How To Stay Fit Without Sacrificing Self-Care

Guest Post by Sheila Olson

My name is Sheila and I’m on a journey of exploration: what is the relationship between fitness motivation and self care? I overdid the “fitness motivation” side of the equation for years – I pushed and goaded myself along with guilt until my world collapsed and I discovered the deep unhappiness I’d been avoiding. I learned that fitness burnout is real and can happen to anyone who isn’t careful about keeping an eye on balance. Please visit me at FitSheila.com

 How To Stay Fit

Without Sacrificing Self-Care

Between weight control, increased strength, greater self-confidence, improved mood, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, exercise has many benefits. But when staying fit turns into a full-blown obsession that moves all other priorities to the wayside — to include relationships — it’s time to make adjustments so you can administer proper self-care. Being healthy does not come from one singular action, which is why it’s crucial that you’re living a balanced lifestyle so you feel well in your mind, body, and spirit.

Pursue Balance… Literally

One of the best ways to incorporate self-care into your already active lifestyle is by adding yoga and meditation to your workout routine. With consistent practice, you’ll see amazing physical and mental benefits, including better breathing and less stress. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a calm, meditative space in your home where you can easily retreat at least once per day. It doesn’t have to be a whole room. Simply a corner of a room will work in most cases, as long as the layout and design help you focus your mind. 

Establishing Normal And Healthy Eating Habits

Eating too much or too little, skipping meals, or eating too many processed foods all have negative side effects, like severe weight fluctuations, vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, high cholesterol and blood pressure, skin conditions, mood swings, and lethargy. By establishing proper eating habits, you’ll have improved physical and mental health. It can be hard to replace a bad habit with a good one, but here are some tips to get you on track:  

  • Eat A Balanced Diet

When it comes to eating, learning and applying the original food pyramid (45 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 30 percent healthy fats) to your diet will help you establish sustainable healthy eating habits. 

  • Kick The Junk Food Habit

Processed and fast foods can cause weight gain, heart disease, and cancer, so it’s best to eat a diet filled with “real” foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole-grains, and healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil. Many health experts actually suggest shopping the perimeter of the grocery store to avoid the middle aisles that are typically stocked with unhealthy convenience foods. The more vegetables you can eat the better. Aside from being nutritional powerhouses, they’re chock-full of fiber and water so they help you feel full without consuming a lot of calories. 

  • Track What You’re Eating

Whether you use an app, notes in your phone, or go the old-fashioned route with a pen and a journal, log everything you’re eating. Not only does it help you stay within a healthy calorie range, but it can be a tool to assess your habits — for better or for worse. To better manage your weight (to include loss), figure out how many calories you need each day.

  • Be Mindful Of The Way You Eat

Never let yourself become too hungry or get too full as both can sabotage your weight loss efforts. 

Get Enough Sleep

No matter how busy life gets, sacrificing sleep to get things done is liable to backfire in the form of weight gain, depression, reduced immune system, impaired memory, clumsiness, heart disease, and cancer. Implement healthy habits into your lifestyle in an effort to make it easier to get ample shuteye. 

  • Don’t drink caffeine 6-8 hours before bedtime.
  • Establish a regular bedtime and stick to it.
  • Avoid exercise before bedtime, but note that physical activity done earlier in the day can help with sleep.
  • De-stress before bed by meditating, listening to relaxing music or ambient noise, or taking a hot bath.
  • Never bring work or undesirable activities like paying bills into the bedroom — keep it a place of peace.
  • Don’t look at your phone before bed or during the night — keep it in another room to avoid temptation. 

Be Mindful Of Other Health Issues

If you’re recovering from a mental or physical illness, make sure you speak to your doctor about limitations or restrictions with regard to exercise — though you shouldn’t have to avoid it all together. In fact, physical activity can be extremely beneficial for people with other health issues. For example, exercise can help people with chronic illnesses boost their mood and improve their quality of life. Group classes, team sports, and the gym environment are all good ways to meet healthy, like-minded people, too. 

If you’re having problems finding balance between exercise and self-care, don’t waste any time. Speak to a professional who can help you understand the root of your obsession. While it may take some time to establish balance, it’s never too late to make improvements to your health — to include reversing any damage both mentally and physically.    

Photo Credit: Pixabay

The Skinny on Fats

Fat is a necessary part of our diet – but, How much is too much? 

 There is no magic number when it comes to fats.
 
Each gram of fat is 9 calories – no matter what kind of fat it is.
 
We get fats in our diets and our bodies make it’s own fat from extra calories.
 
Limiting consumption of fats to 20% – 35% is recommended by the Mayo Clinic for a healthy diet.


 

​GOOD FATS
  • Aid in the absorption of Vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Prevent fatty acid deficiency
  • Aid in the production of endorphins
  • Aid in the transmission of nerve impulses
  • Aid in many other functions of the body

MONOUNSATURATED FAT & POLYUNSATURATED FAT

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and trout
  • Flax seed, walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios
  • Safflower oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, peanut oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil are unsaturated oils but are made from GMO crops)
  • Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
  • Avocado
  • Peanut butter and almond butter
​BAD FATS
  • Clog arteries
  • Raise blood pressure
  • Cause obesity
  • Cause diabetes
  • Cause heart disease

 

SATURATED FAT & TRANSFAT

  • Beef, pork lamb, poultry skin, dark meat from poultry
  • Cheese, butter, lard, whole milk, 2% milk, cream cheese, cream, sour cream, ice cream
  • Coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, cocoa butter, stick margarine, some margarines
  • Fried foods
  • Most commercially prepared foods contain partially hydrogenated oils inluding crackers, cookies, pastries, microwave popcorn, snack foods
  • These fats can occur naturally, but are mostly foods from animals.

Know your fats and eat smart!

Who Is Responsible For The Fattening Of America?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 71.6% of American adults were overweight and obese in 2016. The numbers have been climbing for over 30 years. This has been called “The Obesity Epidemic” and obesity has recently been classified as a disease.
 

But who is really responsible?

There are no exact numbers for the amount of overweight/obese people in the United States prior to 1950. I’m certain some people were overweight, but there was no mention of obesity. In the 1940’s, the first drive-in restaurants became popular and fast food was becoming popular. By 1950, 33% of adults were overweight and 9.7% were obese in the United States. The numbers rose slowly and steadily until 1980. Through the 80’s and 90’s, the number of overweight/obese people in the US climbed sharply. Surely, drive-ins and fast-food establishments couldn’t be the only reason.
 
The 1980’s was the Me, Me, Me decade. We wanted what we wanted, and we wanted it now. Credit cards were becoming the way of life – buy now, pay later. And it seems that’s what we’re doing. The 1990’s was the electronic decade. PC’s, mobile phones, email, game systems all kept us sitting, glued to our screens. Exercise was something we scheduled time for (or not). We no longer walked to the arcade, the post office, or to a friend’s house. We played games on the computer with people across the country instead of in the street. Processed foods hit the market in record amounts. Meals were cheap and fast, eaten on the go, and the family dinner was gone.
 
In 1999, there was a meeting of the giants of the food industry – Pillsbury, General Mills, Nestle, Kraft, Nabisco, Proctor & Gamble, Coca Cola, and Mars – to discuss the obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. James Behnke, chief technical officer at Pillsbury, gathered these rivals in the industry to caution them about the possible backlash of the unhealthy and fattening foods they produced. Stephen Sanger, CEO of General Mills, made some valid points about our lack of exercise, our poor choices, and that the food companies were giving the consumer what they wanted. Many of the companies offered low-fat, low-sugar products for the people who wanted them. The companies also had a responsibility to their shareholders. Bottom line – money!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Billions of dollars have been spent on the science and technology of processing foods that make us want more and more and more. Salt, fat, and sugar are the key ingredients of processed foods that make them irresistible. A certain amount of sugar makes us feel the happiest, the amount of fat that makes our mouths water for more, and the salt for a burst of flavor, all combined in carefully and scientifically measured amounts to turn off our brains. Processed foods account for more than 70% of the food we eat.

Billions of dollars are spent on advertising and marketing these processed foods. What color package, what size, what price, and the language used to advertise are all carefully considered. Words like snackability, crunchy and melts in your mouth with cute and fun spokespeople like the M&M’s, the minions, cartoon characters, and movie characters motivate us to buy those brands. Eye-level marketing and marketing to children create more demand for the products. They’re tasty, they’re fast, they’re convenient, and they’re cheaper than cooking. That’s a lot to resist.
 
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss, an investigative reporter for the NY Times, investigates the science and practices of the food industry in their efforts to control what we eat. While Moss doesn’t discuss the subject of obesity, he does explain the food industry’s responsibility for their part in the obesity epidemic. Moss says that, ultimately, the responsibility is the consumers.


We, as the consumers and the decision-makers, must take charge of our eating habits, exercise regimens, and purchasing power. Foods that are nutritionally packed to meet the needs of our body combined with intermittent fasting to reset appetite and insulin sensitivity can stop food cravings and help us lose weight.
 
For more information about nutritional cleansing for weight loss – drop us a line, or call 912-289-8085. 

We’d be happy to help you reach your goals.

Belly Fat – Muffin Top – Pooch

​​Belly fat by any other name is still belly fat.


 
How do we get belly fat and how do we get rid of it?
There are 2 types of belly fat – visceral and subcutaneous. Visceral fat is the fat that is deep within our abdomen surrounding our organs. This fat can affect sugar levels in the blood, cholesterol, digestion, etc. Generally, it’s the first fat you lose when you diet. Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat just under the skin. This fat stores energy. Way back in the days of the cavepeople, food was not a 3-times a day event and they needed to store fat against the days there was no food. Even though we’ve evolved in many ways, we still store energy like cavepeople.

So, what causes it.

POOR POSTURE
As we evolved to homo erectus – our skeleton keeps us balanced and in line with gravity. When poor posture pulls the skeleton out of balance, it will try to compensate. Shoulders get hunched, the spine gets rounded, and hips get pushed forward causing the abdomen to push out. There may not be a lot of belly fat, but it certainly looks like it.
 
HEREDITY
While heredity plays a part in where we store fat, it doesn’t make us fat. We learn what to eat and how to eat from our parents. I’m sure the food is delicious but the nutrition in food has changed since our parents were young. The amount of food we eat in a meal has changed. Food is around us all day in snacks and fast food makes it easy to overeat. The food our parents and grandparents ate no longer exists, so we have to change how and what we eat.
 
SEX and AGE
Females tend to store fat in the chest, hips and thighs during most of their lives. Pregnancy stretches the abdomen and weakens the muscles making it easier to get muffin top. Men tend to store fat in the abdominal area due to the male hormone, androgen. At menopause, women will have more of the male hormone and store fat in the belly. Age causes loss of muscle mass for men and women alike and slows the rate of metabolism. So, it’s easier to store fat and harder to lose it.
 
STRESS and LACK OF SLEEP
When we don’t get enough sleep or don’t sleep well, our body doesn’t rest and repair. This can cause stress. There are so many causes of stress that we may not even realize. It’s more than just the kids, the parents, the spouse/significant other, the coworkers, the bills, the traffic, etc. We see hundreds of advertisements each day. We are beaten with news. We’re online all the time on computers, phones, etc. It’s overwhelming! Our brain releases adrenaline and cortisol when we’re stressed – which, of course, means we store sugar in the form of fat.
 
EATING HABITS and DIGESTION
Fast foods, processed foods, sugary drinks, etc. all contribute to bad eating habits. We store excess calories – and sugars and fats are the easiest to store. Food portions are too large and there is food everywhere. Going to sleep on a full stomach contributes to belly fat. We shouldn’t eat for at least 3 hours before we go to bed so that we have a chance to burn some of the calories. Improper digestion can be (and usually is) caused by stress. It causes gas and bloating and affects the process of digestion and our ability to metabolize calories.
 
LET’S GET RID OF BELLY FAT!!!
We can’t do sit-ups and crunches to get rid of belly fat. There is no such thing as “spot reducing” exercises. Strengthening the muscles will help hold the fat in but won’t get rid of it.
 
EXERCISE
Get moving! We have to burn fat from the whole body. Depending on health and physical abilities, get moving. Start with walking, then move on to more strenuous activities like dancing, power-walking, cycling and aerobics. Add in weight-training to strengthen core muscles and burn fat faster.
 
SLEEP
We need good, restful sleep to give our body time to repair itself. We have less energy, slower metabolism and more hunger when we’re sleep deprived.
 
STRESS MANAGEMENT
We can’t get away from stress, but we can learn to manage it. Do things that you enjoy – listen to music, meditate, practice yoga, breathe deeply. Have some time to yourself – even if it’s just a few minutes. Managing stress is harder than it sounds and takes practice, but the results are well worth it.
 
EATING HABITS
Nutritious, healthy foods that are low in sugars and fats are the best choices. Processed foods are out. Portion size is important. Carry healthy snacks so that hunger is under control. Don’t eat late at night.
 
What about “spot reducing” with Light Technology?
LED and infrared light technology can be used to target trouble spots like muffin top, back fat, saddlebags, etc. – anywhere there is fat on the body. This technology can release fat from the cells and the cells will shrink. That fat is converted to energy and is ready to be worked off.


  It may seem impossible, but it’s very possible.

Set your goals, make a plan, and don’t give up.

For help reaching your goals, drop us a note. We’d be happy to help!

It’s National Fruit & Veggie Month – Are You Getting Enough?

September is National Fruit & Veggie Month to remind us that we need to eat more of these healthy, colorful foods. Unfortunately, too many of us don’t get enough.


 
Only one-third of teens eat the daily recommended requirement of vegetables and only one-fourth eat the recommended amount of fruit. Boys eat more fruits and veggies than girls. Younger teens eat better than older teens. It seems that the older we get, the less fruits and vegetable we eat. Only 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended daily servings of these healthy foods.
 
We can’t buy a month’s worth of fresh fruits and vegetables because they’ll rot. Frozen is a great alternative to fresh. They retain much of their nutrition and have no added ingredients. Canned foods lose some of their nutrients during the canning process and may have added salts, preservatives, and other chemicals. The cans are lined with BPA which has been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
 
A lot of people use juicing and smoothies to get those necessary foods into their diets. Juicing and smoothies can contain a lot of sugar but not much fiber. Healthy smoothies use coconut water, almond milk, water, or vegetable broth as the liquid with whole fruits and vegetables and possibly some protein.
Unhealthy, but most likely tasty, smoothies use milk, soy milk, or juice only as the liquid. They may contain too many calories from fruits high in sugar. Nuts and some fruits like avocados may be high in calories from fats. Always find out exactly what the ingredients are and what a real serving size is before you drink it.
 
Keep in mind – some fruits and vegetables are higher in carbs than others. I use all-natural fruit and vegetable powders that are cleanly processed so that nutrition is not lost. These powders are really versatile and they taste great!

For more information – just call us! 912-289-8085