may surprise you to find out that apples can help you drop unwanted weight. Apples also do have a high content of water and can be a good hydration option. Apples also help boost your metabolism and help to regulate your hormones and your blood sugar. Therefore, it is used as part of a cinnamon and apple infused water for people who are trying to drop weight quickly. Apples can be added to juices as well as to water infusions. They are also available in most areas year-round.



Bananas


If you are looking for a fruit that helps you drop weight, but can also give you a post workout energy boost then your answer is bananas. They pack energy into just a bit over 100 calories. They are quick to eat, easy to carry with you, and they can also help with inflammation. Inflammation can prevent you from dropping weight since it can retain water and can cause pain in the joints and blockages in your system, especially your digestive tract. Keep that in mind when you grab your next banana for a post workout boost.



These are only three of the fruits that can help you with weight loss and how they can help. You can also consider superfoods mixed with these fruits, having these fruits as juices, and keeping some dried fruits on hand as well. This will help give you quick on the go snacks and ensure you are getting as many fruits as you can during the day.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

TNT Pro Series Review


I received this package from TNT Pro Series for free in exchange for my honest review.  Included were the Waist Trimmer Belt, Upper Arm & Thigh Slimmer Kit, Exercise Loop Bands, and the Exercise Stretch Bands with Door Anchor.  I haven't tried out the Exercise Loop Bands yet.




The Waist Trimmer was easy to put on myself.  I struggled a little with getting the Thigh Slimmers in just the right place.  The Upper Arm Slimmers Austin had to put on me...there was no way that I could hold one side of the strap with one hand or my chin and affix the opposite side with the other hand.


You can definitely feel the sweat building up under the trimmer and slimmers.  Wearing them all day potentially leads to you sweating more (depending upon your unique sweat gland makeup).  However, the excess sweat doesn't lead to permanent weight loss as it's just water weight that's lost; it returns when you hydrate.  So I can't say that the TNT Pro Series' Waist Trimmer or Upper Arm & Thigh Slimmer Kit will directly help you lose weight but they can help you to release more toxins from sweating.  Also I'm not sure how long you have to wear the trimmer and slimmer to have a chance to see any results.


Of course my body decides to be weird while I'm trying these out.  The second time I wore the Thigh Slimmer, the front of my thighs were red at the spots where the slimmer ends overlap.  The next morning one of those spots had blistered.  Had this happened on the inner thighs this would've made more sense to me (like chafing when your legs rub together).  I asked the rep if anyone had reported anything like this before.  Again, I'm the first with my body doing something weird.



I have been using the red (heavy) Exercise Stretch Band with Door Anchor instead of a resistance band during my workouts for the exercise I do instead of a pullup.  I've come to realize that I prefer to use a stretch band because you don't have the connection pieces (that attach to the handles) flapping around and hitting your or whatever else is close enough.  When the Exercise Stretch Band flaps around it's not making a nuisance of itself when it hits something.  If you're drawing a blank on what to do with TNT Pro Series' Exercise Stretch Bands, there are pictures of some exercises on the bands themselves.



I plan to continue to wear the TNT Pro Series Waist Trimmer and Thigh Slimmers.  Hopefully my body won't be weird with them again.  I will incorporate the Exercise Loop Bands and the Exercise Stretch Bands with Door Anchor into my workouts.

Have you tried any slimmers or trimmers?

Do you prefer a flat or round band for your strength training?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Emotional Eating: A Prime Ingredient for Obesity


"Suzie" found her weight ballooning 60 pounds after her separation from her husband.  While part of the weight gain was apparently tied to the medication she was taking, the rest appeared to be the result of what can be described as emotional eating.  In recent years, greater attention has been focused on the problem of emotional eating for both women and men.  In fact, some experts have gone so far as to claim that most weight gain can be blamed on emotional eating.  According to Women Today magazine, it has been estimated that as much as 75 percent of overeating is attributed to the emotions.

For a number of people, overeating stems from anxiety.  For instance, if you find yourself consuming an entire bag of potato chips, it’s possible that anxiety is the cause.  While many people realize that alcohol and illegal drugs are not an antidote to anxiety, they may not understand that indulging in comfort food in order to combat anxiety can be dangerous as well.

In other cases, overeating may be the result of depression.  If you feel tired, hopeless, and have lost interest in your normal activities, you may be suffering from a depressive episode.  In order to deal with these uncomfortable feelings, people may turn to food in an effort to cheer up.  The problem is that the food can lead to weight gain, which can lead to further depression.

At times, overeating may be a symptom of boredom.  An individual may figure that he or she has nothing better to do than overeat.  This can be particularly true when one is watching television or surfing the Internet.  Rather than trying to determine a cause for the boredom, an individual may just try to “fix” it by indulging in high-fat, high-calorie food.



How do you know if you are an emotional eater?  Ask yourself some key questions:

  • Do I tend to eat when I’m worried?  Scared?  Sad?
  • Do I find that eating lifts my spirits?
  • Am I spending more time eating than engaging in other activities I enjoy?
  • Do my binges come after I’ve suffered disappointment?
  • Am I turning to food in order to deal with the death of a loved one…a divorce…or the defeat of my favorite team?
If the answers to any of these questions is “yes,” you may be overeating purely for emotional reasons.

After you’ve identified yourself as an emotional eater, you’ll need to take steps to correct your behavior.  Perhaps the most effective technique is diversion.  In other words, if you find yourself reaching for the cookie jar, find another activity to engage in.  The answer could be taking a walk, kickboxing, or dancing.  Or it could be something less physically demanding, such as needlepoint or crochet.  The idea is to get your hands…and perhaps the rest of your body…moving.  In time, you might find the urge to overeat subsides as you become involved with other activities.

Another effective step you can take is to identify the triggers for your emotional eating.  Do you tend to binge in mid-morning, mid-afternoon, or right before bedtime?  Are you snacking while watching television, while at the computer, or when you’re sitting in your favorite chair?  By asking yourself these questions, you can identify the time of day when you overeat, as well as the location for your binging.  With this information, you can learn to re-direct your behavior to less fattening pursuits.

Yet another helpful technique is to develop a support network to help you combat overeating.  The members of your support team could include your spouse, children, parents, friends, or other over-eaters.  You may even consider joining a support group which specializes in helping those who engage in binge eating.  If you feel the need to overeat, contact a member of your support team.  Talking through your emotions could provide you with the emotional release you need, making overeating unnecessary.

If your anxiety or depression persists, consider seeing a psychotherapist.  He or she can help you develop more effective coping mechanisms.  If you find it difficult to talk to friends or family about your overeating, a psychotherapist can provide you with the talk therapy you need to overcome your problem.
           

May 15-26 I am hosting a free Emotional Eating Course in the Brand New Me Healthy Living Community on Facebook.  During these 10 days we will uncover the symptoms and consequences of emotional eating to reverse this possibly dangerous situation. This course will help you to identify the real reasons you're emotionally eating and how to change unhealthy comfort eating habits.

Hop on over to the Community, meet and hang out with the members before the course begins. I look forward to helping you break free from this cycle and find your brand new healthier self!

Monday, April 17, 2017

How to Lose Weight with Kettlebells


Kettlebell training has many different advantages and lets you train your body from different angles and in a far more functional range of motion.  But what’s great about the kettlebell is how versatile it is as a tool and how it allows you to develop your fitness and health in numerous ways.

If you want to build bodybuilder-type muscle, then you can do so by using single joint isolation movements and heavy resistance.  This will create muscle fiber tears, flood your muscles with metabolites and generally help you to encourage more growth.  At the same time though, you can also use a kettlebell to lose weight and it happens to be particularly well suited to that goal.  Let’s look at how you might do that.

The Exercises


The great thing about the kettlebell is that it allows you to perform resistance cardio.  This means you are doing cardiovascular training that increases your heart rate and helps you to burn fat.  At the same time though, you are also lifting weight, which protects your muscle from breakdown and increases the challenge, thereby increasing the amount of calories burned and the amount of effort involved.  The kettlebell also allows you to train on the spot and without a lot of tools. Unlike running, you can enjoy kettlebell training anywhere and anytime.

To get the very most of this, you can combine the kettlebell with the HIIT modality.  HIIT is ‘high intensity interval training’ – a form of exercise that challenges you to alternate between brief bursts of high intensity exertion and shorter periods of relatively steady-state exercise.  For example, you might perform the kettlebell swing for 1 minute and then rest for 30 seconds before going again.  The kettlebell swing is an ideal movement for resistance cardio that involves swinging the kettlebell between your legs and then straight back up in the air using a slight hip thrust movement to provide the forward momentum.


The Diet


To lose weight, kettlebell training must be combined with the right type of diet, one that is relatively low in calories.  The objective is to burn more calories in a day than you consume.  So, if you normally burn 2,000 calories and consume 2,200 calories, you can increase that burn to 2,400 doing kettlebell training and you can then reduce the amount you eat to 2,100 calories.  Now you’re losing 300 calories every day!

Try to eat more protein and you will support more muscle growth while reducing fat storage.  Combine this with 4 workouts a week, lasting about 20 minutes each, and you should start to see the results you’re looking for using just this one tool and one movement.

Remember though, weight loss is only achievable if you change your entire lifestyle and habits.  It is not enough to simply add in an exercise and forget about it!  Walk more, spend less time in front of the TV and reduce unhealthy snacks.