Sunday, 07 May 2017 23:32

Can't Sleep? Try These Tips

It’s been proven that sleeping through the night will help you lose weight. The more up and down you are throughout the night, the more likely you are to not only not lose weight- but you’re more prone to gain weight. This is related to a hormone level reaction. Waking up throughout the night disrupts how this hormone reacts and is made within the body, thus leading to weight gain. Researchers believe (and have proven over and over again in studies) that sleeping throughout the night helps to regulate all hormones, improving your metabolism and promoting weight loss.

Ok, this is easier said than done- right? Wrong. You can get a good night’s sleep. In fact, sleeping through the night is not only good for your waistline, it’s great for productivity purposes, too. Here are my seven tips for getting more sleep each and every night!

1. Don’t drink anything caffeinated after three in the afternoon. This sounds obvious, but it’s hard to do. Coffee, green tea (well, any tea), and sodas (which you shouldn’t drink anyway) are all sources of caffeine and beverages we’ve learned to drink well into our favourite primetime programs. Cutting off caffeinated drinks after three in the afternoon will improve your ability to go to sleep on time and stay asleep throughout the night.

2. Keep your bedroom at 68°F and dark. This temperature is scientifically proven to help people sleep through the night. The warmer your room, the harder it will be to sleep. And bright lights or bright paint will not help your ability to sleep. Think ‘bat cave’ at a cool and crisp sixty-eight degrees.

3. Have a ten minute prior to bedtime routine. This will help you psychology prepare for sleep. Don’t just fall asleep whenever. Set a time and then set up a routine that allows your brain and body to cool down before you attempt to sleep. Some people write down what they’re thankful for ten minutes before bedtime, others pray, some people sit quietly and meditate. Do whatever works for you that doesn’t involve checking your phone or email.

4. Take the clock out of your room. You don’t need this. You think you do, you don’t. Trust me and try it for a week. Your body will naturally know when to wake up once on schedule. So, put the alarm clock down the hall or outside the door until you can get your body trained to wake up on time and without the clock. Having a clock in your room adds a subconscious pressure that awaits tomorrow’s stress. Don’t think about time or tomorrow, remove the clock and focus on being present in your bed.

5. Don’t eat heavy meals after seven at night. This will help you avoid digestive issues that will have you back and forth to the bathroom during the night. It also helps avoid foods that are prone to disrupt sleep. The same goes for drinking. Try not to drink anything (including water) an hour before your bedtime to avoid unwanted interruptions.

6. Shut off the phone. Many smartphones have sleep modes. Set your emergency numbers and ringtones to how you desire. Shut off the email and other non-essential alerts. Make sure the phone is across the room where you can’t see, hear or sense it.

7. Don’t go to the gym at night. Working out releases hormones and dopamine in the brain, which can make you feel great and even ambitious. So ambitious that you can’t seem to ‘settle down’ and you just have to send an email, plan out an idea or concept, etc. Plan your fitness routine for the mornings. Even if you have to wake up early, getting to the gym or walking early in the morning or late in the afternoon is far better than working out past dinner time.
Sleeping consistently is a crucial step in any fitness or weight loss routine. Getting a good night’s sleep can also help prevent strokes and heart disease and improve productivity. It also reduces stress levels. Don’t be one of these people who claim they don’t have time to sleep a full six to eight hours a night. That’s nonsense and it will eventually catch up to them medically. Our bodies sleep for a reason and we shouldn’t ignore our body’s natural urge to rest for more than four hours.
Sleep can also reduce how old you look. Proper sleep helps to improve skin elasticity and decreases bags under the eyes. By sleeping a minimum of six hours per night, for three months straight, you can take three to five years off of your appearance without any cosmetic procedure.
So look great, become healthier, and improve productivity simply by implementing these easy-to-follow seven tips into your daily routine!

If you think you might need more help, book an appointment with me to talk about hormone and blood sugar balancing, or perhaps helpful supplements.

Published in Deanna's Blog
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 18:19

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, 03 March 2016 20:45

Adrenal Exhaustion (Chronic Fatigue)

 

We've all been there. In times of stress, our bodies go on high alert and suddenly the simple things that create balance in our lives – like getting enough sleep – seem impossible. We “hit a wall” and crash into depression, or worse, because our bodies are spent and completely exhausted. This is called adrenal fatigue and is the results of our primal “fight or flight” stress response never letting down.

Our adrenal glands kick all systems into high gear when we're stressed. As their name implies, the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline among other potent hormones. Located just above the kidneys, it is the basic task of the adrenal glands to respond to stress by rushing your whole body into “fight or flight” mode.

This means our adrenal glands either signal our body to rage against whatever illness or irritant is causing the stress, or flee to a safe place where the stress can be avoided. For instance, to fight, our adrenal glands signal the heart to work harder, increasing the heart rate and elevating blood pressure. Energy use increases immediately as demands on the body's stores increase under the influence of the adrenal hormones. Then, when the crisis is abated, the adrenal glands restore themselves and replenish energy supplies for the next emergency.

If we are constantly over-worked, undernourished and chronically exposed to toxins with no sign of a break, then there's no let-up for the adrenal glands. Eventually, they will bottom out and plummet into adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are not longer able to adapt to any amount of stress.

When this happens, the effects can be widespread and long-lasting, causing suppression of the immune system, hormonal imbalance, skin flare-ups, autoimmune diseases and mood disorders. Adrenal fatigue is, indeed, the underlying factor in many stress-related conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to colitis, chronic fatigue to Alzheimer's.

People with adrenal exhaustion or chronic fatigue can appear quite normal but, inside, they live with a feeling of always having to push themselves too far. To keep themselves going, these exhausted people rely on stimulants such as caffeine or sugar.

Often, people with worn out adrenal glands seem lazy or unmotivated but quite the opposite is true – they tend to be high-achiever or workaholics. In their state of adrenal exhaustion, unfortunately, they have to push themselves harder to merely accomplish the basic tasks.

Does this sound like someone you know? If so, find out more about ways to heal adrenal exhaustion and restore relaxation and vitality.

Deanna Trask RHN
www.nutritiousliving.ca
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519-270-1889

References

The SuperStress Solution by Roberta Lee. Random House, New York, 2010.

Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 19:04

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

A More Amazing You:  Health Strategy- Reduce Stress 

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  

‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com

So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 

What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 

Is there something you can start with this week? 

Published in Stress