It’s Not About The Diet. 

When it comes down to it, there’s not one special diet that will produce lasting weight loss for every person.  Many different nutritional approaches can work, assuming the person can stick with it.  A person should consider things like stress, cooking abilities, reasons for changing, and methods of sustaining the changes. Why have you been unsuccessful at changing in the past? Ultimately, your success will come from changing habits and that happens when you have a clear understanding of the problems, and you strive for creative solutions to those problems. Creativity is a highly under-appreciated skill when it comes to weight loss. Challenges will always be there and simple cookie-cutter approaches won’t work. You can “glean” strategies from popular diets, but you have to make it your own. Take what works and leave the rest.

Be a good scientist 
When it comes to weight loss, what no one will tell you is that there’s a lot of experimentation with finding the right formula for success. We all would like to believe that A + B = C.  Eat less, exercise more and you will lose weight. Well, yes.  But no. Yes, you must maintain an energy deficit to lose weight, but HOW exactly you accomplish this is where the experimentation comes into play.  Experiment with calories, macros, meal timing and exercise.  Don’t leave out strategies for sleep and stress reduction which play a major role in weight management.

Is it worth it?
Ultimately, the effort you put into changing existing habits must be worth it, which is to say, it must be rewarding. Make sure you carefully and continuously evaluate the pros and cons of adopting the desired change.  If you commit to daily exercise, for example, you must connect with the rewards in order for you to stick with it. Does this new behavior produce more energy? Better sleep? Improved mood? You may say you want to eat “right” and exercise, but the brain sees through your vain attempts. In order for the new behavior to stick, your brain must be rewarded for it.  If there is a powerful reward to your new behavior, your brain will commit that to memory so you can quickly remember it for next time. The caveat: your brain loves instant gratification. Make sure your rewards are thought out.

The next time you’re tempted to try the next popular diet, ask yourself if a new diet is really what you need.  More likely, you need to go deeper and recall what strategies did or did not work in the past.  You don’t need another diet to follow. You need to find your own diet to follow.

Support yourself with the best!  We would love the opportunity to partner with you on your journey.  Schedule a time to speak with one of our coaches today!

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Exercise Is Medicine

What if there were one pill you could take daily that protected against disease, cancer, aging and a host of other maladies?  In addition, it might cure depression and counter the harmful effects of stress and anxiety.  And then, what if I added that this pill was super low cost, and without any unwanted side effects?  As it turns out, exercise is that magic pill.

Exercise:

  • Improves memory and cognitive function
  • Improves mood, induces happiness and sense of well-being
  • Reduces risk of colon, breast, lung and endometrial cancer (and likely many others)
  • Improves cognitive function by enhancing neurogenesis and neuroplastisty (new brain cells and synaptic connections)
  • Improves function of endocrine system (naturally balances hormones)
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia
  • Improves self-confidence
  • Reduces pain
  • Reduces blood pressure naturally
  • Promotes blood sugar control/increases insulin sensitivity
  • Reduces inflammation in the body
  • Improves immune function (get sick less frequently)
  • Increases muscular strength and flexibility
  • Prevents weight gain

Most people understand that exercise is good for them on a surface level, but they’ve heard the same recycled message over and over.  Simply knowing that exercise is good for health doesn’t automatically translate into someone adopting it as a health behavior.  So the question we all need to ask is, how specifically is exercise good for MY body?  The challenge here is that oftentimes we won’t know the answer to this question until we have been practicing the behavior for some time.  For example, you wouldn’t appreciate the mood-boosting effects of running until you were 20 minutes into the run, and you wouldn’t be able to appreciate the full health benefits until running became routine, instead of something you did just once or twice.

It’s worth pointing out that exercise should ultimately be something you enjoy, and it certainly doesn’t need to be complicated.  If you have been inactive for some time, there will be discomfort as your body adapts to the new physical demands.  But once you build an aerobic and fitness base, you will come to need physical challenge much the same way you need to eat and sleep.  Movement and physical activity is natural.  Being sedentary is not.  Bodies are designed to move and not sit for 8 hours at a time.  At its core, exercise should work the cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system.  This means cardio + building or maintaining muscle and bone tissue.  Bone, by the way, is living tissue.  Incorporating resistance training into your exercise routine helps protect against sarcopenia and osteopenia.  Translated, this means strong muscles and strong bones—a sturdy frame that you have the privilege of using while on this earth.  This body is the only one you have, so take good care of it.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s not all or nothing and any exercise is better than no exercise.  Find some movements and activities that you can do and just start doing them.  Get creative with your exercise and try new things.  One of the most important things you can do in the beginning stages is to surround yourself with others who are committed to an active lifestyle.  Try some group fitness classes or hiking groups.  Spend money by hiring a personal trainer who can encourage, inspire and push you to do more than you thought you could.  Whatever you do, just get moving and stay moving.  Practice.

“The most effective way to do it, is it to do it.”–Amelia Earhart

Cheers! To Another Year of Dieting

My title is a sarcastic one.

Today is January 2nd, 2018. Post holidays, post New Year’s celebration, and post Rose Bowl. I was reminded of two things last night while watching the football game: Americans are obsessed with food, and Americans are obsessed with dieting. In between the food-porn commercials were perfectly timed advertisements for commercial weight-loss diets. I’ve long been aware of the effects that food commercials have on individual behavior. There is a reason they don’t just talk about the delicious (subjective) food, but rather they show you. They zoom in on that juicy burger with the fat glistening in the artificial spotlight. They must show you pizza and show you how attractive, fit people look when they are enjoying that food (calling that food is debatable).  Thirty seconds later, a commercial for a diet that promises weight loss with little effort.  It’s maddening.

 

As a dietitian/nutritionist, and a personal trainer, and a licensed massage therapist, health is my thing.  Some assume that I am healthy naturally, and that I don’t have to work for it.  The opposite is true. Because I once was SO unhealthy, I decided to make changes and that ultimately led me to pursue training in the health and wellness field. I work hard, very hard, but it’s all worth it.  I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, despite the fact that I. AM. aging. Slowly, but surely, as we all are.  A good nutritionist doesn’t simply promote the latest diet or food fad.  A good nutritionist & health guru understands that an individualized approach is what’s needed and works to educate, coach, and inspire willing individuals to make the tiny, and sometimes, major changes to promote health and disease resistance.  For most people, gradual, but unfailing dedication will produce the results.  What we are more familiar with is the yo-yo diet, binge-purge cycle which is the American way.  Sure, weight loss can be easy.  Many of us can attest to the fact that diets can produce results in the short-term, but short-term results is not truly what we’re after.  Long-term success is what we all want, but few achieve and that requires us to dig deep and be honest with ourselves. It requires a person to figure out what makes them tick. Do you want the instant gratification that comes with eating and drinking the way that everyone else does?  Or, are you after the more sustaining rewards that comes from hard work?  We all reap what we sow, which is to say, if you make the sacrifices, the payoff–the reward will be worth it.

   For 2018, I plead with you to do it differently this year.  Say NO to another diet, but instead commit to a personal lifestyle change.  A life worth having is one defined by how much you THRIVE. For me as a health professional, that can be measured not simply by the absence of disease, but by overall health and wellness. Take it a step further and think about your energy levels, your sleep, and how you feel in your body. Do you feel amazing? Do you feel energetic?  Do you feel empowered?  We can’t control every aspect of our health, but there are many factors that we can control. Do these things for a better 2018, followed by an even better 2019.

 

  • Eat better–don’t eat junk and cut the sugar. Eat whole foods that are natural.
  • Plan & Prepare your own food
  • Sleep better
  • Manage Stress better
  • Be active and exercise daily
  • Don’t eat too much
  • Don’t drink too much
  • If you are overweight, focus on weight loss
  • Commit to getting support
  • Be more mindful and pay attention to the clues/cues

 

Lifestyle change is the answer, but you don’t want to embark on that journey alone. Grab some friends, and build up your health team.  Start by giving us a call.  We can point you in the right direction with the nutrition and weight loss, and recommend other professionals to help with the rest.  You need a team. Ready, Set, Go. 2018 comin’ at ya!

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Mind Your Meals

If you’ve ever polished off a bag of chips while watching your favorite Netflix show, you’ll be familiar with the practice of mindless eating.  We all do it more than we realize or care to admit.  What you may be less familiar with is the concept of Mindful eating, or more specifically, how Mindful eating can help you plug back in to your internal cues for hunger and satiety.

The body is incredible.  It was designed to notify, or “cue” us to eat when we’re hungry, and cue us to stop eating when we’re full.  It does this through the action of the nervous system and hormone messengers.  Grehlin, for example, is a hormone secreted by the gut and it essentially yells, “hey, I’m hungry!  Feed me now!”  On the other hand, the hormone Leptin is secreted by appetite cells and its role is to whisper, “hey, I’m full now.  Human, you may stop eating.” These are 2 of the more well-known hormone regulators of appetite and I share this with you to help you understanding that minding what you eat is more complex than simply exerting willpower.  Sometimes your intention of mindfully eating only 1 cookie will be overridden by the brains executive decision to binge, since the parts of your brain involved in reward are powerful drivers of your eating behavior.

So what is Mindful Eating?  Mindful eating is the practice (emphasis on the word “practice”) to consciously eat in way that nourishes you.  Mindful Eating means that you focus your attention on the experiences involved with eating, free from any distractions.  Mindful eating means you are fully present while eating. not driving, texting or watching TV.  When you are consciously tuned in and aware, the idea is that you will be able to know when you are full.  The reality, however, is more complex for two reasons:  One, in our modern culture, it’s nearly impossible to be mindful every time we eat or drink (unless you happen to be a Buddhist Monk).  Secondly, mindful eating doesn’t hold up too well when it comes to hyperpalatable foods that are high in sugar.  Appetite regulation was designed to work perfectly for our ancestors, who ate whole, natural foods when food wasn’t always readily available.  In our modern culture, processed food is ubiquitous.  Whereas our ancestors faced periods of feast and famine, our modern lives are shaped by life-long relationships with junk food, in a constant state of feasting.

Modern Mindful Eating
This doesn’t mean we should abandon the practice of Mindful Eating, but we need to acknowledge its limitations.  Mindful eating is an excellent way to free yourself from the guilt and shame involved in eating and dieting.  The practice of Mindful Eating may look different for each person, but what is important is that we each take time to prepare our own meals and slow down when we’re eating.  Get curious about your eating behaviors and pay attention.  Your body is always talking to you.  Are you listening?

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IT’S NOT A DIET. IT’S A LIFESTYLE CHANGE

This time of the year, I’m acutely aware of the challenges that we all face when it comes to this health-giving lifestyle we’re all striving for.  Striving is a strong word, but it’s an accurate way to describe how hard we all must fight to maintain our health habits during the holidays.  To say it’s a struggle would be an understatement.

Not just about willpower
Too often with weight loss, it’s implied that willpower is the deciding factor between who can successfully manage their weight, and who cannot.  But willpower is limited and actually plays a minor role in health behaviors.  Instead, the keys to success have more to do with arranging your environment and social situations (cues) then it does with willpower.  Instead of relying on willpower, which is limited, try arranging your world so that the health habits flow naturally.  If you want to eat less calories, serve yourself on a smaller plate and bulk it up with vegetables.  If you are trying to make a habit of walking every day, set your shoes and socks by the door the night before.

  In order to adopt health habits that work, you need to set yourself up to succeed.  Spend time with people who are active and have a diverse range of active hobbies, for example,  and you’ll likely find yourself being more active.  Peer pressure is a highly under-rated tool.  Unfortunately, peer-pressure usually works to reinforce negative health habits.  Once you understand the power of social and environmental cues, you will develop strategies that work for you instead of against you.

If you are tired of the yo-yo diet cycle, you’ll have to get off the hamster wheel.  Don’t wait until January to start making some changes, but instead, start making tiny changes now and you’ll be way ahead of the game.  When everyone else is starting their annual purge-diet, you’ll be in a much better position to establish habits that you can actually stick with.

     Diets can produce short-term results, but a lifestyle change requires planning, commitment and a change to existing habits.  A lifestyle change requires an honest assessment of current health habits.  Scratch below the surface of bad eating habits and likely you will find an emotional attachment to foods.  So in essence, it’s not about the right diet or perfect foods, but rather it’s about dealing with the emotional and psychological factors—dealing with the “why” behind the eating behavior and unfortunately, there’s not one magical fix for that.  The journey requires deep introspection and honesty.  It requires a commitment to work hard, despite some setbacks along the way.  If you want “it” bad enough, you’ll fight hard for it.  The question you have to ask yourself:  is it worth it?  I hope you find the answer is an emphatic YES!

We love what we do.  We love partnering with individuals like you with a passion for lifestyle change.

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Indulge-LESS This Holiday Season

I don’t totally mean to be a buzz kill, but we need to talk about over-indulging.  Yes, I know, it’s right smack dab in the holiday season, which is exactly why we need to be talking about it.  The time between Halloween and New Year’s Day is a very challenging time indeed—a time when bellies are full and health habits go to die.  It’s the time of the year when people say, “To heck with it!  I’ll get back on track in January.”  But that attitude ensures that the cycle of yo-yo dieting will continue, and no one really wants to live like that.

A problem of pollution
It’s important to identify the problem if you’re going to be successful.  You might think the problem is your willpower, but I would argue that it’s just a matter of increased environmental pollution and pressure (Holiday celebrations galore).  Scientist Brian Wansink would say that most of our food-related decisions are unconscious and in response to environmental cues. If candy is lying out in plain sight, you’ll eat more of it than if it’s hidden away in a co-workers drawer.  Out of sight, out of mind.   Just the simple act of putting food away is a barrier that results in less calories eaten.  So the problem with the holiday season is that there’s an increase in food cues, which is to say that the environment is polluted.  It’s important to understand that the brain is wired for pleasure.  We shouldn’t be surprised that the primitive parts of our brains cause us to seek out high-fat, high-sugar, hyper-palatable foods.  At one time, this was advantageous for survival.  But now, instead of the relative risk of food scarcity, we have the opposite problem of food abundance.  And this isn’t just any food.  This is food that has been engineered to be high-calorie and highly rewarding.  Brownies, cookies, cakes—they all provide an intensely pleasurable experience and the brain remembers that for next time (hence the bad habits)

   The frontal lobe
Again, we shouldn’t be surprised that our brains drive us to eat junk food.  Armed with that information, the next logical question is:  how do we change our response?  The answer is simple, but the practice requires effort.  First, decide that you want to do it.  At some point you have to become so frustrated that you are motivated to change.  But then we must maintain that motivation and commitment to change.  Crowd out the junk food with natural, whole foods that are low in sugar and low in calories.  Apply the 80/20 rule.  80% real food and 20% reserved for your favorites.

The problem with portions
The problem is not the problem you think.  It’s not the gluten, it’s not the grains, and to some extent, it’s not even about the junk food.  The problem is the amount.  It’s the calories and the fact that most Americans are just eating too much of everything.  Each person’s body is designed to run on a certain amount of energy (calories).  When we consume too many calories, this puts a metabolic stress on the body which ultimately leads to chronic disease and inflammation.  It seems so old-fashioned and unpopular to say, but the primary issue to target for weight loss is the calories and portions.

  And here we are full-circle, right smack dab in the middle of the holiday season.  How about you try something new this year?  How about you say NO to dieting and instead make the decision to indulge less—as in less amount and less often?  Bulk up on vegetables, roasted or raw, perhaps.  Make a ¼ of your plate a lean protein and then reserve the other ¼ of your plate for your favorite starchy foods or desserts?  And remember, it’s just one meal!  Practice Mindful Eating and focus on enjoying the company of friends and family.

Health goals?  Don’t wait until January!  We have a variety of programs and services to help you reach your goals.

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Non-Scale Victories

Let’s talk about “the scale.”  The scale is what most people use to measure their weight, and that makes sense.  In the basic sense, a scale measures a person’s mass, which is to say, a person’s weight due to the gravitational forces on earth.  But instead of measuring our health in Newton’s, we measure our health in terms of pounds or kilograms.  When I work with clients, their primary goal is to lose weight.  These clients come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but in our practice, they are all united in this fight against weight.

Weight gain is common.  Losing weight is common.  What is uncommon is maintaining a healthy weight for the course of a person’s life, or losing weight (if overweight) and keeping it off indefinitely.  Unfortunately, weight regain is the norm and most clients I work with would tell you that they know HOW to lose weight, but that they can’t seem to keep it off.  This is not a personal moral failure on their part.  People who struggle with weight must battle on many fronts and they are some of the most courageous people I know.  Why?  Because society tells them that they are failures, but somehow, they find the strength to come up for one more fight.

The scale

I don’t have problems with using the scale as part of the assessment process.  Usually, there’s a “sweet” spot for people—a small range in weight (pounds or kilos)  in which they will function at their best.  It is common for weight to fluctuate within a few pounds, but when weight creeps, or jumps up too quickly, then that person will know that something is off balance.  Weighing oneself on a regularly basis is a useful tool for most, but again, it’s not the only tool.  Certainly, it’s not the best measurement of a person’s health.

Body composition

A better tool to measure weight is a body composition analyzer.  In our practice, we always test body composition.  This is a better assessment tool than a common scale because not only does it tell the weight, but more importantly, it tells what that weight consists of.  How much muscle mass or “lean” mass does this person have vs fat?  How hydrated are they?  If they’ve lost weight, did they lose precious muscle?  If they’ve maintained weight, did they gain muscle mass?  This helps us to go a little deeper to get at the root of what people want.  People say that they want to lose weight, but technically what they mean is that they want to lose body fat.

But even beyond numbers, the goals behind the numbers are much more personal.  I’ve had clients tell me that they want to be able to get on the floor and play with their kid, or be able to tie their shoes.  Some people just want to “look” better and feel better in their clothes, but behind every weight loss goal number is the REAL reason they are here.  They want to have life and have it abundantly.  This is why weight loss is a journey, and not just some finish line.

So what are your non-scale victories? 

If you’re looking to the scale every week and every year for confirmation that you’re on track, you will, at times, be very disappointed.  I was talking with a lady who said that she gave up sugar, refined white flour and started exercising regularly (and eating right).  She did this for nearly a year and felt amazing, but she only lost 5# and so she quit.  I then asked her, “but how did you feel?”  She responded, emphatically, “Amazing.”  Well, there you go.  And that’s where relying on the scale can go wrong.

Off the top of my head, I can list several benefits of weight loss that would be noticeable without ever stepping on a scale and here they are:

  • Improved energy
  • Better sleep
  • Less inflammation
  • Less Pain
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Better mobility and flexibility
  • Feeling empowered
  • Radiating skin

If I had more time, the list could go on.  I would like to reinforce that weight loss is not just about the numbers.  Motivation to sustain health habits comes from feeling it from within.  Weight loss is deeply personal and it’s imperative to be able to congratulate yourself for non-scale victories along the way.  The non-scale victories will be the fuel that ignites your passion to keep. Moving. Forward.  One step at a time.

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Have a Healthy Holiday

  For many, Halloween marks the start of a challenging season for weight management.  But with the right planning, you won’t fall into the same old traps. Here are some practical strategies to help keep you focused. Many of these strategies have been tested by scientist and expert Brian Wansink who runs the Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. He is also the author of Mindless Eating and Slim by Design, which I highly recommend reading if you are trying to lose weight. Visit his website here.

Strategies to help you avoid holiday weight gain:

  • Survey, then change your environment. Set yourself up for success by keeping junk food out of sight and out of mind. Clear the home and work environment, and if that’s not an option, distance yourself as much as possible from the polluted environment (i.e., stay out of the work break room)
  • Don’t arrive to parties famished. Have a meal or light snack ahead of time so you won’t be physically hungry
  • Wear your best belt or fitted clothes
  • Fill up on crudités and vegetables (fiber)
  • Don’t drink your calories. Sparkling water, unsweet tea and zero calorie, zero sugar beverages only
  • Eat from a smaller plate. This has a profound psychological effect causing you to eat less
  • Have some protein! Lean proteins such as boiled shrimp or grilled chicken help with satiety
  • Don’t hang around the buffet table. Take the conversation in another room. Better yet, get outside or take a walk
  • Distract your hands by drinking unsweet tea, seltzer water or club soda.
  • Chew gum
  • Just say no and practice being assertive

Finally, have the right mindset. What are your intentions when you attend parties and gatherings? Ultimately, each person is unique in regard to their goals and motivations. Attitude and “how” you eat is almost more important that “what” you will eat. If you’re intention is to lose weight during the holidays, that’s great. If you are dedicated and committed to this goal, you WILL lose weight during the holidays. If your goal is to maintain weight during the holidays, that is also noble. If you stay focused, you will avoid the holiday weight trap that so many Americans fall into.  Above all, stay mindful and grateful.

 

Nutrition Science 101

The study of Nutrition is a science; The application of nutrition is an art.  The wonderful thing about nutrition is that eating right for your body doesn’t require any special knowledge or training.  Humans have an intuitive ability to know what their body needs, and yet, most of us aren’t listening.  Many people tend to be obsessed with fad diets and nutrition facts, and yet lack an overall appreciation or understanding of the affects that whole foods have on their health.  They may “major in the minors” when it comes to nutrition and “miss the forest for the trees.”  An example might be avoiding gluten, while neglecting areas such as over-consumption of foods and physical inactivity.  Four major areas to investigate with weight loss are nutrition, exercise, stress and sleep, but let’s start with a super basic review of nutrition.

Calories

  • In human nutrition, calories are needed by the body to do work
  • Individual needs vary depending on age, sex, size, genetics and activity levels
  • They are neither bad, nor good, but simply a way of measuring the amount of energy a food provides us

Calorie expenditure is divided between resting metabolic rate, thermic effect of foods (energy used for the digestion of food), non-exercise activity and exercise. Our muscles and organs are the biggest consumers of calories at rest.

Macronutrients

  • Nutrients that provide calories or energy
  • Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions
  • Needed in large amounts

Carbohydrates*Generally, should comprise ~45-65% of daily caloric intake. Provide 4 calories/gm. Slow carbs are low-glycemic load and fast carbs are high-glycemic load.

ProteinGenerally, should comprise ~20-30% of daily caloric intake. Provide 4 calories/gm. 

FatGenerally, should comprise ~15-30%. Provide 9 calories/gm. Saturated fats are typically found in animal products, whereas unsaturated fats are primarily sourced from plants.

Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring chemicals that provide plants with color, odor and flavor. They contribute greatly to our health by fighting inflammation, free radical damage and they also help to balance our hormones.

Right now many individuals are starting to understand that a calorie is not a calorie.  In fact, different foods have different effects on the body and with genetic testing more widely available, we know that no two people respond to the same diet in the same way.  That’s why it’s important to get a nutrition plan specifically tailored for you.  If you are interested in working with a registered dietitian who can write a nutrition plan for you, click here.  Dietitians are uniquely qualified to prescribe specific nutrient recommendations and it can be highly worth your time.

 

 

Your Health and Termites

Do you have termite protection for your house? I remember the first conversation I had about termite prevention in my newly purchased home.  I was dismissive of the idea of paying someone hundreds of dollars every year to prevent the possible risk of termite damage.  It was at a time when I was already peeved about the unexpected costs that go along with owning a home.  I had always been a renter—never had to purchase things like garden tools, lawnmowers and weed eaters.  The cost quickly added up.  Fast forward 3 years when we were getting ready to purchase our new (old) home in the city, the inspection came back with the news that there was termite damage to the structure of the house.  It was estimated to cost $10,000 to repair the damage.  Fortunately, the seller picked up the tab, but you can believe that every year after I have gladly payed the termite company to provide routine preventive treatments.  Why? Because now I am armed with the knowledge that these tiny little termites can do significant amounts of damage over time.  Not to mention, I regularly see them around in my yard.  The thing about termites is that often you don’t see them and you certainly don’t see the silent damage that they are doing.  Little by little, and slowly over time, they can eat away underneath the surface.  It’s not uncommon for the façade of the structure to look completely normal, meanwhile the core of the foundation is rotted.

This is a health blog so where am I going with this?  What if I told you that the health habits you have today are paving the road for the health (or disease) you will have in the future.  Perhaps right now you’re putting off making changes because you seem healthy.  You might even have a clean bill of health from the doctor because he or she said your labs look fine, but the problem is that chronic diseases often develop over years and decades.  The silent damage is low-grade chronic inflammation that over time develops into a debilitating chronic illness.  At the golden time of retirement—when you are supposed to be having the time of your life—you’re instead spending your time and money on healthcare, or as I sometimes refer to as sick care.

  Hypertension is known as the silent killer.  According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans has high blood pressure and only about half of them know it and have it under control. The World Health Organization lists high blood pressure as the most important preventable cause of heart disease and stroke worldwide.  I spend a lot of time listening to and coaching clients who want to achieve a higher level of health.  For every client I DO get to talk with, there are a hundred others that I DON’T get to talk with.  There’s a general vibe in our culture where we assume a person’s health is fine until there is some obvious sign.  It’s like not changing the oil in your car for a 100,000 miles and assuming it’s fine because the check engine light hasn’t come on.  Meanwhile, there’s been a strange knocking sound coming from under the hood for a few months now.

So poor health choices are like termites.  It’s hard to convince yourself to invest in yourself because you seem “fine.”  In reality, the termites—the metabolic stress, inflammation and toxins are always there, but they are invisible.  If it’s invisible, then what are the signs that health troubles are on the way?

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Weight gain/obesity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Reflux
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Insulin resistance (which buy the way doctor’s don’t routinely test this)
  • Depression
  • Being told you need medications to treat any of the above

Other signs are less obvious and more nuanced.  I encourage my clients to think of a time when they were at their healthiest “sweet spot.”  What was that like?  How did you feel and what were you doing?  How far have you strayed from that person?  I’m not going to sugar coat it:  Making and developing new health habits is HARD.  It’s mostly hard because no one can tell you exactly how to do it and there’s a lot of trial and error.  But I can say from personal experience that the payoff is worth the effort.  I would encourage you to tune in and listen to your body.  It’s always talking, usually letting you know when things are off balance.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Do something to change the trajectory now!

Don’t go at alone!  We all need to make changes in a supportive environment.  We love to partner with people just like you so please reach out.  http://www.nutritionsolutionsonline.com/nutrition-coaching/