Self Care

3 Easy Ways to Stop Overeating Now!

3 Ways to Stop Overeating Now

Do you want to stop overeating? Do you know why you overeat? Until you know why you do it, it’s going to be difficult to stop. I’ve found that most of us overeat because we’re feeding our emotions. I’m a recovering emotional eater and I eat a lot because I’m bored, stressed, anxious, or down on myself. It’s a vicious cycle that can be very difficult to break.

I use these 3 tips to stop overeating!

Drink More Water

Being thirsty is sometimes confused as being hungry. Our bodies are 60% water so we need a lot of it. Almost everyone I’ve talked to has an issue getting enough water. I get it – water is plain and boring but it’s a vital nutrient for our survival. If you’re having trouble drinking enough water because it’s plain, add some fruit to it. I love water infused with lemon, cucumber, mint, or strawberries.

The next time you’re feeling hungry, drink a tall glass of water first. You may be surprised to learn that you were just thirsty. I always feel famished when I get back from my walks in the morning. I’m between meals and it’s not time for a snack yet. I grab a bottle of water from the fridge and chug it down. More often than not, it does the trick.

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Eat Slower

The thought of leisurely eating a meal may make you a bit anxious; it did me at first. Who has time to sit down for a full 20 minutes and eat? It’s hard to sit down for 20 minutes and eat. But, that’s how long it takes for your stomach to signal your brain that you’re full. Try timing your meals for the next week and see what you learn. Eat your first meal normally to see how long it takes you and increase your time from there. I don’t suggest taking the full 20 minutes at once if you’re used to eating in 6 minutes. Just add a few minutes to each meal until you reach 20 minutes per meal.

That brings me to the hunger and fullness scales. You need to learn how you feel when you’re truly hungry and how you feel when you’re truly full. When I say full, I’m not talking about that stuffed feeling – that’s overfull.

Hunger Scale  Fullness Scale

Learning where you fall on these scales will help you make better choices about timing your meals. Try following these scales while increasing your meal time and you’ll notice a big difference.

Eat More Fiber & Protein

Fiber and protein are essential for weight loss and overall health. Generally, adult women need at least 25g of fiber and 46g of protein per day. If you’re into weight lifting or following a special diet, you dietary needs will be different so always check with your doctor about what your body needs. Fiber and protein both help to keep you full longer, which is what you’re looking for. Fiber also aids in your digestion, which increases your gut health. Protein is essential for your body to avoid muscle loss and weakening of the heart and respiratory system.

Examples of High Fiber Foods Examples of High Protein Foods
Broccoli Chicken breast
Apples Oats
Quinoa Greek yogurt
Brown rice Broccoli
Avocado Tuna

There you have it! These 3 easy ways to stop overeating will keep you on the path to good health. If you find you’re overeating due to stress or other emotions, I highly recommend keeping a mood journal to help you determine when you eat the most. This journal will also help you recognize the times when you’re more likely to overeat, what feelings make you overeat, and actually recognize your inner feelings. I wish you all the success in the world when it comes to conquering your hunger!

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This Morning Routine Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds

This Morning Routine Helped Me Lose 100 Pounds

I never used to be a morning person. I was the person who would always sleep through the alarm or hit snooze about a hundred times. But, I realized that if I wanted to reach my goals, changes had to be made. Not only did I change the way I ate and exercised, I also had to change my entire routine…from beginning to end. Because mornings were always the worst for me, I decided to start there. I learned very quickly that your morning routine sets the tone for your day so it’s best to have a good one. This is the routine I created, and followed, to help me lose 100 pounds.

5:00 AM – Rise and shine (yes, even during summer vacation). This is the time I enjoy my coffee, review all the notifications on my phone, let the dogs out, and sit in silence.

5:30 AM – Breakfast. I generally have the same thing for breakfast every day so there’s no planning required here. While breakfast is cooking, I unload the dishwasher, feed the pets, wipe down the kitchen counters, and review my Filofax for the day’s action items. I also start a load of laundry, if I didn’t set the machine to start automatically the night before.

6:00 AM – Morning hygiene routine. After breakfast, I brush my teeth, wash my face, apply moisturizer, and get dressed. Once I’m done with that, I put my breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and put the dogs out again. Since we’re no longer on summer vacation, I wake the kid up at 6 am so he can get ready for school.

6:30 AM – During summer vacation, this is the time I would leave the house on my walk. However, things are different now. During this time, the kid is either watching TV or playing Minecraft, so I use this time to review my Filofax, catch up on social media, get the laundry on the clothesline (or in the dryer), and just chill out.

7:00 AM – The kid goes out to wait for the bus. I’m still inside tidying up, putting the dogs in their kennels, putting my shoes on, etc.

7:15 AM – The kid is on the bus and I hit the streets for my walk. I don’t have a set duration or distance for my walks, but I do like to get 5+ miles. My main goal is to hit 10k steps before I head home.

8:45 AM – I’m usually home by this time and I make a protein shake (1 scoop of Quest chocolate milkshake protein powder and 2 c. unsweetened almond milk). I sit on the back porch with my shake and wait for the dogs to do their business.

9:00 AM – Time to hit the shower! It’s still been fairly warm and humid here and I sweat to beat all hell so a shower is very necessary.

9:15 AM – Work. I used to log on at 10 am but work has gotten really busy, which is awesome!

It all starts with your morning routine | Weight Loss | Health Coach

This is my daily morning routine during the week only. I don’t follow this morning routine on the weekends because, well, because it’s the freakin’ weekend! I try to incorporate exercise into family activities on the weekends so it benefits all of us. Now that it’s getting cooler, we’ll be able to take walks in the woods without fear of ticks and chiggers. I’m not picky about where I walk as long as I’m walking, but hubby prefers being in nature, which is cool with me.

It took me a little while to adjust to getting up at 5 am but now I’m up before the alarm. Yesterday and today, I started waking up at 5:30 am and I rolled over and went back to sleep. Bad idea because I’ve felt like crap because of it. It’s so funny now because I’m up before my husband, which only ever happened when the kids were babies. I’ve gone from not being a morning person to being a morning person in just a few months. I enjoy my quiet time in the morning; it gives me the time I need to reflect and prepare myself for the day ahead. If I can become a morning person, anyone can!

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How Clearing Clutter Helps with Weight Loss

How Clearing Clutter Helps with Weight Loss

It’s so easy to let things get out of hand around the house. Shoes here, a jacket there, all because you’re busy being a working parent or spending time with your kids. Guess what? That’s OK! We don’t all always pick up after ourselves every single time. But, when your surfaces are piled high with you-don’t-know-what you start experiencing negative health effects. This isn’t just physical clutter; mental clutter counts, too! How does clearing clutter help with weight loss?

Clutter Holds You Back

Clutter has this innate ability to keep you stuck where you are. It physically holds you back and keeps maintaining the status quo. It’s stifling; it smothers you and drains your energy. You already know this. How many times have you cleaned your room or a room in your house and felt SO much better afterward? You actually feel lighter when you’re finished, right? I don’t know how many times I’ve stood in the middle of my living room just looking around at how clean it is. Of course, that doesn’t last long, but, for those brief moments, I feel amazing!

When you have a lot of clutter (I live with Fred Sanford so I know what I’m talking about), you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. It’s easier to close the door, push it in a cabinet, or just ignore it all together. Before I took full control of my household, I would often walk through the door and automatically feel blah. I could be in the best mood ever, but, as soon as I walked in, I’d feel completely drained and unmotivated. I was overwhelmed with the amount of shit piled up everywhere.

Decluttering Teaches You Discipline

It’s not enough to spot clean – yes, that’s important – but those big, deep cleans are what getting rid of clutter is all about. Going through all of your crap teaches you discipline. How? Weight loss is all about taking one step at a time. Decluttering is the same principle. You can’t go from full on clutter to absolutely no clutter overnight…just like you can’t go from overweight to skinny overnight. You have to painstakingly handle each and every piece of stuff to determine if you need it, use, want it, or to toss it.

It’s been within the past few months that I’ve taken full control, I’ve followed a few rules, if you will, when it comes to hanging on to stuff. These rules come from a few different places, like David Allen’s book Getting Things Done.

  • If I haven’t touched it in more than 3 months, I think about whether or not I need it.
  • If I haven’t touched it in more than 6 months, I throw it away or donate it to charity.
  • When I think of something, I stop what I’m doing and write it down immediately.
  • If anything is considered a “maybe” (maybe I’ll use it, maybe I’ll follow through with that idea), I hang on to it for 4 weeks then re-evaluate. If I haven’t done anything with it by then, I probably won’t so I let it go.

It takes discipline to adopt a new way of doing things, such as keeping clutter at bay. This type of discipline is exactly what makes weight loss successful. Once you have developed this discipline, nothing will ever stop you from achieving your goals. How awesome is that?!

New House, New You

Your weight loss journey is all about making improvements to your habits and your health. Changing your habits is hard work – it’s the single hardest thing you’ll ever do in your life, in my opinion. If you’re going to change your habits, why not change them all the way around? Remember in math when you were taught to combine like terms? It’s basically the same thing with clutter and weight loss. Let go of what’s holding you back! Your clutter represents who you USED to be, not who you’re BECOMING.

The new you deserves to enjoy being at home, in a clean room, without stress or worry about having so much stuff to sort through. This new you also deserves to have a mind that’s free (well, as free as it can get) of random thoughts and ideas always floating around. Start writing all that stuff down onto different lists, such as Home, To Buy, Someday/Maybe, etc. Each of these lists serves the purpose of getting thoughts out of your head (you’ll forget them anyway) and onto paper for you to process later, when you can give your undivided attention to them.

Do you see how clutter is related to weight loss? It’s all about clearing out your mind, body, and environment to achieve your goals. I highly recommend reading David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity to help you get started. I firmly believe that weight loss is more of a mental game than a physical one. With that being said, it’s important that you prepare your mind for the journey you’re about to take and this includes learning to let go of the past.

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How Your Relationship with Time Impacts Your Health

How Your Relationship with Time Impacts Your Health

Have you ever thought about your relationship with time? That’s right – you have a relationship with time. Think about it for a minute; everything in your life revolves around time. You’re constantly scheduling things, running out of it, wish you had more or trying to stop it. You probably have a love/hate relationship with it; I sure do. If you don’t realize how your relationship with time impacts your health, it’s time to get educated.

Rushing Through Life

If you find yourself rushing more often than not, you’re actually negatively impacting your health. How? Well, if you’re always rushing, you’re probably not making healthy food choices. I bet you’re always reaching for quick and easy foods; in other words, junk. Am I right? You’re not leaving yourself a lot of room to make health choices if you’re always running around like a chicken with your head cut off. This is where meal planning comes into play. It helps you plan ahead so you’re better equipped to make healthy choices.

Rushing Through Meals

Rushing through your meals also has a negative impact on your health because you tend to eat more than you actually need. It takes 20 minutes for digestion to kick in and send the signal that you’re full. How fast do you eat? I bet you’ve never even timed a meal…I know I hadn’t done it before. But, I’ve noticed a huge difference in how much I eat, especially at dinner, when I time myself. If you time yourself and find that it only takes you 8-10 minutes to eat a meal, that’s ok. All you need to do is stretch it out a little longer the next time. Don’t try to go full on 20 minutes at once because it’ll drive you crazy. Ease into it and you’ll be amazed at what you learn.

Creating Added Stress

Cramming your days full of stuff creates more stress on your body. Added stress can often cause binge eating and it increases the production of cortisol. Increased stress and cortisol produce….wait for it….excess belly fat. This type of fat is harder to lose (trust me, I know) and may cause you to give up on your weight loss goals entirely. Ya know, that whole instant gratification thing. Your body doesn’t know the difference between being chased by a bear stress or work stress. To your body, all stress is created equal. What happens when you’re really stressed out? Digestion stops. Yep, you read that right. It stops. Think about it – your body isn’t worried about digesting your lunch when it thinks it needs to prepare to run from a bear. In reality, if you were face to face with a bear, you wouldn’t be worried about your lunch either.

Pitstop in Lazytown

How many times have you decided that you’re going to have a lazy day? Just veg out in front of the TV watching Netflix, munching on whatever you wanted to? It’s ok…we all have those days. But, it’s when you get stuck in that mode that it hurts your health. Snacking on junk can be somewhat cathartic but only in moderation. Sometimes it just feels good to eat a slice of cheesecake or whatever. Be sure to keep it moving, though. Don’t unpack and live in Lazytown. Stop in and visit on your way through but do not take up residence.

I bet you won’t look at time the same way again, will you? It’s time to sit back and take stock of all the happenings in your life to see where adjustments can be made. Don’t know where to start? Start by making a list of what a typical day looks like and see where you can trim the fat. Start keeping track of how long things take you so you can see if you’re being as productive as possible. Improving your relationship with time can improve your health and your entire life.

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Want Lasting Weight Loss? Follow this 1 Rule!

Want Lasting Weight Loss? Follow this 1 Rule! It's not what you think!

Maintaining your weight can be just as difficult as losing it! Why? Because it’s something you’ll need to be fully aware of for the rest of your life. Lasting weight loss doesn’t just happen; you have to monitor it frequently and figure out what works for your body and what doesn’t. Exercise, although important for weight loss and management, isn’t the key to lasting weight loss. But, don’t stop doing it!

Food is the key. Yes, food. Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t out run your fork.”? It’s true. No matter how much you exercise, your food choices dictate lasting weight loss. Carbs, sodium, sugar…they all contribute to weight gain. What you eat matters! Continue making healthy choices and keeping track of everything you eat. Want a brownie? No problem – eat one but make sure you budget for it accordingly and log it.

Weight loss is all about calories in versus calories out. You need to burn more than you consume to see a loss. If you’re not making healthy food choices and see that you’re consuming 3,000 calories per day but you’re only burning 1,500 calories per day, you’ll eventually start gaining weight. We all burn so many calories each day just by being alive. It’s called our basal metabolic rate (BMR). You can calculate yours here. The trick is to burn more calories than you consume.

If your BMR is 1,700 calories and you burn 300 calories through exercise, you shouldn’t eat more than 2,000 calories. If what you burn equals what you eat, you’ll maintain your current weight. Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t go over your calories every once in a while, but don’t make it a habit if you want lasting weight loss.

You should always, always keep your body in motion! Don’t think you don’t have to exercise as long as you’re under your daily calories. Exercise isn’t just good for weight loss. It helps improve your overall health and your mood.

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Weight Loss is Body over Mind

Weight Loss is Body Over Mind: Move your Body to Train Your Mind

After losing more than 100 pounds, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that weight loss is simply body over mind. Well, not simply because it’s far from simple. I don’t care what anyone says….there is NO quick fix to weight loss. You HAVE to make a permanent change to your lifestyle if you want to be successful. That’s it. The secret to weight loss is….CHANGE!

The first thing you need to change is your thinking. Now, let me tell ya, this is the hardest freakin’ part to change! That’s why this entire post is dedicated to it. If you’ve ever struggled with food, you know what I mean. When you first decide to lose weight, you’re often overwhelmed by a few things. It’s either the amount of weight you need/want to lose, the amount of exercise you should do, the constant stream of never-ending, conflicting information, and the list goes on. How in the hell are you supposed to know where to start?! It’s simple – K.I.S.S. I learned this acronym when I was in business school and it means Keep It Simple, Stupid. I’m not calling anyone stupid, so don’t think that. What’s it mean? It means that you start where you are with what you have….

Your mind is the first thing that needs a reboot. You’ve probably been so damn hard on yourself for being overweight that it’s become a core part of who you are. It’s not who you are! Let go of thinking you have to be perfect; that you have to do it all right every single day. That kind of thinking isn’t productive. Our minds are very powerful and will, oftentimes, talk us out of changing. Why? Because change is uncomfortable. We’ve become so complacent with how things are that we often resist making changes for the better. Change is work!

Our bodies were made to move; it’s inherent in our DNA. Don’t deny your body a vital function because your mind is like, “Nah, we don’t need to take the stairs because the elevator is right here.” Whether you believe in the Garden of Eden or the Theory of Evolution or neither, it makes no difference to me, but our bodies were designed to take us where we need to go. We’re built with a fight or flight reflex; you’ve probably noticed it at one point or another in your life. That reflex has been there since the beginning of time and it’s not going away. Our bodies know what to do to survive and it’s high time we start listening to them again!

It’s time to tell your mind to shut the f*%! up and start doing what your body wants you to do! If it helps you to say that out loud, go for it (that’s what I do). Each time I have a negative thought creep into my head, I work on shutting it down fast. If that means I have to get sassy with myself, that’s what I do. What do I mean by that? If a thought enters my mind that tells me I’m not going to be physically able to walk 5 miles or I don’t have time for a walk or whatever, I say, out loud, “you watch me!” I don’t like being told what I can’t do, even by my mind, and I don’t tolerate it very well.

We’re our toughest critic; no one will ever be harder on us than we are. While that has the ability to help us become better, it can also lead to overwhelm and eventually shutting down. It’s time to start talking to yourself and treating yourself the way you would a friend or family member. If a friend told you she didn’t workout today, would you call her lazy? Probably not. But, I bet that’s exactly what you’d say to yourself, right? STOP IT!

Eating healthy and exercising are expressions of love for yourself and your body; they’re not punishments. Your mind will have you thinking that your body is being punished because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. Turn that thought around for a minute. What if you thought about exercise as a way to be able to eat a piece of chocolate cake? My conversations with myself go a little like this:

Mind: “Ok, I want another iced coffee from Dunkin.”

Me (usually out loud): “Do I really want a second coffee or is my body craving something else? Let me do [insert activity here] before and if I still want the second coffee, I’ll get it.”

Mind: “Why do [insert activity here] when you’re already so close to Dunkin now?”

Me (again, out loud): “Because I’m not going to spend the money or the calories if I don’t really want the damn coffee!”

Mind: “Ok, ok, you win. Do [activity]…sheesh!”

If you think I’m joking about this, just ask anyone who’s ever ridden in the car with me, talked to me on the phone, or has just gone out in public with me. I’ve just applied the body over mind technique and won! It’s a constant struggle that will never go away but it will get so much easier. I don’t always win, and neither will you, which is why it’s important to celebrate each and every success! Even when you don’t win, let it go – don’t beat yourself up over it. Shit happens and, despite what anyone may have told you, you’re not perfect. We’re going to mess up, have set backs, and get discouraged; it’s all part of the process. The important thing to remember, and to do, is always keep going!

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4 Ways to Boost Your Energy in the Morning

4 Ways to Boost Your Energy in the Morning

I used to be the person who couldn’t function if I didn’t get at least 12 hours of sleep a night. I was also the first person to hit snooze or just not hear the alarm at all. My husband used to have to call me, on the phone, every morning to make sure I was awake. I just couldn’t get it going in the mornings. But, all of that has changed for me and I couldn’t be happier about it! Here are my top 4 ways to boost your energy in the morning.

1. Keep a Sleep Routine

Keeping a sleep routine is one way to boost your energy in the morning. What is a sleep routine? Well, for me, it’s going to bed around the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. My bedtime is generally between 9 and 10 pm every night (yes, even on the weekends) and my alarm goes off at 5 am every morning (not on the weekends). Even when I get to sleep in on the weekends, I’m usually up by 7 ready to go. What works for me may not work for you and that’s OK. Listen to your body and do what it needs. If you need to go to bed earlier, go. If you can stay up later, do it. Tune in to your body every morning to see how you feel and adjust your sleep routine accordingly.

2. Don’t Hit Snooze

This was SO hard for me in the beginning because I’m the queen of the snooze button! Even when I moved the alarm across the room, I found myself getting out of bed, hitting snooze or turning it off entirely, and climbing back in bed. I’m a die-hard sleeper, y’all. Hitting the snooze button disrupts your sleep and often leaves you feeling more tired in the end. I no longer keep my alarm on the bedside table but I don’t have it across the room either. I have to get out of bed to turn it off and it’s been working. There have still be times when I’ve climbed back in bed but not many.

3. Exercise

Yep, exercise will boost your energy in the morning and may even suppress your appetite and make you more productive throughout the day! This doesn’t have to be balls to the wall circuit training or Cross-Fit; just something to get the blood flowing. Yoga or Pilates will do the trick. Even just taking a brisk 20 minute walk will do it. Feeling ballsy? Go hard for 5 minutes and see how your body thanks you. It’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve done something for YOU first thing in the morning. Your body will thank you and love you for it all day!

4. Eat a Protein Breakfast

I’m not going to lecture you on eating breakfast but I will say that adding protein to your breakfast is a great way to boost your energy in the morning. This is especially true if you exercise because you need to refuel your body. For many of us, breakfast consists of coffee and something quick and starchy because we’re usually running short on time. Some great sources of protein are eggs, nuts, and lean meats. As a rule, for me, I stay away from turkey sausage and bacon because they have more sodium than “regular” breakfast meats. Obviously, the choice is yours; just make sure you’re getting some protein.

So, what does a typical morning following these suggestions, look like? This is every morning for me…

  • 5 am wake up & coffee
  • 6 am breakfast of 1/2 c of egg whites and 1 whole grain English muffin with 1/2 Tbsp of unsalted butter (real butter)
  • 6:30 am morning routine (washing my face, brushing my teeth, sunscreen, etc)
  • 6:45 am out the door to walk 5+ miles

Some of you may feel like I have more time because I work from home. Well, guess what? I have the same 24 hours that you have but I may use them differently. My health is a top priority for me so I make damn sure I get my 5 miles in every morning, weather permitting. You may not want or need to walk 5+ miles and that’s OK; do what’s best for you and your body will love you for it. Always, always, no matter what, do what’s best for your body!

4 Ways to Boost Your Energy in the Morning

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