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Why we can't rely on WILLPOWER and self-control

Have you ever seen the studies where the self-control of children is measured and then they are watched throughout their life? Several studies have been performed in this manner and had super interesting results.

Children with better willpower or self-control scored higher on their SATs, had a higher GPA, scored higher on measures of well-being, and even better relationships later in life. You probably think you know where I'm going with this...

SURPRISE, when it came to weight control later in life there was barely a difference! There was a difference, but it was very small (low single digit %). This indicates that self-control is not very important to weight loss and weight control.

Wait... W...

I receive an email from time to time from a client talking about a weekend of excessive eating. They say they felt out of control.

The key word here is FELT.

They were never actually out of control. In fact they were literally the only one that was ever in control.

Nobody else controls our actions when it comes to food.

We may FEEL out of control, but that feeling is an illusion. A passing thought. And we have the right to question our thoughts before hastily reacting to them.

Take a step back. Take a deep breath. You are the one in control to choose to, or not to, do something.

"But it was an ORGANIC cookie..."

I have actually heard this, and I wish it meant lower calories but too often it actually means higher calories. It is human nature to justify eating more of something if it is "healthy", but if our goal is losing weight then what matters most is a calorie deficit.

Healthy food choices can help us hit that calorie deficit by better controlling hunger and helping us feel more vital in general, but we have to be cautious justifying extras with the "eating clean" mindset.

Watch out for nuts and granola! Healthy? Yes. But packing some major calories. Also, check for health washing marketing terms like organic, veggie, natural, non-GMO, and gluten free.

Motivation is a fleeting emotion and not something you can just choose to have.  It's not something that we can buy.  It's not something that is hidden.

So why do we say we need to "find motivation" to eat well/exercise/get that project done/etc?  

Relying solely on motivation in order to get things done is not going to get you far.  Yes, sometimes we will feel motivated and that will make something like losing weight be easier in that moment.  It can make things exciting!  But as emotions do, this feeling will ebb and flow.

So why solely put your success at the whim of an emotion that isn't within our control?

The Greek poet Archilochus known for composing on the theme of emotions said, “We don't rise to the level of our expe...

3 step process to losing weight when you're stuck:

1.  Acknowledge you're not broken, don't have a slow metabolism, and it's not food sensitivities.
2.  Accept that somewhere in your day you are eating too many calories without realizing it.
3.  Be open to changing your habits (sleep, alcohol, stress, etc).

These are 3 very simple steps, but represent some of the biggest road blocks to weight loss that I see.

I attempt to make weight loss as simple as possible for my clients.  I don't include unnecessary fluff that wastes time or effort and every habit or process we go through has a specific purpose or else I remove it.  

It's natural to resist change even subconsciously!  But my most successful clients are those that fully embrace the...

Did you know...?

You can lose weight eating nothing but cookies.

You can lose weight eating nothing but chocolate.

You can lose weight eating nothing but ice cream.

You can lose weight eating nothing but sugar.

You can lose weight eating nothing but carbs.

Would I recommend doing this?  Absolutely not. It is unhealthy and kinda ridiculous.  

BUT, the point is that no food can magically make us fat simply because of what it is.  There is a lot of fear out there around foods that contain sugar or gluten or protein or whatever else that is popular to fear lately.

I always recommend a balanced diet of mostly whole foods, but there is no reason to be afraid of any food for fat gain.  If one can lose weight eating nothing but chocolate, t...

"Something I’ve always told my new training clients: ‘You are the world’s foremost expert on you. Training isn’t something I do to you, it’s something I do with you and for you. The more feedback you give me, the more I can help you.'" - Nick Tumminello

I love this quote because it's exactly how I feel about coaching my nutrition clients. You are the expert on you, and I am the expert on helping you. I am someone with experience and knowledge that you have in your corner, a guide to walk with you in your journey so that it's the healthiest and most enjoyable possible. And each journey is entirely wonderfully unique, because you are!

I just want to take this moment to thank and appreciate all of my amazing past and current clients for putting t...

There are two different mentalities when it comes to eating for a lean body goal.

Mentality 1️⃣. I will restrict my food until I lose the weight.
Mentality 2️⃣. I will be responsible with my food and change my habits.

Mentality 1 is that of a crash or serial dieter. They want to achieve weight loss as fast as possible with as little thought as possible. These people tend to cut out carbs, cut out sugar, cut out gluten, or try whatever diet is trending.

Mentality 2 is of those who lose weight and keep it off. Habits are the way to lasting weight loss.

If we lose the weight using restriction of food types or food groups, what happens when the diet is over? We dump those methods and go back to our old habits and the weight comes back. 😭

Our habits are...

It's a tough time for a lot of us right now. Covid-19 has flipped many people's lives upside down and we're all just trying to navigate this thing together.

Yes it is important to be kind to each other, but also be kind to yourself.

We often forget about putting our own mental and physical health on the priority list when we have others to care for.

Ask yourself this... if a close friend was struggling, what would you say to them? Would you berate them or call them names for not being able to get through it? Would you say they were not worthy of something better?

Of course not!

Yet we do this to ourselves inside our own head. We talk down, call ourselves idiots or worthless, we can say terrible things!

It has to stop. You ARE worthy, and y...

Meal prep isn't just about helping us eat for our goals. It is giving ourselves the gift of time FREEDOM. When we meal prep or plan our meals once or twice for the week, we are then freeing up our time for the whole rest of the week! We are also freeing up our mental energy for the week since we no longer have to think daily about what to eat at each meal, and if we have the ingredients, and if it works for our health/fitness goals, etc. These daily decisions are especially draining when we're already hungry, looking at the fridge trying to figure out what we should eat. This is often when most of us will close the fridge and instead head for Uber Eats. :-P

Having our own healthy meals (or the main ingredients premade) already there in front of u...

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