One of the first things I realized when I started a health program grounded in truth was that EVERYTHING I had ever been taught about health and weight loss was a lie. I wish I was being dramatic.
I was about 14 years old when I started being concerned with my weight, calorie counting, and reading nutrition labels. Everything I was reading promoted calories in = calories and that the best way to lose weight was to eat less. Over the last 2 decades, I have watched the fitness community jump sporadically on the topics of health. Eggs are healthy, eggs are not healthy, milk is good for you, milk is bad for you, eat these processed foods, no these are better. The ONLY way to describe it is fad dieting. In almost every case, losing weight and cutting corners to work out less and eat more junk was the focus. it was very image driven and its taken years for me to rewire my brain to think about these things in a healthy way. The first switch is mental. You can hear all the facts I am about to share with you but until you decide that you are pursuing health and not unattainable beauty standards, your behavior won't change. So ask yourself these questions, be honest, and be willing to make changes!
Are you skipping breakfast? I noticed pretty early on that if I skipped breakfast I wouldn't feel hungry until about 2 pm but if I ate breakfast, I felt hungry a couple hours later. Any guesses to what my usual behavior looked like? Our metabolism slows down while we sleep and fueling ourselves boosts our metabolism and gets it back in gear! When I say fuel your body, I am not talking about sugar and processed foods will raise your blood sugar, increase insulin which gets stored in your fat cells, and causes you to crash later. Choose foods that are high in protein, fiber, and low in sugar to start your day! I usually have eggs and a veggie or fruit and oatmeal which are nutritionally dense and great options to boost your metabolism!
Are you eating refined carbs? Refined carbohydrates are very different from carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Don’t reach for refined carbs like white flour and sugar. Those are quick to digest, meaning your body uses less energy to break them down. The higher-in-fiber whole grains slow down digestion and make your body work harder to break down nutrients. Simply, whole grains, fruit and vegetables naturally boost your metabolism while refined carbs and sugars will instantly kill it. Thus, making you feel hungry sooner causing you to eat more empty calories later leading to weight gain.
Are you eating high fructose corn syrup? This processed sugar is found in almost all processed foods, even foods you wouldn't think had sugar in them! Sugar is hidden everywhere with many different names, and high fructose corn syrup is one of the biggest metabolism culprits. Long-term consumption of HFCS has been found to increase body fat at a higher and faster rate, increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome. HFCS, unlike table sugar, is a free and unbound sugar molecule that is more readily absorbed and utilized meaning the body has less work to do to process it thus slowing down your metabolism. It’s important to note that HFCS should not to be confused with the fructose found in fruit, which comes with metabolism-boosting slow-digesting fiber. So while many weight loss programs recommend processed low calorie foods, the truth is that we need to cut them completely from our nutrition plan and stick with real foods that are going to boost our metabolism instead of slow it down!
Are you depriving yourself of nutrients AND calories? You need calories to boost your metabolism and lose weight. Not eating enough is almost as bad as eating too much to kill your metabolism. If you don’t eat enough for your body to simply function or you are depriving yourself, you body will slow down your metabolism and start to break down calorie burning muscle. Your body needs calories to get energy and if there aren’t enough to power your body, your metabolism has no choice but to stop. In order to combat this issue but maintain your diet, try eating small and healthy meals throughout the day to keep your energy steady, thus boosting your metabolism.
Are you being consistent with exercise? Most of us getting started on our healthy journey feel like we got thrown into the deep end of the pool. We walk into a gym with no idea of what we are doing. We may use a treadmill and attempt some of the machines but we aren't being effective. We quickly get disheartened at how hard we are working with little in the way of results and after a few weeks we throw in the towel. It's ok that it feels awkward at first! Take the time to learn about the exercises, release yourself to be a beginner, learn proper form, and find a form of exercise that you love! Also, mix it up! Our bodies respond best to a variety of exercise! Cardio is great for burning calories but you also need to build muscle! Muscle burns more calories than fat and as you build muscle, you will find that you burn more calories even resting and your health journey picks up speed with less effort! One of the things I loved about the 21 Day Fix is that each day you do a different form of exercise that keeps your body guessing and is the perfect mix of active rest days, cardio, and weight lifting! If you aren't sure where to start, I highly recommend joining us for a round! You will gain the nutrition knowledge, a planned workout, and the accountability to keep you in the game!
Are you eating enough protein? As someone who had been following the calories in/calories out philosophy, I paid very little attention to WHAT I was eating, if it fit into my 1200 calories or less that is all that mattered to me. So, after baby #2, my body was stretched out and always felt bloated. No amount of calorie counting or fasting seemed to help at all! When I started the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan and trimmed back my carb servings to 2-3 per day and upped my protein to 4-5 a day, I saw dramatic changes in my body as well as my energy levels. What we eat matters! Switch out your easy carb filled snacks and sides for protein and veggies and watch the magic happen!
Are you drinking alcohol regularly? I confess, I am not much of a drinker, but I do like drinking socially and during certain times of the year, holidays, parties, ect, it can get out of control. On my current plan, I can swap out a carb serving for a glass of wine three times a week and I have found that to be PLENTY! if you are drinking every night of the week, that can slow down your metabolism. Once alcohol is in your system, it hinders your body’s fat burning speed and thus burning less fat and slowing down your metabolism. If you are trying to boost your metabolism, stick to water and if you do have a drink, keep it to wine instead of sugar filled cocktails!
Are you getting enough sleep? As a mom, I know its hard at times to get enough sleep even when you desperately want to but there are the nights you know you SHOULD go to bed and don't because its your only free time. You may be hindering all your hard work! Sleep deprivation contributes to numerous factors that can kill your metabolism. Without digging too deep into how our body’s natural sleep cycle functions, essentially sleep moderates a chemical known as leptin that signals to our brain that we are satiated. Thus less sleep equals a lower amount of leptin which leads to overeating and a slower metabolism.
Also, be patient with yourself! Transformation takes time and changing your perspective and habits is work! I would still struggle with shame and fear over my eating for years after I knew the truth and it was a battle for me fight my urge to starve and punish myself. Don't be surprised if you fall back into old thought patterns and behaviors but make a conscience effort to choose healthy over unattainable beauty standards! If you need accountability, please message me! My passion is that every woman would see her worth and beauty and care for herself in an honoring way! It would be my pleasure to help you get started on your journey! <3
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"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.