I don't know about you but I can sure tell when my blood sugar starts to fall. First I notice a little bit of hunger, or maybe I don't notice until suddenly that feeling of hunger is overwhelming. Then one of two things happens next: I eat anything that's not nailed down or I become an irritable bundle of Grouch! Even if I can get past that and eventually eat an appropriate meal, my energy is shot for the rest of the day. This is one trigger to avoid if you are serious about your weight loss!
Hypoglycemia – a fancy name for low blood sugar level. Hypoglycemia occurs when:
- Your body's sugar (glucose) is used up too quickly
- Glucose is released into the bloodstream too slowly
- Too much insulin is released into the bloodstream
Although it is most common in people with diabetes, it can happen for healthy people from time to time as well, especially when there is big fluctuation in blood sugar level, or if a person hasn’t eating for a long period of time.
Skipping meals, not eating enough during meal, genetic tendency for low blood sugar and not compensating by adding extra meals or snacks can all contribute to hypoglycemia. High sugar foods or high glycemic foods can trigger an excessive insulin release, suddenly bottoming out blood sugar levels.
There are a few ways to alleviate mood issues caused by hypoglycemia:
Eat meals that are low in glycemic load: substitute refined grains with whole
grains, include a generous amount of vegetables, and a moderate amount of
protein and good fats which can slow down the absorption of carbs.
To keep blood sugar level even, experiment with having 5 – 6 small meals or snacks
a day, instead of 3 big meals. Add protein to every meal or snack.
Avoid ,as much as possible, all processed foods, and anything that contains sugar and
You can avoid this trigger by taking charge of your food plan and your health! Weight loss and maintaining your ideal weight comes down to the choices you make to fuel your healthy, active, and slender body!
Did summer mean a few added pounds and a little less attention to your weight loss plan? Summer is nearly over. Did it bring all of the potential weight gain slips that vacations, busy schedules, and changes in your routine can bring? Not to mention the summer parties and neighborhood barbeques!
Take a few moments to think about your busy lifestyle and stay in charge of your food choices. After all, you want more energy for your all of your activites, right?
Avoiding refined sugar is one of the best ways to minimize blood sugar spikes and crashes, which cause a drastic change in energy level. The most effective way to get off sugar is to get to the root cause of your sugar cravings. Here are a few strategies:
1. Eat sweet vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, corn, winter squash, sweet potatoes and onion to satisfy our body’s need for sweet taste (which is normal)
2. Eat meals with low glycemic load to avoid fluctuation in energy and blood sugar level. When we crash, we reach for sugar for quick fixes. Combine whole grains and vegetables (high fiber foods) with a moderate amount of good fats and lean protein.
3. Stay hydrated – thirst is sometimes mistaken as hunger, which leads to cravings.
4. Investigate sugar cravings as a result of nutrient deficiency – e.g. chromium and tryptophan.
5. Nourish your soul – some people crave sweets out of boredom or loneliness.
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Over a quarter of Americans are obese - and with that comes many weight-related health issues. Here are the top 10 reasons why America has become a nation of overweight people - avoid them and you can free yourself from our nation's "fat trap":
1. Too much processed foods – they are cheap and convenient, but they are also full of sodium, sugar, chemicals and empty calories. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it will crave more food.
2. Low intake of fresh, whole foods – they are nutrient dense, and when your body gets the necessary nutrients, you will have fewer cravings.
3. Sedentary lifestyle – many people are taking in more than they burn.
4. Supersized portions – the larger the portion in front of us, the more we eat.
5. Supersized dishware – our plates has become larger and larger. We need more food to fill the plate. Our perception of portion size apparently is affected by the size of the plate.
6. Advertising and marketing – big corporations throw a lot of marketing money on processed foods.
7. Misinformation and disinformation – people are confused what to eat. Unfortunately the labels on processed and packaged foods are not always telling the whole story.
8. Cost of food – processed, mass- produced food, and foods made with subsidized crops are cheaper than fresh produce and other sustainably grown whole foods. High fructose corn syrup is a great example – it is found in a lot of food items we get in the store.
9. Time management – most people are always on the go. They eat while they are doing other things, and this mindless eating often makes people overeat. Many people don’t have time to cook – they depend on fast food, take out, or dining out – most of the time such foods are loaded with fat, sugar, sodium, and hidden calories.
10. Stress – when we are stressed, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which packs a triple whammy. Cortisol slows metabolism, affects blood sugar level, increases fat storage, and promotes cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods.
Are you grumpy early in the morning? Do you crash after lunch? Do you have all the energy you need to get things done in your day?
I find I am very sensitive to those blood sugar crashes. You know, the ones that come when you push past your usual lunch break to meet a deadline or squeeze in one more task, or in my case, one more client? I can run on the adrenaline of the session, but when it's over, so am I. I hate that stopped in your tracks feeling. I always have more I want to get done and when I let my blood sugar crash, I know I won't accomplish more in that day. It feels like someone turned my brain off.
To minimize spikes and crashes in energy level, you want to make sure your nutritional intake supports a sustained flow of energy by limiting fluctuation in blood sugar level. An even blood sugar level can also help you improve your focus and concentration, and help you prevent mood swings caused by hypoglycemia.
Here are 5 tips to use nutrition to support a sustained flow of energy:
1. Eat meals with a low glycemic load – combine whole grains and vegetables (high fiber foods) with a moderate amount of good fats and lean protein.
2. Eat foods rich in B vitamins, such as whole grains and nutritional yeast.
3. Eat just the right amount and type of protein for your body – keep a food journal to see how much protein works best for you.
4. Stay hydrated – dehydration often causes fatigue and headache. How much is enough? Divide your body weight in half. That's the number of ounces to aim for in a day. (If you weigh 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water each day!)
5. Avoid caffeine, which worsen blood sugar fluctuation. A little natural caffeine is good for the brain; just don't run on caffeine as a source of energy!
Can't figure out how to incorportate these tips into your lifestyle? Check out our group coaching offer for practical help. Sometimes you just need a weight loss coach to make it all fit!
Tired of feeling tired? Get moving. The more active you are the more energy you have. It doesn't take a marathon to get results in your mood, your health or your brain finction. Can you find a small amount of time in your schedule? Can you find five to eight minutes a couple of times in your day. Set yourself up for successful exercise by carving out two, three or four periods of time in your day and creating "exercise moments" during these times.
I like dancing in my kitchen. It's my favorite way of adding exercise into my busy day. I keep a couple of CD's of my favorite fast beat music in my kitchen. While I'm waiting for that pot to boil or my food to finish cooking I turn on the music and let myself move. The style of my dance steps doesn't matter. I just let myself go all out. I move my arms. I jump or swing or high step. Depending on the music, two or three songs give me a good eight minutes of active exercise.
Do you have stairs in your house? Use the lower step as your aerobic equipment. Put on your favorite tunes and step away!!
Want to include a little strength training? Use the wall in your kitchen to do pushups. Use canned vegetables as hand weights. You don't need special equipment or a gym membership. You don't need a full hour in your day. You just need more active movement than you are currently doing. Weight loss doesn't happen overnight, but increasing your activity has immediate results for your health, energy level and mental clarity.
Set yourself up for success by making it easy to be more active. Keep your walking shoes visible and convenient for you to put on after work. Take a brief walk when you come home. Even 15 mminutes will clear your head and improve your brain function. Keep your resistance bands next to your favorite chair. Use them during one of your TV shows. Using your muscles increases your level of fitness.
What creative ways will you find to incorporate more activity into your day?
It might be easy to confuse what "allowing" really means. There's lots of different ideas here. Some people think that allowing means to passively wait for something to happen. Some people send a wish out to the universe and hope that somehow circumstances will change and they will magically receive their wish. I wish I had a Fairy Godmother too but that is not how the universe works. The last time I wished for a five pounds of weight loss, my Fairy Godmother must have been on vacation! Waiting for someting to happen is the equivalent of being asleep. Nothing gets done.
Allowing can be compared to mowing your lawn or planting a garden. To keep your yard neat, you have to put some effort into it. But mowing the grass doesn't stop it from growing. Even if you don't pay much attention to your flowers they still bloom. There is a natural cycle of things. These cycles occur whether we are awre of them or not.
Your ideas evolve in a similar way. An idea may pop into your awareness. You may even spend a little time thinking about how that idea is useful or how it might work out. Or you might imagine what it would feel like to have that idea blossom into fruition. But without mowing, and nurturing, without taking action, your idea will be strangled by the weeds of distraction.
So let's carry the metaphor through for your success. An idea requires mowing: refining it into a specific goal or outcome. This gives you a clear direction upon which to focus.
An idea requires nurturing: specific, targeted actions that bring your idea to full bloom. Allowing means to step into the natural cycle of how things work out and to fully participate in your thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
Are you ready to make those goals for your New Year? If you've evaluated what you don't want and listed what you do want, let's make those goals statements! Before you write down your goals, consider: your goal has to be personal. It won't work to write out a vague statement or one that is too broad. Make your goal statement one that is personal and specific to you and the you you want to become.
A goal has to be an outcome, something that when you've achieved it will leave no doubt in your mind that you have done so. Think about that for a moment: How will you know that you have acheived your goal? What will that do for you or how will you be different? Include that in your goal statement.
And finally, your goal has to be something you can achieve. Now anything is possible, that's not what I mean. You can only achieve what you believe is possible. So do you believe this goal is acheivable? If not, rewrite it. Do you believe you deserve it? If not, set a different goal, one that involves changing your sense of worthiness. I know you deserve whatever you dream of, but do you? Sometimes you'll need a smaller goal at first until you train your brain to accept even greater possibilities. Don't give up on your goal, just understand that there may be stair steps to get to it.
So now, write your goals down. Make them personal and specific, measurable, and achievable. Once you've got them on paper, write several copies and put them everywhere: your bathroom mirror, your nightstand, the dash of your car, the door of the refirgerator, the screen of your computer, in your daily planner. Post them anywhere you spend more than a few minutes. You want your brain to see them them multiple times a day. Once you start reading them several times a day, your brain naturally begins to look for ways to achieve them. And your beliefs begin to align with your desired goal.
That's it! You've done it: Awesome goals for your New Year! Go For It!