How stress hormones keep you from your weight loss goals 
 
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that more stress and stress hormones promote weight gain, would you?
 
But what exactly is stress, and how does it keep you from your weight loss goals?
 
In fact, there are actually many links between stress hormones and weight.  We’ll talk about six major reasons how stress hormones keep you from your weight loss goals. These include the effect stress has on digestion and gut health, inflammation and the immune system. Stress can cause cravings, increased appetite, and “stress eating.” It can promote fat storage around the waist with its effect on insulin sensitivity. Stress can also be mood-busting and demotivating, not to mention how it worsens sleep. 
 
All of these can work to keep you from your weight loss goals.
 
Let’s go over the effects of stress and stress hormones, and exactly how they all tie into weight loss. Then we’ll end off with two strategies (and several of my best tips) how to manage stress. 
 
Because, as you know, weight loss isn’t just about calories.
 
WHAT IS STRESS?
 
When you hear the word “stress” do you think it’s dangerous or unhealthy?
 
In actual fact, stress itself is a totally normal response to a sense of danger. It can be your friend or foe.
 
You usually can’t fully control it. It’s your body’s way of protecting you with the “fight or flight” reaction. It can help you survive.
 
Stress can help you to become more focused and have energy when facing an immediate threat. This infrequent short-term stress can help you to run to your kid when (s)he is hurt, or avoid a collision. It can even help you to meet deadlines or get to appointments on time when running late. It’s also what makes some people enjoy roller coasters or dangerous activities (skydiving anyone?). Have you heard the term “adrenaline junkie?”
 
These are examples of infrequent short-lived stress called “acute” stress, or even “good” stress. And when the situation is over, the stress fades and your body goes back to normal. Ideally, this is how stress should be, infrequent and short-lived. The problem is that in today’s society, many people feel stress often, and for a long time. It’s neither infrequent nor short-lived. It’s more “constant” or “chronic.”
 
This is different.
 
This can be from having or caring for someone with a major illness, or long-term relationship problems.  Maybe you have a crummy and long commute to a not-so-awesome job every single day.
 
And that chronic stress (“bad” stress) can affect you in so many ways. It can affect your digestion, moods, and sleep. And, not surprisingly, it can affect your ability to lose weight. In fact, studies show that chronic stress is associated with obesity and metabolic disease. And this is especially true for women. Women are at greater risk for stress-induced emotional eating, and obesity.
 
This kind of stress can negatively affect your digestion, your mood, your health...and keep you from your weight loss goals.
 
SYMPTOMS OF STRESS
 
When your body senses danger (real or imagined), it immediately reacts with the “fight or flight” reaction to help you...well, “fight” or “flee”.
 
Things essential for survival are prioritized. Things like perception, decision making, and energy for your muscles. The other “rest and digest” functions are put on the backburner until the stress levels start fading.
 
You probably know how stress affects you. Do you get cravings or indigestion? Do you feel more aches and pains, or get sick? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you have more difficulty losing weight?
 
Let’s touch on the physical effects of stress, and then dig into how these effects can keep you from your weight loss goals.
 
STRESS RESPONSE - NERVES AND HORMONES
 
Stress-related symptoms are from the physiological effects of stress. Basically, how it affects our nervous system and hormones.
 
Both of these have profound effects on the body because they’re trying to help you save your (or someone else’s) life.
 
First up, the nervous system. The “fight or flight” part of your nervous system that is activated by stress is called the “sympathetic” nervous system. This part of your nervous system is usually (ideally) nice and quiet. It’s on “standby” until needed.
On the other hand, there is the “rest and digest” part of your nervous system called the “parasympathetic” nervous system. 
 
So, as you can imagine, when you have chronic stress your body isn’t doing much resting or digesting. And both of these are important for optimal health...and weight.
 
Secondly, let’s talk stress hormones. Have you heard of “cortisol” and “adrenaline?” These hormones are released by your adrenal glands. Adrenal glands look like little walnuts on top of each kidney, and they release a number of hormones, including these stress hormones. 
 
STRESS HORMONES
 
When you perceive danger (real or imagined), this starts a hormone cascade that moves from your brain to your adrenal glands. It’s basically like when a bunch of people are in a circle and they’re passing the ball to the person beside them. But with stress hormones.
 
First, a part in the brain called the “hypothalamus” gets your nervous system ready. It also releases a hormone to trigger the next hormone in the cascade. (Here’s the first pass of the ball.)
 
Second, when the pituitary gland (also in the brain) gets that hormone, it releases a different hormone to trigger the next hormones in the cascade. (Here’s the second pass of the ball.)
 
Third, when your adrenal glands (on your kidneys) get that signal, they release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Here’s where things get interesting.
 
The fancy name for this connection between the brain’s hormones and adrenal hormones is called the “hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis”, or the HPA Axis. 
 
There is more and more research that shows a link between a dysregulation (improperly functioning) of the HPA Axis, and its association with insulin resistance and abdominal obesity. And, ideally, you want to minimize insulin resistance and abdominal obesity, right?
 
The stress hormone cortisol affects many things in our bodies. Things like digestion and gut health, inflammation. hunger hormones, insulin release and sensitivity, mood, and sleep. All of these that are affected by stress hormones can also affect your weight.
 
STRESS HORMONES AND WEIGHT
 
We now see that there are many, many effects that stress hormones, mainly cortisol, have on your body. Including the link that people with abdominal obesity tend to have higher cortisol levels.
 
Let’s dive into each one and see how stress hormones keep you from your weight loss goals.
 
1 - Poor Digestion and Gut Health
 
As mentioned already, being in a state of stress puts digestion on the back burner. This is because your body is ready to “fight or flee,” rather than “rest and digest.”
 
One of the most obvious impacts stress has on digestion is “transit time.” You may notice that stress can either quickly speed up how fast your food moves through you (diarrhea). Or, it may slow it down quite a bit (constipation). Neither one of these is ideal.
 
So, even if you’re eating a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods, you may become nutrient deficient! And proper nutrition is needed at the best of times, let alone when you’re stressed and trying to lose weight.
 
New research is also showing the impact that stress has on our friendly gut microbes. We’re just beginning to understand the influence that our gut microbes have on all aspects of health, including weight loss. It may be surprising to know that there seems to be a link between stress and gut microbes (in animals). Seriously!
 
Stress is also linked with tiny holes or “leaks” in your digestive tract. This means that incompletely digested food particles can get into your body through these leaks. This can cause a ton of inflammation.
 
Which leads us to the second major way stress keeps you from your weight loss goals.
 
2 - Inflammation and immune system dysregulation
 
Guess where 80% of your immune system is located?
 
Right around your digestive tract!
 
So, you can imagine if chronic stress is messing with your digestion, it’s going to also mess with your immune system.
 
More and more research is suggesting that inflammation is part of many chronic diseases. When you’re chronically stressed, this affects your immune system which is supposed to control inflammation. It can make your immune system either hypervigilant, or less-responsive. And both of these can keep you from reaching your weight loss goals.
 
If your immune system is hypervigilant, you can develop high inflammatory levels.
 
If your immune system is less-responsive, it can allow your body to get sick more often, and stay sick longer.
 
For optimal health, and the ability to lose weight, you want your immune system to work properly (not too high, nor too low).
 
3 - Cravings, increased appetite, and “stress eating”
 
When you’re stressed do you reach for celery? Or do you prefer fatty or sugary snacks?
 
Many people tend to eat more food, particularly comfort food. Things that tend to be fatty and sugary. And there is science to back this up.
 
Scientists are now looking at interactions between stress hormones and the “hunger” and “fullness” hormones.
 
I don’t even have to tell you how this is going to keep you from your weight loss goals.
 
4 - Insulin sensitivity
 
Stress also increases your blood sugar, to make sure that your muscles have the fuel (sugar) they need to “fight” or “flee.” And if your muscles are not working and using up that excess blood sugar (i.e. you’re not running for your life), your body secretes insulin to re-absorb that sugar into your cells. 
 
This increase in both cortisol and insulin promote both insulin resistance and fat storage. Especially around the middle.
 
5 - Mood-busting and demotivating
 
Stress can not only bring down your mood, but that can also be terribly demotivating. When you’re feeling stressed, you may start feeling moody. You may also have less motivation to do the healthy weight loss activities that you really want to do.
 
If you’re down in the dumps and not motivated to prepare healthy meals or snacks, or get some exercise, then you’re less likely to do those things.
 
And we all know how important they are for weight loss.
 
6 - Negatively affects sleep
 
Cortisol is part of your natural sleep-wake cycle. Under normal (non-stressed) conditions, cortisol levels would increase before waking, and slowly drop during the day.
 
And this makes sense, because we know that it helps increase mental clarity as well as blood sugar to fuel your muscles. And we need mental clarity and to move our muscles, especially when we are awake.
 
But we also need this effect to “wear off” by the end of the day so we can start getting tired and relaxed enough to get a good night’s sleep. In other words, in the evenings, we want to start more resting and digesting.
 
And getting enough sleep is probably a more common reason why people don’t reach weight loss goals than most people think. Science is showing the links between not getting enough quality sleep and obesity.
 
Now that we’ve gone through six major reasons how stress hormones keep you from your weight loss goals, let’s talk about what the heck you can do about it.
 
STRESS-REDUCING TIPS
 
I’d love to help you manage your stress better so that you can meet your weight loss goals.
 
There are really two main strategies to go about reducing your stress. 
 
First off, you can reduce the amount of stress put on you by re-balancing some demands. Try:
Saying “no”;
Getting more support;
Delegating to someone else;
Re-negotiating deadlines that seem unreasonable;
When working, focus on just one thing at a time (don’t multi-task).
 
Secondly, since you can’t (and maybe don’t want to) completely remove stress from you life, you want to learn to deal with it better. You can improve your personal stress tolerance by trying to:
Have some fun and laugh;
Make time for people (and pets) you love;
Get more, better-quality sleep;
Be mindful and live more “in the moment”;
Have one or two cups of green tea (which has been shown to lower stress levels);
Do light exercise most days per week (e.g. yoga, swimming, or tai chi);
Go for a walk outside;
Spend more time in nature;
Eat a nutrient-rich diet;
Meditate or deep breathing;
Relax every evening (e.g. have a bath or read a book);
Listen to soothing music;
Do a “brain dump” every night before bed where you just make notes of things you’re keeping track of in your head so you can relax more;
Treat yourself to a massage, nice meal, or pedicure.
 
SUMMARY
 
Stress has six major effects that can keep you from your weight loss goals. It affects digestion and gut health, inflammation and the immune system. Stress can cause cravings, increased appetite, and “stress eating.” It can promote fat storage around the waist with its effect on insulin sensitivity. Stress can be mood-busting and demotivating, not to mention how it worsens sleep.
 
All of these effects can keep you from your weight loss goals. Definitely try some of the many ways to deal with stress, but also try to reduce some of the causes of stress in your life.
 
Your mind and body will thank you!
 
REFERENCES
 
Brzozowski B, Mazur-Bialy A, Pajdo R, Kwiecien S, Bilski J, Zwolinska-Wcislo M, Mach T, Brzozowski T. Mechanisms by which Stress Affects the Experimental and Clinical Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Role of Brain-Gut Axis. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2016;14(8):892-900.
 
Chao AM, Jastreboff AM, White MA, Grilo CM, Sinha R. Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Apr;25(4):713-720. doi: 10.1002/oby.21790.
 
Chen WQ, Zhao XL, Hou Y, Li ST, Hong Y, Wang DL, & Cheng YY. Protective effects of green tea polyphenols on cognitive impairments induced by psychological stress in rats. Behav Brain Res. 2009 Aug 24;202(1):71-6.
 
Clarke G, Stilling RM, Kennedy PJ, Stanton C, Cryan JF, & Dinan TG. Minireview: Gut microbiota: the neglected endocrine organ. Mol Endocrinol. 2014 Aug;28(8):1221-38. doi: 10.1210/me.2014-1108.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24892638
 
Fernandez-Rodriguez E, Stewart PM & Cooper MS. The pituitary–adrenal axis and body composition. Pituitary 12 (2009):105–115 DOI 10.1007/s11102-008-0098-2
 
Hewagalamulage SD., Lee TK., Clarke IJ. & Henry BA. Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity. Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2016;56 Suppl:S112-20. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004. 

Incollingo Rodriguez AC, Epel ES, White ML, Standen EC, Seckl JR & Tomiyama AJ. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation and cortisol activity in obesity: A systematic review. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015 Dec;62:301-18. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.08.014.
 
Kolbe, I., Dumbell, R. & Oster, H. (2015). Circadian Clocks and the Interaction between Stress Axis and Adipose Function. Int J Endocrinol. 2015:693204. doi: 10.1155/2015/693204.
 
Lucassen EA, Cizza G. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, Obesity, and Chronic Stress Exposure: Sleep and the HPA Axis in Obesity. Curr Obes Rep. 2012 Dec;1(4):208-215.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498460/?report=reader
 
Michopoulos V. Stress-induced alterations in estradiol sensitivity increase risk for obesity in women. Physiol Behav. 2016;166:56-64. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2016.05.016.
 
Pasquali R, Vicennati V, Cacciari M & Pagotto U. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Annual NY Academic Science, 1083, 2006;111–128. doi: 10.1196/annals.1367.009
 
Schorr M, Lawson EA, Dichtel LE, Klibanski A, Miller KK. Cortisol Measures Across the Weight Spectrum. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Sep;100(9):3313-21. doi: 10.1210/JC.2015-2078.
Published in Deanna's Blog
Friday, 25 November 2016 14:44

The Health Coach Difference

The Health Coach Difference

Health coaching is a relatively new profession, but the idea behind it is really rooted in how we, as human beings, operate. As a health coach, I help you work with your unique body, and take into consideration how everything in your life affects your health and wellness.

At the first glance, you may think what a health coach does is not much different from a conventional nutritionist or dietician, or a diet program. However, there are some subtle nuances that make our approach superior in terms of creating positive changes that last – instead of delivering a Band-Aid solution.

As a health coach:

  • I work with the concept of bio-individuality. My approach is client-driven. Instead of getting a one-size-fits-all meal plan based on a cookie-cutter approach or one fad diet, I create customized plans for my clients based on their individual circumstances, lifestyle habits, health condition and other needs. 
  • I approach nutrition as “whole foods”, instead of compartmentalizing them into individual nutrients such as calories, carbs, proteins, fats etc. Why? Because the synergistic relationship among these various components when they are ingested in the form of whole foods deliver much more benefits than when they are taken as individual nutrients.
  • With my health coaching program, during which I work with my clients over several months with sessions that last approximately 60 minutes, I am able to be with them every step of the way so that we are able to look into lifestyle choices and work on changing habits, resulting in meaningful and positive behavioral changes that last for a long time, delivering long-term health benefits.
  • My coaching is goal-, action- and result-oriented. My approach focuses on implementation and integration so that healthy changes are integrated into your life. We live in the age of information overload – you don’t need more information, you need to know which information to use and how to make them work for your life.
  • Instead of treating the symptoms, I work with my clients to get to the underlying causes of their health concerns. We look at how issues such as stress, emotional distress, physical activities, lack of “soul nourishment” etc. affect our overall wellbeing. I help my clients cultivate the awareness to improve all areas of their lives.
  • I support my clients to work with their body on healing itself so that they can eventually reduce the amount of medication that they rely on.
  • Instead of forcing my clients to stick to some “plan” which does not work for them, I first listen to my clients’ needs and concerns, then work with them to get over blocks or resistance, making any behavioural changes they make, stick.

My programs are available in person in my office in Owen Sound or online across the country.  Digestion, Food Sensitivities, Energy and Hormone Balance, Weight Loss and Wellness. 

 

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:07

Nutritious Living's Get Lean Program

Nutritious Living's 10 Week Get Lean  Group Program starts Monday, May 29 at 6:30pm.  Spaces are limited, book now. 

Are you tired of the dieting roller coaster? Unsure of what works and what doesn't?  Do you wonder "why can't I lose the weight?"

Learn how to eat right for your body and end the diet roller coaster. You don't need to purchase expensive shakes or ready made high protein foods to lose weight, you need to eat real whole foods in the correct amounts for your body. Fat loss is not always linear, and a good coach will help you understand what is going on in your body instead of drastically reducing your calories. Sustainable weight loss is not a drastic amount of weight lost in the first month, but many companies will try to lure you with photos of people who have dropped a tremendous amount of weight. Where will those folks be in a year from now?

Book your free 30-minute consult to learn more. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  • Learn about nutrition and what your body needs to be optimally healthy. 
  • Learn the necessary steps and tools to balance your blood sugar and hormones.
  • Receive a personalized plan based on your age, weight, height and activity level
  • Receive support documents:  manuals and recipe book
  • Unlimited email support
  • 10 Weekly 1 hour meetings with Nutrition Classes
  • Food Tracker Guidance and Support

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. your free 30-minute assessment today to learn more about my in-person or online programs.

 

Published in Weight Loss
Friday, 26 August 2016 15:11

Diets Don't Work

As a Holistic Nutritionist, one of the most common reasons clients come to see me is to lose weight.  I, in fact, have struggled the last few years with a bit of weight gain, stubborn fat loss and overtraining.  

I have tried almost every tactic out there to try to lose weight and achieve that skinny body that we all seem to think will make us happier.  I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and my body as a result.  Trying to starve myself and excessively exercise only to be disappointed when I stepped on the scale and saw no change, or worse.... an increase in weight.  

I fell prey to the latest dieting trends of high protein, low carb and developed adrenal and hormonal issues in the process.  It was what the latest health trends suggested, so it must be right??

It was a vicious cycle that had me in it's grip and finally, I was able to end it and help my body heal.  It took some time, and I had to eat more in order for my adrenals and thyroid glands to be nourished properly, but I am happy to say, I have developed a much healthier relationship with food and the way I feel about my body. (picture above is me finishing my Multi Sport race this August.)

Most people who diet gain their weight back. And the weight fluctuation created by yo-yo dieting is actually worse for your health than just staying overweight!

Diets are not sustainable – they are alienating, stressful, depressing and restrictive. Most people can stick to a certain protocol for a while, but most of them have requirements that make them hard to sustain in the real world where we all have different things to juggle in our personal life, career, and family responsibilities.

Diets do not take into account bio-individuality, which means that every body is different – how the body metabolizes nutrients, and how each individual has a different lifestyle that may or may not fit well with the rigid requirements.

Diets are expensive. Most diets require participants to buy specialty foods or prepared meals. On top of that, if you rely on prepared meals in order to know what you can eat, is this method sustainable? Do you know what you can eat or order when you are eating out or visiting friends and families?

Sometimes these protocols require supplements because certain foods are eliminated, thereby stripping the diet from certain nutrients. Supplements can be expensive. Moreover, there is no telling whether the body is actually utilizing those nutrients in the supplements. If the supplements are not in bio-available forms that are optimized for absorption, they will just pass out of the body and are practically useless.

If you are ready to learn how to safely manage calories and nutrients to shed some fat then I am here to help.  No foods are off limits when you make them fit your plan.  Learning the proper amount of fuel your body requires is so empowering.  

For more information about my upcoming Weight Management and Get Lean Group and Private Programs please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Group Classes start in September.

Published in Weight Loss
Friday, 26 August 2016 14:32

Diets Don’t Work

 

As a Holistic Nutritionist, one of the most common reasons clients come to see me is to lose weight.  I, in fact, have struggled the last few years with a bit of weight gain, stubborn fat loss and overtraining.  

I have tried almost every tactic out there to try to lose weight and achieve that skinny body that we all seem to think will make us happier.  I developed an unhealthy relationship with food and my body as a result.  Trying to starve myself and excessively exercise only to be disappointed when I stepped on the scale and saw no change, or worse.... an increase in weight.  

I fell prey to the latest dieting trends of high protein, low carb and developed adrenal and hormonal issues in the process.  It was what the latest health trends suggested, so it must be right??

It was a vicious cycle that had me in it's grip and finally, I was able to end it and help my body heal.  It took some time, and I had to eat more carbs in order for my adrenal and thyroid glands to be nourished properly, but I am happy to say, I have developed a much healthier relationship with food and the way I feel about my body. (picture above is me finishing my Multi Sport race this August.)

Most people who diet gain their weight back. And the weight fluctuation created by yo-yo dieting is actually worse for your health than just staying overweight!

Diets are not sustainable – they are alienating, stressful, depressing and restrictive. Most people can stick to a certain protocol for a while, but most of them have requirements that make them hard to sustain in the real world where we all have different things to juggle in our personal life, career, and family responsibilities.

Diets do not take into account bio-individuality, which means that every body is different – how the body metabolizes nutrients, and how each individual has a different lifestyle that may or may not fit well with the rigid requirements.

Diets are expensive. Most diets require participants to buy specialty foods or prepared meals. On top of that, if you rely on prepared meals in order to know what you can eat, is this method sustainable? Do you know what you can eat or order when you are eating out or visiting friends and families?

Sometimes these protocols require supplements because certain foods are eliminated, thereby striping the diet from certain nutrients. Supplements can be expensive. Moreover, there is no telling whether the body is actually utilizing those nutrients in the supplements. If the supplements are not in bio-available forms that are optimized for absorption, they will just pass out of the body and are practically useless.

If you are ready to learn how to safely manage calories and nutrients to shed some fat then I am here to help.  No foods are off limits when you make them fit your plan.  Learning the proper amount of fuel your body requires is so empowering.  

For more information about my upcoming Weight Management and Get Lean Group and Private Programs please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:51

A Very Personal Story

I am going to share with you a very real and personal story. It has actually taken me weeks to be able to write this, and quite honestly, I am still a little nervous to share it.

You see, many years ago I had an eating disorder. I was basically anorexic. My boyfriend broke up with me, my grandfather had a stroke and my mother got cancer. Within months, my grandfather and then my mother passed away. Now, most of you know this is why I got into Nutrition but what you probably didn’t know was that I had an unhealthy relationship with food back then. I basically didn’t eat. I was too stressed out and sad and the last thing I wanted to do was eat.
I lived on coffee and cigarettes. Holding it all together, seemingly.
Over the years, I gradually put back on the 15 lbs I lost, and managed to maintain that healthy weight through the birth of my daughter and my journey to become a nutritionist. P.S. I had given up smoking too btw.
Then…..around age 35
I started to gradually put on some weight. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel unhappy with myself. I went to a Nutritionist (Yes, I knew I needed to hand the reigns over to someone else) and dealt with my digestive issues and worked on supporting my adrenals and thyroid. I was healthy.
My weight continued to creep up and at this time, I was working out pretty hard in the gym. I was eating clean and trying every type of eating under the sun and nothing was working. Trust me, over the years I did the Master Cleanse, Cabbage Soup Diet, Vegetarian, Paleo, Low Carb, High Fat… UGH!!! It’s crap!!!

And the saying goes in the Nutrition world is, if you just eat clean, your weight will normalize.
Well, I call BULLSHIT! (disclaimer: I am not saying you can eat whatever you want, what I am saying is IN SPITE OF HEALTHY EATING and EXERCISE…. I was still putting on weight.

I started working out more. And I was beginning to see a glimmer of that old eating disorder start to resurface. I was teaching you how to safely lose weight, telling you to eat more and yet I couldn’t do it myself. 

I was NOT on a low-calorie diet. I was eating about 1600 calories a day on average. But it still wasn’t enough. My metabolism clearly was adapting to the shortage of food. I trained for a 25 km Multi-Sport race last year and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I was tired, stressed and my adrenals were not functioning optimally.  I hated food, I was “eating clean” and still putting on weight.   I was afraid of certain foods and avoiding them in my obsession.  I stopped teaching weight loss classes because I didn’t believe in it anymore. I felt like a joke.

Then I read an article that changed my life.  It was written by a woman who had lost 85 pounds and teaches healthy weight loss like I do.

This was the eye opener, reprinted with permission.

"Good Dieting Candidate
Your doctor has advised you to lose weight because it is affecting your health.
You lack energy and you're tired all of the time.
Your weight holds you back from regular day activities.
Your doctor says you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and has cleared you to exercise.
Your waist circumference is greater than 35 inches.
You have a family history of cancer.
Your knees, hips and back hurt on a regular basis due to excess weight on your joints.
You want to feel more comfortable in your skin.

Bad Dieting Candidate
You think you will only be happy once you hit your weight loss goal.
You're caught in a cycle of yo-yo dieting... Binging one day and depriving the next.
Ladies: You've stopped getting your period. This happened to me for 5 years. You can read all about my experiences overcoming hypothalamic amenorrhea here.
You think of dieting and/or exercise as punishment.
You equate your self-esteem to the number on the scale.
You've been dieting for at least 6 months and you have plateaued, despite being in a caloric deficit."  Ange Hauck

With guidance and more education, I am happy to be feeling better in my own body. 

If you would like to learn more, please book a free 20-minute phone chat with me so I can guide you through healthy weight loss, balancing your blood sugar and your hormones.

Deanna Trask RHN
Holistic Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Weight Loss, Hormone Balance, Blood Sugar Balance, Digestion and Food Sensitivities
1405 2nd Ave W, Owen Sound
www.nutritiousliving.ca
519-270-1889

Published in Weight Loss
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:19

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight

It’s Monday and you spent the entire weekend clearing out your cupboards, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week. You feel really good about being ‘good’ this week.

The diet has to work this time.

By 10:00am you are on a roll, about to eat your mid-morning snack and then it happens… you get called into a meeting and leave your apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on your desk. Hunger sets in but you can’t leave the emergency last minute meeting.

By 1:00pm you are starving, only having had your breakfast at 7:30am. It’s been five and a half hours since you’ve last eaten. You take one look at the salad you were so excited to eat, turn on your heels, and head for the nearest coffee shop. A salad isn’t going to cut it today… you are starving.

As the guilt sets in for skipping your salad and deviating from your diet on day 1 you think to yourself, “If I had a little more will power I would have eaten my salad.”

Sound familiar?

Will power is no match for hormones and hormonal based food cravings. See, hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, sleep, stress, cravings and your weight. You probably heard about the importance of balancing your hormones before, still, let me explain to you the 4 hormones that are in charge of your weight.

Once you understand just how powerful your hormones are you will be in a stronger position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight:

Insulin:
Fat storing hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.

Cortisol:
Stress hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fit or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.

Leptin:
Satiety controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signaled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severally damage the body’s ability to lose weight.

Ghrelin:
Stimulates hunger. Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistance, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

See, it’s not your fault. Hormone imbalances are to blame.

When your hormones are out of whack you crave carbs or fatty foods. You feel hungry most of the time and never quite feel full and satisfied. You have a hard time sleeping because you are under stress, which perpetuates the problem further. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss is next to impossible.

So how do you turn it around and balance the 4 hormones that promote weight loss?

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.

Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

2. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast.

Protein and fat promote feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. Try to have 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup veggies cooked in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.

3. Eat every 4 hours.

Avoid snacking every 2 hours or so. When you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose for energy and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours.

4. Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio.

Remember, we are trying to reduce cortisol levels (stress). Long bouts of cardio create a stress response in the body. Short, intense workouts, like sprints or weight lifting, is the best way to go. Workouts shouldn’t last more than 30 – 45 minutes if done at the right intensity.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep every night.

The body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. When you don’t have quality sleep it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and gives you cravings for carbs.

Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight. Follow these 5 tips above to gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t a battle of wills anymore.

Do you still need help?  I create personalized plans to help you balance your blood sugar, balance your hormones and lose the weight for good.

 Book your free 30-minute consult today to learn more about my services.  In person in Owen Sound, or online available. 

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 18:16

4 Hormones that Control Your Weight

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight

It’s Monday and you spent the entire weekend clearing out your cupboards, throwing away all of the ‘bad’ foods, grocery shopping and preparing your meals for the week. You feel really good about being ‘good’ this week.

The diet has to work this time.

By 10:00am you are on a roll, about to eat your mid-morning snack and then it happens… you get called into a meeting and leave your apple and 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on your desk. Hunger sets in but you can’t leave the emergency last minute meeting.

By 1:00pm you are starving, only having had your breakfast at 7:30am. It’s been five and a half hours since you’ve last eaten. You take one look at the salad you were so excited to eat, turn on your heels, and head for the nearest coffee shop. A salad isn’t going to cut it today… you are starving.

As the guilt sets in for skipping your salad and deviating from your diet on day 1 you think to yourself, “If I had a little more will power I would have eaten my salad.”

Sound familiar?

Willpower is no match for hormones and hormonal based food cravings. See, hormones help to regulate metabolism, blood sugar control, sleep, stress, cravings and your weight. You probably heard about the importance of balancing your hormones before, still, let me explain to you the 4 hormones that are in charge of your weight.

Once you understand just how powerful your hormones are you will be in a stronger position to keep them balanced so that they work for you instead of against you.

4 Hormones That Control Your Weight:

Insulin:
Fat storing hormone. Carries glucose molecules out of your blood stream to be delivered to your working muscles. Stores glucose (carbs) as fat for later use when muscle cells are full.

Cortisol:
Stress hormone. Secreted in response to emotional or physical stress (fit or flight response). Chronic stress keeps cortisol in the blood stream resulting in lowered immunity, suppressed thyroid function (metabolism), blood sugar imbalances (insulin) and increased abdominal fat.

Leptin:
Satiety controller. This hormone regulates hunger and feelings of being full. It’s signaled by the hypothalamus and secreted in fat cells. If leptin resistant you don’t feel full and keep eating. Tied to insulin and food cravings. Insulin resistance and leptin resistance are two hormones that can severally damage the body’s ability to lose weight.

Ghrelin:
Stimulates hunger. Secreted in the lining of the stomach and from the pancreas. Ghrelin increases before meals to stimulate hunger and is supposed to decrease after meals. Tied to leptin, which induces feelings of being full. When leptin resistance, insulin resistant and stressed out (high cortisol), ghrelin doesn’t shut off constantly telling your body you are starving.

See, it’s not your fault. Hormone imbalances are to blame.

When your hormones are out of whack you crave carbs or fatty foods. You feel hungry most of the time and never quite feel full and satisfied. You have a hard time sleeping because you are under stress, which perpetuates the problem further. When you are stuck in this cycle weight loss is next to impossible.

So how do you turn it around and balance the 4 hormones that promote weight loss?

1. Avoid all simple sugars, processed grains and foods with hidden sugars.

Sugar promotes high levels of insulin secretion. This includes 100% whole wheat and whole grains. Replace your grains with high fiber beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

2. Start your day with a protein and fat breakfast.

Protein and fat promote feelings of fullness, keeps blood sugar levels stable and signals the hypothalamus that you are full. Try to have 2-3 whole eggs with 1 cup veggies cooked in 1-2 tsp of coconut oil.

3. Eat every 4 hours.

Avoid snacking every 2 hours or so. When you are constantly eating, your body doesn’t have time to use up the glucose for energy and never gives your hormones a break. Your meals should be big enough to keep you feeling full for 4 hours.

4. Don’t over exercise or do long bouts of cardio.

Remember, we are trying to reduce cortisol levels (stress). Long bouts of cardio create a stress response in the body. Short, intense workouts, like sprints or weight lifting, is the best way to go. Workouts shouldn’t last more than 30 – 45 minutes if done at the right intensity.

5. Get 7 hours of sleep every night.

The body repairs itself during sleep. Your liver completes its detoxification cycle and your pancreas processes out the remaining glucose. When you don’t have quality sleep it creates a stress response, elevates insulin levels and gives you cravings for carbs.

Balancing your hormones is vital to your goal of losing weight. Follow these 5 tips above to gain better control over your hormones and the weight will start to come off. The best part is that when you do the work to balance your hormones, losing weight isn’t a battle of wills anymore.

Do you still want more help?  I create personalized plans to help you balance your blood sugar, balance your hormones and lose the weight.   Book your Free 30-minute consult today.

Published in Hormones
Thursday, 31 March 2016 15:59

Nutritious Living's Get Lean Program

Nutritious Living Get Lean 10 Week Group Classes will start on Monday, May 29 from 6:30-7:30 pm

Book now, spaces are limited.  

Are you tired of the dieting roller coaster? Unsure of what works and what doesn't? Learn how to eat right for your body and end the diet roller coaster. You don't need to purchase expensive shakes or ready made high protein foods to lose weight, you need to eat real whole foods in the correct amounts for your body. Fat loss is not always linear, and a good coach will help you understand what is going on in your body instead of drastically reducing your calories. Sustainable weight loss is not a drastic amount of weight lost in the first month, but many companies will try to lure you with photos of people who have dropped a tremendous amount of weight. Where will those folks be in a year from now?

Book your free 30-minute consult to learn more. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Private, Group and Online Options available

  • Learn about nutrition and what your body needs to be optimally healthy. 
  • Learn the necessary steps and tools to balance your blood sugar and hormones.
  • Receive a personalized plan based on your age, weight, height and activity level
  • Receive supporting documents:  manuals and recipe book
  • Unlimited email support
  • 10 Weekly 1 hour meetings with Nutrition Classes
  • Food Tracker Guidance and Support 

Book your free 30-minute assessment today to learn more about my programs held in group or private sessions in Owen Sound.

Private Sessions available in person or online. 

 

 

Published in Coming Events
Thursday, 03 March 2016 21:01

Amy

Just wanted to let you know my bloodwork was perfect this time ---- my cholesterol was reduced back to a normal range and my iron has increased since taking the iron pills.

and I confirmed that I will NOT have to take blood pressure medication!!!

love it :)

Amy

Published in Testimonials
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