Was dieting on your list of new year goals AGAIN?
Whilst most people look forward to the holiday period a growing number of us have one thing on our mind. How can we survive the holiday period without ruining our waistlines? With this script running in the background, the pleasure of eating with family and friends is replaced with stress, worry and guilt.
And we unknowingly replace our feel good hormones, (endorphins) with inflammatory stress hormones (cortisol); which actually cause us to gain weight!!
How do we break this cycle, and find peace around food?
One minute we are told that a low carb diet is the way to go, yet the latest research suggests that a low carb diet is the thyroid’s worst enemy?
Given that the thyroid is pretty much running the show when it comes to keeping our metabolism fired up it makes sense to bow down to its needs.
If you’re a woman of a certain age, 40+ (ahem!), then you know what I’m talking about, it’s even worse for us!!
January is the busiest month for new gym memberships, you can barely move for enthusiasm and bodies.
But by February most well intentioned gym goers have retreated back to the old lifestyle they so desperately want to be free of.
What’s really going on? We are all smart, intelligent people, surely it can’t be this difficult to maintain a healthy weight and enjoy food without watching the scale and paying homage to the gym.
You can’t hide
We ‘wear our weight’ so regardless of whether you struggle with 10lbs or 100lbs the issue is still the same, you don’t look or feel quite right and wonder if you ever will. So you get some lab work done and it all comes back fine.
But you KNOW something’s off, and you’re desperate for answers (enter more cortisol the mother of all weight gain)!
Slim does not necessarily mean healthy
20 years of battling low blood sugar taught me many things, I worked out my carbohydrate tolerance levels, learnt to get satiated with quality fats instead of sugary foods, and cried eureka when I could finally take part in intermittent fasting, yet my body fat wouldn’t budge below 34%?
Despite good thyroid numbers my body temp hovered around 97. Way too low to burn fat, let alone keep me warm. So I started to work on raising my body temperature instead of focusing on weight loss.
I spent my 20’s and 30’s doing aerobics, step and spinning, and felt loath to go back to it, after enjoying more mindful pursuits such as hiking and yoga. However, the data was pointing to the need to fire up my metabolism, build muscle and burn fat.
So I started doing the key things known for raising metabolism.
Eating, and moving! I upped hormone-loving carbs, and smothered everything in butter & ghee, to ensure I was getting the co-factors required to convert certain vitamins and minerals. I doubled my fish intake (to help balance my omega 3 to 6 ratio) and made sure I moved everyday, rather than 2 or 3 times a week.
I started doing 15 minute weight bearing circuits at home, and guess what, my numbers started to change.
My temperature increased to 98.2 and I slowly started to burning fat, build muscle and feel warmer.
My body fat dropped by 10% and I gained 6% more muscle.
Every time we eat we raise our metabolism, dieting and the wrong kind of exercise does the reverse. It took me a long time to realize that extremes don’t work. Hammering it out on the treadmill when cortisol levels are already high is a recipe for weight gain.
Beyond diet and nutrition, I learnt the importance of unplugging from the world of information, limiting blue light and negative electro-magnetic frequencies. I put my phone on airplane mode whenever possible, and make sure to get my daily dose of daylight.
Last, but not least, we need healthy relationships and a social life that let’s us blow off steam and reduce (cortisol) stress hormones! There’s nothing nicer than enjoying a day at the beach or meeting up with friends after a long and busy week, especially if you work from home.
It takes action to make things happen, so pick up the phone if you know you’ve got some cleaning up to do with friends or loved ones that you haven’t spoken to in a while. The same also goes for relationships that no longer serve you.
Most importantly, decide that you want today to be different, and take a different action to your norm.
Don't let another month go by, set up a call if you want clarity around your next steps.