Everybody knows we have the same amount of ‘human time’ and it is truly WHAT we do with our equal share of time that makes all the difference… but what could happen if we could STRETCH TIME?
Ever found yourself standing still and wishing, pleading or begging for time to stand still? Ever wondered “where has the time gone?” Or started reminiscing with a friend about days and years gone by and the eventual utterance of “my word how the world has changed” when we discuss that our children now use Google instead of Encyclopedia Britannica’s full version on the bookshelves at Grannys house.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
― Mother Theresa
Now you may be asking what has time to do with this blog regarding healthy living, well, if health is the new wealth, then we can safely say that time becomes pretty damn important in the equation, for without health, you have ZERO TIME. Personally, I have encountered many people who are wealthy beyond comprehension only to find them miserable and depressed, a life lived chasing a good retirement [is there such a thing?] and a little house by the sea… Only to get to 50 odd and start having health challenges that shatter firstly their retirement planned date [of course our medical profession like putting a time limit on our walk on the planet once the health challenge rears its ugly head] and secondly on doctors advice maybe settling at the coast is not a great plan for their condition having to be close to the health care services ‘just in case…‘
At around about this point of life, time kinda collapses, it implodes on us and all of a sudden we start wishing for more time. Sound familiar? I am almost certain it does. And EVERYBODY has heard this same story being told by their parents and their parent’s parents at some stage sitting around a dinner table at Christmas time. So why is it that we keep repeating the same old stories over and over again?
Ahhhhh, this is where we learn to stretch time. Where we learn to not only get healthy but live to 100 feeling bloody marvelous! I find that there is a [for me, a redundant] thought process circulating, that once you hit your 40’s or 50’s you are on the runway to take off, never to return of course [Do you realize that you still have 40 to 50 years left??!]. When and where did that happen? I realize that in my younger days I DID see my parents getting to 40 and 50 and acting old but the hardship of life was a little bit more intense then, than it is now… I mean, can you imagine what shopping was like in their day? They had to get into their car, drive to 10 different places [raising their blood pressure at the bad drivers along the way] to get their groceries and take 5 hours doing that! [leaving less time for family and work be that may]. Now with a click of my mouse button, instantly I find what I need within 30min and it gets delivered the same day or within 48 hours. We don’t even realize that we ALL HAVE A SUPERPOWER and it is getting stronger every day. It is not that we are unable to stretch time, it is that we are not consciously aware of the fact that WE CAN and ALREADY ARE STRETCHING TIME.
We have all seen the equation of a week that has 168 hours, if we spend a third sleeping [8 hours an evening for the lucky sods out there that get this right] leaving us with 112 hours for the week, of which another third is left for working and lets for good measure add at least 4 hours to the 8 hours of work – there are some brave characters who’s bosses STILL FIND IT NECESSARY for them to get into their car to go to work [yes, I know, we still need to get into cars for work, I am just having a dig at the bosses who most likely finished school in the ’80s if they still feel the need to babysit the workers] which leaves us with 28 hours to do EXACTLY what we would like to do in the form of family time, recreation, etc. Ohhhhhhweeee best you love your job if you are donating roughly 50% of your time to it and only 28 hours to living life. Now, of course, this equation can be molded and plied according to your whims but the fact is, we all have the same 168 hours.
Now a skill WE need to develop is HOW we use the 168 hours, please note that this is NOT a time management course, there is no such thing as time management unless you, like God, are able to breathe out stars and create planets of course. It is self-management that becomes evident as a skill required for stretching time. We need to add to ourselves, an awareness, a consciousness of what is happening in our world around us and embrace the fact that EVERYTHING is faster, more IMMEDIATE, instant in gratification based on the technology that exists. The minute we do that, the minute we become aware of our friend, TECHNOLOGY we claim our SUPERPOWER. With that comes a hoard of benefits. YES, YOUR HEALTH IMPROVES… if you ALLOW IT TO. You see, what technology does is it allows us NOT to get stuck in the ‘IMPOSSIBLE CLUB‘ the ‘IT CANNOT BE DONE‘ thought process, basically the negative space we find ourselves in if what we plan does not go our way. Back then, [those remember when days] we got stuck based on lack of information, lack of methodology on how to do this or that, now, we Google, and instantly the problem gets solved or eased just a little bit. Our stress levels remain intact and we go about our doings without a bat of an eyelid. This then has an impact on our health as in essence our heart beats a little easier, and our adrenal gland remains a little calmer, albeit we live a little longer. YES... We STRETCH TIME.
The second skill we need to develop as a SUPERHERO of time stretching is PRESENCE. This is a MASTERY skill and takes time to develop, you first of all need to be aware of your ability to stretch time and then implement it. This is where SELF-MANAGEMENT is key. We spend ‘time’ dwelling in the past when all we have is the present, generally, it has been shown that those that hunker in memories [basically STUCK in the past] have a higher incidence of depression. Now yes, it is fun to remember what we did as a youngster but if for some reason your current circumstances are not too flowery we have the tendency to WISH for better days as we had before, or we remember all the challenges we went through and question why we are still in the ‘same place’ [which of course we are not]. The SELF MANAGEMENT bit comes to play, we need to realize that EVERYTHING that happened before is firstly HISTORY, and secondly that by bringing it up over and over we are perpetuating your HISTORY into YOUR FUTURE by focussing on it in the present [One of the laws of mind is ‘what you focus on grows’ so chose your thoughts and memories wisely or that not so Pleasantville past comes rearing its head in your present and future…] and finally, if we realize that in effect history and life before happened FOR US to grow and develop into where we are today we can shake off the VICTIM mentality.
Life after all never happens ‘to us’ but rather ‘for us’.
In an instant, our past becomes a fantastical story where we play the character who ‘lets it GO’ to focus on their life journey ahead.
Now we get to dwelling in the possibilities of the FUTURE, either with excitement and enthusiasm or fear and dread – I am hoping it will be the aforementioned of course. Studies have shown that this focus on the future may lead to increased worry and anxiety, we all know the negative effects of anxiety on our health. So how do we stretch time in this scenario? Ever heard the statement that 99% of what we worry about never happens? If you find yourself stressing about the future, be aware of the fact that only what you do in the PRESENT will resolve the future. Running around in circles in the present stressing about tomorrows leads to you MISSING your present and that being said, possibly your family and loved ones missing your presence.
In the self-development world [yes, I think that is a world completely separate from planet earth at times] the focus is on SMART GOALS and future promises, but if our current state of affairs and presence of mind is lacking, chances are we are chasing goals disjointed from where we are CURRENTLY. We end up, as I said before, at 50 or 60 years of age, still chasing a SMART GOAL never being present for a CURRENT GOAL, and by not being present for the current goal OUR FUTURE goals are left unmet.
This becomes crucial in any weight management program, one of the factors I focus on in my course, Coach : no diet is to eliminate that magical scale goal and to rather focus on how you would feel and the improved health you will experience. For it is that goal that keeps us imprisoned in low to NO self-esteem. As human beings we need to be growing, changing, transforming, evolving, but to enable that we firstly need to be present, for only in being present and aware of where we are, can we move forward to our tomorrows.
If every minute of every day we soaked up all experiences, taste, smell, touch, hear, see, feel our way through each of those minutes, chances are we would succeed at living a prosperous, fulfilled, time-stretching life. We would with these heightened senses and experiences learn to stretch time by being and showing gratitude, by easily and effortlessly performing random acts of kindness [what goes around comes around…]. By being truly present [yes, put the phone down] we LIVE LONGER. We experience more because we are present to experience MORE.
So, next ‘time’ you find your thoughts careening into your tomorrows as you sit with your family at dinner time today, PAUSE, redirect your focus to your family and a good meal and STRETCH TIME.
If you are into choice, variety, flexibility, and benefits when it comes to a regulated diet, then Intermittent fasting may be for you!
Intermittent fasting has always been on my radar, possibly because I have never enjoyed eating breakfast and ended up drinking coffee until my first meal at lunchtime. However, there needs to be a BUT or I would surely never have struggled with being fat! Like everything in life, drinking at least 4 cups of coffee with milk and sugar before lunchtime was a little OTT. There is ALWAYS a right and a wrong way to do anything…
This long lost art of eating we can thank our Neanderthal relatives for since 2010 the demand for and understanding of this manner of eating has escalated due to its successful manner in dealing with diabetes. For some reason, this practice disappeared but now it is back in full swing with success around every corner.
The basics are as follows, you get clever…(actually, your body does the cleverness, you just follow instructions), with intermittent fasting, your body understands that relying on fat for energy makes more sense, in fact, 5 calories more sense, as fat supplies 9 calories per gram and protein and carbohydrates only 4. Understand one thing however, if you are willing to supply it with continual copious amounts of carbohydrates, it is willing to use that BEFORE fat for fuel. Your body wants the simplest shortest easiest route to gain energy for your functioning, it WILL chose EASY if you supply EASY in carb form, so whatever you do, careful of that on your intermittent fast. It does need a little convincing i.e. regulated clean fasting to nudge it in the right direction of fat burning.
Let us look at the Top need-to-knows.
INTERMITTENT FASTING – It is all benefits!
Expect weight to drop
The minute you improve hormones – which you do with intermittent fasting, expect fat to start frying. Basic fat burning known as lipolysis kicks into overdrive. If you want to speed it up, use a VLCD (Low-Calorie Diet around 600 – 800cal) in combination with Intermittent Fasting.
If you have a desire to supercharge your weight drop then consider including 10 min intensive exercise in your day. As time progresses, add another 10min by including a slower pace after the intensive exercise. This depletes your glycogen stores that result in your body relying on burning fat for energy a lot sooner.
REMEMBER, fasting is not about calorie reduction (unless YOU chose this of course) it is about limiting the time period in which you eat daily. If you would like to focus in on fat burn then YES, drop the calorie load in that time period, but DON’T STARVE.
YOU will live longer!
Now, personally, I have not tested this theory but have an absolute belief that living to 100 will not be a problem… There is sound science that backs the fact by consuming fewer calories in a restricted time frame daily, aging may slow down and we will live longer. Just this benefit, if you love life as I do, is possibly enough to give this a PROPER go.
“We found [that beta-hydroxybutyrate] can delay vascular aging. That’s actually providing a chemical link between calorie restriction and fasting and the anti-aging effect.This compound can delay vascular aging through endothelial cells, which line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. It can prevent one type of cell aging called senescence, or cellular aging. “
Dr. Ming-Hui Zou
Hormones, they get better and therefore your waistline too!
Everybody knows it takes control of insulin and blood sugar to start controlling and ridding your body of unhealthy weight. With intermittent fasting, that IS what happens. Not only does it control it but boy does it IMPROVE it enabling significant weight control and better health in muscle maintenance due to an increase in growth hormone and better heart health. With a decrease in insulin levels, intermittent fasting increases insulin sensitivity.
Be aware that it increases norepinephrine and epinephrine levels which of course increases fat breakdown. Reason being, both of these are attached to our Neanderthal status of fight or flight, stress response. When we fast, there is a primitive side to us (mine is extremely primitive, literally, my primitive side has an anxiety attack when someone says to me “maybe eat less often!”). Our bodies without food from around 12 hours starts protecting itself, releasing these 2 hormones indicates that we need to start finding energy elsewhere… that is, FAT for FUEL!!! BUT, if you have adrenal gland issues or thyroid issues, DO have input from a medical professional before taking on any fasting routine or your hunger will turn into HANGER and ill-health.
WT? is autophagy?? And why do we care?
Autophagy, sounds like a possible disease, but in fact, this is what prevents ill health in your body, see it as a built-in cleaning service with MEGA BENEFITS. And this is the exact process that comes into being in our bodies when we do intermittent fasting. It is our body’s way of cleaning out all our ‘YUCK’ cells. The ‘Auto’ means self and the ‘phagy‘ means to eat, so basically this process in your body, directly speaking is ‘self-eating’. Whilst fasting, the process of autophagy ends up breaking down cell debris and recycling proteins that are compromised. If your body is breaking down fat, there just may be a greater toxin load, and for that reason, dumping the excess debris may be required! The science behind this including information on Cancer is a great read.
Oooohhhh there is a choice…
Intermittent Fasting – Alternate Day
As it states this is intermittent fasting every other day for a full 24-hour period. Now, this is one which is not on my recommendation list at all, as you basically end up spending half your remaining life not eating. For us, as women where our hormones and fertility are regulated by calorie intake, this is NOT an advisable option.
Now yes, some do take on this fasting process but for me personally, I cannot see myself functioning optimally on this. First of all, most people with weight issues enjoy food. Chances are anybody fighting fat may have to choose between taking on a controlled diet and integrating it into their lifestyles for life and not eating every second day is diabolical. Then, if you have a lot of fat to sizzle, sticking to this over a short period can also be tough, never mind 6 months to a year and can cause you to give up and burn that diet wagon once again!
5: 2 Fasting
This is one plan which a vast majority of my clients succeeded at. It entails eating normally for 5 days and limiting food to 600cal and no more for 2 days. You chose the 2 days which makes it fairly flexible. With this plan burning fat around that belly works a charm.
16/8 Daily Fasting:
My personal favorite, where I fast for 16 hours and eat for on average 8 hours. I have found this an easy way to fast, based on the fact that I am not a big breakfast eater as said before and can go without. I also chose to skip breakfast rather than supper as I love sitting down with my children for supper. Within this manner of fasting is great flexibility, chose to skip breakfast or supper, chose to have your larger meal at lunchtime to reduce the calories that need work whilst you sleep. It may sound difficult but in fact, when you reflect on it you may find that you HAVE done this before without feeling regulated. You may not get to lunch and in fact, I know of people who don’t even get to lunch and push through to supper. Why I love this choice is it is something which I would do as a choice of lifestyle which allows me to live healthily and control my weight. Often when we chose a diet it does not allow us to embrace it FOREVER, I do believe that whatever we use to drop fat we must be able to do forever and a day AND be flexible within it.
The flexibility is also based on when you start, you can start your fast any time, and start eating 16 hours after. So maybe you would like to eat from 10 till 6 pm or 2 till 10 pm (little late unless you work nightshift of course) but pick your 8 hours based on YOUR LIFESTYLE.
This is once per week, on average for 18 to 24hours. You start from supper time around 6 pm the previous day, sleep through most of the fast (yes, I do advise an early evening to prevent finding yourself wandering to the fridge by midday the next day). Your intake for the day is water, tea, and good quality coffee till at least early evening, that is a full successful day. If this suits your lifestyle, fantastic. PLEASE be kind on yourself, there is no need to berate yourself if you do NOT make 24 hours. You have effectively stretched yourself and possibly no matter how many hours you have given your body a resting period it will thank you for and most likely next time around it will be easier!
My advice would be as follows, make sure if you are fasting that days you are not fasting in, for example, the 5 : 2 fasting times, make sure you eat sensibly, mindfully and not try to overeat or treat it like a ‘cheat’ day and gorge yourself… big mistake. Yes, common sense but sometimes we need reminding… Of course the same applies for the 16 : 8 hours, it can turn into on-diet and off-diet which can undo what we are trying to do.
METABOLISM, I need all of it!
We have been sold on the fact that little snacks through the day is good for us… it keeps our metabolism going… well, what I found firstly, was that when this was the approach healthy snacks eventually became ANY SNACKS and at this point for some odd reason, he he heheheheheheheh, there is a weight loss plateau… On further investigation we find muffins becoming the standard in between snack which causes more harm than good. Other than that, snacking is not necessary to keep our metabolism in place. There are plenty of available studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which deal with continual fasting and alternate-day fasting resulted in no decrease in metabolic rate. Even if you chose to do a very low-calorie diet of around 800 calories, your metabolic rate remains unharmed.
Being foodless is not the problem, rather excessive weight and lack of muscle mass is more the problem. You see, some plonkers – that includes me, did do extreme diets in which case muscle is lost, the minute that drops there is less to chew excess fat and then your basal metabolic rate drops… when eating correctly and nourishing your body with great REAL FOOD and include supplementing where needs be is the right way to go about this, then metabolism will NOT be a problem. Burn fat and live a healthy lifestyle and metabolism concerns will disappear.
It may be for you, OR NOT
Disclaimer: Note the benefits of intermittent fasting but know that it is controversial. If diabetic your dose may need to be adapted and you would need to discuss any lifestyle changes with your doctor. Please take note that people who are underweight or have eating disorders like anorexia, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and people under the age of 18 should NOT do this plan.
Take care, as stated above, if any adrenal gland and thyroid challenges and/or any chronic medical conditions seek medical advice before taking on intermittent fasting. Add to that, if you do have low blood sugar or suffer from dizziness if you do not eat, be cautious. Then, based on the energy requirements of a child, pregnant or breastfeeding women, this is NOT an optimal choice.
What could getting FAT, moodiness [might be as a result of getting fat], muffin tops, puffy ankles, and aching joints have to do with allergies? Well, just about everything. If you take your health seriously, and weight gain is an issue to you, pay attention to allergies!
In my younger days, I recall allergies being a sniffly nose or a bee sting going wrong. These days, it is on a different level… Becoming aware of it in my personal life with a daughter who from age 2 weeks suffered from allergies. Yes, her immune system was not the strongest for numerous reasons [ok, ok, it was totally my doing, elected Ceaser and not breastfeeding, etc. etc. etc – but this Mom was truly a duck out of water – my bad! I have learned a couple of things since then… thank goodness.] and for this reason, she ended up suffering till 9 years of age. It started out nice and easy, constant check-ups with a doctor, antibiotics every year, sometimes a couple of times a year, then asthma pumps littered the house and my handbag/s.
As time progressed, things got worse, her inactivity lead to weight gain and being bullied, and when she got sick it was 2 weeks of MAHEM… It didn’t stop there, strict instructions to teachers what she could and could not eat and limitations on running around, like any child should be able to do, based on her limited breathing ability and her allergic reaction to just about everything. Then allergy testing was traumatic with scratch tests, yes, it was not going well. I recall sitting up in bed at night holding her upright, tears streaming down my cheeks wondering “WHAT OH WHAT CAN I DO!!!???” due to her not being able to breathe after a fun birthday party rolling around in the grass and having that one [chemically-laden-to-taste-better] sweet, too many, that ONCE AGAIN triggered her bodies immune response. The good news is this, besides learning a heap full about good nourishment, I happily AND THANKFULLY learned a heap full about good NATURAL supplementation too, within a month of MARCH 2016, I had her off all her medication and slowly building her immunity back up to what it should be. From age 9 to now 12, her body has clawed its way back to ‘normality’. We have not seen a doctor for allergies in 3 years, no antibiotics for illness come wintertime and a NORMAL amount of broccoli [sic] instead of nightly plates full and a daughter who is playing hockey and excelling at singing. Happier for sure – in fact NOW, I have a HEALTHY daughter once again.
But, that is not what this article is about – I couldn’t resist sharing my story as, after all, it was the foundation of me finding my BLISS in life-supporting, coaching and mentoring those with health and weight challenges. You see, I may have got the first part horribly wrong for my daughter, but after that my intuition and inspired dissatisfaction with the status quo kicked in 150%. I realized that the chemicals I was pouring into her little body for the sake of science and medicine was doing more harm than good long term and I knew I HAD to change that. I knew that it may be helping right now, but LONG TERM, what were the effects and what were the repercussions of not dealing with allergies going to do to her life quality?
So, let us have a look at how we get unhealthy and gain weight which could have EVERYTHING to do with that slight allergy you have suffered with and also why, if you are a Mom with a child who has a compromised immunity, that you know you CAN do something SOONER THAN LATER to assist a better quality of life.
I will list a couple of items but will be discussing weight
gain in a bit more detail, but first I would like you to think about these in
the following way, you may have relocated and one of these symptoms magically
disappeared, or have gone on holiday and awarded your magically feeling better
to being ‘away from the boss’. If you
have physically felt the difference, it may, in fact, be a hidden food allergy
that has released its grip. Now yes,
there is a change of water or damp [or the lack of an infuriating boss] that
can impact this as well, but sometimes just taking a look at what you eat my be
COMMON AILMENTS SURROUNDING FOOD ALLERGIES:
Rheumatoid arthritis RA
Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers
Itchy eyes and puffiness
Now THAT IS A LONG LIST! And for me, these were all symptoms, and one of the primary causes, in my opinion, was a completely COMPROMISED DIGESTIVE TRACT. That was my port of call for my daughter. If I could get her digestive tract right, I could raise her immunity and address all these – exactly what we managed to do with good nourishment and supplementation.
But let us have a closer look at one of the nasties that take lodging and compromise your health when ALLERGIES are left unchecked.
WEIGHT GAIN [fat] AND THOSE PUFFY ANKLES
Seeing as I specialize in dealing with people in this industry – this is a primary concern and for once I cannot blame the fat on excessive sugar intake. If by CHANCE your thighs are slapping together more than they should be and you have not necessarily made pizza your standard food intake, in fact, you are quite careful about what you eat and the exercise you get in, then an allergy may be your challenge. Often the challenge here exists and starts in wheat. This then starts causing the damage it generally does in your body which then may lead to further intolerances to for instance milk and eggs, once the body starts breaking down due to an allergy making you its home, I have seen other ‘intolerances’ start popping up. The problem, of course, is that our HIPS start POPPING TOO!!!
How does this work? If you consistently have allergic reactions, you gain weight (I saw this in my daughter first hand). What happens is when you have an allergic reaction, your body releases cytokines (little cutesy immune messengers) to deal with the allergy. But these little cutesy makes you less responsive to insulin making your resistant to insulin increase, which of course is supposed to keep your blood sugar in balance… Your immunity starts to struggle to fight off invaders the more allergic reactions you have… and the more it struggles the more JUNK is swirling around in your bodies’ bloodstream. Of course, our bodies’ main concern is us, so it sends the junk to the liver to deal with [sounds like a hot potato pass and it is!!!]. Eventually, your liver ain’t happy, it’s overworked and underpaid and its capacity is reaching breaking point… if that is the case, your body, who is still loving you by the way, now dumps these toxins in YOUR FAT CELLS… oh dear… sounds like a good plan, but it ain’t. The JUNKIER your fat cells become, the slower your LOVING BODY is able to metabolize the fat for energy use, result: WE GET AND STAY FAT.
Then comes the wicked bestest mate who says “you JUST NEED TO EXERCISE MORE… [smiley face, smiley face]”. Arggghhhhh… Problem is, with toxicity overload you will experience massive lethargy and chronic fatigue… that ain’t gonna help any exercise routine AND may put your friendship at risk…
With this ALLERGY, comes water retention, a person can hold on to as much as 4,5kgs of extra ‘weight’ [ladies, noticed I did not say FAT!] in fluid retention.
So here comes the WHAMMY, those [and yes, I know, you are a logical intelligent reader and you would NEVER THINK of doing something like this] who have been beguiled into taking a couple of tablets to drop 5kgs in a week… this is it – water weight (and possibly, most likely, ok, definitely a bit of muscle too!).
Back to the puffy ankles. If you experience massive weight fluctuations in a 24 hour period, anything from 1.5kgs to 2.5kgs, have puffy eyes (yes those bags under the eyes) or puffy face, or do you need to loosen your belt after eating (without having overeaten)? Ever felt both your ankles swell up, and fingers? Possibly dry skin and dandruff? This could have everything to do with allergies. Of course, other related causes are blood sugar and kidney problems and excess sodium but chances are you will be able to see the causes by slowing improving how you eat. Eliminate the CRITTERS that could be causing it and start EATING CLEAN. Remove sugar, refined foods and possibly coffee [ouch, this one hurts me as I am a coffee fanatic, but it may be included when you have the health of your gut improved for those of you like me who cannot see life without it…]. Add healthy fruit and veg to your diet, including seeds, careful of gluten as there may be sensitivity on this one. Focus in on good omega 3, try evade additional salt and make sure YES… that you GET WATER IN! Drink at least 2l of water a day, more if you are exercising.
Then, seriously look into high-quality supplementation, I will happily point you to exactly that which I used for my daughters’ improvement and feel free to email me – I know the struggle with a toddler and what to do about it. Then, if you are at a point where you cannot understand your weight gain and have eliminated the wrongs and added exercise like an athlete preparing for the Olympics, do look into this. Address your gut first and foremost, keep the refined and processed foods out, that is, eat CLEAN, natural real food…include fermented foods. Then SUPPLEMENT! My children and I have a supplemented pre and probiotic EVERY DAY out of choice… not because we don’t want to eat real food but because sometimes we don’t ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT and need something to look after our billions of good gut bacteria, after all, THEY LOOK AFTER US!
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You have done the work the diet has gone fantastically well… AND you WANT to keep that body perfect! After all, no diet is easy and you HAVE done everything you need to do to get to this point. RIGHT?
If you feel the breathing down your neck don’t be alarmed… that is the immediate population in your 10km radius WAITING with bated breath for you to get FAT again… Sorry to say, that is EXACTLY what society expects based on the 90 – 95% failure rate, which of course DIETS get the blame for.
Let us start at the very beginning, the time before ‘the diet‘ even started, when hope for fatloss was still a glimmer in your eye, AND before you got fat AGAIN:
A) You pick a diet – most likely based on a friend’s recommendation, I mean, she lost like 15kgs!! Never mind the fact that you hate shakes… you WILL stick to it and do the same damage to the hips as she did…
B) Massive success – you managed to force your body into submission, you too are now down 15kgs and you and your BFF are now bigger and better BFF’S. You have after all SUFFERED through something apparently life-changing !
C) CELEBRATION TIME! Off diet and freedom comes in the form of a double Mocha and Key lime pie with said BFF. After all, a reward IS REQUIRED.
Fast forward a month or so…
D) Clothes have shrunk – are the tumble dryer settings correct? Let me check my weight… “oh dear… seems like that continual double Mocha is taking effect on my hips… Bloody diet, NOTHING WORKS!!!!*%”@#!“
E) The Audience…(AKA everyone in 10km radius) Now there are serious stares from all and they are breathing down your neck in anticipation, waiting, I dare say to see you gain back all 15kgs AGAIN. As you start swelling, you politely inform all the vultures that “IT IS THE DIETS FAULT”, of course, it is??!
NO… it is NOT the diets fault.
Let me say that again.
NO, SAD TO SAY, IT IS NOT THE DIETS FAULT.
So here is the thing, (yes, that THING!) we live in a society where we take pills to treat the symptom, not the cause, we expect immediate gratification and want the latest Lamborghini AND be CEO by 25 years of age latest, or you are roadkill for life. IF that does not happen then it is SOMEONE’s FAULT SOMEWHERE. Someone (or some childhood trauma) is ALWAYS to blame.
I read the holier than thou blog posts spewing out one by one how diets fail EVERYBODY MISERABLY. Get real. Hows about; COCA-COLA and MAC DONALDS fail us miserably, how about; we don’t WANT to think anymore and make logical deductions and reasonings about what we shovel into our bodies?
I watch obesity rising, cancer proliferating, and health and wellness gurus popping up all over the place to stake their claim in the obesity epidemic with the front wingers shouting DIETS DON’T WORK. Get real.
Firstly, if you are sensible you NEVER chose a diet with a shelf life, you NEVER chose a diet that relies on your starvation or one which has zero balance, that has more chemicals than the atomic bomb, to force your body into submission. NO. You are an intelligent logical human being, you take the highest regard of your wellbeing and decide you would like to live long enough to spend time with your grandchildren and not necessarily be thin AND dead. You chose your diet based on your lifestyle and what you can live with easily for the rest of your life without massive sugar and hormonal spikes coming as added benefits. YES?
HELL NO. NO…. its all about instant gratification. “Like yesterday, I was already thin, even though I only started the diet today. AMAZING RIGHT?“
How to maintain once you have removed the weight is easy… it starts BEFORE you have even started dieting!!!!
PICK THE RIGHT DIET FOR YOU!
If you chose correctly based on a couple of vital factors chances are your body will be satisfied even after you are OFF diet and you will NOT gain the weight back. The success or failure of a diet post-diet sits entirely on YOUR CHOICE OF DIET…
EXTREME DOWN = EXTREME UP
Ever ridden a bicycle up a hill? Ever freewheeled down the other side to hit a hill again and come to a full stop unless YOU PEDDLED? Well, kinda works the same with a diet. If you are buying into the extreme forcefulness of some whacked out diet, pushing your body to the limit, expect it to retaliate when done. There is ALWAYS an uphill.
ON DIET – OFF DIET
Sound familiar, people diet for the perfect figure and once that point has been achieved they vow to NEVER go back to ‘that’. Oh boy. I have been there AND got a T-shirt. There is a tendency to turn from an easy over hermit, into a ‘party-loving celebrating I can do anything superhero’ for a short while as your body realizes it has energy and mobility.
With that goes a couple of tequilas and a birthday cake or 2. Having an off diet mentality will assist your muffin tops coming back in no time. Once you break your virginity in the dietary community there is NO TURNING BACK. Which, is a bad thing IF you decided to do shakes for breakfast lunch and supper of course, but, if you decided, intelligently speaking of course, to start by having salads instead of big Macs, and saying no to sweetener, drinking more water, you know, logical things like that, THEN, chances are you can keep that body beautiful figure and NOT gain the weight back again.
ME LOOSE… NOT A CHANCE!
Let us talk terminology. What happened to you as a child when you LOST ANYTHING? In my day we had a tongue lashing and an arse whipping and that is putting it politely. Even today, my children know, they lose it, THEY replace it. Nobody EVER, like EVER wants to lose anything, wallet, keys, boyfriend??! So why on our little blue planet called Earth would we want to lose weight?!???
Even if we lost it we will make damn sure we find it again! If you want to maintain the body you managed to get by being INTELLIGENT, then make sure you don’t tell your brain you losing the weight. Getting rid of it for sure. Losing it, no chance! Our subconscious works 24/7 to FIND answers, and the word losing triggers 20, 30, 40 or 50 years of programming that says if you lose that you are in deep sh*T! So, time to ‘burn fat‘, ‘get rid of unhealthy fat‘, even ‘get down to my best size’ is better. But losing is only going to lead you right back to gaining. Let me not even start with the word WEIGHT. Please, think about that one.
WHY ON EARTH WOULD I LOVE THE NEW ME?
You looking amazing, your diet has helped you develop new healthier habits and you are getting wolf whistles purely by walking down the street. This is something you NOT used to. Self-esteem steps in and rains on your parade poops on your head, or rather in it. You cannot possibly get this type of attention? Someone says “Jane, you look smashing, wow!!?? What have you done?” Your lagging self-esteem (woe be her, she has had a tough few years of fatdom) steps in… “This oh man it is NOTHING (REALLY!!??), I did work hard but you know, sacrifice and hard work and self-discipline (yawn……….) are ‘all’ it takes. Not much to it (let us downplay it Ms. Self-esteem, you try and eat only salads for lunch!!)” and so the conversation goes. Your subconscious (home to Ms. Self-esteem) hears how unimportant this victory was, how much hard work it was, and how irrelevant the compliment was that was given and, after shedding a humble tear, she starts working out how to avoid these awkward moments where you were not quite sure what to say. Please search on google ‘how to ACCEPT a compliment‘ so that you can KEEP AND ACCEPT the good energy that can come from it!! Eventually, the attention may get overwhelming, the boyfriend may even get a bit jealous and then to safeguard yourself and keep your rising self-esteem at bay, you start eating again… a lot.
Embrace the compliments, learn how to welcome friendly self-esteem within and nurture her, give that girl a coffee! Say to her “MAKE ME MARVELOUS” and then to yourself, “I am EVERYTHING AND MORE!”. Want to maintain that body, start by LOVING YOURSELF FIRST!
LETS TALK ABOUT STREEETTTTCHHHHH BABY…
The only stretch ANYTHING you should have after a diet is your morning yawn as you wake up to get out of bed. If there was a way that sweatpants could be non-stretch and still work, it would literally cause the diet industry billions to be halved. The problem with stretch is this, you can keep expanding your waistline and be completely unaware, then start passing the joke around that there are gremlins in your cupboard making your clothes smaller, BLOODY DIET ALWAYS FAILS!!! Eventually, the stretch is replaced by baggy and everyone applauds as you take on the next diet to once again get rid of the 15kgs. Let me add to this… THROW THE BIG STUFF INTO THE CHARITY BIN! IT DON’T FIT YOU ANY MORE. And chances are if it is in your cupboard you may very well grow INTO IT again! Burn the ships!
WHAT YOU BUY, YOU EAT, YES?
Sounds completely logical right? Well, so I thought until client after client after client blames the biscuit they continuously had after supper for not maintaining?! REALLY?! Need I say more. Are we being held hostage by a sprinkled carb? REALLY… who bought it. And please…. your children DON’T NEED IT TO SURVIVE!!!!!
IF YOU KEEP EATING EVEN AFTER YOU ARE FULL, CHANCES ARE THE CLAPPING YOU HEAR WILL BE YOUR THIGHS.
Is this the diets fault too? Or is it possibly the appetite suppressants taken to numb (dumb) your hunger signals down??? Where the effort and possible use of will power to say no thank you not now, was just too much (again, must be the diets fault there too?). Do we realize that ALL FOOD and MORE will be there forever and we don’t need to say yes all the time and every time? So, let’s say you got through your diet at age 45 and you are looking like da bomb, that type of cheesecake will be available to you for another 30 years at least!
Allow your body to ‘settle into’ a new weight category before you start throwing heavy punches (into your mouth). Each person has that ‘almost’ perfect set point of weight and energy use… over time we stuff that equilibrium up completely and your body ends up between a rock and a hard place… hormones out of wack, gut flora none existent and metabolism shouting “I give UP!!!”. So, if you are one of the fortunate few that found a diet that is correct for you individually (look, there are 5 billion results on Google I am sure you can find ONE that works for your ‘type’) and you decided to make use of my intelligent MMM System to ensure your success, then ALLOW your body to settle and acquaint itself to a less hefty you BEFORE relinquishing your daily exercise routine for muffins with Martha at Starbucks.
Give yourself and the intelligently chosen diet some settlement time. Allow yourself to integrate your diet with reasonable inclusions so that you can slowly recalibrate your metabolism to suit your lifestyle. It comes down to this, if chosen well, ANY diet will be successful, based on the fact that it is backed by some sort of successful science and logic. ANY diet will assist in you maintaining properly if you are mindfully refeeding yourself into the general swing of your lifestyle. You WILL keep the weight OFF if you follow a plan of implementation for your diet from BEFORE your start to months after you complete. No ‘here today, gone tomorrow‘ classics. You WILL keep it off if you educate yourself along the way about good healthy choices and the food you are consuming and like to consume, chances are you will say a BIG NO THANK YOU to a MAC DONALDS after you are done with your diet.
Personally, I know, diets work. If the fat doesn’t stay off, reasons are, you only gain that which you lost and more based on poor diet choice and sweet bugger all awareness and mindfulness once you ‘OFF DIET‘. Keep in mind that if you chose an averagely good science-based diet, you STILL lose muscle, which in turn affects your Basal Metabolic Rate which in turn affects your Metabolism resulting in slow conversion of fat to energy and more storage (less muscle mass, less fat burning) so you will HAVE to be MORE VIGILANT about what you put into your body regardless of how good the diet is. Once you have walked the diet gangplank embrace the fact that you have messed with ‘PERFECT‘ created by ‘PERFECT‘. That is O.K. if and only if you TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CHOICES and become mindful of how you live thereafter.
Now some of us, (yup, I include myself) had a tendency to ignore nutrition, health, exercise, wellness, calorie load, metabolism – well, anything to do with living well and have taken on our own fair share of diets. We, (woe us) will need to put on our big girl panties and realize our choices maketh us. Vigilance on what we eat HAS to be part of life as most likely our metabolism is shot, muscle mass has been depleted, enzymes are fighting for survival and our microbiome thinks it’s Vegas… Yup. It ain’t the DIETS FAULT.
Tried everything? Realizing that the battle of the bulge is a battle that has no end? Often, the reason for continual fat gain and ill-health stems directly from hormone imbalances.
There are 4 heavyweights in this department that need very little introduction, but each takes a corner of the fighting ring and does a lot of damage. Insulin, the thyroid, cortisol and sex hormones all play a role in becoming unfriendly neighbors in your body, the result, FAT GAIN.
This is one we all know, it and Diabetes are best mates. Normally our pancreas when functioning as it should secrete insulin that helps glucose travel to muscle and to produce energy and of course fat for storage. The challenge comes when the insulin resistance occurs, why, well, insulin is like LEPTIN which is a hormone that says you are happily full, and when you are insulin resistant, well, that message goes nowhere. So when we consume high sugar there is less feedback saying “I am full” and less appetite reduction, basically, you stay hungry.
With staying ‘HANGRY’ you keep eating and keep on eating and your Insulin neighbor causes some heavyweight addition. This causes weight gain, inflammation and of course chronic disease.
This has its implication on many a woman and a man, one in 10 men and one in 5 women have been affected by a low thyroid function also known as hypothyroidism. It is now thought that a cause of hypothyroidism is gluten intolerance, interesting this as if we get our gut functioning properly, can we move away from gluten intolerance and/or if we don’t eat elements that bring about gluten intolerance then we will solve our thyroid dilemma. It may well be worth the SACRIFICE!
WHY worth the sacrifice? Well if your thyroid is misfiring, chances are your weight could be on the increase too. You see, your thyroid does have an influence on how fast or slow you burn up energy. If it is too slow, as in hypothyroidism, this is when your metabolic rate is a snail’s pace. AND when you start gaining weight, are lethargic and have brittle nails. NO GOOD.
But WAIT, there is more, thyroid issues are brought about by nutritional deficiencies such as selenium, iodine, zinc, and the mighty omega 3 fats, so the answer to this is, EAT RIGHT and SUPPLEMENT!
The fact is to get it right we need to make sure that it IS DIAGNOSED firstly, then get the correct tests done by a doctor. Generally what is checked is TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, free T3 and T4, and lastly the thyroids antibodies.
Then eating right is one of the easiest and best ways to get it sorted. Personally, I had an underactive thyroid many years back and after swallowing a hand full of pills I decided to go the natural nutritional route as I could not see myself doing the pills daily. It works! GREAT NOURISHMENT may work for you too! Besides good supplements such as Omega with Vitamin D, to help regulate your endocrine system, pay attention to adding pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts and oysters [not that this is a daily grocery item for me] and avoid eating thyroid blocking goitrogens such as soybeans, and raw cruciferous veggies.
And finally, make sure your doctor assists you based on your tests that are done and your health status.
Now, let us bring in a heavy hitter. Cortisol carries a punch based on the fact that it has EVERYTHING to do with stress and that deep down we are still Neanderthal… Where in the good old days stress caused the Neanderthal to run for cover, these days, stress sits in our thoughts, then it sends a couple of self-destructive messages to our metabolic pathways when then help us politely to gain weight and become insulin resistant. Our Neanderthal counterpart WAS being ATTACKED, we, however, PERCEIVE A THREAT when then we have no need to run from [aka some good exercise] so we end up sitting, stressing and gaining weight.
Cortisol kindly helps you run for your life, in those days that is, it forced quick energy into your bloodstream for just that, quick energy… BUT simultaneously, is closing our digestive function and slows metabolism… basically energy conservation to ensure YOU survive the perceived THREAT?!
Do this routine for a couple of days, then weeks, then years and soon your ability to handle stress seems FANTASTIC externally, but internally, oh boy, we have a problem, high blood sugar, a fat belly, sky-high blood pressure, muscle loss (which of course helps the fat pack on) and finally cholesterol, no, not the healthy one.
Slowly that which is supposed to enable to protect yourself and run for your life is, in fact, killing you silently.
I would suggest that the practice of meditation should be your first go to. Take on breathing techniques to breath into and out of stressful situations. Get your thought process rewired, Subliminals are great for that too.
Then, gain a superpower, stretching time… I know, most laugh at me when I say that is my superpower, but I am proud of it. How do you stretch time? Easy, be present, start by being instead of doing. Pay attention to every detail and put down the bloody phone! Train yourself to SLOW EVERYTHING DOWN. And breath into that… It is a great feeling and does take practice in our fast-paced world.
Let us have a look at these, firstly, estrogen, we think this is just a women’s ‘moan’, well men and women have it and too much of it can cause weight issues. WHERE does this come from? Well simply, refined carbohydrates, sugar and that delightful glass of one wine too many causes estrogen to throw a punch. And once again we cannot escape a healthy gut with the right quantity of good fiber which influences the strength of that PUNCH… Besides the foods we eat, triggering estrogen is as easy as taking antibiotics and just ‘living’. Why living? Well, there is substantial use of pesticides called xenoestrogens which are copycat estrogens causing in women problematic menstrual cycles, fluid retention, breast tenderness, and fibroids.
Men also struggle, beer belly and ‘man boobs‘ become clear, then they lose body hair as their testosterone drops, yes, as the low estrogen starts affecting them, and aging ALSO sets in, men start losing testosterone too. With this lack of testosterone, men age faster too. Men are advised to start exercising, reduce alcohol and stress [what is the chance of reducing stress as they get older these days – guys maybe take on meditation practice???]. The low testosterone, of course, leads to low sex drive, bone loss (osteoporosis being the end result) and mental fog and fatigue. That is over and above WEIGHT GAIN. Clearly, sex hormones need our attention!
What is impacting these hormones? If your dietary pick is low-fat foods and possibly using statin drugs (which block cholesterol production – yes we need cholesterol in our bodies!!!), the advise is to rather aim for higher fat intake and really do your investigation on the necessity of those statins. Cholesterol produces testosterone and all the other sex hormones and therefore speak to your doctor and find out about solving your statin problem – nutrition alone can get you off your statins. Time to sort out the sex drive.
What can be said about improving these hormones is the following, include fiber-based foods, if you don’t get enough of these, get a supplement of fiber. Decide how important alcohol is and limit it as much as possible. Start exercising – if however you are highly stressed, chose an easy over form of exercise to not add stress to your already stressful life. Make sure that you avoid constipation, we need to get rid of toxins in your body, good probiotic is also a great addition. Take it DAILY.
Besides this bit of information, let me add, getting your weight under control with the help of hormones should be easy, there are after all 9 hormones in your body that tell you to eat more and 14 that tell you to stop eating according to Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz’s book on helping You on diet.
So, all we need to do is take care of these FAB 4, then the rest should be a walk in the park. Take care of your hormones and they will take care of you, maybe not CORTISOL, but he is the heavy hitter after all.
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