hand-crafted health & fitness

Author: tylerk (Page 3 of 4)

Breaking The Fast


Do you tend to skip breakfast in the morning? Did you know this could be your biggest mistake in your journey to health and weight loss?

Believe it or not, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

When we sleep at night our body goes into a fasting state. When we wake up, one of the first things our body needs is for us to break this fast and fuel our bodies for the day to come.

Breakfast is pretty much what determines our energy level for the whole day.

If you don’t have a solid breakfast it will lead to some poor food choices and eating habits.

If you skip breakfast it will actually lead to binge eating (especially at night after dinner) and will also lead to many cravings. This is because if we don’t provide our bodies with the nutrients it needs to start off the day, it will spend the rest of the day trying to catch up. When we haven’t fulfilled our dietary needs our bodies will think we are starving and will make up for it by binge eating and craving foods that aren’t necessarily good for us.

The good news is that most of the calories we eat in the beginning of the day will normally be burned off. Our metabolism is best in the first half of the day and the energy will be used to get us through the day.

If we have a good breakfast, a big lunch, and a small dinner, we will be able to stop eating around 8pm so that our body can go into its fasting state (since metabolism isn’t very good at this time) and will be ready for us to eat breakfast as soon as we wake.

So what should you eat for breakfast?

It is important to have a balanced breakfast and one that is easy to make (for us people who don’t like spending a lot of time cooking in the morning).

The best thing you can make yourself is steel cut oatmeal. It is a whole grain so it has a lot of fiber and protein, too. It will digest slowly so it will keep you from being hungry 2 hours later. The best part of all is that it is totally customizable and is easy to make. All you have to do is add water or milk and cook it for 2 minutes in the microwave (or it can be made on the stove—just takes a little longer). Then you can add any of your favorite fruits, nuts, seeds, etc.


Try eating some steel cut oats when you wake up in the morning. It’s fast and easy and will start your day off with a good energy and will save you from binge eating later in the day, which will ultimately help you lose weight!


Water & Weight Loss


Water-For-Weight-LossDid you know getting enough water on a daily basis can help you lose weight?

I think sometimes we forget that more than half of our body’s are made up of water. So getting sufficient amounts of water is one of the most crucial ways we can maintain a healthy body.

Water is used in our cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate our body temperature and to make sure all of our other bodily functions run smoothly.

Unfortunately, most of my clients show a deficiency in water when we run them through a bioelectrical impedance analysis. I find that many people don’t drink enough water throughout the day to make up for the water lost through breathing, sweating, digestion, etc.

Dehydration is not your friend when you are trying to lose weight.

Dehydration often leads to cravings especially cravings of sweet things. This is because water is used by organs to help release glycogens and other components of your energy stores. If your organs aren’t able to release the glycogens they will not be able to give you energy so your body will start to crave that energy, which in its quickest form comes from sugar.

Oftentimes we have a craving or we think we are hungry when in reality we are just thirsty for some water!! Our bodies are very good at alerting us when we are need of nutrients, but it isn’t specific all of the time. So, we have to remember to keep hydrated and to try to drink a glass of water before eating an unnecessary snack or craving.

How much water should you be drinking a day?

The general rule is that women need about 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water a day and men 3 liters (13 cups). And another general rule I give my clients is to drink an extra glass of water for any alcoholic drink they have.

Are you having a hard time getting in your daily water requirements?

Here are some tips:

  1. drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
  2. drink a glass of water before every meal
  3. buy a new water bottle that you love and will enjoy drinking out of
  4. if you don’t like water, you can infuse your water with any fruit or vegetable or herb (strawberries, cucumbers, lemon, orange, lime, mint, etc)
  5. if you still have trouble getting in water, then try to eat more fruits and vegetables because they have a high water content.


How Slowing Down Can Save Your Life


We are currently living in a very high-speed world. Technology has enabled us to communicate, achieve information, and travel at an impeccably fast pace. As awesome as this technology is to our lives, it is definitely taking a toll on our bodies.

We are all trying to fit so much into our days. We have work, social events to attend, children to drive around everywhere, families to take care of, the list goes on-and-on.

And, to fit all of this into one day, we often find ourselves speeding when driving, multi-tasking when eating, and not even taking time to sit down and eat. In fact, setting time aside to sit down and eat is usually the last thing on our to do list.

I’m sure most people can make the connection that running around all day and doing things fast can cause stress. But most people don’t think about the speed they are eating their food or if they are multi-tasking when they eat.

If you are watching tv, listening to music, reading an intense book, or any type of multi-tasking while you eat it will lead to mindless eating. And, if you are eating mindlessly, you will not be able to listen to your body. This will lead to you eating fast and to eating more than your body needs. If you can’t hear your body telling you to stop eating, then you won’t stop eating!

Physiologically, when we eat fast or are distracted, our bodies go into a state of stress.

When we are in this state, we actually become unable to fully digest and assimilate our food. This is because when our body is in a state of stress, all of the blood flows to our heads so that we are able to think faster. This state of panic is physiologically the same response our body has when we are being chased by a lion. Thus, all of our body’s energy is focused on how to get us out of the stressed state instead of focusing on breaking down our food into something that can fuel us. Our bodies will not register the nutrients in our bodies, which will ultimately lead to weight gain, muscle loss, malnutrition, etc.

So, by slowing down, you will be able to listen to your body much better. Your body will be able to fully digest and assimilate the nutrients in your food. This will help you lose weight and stay healthy because you will be getting the nutrients you need, which will prevent over-eating and cravings.


The Good Side of Cravings


Are you suffering from daily or weekly cravings? Do you ever have an intense desire to binge on something sweet? Or salty? Do you find yourself getting frustrated with this urge?

The good news is that you are not alone and there some easy steps you can take to get rid of the cravings once and for all!

The first step in getting rid of your cravings is to understand where they are coming from (and what they are trying to tell you).

What’s Lacking?

One of the biggest culprits of cravings is simply not getting a balanced diet.

If we don’t have the proper ratio of carbs, fats, proteins,and water, our hormone and blood sugar levels will fluctuate, which will leave our body feeling deprived.

For example, if you don’t have enough carbs in your system, your body will start cravings sweets to meet your body’s energy needs. If you don’t have enough fats, you will crave things such as cheese and dairy. And if you aren’t getting enough water in your system, you become dehydrated and will crave salty foods.

Skipping Meals?

Skipping meals (yes, that includes breakfast) is a huge culprit of cravings. If we aren’t getting enough nutrients in our bodies, it will lead to cravings and binge eating later in the day to attempt to get the energy we need.

Processed Foods?

Still facing cravings? Make sure you try to eliminate as much processed foods out of your diet as possible. Chemicals from processed foods send messages and impulses to our brains, which will trigger addicting cravings.

Beyond Food

Surprisingly, foods aren’t the only thing that drives our bodies to crave certain foods. Do you ever find yourself reaching out for sweets or salty foods when you are bored, lonely, sad, or stressed? Often times, our cravings are simply just a way our bodies remind us to listen to our emotions. When we don’t address our feelings, we will often reach out to food because we unconsciously associate good feelings with food.

Next time you face yourself craving something bad, ask yourself a few questions before digging into that bag of chocolates or chips:

1) Have I skipped any meals today?
2) Have my meals been balanced?
3) Have I had enough water today?
4) Am I actually hungry or just bored?
5) Am I avoiding confronting an issue in my life?
6) Am I stressed? Or bored?

Listen to your body! Our body is an amazing thing. It tells us when we are low on carbs, fat, protein, and water by sending our brain cravings. All we need to do is listen 🙂

If you are struggling with any aspect of this – balancing your diet, skipping meals, emotional eating, don’t struggle alone. Reach out to a health coach or nutritionist like me to guide you along the way! We can help you clarify the messages your body is sending and get you set up on a path that ensures you get the benefits of those cravings instead of the down side.


What Is Stress Doing To Your Body?


Do you ever find yourself exercising hard on a weekly basis, eating a great and healthy diet and still not being able to lose weight?

Well, being healthy is not just about nutrition and fitness; it is about maintaining balance in your life. Oftentimes we have trouble keeping our life balance resulting in stress, which can be a huge problem in losing weight or maintaining a healthy body.

Here is the breakdown of what stress does to our bodies:

Stress puts our bodies into survival mode. And, in this mode, all of the blood rushes to our heads. It is in this state that our instinctual thinking takes charge. There is no critical or higher thinking, but only thinking of how to survive the situation.

In this state, our body loses the ability to perform its normal functions. For example, digestion comes to a halt as all of the blood is in our heads; our brains cannot assess the food in our systems and thus cannot register the nutrients (good or bad) in our bodies. This ultimately leads to weight gain, muscle loss, malnutrition, etc.

Stress can also lead to various other things such as: poor decision making, acne, memory loss, exhaustion and it is one of the top causes of most diseases, cancers, and almost every other health issue.

There are two main types of stressors we face as individuals: unpreventable and self-inflicted.

  • Unpreventable stress includes things such as: death of a loved one, accidents, life events, family situations, etc.
  • Self-inflicted stress includes things such as: road rage, relationships, work, etc.

Self-inflicted stressors are all about the situations you put yourself in and how you react to them.

We are all capable of handling a little stress, but that energy is saved for the unpreventable stressors we face. Thus, it is key that we reduce or eliminate all the self-inflicted stressors in our lives.

If you have relationships that are making you unhappy or take a lot of your energy, then you must fix the problem completely or decide to end that relationship for the stress is not worth it.

If you are in a stressful or un-enjoyable job, then it may be time to change your job.

If you find yourself getting road rage, then take a moment and ask yourself why it is working you up so much.

What can you do to relieve your stress?

Everyone has a different way of de-stressing, but here are a few examples:

  • relax
  • play a sport you love
  • yoga
  • running
  • acupuncture
  • hiking
  • going to your favorite outdoor place
  • writing
  • reading
  • exercising
  • meditating
  • spending time with loved ones
  • listening to music
  • getting a massage
  • taking a nap
  • coloring
  • the possibilities are endless.

And, as always, if you need professional advice or help getting your stress levels down and your life in balance then reach out for help!

The important thing is to recognize that stress has a lasting impact on our bodies from the inside out. Many of us live in a chronic state of stress and one of the most important things we can do for our health is to find ways to relieve stress.


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