After 2 days of crappy eating, my energy is very low today! Bloat certainly adds a lot of weight when trying to do push-ups and jumping! Argh!
Regrets!! When you are not used to eating high salt foods then eat a bunch of salty popcorn and a couple drinks…you pay the price with swelling in legs, hands, abdominal bloat and NO energy!! Next time I will stick to tea and veggies!! It will likely take a few days to get back to normal now.
I guess if I were to find a positive from this, it would be that having a high calorie day may help my body have a higher metabolism for our fitness challenge this week! FAT BURN!!
Despite these issues this morning, I forced myself out of bed, got an MMA kick butt workout and some yoga done over an hour. I do feel a bit better after exercising but have a few more workouts to do yet to work off all that crap. Day 77 of current 91 day challenge done ✅ plus day 14 of our 21 day challenge ✅. Now I am deserving of some superfood nutrition and will drink lots of water to flush the junk out today…
Now to hop in shower and head to work at the clinic for the day! Have a great day! 😊
The holiday season and gathering time is upon us! It is a great time for celebration with co-workers, family and friends. The down side is that it also tends to become a time for over-indulgence and weight gain!
Why is this important, you ask?
Some statistics show that people gain an average of 8-12 pounds the last 3 months of the year between Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas Celebrations. If something isn’t done about this, this can lead to a LOT of extra weight and health issues. Who wants that!?
Just because we are in the holiday season, doesn’t mean we have the open ticket to gorge ourselves! The holidays do not have to cause weight gain if you think differently about it, have a different focus than food and follow a few tips to stay healthy.
By implementing a few simple tips you can stay healthy through the holiday season and change your focus to the activities, the fun and the true meaning behind the holiday celebrations.
9 TIPS to Help you out:
Avoid Focusing on Food…
Take focus off the food part of the celebrations. Focus on the true reasons you are getting together with others you care about such as catching up with people you have not seen in awhile, focusing on the Christmas Season and its true meaning, and participating in some fun activities such as cards, skating, making decorations, walks to check out locally decorated homes or just to enjoy the fresh air.
Have Realistic Expectations…
Be realistic. Don’t make your main focus about losing weight during the holidays. Just focus on maintaining the best health possible while avoiding gains.
Make time for exercise every day. Exercise reduces stress levels during holidays and certainly contributes to your efforts of preventing weight gains! Consider adding extra exercise to your regular routine due to the potential increase of calorie intake during this season. An example could be an extra 30 min cardio session or even a brisk walk each day.
Avoid Skipping Meals…
Avoiding skipping meals. Be sure to have healthy snacks such as fruits, veggies, raw unsalted nuts, and/or fat free plain yogurt prior to going to a celebration or party to avoid being too hungry! This way there will be far less temptations!
Watch those Unhealthy Fluids…
Be sure to be careful about the amount of unhealthy fluids you drink. Many beverages are packed with fat and sugar (especially some egg nog and cocktails). Alcohol is a dangerous one to be drinking if you want to stay healthy since it reduces our inhibitions generally, can lead to increase snacking and over-indulgence. Also, alcohol tends to be full of calories and sugar!
Scan for Healthy Options…
When you go to an event or party, have a look at what foods are there before you start filling your plate. Choose the foods you like in small amounts and try to balance your plate to be lighter on the calories with salad and vegetables (and avoid heavy sauces). If you know there will not be any healthy options available, consider bringing your own healthy food with you or bring a healthy meal to share with others!
Cook Healthier at Home…
When doing your own holiday cooking, try to cook with the healthier, lower fat, lower sugar and lower salt alternatives. For example, you can put the gravy in the fridge and skim the fat off the top once it hardens. Use more vegetables in your stuffing instead of breads and use low-sodium broth to cook with. Remove the skin off your meats and trim any visible fat. When you make mashed potatoes, try using skim milk, garlic, low sodium broth, and Parmesan cheese instead of whole milk and butter.
Eat Slow and Stop when Full…
Eat slowly and stop once you are satisfied. Don’t keep eating until you feel over stuffed. Enjoy your favourite foods in small portions. Take in the surroundings, enjoy the people you are with and have fun without over indulging on foods or drink. You will feel much better afterwards!
Enjoy and Find a Way to Burn off the Extra Calories…
If you happen to overeat at a celebration, don’t be down on yourself. Just exercise more and eat lighter the following few days. We can make up for the small indulgences by having a plan! So if you really want a butter tart, have one, but consciously have a way to make up for it.
Be sure to enjoy all of the holiday festivities, plan to be healthy and focus on enjoying the real reasons for the holiday celebrations and avoid over-focusing on food.
Be sure to make time for physical activity and cook as healthy as possible for your holiday meals.
Don’t restrict yourself from enjoying your favorite holiday foods (find a good way to make up for the extra calories!).
Once the holiday season is over, your mind and body will thank you!
Please comment below with your thoughts on keeping weight off over the holidays! Any other tips you might suggest?
BONUSES FOR YOU
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Without our permission, weight begins to add itself to our waistline.
Even if we’re eating well and exercising! It’s so unfair.
What’s worse, and what adds to the injustice, is the advice of some medical professionals to “get used to it” because it’s “just how it is”. “This is aging, sorry.” “Nothing you can do about it.”
That, my friend, is bunk. Baloney. Boohockey. Bull.
There is absolutely something we can do about pre-menopausal weight gain.
I know this not only as a medical professional. I know not only as a fitness coach whose clients experience success. I know because I LIVED it. I was middle-aged, over-weight, and desperate for a solution. And I beat it.
Middle-aged, pre-menopausal, unbalanced-hormone induced weight gain is absolutely something we can influence and even conquer.
There are a few factors that worsen or improve premenopausal symptoms (like weight gain). We’ve talked about a few of them. Today I want to address one of the big ones.
It may surprise you to learn that stress impacts both our hormones and fat storage.
Cortisol is a hormone that regulates both hunger and fat storage. The more stress you have, the more Cortisol is released. This hormone causes fat storage, particularly around the mid-section.
At the same time, this flooding of hormones also suppresses the thyroid which is in charge of our metabolism. So, chronic stress lowers thyroid function which slows metabolism – another cause for fat storage.
Translation: Stress tells our hormones to store fat.
This is meant to fuel the fight or flight response stress historically required. If you were a cavewoman, stressed out by the cougar stalking your family, your body would fuel you for the fight. Today, in our culture, we need not flee or fight to battle the stressor. Demanding children, insufficient finances, high demands at work, or difficult relationships are our stressors. These modern stressors are dealt with more internally. So all the fuel gets stored instead of used.
That storage warehouse is located on our midsection. Aren’t we lucky?
What To Do About It
Despite this process being knitted right into our DNA, we actually can regulate how our body works. We’ve talked about balancing hormones with food and exercise, but let’s address stress. How can we combat stress?
Let’s start with how not to combat stress: hiding in any unhealthy behaviour or substance will actually do the opposite – it will cause more stress. Over-eating, over-shopping, alcohol and drug use, and over-use of media and screens can all be tempting as a way to unwind or relax, but they actually do us harm.
Food, drugs, and alcohol fiddle with our hormones (and internal organs), over-shopping can pinch the wallet, adding more stress, and over-use of media and screens leaves us feeling empty, lethargic, and sedentary.
I started with how not to reduce stress because reducing stress is actually highly personal. There’s no ‘one list’ of specific things to do that will, guaranteed, reduce stress for everyone. One person will be energized by being with a group of friends, and another will be exhausted by it for example.
I can offer ideas though. People have found the following to be energizing, relaxing, and refreshing. Try them out. Experiment. See what lowers your stress level. Then keep it up. Add it to your regular weekly (or daily) schedule. This is not about a quick fix, it’s about maintenance. Health is a long-game, not a fast food.
Ideas to De-Stress:
Meditation and/or prayer
Hang out with friends
Play with your kids
Do something active (skiing, tennis, snowmobiling, quadding, walk, jog, bike, hike, swim…)
Read a book (one you enjoy, not one that feels like homework)
Take a day off – do no work. No house work, no yard work, no thinking about work.
Check out open houses, window shop in a store you love,
Get a spa treatment – massage, manicure, or a nice long hair treatment
Go on a retreat, spend some time reflecting.
Even when we eat well and exercise, a high-stress lifestyle can stall any fat-burning success we seek.
Health isn’t a tactical approach. (as Westerners, we hate this, I know. We want results and we want them now!) But health is holistic. It’s a process of maintaining health on all fronts, not just one. We need to focus on clean eating as much as we focus on exercise, as much as we focus on minimizing stress. This is what it takes to thrive in health.
If you’re tempted to feel overwhelmed by this, thinking, “well, I’m not getting them all right, so I may as well do none of them”, don’t give up!!
New habits are hard to establish, and old ones are hard to break. Keep trying. Then try some more. Change one small thing at a time. Think progress, not perfection. It’s the long game, not fast food.
Don’t give up.
You can do this.
Please take a minute to COMMENT on this article! I would love to hear from you!
We have demanding and stressful careers. Family responsibilities. Our spousal relationship may not be the best. Aging parents can add to the burden. It all adds up to a lot of stress, which takes its toll on the body.
What we find out too late though, is that stress can actually trigger early menopausal symptoms.
If your body is under even a moderate level of stress and over the age of thirty, it’s possible your stress is to blame for pre-menopause. Check out this list of symptoms to find out if it might be happening to you:
Do You Have These Pre-Menopausal Symptoms?
• Irregular menstrual cycles
• Light or heavy menstrual flow
• Lumpy or tender breasts
• Fibroid tumors
• Mood swings
• Water retention and bloating
• Sleep problems
• “Foggy, fuzzy” thinking and memory lapses
• Anxiety and depression
• Inability to handle stress
• Hot flashes and night sweats
• Vaginal dryness
• Weight gain
If so, you may be on the long (often more than ten years!) path to menopause.
(Quick pause here – menopause is the body’s cessation of the menstrual cycle. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Pre-menopause is the body’s long process of preparing. It slowly reduces the degree and frequency of ovulation until finally it does not happen anymore. The process results in hormonal imbalance, which produces many of the above symptoms.)
What most women don’t know is that we have the power to change it.
We can influence our hormonal balance.
But it’s going to take a bit of work. Because we’ve been wrecking our hormones for a while. Incrementally, every day, our habits actually work against us, pulling our hormones in directions they shouldn’t go.
Other ways we women ravage our hormonal balance include obesity, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and excess caffeine and alcohol. These add to the problem instead of helping the body cope with what is demanded of it.
Effects of Hormone Imbalance:
Low sex drive
Headaches before menstrual period
Irregular periods / excessive bleeding
When hormones are balanced, we tend to feel more alert, energetic, and ready to take on the challenges of life!
So how can we tell if the pre-menopausal symptoms are, in fact, happening because of hormone imbalance?
That’s an important question. Because stress, age, and lifestyle choices are not the only consideration. Some of the symptoms listed can be signs of other conditions. That’s why it’s important to consult a physician or nurse practitioner with knowledge and experience in the area of hormonal balance. (I’m one.)
But I kind of don’t want to tell you. Because I’m afraid you’ll roll your eyes and say, “Pfft. I knew that.” But sometimes the most powerful truths are the ones you’ve heard a thousand times from a hundred different places … but you may have just preferred to keep your head in the sand.
Trust me, I know. I’ve been there, done that.
Okay, here’s the deal.
Rebalancing your hormones can be simple, but takes the work of doing these things:
Reduce caffeine (did I lose you already? Come back! You can do it!!)
Reduce alcohol (yes, you can do it.)
Exercise regularly (If you hate exercise, you probably haven’t tried these fun programs)
Eat clean. (If you’re really new at this, just start with eating some kind of vegetables every day. Or add one superfood shake a day….perhaps join a clean eating challenge to learn more)
Reduce stress (Meditate, schedule some quiet time every day and every week, using that time to do something that recharges you.)
I’ve been where you are.
I’ve been fatigued, unbalanced, and unaware – and I’m a Nurse Practitioner!! So don’t feel bad. It happens to us all. At least you’re not stuck, right? There IS something you can do.
And I can help you through it.
Need a health or menopause coach, or some advice on which exercise program to try out? I’m your woman.
Have some questions you’d rather not post in the comment section? Contact me here.
Or, if you are having the pre-menopause symptoms above, some hot flashes and night sweats and are looking for some natural solutions, download this free PDF!