I’ve heard this more than a few times in the past couple of weeks: “Forget trying to be good. It’s the Holiday’s. It’s impossible! Can you help me lose weight in January?”
My answer: Sure I can help you in January, but, GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF. Having a specific date when you’re going to be “good”… that’s crazy talk. That’s kickin the can down the road, like our government does with the federal budget (which keeps our debt constantly growing. Make the analogy).
When we pacify ourselves with promises to compensate later for over-indulging today, we actually reinforce the habits and desires that got us either overweight or unhealthy or both.
Here’s some blasts from the past to help you stay committed to Real Whole Food, and making good choices, even in December. It’s critical to change our thoughts about food; food is medicine, or food is poison. Food brings us energy and healing and beautiful skin, or food brings cancer, fatigue, gut issues, headaches, diabetes, and heart disease.
Fill your mind with thoughts that make you powerful. Be purposeful about what you allow your brain to dwell on.
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From December, 2013:
I’ve heard from more than a few people expressing sadness about weight gain, specifically, weight gain since Thanksgiving. You’ve got a choice here, you either go with the line, ” I’ve already blown it, New Years Day is right around the corner, I’ll start then.” or this line, “More vegetables, more fruit, more healthy fats and proteins; I’m going to plan the next few days well and get back on track because I don’t like feeling this way.”
Pick a line and go with it. If it’s the second line, MEDITATE ON IT. Choose your thoughts; quit letting a momentary whim lead to actions that make you feel horrible later. Do this for me: next time you want some food that’s not healthy, set a timer on your phone and see how long the desire lasts. Unless you’re genuinely starving, Hunger Is Temporary. Seriously. If you turn out to still be starving in 15 minutes, evaluate what you ate at your last meal. Was there enough fat, enough protein, enough vegetables, enough Real Whole Foods, or did you do the “diet” thing and now you’re hungry? Give your body the nutrients it needs, and that compulsive desire to eat will start to fade away. Weight loss (if you need it) is a side-effect of eating healthy.
Reasons to be scared of Flour and Sugar:
I’m going to blast some facts at you, because : All Behavior Is Belief Driven. Think it’s hard to walk past platters full of doughnuts, cookies, or bagels without eating any? It depends on your belief: do you believe that flour and sugar are literally toxic to your brain and body, or do you still look at food as calories that you can work-off or starve-off later?
Fact: flours that contain Gluten (a group of proteins that are in grains) have ADDICTIVE properties, they literally stimulate pleasure centers in your brain that make you want more.
Fact: no human being on earth has the digestive enzymes to break down glutens from wheat, barley, or rye. Think you don’t have a problem because you’re not a Celiac? Celiac disease is an AUTO IMMUNE reaction to the glutens. That happens to some people. For the rest of us, the damage accumulates over YEARS: the undigested proteins leak thru the gut wall, inappropriately; our immune system responds to the foreign objects, and wherever we’re most vulnerable (joints, brain, nervous system, thyroid, etc) gets attacked.
Fact: sugar has addictive properties. Studies show that it’s more addictive than Cocaine! In 1700, the average American ate 4 lbs of sugar a year; in 1800 it was 18 lbs; in 1900 it was 90 lbs, in 2009, it was 180 lbs.
Read the details of this Post for supplement and exercise tips; here’s the gist:
Three emails this weekend about Holiday Weight Gain are prompting a Post. Don’t Diet In December; don’t despair if you’ve gained a few pounds since Halloween; don’t “throw in the towel and restart in January”; and don’t kill yourself with extra hard workouts.
All that stuff would be SHORT TERM THINKING, and short term thinking never produces good Long Term Results.
What should you do instead? CHILL. Honestly. It’s the holidays and we’ve all got about 50 extra things on our to-do lists. Stressing about it = CORTISOL, which = WEIGHT GAIN and ILLNESS ( come January or sooner).
In addition to all our “extras”, is the assumption we’ll eat more just because it’s the holidays; constant indulgence = CORTISOL + INSULIN, which = WEIGHT GAIN AND ILLNESS ( come January, or sooner).
Blood sugar becomes a complete mess, and the impulse to soothe stress with food or alcohol feels irresistible. Here’s what to do instead-
And finally, from Holiday Eating Gone Bad, 8 Facts To Scare You Straight:
It’s the holiday season, you’re busy, you’re struggling, you want motivation, so I’ll be fast and effective.
I’ve had several emails and comments in the past two weeks full of regret and remorse over Eating Gone Bad. There’s definitely the sense of, ” I couldn’t help myself because…”
A client friend said to me yesterday, ” I want to become scared of flour and sugar, like you are.” I want ALL OF YOU TO BECOME SCARED OF FLOUR AND SUGAR, like I am! Let me scare you straight, quickly.
Simple carbs from Grains and Sugar cause high levels of sugar and insulin in your blood/arteries/veins. The negative health effects from this are PROFOUND:
1) Excess blood sugar ( from sugar and grains) is converted to Triglycerides and stored in our fat cells.
2) Excess blood sugar “GLYCATES” proteins and lipids in our blood and body. EXAMPLES OF GLYCATION ARE WRINKLES, AGE SPOTS, AND IMPOTENCE. Alzheimer’s is being called Diabetes Type 3 because of the plaques/glycation of the brain, which is composed of fats and proteins.
3) Alzheimer’s, Migraines, Dementia, and all sorts of Neurological Conditions, including ADD and Mood Disorders, are highly associated with high blood sugar and insulin.
4) Cancer cells are covered with Insulin Receptors. Cancer cells eat SUGAR. The insulin receptors that cover cancer cells make sure those cells get all the sugar they want and need to grow and thrive. APPLY THAT THOUGHT TO YOUR KIDS THE NEXT TIME YOU FEED THEM MAC N CHEESE WITH A SIDE OF BREAD. Seriously. That stuff is poison!
5) Heart disease is caused by several conditions initiated by sugar and insulin: excess sugar thickens the blood; excess sugar robs the heart of it’s favorite mineral – Magnesium, and it’s favorite vitamin – the Bs ( that’s because digesting/metabolizing sugar requires an enormous amount of Magnesium and B vitamins ); and excess sugar and insulin severely damage artery walls, in several ways.
6) Damage to the artery walls ( whether those arteries are near your heart, in your neck, or MEN: IN YOUR FAVORITE ORGAN THAT FILLS WITH BLOOD!!) means they need to be “fixed”. In an effort to mitigate the damage we do, the liver puts together PLAQUE patches, and sends them to the sites of the damage. This keeps us alive for years, but eventually, the high blood pressure, the thick blood, the extra stress on the heart, comes back to Bite Us In The Butt.
7) Excess sugars can completely change the Bacterial Composition of your entire gut: from the stomach, which needs to have just a tiny bit of H-Pylori and a TON of acid to be optimal, to the small intestine, which should be intact but more often then not is “LEAKY” or plagued with SIBO ( small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. If you bloat badly, ask me about this.), to the large intestine, which should house at least a few POUNDS of beneficial bacteria that perform literally THOUSANDS of jobs for our bodies. Constipation, Bloat, Reflux, Diarrhea: NOT NORMAL! It means you’re not breaking down and absorbing your nutrients which sets the stage for all sorts of disease and dysfunctions.
8) Excess sugar and insulin suppress your immune system, IMMEDIATELY, for up to 24 hours. This means if you let your kid eat a breakfast of pop tarts or crappy cereal, and then send them to school to sit by someone on the bus or in the classroom who’s coughing or sneezing, they’re an EASY TARGET for the germs to set up house and proliferate. Same for you: a quick muffin or sugar/chemical drink at Starbucks, then off to an office/gym filled with bad germs? You’re a sitting duck!
I could go on and on, but say this to yourself: Food Is Medicine, or Food Is Poison; for me, and for my kids.
Then, delete the ancient notion that eating well means Dieting; eating low fat/no fat chicken and steamed broccoli is a recipe for a Rebound Binge.
That’s why I love the Paleo Diet: Real Whole Food with plenty of good FAT, good meats and proteins, TONS of vegetables, some fruit, some nuts and seeds, and GOOD dairy if you can tolerate it. The Paleo Diet even includes Real Whole Food DESSERTS, what’s not to like? ( Christmas Paleo Party at my house, 12/12/14, from 12 -2. Everyone’s invited, and you’ll get to see just how good Real Whole Food is!)
If Food Addiction is your struggle, then all the common sense/information in the world doesn’t help too much. Read my last post. If you have trouble staying away from grains and sugar, know that they contain compounds that trigger addiction centers in your brain, and your child’s brain. That doesn’t happen with Real Whole Food.
Finally, in this stressful, busy season of the year, acknowledge that “eating for stress relief” doesn’t actually Relieve Your Stress, it makes you MORE STRESSED afterwards. Just the opposite of sitting down to a Real Whole Food meal, which actually satiates your mind and body.
Change today. Don’t wait til the season is over. We’re talking about your health, your mind, and the example you’re instilling in your kids. The food you put in your mouth matters. I’ll say it again: Food is Medicine, or Food is Poison.