Tag Archives: nutrition

Struggle with binges or overeating? Part 2

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In my first installment on binge eating I talked about the most common reason that I see for binge eating, which is….not eating enough food across the day and week. So many women are still following outdated low calorie diets and doing tonnes of cardio in the gym each week. Their daily calorie intake is just falling too short and by the end of the day, week or month (whenever it is for you) this leads to binge eating simply because you are hungry.

When your metabolism doesn’t get enough energy (calories, from the right places) it starts to crave energy-dense food and when you get your hands on it you eat the lot. This is normal physiology, nothing to beat yourself up about. All you’re doing wring is starving yourself. So the first place to start if this is YOUR issue is to start increasing the amount of food you eat each day by adding in more good fats and quality protein.

Today I want to address some of the emotional reasons behind binge-like eating behaviour.

Being aware of your emotional triggers is KEY and the first place to start if you want to address it.

It might be loneliness, anger, frustration, a stress response, sadness, or other. We all have different emotions to different situations and handle them differently.

Sometimes binge eating is fulfilling a particular human need that isn’t being met, the most common ones being love and connection, which is a basic but strong human need.

Start by identifying YOUR emotional trigger, for example is it boredom or loneliness? Are you using certain foods to fill a void?

Once you’ve identified the emotional trigger then start to think about what else you can do to fulfill that need or fill that void.

Before I met my partner I lived alone, which I absolutely loved and didn’t actually want to change, but from time to time I could feel a little isolated because my sister and her children, whom I’m extremely close to live in Ireland, my Dad is a couple of hours away, and we lost my amazing Mum in 2011. So some lonely Saturday nights I could easily find comfort in a giant bag of crisps and whatever else I fancied. But if I just called them on Skype for a chat and a laugh the cravings I THOUGHT I was having dissipated. Other times I would go for a good workout, go for a walk, have a relaxing bath, listen to music, or listen to a podcast or powerful self-development audiobook. By the time I was done I my mind had usually diverted away from the need to binge and I was instead preparing a nourishing balanced meal for myself.

A client of mine, during one of our coaching sessions, identified that she immediately reaches for the office biscuit tin whenever she’s just had a challenging conversation with a difficult colleague in her high-pressured job. As soon as she recognized this she was able to stop herself in her tracks and think about what she was doing. The next time she found herself reaching for the biscuits she made a deal with herself that she would first go for a walk outside then come back in and if she still wanted a biscuit she could have one. She didn’t still want the biscuit when she got back, and this was the case 99% of the time going forward.

Another thing to ask yourself if your binge eating is fulfilling a need that isn’t being met is how can you change your life so that need starts being met in real terms? Sometimes we simply can’t change our circumstances but in some cases we can, if we think hard enough about it there IS a few things we can make happen or change that will improve our situation and remove the need for emotional eating.

So, identify the underlying reason for your binges;

  • Do you eat enough protein and good fats across the day and get ENOUGH calories in? (Click here to read my blog on calories)
  • What is your emotional trigger/s?
  • What need isn’t being met in your life?
  • What else can you do to meet that need that doesn’t involve food or drink?
  • Is there an emotion that you’re trying to suppress with the food you want in that moment? You may not be aware of this at the time but if you can try to sit with your emotion for a while and let it come to the surface, and express itself (e.g. in the form of a long old sob) then you may just find you no long need or want that particular food anymore because all you were trying to do with it in the first place is suppress the scary unwanted emotions. Instead, let the emotions come, sit with them and let them pass through.

Sit down and make a list of things that make you happy and lift your spirits, however big or small. From there see if you can start to incorporate more of this into your daily life, coupled with eating ENOUGH food by way of quality protein, good fats and fibre, and see if this changes your binge episodes for the better.

JOIN THE PRIVATE FACEBOOK COMMUNITY! It’s a group of fabulous women who share similar goals for their health, weight and lives. We support and lift each other up, and I’m in the group doing regular live educational sessions to help guide you through long term habit changes when it comes to your nutrition and lifestyle. Click here to join us!

With love

Francesca

Struggle with binges or overeating? Part 1

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Often find yourself bingeing on certain foods? Feel like you have a problem with overeating? This is so common and you’re definitely NOT alone.

Do you have an episode and then get angry with yourself for ‘ruining all your hard work’ and beat yourself up about it? Maybe you punish yourself but skipping the next meal or eating nothing but green leaves the next day?

I know this feeling all too well. In my 20’s I was a big binger! I’d have a few days or weeks of ‘being good’ only to eventually end up all out bingeing on what I call my ‘trigger foods’. My trigger foods back then were cookies (Maryland to be exact) Bakewell tarts and crisps, any crisps at all and the saltier the better!

I’d feel AWFUL about myself afterwards and vowed to ‘get back on the saddle’ ‘tomorrow’ or ‘on Monday’.

Sound like you?

I now know and understand that the only reason I had these binge episodes was because I was restricting my calories too low. I simply wasn’t giving my body the nutrients and energy (calories) to match its output throughout the days and weeks. The result was that ‘starvation mode’ kicked in.

What happens in ‘starvation mode’? We look for the most calorie-dense and palatable (tasty) foods we can find and we eat LOTS of it!

This is a normal evolutionary response by the way. We beat ourselves up for being ‘weak’ or having ‘no willpower’ when all we’re doing is responding to our environment correctly. 

Throughout my 20’s I was eating a very low number of calories in aid to lose weight (something I was trying to do for YEARS). Then, whether later in the day or later in the week, my body screamed at me and said EAT WOMAN!! But of course I didn’t know this, and instead of changing the way I approached eating and calories I just grabbed the packet of cookies and/or crisps and ate the whole lot. Then beat myself up for days, eat a low calorie diet for as long as I could, until the same thing happened again. I was stuck in this cycle for years.

What I now know is that it WASN’T MY FAULT, that I wasn’t ‘bad’, ‘weak willed’ or ‘naturally a fat girl’.

Your body has a built in evolutionary response to calorie restriction – and that’s to eat everything in sight/your favourite sweet tasting or calorie dense foods when food intake is low. This stems from our caveman days when we would be foraging for food and when we came across calorific foods we would stock up in case we didn’t get fed again for a while, as there wasn’t a constant supply of food available to us back then.

So, when you have a binge episode you are not weak, bad or wrong. You are just YOU and you are responding perfectly normally to simply not eating enough food across the day or week!

1200 calories per day is TOO LOW! This is NOT helpful number of calories to be eating, not for weight loss and not for anything. Soon enough your metabolism will kick in and tell you off – usually in the form of a binge once you get hold of your favourite foods.

So ask yourself this…are you eating enough food across a day and across each week? Are you having optimal amounts of protein, good fats, QUALITY carbs (refined carbs encourage binge episodes too), enough fibre, good hydration…?? Really, are you? My guess is probably not. I’m guessing the balance is off somewhere. That you might be restricting calories through the week in a bid to ‘be good’ and lose a couple of pounds and then you end up starved by the end of the day, week or month (whatever the time frame is for your body).

Am I right?

Have a think and if this resonates with you I’d love to hear from you and find out what changes you plan to make to help yourself.

Get your FREE Ultimate Snack Guide and start preventing binges and over eating NOW! Click here to get your free pdf guide which I’ve put together especially for women like us. 

With love

Francesca

How to deal with stress so it doesn’t halt your progress

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Stress really does have a lot to answer for. Whilst we all need a certain level of stress in our lives, its when it becomes to much and chronic we can run into problems.

I used to suffer massively with the effects of stress both mentally and physically. My entire body would feel it and I’d go for all sorts of body work treatments (which were amazing) to help it but at the end of the day it was the stress I had plus my thoughts and feelings towards it that was causing the pain. The treatments helped to dampen it down but it was only when I sorted my head out and learned how to manage the stress that I truly overcame it. Today, when I can feel stress building up from time to time I know exactly what I need to do and I’ve become so used to managing it better that I don’t need to remind myself more than once to start taking action. For me its journaling/writing my thoughts and feelings and flipping them on their negative head, upping the yoga and reducing intense gym sessions, no TV at night – baths and books instead and early to bed.

When we’re feeling overwhelmed with life and stress is getting the better of us we can tend to just do our best to get by rather than thrive in any sort of way. Our thoughts and feelings start to tend towards negativity as well.

We might say, think or feel things like:

  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m not slim enough
  • I’m not fit enough
  • I don’t have enough time/there isn’t enough time
  • I don’t have the confidence/I can’t go to the gym, go for a run, do any exercise, ask for help at home/reach out to someone for help
  • I don’t have enough money/I’m broke
  • Etc. etc….

The thing is, our thoughts become things. If you say or think it then IT IS.

This is a concept I’ve really only just taken on board myself and I’m starting to get comfortable with.

If you say you are broke then you are broke, if you say you aren’t slim enough or you look horrible then you are and you do, if you say things aren’t going to go well then they won’t.

When we focus on the negative, or the lacking, then all if our energy goes to those thoughts and feelings and there is no room for it to go elsewhere and manifest anything positive. Our energy will get stuck in this place of negativity and scarcity.

We’re then switched onto a continuous cycle of self-loathing and sabotage.

I’ve been in this place, for years and years in fact, and its only recently in the last year or so that I’ve started to change my ways and I now think say and feel from a place of abundance instead. Now it’s not always that easy. I get days when I just feel AWFUL, and I have to try so very hard to stay up, to stay positive, to love myself, and to NOT think and feel from a place of lacking.

But imagine if:

  • You loved yourself, every inch of your being both inside and out
  • You were grateful for everything that already IS and everything you already have
  • You appreciated everything about your life even the stuff that isn’t quite as you’d ideally like it yet
  • You felt your life was so abundant and full

Imagine where your focus would go if you felt/thought/said as per the above?

Imagine what sort of choices you’d make and how you’d spend your time?

Imagine how you would show up for the people and things in your life?

When we feel grateful for what we have and are, rather than sorry for ourselves and hard done by, we make better decisions and enjoy day to day life a thousand times more, trust me.

This applies to your life on all levels but also to weight loss, if that’s something you’re trying to achieve.

Yes, to lose weight successfully you need the right information and advice, personalized for you, but you also need:

  1. To manage the stress in your life so that you’re actually in a place where you CAN implement changes and new habits, if you’re too busy to do this then you need to look at what of the things that are keeping you busy that you can toss to the side to make way for implementation and success once and for all.
  2. To stop focusing on what we don’t have or what we are not, and instead think, feel and speak from a place of abundance and gratitude for all that we are and all that we have. Our thoughts become things and thinking from a place of scarcity simply instills and perpetuates unhappiness, sucking of energy, negative energy and self sabotage.

Can you start to change the way you think feel and speak about things, your life and yourself? Trying to implement changes and new habits will be a LOT harder until you do. So I hope you can take this on board and start speaking and thinking differently about some of those negative thoughts, feelings and beliefs you have. Flip them on their head, keep repeating it until you believe it, and then keep repeating it some more 😉

If you want help with any of this stuff and think a complimentary call with me would help you get clearer on where you need to go (with NO obligation to work with me AT ALL), then click here to book yourself in for one at a time that suits you, or just reply to this email to let me know you’d like to speak.

With love

Francesca

The typical pattern I see in a person trying to lose weight – is this you?

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When a person sets out to lose their excess weight it usually starts with feelings of determination and commitment. They get all fired up to FINALLY make THIS time be THE time when it ACTUALLY works and they lose the weight forever (I’ve been here many times!)

 

This is usually the typical pattern:

✅ You’re doing really well, following all the rules to a T

✅ About a few weeks in, you’re at a kid’s party, or there’s a birthday in the office, or you’re out with a friend, and you end up eating some cake or some other sugary treat.

✅ This ‘mistake’ ruins all further eating and exercise decisions that day, and usually for the rest of that week and you stop doing everything you were doing up until that fatal point, to try to lose weight.

✅ You spend a certain amount of time ‘off the wagon’ before deciding its time to get back on again, which is usually a Monday.

✅ You’re annoyed at yourself for stopping at all but you vow that THIS time (from Monday) things will be different and you won’t make any ‘mistakes’.

✅ Monday comes and you start again, and after a few weeks the same thing happens again, and you’re ‘off the wagon”, again.

✅ Instead of addressing the underlying reason of why you keep stopping/falling off you just keep on re-starting, over and over, likely for years.

 

So what might those underlying reasons be?

Most likely cause is that you’re on the wrong plan!

This coupled with the wrong beliefs (mentality) about fat loss and what is ACTUALLY needed to get you to your goal weight.

Your approach to weight loss is likely one that includes ‘dieting’ in the form of caloric restriction that’s too low below the amount needed to preserve your precious muscle mass and prevent your metabolism from slowing down and working against fat loss not for it.

You likely believe that you need to follow something temporarily, to the letter, until you’ve reached your goal weight, and then you can stop the plan and go back to your normal eating and living style.

You likely expect results to happen quickly and for the process to be a straight line from A – Z, and if you hit ONE bump you are off the plan.

You’re likely to be motivated purely by how much you weigh and how you look to other people, instead of being motivated  by how you want to FEEL, how your physical and emotional health is, and your energy levels.

You’re likely not looking at fat loss in terms of forever, of changing nutrition and lifestyle habits, forever, and continually practicing and building on these, forever.

 

Does any of this resonate with you? I’ve been this EXACT woman so I totally get it, but I’ve completely transformed my mindset about weight loss and as a result I now have the health and body I always wanted, and will have it forever.

Why? Because I live everyday in alignment with who I want to be and what I want for my body and health. There is no plan or diet to follow because the majority of the things I do and don’t do (80-90%) are in favour of fat loss and maintenance of my ideal weight, good health and high energy.

If you want long term results you have to stop doing the same thing over and over, or you’ll just keep getting the same result – temporary weight loss, regaining of the weight, and a detrimental relationship with food, exercise and your body.

If you want to read more about my 4 principles for sustainable fat loss, health and happiness then grab my FREE pdf guide here now and start making changes today.

With love

Francesca

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

 

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