5 Intense Emotional Eating Triggers That Shape Your Life

Emotional eating triggers influence almost all of our lives. Think about that rough week at work that ended with greasy pizza, hot wings and beer. Perhaps you tell yourself that you’re too tired to cook or you deserve to have something special to begin the weekend. These reasons may be valid. You may also be self-medicating the condition of stress with high fat and simple carbohydrate foods. We live in an age where emotional eating is more common than we admit. I’d like to share what I consider to be five intense emotional eating triggers that shape your life!

Emotional Eating Triggers

Stress!

Stress drains our physical and emotional energy stores. We often seek sugar or simple carbohydrates like white pasta when we’re stressed. Simple carbohydrates are absorbed rapidly in the body for immediate energy and has the same effect as sugar. In addition to the immediate energy boost, sugar prompts the release of mood-enhancing endorphins like serotonin and dopamine. We may also engage in mindless eating when we’re stressed. This leads to overeating like diving down to the last chip in the bag or carving through a large pizza without the company of a friend.

Boredom!

The second emotional eating trigger on my list is boredom. You may have found yourself deciding to go out to eat just for something to do. You may find yourself chowing on take-out in front of the tv or snacking on pop-corn and hot dogs at your kid’s baseball game. Were you hungry or did you eat for something to do? We gain pleasure from eating. And eating breaks the cycle of boredom.

Anxiety!

Anxiety or fear might also drive us to eat. We may experience life events that cause us to hide behind food. Perhaps someone you loved emotionally abused you or made you feel unloved. Perhaps they even left the relationship. Food might become a life preserver for you. That one thing in your life that is constant. You might even subconsciously overeat to stay overweight. You may subconsciously believe you’ll be less attractive and not have to go through the pain of a future relationship. It feels safer to hold onto what’s always been there for you — food.

Comfort!

This brings me to the fourth intense emotional eating trigger which is comfort. As previously stated, when we lack love or we’ve been hurt in the past, we may eat to bring comfort. Seeking comfort through food seems to go all the way back to birth. A baby is fed when she cries. As we grow up, we begin to associate favorite dishes with certain memories. When we’re missing mom, perhaps we want to eat that cheesy casserole she used to make. When we’re sick, perhaps we go for mashed potatoes or chicken noodle soup. Emotional eating isn’t always about binge eating. It isn’t always about eating high calorie snack foods. Emotional eating refers to eating in response to an emotional need rather than a physical need.

Reward!

The final trigger in my list is eating to reward oneself. You might eat to celebrate or just because you’re in a social situation. To give an example here, let’s say you stopped by a party. You had already eaten but everyone was having a good time. The grill smelled wonderful. The cake and desserts looked awesome! You decide that you deserve to overindulge just this once. Everyone else is eating. You just want to be social. You allow yourself to slip into mindless eating.

Emotional eating triggers can result in uncontrolled mindless eating. This can pack on pounds, impact blood pressure and cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and other health indicators. Emotions drive cravings, food choices, portion sizes, and appetite. They seem to override the physical mechanisms of the human body to regulate food intake. One has to wonder why we engage in emotional eating if it sabotages our health and derails our weight.

Along with these five intense emotional eating triggers, you might add anger, sadness, loneliness, resentment, shame, depression, hopelessness. Emotional eating can be caused by a lack of unemployment, relationship issues, the need for acceptance or love, health issues, or fatigue. And, I’m sure this list is not all-inclusive. Almost all life situations can prompt intense emotions. Where there are intense emotions, food can fill the void or make us feel complete. The key is to recognize when we’re in the path of danger and to stop emotional eating in its tracks. Emotions are a great part of our life. We just need to balance those intense emotional eating triggers, so they don’t drive us into unconscious eating. What kind of emotional eating triggers have you experienced?

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Fitness (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management specialist who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. Her personal mission is to inspire, educate, and promote lasting weight loss through healthy balanced living. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as The Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive your free copy of Awareness! Weight Loss Success For The Average Woman and to gain access to her free monthly mentoring calls.

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Healthy Teas For Weight Loss

I asked my friend Chris if she could recommend some healthy teas for weight loss. I trusted her opinion because Chris is the owner of Discover Teas here in our local area of Newport News, Virginia and also in Williamsburg, Virginia. She’s done extensive research into the different varieties of teas and even offers her teas and tea blends online. Chris provided the following suggestions for healthy teas for weight loss:

Slimming Goddess

This is a tea blend containing an Oolong tea leaf, lemongrass, and ginger. Oolongs are touted for their ‘slimming’ qualities. This one works on several fronts. Oolong can act as an appetite suppressant when consumed before meals, and can help digestion and blood sugar leveling when consumed after meals. Oolong is also powerful for kick starting the metabolism, as well as aiding in metabolizing fatty foods and fats stored in the body. With the addition of the lemongrass and ginger, this tea blend is incredibly helpful for the entire digestive system—reducing mucus along the intestinal lining, increasing nutrient absorption, relieving inflammation, and soothing for the stomach.

Metabo Tea

A green tea and herbal blend that combines green tea with real lime and lemon, along with a green Yerba Maté from South Amferica, ginger and damiana. This tea is used to specifically targeting to enhance the body’s metabolism. If you are getting regular exercise in your day, this is a wonderful blend to really kick up the metabolism to the next level. This blend also works quite powerfully on the circulatory system as well.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry

This is guilt-free dessert in a cup!! Don’t let the name fool you. This blend is calorie free and contains all the great health qualities from real strawberry and dark chocolate but in a tea. Combining a green tea and a black tea is a fantastic way to affect blood pressure in the body, plus all the great antioxidants found in both. Don’t sabotage all your healthy lifestyle efforts! If you suffer from sugar cravings or a sweet tooth, reach for a cuppa instead of that cookie or candy bar. It will hit that wonderful indulgent note at the same time providing all the benefits of a healthy tea.

Want to try any of these great healthy teas for weight loss? Visit Discover Teas online or stop by one of Chris’s retail locations to experience tea in a whole new way. Go ahead! You’re worth it.

Chris Farishon is the Owner of Discover Teas in Newport News and Williamsburg, VA. Chris offers a variety of teas, specialty blends, tea accessories, and tea ceremonies. Discover Teas also educates patrons on the history and production of different tea varieties as well as how to incorporate tea into a health supporting lifestyle. Chris stays involved in the community and opens up her retail locations for networking and special events. Visit Discover Teas at www.DiscoverTeas.com and www.facebook.com/DiscoverTeas.

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7 Smart Ways to Stop Struggling With Sugar Cravings

I sat in bed one night staring at the clock and wondering where I could find ice-cream at 11:30 p.m. It was in that moment that I realized the insanity of my sugar addiction. I realized just how much I struggled with sugar. I’m writing this post for anyone who’s ready to stop the insanity of their cravings. I’m offering seven smart ways to stop struggling with sugar cravings. I hope you’ll add your own ideas in the comments below.

7 Smart Ways to Stop Struggling With Sugar Cravings

  1. Sugar Awareness

    If you want to stop struggling with sugar cravings, the first thing you’ll want to learn is where sugar is lurking. It’s not just the white sugar sprinkled on your breakfast cereal, the office donuts, or the simple carbohydrates like white potatoes, white bread, and pizza crust that rapidly break down to sugar in the body.

    Some sugar is hidden, so you have to become a sugar detective. Sugar is added to a lot of processed (manufactured) foods. It’s even in what you may consider healthy foods such as protein bars. My favorite protein bar had 10 grams of sugar which is almost have my daily limit for added sugar.

    When you heighten your awareness of what you’re putting in your body, you tend to make better choices. Did you know that sugar cravings are natural? Our body is asking for energy, the energy you find in nature with sweet tasting foods like fruit, berries, root vegetables, and grains.

  2. Drink More Water
  3. Relacing sugary drinks, juice, and soft drinks with water can make a huge impact on the amount of added sugar consumed. And, if you’re a coffee drinker, consider what you’re adding to your coffee. Are you adding sugar or a creamer with sugar? To stop struggling with sugar cravings, you’ve got to stop adding sugar to your diet.

  4. Cook More
  5. Another smart way to stop struggling with sugar cravings is to eat less processed foods. Processed foods often have hidden sugar. You’ll even find sugar in ketchup and salad dressings. Remember that sugar has many names, including high fructose corn syrup. Get curious about how to limit sugar intake for weight loss and better health.

    Processed foods are often stripped of fiber. Eating fiber is important for healthy gut bacteria, good digestion, and slowing the absorption of sugar. Furthermore, when a complex carbohydrate is stripped of fiber, the food converts quickly into sugar in the digestive process. Too much lingering sugar in the blood stream may lead to insulin resistance and stronger sugar cravings because the sugar (energy) cannot get into the cells. The cells scream out to the brain that they need more energy (sugar) and the sugar cravings begin the cycle all over again.

  6. Eat Fruits and Berries
  7. Fruits and berries are naturally sweet. Add them to you daily diet. Your sugar cravings may be related to nutritional needs that can be met with foods that are naturally sweet like fruit, berries, root vegetables, and grains. Not only are these foods sweet, but they are also packed with fiber. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar. If you’re struggling with sugar cravings, keep that in mind. Fiber helps keep your blood sugar more balanced, so you don’t get out of cotrol sugar cravings.

  8. Eat Root Vegetables
  9. As stated above, root vegetables can help you curb sugar cravings by adding fiber in your diet to slow sugar absorption and by providing the sweet taste your body seeks. Root vegetables can cooked or eaten raw. Their versatality means you can eat them as a snack, side, main dish, or even dessert!

  10. Eat Grains
  11. Eating whole grains is another smart way to stop struggling with sugar cravings. Notice that I didn’t say eat more grains as not all grins are created equal. A refined grain has been stripped of nutrients and fiber. You need the fiber as stated previously. And again, your body may be seeking nutrients that are naturally found in sweet tasting grains.

  12. Research Supplements

I’m not a big fan of supplements; however, there’s been much discussion on the use of cinnamon and the anti-oxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid to help balance blood sugar. In the end, I think it’s always get to the root of the problem. You’ve got to stop putting sugar in your body either deliberately or through processed foods if you want to stop struggling with sugar cravings. Do your research and make an educated decision on any supplement before trying it.

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management specialist who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. Her personal mission is to inspire, educate, and promote lasting weight loss through healthy balanced living. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as The Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive your free copy of Awareness! Weight Loss Success For The Average Woman and to gain access to her free monthly mentoring calls.

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3 Mindful Eating and Weight Loss Insights To Drop Pounds

Mindful Eating and Weight Loss

Mindful eating is an eating practice and philosophy that simply means being fully aware and present when eating. It means eating slow enough to savor flavors, to enjoy textures and aromas. It may also mean going beyond the plate to where your food was grown or raised. And, one might examine how the meal was prepared and by whom. Mindful eating and weight loss are a perfect match as the practice promotes better digestion, satiety, and less stress.

Better Digestion

The first mindful eating and weight loss insight centers around digestion. Digestion starts in the mouth. When you take time to thoroughly chew your food, you’ll be able to better digest and absorb nutrients. When food passes through undigested, it can cause a host of problems including inflammation and constipation which can interfere with weight loss. And, when your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to function properly, you may experience food cravings to replenish these missing nutrients.

Improved Satiety

Second on our list is improved satiety (brain signal that you’re full). When you gobble down food, you may experience agitation, indigestion, and heartburn. You may also be missing out on one of your body’s weight controlling mechanisms. It’s the brain and gut connection. When you’re full, a hormonal signal is sent from your gut to your brain to turn off the desire to eat more. It take about twenty minutes for this signal to register though, so gobblers beware! You can definitely bite off more than your body needs by eating too fast. Mindful eating and weight loss go hand in hand as mindful eating sharpens your satiety signals.

Less Stress

The third mindful eating and weight loss insight is mindful eating can lower your stress levels. Knowing where your food came from and preparing it yourself or knowing who prepared the food brings about a sense of connection and gratitude. Sharing a meal without outside distractions like televisions and cell phones, allows you to deeply connect with those around you. Both connection and gratitude give us a sense of well being which lowers stress. And lower stress means less of the belly fat hormone cortisol playing havoc with your weight loss efforts.

Mindful eating isn’t something off the wall. It’s simply being present when you nourish your body, loving yourself enough to slow down and enjoy the meal. Think about these mindful eating and weight loss insights the next time you eat.

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Fitness (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management specialist who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. Her personal mission is to inspire, educate, and promote lasting weight loss through healthy balanced living. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as The Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive your free copy of Awareness! Weight Loss Success For The Average Woman and to gain access to her free monthly mentoring calls.

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Four Little Known Ways to Limit Sugar Intake to Lose Weight

It’s important to limit sugar intake to lose weight, but are we really aware of our sugary affair? My collection of M&M dispensers is a shadow of my sugary past. How I loved every variety of those tiny candies that melt in your mouth, not in your hands. Following M&Ms, my indulgence turned to ice cream, not just every once in a while but every night. I didn’t see a problem. I joked about my sweet tooth. I splurged on the weekends. I let loose at parties. I ate a huge piece of birthday cake every time it was around. But alas, all those sweet empty calories packed on pounds. I didn’t make the connection until my hA1C blood sugar test indicated I was pre-diabetic. So after years of sugary bliss, I finally came to terms with the notion that sugar was affecting my health and that I also needed to limit sugar intake to lose weight.

The World Health Organization recommends that added sugars comprise no more than 10% of a person’s daily calories. The American Heart Association tightens up that number by recommending that women restrict calories from added sugars to no more than 100 calories per day, far less than 10% for most women. However, the FDA reports that on average, Americans get 16% of our calories from added sugars. This means if your daily caloric intake is 1800 calories, 288 calories could be from added sugars. Just cutting this number in half could help you drop 15 pounds in one year!

I didn’t bake. I didn’t “add” sugar to anything, including breakfast cereals and oatmeal. It astounded me that I was on the verge of manifesting a sugar-related disease. I became a sleuth looking for sugar in all it’s forms. As I became conscious of sugar and tried to minimize its presence in my diet, my weight naturally started going down. Would you like to know what I learned? Let me share four little known ways to limit sugar intake to lose weight.

Limit Sugar Intake to Lose Weight Through a Health Proclamation

I declared that I would reduce my sugar intake prevent the progression of my current pre-diabetic state into full blown diabetes. As the pounds naturally began to melt, I proclaimed that I would limit sugar intake to lose weight as well. Here are a few quotes from leading authorities which may help you make a health-related proclamation to strengthen your resolve to reduce added sugars in your diet:

“Most foods and drinks that are high in added sugar do not offer many nutrients and may replace more nutritious food choices. For this reason, limiting the intake of foods and drinks with added sugar is recommended.” –Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines for Cancer Survivors, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.3322/caac.21142/)

“Getting too much added sugar in your diet could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and contribute to obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.” –The American Heart Association (https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/first-steps-to-prevent-heart-disease-and-be-heart-healthy/sugar-heart-disease/)

One of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes is being overweight, and a diet high in calories from any source contributes to weight gain. However, research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association recommends that people limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes.” –The American Diabetes Association
(http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/sugar-and-desserts.html)

Change Your Thinking About Drinking

Number two on my list of ways to limit sugar intake to lose weight is to think before you drink. If you drink anything other than water, you may be adding sugar and calories with little nutritional benefit. According to the FDA, soda, energy and sports drinks, and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks are all major sources of added sugars. Soda tops the list. Try to eliminate or minimize these drinks. I think artificial sweeteners trigger cravings, so I recommend working toward replacing diet soda consumption with water or naturally flavored water. I would also work on cutting down on naturally flavored fruit juice as the fiber is missing from the juice, and fructose without fiber metabolizes into usable sugar rapidly which spikes your blood sugar and insulin.

Many alcoholic drinks are full of sugar. Even non-alcoholic drinks and teas can have a lot of added sugar. Choose unsweetened tea and flavored water (flavored with something like lemons, limes, raspberries, or cucumbers) when ordering at a restaurant. And when it comes to coffee, stay away from the specialty coffee concoctions that are full of sweet calories. Become aware of what you’re adding to your own coffee at home, too. Do you add sugar? What about creamer?

Step Away From the Condiments and Salad Dressings

Smarter shopping for condiments and salad dressings is number three on my list of ways to limit sugar intake to lose weight. Take a look at the condiments and salad dressings in your kitchen and on the shelves at the grocery store. Most of them are loaded with sugar. Just check out your favorite BBQ sauce or ketchup. Look for hidden sugars like high fructose corn syrup. Then, shop smarter for sugar free or lower sugar options. Better yet, learn how to make your own, so you’re in control of the ingredients. A word of caution about sugar free options, I think artificial sweeteners trigger cravings and sometimes, sugar is replaced with fat.

Do You Really Need Those Breakfast Bars, Energy Bars, Protein Bars, or Fruit and Nut Bars?

At one time, I ate some type of processed bar everyday. I thought these bars were a healthy snack for mid-morning or afternoon. How could I not with all the marketing that goes on to promote them. They’re even sold in gyms and promoted in fitness magazines. Oh, and did I say they’re marketing by weight loss companies, too? I’m not suggesting that every bar is bad if eaten on occasion. I do recommend reading the label and reviewing the sugar content before eating one though. My old favorite only had 130 calories, but it also had 10 grams of sugar! That’s two and a half teaspoons or more than a third of the American Heart Association’s suggested daily limit for added sugar.

So, that’s how I tamed my sugar tooth. I started with the obvious by removing ice cream, chocolate, and candies from my home and giving myself a few days to detox from sugar. Then, I applied these four little suggestions. I made a personal health proclamation. I became picky about what I drank. I no longer just picked up any condiment or salad dressing. And, I rarely eat bars no matter how healthy they appear on the label or in an ad. I’m my own health advocate and sugar detective. And now you can be yours. What other ways do you limit sugar intake to lose weight?

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management specialist who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. Her personal mission is to inspire, educate, and promote lasting weight loss through healthy balanced living. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as The Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive your free copy of Awareness! Weight Loss Success For The Average Woman and to gain access to her free monthly mentoring calls.

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Constriction and Expansion For Weight Loss

Night and day, tall and short, thick and thin, hot and cold, constriction and expansion–whether or not you’ve been introduced to the theory of yin and yang, you’ve seen it played out in many areas. The universe seems set on creating stability, harmony and balance through opposing forces. Even the systems of the human body seek homeostasis or internal stability by coordinating responses to different stimuli. Learning to use this theory can help you feel better, achieve more, and struggle less with weight.

How is this possible? Your body sends out signals to tell you when something is wrong, when something is needed, and when everything is just right. Think of these signals as your body’s way of communicating to you, the true sense of body language! So, how do you feel when you’ve eaten about four times more than you should have on Thanksgiving day? Does your body feel tired like you want to crawl up in a ball and sleep? Does your stomach ache or does your head hurt? These are physical signs of constriction caused by eating too much food. You may experience similar symptoms when you eat too much sugar, salt or fat.

You may also have similar feelings when you’re not drinking enough water or getting enough oxygen. Water and oxygen are essential for the many chemical processes that go on in your body every minute of every day. Too little sleep can also make us feel constricted as the body does a lot of recovery and repairs while we’re sleeping. Notice when you’re feeling constricted and respond appropriately with self-care. Otherwise, you may find yourself isolating, having less physical activity, and eating more. Constriction and expansion are opposites; an appropriate response to constriction is to do something that expands.

Instead of trying to live by a list of rules, the holistic approach to weight management and healthy living is to learn to live intuitively. Learn to recognize the things that are constricting to you and understand that your body is trying to warn you for the future that you’ve overloaded systems, offered the wrong fuel, or didn’t mix in enough water, oxygen, and downtime. Ok, so that’s tough love! Let’s learn the other side of intuitive eating and the opposite of constriction–expansion.

Expansion can be defined as anything that makes us feel good. We can experience expansion through social connections, career, spiritual practices, and self-development which we’ll discuss in other posts. For now, let’s talk about physical expansion and learning how to do more of the things that make us feel good because our body is “telling” us it’s working.

On a hot summer day, do you crave watermelon? Do you want fresh fruit, salads, and cold drinks? My bet is your body is seeking fresh cooling foods to help balance the heat. In the cold of winter on the other hand, you might crave spicy chili, winter stew, or casseroles – heavier meals that help you stay warm. Do you see how your body naturally tries to come into balance? Good! You’re learning to listen to your body. Eat foods that expand your well-being and make you feel good. You should feel satisfied and have energy after a meal. These are signs of expansion. You’re ready to go! You should not feel full, tired, or achy. These are signs of constriction like your body is tense and overworking.

Drinking plenty of water helps with your weight management efforts in many ways. First, it ensures toxins are moved through your body quickly. Second, ample water ensures that nutrients are transported throughout your body and to your vital organs so your internal machinery can do its work efficiently. And third, water helps maintain the right internal temperature to sustain life. Signs of dehydration include nausea, headaches, and exhaustion. These are also signs of constriction. Think of nausea as your stomach in knots because its so tense, headaches feel like too much pressure inside your head, and when you’re exhausted you want to curl up in the constricted fetal position. Move away from constricting habits and more toward expanding habits like sipping water throughout the day.

Getting enough exercise, sleep, and oxygen are vital to healthy living and weight management. Not getting enough of these three essentials will once again make your body scream with constricting language. On the other hand, getting enough rest, exercise and oxygen through daily activity, sleep and perhaps some deep breathing are expansive in nature. You’re giving your body those things that help her function efficiently and maintain a healthy weight. You’ll be rewarded with the language of expansion: good feelings, mental clarity, energy and improved health. Learn the language of constriction and expansion for effective weight loss; your body will thank you!

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Fitness (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management specialist who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. Her personal mission is to inspire, educate, and promote lasting weight loss through healthy balanced living. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as THE Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive articles, inspiration, and event notifications.

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Weight Loss Sabotage

Julie talks about weight loss sabotage.After losing and gaining many pounds over your lifetime, you may feel overwhelmed right about now. Why do you lose a few pounds only to gain them back? Could it be weight loss sabotage? Could you be your own worse enemy? Weight loss sabotage has many faces, including self-esteem, resistance to change, and your body of knowledge. One of these issues may be causing you to make decisions that lead to weight loss sabotage. When you become aware of your own hidden desires to hold on to weight, you can begin to tip the scales. You may struggle with one or more of the following weight loss saboteurs.

Self-Esteem Related Weight Loss Sabotage

When we live with a battered self-esteem, we don’t always think clearly or make the best choices. You might have been rejected by someone or hurt with spiteful words or actions that left you putting up a protective shield. Perhaps part of that shield is a layer of weight that protects you from getting close and being hurt again. This protective shield may serve you well now. You may be known as the one who makes everyone laugh or the one who is always there for a friend or co-worker. Deep inside, you might wonder if things would change and if you’d still be loved if you didn’t have your protective layer.

Without a healthy self-esteem, you may find yourself isolating at home rather than connecting with others, being active, and engaging in life outside of work. You may tell yourself things like you’re not good enough or pretty enough or you don’t have anything that fits so you blow off being part of the party. Isolation feeds low self-esteem and further contributes to weight loss sabotage.

When you’re feeling down or all alone, food choices may not support your weight loss efforts. We instinctively reach for high carbohydrate foods, fat, and salt to release those feel good hormones that tell us that everything’s going to be alright. We eat beyond satisfaction. We eat until we’re overstuffed and sometimes sick. These are signs that we loathe ourselves. These are signs of weight loss sabotage. When you step back and realize that you are good enough, you can begin to make changes that support your health and weight goals. You can do lose weight and keep it off if you can

Weight Loss Sabotage From Resistance To Change

When you do decide that you are good enough and you don’t need that protective layer to cloak your fragile self-esteem, you may fall into another trap: weight loss sabotage from resistance to change. You may begin working with a weight loss specialist who talks to you about exercise or adding fruit or greens to your diet. All you may hear is that you fast food is off limits as well as the bag of chips you eat in bed every Friday night. You may think there’s no way you’re choking down one of those hippy green smoothies. And, you may think that walking from your house to the car to go to work is enough exercise for you!

This my friend is what I call resistance to change. I want you to know that it’s completely natural. Our survival mechanisms strive to protect the things that have worked for us in the past. To overcome this type of weight loss sabotage, allow yourself to have an open mind–a beginner’s mind. Try a few new things. See how they work for you. Observe how you feel. Add in only one or two new things at a time. Trying to change everything at once is a sure fire way straight to failure as we’re programmed to avoid overwhelm by shutting down and fleeing from everything that threatens what we know.

Your Body of Knowledge – A Possible Source of Weight Loss Sabotage

Your current body of knowledge may also be a source of weight loss sabotage. If counting calories and points makes more sense to you than ensuring you’re eating nutrient dense foods, your current body of knowledge may be colored by popular weight loss systems. This one thing I know. If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results. If you count and count and count to lose weight but find yourself gaining it back, you’re sure to get the same results following that body of knowledge again.

Become a student of wellness, and you’ll be a better steward of your body. You only get one body. Become the best steward you can by increasing your body of knowledge. Find someone who can mentor you and help you begin to trust your own inner guidance. As your body of knowledge about wellness and weight management grow, this form of weight loss sabotage will melt away along with inches and unwanted pounds.

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Fitness (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management specialist who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. Her personal mission is to inspire, educate, and promote lasting weight loss through healthy balanced living. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as THE Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Subscribe to her newsletter to receive articles, inspiration, and event notifications.

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Toxins and Fat

I was first introduced to the concept of “toxins” in my body while studying to become a health coach and weight management consultant. Now, I try to help out my natural detoxifying systems by not overloading them with processed food and supporting them with good nutrition and activity. I also use natural skin care products.

Le me start by defining what I mean by the word toxin. A toxin is another word for waste. If your body can’t use it, it’s waste. Toxins may be in the form of chemicals added during the processing of foods or beauty products. Chemicals are added to change the consistency, taste, or color of a product and/or to extend the shelf life of the product. Toxins may also be food particles that can’t be broken down and absorbed properly or partially digested food that cannot pass completely through the normal digestive track.

Lingering toxins can impact our health by impacting the ability of our organs to function properly. They can also contribute to excess weight. Excess toxins in the lower digestive system due to a diet that causes constipation and blockage can add weight simply by not allowing the body to properly eliminate waste.

The body tries to protect itself from toxins by moving them out of the body. When it can’t move all the toxins out for whatever reason, it tries to protect its vital organs by surrounding the waste material with fat cells. I tell my clients to think about this process as bubble wrapping the toxins to keep them from damaging vital organs. The visual of bubble wrap helps us see how the excess toxins and resulting protective fat can increase our size and body weight.

Fat cells play many important roles for us. Most of us focus on how to get rid of fat by eating less and exercising more. It’s important to take a look of some preventative measures as well. Reducing the amount of toxins in our body is one more way we can reduce the need for excess fat.

The body has several detoxifying systems. The lymphatic system moves toxic waste out of the body but does not have a heart like organ to pump it through the body. Hydration and physical activity help support the lymphatic system. Organs such as our liver and kidneys are also filters to process out waste that might be harmful to the body. And, the largest organ in the body, our skin, is also a detoxifying organ.

The skin is a wonderful organ. It holds our fluids in while allowing things from the outside world to come in through absorption. What I learned about toxins is why I now try to use as many natural skin care products as possible and why I now represent a company called Daisy Blue Naturals. I want to reduce the amount of chemicals that are absorbed into my body through my skin. I want to protect my organs and support my natural body functions in every way I can. And for me, this means paying attention not only to what I put into my body but also what I put on it.

Julie Butts is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® (IIN™), the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA), and the American Council on Fitness (ACE). She is a certified health coach and weight management consultant who combines holistic and conventional wisdom to support women who crave lasting weight loss. She offers a variety local and online programs to support her clients and is known as THE Lifestyle Mentor for Lasting Weight Loss™. Julie invites you to get to know her at THE Lifestyle Mentor For Lasting Weight Loss™ Facebook page.

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Emotional Eating Packs On Pounds

Emotional eating is a sure fire way to lose sight of your weight management goals and pack on weight. Becoming aware of emotional eating triggers can help you drop pounds and keep them off.

You don’t have to have an eating disorder to engage in emotional eating. You can probably count yourself in as an emotional eater if you’ve found yourself standing in front of the refrigerator or the pantry looking for something creamy, salty, sugary, or warm.

We tend to eat to fill emptiness or soothe pain. We may eat in response to positive emotions as well such as the joy that comes from Thanksgiving dinners with family members. Here are ten emotional reasons that one may eat, and this list is not all inclusive:

  1. Boredom
  2. Fear of Loss; Loss
  3. Anger
  4. Anxiety
  5. Disappointment
  6. Depression
  7. Fond Memories
  8. Connectedness
  9. Tired
  10. Celebration

You might’ve been surprised at some of the positive emotions included on the list above. Think about it for a moment. Have you ever come home after a long day at work and decided to go out to eat or to order a pizza? If so, you’re emotions are driving your desire to eat.

How do you eat at Thanksgiving, family reunions, weddings, and birthdays? Do you overeat when visit your grandparents or perhaps when you mix up a favorite family recipe? Emotional eating is not limited to depression, disappointment, and the feelings of emptiness, rejection, or failure. Emotional eating is eating for any reason other than to fuel your body. By this definition, most of us probably engage in emotional eating on a regular basis. So, what can we do?

The best defense is a strong offense. Have a plan. What do you plan on eating today? Use a shopping list when you go out to buy groceries. Fill your cart with healthy, fresh whole foods and leave the processed food at the store. Prep food for the week on the day you bring it home from the grocery store. This makes it easier to find a healthy snack or prepare a quick healthy meal.

If you find yourself standing in front of the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry without a prior plan of what you were removing, shut the door and step away. Ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Ask yourself how you feel at this moment. If it’s not really hunger, do something else to nourish your emotions such as meditation, reaching out to a friend, going for a walk, or reading a book.

Notice any particular cravings. Do you have a strong craving for pizza, ice cream, pop corn, chips, chocolate, or nuts? These cravings can point to emotional eating or may even indicate a nutrient deficiency.

A health coach can help you learn to listen to your body, become aware of your actions, and develop healthier habits. As a health coach and weight management consultant, my goal is to help my clients make lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on their life and weight management goals. I’m known as the Lifestyle Mentor For Lasting Weight Loss because my focus is not just on losing weight; it’s on keeping it off. It’s on helping people experience lasting weight loss.

Helping people discover their emotional eating triggers is one of the many ways I help my clients make lasting lifestyle changes. Emotional eating, whether from boredom, depression, or celebration will get in the way of your weight management efforts.

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Any Change Can Be A Challenge

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I wanted to start writing again by telling you what’s been going on in my world. I received a layoff notice from my employer on November 1st, 2013. I was a business development manager (marketing manager) who was responsible for the marketing of 19 locations in six different cities. My passion is with health coaching and helping people become healthier and happier; however, my part-time coaching business doesn’t provide the income I need at this time to do it solely.

I thought about whether to share this with my readers or not. I obviously decided that you might get some needed inspiration from my experiences. The last two months of the year were spent doing grunt work during our company’s transition. The company was sold, so there was a lot work to do from file transfers and shredding to manually moving equipment and vehicles. The emotional process was interesting. I went from disbelief and denial to acceptance rather quickly. What I hadn’t planned on was how much I actually identified with my job until I didn’t have it.

Fortunately for me, I only had to go twenty one days without work. I started my new job at another company last week. It’s a scary time as I’m trying not to be overwhelmed with the new environment, new people and the massive amount of new information to learn. I know I can do this new job, but it’s hard to be the new gal.

Emotional rollercoasters like losing a job, being unemployed, or starting a new job affect our daily living and routines. I experienced mild depression at one time during this process. It was hard to keep doing the things I knew I needed to do to keep myself from spiraling downward. I felt a lot of anxiety and stress. I still do sometimes as it seems everything has changed all at once. I’ve gone from a traveling position to a cubicle, from khakis to dress slacks. My eating and sleeping patterns were affected. My sugar intake increased. And yes, my weight increased as a result of not fully taking care of myself.

One of the things I always tell my clients is “today can always be the first day”. One of the keys to lasting weight loss is to recognize when you’re out of balance. It’s ok to be out of balance. You’ve got to know how to turn things around before they get out of control. I really like the analogy Brian Tracy uses in his book “Flight Plan”. He talks about the flight plan of an aircraft. The pilot knows that the path from one point to the next is not a straight one. The aircraft will go of course due to wind, turbulence, or other unknown factors. The pilot must keep making corrections to keep the aircraft on course to get to its final destination.

So, here’s the truth of the matter. Life happens. We must arm ourselves with good habits and knowledge. As we feel ourselves experiencing anxiety, stress, overwhelm, fear, uncertainty or any of those other negative feelings, we must recognize what’s happening and intervene. If we notice changes in our routines – sleeping too long or waking up throughout the night, not exercising, craving sugar or carbs, or wanting to pick up bad habits such as smoking or drinking – we must recognize what’s happening and intervene.

Any change can be a challenge for lasting weight loss. The challenge is accepting the change and changing with the challenge. I have a new environment now. I am beginning to adapt my routine. Like I’d recommend to my clients, I’m going back to the basics. Self-care is the number one priority for anyone who desires lasting weight loss.

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Compassionate help for overweight women who crave lasting weight loss.