Why There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Health

At some point in your life, you or someone you know has probably tried a fad diet. Just as you’re constantly bombarded with fad workouts (hello, Zumba and spinning!), the same goes for dieting.

In the 1990s, major fads included low-fat everything and the widely popular Zone Diet. In the early 2000s, diet trends were everywhere – from the 100-calorie craze to the Subway Diet to the celebrity-endorsed Atkins Diet. There was also a time when portioned frozen meals were the way to go. Most recently, we’ve seen fads like juice cleanses, Paleo, and Whole30 receive significant amounts of both praise and criticism.

People are confused

It’s no wonder why so many people are confused – it’s hard to make sense of it all! But that’s why it’s so important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all diet.

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Do you snack in the evenings?

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You’ve finished dinner and you are watching TV or you are on your computer. Suddenly you get this urge to go to the kitchen and look for something. You look in every cupboard and think: “mmh what I am in the mood for?”. Then you remember this yummy snack that accidently slipped into your shopping cart last time you went grocery shopping and you thank yourself for ditching all healthy eating regimes and you grab the snack without thinking twice. You curl up on the couch and you enjoy the snack to its fullest!

Does this sound familiar?

It does to me.

I used to do this every evening!

At some point I started thinking that my body needed this snack fix. I got so used to it.

Until I met my partner…

He never snacked in the evening. When I went to the cupboard in the search of something sweet and asked him if he wanted something, he would reply with this weird answer that he was not hungry or something! Completely irrelevant! You can read more about “What I have learnt by living with a skinny person” here.

Eventually I felt more and more ashamed of my need to snack when he was not that I tried to stop. When my urge came I would try to distract myself and do something else. I also know that if I snack too late then I will have trouble sleeping, so I set myself a deadline. Snack before 9pm or not at all. By distracting myself enough until 9pm and only then realising how late it was, that really worked. At some point I just didn’t think about it or want a snack.

If you snack in the evenings, try to find out what is missing for you. Why are you snacking? Do you need company? Then talk to your partner or reach out to a friend. Is something else bothering you for you to need to a snack?

Think about it! Those are just extra calories that your body certainly doesn’t need! And you feel so much better if you stop! All of a sudden you are hungry in the mornings for breakfast, which as they say is the healthiest meal of the day!! Read about that here.

For me it was clearly that I was lonely! After moving in with my partner, the need to snack slowly disappeared, by distracting myself long enough that my body eventually didn’t need or want it anymore.

What can you do to stop snacking? Share in the comments below!

PS: I found this article with tricks to help you stop snacking. Take a look!

5 secrets to healthy living and weight loss

Did you know that being overweight or living unhealthily increases your risk of many lifestyle related diseases, like autoimmune diseases, cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and obesity.

Did you know that there are things you can do that would really help you lose weight and hence decrease the risk of getting sick.

Here are 5 of them:

  1. Mindful eating.

Most of us eat too fast and do not really appreciate what we are eating. We often eat while doing something else like working on the computer or watching TV.

The pleasure in eating lies in slowing down! Chew your food and really taste it! Look at the food you’re eating, smell it and notice what you are thinking. Chew each bite at least 30 times and breathe! Turn off the phone, computer or TV. Really be present! Appreciate what you are nourishing your body with.

  1. hara hachi bu

This is a Japanese proverb that means “eat until you are 80% full”. This makes so much sense, as it takes the brain approximately 20 minutes to receive the signal from the stomach that it is full and it’s ok to stop eating. Most of us have lost our ability to listen to our bodies. It takes practice, but you can learn to listen to it again. Try to eat until you are 80% full. I promise you that your body does not need more!

  1. Drink more water

Did you know that your body is made up of between 60-75% water? It’s no surprise that how much you drink can affect your health. Too much water could result in mineral imbalances, while too little could cause dehydration, headaches, or fatigue.

Everywhere you read about water, there is a different recommendation for how much water to drink. Listen to your body and always have water with you! Start your day with water and keep drinking throughout the day. Drink less in the evenings to avoid toilet breaks during the night!

Find your own rhythm, but do drink more water!

  1. Distribute your food

Let’s say you need to eat about 100 units per day (don’t bother worrying about what a unit is or why we need 100, it is just an example). Think about distributing these units throughout the day.

If you used 30 on breakfast, 5 on a midmorning snack and then have a big lunch of 40 units, then you are only left with 25 units for afternoon snack and dinner. In other words, if you have a big lunch, then have a smaller dinner. If you want dessert then only have it once day. Don’t have it after lunch AND after dinner. Choose one and be happy about it. There is always tomorrow. It’s about finding a healthy balance.

  1. Limit your alcohol consumption

If you are going out and you want to drink alcohol, then be smart about it. Firstly, hydrate throughout the day so you don’t mess up your system too much in the evening. Then, eat lightly throughout the day, so you still have a few units to spare when drinking. Finally, choose your alcohol right. Wine has the fewest calories and you don’t need to drink too much before feeling it. Liquor is even better, but watch what you mix it with. Enjoy a gin without the tonic or rum without the coke. If you have to have beer, especially in football season, then have ONE! Enjoy it and then drink wine or liquor the rest of the evening.

I hope this makes sense. I promise you that if you follow these guidelines that you will feel better!

Weight loss doesn’t have to be hard! You need to be smart about it and take one step at a time! If you need more support or guidance, then book a free coaching session with me. Click here to book your session!

Please let me know if you have comments or questions.

 

 

 

What is it I do??

It has come to my attention that people don’t know what I do, so I will try to clarify in this blog post.

In short, I am a Health Coach and I help people live a more healthy life.

I work holistically and look at all areas of your life. We talk about your relationships, your career, your exercise routine and many other things. Living a healthy life is not only about eating right! You can eat as much broccoli as you want, but if you are not happy in your job or your relationship (or lack of), then you will never live a healthy and happy life!

A good food education comes first, as it is really important to nourish your body right! We are made up of lots of cells and other biological material and these cells need nourishment to survive and function properly. In other words, to live we need to eat! Not just eat, but eat the right things! 

Eating right, is pretty simple:

  • Eat less sugar, meat, dairy and processed foods and drink less caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks (juices and sodas).
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds and drink more water!

Simple right?

Not really. If it were that simple then we wouldn’t have an overweight/obesity epidemic!

Unfortunately bad habits and poor food education has made it really hard to live healthy and free of ailments and disease.

Luckily there are people like me 😉 who can set things straight. I can help you change your habits and I can give you the real facts on food!

The difficult part when it comes to food is that there is really no right or wrong. I want you to rethink everything you have learnt about healthy nutrition since your childhood and focus on how you feel instead. The most important thing is to listen to your body, not what the media (or even the government) tells you! You know your body better than anyone else!

We have forgotten how to listen to our bodies. Babies and children do it really well, but as adults we forget how. I am here to help you learn how to listen to your body again. What works and what doesn’t work! And remember, we are all different, so what works for one person doesn’t have to work for another. One persons food, can be another persons poison.

 

But food is not everything.

How is your work/life balance? Do you have time to have fun? Are your relationships draining you or energizing you? Do you live the life you want to live?

These are important questions and we discuss them during our sessions. We are less likely to overeat or binge or treat ourselves poorly when we are in a place of true happiness. We don’t need comfort food, if we are comforted by life. So we need to look at all areas of your life and how they affect you! When these areas are looked at and processed, then what we eat becomes secondary.

It’s all about treating yourself right, being kind to yourself and nourishing your body. This is the goal. No matter what your actual goal is, whether it is weight loss, increasing the quality of your sleep, increasing your energy, finding a good work/life balance or feeling better about your body and yourself.

 

So how does coaching work? We start with a FREE health discovery session. This is a 40 min session where we talk about your main health concerns and we find out how I can best help you.

If you decide that Health Coaching is right for you, then you sign up for my 3 months program. By signing up you will get a total of 6 biweekly 50 minutes sessions for 3 months. During these sessions we talk about your goals and how you will accomplish them. We talk about the issues that come up during the process and together we find out what works and what doesn’t work! I am your guide, I hold you accountable and I give you a space to focus on YOU and YOUR HEALTH!

 

I also offer Group Coaching. It is cheaper and you have the advantage of being with like-minded people who can support each other which leads to more success. Read more about the advantages, including date and time here

 

This is your journey to a better life!

 

Are you ready? Schedule your first session now! It’s free and there is no obligation. Email me with any questions you should have or book a session now

Want to know more about healthy living? Download my free mini ebook now. It contains great tips and tricks that have worked for me in my journey. Click here to get it. 

 

 

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Are you keeping it a secret?

You want to lose weight. You decide that tomorrow you will start eating healthy and start exercising. You promise yourself that this time you will stick to it. Finally, you decide not to tell anyone about it. Because “what if I fail…”

Does this sound familiar?

It certainly does to me. I have lain in bed Sunday evening vowing to myself that tomorrow will be the day I will change my life! But I also don’t want to tell anyone about it. I imagine 6 months down the road, showing my new body off to friends and family who are amazed. How did I do that? I’d tell them about all the healthy foods and exercise I had done etc. etc.

Then next day I get up and I live my life exactly as I have until now – no change what so ever!

Why? Why do we try to change our life by ourselves and keep it a secret?

Because we are afraid of failure!

If I didn’t tell anyone about my weight loss challenges then I don’t have to be accountable to anyone!

Now, I have learnt! I have learnt that this does not work. Keeping it to yourself does not work! I need support and you need support!

We are trying to change our life! Not just our shoes or bag. No, our freaking LIFE! That’s a big deal!

Losing weight is not about going on a diet and then returning to old habits when you are done. Losing weight happens when you start to change your life. The weight should stay off; therefore your new habits should stay on.

Please don’t lose weight in secret. Chances are if you want to do it in secret, then there are probably some other issues that you need to work around first. Issues that are perhaps more important than the extra weight you are carrying.

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Please order the salad when everyone else is ordering steak. It takes courage, but at the end of the day, whose life are you living, theirs or yours?

Please don’t feel ashamed to reschedule a meet up with a friend because it falls on the same time as your exercise schedule. It’s your body! You have to live with it, not them! And if they are your friends, then they will understand! And hopefully know that you are trying to turn your life around!

Be real with yourself and your surroundings. Don’t be ashamed. After all, you are taking care of the most important person in your life!

Please join my Support group on Facebook. It’s amazing to have a community with like-minded people to support each other. See you there 🙂

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Why you should stop labelling your food ‘good’ and ‘bad’

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By Bettina Schelkle

Are you labelling your food? I mean not labelling it by adding a sticker with ‘contains additives’ or ‘may cause allergic reactions’ to it, but labelling your food and what you eat as ‘good’ and ‘bad’? Or do you hold other beliefs about food like ‘gluten is the devil’, ‘sugar is evil’ and ‘one should not eat carbs’? Do you feel it helps you, like really helps you in changing your eating habits and moving towards a healthier lifestyle? If you want to lose weight, has such an approach ever helped you to lose weight and maintain a lower weight in the long-term? If you want to have more energy, has such an approach helped you to be more energetic in your day to day life? If you want to be healthier, has such an approach ever led you to actually feel healthier?

I would be really interested to know, because I genuinely think it may not be as good as an aid as you think it may be. Labels like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ can be really useful and helpful, but only in the right context. Unfortunately, many people nowadays do not use it in the right context because of the emotional connotation that comes with those words ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Instead of using those labels in a factual, logical way, we are now using those words to extract what we think about ourselves based on what we eat. If we eat well, we are good; if we eat not so well, we are bad. Apart from the fact that this is black/white thinking which is problematic in itself, labelling food ‘good’ or ‘bad’ means we give food emotional power over us.

Now, if you think about it, food is just food. There is no good or bad food (unless you refer to taste), only nutrient rich or nutrient poor food. In its most basic, food is nourishment for our physical body and this physical body then supports our emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Hence, food is not a direct nourishment for our emotional, mental or spiritual body. It really is just fuel. So unless you start using the labels ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in a purely factual, guiding way to make informed decisions on how to fuel your body, the approach of labelling your food will completely backfire. This is because you have expectations towards food that it can just not fulfil or only fulfil you in the short-term.

Labelling food ‘good’ or ‘bad’ (or any other label really) sets you up for a perpetual cycle of anxiety. You start desiring what you cannot have and try to resist the desire feeling bad for desiring it in the first place. This then brings on guilt and shame, particularly once you feel your willpower is letting you down and you are having forbidden foods.

Hence, instead of labelling your foods good and bad and giving it power over you, why don’t you start checking in with your body after you eat to see how you feel? How does the food make you feel? Do you feel energetic, light, satisfied, fulfilled or do you feel sluggish, tired, mentally foggy, unsatisfied and unfulfilled? I guarantee you that once you start becoming a lot more attuned to your body, you will automatically notice that your body starts guiding you directly towards those foods that it needs to thrive and support you without feeling you are depriving yourself or restricting yourself. What have you got to lose?

 

Thank you Bettina Schelkle for this wonderful article about labelling your food. She is absolutely right! Forget everything you have heard or read about good or bad foods. Focus on how you feel instead. This is so much more powerful! 

Happy feeling 🙂

Click here to find Bettina on Facebook. 

 

9 Weight Loss Myths Busted!

Did you know that Europe had the second highest proportion of overweight or obese people in 2008, behind the United States? It is estimated that over half of the EU’s population was overweight or obese in 2008. Globally, the share of adults (aged 20 years and over) who were thought to be overweight or obese was estimated to be 35 %. This share rose above 50 % in Europe and the Americas [1].

Obesity is a serious public health problem, as it significantly increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart diseases and certain cancers.

For the individual, being overweight is strenuous on the body and can be linked to a wide range of psychological problems. For society as a whole, it has substantial direct and indirect costs that put a considerable strain on healthcare and social resources.

Why is it so hard to maintain “normal” weight? The diet industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, so why is it not working?

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Through my own experience and conversations about weight loss with many people, including my clients, I have gathered some of the recurring statements I often hear and explain why they are wrong! There are so many misconceptions about weight loss and I have written a short eBook where I bust 9 of them! 

Enjoy!

Please follow this link to get the whole mini eBook for FREE. 

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Overweight_and_obesity_-_BMI_statistics

 

What I have learnt by living with a skinny person

“Honey, do you want dessert?”

“No, I am not hungry anymore”

What?

What does that have to do with anything?

I was quite perplexed when my boyfriend answered this to a very simple question. A question I have answered ‘YES’ to my entire life. Sometimes even thought it was a silly question. Who doesn’t want dessert?

My boyfriend, apparently, because “he was not hungry anymore”.

OK…

That’s a new one.

I used to be a big fan of Cartmann’s famous “I’m not fat, I’m big boned!” quote. I thought I was living healthily, exercising some and eating quite healthy, but I was not getting any smaller. Naturally, it couldn’t be my fault, so I must be big boned!

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Sound familiar?

 

Well, it was about time that I GOT REAL about my situation. The pure and simple reason I was not getting smaller was because I was eating too much and not exercising enough.

When I saw the portions he was eating compared to the portions I was eating, I understood. Even at a family dinner (my family, that is), I observed a clear difference in how we ate and how he ate.

Not only were his portions smaller, but he also chewed every bite quite thoroughly. In my family, the food hardly hits the table before we start swallowing it down. No time for conversation. In his family, though, they all sit together and calmly hold a conversation. They therefore, eat very slowly and mindfully.

Mmh, interesting I thought.

 

So what have I learnt so far?

  1. Eating only when hungry
  2. Chewing your food
  3. Eat slowly and mindfully

 

I tried them all and it works great. I started losing weight and having no digestive issues anymore. As you can imagine, if the food is just swallowed down with no to little chewing and the body is rushed through a meal, it must be hard for the body to properly digest the food without some discomfort.

 

The best thing, though, that he has thought me is that food is just food.

Food is just there to nourish your body. Its purpose is not to calm you down or give you comfort. It’s not a friend or an emotion or stress-releaser. Its purpose is merely for you to survive!

If you are an emotional eater, then you know what I am talking about! If you know an emotional eater, then please share this article with them.

I still use food as emotional comfort, but a lot less than I used to. I am still trying to figure it out.

Please leave a comment below and let me know if you are an emotional eater and what your thoughts are. I would love to know! Or email me!

 

Your mother told you so…

The report is due in two hours. Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a mid-term exam. Or you’re making sales calls. Suddenly, bam! Around 10:30 a.m. you hit a wall. All you want to do is look out the window.

Hmmm…what did you eat for breakfast?

I hate to say, “I told you so,” so I’ll turn to Mom, who has said it countless times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the meal that’s designed to supply a third of the macro and micro nutrients your body needs to run without a hitch.

So what are you eating each morning to do all these things? A cup of coffee gulped down on the go? A cup of sugary yogurt and a muffin eaten at your desk? Nothing at all?

Your body deserves so much better than that. And so do you!

When you eat a good breakfast, your day goes smoothly. No growling stomachs, low blood sugar shakiness, or wandering attention to keep you from nailing those big goals you’ve made for yourself.

What Breakfast is Right for You?

One of the best—and most fun—ways to find out which foods serve YOU most powerfully is something called the Breakfast Experiment. For one week, eat a different breakfast each day. Record in a notebook what you ate, how you felt immediately after the meal, and how you felt again two hours later.

  • Day one: Scrambled eggs or tofu
  • Day two: Bean soup or a bean salad
  • Day three: Oatmeal or müsli
  • Day four: Boxed breakfast cereal
  • Day five: Muffin and coffee
  • Day six: Fresh fruit
  • Day seven: Fresh vegetables

Feel free to repeat the experiment for another seven days with different foods each morning. Which breakfasts made you feel energised? Which ones didn’t? After the
experiment, try adding in more of the foods that made you feel great!

I love eating organic yoghurt with fruit and sometimes I add some müsli. I always have one coffee in the morning and a green juice mid-morning. This keeps me energised and makes me feel great!

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Let me know what worked for you and what didn’t! I can’t wait to hear about your experiment.