Tag Archives: health

Do you struggle with consistency?

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Most of the women I speak to who have a weight (fat) loss goal tell me their biggest struggle is staying consistent.

The biggest reason I see for not being able to stay consistent comes down to the motivation behind wanting to lose weight.

I talked about the different motivations in a previous blog; being either intrinsic or extrinsic. It’s the extrinsic motivations that will likely have us ‘fall off a wagon’ and lack consistency.

If your motivations are extrinsic, for example, you want to lose weight to look good to other people as a certain size (purely about external and physical factors) then you’re likely want to follow a set of rules, grin and bear some not so pleasant things you need to do/eat or not eat, rush the process, and only care about the final result. You’ll believe that you’ll only be happy once you reach your goal weight.

So when life gets busy or stressful this woman will jack it all in ‘for now’ and ‘get back on track’ another time. She won’t see the point in carrying on with the nutrition and lifestyle habits she’s learning about unless she can stick to them 100% of the time.

BUT, if your motivations are intrinsic, for example, you want to lose weight for YOU, because you want a better life for yourself and you want to FEEL good in health and energy. You’re FAR more likely to continue with the positive habits when stress hits. You want this to be a long-term change, a lifestyle transformation that comes with the natural side effects of fat loss and looking amazing.

This woman will continue with the nutrition and lifestyle habits EVEN when life throws her curve balls (which WILL happen). She will still see every point in continuing with the habits, and even more point when life is a little more challenging as she knows she needs to support her health even more. She will WANT to carry on doing these things even if she can’t be as on point as usual.

Let’s talk about me for a second..

I go to the gym 4-5 per week to lift weights.

I prioritise sleep.

I manage my stress.

I make the most optimal food choices as much as I can all the time.

Sometimes I can’t get to the gym 4 times but I still go that week even if it’s just the once, because it’ s better than not going at all.

Sometimes my nutrition is top notch, other times its not so. But as long as I know I’m doing the best I can that’s all that matters.

Sometimes my sleep is compromised if stuff is going on, sometimes I can’t do the yoga, meditation or Epsom salt baths I use to manage stress as often as usual but it doesn’t make me stop completely.

If I was to scrap my good nutrition and lifestyle habits every time life got stressful then I’d be stopping and starting for the rest of my life; and that’s just madness.

If I told you that I wouldn’t bother going to the gym at all this week because I can only go once would you tell me to just go anyway because that one session will still hold some value– yes, you would!

If I was eating really well for a few weeks and then one day I had some cake at a party and then said “ah well now I may as well eat rubbish for the rest of the week and get back to healthy food next week”does that sound logical to you? No!! It’s madness!

I hope you get the point I’m trying to make.

If you stop seeing your fat loss journey has a short term event to get you to a final destination (your goal weight) and instead see it as an ongoing practice and progression for the rest of your life you might start to change your behaviour. It’s not a 4 or 6 week plan, its not a 6 month plan, it’s for life. The side effect is more energy, better health, increased fitness, healthier ageing, and fat loss.

If you’re constantly thinking about the weight you want to get to you’re just grinning and bearing a set of rules and once you reach the goal weight then what?? You won’t want to carry on with those rules that you haven’t learned to enjoy and instill as part of your new behaviour will you? Nope.

If YOU keep stopping and starting then STOP re-starting and hoping that this time it’ll work. You need to take a good look and your motivations for the weight loss, dig deep and really figure out what you want and why.

I mainly work with my clients over a 3 and 6 month period only because I find it really de-motivating to see a client just once or twice. There really isn’t much we can do in such a short time and this is exactly why.

Stop the madness ONCE AND FOR ALL!

If you’d like to read more and learn my 4 steps  to Sustainable Fat Loss, Health + Happiness then you can grab my free pdf guide which I’ve put together especially for women like you. Click here to get your copy.

With love

Francesca

 

Do you ‘fall off the wagon’ at weekends?

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How many times have you heard someone say “I’m really ‘good’ during the week and then I have what I want at the weekend’.

Note: the weekend is 40% of your week.

That used to be me. I spent Monday to Friday (or Thursday) restricing, depriving, being ‘good’, then come Friday I blew out, but that was ok because I’d been so ‘good’ the other 60% of the week, wasn’t it?

I got nowhere. Nothing changed, no results on the outside and I wasn’t feeling any better on the inside.

Why?

I simply wasn’t being consistent, my body never got a chance to benefit from the array of different vegetables and lean proteins etc I was having roughly 50-60% of the week because for the remaining 40% of the week it pretty much took a battering! Late nights, alcohol in larger amounts, plenty of sugar and undesirable fats, not enough water, near to no veg…etc.

Does this sound like you?

The reason I went so buck wild at the weekend with my food and drink was largely due to the fact that I restricted so much during the week that I was left craving by Friday and more than ready for a blow out. Then by Sunday night I was ready to ‘get back on track’ on Monday so I made my little salad to take to work for my lunch and had my bowl of Weetabix or Special K ready for the morning.

I was making huge errors, for years!

What I now know is that consistency is KEY to successful and sustainable weight loss and health.

The 80/20 rule is far more effective not to mention realistic. But what I like even more is concistency 365 days a year.

No, this doesn’t mean the restriction and deprivation 100% of the time, it simply means that 80% of the time across 7 days a week you nourish your body with the fuel that it needs CONSISTENTLY, and 20% of the time across 7 days a week you have a little of what you fancy.

The result? A happier metabolism, a nourished body 365 days a year, a happier you, banished cravings and binge like behaviour.

STAY CONSISTENT AND ENJOY 100% OF YOUR WEEK.

Start each day with a protein based breakfast, even on a hangover, weekend away, holiday, boozy break, etc. My favourites are a power smoothie filled with healthy fats from flaxseed, nuts and seeds, avocado, a good quality clean protein powder and nourishing berries, or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado. It’s easy to be all or nothing, I get that mentality because I was once there myself. But it doesn’t make sense when you think about it. If you’re having a boozy weekend your body needs a nourishing protein based breakfast ALL THE MORE so why would you scrap it on that day/s? If you have a green juice or smoothie during the week why wouldn’t you have one on the weekend too? If you’re out drinking that night you can still nourish yourself before you go out, and in fact you will need it all the more then. Doesn’t it make so much more sense to stay consistent yet still carry on with your life?

Let’s say you’re on holiday staying in an all-inclusive resort: You can easily have a great breakfast, protein and salad based lunch with plenty of veggies and even some rice or potatoes, plenty of water, nuts (bring them with you!) etc, a healthy dinner choice plus a couple of glasses of wine and dessert. That’s still 80/20!

Let’s say during the week you fancy your favourite chocolate bar, some ice cream, or a glass of wine – HAVE IT!

Just continue with the nourishing foods as well, go home and have a nourishing dinner filled with dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli etc.

Instead of being angry with yourself because you ate something “off plan” when actually all you need to do is draw a line, move on and if anything maybe reduce or skip the starchy carb option with dinner and load up on the veggies.

Celebrate your consistency, don’t live on the 60/40 yo-yo treadmill that gets you no where other than spinning your wheels.

Feel powerful knowing that you’re in control of your appetite, cravings and health because you don’t restrict or deprive, you stay consistent 365 days a year and have a little of what you fancy along the way.

With love

Francesca

Book a FREE Weight Loss Strategy call session with me with me and let’s chat! I would love to hear what your struggles are and where you’re trying to get to, use this time to help me help you start mapping out your road to reaching your goals. Click here to book your slot.

Eat more to lose more!

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From the moment we are born we want and need food every 3 hours, it’s a natural instinct from day 1 and what we need to do to survive.

So how does this then completely turn on its head when we get to our adult years and believe that under eating is the way to go to be healthy, to maintain weight or lose weight?

Why do we resist eating so much as adults, and if we eat more than we said we would we feel like we’ve done something really bad and need to make up for it the next day?

It’s called ‘dieting’. And its because the dieting industry is so powerful it has got into our heads and made us believe that to lose weight we must take in less food (than our body needs) and expend far more energy, each day.

Imagine doing this to a baby…they wouldn’t survive. Ok so we’re not babies but it’s the same principle, these deprivational-calorie restricting-one size fits all diets are madness when you actually think about it. The body NEEDS certain nutrition every day and certain amounts of it, just to survive and feel ok, yet we will follow a diet plan that aims to give us a quarter less of the energy we need just to survive (not even thrive) and then push ourselves to run on a treadmill for an hour or go full pelt on a cross trainer……hmmm, this sounds insane, and that’s because it is!

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Don’t get me wrong I’m not judging anyone who does this or believes in it, I was there myself many years ago when I went along to a Weight Watcher’s meeting in a bit to start doing the ‘right thing’, but that was before I knew better.

When people who are overweight are on a ‘diet’ and they feel hungry they either fight the hunger, or have some sort of meal replacement low calorie bar or shake. These bars or shakes are usually laden with sugar, and low in calories and any sort of nutrition. So these 2 all too common responses to hunger deoprive the body of what it REALLY needs and make matters worse in the long run.

So why do so many ‘dieters’ respond to hunger by ignoring it??

Unfortunately the conventional diet industry has spread the (so very wrong) message that eating is bad and that it will make us FAT and that the only way to lose weight is to stop eating. The dieting industry is huge and its influence on what we believe in regards to weight loss is HUGE. But if they’ve really got it so right then why are so many people struggling to lose weight and getting bigger and bigger. I speak to so many people that say “I hardly eat anything, I don’t know why I’m so overweight”, I then cannot wait to get my side of things across and educate that person the RIGHT way, the trouble is that so many years of brainwashing is hard to undo in just one conversation. Our natural instinct is to eat, and if we go against that, our bodies will work against us not for us.

Now I’m by no means saying that we should be consuming 3000 plus calories a day of whatever we like, and overeating, that’s another extreme and another article. What I’m saying is that we need to give our body what it needs and take care of it. We don’t deprive our cars of petrol or give it the wrong the petrol, so why do we not take the same attitude towards our amazing bodies?

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The diet industry has taught is to starve our bodies, and to leave out nutritious real food and replace it with low calorie low nutrient foods. The only outcome this results in is CRAVINGS, BINGEING, and ADDICTION, followed by shame, self-hate, frustration, and WEIGHT GAIN. Our body is always working to protect us, so not giving it the nutrients it needs and enough of them, only results in fat storage in a bid to protect us from starvation and danger.

In the meantime the diet industry makes a whole load more money yet again, whilst we continue to buy into their advice and follow their rules.

So, basically what I’m saying is eat the food your body needs and asks you for, provide it with good quality protein, healthy fats, and low sugar-nutrient dense carbohydrates at every meal and snack and don’t go hungry. Cut sugar foods, cut sugar drinks, increase water so you’re properly hydrated, sleep well, move often and practice deep breathing, and watch fat melt off, and energy levels soar. Now that sounds like a much nicer way to live each day to me?

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Good Nutrition

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The food we eat can have the most profound effects on how we feel and how we act, I sometimes look at a person who’s getting stressed out at a checkout or speak to a friend who isn’t handling a particular situation very well, or I think back to my own past experiences when I would feel so down both physically and mentally and it affected the way I treated my family and friends and the time I gave them. Knowing what I now know about the power of good nutrition I want to take all these people in and show them what they could to transform the way they act, re-act and feel day to day. 

Lack of the right nutrition can affect our day to productivity massively, whether at work, at home or in social situations. A person could be perceived as an introvert, ‘away with the fairies’, under performing at work, or as someone who lacks patience, or is aggressive, ‘snappy’ or ‘moody’, all of these traits could be linked to their nutrition.

It’s so vital, especially in today’s stressed out and rushed way of life, that we get the right nutrition for our unique needs.
It’s so easy to opt for convenience foods, crisps, bars and other packaged on-the-go foods. The tendency for so many people is to gear towards a way of eating that saves us time in the kitchen, wanting to maximise the time spent doing other things. It’s this way of thinking though that can lead to so many health issues in the future as well as make us feel like rubbish day to day! What’s the point in having more time if you just feel so rubbish that your productivity, body and mind suffers, your loved ones and work colleagues won’t thank you for that!
We should all be making positive changes towards the way we eat in order to increase productivity, by increasing our energy levels, improving clarity, feeling full of beans and looking great! Why doesn’t everyone want this?! The problem is we do all want this, but so many of us don’t realise the true power that nutrition holds when it comes to how we feel and perform. Nutrition isn’t just important for athletes, it’s important for all of us, everyday! I also think a lot of us simply think that the way we feel is just the way it is, maybe you think it’s just a natural part of the ageing process and just life. It really isn’t, we can all feel great everyday it’s just knowing what to do.
Here are some daily tips to live by, start to incorporate these one by one into your daily routine until you have them all mastered and being second nature:
  • Eat real, whole foods and avoid processed foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
  • Cook at home from scratch (and this can be done very quickly!) and bulk cook
  • DO include fat everyday (I will write a separate post on fats) eg avocado, salmon, nuts and nut butter, butter. Coconut oil, full fat products.
  • Include protein, fat and good carbohydrates at every meal and snack and eat this every 3-4 hours
  • Drink around 2 litres of filtered water daily, start the day with big glass of water with the juice of half a lemon, and also have a green smoothie eg celery, cucumber, spinach, kale, apple, lettuce.
  • Get to bed before or around 11pm and have a good 7-8 hours
  • Have a bedtime snack such as an oatcake with but butter or cottage cheese so your blood sugar doesn’t drop too low and stop you sleeping well.
  • Avoid alcohol late at night and as much as you can in general, saving it for special occasions.
  • Meditate! Even just 5-10 mins each day will do. Just to create some space in your day to be mindful and present can make a big difference to your wellbeing.
  • Strength train! Lay off cardio and build a weights programme into your weekly schedule even just one to sessions per week of a 15 min programme would do.

Best wishes as always, FLNutrition x

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