Baby Steps

It’s so easy to get discouraged. I understand. I really do. You have tried time and time again to lose weight, only to either gain it right back as soon as you go off your diet or get discouraged a couple of weeks in because it’s too difficult to maintain. What if it is as easy as taking baby steps?

No matter what you’ve tried before, how many plans or programs you have failed, you can choose to take that one step forward, that baby step, that will move you in the direction you really want to go.

I taught my kids since they were little that life is about choices. We always get to choose which path we go down, including the baby steps. So what baby step can you take towards your goal, whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy or sleep better?

  1. Add one extra veggie a day
  2. Drink one glass of purified water with each meal
  3. End your meal with a piece of fruit
  4. Replace the sugar in your coffee or tea with stevia
  5. Choose one nutritious snack to have in the evening
  6. Turn off your electronics 30 minutes before bed
  7. Dim your lights 1 hour before bed
  8. Have a 15 minute routine every night
  9. Read a book or magazine before bed
  10. Do deep breathing before falling asleep

Each one of the first 5 baby steps can be done one at a time for weight loss and be mastered before you move one to the next. That’s the beauty of baby steps. Just as a baby masters walking by getting better with each step, we get better with each step. 

The next 5 steps are for better sleep and can be done the same way. Master one before you move on to the other. Success comes more easily. And of course, your energy will increase with either plan. Better nutrition and sleep increase energy.

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All or Nothing Thinking and Weight Loss

If you have ever been on that weight loss roller coaster, it’s made tougher if you have that all or nothing thinking. It’s also known as the diet mentality, deprivation or “get all the good food out of the house because I have to lose weight” thinking. It’s also the “I’ll start on Monday” thinking.

What’s common about all of these weight loss thoughts are that they extreme.  So many of my clients are black and white thinkers. They have bought into everything society has taught them about eating and dieting. So many shoulds and should nots, rules and regulations. It’s a life built around fear of eating, not eating, not getting enough, being hungry.

If you identify with any of the following, you have fallen into the all or nothing thinking:

  1. Weigh and measure everything you eat
  2. You eat one cookie, feel bad and eat the whole bag
  3. Eat only “allowed” foods
  4. Losing weight means giving up the foods you love
  5. Go hungry or feel deprived
  6. Lists of “bad” foods and “good” foods
  7. Eat something “off program” and then skip the next meal to make up for it
  8. Exercise extra to “make up” for eating too much
  9. Fear going out to dinner
  10. Stay away from parties or other social events because lots of food will be served
  11. Start out your week eating well, only to overindulge midweek, so you go all-out for the weekend

Losing weight is not at all about giving up foods you love, going hungry, feeling deprived, measuring, weighing, points, calorie counting or any other rigid rule. It isn’t one way or not at all. There is a sweet spot that permits foods you love, you never feel deprived, eat when you get hungry, never have to count anything. That sweet spot is Mindful Eating. Even if you are an all or nothing eater, black or white thinker, it can work for you. Not only did that used to be me, but I have several clients who readily admitted to that thought process and they have done very well.sweets or fruit

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Sugar is Not Evil

I know this sounds crazy coming from the health coach that teaches people how to overcome sugar cravings, but I am NOT one of those health promoters that thinks everyone should totally give up all sugar. Why? Because research has shown over and over that anything we deprive ourselves of totally causes an increase in cravings.

Sugar is addictive, for some people more than others, because it causes the reward center in our brains to respond with an increase in neurotransmitters, especially serotonin and dopamine, both “feel good” neurotransmitters. We eat sugar, we feel good. We feel good, we want more. And so the cycle goes.

But, never having it again is counter productive and unnecessary. I teach a very different process. You do need to learn what triggers the cravings and circumvent those triggers and learn HOW to eat sugar, but eradicating it totally is unnecessary. Of course, switching to a whole foods diet instead of processed, refined foods knocks out a lot of sugar and leaves room for the truly worthwhile treats.

And for all the health “experts” that insist you need to give up all sugar and eat only fruit, baloney. There are some sugars that are less processed and hold some redeeming qualities. I regularly give my clients recipes for baked treats and yes, they have less sugar, but you’d never know it.

Trust me, as someone who has had to give up huge amounts of foods because of a medical condition, you do crave more when you cannot have the food! No need to say adios to sugar. Just learn how to take control. Are you ready to learn? 518-227-1887 for a free consultation.sugar

 

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/FreeDigitalPhotos.net