Eating lots of sugar naturally spikes your blood sugars. Your body experiences a series of peaks and troughs whereby you feel elated and full of energy, however you soon begin to experience the down side. Fatigue, dizziness, not to mention irritability which can lead to a state of depression.
When you reach this “trough” your brain demands even more glucose, resulting in a wave of rising then crashing even further in the process.
Refined sugars in foods such as bread, rice, pasta etc… are also linked to depression and anxiety. The best prevention is to avoid such sugars, eat at regular intervals ensuring that you include energy dense nutrients, for example, whole grains, pulses, green vegetables. Protein is the building block of who we are therefore Including protein with each meal keeps you fuller for longer and prevents your blood sugars from spiking.
Fruits are fine, however too much fruit again spikes your blood sugars. It is true that the sugars “fructose” in fruit is a natural sugar however at the end of the day you’re still consuming sugar!
Sugar is a drug and we respond in exactly the same way as someone who is addicted to any other narcotic. That means you will experience the usual highs and lows, like other forms of addiction.
There will be marked changes in your body once you amend your dietary intake of sugar. You’ll have more energy, be able to sleep better, your mood will change and for example you’ll be more positive. Overall your mind and body will be far more alert, not to mention the obvious health benefits that eliminating sugars will bring.
We know that a high percentage of people who try to lose weight will experience sabotaging thoughts during the process. This is a perfectly normal reaction. Part of the human psyche is to self-analyse and also to experience elements of self-doubt.
- Can I really reach my goal weight?
- If I achieve my goal, how can I maintain it?
- Will being at my target weight bring extra pressures?
- Will I constantly be in the “spotlight” with friends and family?
- Will people be watching to see if I falter?
These are just some of the sabotaging thoughts that go through our minds daily. However if you give in to sabotaging thoughts you then go one step further and fall into the trap of “permission giving” thoughts.
- I’ll start again tomorrow
- I’ll start on Monday
- I’ll just have this night out then make up for it later
- I can’t resist this
- I have no willpower
- I’ve put in extra exercise this week so it’ll be fine.
What you have to do is firstly recognise, we have no power over the thousands of thoughts entering our minds on a daily basis. However we do have power over the decisions made about those thoughts. Which path will I take? A path which will allow me to break the promise of weight loss yet again? Or the path “which will be hard at first” when I try to resist giving into temptation but will ultimately be worth it in the end. To overcome temptation and build resistance you must think of the advantages of losing weight.
- I’ll be healthier
- I’ll be fitter
- I’ll be more confident
- I’ll have more energy
- I’ll look better
- I’ll feel in control when I eat
Weight loss isn’t easy but shouldn’t be that hard if we recognise the ability within all of us to change our own paths. The ability to change our destination is truly the one power we all possess but constantly fail to use and yet so deserve in order to lead a fulfilling life.
Take the initiative and form a new path!
Now that you’re in to another Year, this is the ideal time to redefine priorities and to conquer your weight for good.
One mistake people make just after Christmas is because they’ve been so diligent throughout the Christmas period and have been so good at monitoring their calorific intake, they subconsciously fall into the usual post-Christmas trap of rewarding themselves.
Believe it or not this is an extremely easy trap to fall into. Your mind has been on a heightened state of alert over Christmas and therefore you’re prepared for potential pit-falls. However at the beginning of January suddenly it’s “panic over” and your mind is sending relaxation messages, hence your body becomes complacent and off guard.
It’s at this relaxation stage that you need to be even more alert and mindful of “rewarding yourself” for being so good over the Christmas period. Of course you’ve done really well to get to this point but remember you’re not there yet. You haven’t yet achieved your personal goal and you still have work to do to get there.
This is the time to bring everything back to basics and continue on with your journey. You do deserve some type of reward for being so good over Christmas but do it with a “non-food” reward. Use the January sales to buy an item of clothing you hope to fit into when you reach your target.
In Weight loss slip ups are natural and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have the occasional falling off from your programme. But see it for what it is and don’t use one slip to derail the whole process. If you do then you’re more likely to beat yourself up at the next slip and you risk falling into the trap of continuous self-sabotage.
If on the other-hand you recognise pit-falls it will make it easier for you to deal with these slips and you can then begin developing your own personal strategy for those times when you do find things a little difficult.
Begin now to reaffirm your plan. Keep tracking your daily food diary. Continue to pre-plan in advance which foods you need to have in the house so you won’t be caught out. Keep focussed on the benefits that weight loss will bring and the personal sense of achievement you’ll feel when you reach your goal.
Recent research has shown that the majority of people consider their lifestyle to be stressful. Many people wake up late due to an interrupted sleep pattern hence frequently arrive late to their place of work, initiating a trickle effect of playing “catch up” throughout the day. This only results in further stress.
Ongoing stress takes its toll on your body from a physiological and psychological perspective. Your heart races, you sweat, your blood vessels dilate and with a decrease in metabolism, extra glucose surges though your blood stream releasing adrenalin and other hormones that tend to initiate a “fight or flight response. Hence the body prepares for “battle”, by releasing sugar and raising blood sugar levels.
Being in a persistent “fight or flight” response is not good for your body or mind. Stress hormones signals the liver to produce more blood sugars so that you can “defend” yourself from “danger”. However, prolonged elevated glucose levels lead you to a greater risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Stress takes its toll on our heart also and you could be at risk of developing cardiovascular problems. For example, your heart races frequently during stressful situations hence your blood pressure increases. Again over a prolonged period of time, this could lead to arterial problems and high cholesterol which in turn increases your risk of developing heart disease, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Are you stressed?
Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning?
Do you feel tired all the time?
Do you crave specific foods?
Do you have mood swings?
Do you become irritable?
Do you feel like napping after lunch?
Do you have difficulty concentrating?
Do you experience feelings of depression for no reason?
There comes a time when stress takes its toll and is just not worth it. Eating healthily and frequently will at least get you on the right track from a physiological perspective and you’ll immediately begin to feel better and your mood will change. You should watch your caffeine and alcohol intake and practice some relaxation techniques. Do some exercise to stimulate serotonin levels and to create a more positive outlook. You should also look at the triggers for stress either at home or in the workplace. Talk with your HR department or to your immediate manager about how you feel and what changes can be made. The thing is stress can be managed, but ultimately it must be you who takes steps to rectify this ticking time-bomb.
There’s a lot of marketing hype out there as to why purchasing protein supplements will help you lose weight. But I have to tell you honestly, you can lose weight just as effectively by eating normal healthy nutritious food without the requirement to purchase expensive protein bars etc…
There are a few on the market which are worth your attention should you choose this option in the initial stages of weight loss and I can see the merit in purchasing some supplements purely from a convenience point of view. But you certainly not be purchasing them indefinitely.
Firstly protein bars and the like will not help you to lose weight. They are not slimming bars. They consist of higher levels of protein which fill you for longer hence are handy to have in the glove compartment of your car or if you have an early appointment with say no time for breakfast.
Most companies who promote the use of protein bars (supplements) have one thing in mind. They want to sell their product. They’re out to make money and a lot of their profit is made up from the sale of these supplements.
My programme is all about eating the correct levels of nutrients without the requirement to purchase additional supplements. But I am more than happy to recommend a few protein supplements which are sold in some supermarkets etc… should my clients wish to choose that option. However I make it clear it’s purely up to the individual whether they decide to make that purchase or not.
I am horrified by the promotion of sugary bars currently being dressed up by manufacturers as “healthy protein bars”. They’re mostly full of either sugar or fat.
Weight loss is so much more than what you eat. Fundamentally it’s about behavioural change. Being prepared to change the way you think is the key to effective weight loss.