A Binge Scenario
“I’m not going to buy that pumpkin pie (or cookie dough, bag of chips, Ice cream...) because I won’t be able to eat just one slice”
-Your partner buys the pie because they want to try it.
You: “Well, I guess that’s okay. I’ll just have a small slice once a day until we finish it”
Your partner has a big slice and offers you a big slice, and you take it because hey, they’re also having a big slice.
Time passes, your blood sugar drops, you feel like eating again, there’s some residual guilt over the original big piece of pie and then BAAM!.
You cut another big slice.
You feel like a weak person and say to yourself “Whatever!. I’ve already totally screwed up so I’ll just finish the damn pie so it won’t be in the house anymore!”
You go to bed feeling super stuffed, guilty and like a failure.
Has this experience ever happened to you? Cuz it’s happened to me and many of my clients. It sucks. It makes us feel like we have no motivation, weak and definitely messes with our self esteem.
So, what is something that we can do BEFORE and AFTER a binge?
- Remove the temptation. Don’t buy that stupid pie.
- Take a piece and put it in a location further away from where you usually hang out in your home (downstairs freezer for example).
- Say to yourself, “I’m going to eat this without guilt now because it’s not something I do regularly and I CHOSE to have this one slice. One is enough”.
- Forgive yourself by saying this or writing it down:
“ I ate more than I needed but that’s okay. Tomorrow is a new day. I won’t starve myself or punish myself for what happened”.
- Continue on with your day and the next day with a simple, whole foods diet that consists of a lot of fiber rich veggies, clean sources of protein and hydrate like crazy with un-sweetened drinks.
Binges happen to most people at least every once and a while. It doesn’t make us failures or “weak”. The important thing is that we recognize it happened, ask ourselves why (were we being to restrictive prior to the binge?) and jump back on the wagon.
Improve Eating Habits Improving eating habits and losing weight is not JUST about calorie counting, tracking your food on an app or stepping on a scale every other day. Yes, some of these tactics can help you to lose some weight, but they not long lasting solutions. If it were only about this “factual” side of nutrition. Most people know how/what to eat these days. There is plenty of information and research out there now. However, there’s something missing, something that is not being addressed, and that is most often the behavioral side of nutrition.
Your mindset is often the key factor that is keeping you from long lasting weight loss and having a stress free, enjoyable relationship with food. We are complicated yet interesting beings with a ton of different life experience that shape our reactions to food. YOUR nutrition is influenced by your unique history, overall outlook, attitude and experiences that make you, you.
Did mom take you for ice cream after you won a soccer game? Did dad take you and your sibling for McDonalds when it was his turn to make dinner and referred to this meal as “a treat!”? Maybe you have an “all or nothing” personality and each time you indulge in something you believe is “bad for the diet”, you eat until it’s all gone and you’re stuffed! Moderation is not your strong suit.
Unfortunately, many people have a hard time when they hear that for long-term success, your nutrition won’t be perfect and you have to make changes in small steps! Those small wins add up over time and become habit.
Did you hear your male friend say that he “lost 8 pounds the first week!”? This in turn made you feel like a failure since you haven’t ever experienced that type of quick success. This is just a reminder to be realistic. It's a process. We are different people, with different genders, lifestyles, genetics and beliefs & behaviors (influenced by past experiences) towards food.
It’s just as important to be mentally prepared with what food you’re choosing to eat as it is to have it prepared ahead of time.
6 (realistic) Tips For How to Improve Eating Habits
1. Lose the time limit. Don’t pressure yourself to figure it all out within a certain time frame. Lasting, long-term change happens over months. It’s not a race.
2. Make realistic goals. Start small. It can be regarding the actual food or, your approach to food. Your weekly goals need to be small enough to achieve, and measureable at the end of the week.
3. Be comfortable with Moderation. What moderation means to you may mean something different to someone else. Figure out where moderation is best for you. Cutting everything out all at once is not recommended, take this step slow so you can have make these changes permanent.
4. Find your triggers and learn from them. Discover what environments, moods, emotions, people, or physical states cause you to over eat or over-indulge. Write them down and make a game plan on how to tackle these.
5. Know your support group or support person. (Cough, Cough, are you working with Amy & the Pristine body program?).
6. Be chill. Relax and forgive yourself when slip-ups happen. They will. Sorry to break it to you but no one is perfect
Crispy Lemony Broccoli
- 1 ½ pound broccoli florets
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- ½ – ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- Zest ½ lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 425F. Lay broccoli florets onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Season the broccoli with 1/4 cup Olive Oil, 2 tbsp. Fresh Basil (Chopped), 3 tsp. Minced Garlic, 3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt, 1/2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes, Zest of 1/2 Lemon, and Juice of 1/2 Lemon.
- Sprinkle 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese over the top of the broccoli and put into the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve - super simple, easy, and delicious!
When Things Just Stop Working
You’re doing “all the right things”, but not losing weight. Now, I don’t love the term “diet” but, use it because that’s what most people understand when we talk about how what we eat correlates to our weight and health. I all too often hear people tell me “ I’m on this diet. I have been doing all the things like eating what it says, exercising how it says… But, my weight loss is minimal and it seems to have stopped.”
There are many reasons why this happens but here are the most common causes:
1. Your body thinks it’s starving
When your daily calorie intake is too low, the body switches into starvation mode and metabolism slows. Your body “thinks” it needs to conserve energy and will store anything you eat.
2. Insufficient protein
Protein is the building block of muscle tissue, which is the number one fat burning tissue in the body. It’s super metabolically active. Unfortunately, many people focus on cardio for exercise while neglecting weight-bearing activities. The less muscle we have, the slower will be our calorie burning capacity.
3. You’ve cut too much fat
Without enough healthy fat in the diet, there is a decrease in the production of hormones, prostaglandins, eicosanoids, and many of the chemicals that help produce energy in the body. This leads to a slowing of metabolism, an increase in hunger and less nutrient absorption.
Protein is the building block of muscle tissue, which is the number one fat burning tissue in the body. So the less muscle we have, the slower will be our calorie burning capacity.
4. You’re overstressed and sleep deprived
Being in a hyper vigilant state, obsessing about food, calorie counting and missing out on the joy of eating is a form of stress. Our lives are stressed out enough with work, traffic, obligations and the list goes on and on. Then, you stay up late watching Netflix, surfing the net, lurking on instagram or worrying about, well everything! Boom, you’re sleep deprived and stressed out.
The stress chemistry release can de-regulate appetite and cause us to overeat, creating the physiologic conditions for weight gain or inability to lose weight.
So what is the alternative to hard dieting? Eat in a nourishing and sustainable way. Having realistic expectations (and it’s not 8% body fat or a thigh gap). It might seem contradictory, but often, allowing ourselves to stop stressing about our weight is the very thing that helps us lose the excess lbs.
5. Too much exercise
Sure, regular exercise by getting your heart rate up and lifting heavy things is super important. However, over exercising can lead to problems in the long run. Those who exercise too hard or too often and without enough recovery time put the body into a stress response. This leads to excess insulin and cortisol production, which can result in the inability to lose weight. There is such thing as “too much of a good thing”.
Hope you’ve found this helpful!
Nutrient Deficiencies& Cravings
Our decision to binge on certain foods isn’t always dependent on willpower. Many studies, including one from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, show that urges to eat certain foods can be blamed on moderate to severe nutrient deficiencies.
So no, it’s not always about emotions or the chemical addiction of certain foods. Your body may be lagging in certain micronutrients. Some common deficiencies include...
A super common nutrient deficiency in vegans and sometimes carnivores depending on genetic propensities or absorption issues.
iron deficiencies can cause people to feel tired and to dream about meat at every meal. These meat cravings can stem from the fact that iron sources from plant-based foods (non-heme iron) aren’t as well utilized by the body as animal based sources (heme iron. If you’re set on avoiding animal products, eat more beans, legumes and nuts along with a source of vitamin C for better absorption. A supplement is also a great idea.
2. B Vitamins
Ever heard of the condition known as PICA? Pica can be a symptom of anemia (due to B-12, folate, or iron deficiency) causing unexplainable cravings for dirt. More common in pregnant expecting mothers.
Craving foods like leafy greens, rice, fortified cereals, seafood, eggs, bananas, poultry, dairy, and potatoes can also indicate a deficiency from the B-vitamin family. Food cravings and wicked mood swings often accompany this deficiency.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Ah, some of the good fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are among the best fat sources. This essential fatty acid (ALA, EPA, and DHA) can be found in fish (tuna, salmon, and sardines) eggs and kelp and even cheese! That’s why many people deficient in this essential fatty acid crave the cheesiest meals they can find.
So instead, find some fresh wild salmon, sardines and pasture raised eggs.
One word. Chocolate!!! First things first. Craving chocolate does not necessarily mean that you are deficient in magnesium. But, some studies suggest that up to 68% of North Americans are Magnesium deficient. Causes include our modern, nutrient poor soil from massive farms that use the same soil over and over, over-consuming sugars and, being super stressed out.
While reaching for a square or 2 of 85% + dark chocolate is a great fix for the craving, boost your magnesium levels by supplementing and eating more nuts, green leafy veggies and beans.
Zinc plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the immune system. Low zinc levels can cause a dulled sense of taste. This can lead to pus craving the sweetest of sweets and the saltiest of savory foods. Reach for eggs, nuts, oysters, liver, and dark poultry meat to top up zinc stores. Especially before the flu season!
Turmeric and its' Awesome Benefits
Turmeric is a well-known herb which I have been obsessed with for the past few years. I used to add turmeric to soups and meat rubs on a regular basis, and over the past few years started to add it to smoothies and lattes. This beautifully coloured herb has some awesome health benefits.
Just Some Health Benefits of Turmeric
It's reduces inflammation
Turmeric can have antiinflammatory benefits. Curcumin may lower the inflammatory response in the body, by down regulating inflammatory markers (cytokines), as well as decrease proteins and enzymes that promote inflammation.
It's full of Nutrients
Turmeric can be considered a ‘super food’ as it is full of antioxidants including vitamin C, A, D, E as well as B vitamins.
It supports digestion
Turmeric may enhance digestion by promoting enzymes like lipase (to digest fat), amalyase (to digest carbohydrates) and can stimulate bile (to also help digest fat). Most studies will combine turmeric with black pepper and ginger for this effect.
It can support skin health
Turmeric and curcimin may have a significant impact when treating inflammatory skin issues like acne, rosacea and psoriasis.
Combine the antiinflammatory and antioxidant content of turmeric and boom! You're getting some support with your immune system.
Only Buy Quality Turmeric
When purchasing Turmeric, try and find the whole root (or powders made from the whole root, nothing else added). When buying it at the grocery store, it's usually found around the ginger and garlic section. You can also buy an organic turmeric powder, which is important as turmeric can be highly sprayed with pesticides.
PS!!!!: Be careful when using the powder around any light coloured counter tops or clothing. Use a spoon to handle it unless you want orange/yellowy stained fingers or clothes.