5 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Diet

Unknowingly, many of us are rendering our sweat filled hours at the gym useless because of few simple mistakes.

If any of the following apply to you, make today the day you start correcting these errors and work on that fat loss more efficiently!

scale1. Skipping breakfast: We’ve heard the saying “eat breakfast like a king…” but in my practice I find that many don’t heed this advice. Starting your day with nutrient dense foods helps rev your metabolism. Why is this important? A metabolic rate that is active and constantly working helps burn more calories at rest.

Good quality calories first thing in the day also helps stabilize blood sugars throughout the rest of the day; a key factor in preventing unnecessary snacking later on.
Start with this: 2 eggs scrambled with mushrooms, onions and green peppers, topped over last nights sweet potato. Finish with sea salt, pepper and a tablespoon of salsa.

2. High glycemic breakfast: In addition to clients missing breakfast, the next most common reason why fat loss can be difficult is due to a high glycemic (high sugar) breakfast. Believe it or not, something seemingly healthy like toast and jam is extremely high in sugar. Remember bread is a carb and carbs convert into sugars in our body. Jam, although made from fruit is often laden with extra sugars. High glycemic breakfasts enter your blood stream very quickly and as a result cause a blood sugar low soon after. This yo-yoing of high and low blood sugars contributes to low energy, sleep disturbances, and belly fat accumulation.

Instead choose foods higher in protein like protein powders, eggs and cottage cheese.

3. Eating standing up: You hit the snooze button begging for another 7 minutes of sleep. Late for work and breakfast becomes the last priority, quickly grabbing a bite and eating it over the sink. This is the result of our busy lifestyles. What we don’t realize is that shortcuts to saving time are adding to our waistline. Eating while standing makes us feel less satisfied with our meals, meaning that we snack more throughout the day.
We should sit down, enjoy our meals – thoroughly chew and savor the flavors. Listen to our body’s signals of fullness.

4. Mindless snacking. As one of the biggest obstacles to weight loss, mindless snacking can add calories without us even knowing it. It can be as simple as a bite of your boyfriend’s brownie or a stress related pretzel binge.
How can you combat mindless snacking? Don’t skip designated meal or snack times – we should have 5-6 meals and snacks throughout the day. Drink plenty of water – most people confuse thirst with hunger. Listen to your body carefully. Brush you teeth – who wants to mess up fresh minty breath with sour cream and onion chips?

5. Liquid calories. Many of us like to indulge in a drink or two here and there. We are also guilty of making the mistake of drinking too much alcohol or sugary drinks (such as tea, coffee, juice, pop, sports drinks, etc.), What many of us don’t realize is that these drinks also count towards our daily caloric intake. Drinking these types of liquids can give us the feeling of fullness, but we still need to eat.
My recommendation is that you stick to water! Its healthy and calorie free! Add some cucumber and lemon slices to change up the flavor. Unsweetened teas are also another great idea.

Like this, there are a dozen other ways that you may be sabotaging your fitness goals. For more help on your specific needs, be sure to contact the Oakville Nutritionist.

For additional information on common errors people make with food journaling, check out this article on Woman’s Health Magazine

What Keeps You Up At Night? How to Sleep Better

Are you rolling around your bed night after night, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep? If this sounds familiar, you NEED to read this!

Scenario #1: Rush-rush all day
Our hectic work and personal lives leave many of us feeling rushed and overworked. From the moment we get up, to the end of the day, when we are putting dinner on the table and getting the kids to bed,  we are running a marathon. Once we reach bedtime, many of us are exhausted, yet unable to fall asleep.One reason why this is happening…
Over-stimulation. Television, bright lights, computers and adrenalin from rushing and being busy prevent the body from being able to settle down and prepare for sleep. These routines of being constantly busy until the moment we go to bed create hormonal imbalance. Melatonin, the hormone responsible for our sleep-wake cycles, can easily be disrupted by these factors.Try this: Despite our hectic lives, it is still extremely important to find peace and quiet throughout the day and at the very least during the evening hours before we try to go to sleep. Warm showers, calming herbal teas that contain ingredients like lemon balm and passionflower, as well as simply reading a book, are all easy things you can do to help calm the system and prepare for bed. Also, turn the lights down in the house.  This simple step reduces the stimulating effects of bright overhead lights and allows your body to start producing the right hormones to help with sleep.

Scenario #2: Falling asleep BUT waking through the night

One reason why this happens…
With all of the rushing, we often make poor food choices due to convenience, or snack at night because we didn’t eat enough during the day. This often leads to imbalanced blood sugars. The highs and lows created by this imbalance prevent deep sleep. Bouncing blood sugars can wake us then give us opportunity to start thinking. As many can attest, once you are awake,  life’s little (or big) worries will keep you up for hours.

Try this: Clean up your diet, reducing the amount of processed sugars and white flours that enter your diet.  In doing so, you reduce the tendency for your blood sugars to bounce and wake you up in the middle of the night. If you do wake, considering keeping a to-do list beside your bed. Write down all that is on your mind and give yourself permission to deal with those issues in the morning. This will ease your mind and allow you to fall back asleep sooner rather than later. It really works!

Did you know?
Not getting enough sleep or having interrupted sleep can signal the body to store fat! If you are struggling to lose body fat, consider sleep as a culprit in this.