We run our lives based upon the core beliefs that we have adopted, and depending upon what we are doing and what circumstances we are in, when we try to apply just one core belief to the entirety of our lives which sometimes can get us into trouble. For example, I was talking to an athlete the other day and I asked him about his core belief or philosophy of life. He thought about it and then stated that he has the core belief of, ‘if you lose weight you win’.
In the athletic world of which he is involved, that core belief or philosophy works really well. For example, in the sport of wrestling apparently the goal is to get down to the lower weight class, and once you weigh-in, then you can eat.
If you take that philosophy and place it into family life then what might happen, especially with the influence on children, is the implication that food intake needs to be controlled to extreme measures. This food philosophy, might lead to food fixation which can start an eating disorder.
Changing the core belief that you hold for yourself based upon the different roles that you have is based upon your circumstances. It is extremely important to identify what core beliefs you actually hold. For example, the Health At Every Size movement is actually a core belief or philosophy of weight maintenance, so that depending upon your size, as long as you are healthy, you are okay. The idea behind this philosophy, is to show compassion for how difficult it is to live in a culturally stigmatized body. To adopt the HAES movement for across the weight spectrum leads to acceptance. So instead of jumping on the anti-obesity band wagon, this movement is about improving health behaviours and letting the weight settle where it may, in the hopes to avoid bias against fat people and embracing healthy habits for all sizes.
So, changing up the core belief from ‘if you lose weight you win’ to ‘if you’re healthy you win’ means that you would have to identify the word healthy with a specific definition. So, what is healthy? Healthy is to be safe, aligned, and engaged. Safe, in regards to maintaining your certain weight, aligned with your food management strategy, and maintain engagement on a consistent basis with your core belief.
For me the difficulty with the HEAS movement is; how do you identify healthy, when the person you are looking at appears to be unhealthy, either too thin or too large, this sends warning bells off in our minds. So it is very hard to follow a regime that says ‘become an unrestrained eater’. How do you listen to your bodies’ signals of hunger and fullness when your body set point has become confused. Weight regulation can be quite complicated.
When we can’t identify what our core belief is, what happens is, we are like a candle in the wind, blowing based upon external cues, listening to what other people tell us to believe, which in turn dictates how we eat.
Being able to identify our core belief about food means that we are listening to our internal cues and we base our eating on what we are thinking. So, if I see something that does not fit with my core belief and what I have defined as healthy, then just because I am smelling the Cinnabon or seeing people eating them, I do not feel deprived, I compare it to my internal core belief, which then dictates that the Cinnabon is not an option. If however, I choose it to be an option no matter what I am in control of the food and the food is not in control of me.
So I was talking to someone today who was saying that they only eat when it is that they are hungry. Which basically means that they have determined that they only eat three small meals a day, they don’t weigh themselves at all. They just “feel” their body, and they just know that they are exactly where it is that they are needing to be weight size wise based on how they “feel”. Other family members are disturbed by this saying that ‘it is actually unhealthy to only eat a small portion of food at a time and cutting out specific foods.” The family considers this an eating disorder, even though based on the BMI (Body Mass Index), they actually fall in the ‘normal’ range for their height.
So this makes me wonder, if the goal is actually to eat when it is that you are hungry how is it that participating in such an activity would cause such distress with others. Talking about the HAES (Health at Every Size) movement, the goal is to actually get to your ‘natural’ weight set point. This movement states that normal set point maintenance is the weight that is healthiest to you. The goal of this movement is for you to be able to say yes to these questions, #1 being able to eat naturally to the signals of hunger, and fulness of appetite without fixating on weight or eating habits. #2 is your ability to be able to eat effortless and enjoyably.
When you can answer yes to these two questions the HAES movement suggests that it is your body that will guide you to making nutritious pleasurable choices. By achieving your set point it will mean that you won’t have to count calories, you won’t have to total daily fat grams or weigh food.
The suggestion is from the HAES movement that you need to learn how to respond to your body signals, which in turn will normalize your eating habits, which in turn will make you feel better.
Yet, it seems to me, that based on our preceding story it is actually not that easy. We individually may determine what is tolerable to us with our daily food intake to maintain our set point, and yet society or our family may not agree. The need for three square meals a day, which is still considered to be normal, is actually what really guides societal expectations in regards to food intake. So, just saying ‘I am not hungry and therefore I won’t eat right now’ does not cut the mustard. Yet, if there is actually supposed to really be a goal of listening to your body to tell you whether or not you are hungry and to follow your bodies signals, then how do we actually really do it?
HAES suggests that identifying your set point is when your weight that you maintain is from listening to your bodies signals; for your bodies hunger and fulness. The maintained weight isn’t by fixating on weight or food habits and is the ‘normal’ weight you return to in-between diets. There is no magic formula or lab test that determines that point and no way to determine how your set point is regulated. It is only determined by listening to your body and eating “normally”.
So, then the question is, what is normal?
So the other day I was talking to someone who said that they were concerned enough about their weight gain that they went to a dietician. The dietician said that one of the goals needed to be added to their daily routine was to eat within one hour within waking up. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, blah, blah, blah.
So, I think this was very interesting, because my friend had no interest in eating in the morning. Sure she was over weight, but in the morning her body was telling her “not hungry! Do not need to eat! Do not eat!” I don’t know if you have heard, but there is this movement called ‘healthy at every size’ (HAES) and based upon this movement, you need to be able to listen to your body because your body has a built in weight regulation mechanism. The movement says, ‘let your body do the regulating for you’ and the author, Linda Bacon promises that you will have better results. She suggests that your body aims for your set point weight, acting like a biological force which pulls you to get back to your natural comfortable range, and she suggests that if you keep jiggling with the thermostat (so to speak of your fat thermometer) you are wrestling this natural set point away from your bodies innate weight mechanism, which in turn changes the set point. The goal becomes the protection against future diets, and she suggests that you just need to declare a truce, and pay attention to when it is that you are full and your body wil naturally just adjust accordingly, and make up for those occasional celebration overindulgences and therefore never have to deliberately deny yourself.
So my question is, which is it?
She suggests listening to your digestive system, your regulatory actions of digestion are governed by your autonomic nervous system, without any conscious thought, in order to maintain balance throughout your body.
I just find this very interesting because, if there are so many people saying that they get up in the morning and don't feel like they need to eat, is that not their regulatory system speaking to them? For myself, I wonder, why would the dietician say that you have to work against your regulatory system, and force yourself into eating, when the reality is you are overeating at night.
This suggests to me that her idea is, if you eat in the morning some how this is going to change your need to eat at night. But the truth is, the need to eat at night is not based on hunger, it’s based on emotion. So, that means that adding additional calories or carbohydrates in the morning isn’t going to really effect how hungry you are in the evening because, in the evening you aren’t actually eating out of hunger.
My suggestion is to listen to your body, and if your body is telling you that you are not hungry then you are not hungry. Adding carbohydrates or calories at that time isn’t going to do anything other than add calories and carbohydrate intake for the total amount of your day. The question actually really is, based on how you are feeling later on in the day when you feel the need to over eat, ‘why?’.
The need to eat is actually really to do with that moment in time because, at that moment you are emotionally lacking, and trying to fill the emptiness with something. The question is, how come you are feeling empty? After you have already eaten? The focus of the Emotionally Focussed Eating Program is on that emotional component.
What are the 4 habits that you would like to change?
How we do life is basically just a series of habits. Up to 45% of everything we do is habitual. This is our practiced way of being and we do it without even thinking about it, and the reason why we create habits is to help us to not have to ‘keep recreating the wheel’. So we create wheels, a habit loop, that says when ‘A’ happens then we immediately do ‘B’. ‘A’ can be anything from the time of day (the time you leave for work each morning) to a physical sensation (yucky feeling of drinking too much coffee in the morning) to an emotional response (seeing yourself in the mirror after you wake up) to a simple thought pattern (time to get dressed).
We set up triggers, which we connect to our behaviour, which then become a habit or routine and, when the routine works we get a reward. We arrive to work on time, we stop drinking coffee to move on to the next task, we see our unwashed reflection in the mirror and we have a shower, and once that is done it is time to get dressed. That is the habit loop. We repeat it over and over and over again with repetitiveness and consistency.
We can interrupt our own habits, like for example when you wake up late and you have to cut out a couple of the morning elements, you might not feel good for the rest of the day because you didn’t get your reward, which tells you to wake up earlier tomorrow.
So then the question becomes ‘what are the habits that you would like to change?’.
What is a healthier replacement for an old unhealthy habit that still provides the reward you were looking for? This can be about what you eat and it can also be about how you eat.
Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
The key is to run an experiment to see what works for you. For example, I never understood the reasoning behind flossing my teeth. For me it just took up my time. I used to go to the dentist and listen to the dental hygienist nag me about flossing. Then what happened, eventually, was that the dental hygienist started to have to use a water pick which I HATED to clean underneath my gums. The realization hit me that I wanted to prove her wrong! That flossing wouldn’t do anything. So I started flossing. Sure enough she kept complaining, so my reward was that I felt that I was proven right. After about a year with this new behaviour of my flossing everyday, she actually started giving me praise and the praise took over as my new reward, and now I don’t only floss but I use gum picks and mouth wash! CONSISTENTLY!
Except when it is that I am late for work. That is still the one thing that I will cut out in the absence of time, but I feel bad about it, during the day, because I didn’t get my reward of knowing that I’m keeping my teeth in good order. So, right away to get back to my reward, I now go right back to my routine the next day.
So you can see how complicated it is! Just trying to get in touch with why that habit of not doing something is so powerful and the complication of what you need to put in place in order to make a new habit of doing something worthwhile as a reward.
I also forced myself into drinking lots of water. If you look up any diet plan, strategy, resolution, it consists of drinking a lot more water. Some people like to have an app where they can record how many glasses of water they drink, others make a water sheet that they were inspired by on Pinterest (basically you draw a bunch of glasses that are empty and every time you drink you get to colour in a glass), I just have a jug of water that I fill up in the morning and drink throughout the day. That is my visual.
My goal everyday is to drink the entire jug of water. This is a habit I have had for 4 months now. Do I remember to do it everyday? No, oh gosh how I can forget. I actually have to write in my day planner ‘1 jug w’ to remind myself to drink the water, even though I have done it consistently…for 4 months!
It has happened so often, even when I spend the entire day at home, that I don’t drink even one glass, and at the end of the day I will look in my fringe and make eye contact with a full, un-drunken, jug of water. No one even knows, or even cares, that I am trying to install this habit, but when I see that full jug of water I try to drink as much of it as possible, until my tummy is uncomfortable, but full, out of guilt.
Then the next day I write in my planner ‘1.5 jug w’ to make up for it. I have noticed the benefit of drinking this much water. My skin is clear, I replace food with water because there is so much of it that I need to consume there is not room for chocolate in my life! Not so, but you know….So I recommend drinking water, deciding what works for you temperature wise, taste wise and vessel choice wise, and then making sense of your new habit. As well, not feeling guilty if you aren’t perfect with the consistency of your new habit, because if it makes sense to you and has a reward for you to adopt it consistently then, you will go right back to it.
What I like most about this diet is the consistency of it. I love going to the movie theatre and having the same wonderful celebratory snack, it’s my thing. I love getting up in the morning and having my repetitive cups of coffee, its my thing. I love having the exact same snack for lunch, it’s my thing. I find when there’s too many options I stand there with the fridge door open, not being able to make up my mind, and not being able to figure it out, what do I “feel” like eating? Nothing here.
The other thing is that if there isn’t a plan then that means eating on the go is open to anything and then there’s an excuse, ‘well I had to eat on the go’. So without a plan, and having too many choices, it gets in the way of success. I have heard other people however, say if they eat the same thing in a row they become bored, and so as soon as options are limited then that becomes the excuse and gets in the way of success.
Dr. Laurie likens it to going to a grocery store, some people who are highly imaginative and creative can look at all the food choices in the grocery store, and figure out how they can pick up all of the ingredients in order to make a healthy satisfying meal. Other people who do not have this ability when presented with an entire grocery store of food, become immediately overwhelmed, they become frozen, like a bag of peas. Because they can’t identify all of the different components of what they need to put together for the healthy meal and instead go for the prepackaged, already assembled.
I find that it is the prepackaged way of living that creates the sense of boredom. Yet, when you think about it, this prepackaged fast food world only has so many options and is therefore extremely limiting. A lot of prepackaged and fast food items actually taste the same anyway.
The point is, in order to overcome boredom with food, to have a plan. If the plan is ‘consistency' then the consistency overcomes the boredom. If the plan is ‘healthy’ then foods need to be available in order to achieve the goal of healthy. If you want to add in the word ‘easy’ or ‘fast’ with the word ‘healthy’ then that is the basis of the creation of your plan.
So, I have a challenge for you! Sit down and create your own low carb, daily, food plan for this next week. Submit it to the blog so we can feature it and you can share it with others for what you came up with, as well as the goal you are actually trying to achieve.
So the goal is to create a food plan between when you wake up in the morning and what you are going to eat during the day before supper (not including supper or after). So we are basically talking about breakfast, snacks, and lunch during your day.
So here’s mine.
My goal is healthy consistency because I like repetitive food. Which for me circumvents choosing poorly as well as spending time and the energy of thinking.
My Daily Food Plan
Every Day this week;
Breakfast- as much coffee with cream as I like!
Snacks-diet iced tea, diet coke, any type of cheese I like that is not processed, berries (small handful (very expensive), grapes (about 20), olives (as much as I like).
Lunch- Hard boiled egg, (other options if I should have the opportunity to go home for lunch) egg salad with mayo, tuna salad with mayo, scrambled eggs (also could be added in for breakfast if I happen to be at home).
This is my five day go to plan between Monday and Friday, low carb/no carb. Easy Peasy.
Fat! Cancer promoter? Or Killer? (dun dun duuuuuunnn)!
Your diet and weight management can aid in the prevention of cancer. There are anti-cancer compounds in fruits and veggies, the most important consideration is the colour and the variety of colours of the food you choose to eat.
Cruciferous veggies contain something called indoles. Indoles down regulate the production of cell devision in the cancer process and act as negative estrogen regulators. So eating vegetables that contain indoles can alter the negative effects of estrogen regarding estrogen based cancers. So what are cruciferous vegetables? Cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables as well as beetroot. Indoles are found in white and green cruciferous vegetables.
Lycopene is found in most red fruits and vegetables and is a plant nutrient with antioxidant properties. It is found in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, red carrots, red cabbage, mangos but not strawberries or cherries. Lycopene plays multiple roles in the prevention of cancer.
Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables contain carotanoids which have been found to decrease the risk of breast cancer in post menopausal women. These foods, such as; carrots, corn, cantaloupe, turmeric, egg yolks, rutabagas, bananas, squash, oranges, and apricots are all cancer prevention powerhouses.
Blue and purple foods contain anthocyanins which can repair the DNA damage that is the first step of cancer development. These include; blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, radishes, plums, red cabbage, and black berries.
Green vegetables contain folic acid which is needed for DNA synthesis; beens, spinach, salad leaves, green peppers, and citrus fruits all provide cancer preventatives. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, found in red wine, grape juice, dark berries, and cherries.
Vitamin D, vitamin E, and selenium has been found to be effective in the prevention of an assortment of cancers.
Poor diet is estimated to amount to 30-35% of cancer cases. There was a large study conducted (The Nurses Health Study) which tracked diet, lifestyle, and disease in more than 80,000 nurses, published in 1982. Over 600 cases of breast cancer had occurred among nurses during the first 4 years of the study. What was found was, that the less fat the women confessed to eating the more likely they were to get breast cancer.
There have been many studies done since, with the same results. For every 5% of saturated fat calories that are eaten, replacing carbohydrates in the diet, the risk of breast cancer was found to decrease by 9%.
Another report suggests that low fat high calorie diets led to more tumours (at least in rats) than high fat low calorie diets, and interestingly enough there was no tumour production found in underfed rats, regardless of how fatty their diet was. Eating only 75% of the typical daily calorie requirements, these rats could eat 5x as much fat as usual and be cancer free!
Societally, high fat has been the culprit of both weight gain and cancer. The equation used is that high fat = high calories =obesity=increased cancer risk. Yet, interestingly enough based on studies that have been conducted since the 1980’s the equation actually needs to change.
How you can celebrate without food!
For those of us who are emotional eaters and have somehow connected ‘feeling good’ with carbs we have to learn to celebrate without food. I remember being a kid and every emotion was met with food; if I felt sad I would eat because I didn’t deserve to feel sad, if I felt happy I would eat to celebrate the good feeling with more good feelings, if I was angry I would calm myself with food. Wow that is a sad sentence.
Even when I was on a diet when I was a kid the motivation to lose weight was food! I would plan that if I lost any amount of weight, whether; 2 pounds, 1 pound, half a pound, at the end of the week I would reward myself with food! A chocolate bar, cake, pizza, whatever, THAT would be my motivation to not eat it! Insanity right? On paper it sure is, but people still do it to this day!
“Oh, I starved myself for weeks and lost 20 pounds so now I can eat whatever I want!” What? Who thought that would work?…Other than me….for years…?
We have now learned that consistency with eating is the way to go for losing and maintaining weight, not crash diets, but loyalty to what works for you, whether it be keto (my personal choice and what this whole blog is about), vegetarian, 5;2 diet, vegan (I don’t know how this could work since it is all carbs), or whatever. It’s consistency.
Now, putting aside the obvious “reward yourself every so often with carbs” slip rule I have made, here is a list of things you can do to reward yourself without eating so you can learn to stray away from that emotional dependancy on food.
2. Keto cheat food!
I know I said that I wouldn’t include cheat food, but I promise this is different! I love keto pizza, mozzarella sticks, and nachos! I can lose weight on all of these but they take a while to make. The pizza crust takes a fair amount of work, and so does the mozzarella sticks, the nachos are more like, I don’t want to eat them without ground beef but I’m too lazy to cook it in the moment. So! To celebrate set a date for when you have time to make these delicious foods and enjoy making/eating them! (P.S. you can find the recipe for all these things under my recipe tab!)
3. Have a Skype convo with your best friend!
Now for this one you might be thinking “why isn’t this go see your best friend?” but I personally am still having trouble not falling into the pit of ‘well I’m here might as well eat a box of cookies.” Sooo… if you Skype your best friend or call them you can still gossip and ‘hang out’ without the threat of cheating on yourself. I mean, you would’t take your phone to a restaurant and pretend to eat pasta with them… would you?
4. Make stuff!
I myself am very artsy craftsy so I LOVE making stuff! I actually spent two hours rebooting my old computer on the off chance it might have saved an old dress pattern from a couple years ago. It was there! Totally worth it. So if you know that you have shrunk a dress size, or you want to make a target outfit (not recommended since I did this and it took me five years to fit into it *dies inside*) then go for it! It certainly doesn’t have to be as elaborate as a 1950’s style dress, it can be tie die! Or crocheting socks! Or something you always wanted to learn how to make but never gave yourself the time to do it, like finger knitting! Or painting like Bob Ross! (I want his chia pet so goddamn bad).
5. Try something new!
I actually just bought a bunch of nail stuff online (remember how I mentioned Wish? yeah.) So that was a reward for myself that I have never tried before! I watch a lot of nail tutorials and finally got the courage to buy some nail building gel. I AM SO NERVOUS! But take note, think of something you wanted to try, guitar lessons, dance lessons, whatever. Give it a try and don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out.
6. Facials! I know they sound expensive (a face mask can be over 5 dollars sometimes!) but Vaseline or petroleum jelly hydrates your face and is super cheap!
Always believing in you,
Top Ten Tips And Tricks For Eating Keto In The Fast Lane!
(I’m great with the catchy titles eh?)
So, I was talking to a friend of mine who has been trying the keto diet, she likes it, she gets it, and she wants to be dedicated to it! Unfortunately she has an affinity to fast food places. If I’m honest (because you know how much I hate lying, I would normally tell her to cut out fast food places all in all because, well, they are not good for you and your weight management.
BUT also, it is extremely hard to keep yourself on track when you are constantly exposed to high fat, high carb, high salt food, even if you know all the tips and tricks to avoiding the more carb options. The more you see that high carb item, see it being eaten, smell it being made, whatever the case may be, your brain will come up with an excuse for you to have it.
So, just for you who is dedicated to your fast food eating, because you are so nice in reading all the words above, I have made a list of what you can do and what you can eat that fit in with the diet and your lifestyle regarding fast food joints.
A fun fact about Arby’s is that their food tastes delicious and if you ask nicely they will put the meat and cheese and toppings in a container for you, without the bun!
Luckily for those people who have trouble asking for specific changes to their order because of anxiety, McDonalds has these order machines that have an option where you can change the composition of the order! You can take buns off! Things such as sausage patties, egg patties, bacon, cheese, the chicken patties, mayonnaise, mustard, honestly it is just the bun and the ketchup that is the problem….and the fries…..and the ice cream.
This might be a shocker, but I have never actually been to Wendy’s. PLEASE PUT DOWN THE PITCHFORKS! Wendy’s is basically like McDonalds, there are burgers, salads, maybe breakfast options. Get rid of the croutons, salad dressing, buns and condiments!
5. Dairy Queen!
Now, unfortunately all the low carb stuff at Dairy Queen was the stuff you don’t really go to Dairy Queen for such as; burgers, salads, and stuff as such. There were no low carb ice cream options I could find.
So, subway is great for making salads and stuff, and please don't turn your noses up! I know that ordering salads suck, but subway has such a large selection of meat and cheeses that you could basically make a T-Rex ‘salad’. All I would warn you against is the sauces. Take the sub but leave the bread.
7. Tim Horton’s
This one doesn't have an exclamation mark beside it because I used to work there. Anywhoodles! Now I don’t know about this one because when I worked there any audit or specific change would be met with hellfire. I once typed in an order to skip the cheese on a bagel and they told me to take a break because “I was getting too overwhelmed and I needed to think about how I was going to say ‘no’.” WELL JOKES ON THEM BECAUSE I QUIT HAHAHAHA. But if you are totally dedicated to Tim Horton’s, I would recommend ordering a salad with no sauce. Everything they have and make is loaded with carbs. (Maybe not their coffee, or I don’t know, does dirt have carbs?)
8. Star Bucks!
Star Bucks is great because I don’t think they even serve food? Other than the normal cookies and brownies and stuff that we all know to stay away from, I don’t think they serve sandwiches or anything. But they are famous for their drinks so, coffee, coffee with cream, coffee with whipping cream, all the tea, I hear the chai tea with whipping cream is yummy!
9. Taco Bell!
Gross! Everything but the wrap and the taco bowl is ok.
10. Booster Juice!
You Guys will have to fill me in, I think you could get a smoothie made of kale but, I mean, why?
Ten things to know about the hangry brain!
What are the typical barriers to change?
#1. You have no idea why or how you need to change.
It is true! Because if you don’t understand food, how are you going to implement the changes you need with your food intake to actually see a difference?
#2. You enjoy things the way they are.
It is true! If you enjoy eating what you want when you want and this outweighs how you want to look then the truth is, that is what is going to win.
#3. Your habits and routines are tied up with other people.
It is true! If everyone around you doesn’t want to change and therefor won’t change, then how can you, if you want to fit in?
#4. You are addicted to high fat foods and or sweets and you don’t know how to break the addiction.
It is true! If you keep believing you need it, how are you going to do anything different?
#5. You have difficulty figuring out what is important and what isn’t.
It is true! If you can’t figure out what is most important than everything gets lumped in together as equal.
#6. You find it hard to set goals and work towards them.
It is true! Because even lowering your carbohydrate intake, even by one everyday, it is going to be impossible if you can’t set the goal and follow it.
#7. You don’t have the energy or feel too stressed to deal with change.
It is true! Having the energy to be able to manage stress is important to be able to do something different.
#8. You are afraid of what might happen to your life or your relationships if you change.
It is true! Life will have to be done differently and your relationship with food will have to be done differently too.
#9. You think it is too late to change and the damage has already been done.
It is true! Old dogs can learn new tricks, and it is never too late to change.
#10. You have tried to change before and you failed and you don’t want to fail again.
It is true! Most probably you have tried to diet and exercise and have found it a futile attempt and this becomes a fear of failure, but when you understand what it is that you need to change as well as what and how you need to change then everything makes sense.
On the quest to lose 50 pounds in a year. Can she do it? Only time will tell....with the help of this blog.