Is stress is hijacking your weight loss goals?
If you ask the everyday person what the key to weight loss is, most will reply “counting calories and increasing exercise” however if I was asked the same question my answer is “nourishment, movement and recovery”. What many people don’t realize is the magic happens in recovery and if you are highly stressed trying to lose weight can be like pushing shit up hill (sorry I grew up in the country).
What I am seeing day after day in my clinic are busy, stressed, busy, anxious, busy, sedentary people who are frustrated with the difficulty of losing weight. We are a bunch of busy yet inactive people, research now suggests we are sitting more than we are sleeping, then when it comes to our sleep we are so emotionally stressed the quality of sleep is rubbish. We reluctantly wake up feeling tired from inadequate sleep this leading to increased sugar and carb cravings throughout the day, and we wonder why the freakin weight won’t come off?
STOP! Collaborate and listen (sorry couldn’t help myself) but seriously STOP! If you are trying to drop weight and you are not addressing your stress levels you are making it very hard for yourself, let me explain why….
CORTISOL is a hormone that is produced when we are stressed both emotionally and physically. It is completely normal to produce cortisol throughout the day, however it is not “normal” to produce excessive amounts of cortisol day in day out. Excessive cortisol production increases fat storage around the mid section, FACT.
POOR QUALITY SLEEP can often result from a stressful day. Remember the magic happens in recovery as Human Growth Hormone is produced when we are in deep sleep. Without quality sleep HGH production can be reduced, this can negatively impact your weight loss goals as HGH functions to increase lean muscle and decrease fat. To get the most out of your exercise you need quality sleep.
STRESS IMPACTS WILL POWER as prolonged stress and excessive cortisol can shrink the hippocampus; the area of our brain responsible for emotion and decision-making. It’s hard to think rationally and stay motivated to eat well when the hippocampus is hijacked, you are tired and the chocolate biscuits and red wine are calling.
These are just a few reasons why stress will negatively impact you weigh loss goals. I guess the point of this blog is to get you thinking about weight loss a little differently, yes of course you need to eat less crap, eat more plants and move more but you also need to manage your stress.
Now Im not saying you need to become a zenned out yogi to lose weight, what I am saying is set yourself daily goals around nourishment, movement and recovery, the weight loss will follow.
I hope this helps
WINTER FLU FIGHTERS
Winter has arrived in full force; along with the frosty starts and icy winds winter also brings the dreaded flu. If you are like me and “ain’t got no time for no flu” you need to start thinking about supporting your immune system so it is ready to rumble when you come in contact with people carrying the flu. In order to support the immune system we need to choose foods that provide immune enhancing nutrients. The follow are my top dietary picks to boost and support your immune system:
Brightly coloured vegetables such as pumpkin, red and yellow capsicum, carrot and sweet potato contain vitamin A and vitamin C both vital for the functioning of our immune cells.
Go to WILD GREENS for amazing fresh seasonal fruit and vegetable delivery options
Garlic is a super herb that contains the potent compound allicin; this immune boosting nutrient exhibits anti bacterial and anti viral activity.
Probiotics found in fermented foods and natural yogurt provides the gut with “healthy” bacteria, the gut and our gut bacteria is the body’s first line of defence against pathogens. Beneficial gut microbes also act as messengers stimulating our immune cells.
I highly recommend a probiotic supplement taken daily for immune health.
Amino acids are essential to build our antibodies or in other words our immune cells. Amino acids are found in protein rich foods such as fish, chicken, beef, lamb, eggs, quinoa and legumes.
Sleep is vital for optimal health including a robust immune system, remember recovery is where the magic happens. If you are burning the candle at both ends you will be more susceptible to catching a cold or flu.
I hope this helps THW xx
PEA OR WHEY?
WHAT IS BETTER FOR YOU?
There are many discussions about the different protein powders that we should be supplementing in our diet, many still believe that whey is the way forward having used it for many years, however in today’s world where there are many more vegetarians and Vegan diets around we have seen that pea protein is becoming the new protein powder to use. In this post I will talk about the pro’s and con’s of both proteins and which one might suit you better.
What is Whey Protein?
Some people might just be using whey because they have been told to by their personal trainer, nutritionist or even a friend without even knowing what it is, so let me clear this up for you. Whey is the liquid that separates from milk during the cheese production.
It is a good quality protein which contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that our body needs.
What is Pea Protein?
Pea protein is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans and has become more popular over the past couple of years due to it being dairy free. Peas are a member of the legume family and generally come from the yellow or green peas, the dried split peas are the raw materials to make the pea protein powders. Pea protein is also a complete protein including BCAA’s.
The comparison – protein and BCAA’s
25g PEA PROTEIN
25g WHEY PROTEIN
The pro’s and con’s
- Contains all 9 essential amino acids
- High BCAA content to promote muscle growth
- Choosing a WPI (Isolate) whey protein has a higher bio availability and absorption level
- Contains dairy which is inflammatory ad not suitable for people with intolerances
- Not suitable for vegans or vegetarians
- Hard to absorb for people with digestive issues
- Many companies add preservatives and additives into their products
- Some products have added sugars
A whey protein that I recommend would be BARE BLENDS
· Grass fed AU/NZ whey protein
· Organic ingredients
· Contains non GMO soy lecithin
· Gluten free
· Contains all 9 essential amino acids
· High protein – 30g offering 21g of protein
- Complete 9 essential amino acids
- Suitable for vegetarians and Vegans
- Some brands add sugar or sweeteners
A Pea Protein that I recommend would be...
PRIMAL PROTEIN BLEND
· GMO free
· Contains digestive aids such as pro and prebiotics
· High protein – 40g offering 27.9g of protein
So what’s my conclusion? I say that both sources of protein will be beneficial for each individual depending on their own diets and factors. As you can see, whey protein does have a few more con’s than pea protein but it also has many benefits as well. I personally would opt for pea protein because it would suit by body and digestive system a lot better but if you are going to use or continue using whey protein just make sure that it is organic and grass fed and has low or no sweetener in the ingredients.
If you would like to discuss this topic more or would like more nutrition information then please contact Lisa on 0426897957.
For more health benifits of whey protein checkout in great article from Positive Health Wellness https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/diet-nutrition/10-best-health-benefits-whey-protein/
How to start your health journey on a budget
We all know how hard it is after the Christmas period when we barely have any money to our name, as we have just spent it all on presents for family and loved ones, nights out with friends, and indulgent food and alcohol. Because why not? It’s Christmas and it only comes around once a year. Well that’s all said and done, but now it’s the New Year and you want to start your health goals and of course it all cost money. Panic starts to set in, how are you going to start it all with the cost of a gym membership, healthy food alternatives, race events and new training gear? Doubt starts to set in already even before you have commence this new journey, you start to think that it’s going to be too hard, cost too much and that you can’t do it! And then decide that it’s just easier to continue your life the way it is, thinking that it hasn’t been too bad, you can still make some small changes and then look at doing it properly when you have some more money behind you. Well we have all had those thoughts and doubts, you are not alone on that one! But I am here to tell you that you can do it, yes! And it won’t cost you a fortune. How you ask? Well here are my simple tips to making a start on a better you, while on a budget.
1. You don’t need a gym membership you live in Australia, where we have beautiful sunshine, fresh air and amazing parks and outdoor spaces. Utilise this as much as you can! As well as getting fit, you are also get fresh air and more oxygen into your body, it will make you feel amazing and make you happier!
2. Have a training partner someone who can make you accountable for turning up to train. We all know that if our alarm goes off at 5am we can think twice about pulling our bum out of bed to go train, but having someone to meet, will bring a whole new aspect to it. You won’t want to let that person down, so you will get out of bed and go meet them and have an awesome workout. It will also make you work harder, try and set each other little goals and even have mini competitions on who can get the more reps or who can finish a round quicker. And most of all, make it fun.
3. Eat seasonally it’s that simple. By eating seasonally you will be saving money, most supermarkets will have offers or special prices for seasonal produce while non seasonal produce will cost you an arm and a leg. The produce will also be full of flavour! You can even stock up, making several meals to freezer for a later date, it’s a great money saver.
4. Shop locally there are so many farmer’s markets around nowadays that we are spoilt for choice! These are great ways to save money as generally they will have deals on their produce and as they don’t have to pay the middle man, they can sell them for a cheaper price. A top tip is to go towards the end of the market day, most stall holders will drop their prices down as they need to sell all the fresh produce that day, bagging yourself an even bigger bargain!
5. Try less expensive cuts of meat. We all know that we should be eating organic grass fed meat as it has many more health benefits for us, but sometimes it isn’t that simple, it’s hard to find and to tell you the truth its expensive. Try buying some different cuts of meat such as organ meats, shin of beef, whole chickens, they tend to be much tastier, more nutritious and less expensive, meaning that you can still eat organic meat and not have to compromise.
6. Cooking at home is such a great idea and will save you money. We all love going out for dinners and having someone else cook for us, especially if it’s a food that you have no idea how to cook. But cooking at home can be fun, easy and relieve stress from your day. If you are unsure of recipe ideas, there are so many online that you can access for free. Also start simple if you aren’t use to cooking, you don’t want to set yourself a huge challenge and then fail, it will give you doubt and we don’t want that.
7. Grow your own produce this is sure to save you money. If you have a garden, allotment or even a balcony, why not start growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs. Seeds costs barely anything nowadays and with the great weather we have in Australia they will flourish in no time. You can go online for free tips on how to get started with growing your own produce. I dare you to give it a try, it will make you feel proud that you have grown something of your own.
Here is a list of local farmers markets that you can attend;
- • Fox studios - Wednesdays
- • Double bay – Thursdays
- • Hornsby – Thursdays
- • Beaches market – Fridays
- • Kings cross – Saturdays
- • Bondi beach – Saturdays
- • Paddington – Saturdays
- • Leichhardt – Saturdays
- • Marrickville – Sundays
- • Frenchs forest – Sundays
- • Manly – every 1st and 3rd Saturday
And a link on seasonal produce
I hope that these tips help you, like they have me. Let me know if you have any questions or would like more advice on your health journey.
Enjoy and good luck!
For more info or to request a nutrition consultation call Lisa direct on 0426897957
TOP TIPS TO SURVIVE THE SILLY SEASON
Now don’t get me wrong I love the odd glass of wine and I’m not here to spoil Christmas BUT Summer is on our doorstep and if you want to look and feel your best over the warmer months you need to think about implementing a few healthy anchors to keep you on the straight and narrow. Lets face it in Australia for many social butterflies the silly season starts from Melbourne cup and continues until Australia day, that’s 3 months of picnics, prawns, chardy, beer and pav or in other words 3 months of excessive calories and a growing porch.
Its not about avoiding all your favourite treats, it’s about having a plan to support a balance between your social life and weight management. Here are my top tips to help you survive the silly season:
It’s all about the portion size. Order the entrée size serving instead of the large main size serving; you want to feel full not stuffed. Enjoy a bit size portion of dessert not the whole cake.
Factor in your cheat meals If you know you have a night out involving dinner and drinks then make sure you eat really clean and watch your portions throughout the day before you go out.
Exercise the morning after a night out/ calorie splurge Getting up and exercising first thing enables you to utilize any excess calories consumed the night before. If you are up and exercising after a calorie splurge you have more chance of maintaining your weight.
Include low calorie, low carbohydrate days Including days that keep the calories down and blood sugars low is good for the metabolism and maintaining weight. It also keeps you focused and disciplined.
Always look to increase vegetables Pass on the bread & replace starchy carbohydrates with vegetables and salads. Grilled fish and seasonal salad is always a good restaurant option.
Drink water or mineral water before the meal arrives This will control over eating and the temptation to pick at the bread.
Choose your poison If you’re a desert person then enjoy a desert, if you’re a lover of wine then enjoy a couple of glasses of wine, just don’t have both! Choose what you most like to indulge in, factor it into your week and enjoy it.
I hope this helps
Start your post winter slim down now!
Winter is usually the time of year spent indulging in warm comfort foods and lazing on the couch. But before you know it the long, baggy clothes will be coming off and Spring will be at our doorstep. That’s when squeezing into last year’s summer clothes can really be an eye opener to just how well you have taken care of your body during Winter.
My tip is to start your Spring slim down a few weeks early, that way you’re feeling confident and ready for the warmer season. Break it down into 3 steps so you don’t feel overwhelmed, rather focused and in control.
Step 1 Clear Out Your Pantry and Fridge
Take out all processed, nutrient poor foods so that you have space to fill them with clean, whole foods.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, lean organic protein, nuts, seeds and good oils should be the base of your diet.
Step 2 Plan Your Meals
For the week ahead plan out your daily meals so you know exactly what you’re eating and exactly what you need to have prepared. This way you’re not stuck with having to choose a quick unhealthy take out meal. Finally, go online and try a new recipe each week so you can get excited about your meals and take control of what you put into your mouth.
Step 3 Exercise
If your exercise routine has dwindled over Winter it’s time to ramp it up! Something as simple as getting up early and adding morning walks to your day can make a big difference to your overall weight loss. Ideally you’re aiming to exercise for 6 days a week. It may seem like a lot but considering most of us are sitting all day 6 days a week the same amount of exercise is needed if you really want to slim down. Exercise options are endless; long walks, bike riding, weight training, running, swimming, yoga – there is no excuse not to get active! Now get moving!!
The Health Whisperer xx
The following video of my 2014 New York marathon journey reminds me that life is all about setting goals, challenges, fun, laughter and memories. I still get goose bumps when I watch it, I hope it brings a smile to you face and motivation to your day. Enjoy xx
Are celebrities destroying the nutrition industry?
So I have thought long and hard about this and it may very well come back to bite me in the arse but I have never been one to hold back so here goes.
What the hell is going on with unqualified individuals preaching nutrition? As a nutritionist I am blown away with how many people tell me they are basing their nutrition on books written by unqualified people and if that wasn’t scary enough they are expecting me to be happy about it.
How is it that a journalists approach to quitting sugar has now become mainstream nutrition guidelines?
Yes we need to avoid processed sugars but this is only one part of achieving an optimum diet. Let me tell you something from years in clinic, there is not one blanket approach to nutrition.
Do I follow a vegetarian diet? No but I certainly respect anyone who does. Do I eat a lot of sugar? No but I’m not obsessive about it and will enjoy the occasional slice of homemade carrot cake (shock horror).
Many different diets have credibility and you are going to find studies to back just about any nutrition approach. 20 years ago those backing the “low fat diet” were basing their views from available research and I bet they were just as passionate as the current “low sugar” converts.
Ill tell you what the real problem is, we are all focusing on restriction and “bad” foods; no sugar, no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no processed foods….. How about we instead start focusing on recommended foods, nourishing foods, quality food, foods that don’t make us feel guilty and foods that make us happy.
Having a celebrity tell you what to eat is ridiculous. Ive got an idea, how about a balanced approach to food and nutrition? A diet where nothing is off limits you simply choose to nourish more often than not, a diet where you don’t feel guilty for adding honey (sugar) to your tea, a diet where you can enjoy a meal out with friends, a diet that is proven time and time again. It is simple, it is a diet filled with living foods (including honey) packed with vitamins, minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals. This is what qualified healthcare practitioners recommend, this is what works and this is what will make you happy and healthy.
Everyone has the right to their opinion and in my opinion life is too short to be obsessed with the latest celebrity crazy, life should be enjoyed and this includes eating carrot cake.
The Health Whisperer xx
We can’t all be size 10 super models!
There is an issue I have been struggling with for a while, the unrealistic view that we all need to be size 10 super models. Social media is playing a big part in this warped view, each morning I scroll through fitness tags on instagram this is what I see…
I see woman from the fitness industry wearing little more than a crop top and “shorts” (I have undies that cover more skin) posing and smiling with a cheesy catch phrase like “good morning peeps, time to exercise”. I ask myself what is the purpose of this post? First of all I find it sad that at 7am the first thing some women think of is to post an imagine of themselves on instagram wearing tiny “shorts”. Back to my question, what is the point of these posts? Is it to inspire other women to get up and exercise so they too can pose in undies? Or is it simply an excuse to show off their amazing bodies? I think we all know the answer to this.
What I would like to stress is these women do not represent the average population and it upsets me to hear my clients compare themselves to these women. We all can’t be size 10 supermodels and that’s ok! I’m not saying we shouldn’t set goals to be the fittest and healthiest we can be, of course we should. What we shouldn’t be doing is comparing ourselves to women who can’t differentiate between undies and shorts.
With years in clinic I can tell you for a fact that for many people it is not as simple as calories in v’s calories out. I have women come in with near perfect diet diaries, exercising daily yet struggling to drop 1 kg. I will share with you what I explain to them; the body doesn’t know what to do with a calorie until instructed by our hormones. In other words hormones dictate how we utilize calories and reduce body fat. Some of the hormones I am talking about are insulin, cortisol, human growth hormone and thyroid hormones. If you suffer with insulin resistance, high stress, poor sleep or hypothyroidism chances are weight loss for you is slow, hard work and at times feels like you are pushing shit up hill, pardon the French. It is with this science and clinic experience I can say we are not all meant to be size 10 super models.
It is time woman stop comparing themselves to fitness professionals who exercise and diet for a living; its time women start competing against themselves. Pull out a pair of jeans that you really want to fit into and set a goal to be the slimmest YOU can be. Stop making it ONLY about the scales and start making it about optimum nutrition and fitness goals. Register for a 10km run or set yourself a goal of chin ups in the gym, make your goals challenging yet achievable and start praising yourself when you achieve them. For some it may be slow and extra hard work but that’s what makes it even more special when you get there.
Do you want to know what heavily impacts on health and longevity? No it is not taking a selfie at 7am, it is happiness! If posing in your undies makes you happy then good for you, seriously good for you. Ill tell you what makes me happy; setting goals and smashing them, running 10km just cos I can, a glass of red wine, lifting weights every morning with my boys, dark chocolate goji berries, seeing my clients achieve results, eating organic, crossing the finish line of any race and of course my friends and family.
I am a nutritionist and far from physical perfection, my weight goes up and down, I have enough junk in my trunk to rival J Lo but I am bloody fit, super happy and like what I see in the mirror. We can’t all be size 10 super models nor should we want to be.
The Health Whisperer xx