Everything You Think You Know About Healthy Eating is Wrong and it's Making You Fat and Tired

Oh my gosh – nutrition and diet info is everywhere!

 And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you.  Right?

 Well, maybe…

 Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat.  This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it's certainly not the “holy grail” of health. 

 Let's focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.

 What you eat and drink

 The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important.  Don't get me wrong limiting calories, carbs or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that's simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone. 

 When the intense focus on how much we ate didn't work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn't we?

 You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don't forget to also pay attention to what you eat. 

 Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods).  This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.

 Every day this is what you should aim for:

●       A colourful array of fruits and veggies at almost every meal and snack.  You need the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

●       Enough protein.  Making sure you get all of those essential amino acids (bonus: eating protein can increase your metabolism).

●       Healthy fats and oils (never “hydrogenated” ones).  There is a reason some fatty acids are called “essential” - you need them as building blocks for your hormones and brain as well as to be able to absorb essential fat-soluble vitamins from your uber-healthy salads.  Use extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, eat your organic egg yolks, and get grass-fed meats when possible.  You don't need to overdo it here.  Just make sure you're getting some high-quality fats.

 How you eat and drink

 Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.

 Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.

 Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?

 When it comes to how you eat let's first look at “mindful eating”.

 Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

 This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.

This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.  Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?

 Thought so!

 We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.

 And don't forget about drinking your food. 

 Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness. 

 Don't get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack.  And don't gulp it down too fast.

 If your smoothies don't fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.

 So remember to consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.

 

3 Tips to Avoid Overeating

Labor Day is over and it's time for school, schedules and routine.  Since it was the end of the season, how did you celebrate? 

Sometimes on holidays, we tend to overeat, right?  Those meals seem to be extra special, so we eat more.  Especially a day like Labor Day, we may want to indulge in burgers, creamy side dishes, and desserts that we usually only eat during the summertime.

And it's not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambience.

It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days.

But it doesn't always stop there.

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Sometimes we overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.

Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water

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When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.

But did you know that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (...just sayin').

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

Win-win!

Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”

You've heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?

This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less. 

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.

So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #3: Start with the salad

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You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.

But don't start there.  (Don't worry, you can have some...just after you've eaten your salad).

Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They're “satiating”.

And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you're about to indulge in a large meal.

There you have it, three easy tips to try the next time you feel like you might overeat.

Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.

In my next program, the BETTER YOU Boot Camp, we will talk about these types of tips and tricks to helping you eat better, move more and find a good balance in your life!  Stay tuned for more details on the Fall program!

What is Metabolism Anyway?

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We hear people saying "I have such a low metabolism,"  all the time.  Or maybe you've thought that about yourself too?  Let's take a closer look at metabolism.

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.

You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight.  But what exactly does this all mean?

Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It's how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.

Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry, you would not be possible.

Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

●  Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).

● Allow activities you can't control (e.g. heartbeat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).

●   Allow storage of excess energy for later.

So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”. 

Metabolic rate

This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

●   Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).

●   Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).

●   Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn at work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you're not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What affects your metabolic rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you'll burn.

But that's not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

How big you are counts too! 

Larger people have higher metabolic rates, but your body composition is crucial! 

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you're not working out.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you. 

The thing is when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).

You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently. 

Fats, for example, increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

And don't forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

If you want to learn how to increase your metabolism, let's chat!  I am offering a free 20-minute Discovery Call to find out more about you and how I can help you reach your goals. 

As a Precision Nutrition Coach and experienced fitness and lifestyle coach, I may be able to help you with one of my upcoming programs.

All you have to do is contact me via email to schedule your call.  Here is my email address:  raeanne@raeannemullins.com

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

 

Are These Four Fears Stopping You?

Do you often start new exercise programs or new meal plans only to find yourself going back to old habits within just a few short weeks or even days?  It’s not easy making change, but one thing that seems to stop people in their tracks is FEAR. 

We all have some type of fear that prevents us from moving forward.  Remember as a kid when you were scared that something under the bed might get your feet?  Ok, yes, I still have that fear!  Ha ha!

When you think something is under the bed and it’s going to get your feet, you get scared and don’t want to move.  You don’t want to take that step out of the bed. 

You're first step to lasting results...

I heard a statistic this morning that 80% of people will give up on their New Year’s Resolutions by February 15.  I’m not sure where these statistics come from, but I believe it! 

I believe it because I used to make resolutions or meaningless goals on New Year’s Day too.  I’m sure my husband would roll his eyes when I would say “Ok, I’m serious this time.  I’m losing weight.  I’m starting January, 1st.” 

Does this sound familiar? 

When I finally started to believe myself and finally started taking action towards really achieving my goals, my world changed.

After my second child I decided I was ready to feel better.  I wanted to stop feeling sad, heavy (both mentally and physically) and I wanted to stop avoiding seeing friends and family.  I was hiding out because I didn’t really like myself that much.  I was hiding because I was the heaviest I had ever been.  I was hiding because I was the saddest I’d ever been.  I was hiding because I knew I could be more, but I just wasn’t sure where to start.

I’ll never forget the morning that things changed.  Something changed inside of me.  I got up early in the morning to go to the bathroom.  I was worried my husband would see me – I was hiding from him too. I was embarrassed for him to see what I had become. 

I got up and scurried off to the bathroom, shut the door and caught a glimpse of my sorry ass in the mirror.  At that moment I knew I had to stop.  I had to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I had to stop using food (cookies mostly) to make me feel better.  I had to stop living in a fog. 

So I did.

I got to work right away.  I threw out the junk food.  I signed up at a new gym (where I ended up becoming the group fitness leader/coordinator).  I bought vegetables.  Lots of vegetables. I started reading self-help books – even though I thought that was cheesy.  I started doing things that I knew were going to change my body, my mind and my soul.

These were all good things to start doing, but you know what made the biggest difference for me?  It was the group support I received from all the women who were working out with me.  They were really with me.  They got it.  We got it.  We did it together. 

Yes, I was the leader (of the fitness classes), but the women who came to me were cheering me on and I was cheering them on.  We sweated together, we laughed together, we cried together, we shared recipes, we had each other’s back.

So, I ask you; who has your back? 

If you are in a dark place or just unsure of what to do to step forward and start working on your goals, the first step is finding support.  It can be a coach, a trainer, a friend, your spouse, your mother, your dog.  Just find support.  

Once you have a strong support system and someone that is behind you no matter what, you can really start to dig into your changes.  

Fortunately, with wonderful technology, I am able to help more women like myself and like you.  Through Facebook, email, webinars, and Skype, I am able to support and guide women all over the country.

Through my online lifestyle groups, many women are coming together and supporting each other’s efforts.  They have each other’s back.  They have my back and I have theirs. 

Whether you need support via in-person or online, there is someone out there willing to help.  You just need to find your tribe, your "people" and jump in.  Jump in so deeply that you know there is no other choice than to succeed.  

Good luck with your journey!  If you want me to have your back, give me a holler!

I don't look like a fitness model, so what?

It was Friday afternoon and I was in a SUPER good mood.  I mean who isn’t in a good mood on Friday?  TGIF and all? 

I have been promoting my latest program through quite a few emails (sorry about that, but I need to get the information out or else you won’t know), so I was checking email frequently seeing if anyone was signing up for my program.

By the way, it’s like pins and needles waiting to see who will jump in with me.  It’s both exciting and scary because it’s not easy putting yourself out there in front of thousands of people not knowing what they are thinking about you.

In the latest email, I included a link to one of my workout videos that I had done live with a group on Facebook.  The workouts are done first thing in the morning and I promise you that I don’t spend more than 2-3 minutes getting ready for the video.  This means I am not trying to look beautiful and I’m definitely not trying to impress anyone with how I look. 

Honestly, I was a little nervous about sending it out to my entire email list – that’s a lot of people who may see me in the video exercising at 6am.  Ha!

As I was checking email, I noticed someone had responded!  I excitedly clicked their email and this is what it said:

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Gulp.

Deep Breath.

Another deep breath.

Then I said this aloud:  “This is not about me.”

OK, you’re right, I didn’t say that.  I said something very ugly and I don’t think I should share that part.  LOL! 

I do believe that when people are hateful to others it is due to their own insecurities.  I feel that this person has body image issues and decided to take it out on me. 

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However, thankfully I am very confident in who I am.  I am happy with who I am and how I look now.   I am also very confident in my training skills and know that I am helping many women achieve a healthier and more fit lifestyle.

Sure, I don’t look like a 25 year old fitness model and I could lose some of my belly, but guess what?  I feel that life is way too short to spend it hating my body and a few extra rolls here and there aren’t impairing me from achieving a life I love.  I choose to spend more time noticing my strong thighs while teaching a cycle class, beating my son’s friends in arm wrestling matches and taking long walks with my dog.

I am aware of the work that goes into the lives of fitness models.  I know what they eat.  I know the hours they spend in the gym and I know that I DO NOT WANT THAT. 

I want to eat a cookie.  I want to drink wine with my friends.  I want to have a day or two off from the gym.  I want to spend time with my family and friends and not make it all about exercise and food.  I want a real life.  I want a balanced life.

A healthy and fit life is so much more than a bikini-ready body.  I’m sad for those people that don’t understand that.

I posted about this on Facebook and was overwhelmed with the responses.  I was a little embarrassed after the fact because I wasn’t seeking compliments, but I truly appreciate all of you and all of your very sweet comments. 

I leave you with this:

Be You.

Do You.

Believe in You.

Create the BEST You possible

Life is too short to do otherwise.