In today’s installment of Saturday Snippets, I’m gonna just talk about numbers for a bit.
Ironic considering I don’t find numbers particularly interesting or remotely fun…. sorry you little math nerds out there who love them. 😉
However, numbers do interest me when it comes to weights and seeing how much I’m capable of lifting, how fast I can ride, or row a mile and tidbits like that.
This weeks rounds at PT had my therapist commenting that the “165 lb. single leg presses were looking easy” for me.
Welllll…I’d never describe it like THAT….but I haven’t exactly mentioned to him I feel like I could probably handle more (I suspect that is coming)
You see, those things matter. It indicates where my strength is at and I will have a knowledge of where I’ve progressed from.
When numbers shouldn’t matter
I’ve been stalking….er…I mean…observing… this cultic diet group from afar. They place a whole lotta emphasis on their products helping people miraculously lose all kinds of weight and inches in only….8 days.
Yep you read right. There are tons of glowing life stories of consumers being transformed in these 8 days.
Almost makes me question my old school approach of healthy eating and purposeful exercise…not.
Of course they neglect to tell you that you largely do a starvation diet but hey! Food is overrated.
Of other short term glowing reviews there’s a huge focus on getting into significantly smaller sizes in a short time.
Here’s where I’m going
Wearing smaller clothes and losing weight is certainly not bad. Losing excess fat is good for the body and your overall health.
But who says it has to be attempted in a ridiculously short term manner? Why is the focus on those numbers instead of focusing on a slow sustainable loss of 1-2 lbs a week?
The reality is, even if you do lose a “big” amount in the first week it’s mostly water weight as you have greatly reduced carbs which hold water. Heck! With this plan you’ve pretty much reduced all food!
Successful long term weight loss isn’t a speed process, sorry, it’s just not.
And it doesn’t need to be.
Numbers that matter
Instead of focusing on perhaps, unrealistic or unsustainable numbers consider things like this on your fitness journey:
How many steps did you get in your day? Did you get more than the previous day?
Can you walk/run farther than previous weeks?
How many stairs can you climb?
Is your weekly weight loss a steady 1-2 lbs?
What about your body measurements? Often we will see those numbers change even if the scale doesn’t.
What about your blood pressure or lab results numbers? These are internal indicators of your health.
Lifting weights? Can you do more reps or have you increased weight you are using? Celebrate the strength of your body!
There are so many numbers that reflect our health and fitness, beyond the scale.
Attempting to do things “fast” doesn’t earn you extra rewards and if anything, potentially sets you back. You don’t become over weight “fast”, why is there a thought weight loss occurs that way?
Slow and steady weight loss, combined with consistent exercise will lead to long term success you can be proud of.
Ah the dilemma. The dilemma of what to put into my Saturday Snippets for you to read as you eat your donut and wash it down with coffee.
I thought I’d continue with my healthy living theme that I’ve got going on right now.
A few years ago when I began to um…accidentally…wander into the health and fitness world I had clear ideas of how I thought things should work. I still do although some have been dialed in on more since I’ve learned and grown more.
The one thing now that is so important to me is using my voice through my blog and other social media to share how crucial good nutrition is to someone wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.
I love exercise. I’ve loved the hard work and challenges of training for big events. I love getting out of my comfort zone and doing stuff some of y’all tease me about 😁
However, at the end of the day, the best exercise I can do is make careful choices as to what I choose to shovel or not shovel into my mouth.
This is where it makes or breaks for all of us.
I firmly believe a sensible eating plan that includes all food groups is extremely important.
Sustainability long term ( can you do it forever) and important vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs from all food groups.
Yes, exercise I believe is crucial to our complete well being. However, if you want to lose weight, keep it off, and live “normally ” you need to do a couple things.
* Eat a balanced diet of all foods.
* Don’t engage in plans that restrict or offer “cheat days” or leave you feeling deprived and restricted.
* Practice mindful eating. Listen to your body.
*Portion control. You really don’t need seconds.
* Remember anything that is labeled as low fat, fat free, sugar free, gluten free, paleo, keto, low carb, whatever, whatever, still has calories! And your body only needs a certain number a day to do it’s thing. Eat over that, you won’t lose, eat under that requirement and you’ll lose weight. Remember, its science boys and girls 😏
Make a point to daily choose real, whole foods, allow for a wee bit of fun stuff, eat enough to satisfy your appetite, listen to your body ( it’s ok to get truly hungry!) then add as well some purposeful exercise to balance it all out.
If you need to start somewhere though, remember the best exercise is mindfulness of what your hand brings to your mouth and the quality of food you eat.
Oh I’m so excited to be able to finally do this book review! There is nothing I love more than being able to talk up something I can support and get behind. Mainly because the truths and information in this book can be life changing. Lives have been changed and people come into a real working knowledge of understanding themselves better and more importantly understanding their relationship with food. They build new habits, and in the process losing weight and never thinking of another diet ever again. Ever.
With the start of a new year comes a plethora of new books on weight loss, nutrition and fitness all of them vying for your attention and your money.
No wonder. The weight loss/diet industry is a mega dollar business and it’s a competitive market going after you, the consumer, who is wondering what the next step should be to finally losing weight and getting in shape.
For good. Once for all and done with the yoyo lifestyle.
8 years ago when I decided I was going to just finally do it, I didn’t have a “plan” or an organized diet I followed. I was tired of things that didn’t make sense, made me feel deprived, left me always hungry or thinking about when I could finally… for the love of God.. have food again.
What a sucky way to live.
So I basically just started taking one day at a time. I made slow changes, learned to modify my food choices, and I didn’t deprive myself. Incredibly, I was losing weight, almost painlessly. With enough time I guess those behaviors turned into new habits that I began to do without even thinking about it. I got more into exercising and that helped too.
I learned to eat when I was hungry and stop when I felt satisfied. I began to think more about what I ate and I also learned that I didn’t have to have an all or nothing mentality. I could have chocolate in the house and not eat it, but if I wanted a piece or two, I did with no guilt attached.
Such freedom in developing healthy habits and behaviors with food!
I didn’t focus on losing a certain amount of weight or let the scale rule me. I just lived one day at a time and weight loss, slow and steady, occurred.
Several years went by and I saw a friend post one day about a book called “Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss” I read enough in the post to intrigue me which sent me searching out the book to see what it was about.
I was shocked that the young woman writing it had eloquently written out things I had somehow stumbled on and taught myself that had led to my success and evidently many others were learning and being taught similar things.
It’s the only “weight loss anything’ I recommend to someone.
After buying it, I read it almost overnight. I eventually wrote a post here on my blog for my readers, wanting to share this great find.
This past fall Georgie contacted me letting me know the paperback version would be dropping in December and would I mind writing another review?
Mind?! Ha, not at all.
My position is still very much the same on the book and habits lifestyle now as it was when I wrote first review. The paperback copy is small, light and an easy book to drop in your bag and whip out when you’re sitting somewhere waiting … like a doctors office where your appointment was an hour ago and you’re still waiting 😉
Although smaller in format and composition it still packs all the valuable, smart, and incredibly sane information the hardback book contains.
I’m thrilled to do my part in an industry that wants to teach people freedom from food and diet nonsense so they can live successfully in their health and fitness endeavors.
The book is neatly formatted into 4 main core habits that you pace yourself on. You do one until it becomes second nature. Until you don’t even think about doing it. Once you feel you’ve mastered it, you can move on. Georgie lays them out clearly with tips, ideas and cool science stuff to go along with it. So if you’re kind of a science nerd, you’ll like those parts. Once you get the 4 core habits down you move into the 12 supporting habits which covers everything from eating treats to emotional eating and everything in between.
The book is easy to read and she often makes you laugh so that’s an extra bonus ( in my opinion 😉 )
Basically at the end of it she’s got you thinking “Hey, I can do this!”
Not only that, I love how she talks about not wanting to make the process horrible or hard for her clients because it doesn’t have to be that way.
“My goal as a coach has always been to help my clients achieve that calorie deficit in the most comfortable way possible. The experience of losing fat doesn’t have to be all that bad!” p. 37 Lean Habits For Weight Loss
How many times have you thought you have to suffer, be miserable, starve, and hate life to lose some weight?
You don’t. Trust me.
Thousands of people have used this approach to almost effortlessly lose a little ( or a lot) of weight and change their lives.
Does it take work? Persistence? A willingness to know you’ll have good days and bad days but you just keep on practicing those habits till you do them so automatically you don’t even thing about it? Yes.
Is it worth it to live the rest of your days in peace with food? Absolutely.
So. The new book review. I’m getting there.
I wanted to take a different spin on this review. I wanted to ask Georgie some questions to help you know a little of who she is, where her passion is at, and how she came to writing this book. One thing I’ve learned about her and following her is that she is passionate about this idea of living free from food bondage and teaching others how to do it too.
Let’s hear from her now and see what she has to say……..
For those who don’t know, can you share a little background on who you are ? What are your degrees and training?
GF: I grew up in New Jersey and did my undergraduate degree in Nutritional Sciences at Rutgers University. Then I went to Cornell University in upstate New York for my Dietetic Internship, and became a registered dietitian in 2005. Not quite ready to stop learning, I enrolled in the PhD program in Nutritional Sciences back at Rutgers University. After another five years of PhD work, I was academically doing well but personally and healthwise I was struggling. I had been working as the Sports Dietitian for Rutgers Athletics during my grad school years and it had become so clear that working in counseling was for me, not a career in academia. I had to get out of the lab, and out of my high pressure, chronically broke life. So I decided to move to the mountains of Colorado, sans PhD, and work as a clinical dietitian. Not long after that, I began counseling online as well as in person, and eventually transitioned into all online nutrition consulting in 2011.
Was there something specific that helped you choose the field you are in ?
GF: I was an athlete in high school and somewhat obsessed with nutrition and health. I suffered from anorexia nervosa as a teenager, exercised compulsively to manage my anxiety and depression, and throughout my college years was still repairing my relationship with food and exercise. I had always been a science fanatic, and my love of food and my love of science just meshed perfectly into studying nutrition!
Why write this book? Was there a defining moment to do so ?
GF: Well, when I started learning all this, it was purely about getting my own life on track! And after that happened, and I just kept meeting person after person who was suffering and I could help them with what I learned. It’s the best feeling in the world for me to work with a person and see them changing, becoming happier and more confident and feeling empowered and enjoying food instead of feeling tense and stressed about it.
But at the same time there is a disappointing limit to working with people one at a time; I can only work with this tiny little sliver of people who want help, and it’s a drop in the bucket because millions of people want this info and can benefit from scientifically-sound, easy to implement nutrition guidance. Books are one fantastic way to spread information to larger amount of people, which is also the reason we put our nutrition courses online for free, so anyone can take them. (Head to onebyonenutrition.com and you’ll see).
I put off writing it for a year, actually, because I was intimidated about writing a proposal and getting rejected by publishers, but eventually I got brave enough.
Why would someone want to use the lean habits system over some of the other current trendy diets or plans out there right now?
GF: If you want results that last, you can’t do a certain set of behaviors temporarily. This is maintainable, it’s flexible, you can go on vacation, eat your favorite foods, and keep practicing. It fits into real life without being a major pain in the butt, and it actually feels really good to take charge of making your own food choices and know that you are on the right track without weighing or counting things. And it ends helping a lot of people deal with their emotions and relationship with food in a beneficial way. It’s like a rehabilitation program after too much dieting has left you with food guilt, no clue what hunger and satisfaction feel like, and still that extra weight you wanted gone.
What is your biggest passion in what you do? Your biggest frustration?
GF: My passion is to listen to people like they have never been heard before, to ask the questions that help me understand why they eat the way they do, and to then communicate it back to them so that they understand it too.
My biggest frustration is when people don’t want to understand, learn, or change, and think they can just buy a meal plan from me.
Do you have a favorite lean habit success story I can share with my readers?
GF: Oooh yes. I just got a client email actually….. (see below)
“Like most people who struggle with nutrition and health, I have spent my life beating myself up for my failures. Georgie Fear helped me learn how to transform my critical inner dialogue. Georgie is incredibly knowledgeable about all facets of health, but, more importantly, she is caring and willing to walk through struggles without judgement. In fact, she would often share difficulties from her own life to give me hope to overcome my own mistakes. Georgie asked great questions and was patient with my missteps along the way. Her guidance transformed all of my life as I learned how to rejoice in mistakes and challenges as an opportunity to learn. I am a better husband, father, and friend because of this change. Today, I no longer tear myself down during difficult times; instead, I build myself up and forgive myself for my mistakes. Georgie guided me to a place where I no longer needed a coach, and I am healthier today than when I finished working with her. I practice healthy habits daily, and I know how to easily build new habits into my life. The time I spent working with Georgie will positively influence me for the rest of my life; it has been the best investment in my personal growth that I have made.” With immense gratitude,
Alright, so there it is. If you are at your wits end with diets, being hungry, hating the yoyo game of losing and gaining, perhaps this is for you.
It you’re tired of counting calories, weighing food, feeling hungry and deprived only to quit and go on a food binge, perhaps this is for you.
If you’re ready to put in some effort and work to build new healthy habits that will last a life time and understand your relationship with food, maybe, just maybe, you should consider this.
You won’t find meal plans or a list of foods you can or can’t eat. You won’t find painful restrictions or deprivation. You won’t have to miss out on having a little piece of Aunt Susie’s birthday cake either.
You will find positive support, develop new habits, and build a healthy lifestyle that can be sustainable and actually enjoyable.
Head on over to Amazon and see about getting your copy today.
“I want to be the weight I was in high school!” says the middle aged woman… “I want to weigh what I did when I played football” declares a man
These are weight ideals that men and women have every day. When they begin to focus on a goal for weight loss for some reason, the weight they were in the past and they felt like they were “their best”, becomes the new and current focus, even if they haven’t seen this weight in decades.
Where as there’s nothing wrong with this, it could also just be an unrealistic goal based on where you are today in your life.
Perhaps there’s a sense that once that “ideal” weight is reached there will be a feeling that you’ve “arrived”. Or it could be an assumption if you got to that weight again you’ll be really happy. Maybe you view it as your body will finally be how you want it.
I guess the reasons could go on… however… it just might not be where you need to be… today.
Our bodies are beautifully designed to live in a perfect balance of a weight that is “good” for us. Yes, we can have times of our weight being lower but it might take a lot more work and attentiveness to our diet to just be able to maintain those numbers on the scale.
It certainly could be an unwanted burden to bear if you have to be constantly watchful of everything you eat to stay at that perceived “good” weight.
That perceived weight goal you have might not be where you need to be at today in your life.
You might have a different job or more activities to keep you moving. You might have health issues or be on meds that don’t allow you to move to that goal. You might not “look” healthy if the weight is a bit to low for you.
But let’s not over look the fact that our bodies often have a preset weight that they can stay at and you can easily maintain and it might not be your predetermined goal weight.
Let’s establish this:
First there are a lot of factors that can determine our “ideal” weight. Your height, age, gender, frame size, muscle to fat ratio, and body fat distribution all play into your ideal weight.
You could be the same height as your friend and maybe trade off borrowing clothes, but I can guarantee your body composition will be very different.
There are several “tools” that doctors/health care professionals use to help determine an “ideal” weight. But again that is so subjective based on many things. Let’s take a look at a few ways supposed ideal weight could be determined.
One of the long time used meters is the BMI (body mass index)
Your BMI is calculated on your height and weight and a scale is used on what “normal” body weights are for the gender/age/ etc.
You can figure your own by looking it up on an online calculator. You can also do it as a math problem, but that makes my head hurt, so I prefer the handy online calculator to help with it. I already know mine, but maybe you need to figure yours out.
This can give a base line of “health”.
Standard numbers are less than 18.5 you are underweight, healthy weight 18.5-24.9, overweight 25-29.9, and obese 30 or higher.
This is a good tool but not a good indicator if a person is carrying a more “muscle to fat ratio” as their numbers can come in higher, although they are technically more fit and more lean muscle mass is definitely preferable to a higher fat ratio.
BMI is a surrogate measure of body fatness because it is a measure of excess weight rather than excess body fat.
BMI uses your weight in the formula but it doesn’t distinguish if it comes from an abundance of fat or lean muscle tissue. Athletes and body builders who carry a great amount of muscle can come in with a higher BMI, which does not distinguish muscle mass carried.
Because BMI does not directly measure fat it can miscategorize people as healthy who have a normal weight for their height when they are actually carrying to much fatty tissue.
You can see just using a BMI has negatives in both directions although it offers a guideline as a basic health screening.
Another more accurate tool is body fat percentage.
I learned a lot about this a few years ago. My doctor told me I fall more into the category now of figuring body fat than the standard BMI due to my lean muscle mass. Many experts say that body fat percentage is the best way to go as it is the best way to gauge their fitness level because it’s the only measurement that includes the bodies true composition.
Using the body fat percentage would not make the couch potato seem more fit than an Olympic athlete as the case with just using BMI.
There are several ways of determining body fat percentage and although none are 100% accurate it will give you a close enough estimate.
Examples include near-infrared interactance, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and bioelectrical impedance analysis.
I’ll give you one other example.. that should be enough to over load your mind for today …
Waist to hip ratio
A waist-hip measurement is the ratio of the circumference of your waist to that of your hips. You measure the smallest circumference of your waist, usually just above your belly button, and divide that total by the circumference of your hip at its widest part.
Less than 0.9 for men and 0.8 for women is considered low risk for cardio problems
0.9-0.99 for men and 0.8-0.89 for women moderate risk of cardio problems
1 or over for men and 0.9 or over for women is considered high risk
The WHR of a person is commonly said to be a much better indicator of whether their body weight is ideal and what their risks of developing serious health conditions are, compared to BMI.
The biggest problem with WHR is that it’s just not a good indicator of overall health, it doesn’t accurately measure the persons total body fat percentage, or their muscle to fat ratio. It is a better predictor of ideal weight and health risks than BMI.
So… your ideal weight…does it exist?
Your “ideal” weight is as unique as your daily dietary needs are for health and wellness.
A few things to consider about it…
Know roughly what your body weight range should be. If you are outside of that or know you are carrying extra weight ( and we all know when we have extra fat on us), a sensible plan will help you steadily knock of those pounds to get to a more normal healthy range. The ideal weight charts sometimes can give you a close estimate and some are ridiculous ( as in one that told me I should weigh between 108-112. Yeah, I laughed over that. At 6’0 those are ridiculous numbers) I do know what my “range” is, but for me that’s pretty loose because again, it doesn’t take in my lean muscle mass, my activity level, or any other unique aspects of my physical person.
Your ideal weight won’t necessarily be your high school weight or whatever other magic number you have in mind.
Once you are in a healthy weight zone, allow for a 5 lb. limit to swing back and forth in. Trust me. It’s freeing. Ladies, this is especially important depending on where you are in your cycle. I know that a few extra pounds that might show up mid cycle will go away as some water weight. If it’s water, things will balance out again.
Depending on your level of physical activity ( and I mean workouts most days of the week or specific weight training) you will build lean muscle mass. This level of body fat you have to lean muscle mass is your body composition. The more lean muscle you build, the better. Muscle isn’t “heavier” than 1 lb of fat, it’s just that fat takes up more volume or space then muscle. Muscle is more dense. Understanding this, if you are doing very purposeful exercise all the time you can gain lean muscle but the scale might not change a lot on you.
Your ideal weight will become easy enough to maintain based on your daily food intake and purposeful exercise.
If you have to go hungry, restrict meals, workout more than usual, or do any other crazy thing to stay at a given weight, that’s your wake up call. Your body isn’t going to stay there unless you are constantly diligent and practicing those methods to keep it there.
Your ideal weight will allow you to do the things you love, to take care of your family, pursue active endeavors, or take on your daily purposeful exercise with lots of energy.
It’s great to have an ideal weight in mind, but having a happy healthy weight that’s sustainable for your life is even better.
Do you or have you strived towards an ideal weight? Have you found a place of balance with a happy healthy weight?
It had been one of those days. My morning started as usual, workout, then the life stuff I had to attend to.
After that, it was off to town to do errands and finally, landing in my favorite coffee cave to chill, socialize, and write.
Oh yeah. That’s what I’m here for.
Believe it or not, I am way more productive being out than being at home where things pull at me.
I had been writing for awhile and was wrestling with the feeling of needing something sweet. This is sometimes for me, normal, after a morning with a hard workout.
Sugar is nothing but pure, raw fuel for the body. I’ve learned to not fight against it when it hits, but get something to quiet that need.
Last year after a particularly long run, by midafternoon, I was craving jelly beans in the worst way. ( Can you say sugar?) I went and bought some and chowed down on a handful without blinking.
The next day, I had a couple and was overwhelmed with how sweet they were. I didn’t touch them after that.
Fast forward to the other afternoon with a similar feeling creeping in. I kept writing but that need was still there.
I finally decided I wanted ice cream. Actually, where I got it, it’s a fancier version with other goodies added into it. This one happened to be Salted Caramel.
As I’m prone to do posting fun, random, or whatever pics on my social media sites, I posted a pic of the ice cream.
As I expected several of my friends teased me about being “normal” and they were happy to see I ate stuff like, ice cream.
Of course I do. Don’t judge me 😛
I’m not just some perpetual veggie eating machine 😉 I mean I am… but… I still like some treats too.
Anyway, yeah, so the ice cream was delicious. But my tummy also let me know a bit later it wasn’t to crazy about that heavy treat during the day when it’s not used to it.
When you eat healthy most of the time, that other stuff really begins to not set well in your tummy.
So why am I telling you this? Because I want to share with you what I shared with those who follow me on social media.
The main thing that has led to me being successful in my weight loss and fitness has been a healthy dose of balance and moderation.
I knew I’d never be successful if I developed my own plan and it was restrictive and rigid. Somehow, knowing I could have my favorite things took away the focus from them. It’s a huge mental game and it was one I wanted to be in control over.
As I bounced through those first couple years losing weight, chocolate and occasional French fries were a part of my success. So was birthday cake and Christmas cookies.
Note I used the word occasional. As time went on, the pull became less and less. Mainly in part because your tastes begin to change and those foods start to taste “off” and that also helps to stay away from it. The other part is, knowing it was available in some ways, made me not think about it.
This is what I want to bring to you.
I believe successful weight loss comes with balance. We need to get rid of the all or nothing mentality. Have lots or have none. Do without or eat it all.
These thoughts and attitudes do not lead to success. They can contribute to guilt and more self indulgence. When we believe we’ve “failed” it turns into a brutal cycle we can battle.
The only time you fail is when you quit. Staying with it no matter how bad you think you might’ve done in a day is more successful than quitting.
Life is going on and it has fun things like celebrations, and sometimes, it even has random just for the hell of it ice cream afternoons.
Did eating ice cream change anything for me? Did it change my fitness level? Make me gain 5 lbs? Turn me into a crazy “I can eat anything now” monster because I had ice cream?
Nothing changed for me.
I eat well 95% of the time and the other is for whatever floats my boat.
Balance. Moderation. What is sustainable for the rest of my life.
That stuff works.
If you make it your goal to eat well and eat well the majority of the time, you are on your way to a life time of success. Throw in some solid exercise you’re doing even better.
I firmly believe that when you know you can have everything ( not that you are going to) and that foods aren’t forbidden or good or bad, it removes a lot of the power from them.
It protects you from the “Last Supper” mentality.
You know… eat it ALL now ’cause tomorrow I diet and I will never, ever have it again.
**raise your hand if you’ve done that** 😉
If you know you can have it, you don’t have to act like the garbage can and clean it all up in a night. No one will take it away so you can’t have it again. Really, your favorite foods will still be around.
Do you see how so much of our thinking can be disordered when it comes to food and weight loss ?
This might take some practice. It might take a failed attempt or two to nail this practice. Maybe you’ll slip up and eat a half bag of cookies.
It’s ok… keep on with it… not the eating cookies part, the practice part 😉
With practice and some balance and moderation, you can have your ice cream and lose weight too.
Oh boy. I’m getting on my soap box again so buckle up boys and girls. I try and stay off of it, but with this particular topic it’s such a rich sea of constant writing opportunities it’s just hard to not capitalize on them.
What you may be wondering is it that keeps my creative writing pot over flowing?
The world of “health” and wellness companies. I’ve had a thing or two to say about them before. I’m sure it won’t be the last time either.
The products are sold by your next door neighbor, the friend you do yoga with or the sweet grandmother down the street.
Once they sign up they become health and wellness experts overnight.
Actually, they just regurgitate what the company spoon feeds them in propaganda.
Listen, I’m not knocking someone who’s trying to make a few extra bucks. Their intentions are well meaning. I know lots of people who do. I’m just suggesting you might not turn your health care over to someone who doesn’t know squat about most of the things the company tells them to promote or say.
Maybe your blood sugar is just fine and if it isn’t your neighbor isn’t the one to consult.
If you need energy maybe, perhaps, your nutrition needs adjusting and you don’t need supplements of some kind to give you “energy” ( which can translate to nothing more than “natural” speed in some products) maybe you need to lose weight to feel more energetic.
One company vendor posted a screen shot a customer had sent. The customer was proclaiming “how much energy he/she had and they hadn’t even taken their Adderol!” ( Adderol if you don’t know is a legal, controlled substance taken by many people but it’s a legal “speed”) Whatever natural thing was in the product made them feel like they had taken their meds.
That made me raise my eyebrows…a lot….well… there’s LOTS that make my eyebrows shoot off my face sometimes.
Ok well I’m getting to my main point for today. One company is huge on talking up “gut health” and telling you that you need all these products cause you’re more sickly than you realize without them. This company’s literature is loaded with all kinds of “issues” or “problems” you can have in regards to gut health. But I must say, what’s set me off on todays tangent is something I read earlier and it was a meme that said…
“Anxiety is not all in your head. It’s actually in your gut.”
I desperately wanted to ask if it was a “for real” post ’cause it just was so… shocking to me… disturbing.. that someone would believe that or say it. Like.. do you know anyone who has anxiety issues? I couldn’t imagine telling the person I know who deals with it that it was only “in their gut”.
And I guess I was disturbed that someone would be so casual about a mental condition to use it in a meme that was designed to get you to respond so they could say… “well hey! I have all these products to fix your awful gut and it will fix up your anxiety too!”
Are. You. Kidding.
It honestly bothered me all day on lots of levels.
I have done a bit of my own research on this topic… and let’s just say in a huge way the jury is still out on the topic of “gut health”. There are lots of opinions and thoughts and there is still a lot of discussion on it. You can find various writings and articles but like anything out there, you’ve gotta consider the sources.
Ok but first, simplified, what on God’s green earth does that REALLY mean?? Here’s my definition for you so we have something to work with here.
“Gut health is anything pertaining to your digestive working system.”
Everything we eat passes through the GI tract. The tract is lined with a thin, sticky mucous and it’s lined with millions of bacteria that live, grow and metabolize ( digesting and absorbing) in what’s considered a complex ecosystem comprised of both beneficial and harmful bacteria.
So ideally, we eat foods good for us, it processes through our amazing organized system and in the GI tract the food is broken down and nutrients are delivered via the small intestine into the blood stream.
When we feed our body good foods it operates in optimal form.
However, let’s face it. Many don’t. Sometimes life is going on and we don’t eat as well as we should. So yes, you can have issues or problems with your “gut” ( and I really hate that word, just throwing that out there)
If eating poorly is a lifestyle then there can be many common problems that you may deal with:
Gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, inflammation, cramping, indigestion etc.
Wow, that all sounds fun, right? Some people might just come to assume it’s what they have to live with, that it’s normal for them.
You really don’t have to feel that way. And you really can keep your money and not buy the snake oil to “heal” you.
Our bodies were made to function on foods and not man made supplements. Healing your gut, for the most part, can be helped with improved nutrition and better eating habits.
Here’s a fun fact for you….within 20 minutes of eating whole healthy foods you can begin “healing your gut” as the bacteria in your bowels divide every 20 minutes on average. Meaning what you eat either feeds your body health promoting bacteria or non healthy bacteria.
The type of food you eat is a powerful weapon for health.
And a few other tips/suggestions to get and stay healthy:
Probiotics. The natural way to get them would be through foods. Yogurt is a wonderful source, make sure to choose ones that say active or live cultures.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut also have a high level of probiotics.
Avoid use of antibiotics unless necessary. These destroy your “good” bacteria.
Eat less refined sugars.
Lower stress levels.
Eat a healthy daily diet.
So here’s the thing that these companies leave out. There is a small nod to diet or exercise with them. but it’s more about “buy and use our stuff to be healthy and feel awesome.”
The list of problems their products promise to help and fix is staggering. I’m waiting to hear it cures cancer next.
Let’s keep in mind, at the end of the day, they are a marketing company and everyone is out to make money.
They aren’t telling you that good nutrition should be your goal. They aren’t telling you exercise will help you have energy, change your lab results, or help with your moods.
They are saying… hey, eat what you want and use our products to help you….why should you have to change?
If you don’t change your behaviors and your eating habits there is no product that is going to fix those problems and the only thing you’ll lose is your money to the snake oil salesman.
Say what? Did I just use the word “diet” in my title? Maybe you’re thinking… “you don’t do diets… what’s up? And what do you mean the right diet??”
And you’re correct, I don’t subscribe to any particular diet or current trendy food movement that’s going around.
8 years ago I decided when I was going to finally do it ( lose weight) and be done with it this time (for good) that I needed to figure out what worked for me.
I had to first acknowledge what DIDN’T work for me.
I knew that I didn’t like having to follow some set daily food plan telling me what I could eat and how much. I didn’t want to be locked into something ridged that kept me from living my life and enjoying it.
I didn’t wanna be miserable. I didn’t wanna be deprived. Basically, I wasn’t interested in suffering.
Isn’t that what diets are about? You jump into something for 6-8 weeks, hope for the best, and count down the days till you can return to “normal” life and eating. You just get through it.
And well, I’m honestly a bit of a rebel at heart and just don’t like having to follow the rules of a set diet. Like… don’t tell me what to eat and when….. everything in me rebelled against that.
That’s when I decided… I’ll just do my own thing…. and you know what? it’s worked for me.
I wanted to lose weight, not be hungry, and eat what I enjoyed while I did it.
Let me give you 3 tips or suggestions on building your own daily “diet” ( and I use that term to describe what you consume in your day)
Safe. Whatever you decide to do, it needs to be safe in a health way. Don’t overly restrict your calories or live off nothing but bananas or some crazy stunt. Understand what your basic daily caloric needs are and operate within that zone. If you actively exercise don’t forget to adjust your needs for higher active days. If you need help understanding your calorie needs, consult with your doctor for a good base line starting place. It also needs to have all food groups included.
Simple. For me that meant being able to eat foods I enjoyed and could easily prepare. It also meant having a working plan that I could stick to and follow. It also had to be flexible. If the family went out for a burger, I certainly didn’t want to sit there picking at a salad while they had fries! ( although, now days, a salad is almost always my preference simply because I like them and feel better eating them over a heavier meal) If I had a burger, it was an intentional choice that I enjoyed and then just moved on with life.
Sustainable. I think this is the most important point. Whatever you set up for yourself has to be what works for you. That is the only way you will stick with it and be successful long term, and for the rest of your life. It doesn’t have to be what your co-worker is doing or your neighbor. They aren’t you… you aren’t them. It’s time to set aside cookie cutter diets and not try to fit into molds that aren’t designed for us. I think that’s why so many fail in this process of losing weight. Trying to fit into something that is designed to fail from the beginning .
Other suggestions to this would be:
Make sure you include all food groups in your plan. If you aren’t crazy about something ( like veggies) then just start taking small steps to incorporate them.
Eat enough food to satisfy your appetite, but don’t stuff yourself.
Listen to your bodies natural signals… eat when hungry…don’t eat when you aren’t.
Don’t restrict foods. I think that was a huge thing to my success. I basically told myself that I could have anything, nothing was off limits, and it really takes the power out it knowing you can have it…if you realllllyyy need it… but it gives you the freedom to leave it alone too. It puts a huge level of control on your side. Understand.. this wasn’t open season for me to just eat crappy food. I knew that was stuff that needed to be limited for my success. It just removed its power over me by mentally by not restricting it from my life. We always…want…what we cannot have.
Structure your meals to where you eat larger ones early on in day…tapering to lighter at the end of day. Really, think about when you need the most calories and energy…it’s not before you go to bed in the evening with a huge meal.
Get to know your body! Know what foods make you feel good and energetic and which make you feel like crap. Don’t shun foods groups just because it’s the latest trend. If you have a valid allergy issue or if you don’t feel great when you eat it, fine. Otherwise aim for balance of all foods.
By developing and building your own plan, you will be able to stay on it for a life time and not just a few weeks. Making your own rules will keep it sustainable and doable for you which will lead to your success.