How Forming a Wellness Vision Creates Behavior Change

How do you accomplish a wellness goal when you are unsure of how to change the behavior pattern?  Without creating a wellness “blueprint” or vision for success, it is difficult to carry out the steps to get to that place. However, when we have a clear vision, the actions steps to get to those goals become much easier execute.

So how do we form that vision? It is up to you to create your vision as everyone’s differ depending on what goals they are trying to accomplish. However, the formula to create the vision is going to be the same. You just need to answer a few basic questions and the blueprint forms itself.

When creating your wellness vision, ask yourself what are 3 areas would I like to improve in my life ?

Close your eyes and imagine what it would look and feel like if you had already accomplished these things.

Some examples of a wellness vision may be :
In the next 3 months, I would like to look better in my clothes and be a more desirable weight, 140 pounds. I would like to play with my children without tiring. I would like to reduce my cholesterol and diabetes numbers.

Whatever the vision may be, make sure you form it into a sentence, because this is the sentence you will keep referring back to often while working to achieve your goals.

Now list all your motivators.

What are the things that really move you to make the change?

Some examples are:

  • Your family
  • Your self image
  • Increasing confidence
  • An event
  • A feeling you would like to gain or improve

Next, list your obstacles.

What are the things getting in your way ?

Some common examples are :

  • Work life balance
  • Time management
  • Lack of support
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Low motivation

Now look at the things you are really good at.

  • Is it easy for you to listen and give advice to others?
  • Do you support others visions?
  • Are you a leader?
  • Do you have a natural hobby or talent that you were born with or something that has always interested you ?
  • Are you a great planner for your family and children’s activities?

Are you a great multi-tasker?

Use these strengths to overcome your obstacles.

Set a one week goal for yourself and start with something simple, like:

I will go to the grocery store today and look for healthy items to cook so I can bring my lunch to work at least 3 times this week.

Once you have achieved this goal look within and see how this made you feel?
Did you feel better ? How did your body feel? How about your energy level ? Did you feel a sense of accomplishment?

As weeks progress see if you can increase this same goal by frequency or duration.

Then move on to the next goal.

By making making small goals realistic and doable they can be achieved more easily.
This makes it easier to maintain the current goal and move onto the next one.

The goal is to find a happy medium so that our diet, physical activity, stress, sleep, and happiness are all balanced.

If you feel you had hit a roadblock go back to your vision, look at your motivators, obstacles, strengths , and see if there is something you can re adjust.

Accept roadblocks, challenges, and disruptions that come along. Remember your vision and regroup.
Listen to you body and feel your emotions.
If you need to rest and regroup do this.
Your body will let you know what it needs and when.

In the end, your wellness vision creates your blueprint for success and will guide you to where you need to go.
Always look to this vision for guidance and you will be amazed how your mind and body will work out the rest for you!

Have a great week everyone 🙂

Fake Sugars..There is No Free Ride

Lets talk about the “Fakers!” I once was a Splenda/Stevia Beliver Faker Supporter! Back in 2007, while working at St Vincents Hospital as an RN, you wouldn’t catch me without 2 Splendas per coffee x 3 coffees a shift. Not to mention the Splenda’s in my purse, locker, and apartment. My sister actually told me they affected my liver which in turn affected my metabolism and that’s why I wasnt losing weight, but I didn’t listen too much!

Then I discovered Stevia in 2014! I though this it! March 2014 I added it to my baking, my teas, now as an Nurse Practitioner I had it ay my desk, in my purse, and at home. I was using it in my 2 cups of coffee in the morning, and adding to tea at night. At least I was tasting something sweet for once!

Well, I still wasn’t losing weight. Hmmmmmm. Starting checking blood sugar on a glucometer after drinking it in green tea…numbers just a tad high. Went to get blood work, HgbA1c (the number that tracks blood glucose for 3 months) was prediabetic. Not good. Also cortisol ( stress hormone) levels through the roof. What was going on here? Yes I was a bit stressed, but who isnt, but I was off sugar, carbs, dairy, was it the Stevia? Could it be the fake sugars? Coud it be the coffee? Why were my adrenal taxed? Work and life was pretty good..

The answer… Yes! You cannot continue to fake your body out. It knows better. it was causing me to not lose and was causing my sugar to remain high. As soon as I stopped all sugars, the numbers were normal. And as a side note, when I stopped coffee, more weight fell off…more proof that some peoples adrenals are hyper senstitve to caffeine (not all people) I may mention..but in some patients, I do see them lose more weight whem switching from coffee to green tea to nothing caffeine.

Addressing Fake Sugars like Stevia and Splenda and anything ending in -ose on that back of your nutrition label is so important when trying to maintain your weight. I often find when doing an assessment of what my patients are eating throughout the day, they are using these “fakers” as a substiitiute. I am here to tell you from personal experience and now clinical experience fake sugars are not a healthy option. You will also not lose weight with them. You will also stress your adrenal glands out with them. Your liver will suffer. Your metabolism suffers. And any hope you had of not craving sugar anymore, which happens, its real, I promise, is not going to happen if you continue to ingest something that is thousands of times sweeter than real sugar.

Here is why fake sugars make you gain weight from Dr. Mark Hyman:

The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered some frightening facts that should make us all swear off diet drinks and products.

  1. Diet sodas raised the risk of diabetes more than sugar-sweetened sodas!
  2. Women who drank one 12-ounce diet soda had a 33 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes and women who drank one 20-ounce soda had a 66 percent increased risk.
  3. Women who drank diet sodas drank twice as much as those who drank sugar- sweetened sodas because artificial sweeteners are more addictive and are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar.
  4. The average diet soda drinker consumes 3 diet drinks a day.

You might say that people who are overweight and just about to get diabetes drink more diet soda, but they scientifically controlled for body weight. And they found the artificial sweeteners increased diabetes independent of body weight!

This and other research shows how diet sodas make people fat and sick.

And that diet drinks may be even worse than regular sugar sweetened sodas!!

How does that happen?

  • Artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar activating our genetically programmed preference for sweet taste more than any other substance.
  • They trick your metabolism into thinking sugar is on its way. This causes your body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
  • It also confuses and slows your metabolism down, so you burn less calories every day.
  • It makes you hungrier and crave even more sugar and starchy carbs like bread and pasta.
  • In animal studies, the rats that consumed artificial sweeteners ate more, their metabolism slowed, and they put on 14 percent more body fat in just two weeks – EVEN eating less calories.
  • In population studies there was a 200 percent increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers.

So the next question is: Are you saying not to eat sugar? No

I am saying joing the 25 grams of sugar per day club, no more than 25 grams of real sugar per day.

You are going to see results with this. Your metabolism will still work properly. Your liver will be fine. our adrenals will not be stressed. Your blood sugar, weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure numbers will reverse. I see it happen every day in practice, so we know this is working. But do not think you can fake your body out with fake sugar, because your body is the smartest computer that was every invented and it will send you signals to let you know when it is going to crash!

Remember, when you are losing motivation, think back to your Wellness Vision, the things you want for yourself more than ever, and visualize those thoughts coming into reality! Let those feelings, things, and actions help you to regain control!

Have a Great Week!!

Tricks to Boost Metabolism: What Works

We have all been there. We lose weight and then all of the sudden… We stall out! So what can we do? We have got to kick our metabolism back into high gear! How we do this? I am going to tell you a few ways I have seen work…for my patients and myself. Here is the Combo that Fuels Weight Loss: I could spend lots of time telling you what to avoid eating but I want to be positive here.  To re cap: Shop on the exterior of the supermarket, buy fresh, avoid packaged foods and think getting back to basics, watch portion size, listen to hunger cues, and avoid eating out too much. I also live by the no more than 25 grams of sugar per day rule personally. This also makes me feel better, crave less sugar/carbs/breads, keep weight off, decrease bloating/stomach pains, and have more energy. Here is the Combo that Fuels Weight Loss:

1. Drinking Green Tea

Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Credit EGCG, a compound in the brew that temporarily speeds metabolism after sipping it. To up your intake, keep a jug of iced tea in the fridge.

2. Eating Protein…Especially for Breakfast

Why does your belly like to start its day with protein? It turns out the calorie-burning, muscle-building nutrient takes serious time to digest, meaning it vacates your system far later than, say, the English muffin that leaves you ravenous by 10 a.m. Plus, protein stimulates the secretion of a gut hormone (called Peptide YY) that triggers long-lasting feelings of fullness, per recent research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

3. High Intensity Cardio Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout. It sounds too simple to be effective, but science doesn’t stretch the truth. In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!

4. Eat Healthy Fats such as Salmon

Fish such as sardines, salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive effect on metabolism. According to the American Heart Association, people should eat fatty fish at least two times per week. A single serving is 3.5 ounces of cooked fish. One serving or 3.20 ounces of sardines provides 1.34 grams or 55.8 percent of the recommended daily value for omega-3 fatty acids. One serving or 4 ounces of salmon provides 1.47 grams or 61.2 percent of the recommended daily value for omega-3 fatty acids. One serving or 4 ounces of tuna provides 0.33 grams or 13.8 percent of the recommended daily value for omega-3 fatty acids. These fish boost your levels of fat-burning enzymes and decrease your levels of fat-storage enzymes. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids lower the body’s leptin levels, thus allowing your body to burn calories at a much faster pace. Leptin is a hormone that plays an important role in weight control.

5. Eat Almonds

Although all nuts are generally very good for you, almonds are the winner! They are loaded with healthy fat, fiber, and protein, and contain just the right proportions of essential fatty acids that you need to raise your metabolism. Nuts are high in calories though, so don’t go overboard! 10 – 15 almonds equals one serving…. Not 50. Pine nuts, cashews and walnuts are also very good choices… but again, make sure you don’t eat too many.

6. Eat Apples and Blueberries

An apple a day is good for more than just “keeping the doctor away”; Apples are also great for keeping fat away! Each apple is loaded with 15% of your daily recommended fiber, which impedes absorption of glucose in the bloodstream to help regulate blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of dietary sugar intake. Apples will also make you feel full longer, help keep your digestive system healthy and strong, and contain a plethora of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants.They are naturally sweet, and are packed full of antioxidants, metabolism-boosting vitamins and phytochemicals, and cancer-fighting flavanoids. Blueberries and raspberries also contain lutein, which helps promote healthy vision.

7. Drink Water

Water is paramount to developing a lean, healthy physique. Not only is it a vehicle for flushing fat from your system, but it’s also crucial for your bodies messaging system to fire correctly. And drinking water can actually raise your metabolism.Being dehydrated can cause cravings, and tricks your mind into thinking you’re hungry, rather than thirsty. Staying hydrated keeps your body balanced, and helps you become more in tune with your internal senses of need.

8. Reduce Stress and Rest When Needed

To reduce the fight or flight mechanism on our bodies that is triggered during times of stress, we need to work to learn how to deal with our stress. When the cavemen stressed, it was because food was scarce. For them, feeling stressed was a good thing—it triggered a survival mechanism that slowed their metabolisms to save their precious body fat for energy.Our bodies are the same as the cavemen’s, except these days we stress out over crashing computers, lost cell phones, busy work schedules, or just in juggling day-to-day tasks.We’re lucky enough that even in the most stressful times, food is not scarce. However, the stress-induced survival mechanism that the cavemen experienced still functions in our bodies. This is why during periods of stress—non-food related stress—your metabolism drops. Cortisol levels, will increase, and this will create belly fat so keeping our stress at bay is key!

9. Eat smaller meals every 3-4 hours

The act of eating actually raises your metabolism. Digesting food takes energy, and a different amount of energy is required for each macronutrient. So eating several meals, as opposed to three squares, raises your metabolism five to six times a day, as opposed to only three.This technique works on another level. When your body doesn’t get food, your metabolism slows down. This is because our bodies are ingeniously programmed to protect against starvation—when your body senses that another meal may not be coming (even though food in our modern world is in abundance) it holds onto your body fat to use as energy.When you only eat three times a day, your metabolism slows greatly between each meal. On the other hand, by eating consistently every three to four hours, your metabolism will stay elevated, knowing that another meal is coming soon.An added benefit of eating every three hours is that you don’t get hungry. By never getting hungry, you reduce the chances of overeating, or grabbing something quick and unhealthy just because it’s there.

10. Eat Leafy Green Veggies

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, turnip greens and collard greens are rich in iron, which helps boost your metabolism by supporting your red blood cells’ ability to transport nutrients throughout your body. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating leafy green vegetables, noting that they have beneficial nutrients like iron, yet are low in carbohydrates and calories. If you don’t enjoy leafy green vegetables by themselves, be creative about ways to include them with other foods in your regular meals. For instance, replace half of the cheese or one of the eggs with spinach when making an omelet.

I promise if you incorporate this into your daily regimen you will see results. There are many more to name but those are my top picks! It’s best to read my previous posts to get an idea of how these tips fit into a high protein low carb diet to see maximum weight loss results. Adding too many good fats on top of an unhealthy diet will make you gain weight, so you need to make sure you understand the basics of what makes a healthy diet, before adding in more. Have a Great Week and Happy Metabolism Burning!