It’s not their fault you can’t stick to your diet.

Nothing sucks more than having a partner that doesn’t want to eat healthy when you’re on a diet, am I right?

When I first started dating my partner Markus, I was deep in diet-mode. I had already lost 20 lbs and had about 5-10 more to go. He was a personal trainer, and was just starting a ‘bulk’ (essentially the reverse of a diet where you increase your food intake to put on size and muscle). While I drank my smoothies and ate my balanced, healthy meals, he ate three cinnamon buns for breakfast, pizza pockets for lunch and protein shakes, pasta and ice cream for dinner.

Needless to say, it was a frustrating experience. But it that taught me the most valuable lesson I would ever learn in dieting: Your goals are your responsibility and no one else’s.

Tough pill to swallow. Believe me.

I mean he should have been more sensitive, more compassionate to my goals, right?

His lifestyle was hindering my progress, and therefore he should have to be the one to change, not me… right?

Sadly, that’s not exactly true. And the reason why, is best described in Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. In it, he writes,

A lot of people hesitate to take responsibility for their problems, because they believe that to be responsible for your problems is to also be at fault for your problems. Which is not always the case. There are also problems that we aren’t at fault for, yet we are still responsible for them.’

Just like…an over-indulgent partner who (unfortunately) doesn’t have to change his lifestyle, simply because you have a weight loss goal.

Although frustrating, this realization helped me to recognize how much I blamed other people and the circumstances of my life (including my partner) for my lack of success. It was unnerving to see how willing I was to hand over power to other people to determine the outcome of my goals.

As much as this mindset and behaviour of putting blame on someone or something else made me ‘feel better’ about my inability to achieve my goals, I realized that I didn’t want to ‘give away’ that power. I wanted to determine my life, my success, and my goals – no one else.

‘The more we choose to accept responsibility in our lives, the more power we will exercise over our lives. Accepting responsibility is therefore thus the first step to solving our problems’. – Mark Manson

I knew something had to change so I immediately started taking responsibility for my goals and my actions. I vowed to do it for the next 6 months to see what would happen. And you know what – I was able to stick to my diet and… I lost the weight.

This mindset shift became the key to my weight loss success and has become a pillar in my coaching to help my clients ‘unblock’ their weight loss. If this resonates with you, I invite you to try the same approach and see if it works for you the same way it did for me. Set a time frame and take responsibility for all the things that you normally would  put on other people and other things that hold you back from achieving your goals. Busy job, unsupportive partner, crazy schedule with the kids… none if it is your fault, but it is your responsibility to find solutions for it if you want to truly find success on your own terms.

If you want to talk it out with someone who’s been there, then book an Unblock Weight Loss Call with me and together we’ll uncover what’s holding you back and how we can get you to overcome it!

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

Three Tips On How To Tap Into Yourself, And Create The Diet And Lifestyle of Your Dreams

I think I’ve followed over 40 diets in my lifetime.

Considering that my ‘dieting life’ has only spanned about 10 years, that’s about 4 diets a year. That means I was on a NEW diet, every three months!

Looking back, it seems almost impossible that I could have dieted that much. Thanks to Google and the ever-chugging weight loss industry machine, there was never a shortage of options. A new fad diet would always surface. Then, an abundance of health and wellness information that debunked the most recent diet I picked up would suddenly flood all my go-to resources. And it was all positioned to make me question and doubt everything I did, leaving me feel more desperate than ever before.

So if you’re feeling like this – believe me – you’re not alone. Which is why in this post, I’m going to give you my top three tips to tap out of the weight loss industry craziness and tap into your own intuition and FINALLY figure out what works best for you.

What Does Your Life Actually Look Like?

Are you a culinary wiz in the kitchen? Or would you rather pick up your phone and order in, then pick up a frying pan and make yourself dinner? Do you have tons of time to devote to your diet? Or do you barely cook as it is, and can’t imagine having to cook healthy meals every week?

Your diet should be selected based on what will suit your CURRENT lifestyle – not your ‘this is how I’m going to be on my diet’ lifestyle. That means, that if you can barely find the time to cook now, starting a diet that involves a lot of research and recipe following to ensure that you’re doing it correctly, like Whole 30 or Paleo, likely won’t suit your limited time schedule.

Ask yourself how much time you have to dedicate to your new diet (realistically) and what will work well with your current lifestyle. Your likelihood of success is dramatically increased if you work with what you already have, instead of trying to implement something that you never had in the first place. There is one caveat to this however: If you eat out often, order in regularly, or eat a diet high in saturated fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates, those habits will have to change if you want to see REAL results.

The rapid growth of meal delivery services now allow us to follow diets without cooking, and still stay on track with their healthy options and choices. So if you struggle with cooking, or with time to cook, these are viable solutions for you to still achieve your desired results.

Build on what you’re already doing.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your new lifestyle. That’s the reason that taking what you’re already doing and building on it, is the best strategy for success. If you enjoy eating meat, if you love carbs, if you drink wine on the weekends – these are all things that should be taken into consideration for your diet, instead of trying to eliminate them in pursuit of results. Be wary of eliminating entire food groups or specific foods strictly for dieting purposes. The moment you’ve reached your goals and you reintroduce those foods, the pounds will return.

This is also a great strategy from a long-term perspective as you can tweak it and evolve it as time goes on. Once you master improving your diet in one area (eating complex carbs and increasing your vegetable and lean protein intake), you can then begin to focus on other areas (exploring dairy-free/grain-free lifestyles or practicing a more plant-based diet).

Another factor that may impact your decision to stay with your current diet is–family. If you’re already cooking for a number of people in your household, having to cook a separate meal for yourself is never a long-term solution. By staying somewhat close to what everyone else is eating, you’ll be able to cook the same things for everyone, and still achieve your goals, effortlessly.

Take a Goldilocks Approach. 

This one is too restrictive, this one is too frustrating to keep on top of, this one takes too much time. Each diet comes with it’s own challenges, so be sure to try a few that you think might work for you before you find the diet that is ‘just right’ for you. Choose the diet that you can confidently stay with for the long-term.

The best way to do this, is to stick to the diet of your choice diligently for at least 4-6 weeks. Assess how you are feeling physically, and how well you’re adhering to the structure of the diet. A great tactic to keep track of how you’re doing is to keep a food and mood journal. Record how you feel when you’re on the diet. Are you starving, tired, bloated, bored? How are your bowel movements, etc? This practice will help you better understand from a deeper level (outside of results) what will work for you and what won’t.

Most Importantly…

Yes, it’s important that a diet gets us results. But what’s even more important is that we’re able to maintain those results for the rest of our lives. Taking the time to tap into yourself and think about what works for you (instead of what will make the scale move) is a fool-proof way of not only achieving your goals and your desired body, but building a lifestyle that will allow you to maintain and thrive.

For more tips and tools on how to find and create diets that last, join my FREE Facebook Group The Nourished Life, a space dedicated to help busy moms and women everywhere heal their relationship with food and build the bodies and lifestyles of their dreams.

With love and nut butter,

 

Trouble Losing Weight? Look No Further Than Your Gut!

‘Gut health’ is all the rage these days. It’s like the ‘new black’ in the health and wellness space. But why is gut health so important? Well for one, if you’re trying to lose weight and are struggling – this might be the reason why.

Gut bacteria is responsible for a number of important aspects of our health. It works with our immune system, it affects how we digest our food and it also produces chemicals that make us feel hungry or full, which affects our weight. In this post, I’m going to break down how your gut supports your weight (and weight loss) and what the best foods and supplements are to improve your gut health.

Bacteria… not sexy, but essential.

Trillions – that’s how many bacteria is found in our bodies – most of which is located in our intestines. And there are hundreds of different types that each fulfill a significant role in keeping us healthy and fight off infection.

Since this bacteria is located in our intestines, everything we eat comes in contact with it. Therefore, the health of our gut bacteria (or gut flora) can have a huge effect on how we break down our food, use it for fuel, and what nutrients we absorb.

The relationship between your gut and weight.

How much gut bacteria we have and how it performs can impact your weight. Ensuring that you have a variety of both ‘good and bad’ bacteria in your body that are supporting one another is essential for optimal gut flora.  Having too much of one, and not enough of another (taking only a probiotic without a prebiotic), or not having enough altogether (eating a diet mainly comprised of processed foods with a lot of sugar) can negatively impact your gut flora and as a result, your weight.

A variety of studies have been done to better understand the relationship between your gut microbiome and obesity. One of the most interesting was a study that was done on pairs of twins (where one twin was obese and the other was not). The research compared the gut bacteria of each of the twins and found that the obese twins had lower gut bacteria diversity (or fewer types of bacteria in their gut) than their non-obese siblings. As a result, this may have impacted the way in which they digested and processed different foods and as a bi-product how they used and stored fat.

How can our gut flora impact the way we digest and respond to foods?

A great example of how your gut flora helps us to digest foods is to look at fiber. Our bodies actually lack the ability to digest fiber, it’s our gut bacteria that does that for us. When our bodies have the ability to process and digest fiber properly, our gut bacteria creates chemicals that help improve our gut health and support weight loss. This explains why people with lower weight typically have high fiber diets which consist of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

A healthy gut can also affect how we absorb and store dietary fats as well as inflammation in the body. Inflammation is when your body triggers your immune system to fight infection. It can occur as a result of an unhealthy diet containing an excessive amount of fat, sugar, artificial sweeteners or calories that can increase chemicals in the bloodstream and fat tissue, and can cause weight gain, as well as prevent weight loss.

Bacteria can impact our hunger and fullness cues.

Different bacteria in the gut can affect whether we feel hungry or full. Leptin and ghrelin are the two main hormones that affect our appetite. Leptin is the hormone in our body that (when functioning properly) signals to our brain that we’re full and it’s time to stop eating. So leptin controls our hunger and satiety cues. It’s also released by our fat cells in direct proportion to the amount of body fat that we’re carrying, meaning that overweight people have higher amounts of leptin circulating in their bloodstream than leaner people (because they have more fat cells producing leptin). In theory, this would lead us to believe that overweight people should be less hungry, eat less and be able to lose weight easily, but this isn’t the case. What in fact happens is that even though you may have a lot of fat making a lot of leptin – it doesn’t work properly. Your brain isn’t listening. The result is that you have no decrease in appetite, no increase in metabolism and in some cases, your brain might even think you’re starving, because there’s not enough leptin, so you become even hungrier.

Ghrelin is the hormone that lets us know when we’re hungry. It triggers the digestive process and gets your digestive juices flowing before we eat to help us breakdown and process our food.  Before a meal, ghrelin naturally increases and after, it decreases. Ghrelin also causes the storage of belly fat, which can be impacted by yo-yo and crash dieting. When we yo-yo or crash diet, ghrelin sends the message to our system that we’re starving and tells our bodies to store fat as a defence mechanism just in case this ‘starvation state’ continues and we’ll need additional energy sources. Ghrelin is one of the main reasons crash diets lead to weight gain.

Our Second Brain

With all of these hormones and their impact on our eating habits and lifestyle, it’s no wonder the gut is referred to as the ‘second brain’. Almost all of nutrients are absorbed in our small intestine and these nutrients allow our brains to make chemicals that determine how we feel. These chemical messengers determine so much of how we feel and respond to things, that if our gut health is compromised, so too is our brain – ultimately causing our hunger and satiety hormones to stop working properly and a higher likelihood to gain weight.

Best Foods for Your Gut Bacteria

So how can we improve our gut bacteria? A simple way to get your gut back on track is by eating the below foods and supplements which are all available (online and in person) at my favourite health food store, Healthy Planet. Use code LindseyHealth online to save 10% off your order!

  • Prebiotics and probiotics. These days probiotics are promoted everywhere, but the truth is, prebiotics are essential to obtain the delicate balance of a healthy gut. Without too much of one type of bacteria and not enough of another, you could be causing more damage than good. Always be sure to consult with a doctor prior to taking them to ensure you’re taking the right amount of both to support healthy gut flora.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains are grains that haven’t been refined. They’re high in fiber, which is digested by healthy gut bacteria and can support healthy weight maintenance and weight loss. Healthy Planet carries an extensive variety of the best organic and GMO-free breads, pastas and cereals.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain many different fibers that are good for gut bacteria.
  • Eating an assortment of plant-based foods and proteins can improve gut bacteria diversity, which is also linked to healthy weight. My favourite plant-based protein is Progressive’s Harmonized Vegan Protein.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds contain lots of fiber and healthy fats, which support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Healthy Planet has an assortment of nuts and seedsChia seeds are a great, gut-healthy addition to any diet.
  • Polyphenol-rich foods like dark chocolategreen tea and red wine are broken down by beneficial gut bacteria and can also promote the growth of good bacteria.
  • Fermented foods: Fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut contain beneficial bacteria and can also minimize other disease-causing bacteria in the intestines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try including these in your diet as much as possible and your gut will thank you!

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

 

How To Pick The Perfect Diet For Busy Moms

Why do you pick certain diets over others?

Is it something that your friend did that worked? Is it something that you saw an ad for that promised fast results? Is it something you found online for free?

And how many of these diets worked for you? How many were easy to follow and maintain? How many didn’t cause you to regain the weight? If I could guess… none. Because you should never start a diet you can’t maintain for the rest of your life.

Finding a diet that works for you is especially challenging for busy moms because our biggest challenge is something that is essential for weight loss – we have to put ourselves first.

So how do you go about picking the perfect diet if you’re the last on the list of priorities; if you struggle with being selfish; and if you have no time for yourself? Here are three tips to get you started:

  1. Identify what your biggest challenges are and where you need support. Whether it be time to go to the gym, help with cooking meals, or child care, as busy moms we all have things that are blocking us from achieving our goals. Unfortunately, we also try to ‘do it all’ which usually means that we inevitably get in the way of our own success. The way to overcome these blocks, its to ask for help. Whether it be from family, friends, neighbours or out sourcing support, there are always people in your life that are willing to help out if it means having a healthier, happier you. You only need to ask, and you’ll know just how many there are.
  2. Examine your lifestyle and figure out what will work for you and what won’t.  If you know that you love a glass of wine on Friday night or have a sweet tooth that you can’t seem to kick – the trick is to find a program that can adapt to you and your lifestyle, not the other way around. After all, there’s no point in starting something that you know you can’t commit to, when you can start something you can and be successful from the start.
  3. Get creative and rally the troops. I get it – your partner and kids don’t want to eat ‘diet’ food every night. However, teaching your kids healthy habits and instilling them in your family won’t just benefit you – it will benefit everyone. That being said, there are a million ways to create ‘healthy’ versions of almost every kind of food, so get creative and get the whole family involved in the process so everyone can get in the kitchen and help out and be part of the process.

Regardless of what your situation, where you’re at in terms of your health and wellness journey, and the resources you have available to you – being a mom and trying to shed those last 15 lbs isn’t easy. Which makes it even more important that you find someone that understands your challenges and can help you work through them with realistic tools and tactics that work for your busy lifestyle.

So, if this resonates with you, let’s talk. Because I know that you CAN lose the weight. I know you CAN get back into those jeans. I know you CAN get dressed in the morning and feel sexy as hell. I know that you CAN do this. You just need a diet that works with you – and not against you. Book a free Unblock Weight Loss call with me and I’ll show you how you CAN do this.

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey Xx

Can’t Seem to Shed the Weight? Look No Further Than Your Beverages!

Do you enjoy a glass of juice in the morning, a latte pick-me-up, or wine or beer with dinner? What about when you’re running late – isn’t a breakfast smoothie the perfect on-the-go option?

But sometimes, our go-to, favourite beverages may be the one thing preventing us from achieving our weight loss goals. But that’s the thing about beverages – because we drink them – we don’t think about them as ‘food’ nor consider how many calories they might be adding to our diet. But they can. And in a BIG way!

Take for example, your morning smoothie. Packed full of fruit, protein, healthy fats – but too much of a good thing… can be a bad thing! Watch:

  • 1 scoop of protein powder, 120 calories
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries, 50 calories
  • 1 banana, 120 calories
  • 1 tbsp of collagen, 30 calories
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds, 100 calories
  • 1 tbsp of hemp hearts, 100 calories
  • 1 tbsp of nut butter, 100 calories
  • 1 scoop of greens supplement, 30 calories

Total: 650 calories

Your smoothie just clocked in at more calories than a Big Mac!

Not to mention, the average Starbucks latte ranges between 250 and 450 calories and that bullet-proof coffee trend that everyone loves – depending on your ingredients – that could be adding as much as 350 calories to you day!

So how can you ensure that your beverages aren’t sabotaging your diet? Keeping a diary of what you’re drinking is a great way to understand how many calories are in your favourite beverages.

And if you do find that you’re ‘drinking your calories’, here are some tips to help you ‘skinny up’ your beverages so you can still enjoy them – while achieving your goals.

Low Cal Smoothie

When making your smoothie, think essentials – Protein, Fats, Carbs and Fruits/Veg and only include one source of each. For fats, you can choose a nut butter, coconut oil or butter, hemp seeds, or avocado). For fruit choose berries (blueberries, cherries, raspberries, etc.) for lower calorie options that won’t spike your blood sugar. Alternatively, for ever lower calorie and carb options, choose frozen vegetables like cauliflower, butternut squash, beets and kale. Use water instead of milk or juice and ensure that your protein powder is a pure source of protein and not a meal replacement shake. Meal replacement shakes have high amounts of carbs and fats and you already have that in your smoothie! And skip the supplements. Avoid greens, spirulina, maca, unless advised by your doctor. With a whole foods, balanced diet you won’t need fancy supplements!

Lower Calorie Coffees and Lattes

When ordering coffee, ask for a misto instead of a latte. It has half the steamed milk. Request that no sugar pumps be added to the beverage or ask for sugar-free pumps instead. Skip the whip cream and the drizzle altogether. Use stevia instead of sugar to sweeten your coffee and replace whole fat milks with skim or nut milks.

Lower Calorie Bulletproof Coffee

For your bullet-proof coffee, only include one source of fat (butter, ghee, coconut oil, XCT oil and MCT oil and be sure to measure your fat source diligently as fat has the highest caloric value of all the macronutrients and can really throw off your diet when over used. Only include one source of protein (an egg, a scoop of protein powder or collagen) or skip the protein altogether.

What else can you do to cut back on drinking your calories?

  • Avoid juices and pressed juices – most contain loads of sugar and carbs that will make your blood sugar crash!
  • Avoid wine and alcohol – opt for spritzers and other low cal options.
  • Opt for zero-calorie versions of vitamin water, pop and carbonated drinks.

Mostly, just being conscious of what you drink will make the biggest difference – and your body will thank you!

With love and nut butter,

Lindsey