Slower Metabolism During Menopause Can Be Improved

When metabolism slows down you may gain weight.  But what exactly does this mean, and are you doomed to a slower metabolism during menopause?

Slower Metabolism During Menopause | What is Metabolism | Women's Health

Technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It is how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do. Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. Without this amazing biochemistry process, you couldn’t possibly continue to exist.

Metabolism Includes How the Cells in Your Body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.

Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic Rate

Metabolic rate is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).

The calories you eat go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions of for normal body functioning).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).

As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.

There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.

The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.

What Affects Your Metabolic Rate?

In a nutshell: a lot!

Metabolic Rate Influencers | Metabolism Response | You can affect your metabolism

Metabolic Rate Influencers | Metabolism Response | You can affect your metabolism

The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.

But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.

Your size also counts too!

Larger people have higher metabolic rates, but your body composition is crucial!

As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out. Unfortunately lean muscle mass has a tendency to decrease as you age.

This is exactly why weight training is often recommended in midlife. You want muscles to be burning those calories for you.

The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  You definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.

Movement, in which you get your heart rate up, also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”. However, when you do aerobic activity, you also tend to feel hungrier afterward and eat more; therefore overcompensating for increased metabolic rate.

Exercising for long periods of time or at a strenuous level puts stress on your body. Stress that your body could handle when you were younger, now causes too much cortisol. That can show up in more belly fat.

The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!

Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF). You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently. Fats, for example, increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.

Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.

High sugar, nutrient depleted foods have an effect on your insulin.  When your blood sugar is in a roller coaster pattern, your insulin levels tend to increase.  Higher insulin, especially combined with higher cortisol levels encourages your body to store fat in the belly as a protective mechanism. Controlling your blood sugar is important, yet harder to do as you age.

And don’t forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate. Not getting enough sleep puts stress on your brain and body functions.  Again, these can cause your body to store body fat in the stomach area.

Slower Metabolism During Menopause Can Be Stopped

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.

Learning how to create habits for healthy living, even during perimenopause and into menopause, can help you break the slow down of your metabolism and allow you to keep that belly fat off. Simple changes to the food you eat, how you exercise, how much you sleep, and how you take care of yourself need to be different from when you were 20 or even 30.

Schedule a 20-minute phone conversation with me today. I can help you feel your best during this time of transition of your body and halt the slower metabolism during menopause with the use of labs and lifestyle changes.

Recipe: Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts

Serves 4

  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 chicken breasts (Free-range, local), can use thighs. Skin or no skin to your taste
  • dash salt & pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish.  Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.

Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper.  Place remaining lemon, herbs, and garlic on top of the chicken.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!

Slower Metabolism During Menopause | What is Metabolism | Women's Health

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-energy-balance

https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism

https://www.metaboliceffect.com/menopause-weight-gain/

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4 Secrets to Stop Overeating at Meals and Lose Weight

Overeating at meals can be subconscious.  You get used to eating a certain amount of food.  You fill your plate, and you eat. What once made you uncomfortably full, now is normal.   Learn these secrets to help you eat less during your meals. without stressing over it. If you are eating nourishing, whole foods, you will start to see the number on the scale drop.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less

As you know, eating whole foods, that are nutritious for your body is critical to having a balanced healthy body.  However, even when you overeat a healthy meal, it can leave you feeling uncomfortable, bloated, and even gain weight.  Once you have started eating meals that are filled with healthy macronutrients of protein, carbs, and healthy fats, you may want to stop overeating at meals to feel sexy in your jeans.

4 Secrets to Stop Overeating at Meals 

(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)

Tip #1: Start with some water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate and dive into the food.

Did you know that it’s possible to confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast. Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  This super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less | Water

Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the main meal, leaving less room for the feast, but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.

Extra Tip: drink your water 20-30 minutes before you sit down to eat, so you don’t dilute your stomach acid.

Win-win!

Tip #2: Smaller Plates

The size of plates has slowly crept larger and larger over the last couple of decades.  Try purchasing new plates.  Recently I have seen plates 12″ and even saw a 14″ plate. I thought it was a platter, but it was considered a dinner plate.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less | Size of Plates

When you serve yourself food, you will automatically put less food on a smaller plate.  Plus your mind, when it sees a full plate, tells you that you ate more than you realize.  When there is the same amount of food on a larger plate, you think you eat less and feel less full, so you want to keep eating.

It took me a while to find 8″ plates.  They are considered salad plates, but they really are a great size for a satisfying meal.  I challenge you to find a 8 or 9-inch plate and see if it makes a difference.

Tip #3: Try eating “mindfully”

You’ve heard of mindfulness, but have you applied that to your eating habits? This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.

Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment, being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.

Do this by pausing before you begin to eat (even saying a prayer of thanks) taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste, and texture.  Breathe.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less | Mindful

This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.

When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full. Take your time, pay attention to your food, and enjoy every bite.

Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen) and put your fork down between bites.

Tip #4: Start with the salad

You may be yearning for that main dish. But don’t start there. (Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).

Leafy greens with other vegetables are a great way to start any meal because they are full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals, but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.

Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less

Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”. Have you ever known anyone to overeat spinach, broccoli or even carrots?

These secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge and want to stop overeating at meals.

Secrets to Stop Overeating at Meals | Water | Salad | Small Plates | Mindful Eating

Summary to Avoid Overeating At Meals:

Have your glass of water, use a small plate, eat mindfully, and start with your salad and vegetables to help avoid overeating at meals. (Yes, you can eat vegetables for breakfast, too.)

Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas

If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.

I love to keep ideas for infusing water with nutritious and tasty fruit and vegetables.  Follow my Water Pinterest Board for more ideas to shake up plain water without adding chemicals or sugar.

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-of-water/

http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/JACR/Small_Plates_Lose_Weight

summertomato.com/the-science-behind-mindful-eating-what-happens-to-your-body-during-a-mindful-meal

 

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Overeating at Meals | Eat Less for Dinner | Secrets to Eating Less

5 Strategies to Re-energize New Year’s Resolutions

It’s just been over a week since the new year came in with all the promise and glitter every new year does.  You made resolutions. This year is going to be different; you will achieve your new year’s resolutions. Those first few days you were motivated to make a difference in your life, but now, life is getting in the way of your dreams and goals.

Achieve New Year's Resolution | Re-evaluate Goals | 5 Rs to Achieve Your Goals

The good news is you aren’t the only one.  Approximately 25% of those who made new year’s resolutions have already let them slip. Change is not easy.  It can be near impossible, or so it seems.

What can you do to make sure you don’t let your mojo slip, and you give up those resolutions? Take a few minutes to use these strategies to get re-energized to achieve your new year’s resolutions.

Energize Your Body Mind & Spirit | Quote | Take Care of Yourself Inspiration

5 “Rs” to Re-Energize to Achieve New Year’s Resolutions

1. Remember

Take a few minutes to remember why you made your resolutions.  Did you write them down?  If so, why was it important to create these resolutions.  Once you remember the why, ask yourself why again.  Keep asking yourself why 3-5 times.
For example. New Year’s Resolution: Lose Weight
Why? To fit in my jeans.
Why? So I feel better when I go out.
Why? So I have confidence.
Why? Then I won’t feel like I am being judged.

Keep the list in a place you can look at them weekly. Your why is one of the keys to staying on the road to success.

2. Rejoice

What have you done in the last few days to achieve your resolutions?  Did you go for a walk 3 times last week?  Did you eat one vegetable at every meal?  Whatever it was, celebrate.  You need to let your brain know you are making progress by celebrating even if there is no physical change. Your brain needs rewards of celebration to believe what it is doing is working.

3. Re-evaluate

Is there something on your list that you thought you should do, but just isn’t motivating or working? Change it slightly or get rid of it all together.  Don’t let one resolution affect the way you move toward change. Fix what isn’t working and move forward.  It is small, consistent steps that will get your where you want to go.

Commitment Matters | Quote | Inspirational Words for Success | Lack of Commitment

4. Reinforce

Does it feel like you are fighting an uphill battle? Get reinforcements.  Find a friend and ask her to help you stay motivated.  Join a Facebook Group for support.  Talk to a health coach to see if that is what you need.  Sometimes having someone listen, strategize and push you a little can make all the difference in your motivation toward your resolutions.

5. Re-motivate

Set a timer and go on Pinterest for 15 minutes.  Search by the resolution you made. There will be a surplus of motivation, so set your timer.  Find one or two articles to read to get your mojo back by mixing it up a little, trying something different or at a different time, or adding something fun to your rewards for achieving a step toward your resolutions.  Just don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  You are on your own journey. No journey is a straight line up. There are many ups and downs.  Celebrate that your journey is still moving forward.

Join Savvy Circle a group of women who are making 2017 about healthy living.  Here are the current daily themes: Challenge Monday, Conversation Tuesday, What’s Cookin’ Wednesday (healthy recipe every week), Fit Tip Thursday, Weekend Warrior Friday and Prayer Sunday.

Re-Energize Your Goals | Achieve Success | Accomplish Dreams
Commitment Matters | Quote | Inspirational Words for Success | Lack of Commitment
Energize Your Body Mind & Spirit | Quote | Take Care of Yourself Inspiration
Resolution Motivation | Re-evaluate Goals | 5 Rs to Motivation

New Year’s Resolutions – Goal Quotes and 17 Resources for a Healthy New Year

When setting New Year’s resolutions think about living a healthy lifestyle consisting of creating healthy habits in 5 areas: Food, Sleep, Movement, Self-care and Faith.

New Year's Resolutions | Healthy Lifestyle | Healthy Habits

When you think about living a healthy life, what do you think about first?

There are 5 areas to focus on when you want to have all-around health: Food, rest, movement, self-care and faith (spiritual life).

As you prepare your New Year’s resolutions here are some quotes to help motivate you.

Motivational and Inspiring Quotes to Help you with your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions | Health Quote | Inspirational Words | 2017 Fantastic Year

Good Health Habits | Inspirational Words | Health Quote

Resolutions | Inspirational Words | Quote | Motivation

Good Habits | Inspirational Words | Habit Quote

Goal Setting | Inspirational Words | Quote

Power of Habits | Inspirational Words | Quote

17 Resources to Achieve Your Health Resolutions

1 Download a 2017 Monthly Goals Worksheet

Goals Worksheet Download | Free Worksheet | Achieve Your Health Goals

2. 7 Steps for Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It at Lifehack

3. Health Goals Printers and Planners Pinterest Board

4. Good Excuse Worksheet at Wanabfitnow

5. New Year’s Resolution Ideas

6. Easy Diet Changes to Start in 2017 at My Soulful Home

7. 5 Unique and Healthy Resolutions for 2017 at HerbalPapaya

8. 20 Inspiring Healthy Living Mantras

Mantras | Affirmations | Healthy Living | Free Printable | Health |

9. 20 Affirmations for 2017 at Flaunt Ya Faith 

10. 8 Health Resolutions to Set for 2017 at Womanitely

11. 12 Months to a Better You

12. How to Increase Your Willpower

13. The Importance of Weekly Goal Setting at Day to Day Do

14. Letting Go of Shoulds this New Year

15. The Power of Habit

16. 10 Simple Ways to Eat Healthier This Year at Choosing Real

17. 7 Days to Healthy Habits Challenge

Health Resolutions | Healthy Habits | 7 Day Challenge | Develop Healthy Habits

What is stopping you from having your finest year yet? Comment Below

New Years Resolution Quotes | Inspirational Words | Motivation
New Year's Resolutions | Health Quote | Inspirational Words | 2017 Fantastic Year
Live a Healthy Lifestyle | Healthy Habits

Health Goal Success When You Try Once More – Quote

Have you been struggling with achieving your health goals? Health goal success happens when you try one more time. Don’t give up.

Try One More Time | Health Goals | Don't Give Up | Thomas A Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in the giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison

Comment below with a time you tried once more and achieved what you dreamed.alt

Try One More Time | Health Goals | Don't Give Up | Thomas A Edison

Healthy Habits for 2017 – Join the 7-Day Challenge to Achieve Your Resolutions

Healthy Habits can be the foundation of achieving your health resolutions for 2017.  What are your resolutions…. Lose weight?  Exercise more?  Eat Healthier?  Join the 7-Day Healthy Habits Challenge to kick-start your health resolutions.

Health Resolutions | Healthy Habits | 7 Day Challenge | Develop Healthy Habits
Do you set resolutions every New Year only to have the resolutions fizzle within the first couple of days?

Are health goals a part of your New Year’s resolutions this year?

Do you find setting resolutions are easier than actually doing your resolutions?

Then the 7-Day Healthy Habits Challenge is just what you need.

Healthy Habits | Determination Quote | Inspirational Words | 7 Day Challenge

Resolutions are a firm decision to do or not to do something.1  About 60% of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions,2 Of those who set resolutions, only about 8% achieve those resolutions.3

Why?

The top New Year’s resolution for 2015 was to lose weight, yet if only 8% achieved that goal. Many were frustrated and weren’t able to lose any weight that year.4

I am guessing that happened in 2016 as well.

Let’s make 2017 different.

Healthy Habits | Habits Quote | Inspirational Words | 7 Day Challenge

If losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more or any other health goal is on your New Year’s resolution list this year, join the 7-Day Healthy Habits Challenge.  It starts January 2 to kick off 2017.  It will help you put action into your resolutions.  It will give you the motivation to get started on your goals for a healthier 2017.

Oh, did I mention it is FREE?

I have had positive feedback on this challenge in the past.  It is fun and easy.  You get 7 daily emails with 7 habits to start, along with action items and support in a private Facebook group.

Learn more HERE!

or if you are already in…sign up below.




2016 was a tough year for me in many ways. I am so excited to go through this challenge with you to start off the year with a bang and healthy habits for the new year. Join me today.

Healthy Habits | Habits Quote | Inspirational Words | 7 Day Challenge
Health Resolutions | Healthy Habits | 7 Day Challenge | Develop Healthy Habits
Healthy Habits | Determination Quote | Inspirational Words | 7 Day Challenge

Healthy Spices to Spice Up Healthy Meals

There are few things that can instantly remind you of the holidays, no matter what time of year it is – the scent of a pine tree, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg – they instantly take you there.  Healthy spices during a healthy holiday meal are incredibly inviting, comforting and most of all, very beneficial to your health.

Healthy Spices | Healthy Meals | Super Spices | Spices for Health

Spices hold a purpose beyond their delicious taste that you may not have realized before.  Your favorite healthy spices have wonderful health promoting properties that provide you with several health benefits to keep your immune system strong throughout the year.

Benefits of Favorite Healthy Spices…

Cinnamon.  Arguably the most popular of the holiday spices and the most widely used year-round.  Cinnamon provides a warming effect to your body in the cold months, boosts your immune system, stabilizes blood sugar and aids in digestion.

Benefits of Cinnamon | Healthy Spices | Spice Up Your Meal

Nutmeg.  Another favorite holiday spice, nutmeg adds a punch of flavor with only a tiny amount needed, so use sparingly in small doses.  Nutmeg stimulates your digestion, helps in detoxifying the body and promotes healthy circulation.

Cloves.  Similar to cinnamon and nutmeg, cloves also help with promoting healthy digestion, which is certainly helpful after those heavy holiday meals.  Cloves are also beneficial for reducing phlegm, which is a common occurrence this time of year due to cold and flu season.

Rosemary.  A favorite to add to your roasted veggies, rosemary is a popular Mediterranean herb that can be used sparsely to add a punch of flavor to your dish.  Rosemary is helpful for natural stress relief, combatting inflammation, detoxifying the body and calming an upset stomach.

Peppermint.  The perfect follow-up to your hearty meal, peppermint is wonderful for aiding in digestion, relaxing the stomach and enhancing your mood.  Have yourself a cup of peppermint tea as a daily ritual during the cold months, and take notice of how different you feel.

As you can see, you have an array of health promoting herbs and spices to infuse into your kitchen this season or anytime.  Whether it be adding a cup of peppermint tea to your post-dinner wind-down, a dash of cinnamon in your steel-cut oatmeal in the mornings, ground clove into your smoothie, or sprinkling fresh rosemary on your roasted vegetables – take all the chances you can to enjoy these beneficial spices this season.  Bon appétit!

Tell me in the comments what is your favorite spice and how do you use it?

 

Mindful Eating Tips | Mindful Eating Download Free | Holiday Eating

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Healthy Spices | Favorite Spices | Healthy Meals | Spice Up Your Meal

Healthy Spices | Favorite Spices | Healthy Meals | Spice Up Your Meal

Wonder Woman Syndrome No Longer & Stop the Weight Gain

Do you have Wonder Woman Syndrome?  Do you try to do it all, especially this time of year?  Do you feel if you don’t do it, it won’t get done? Do you put yourself last, behind everyone else? Do you feel like you are never enough? Do you let your health goals slide because you are too busy? You can let go and stop the bad habits and weight gain.

Wonder Woman Syndrome | Holiday Bad Habits | Sneaky Weight Gain

I remember watching Wonder Woman in the late 70s. I loved watching her. She was smart, fast and could handle anything that came her way. Remember her lasso of truth? I wonder if during those weekly television sessions I somehow decided to be like her.

I have always been a Type A personality.  Accomplishment feeds me. I like to get things done. I am an excellent multi-tasker.  But I wonder, has my health paid the price?

This December I have given up my Wonder Woman speed, strength, and durability for a calm, relaxing and reflective time.  I didn’t want to race through this month going from one event to the next; decorating, baking and cleaning until I no longer have strength and drop from exhaustion.  Instead, I have chosen to decorate less, attend less and enjoy more.

I have spent an hour in prayer ever day as a way to enjoy the Advent season and prepare my heart for Jesus’ birth.  It has allowed me to let go of stress and to-do lists.  Oh, I still have both, but I am choosing joy; to be joy-filled even in the difficulties.  I have cut my to-do lists down.  I am feeling mentally strong and spiritually ready.

Wonder Woman Syndrome | Snacks | Stop Holiday Weight Gain

I was still seeing the holiday creep of bad health habits. I was tempted to just say, well, hang on, and you can start fresh in the new year.  I knew that mentality was a “kiss of failure” for me.  I let go of being Wonder Woman, but could I do something today, to make a difference in the path I was moving on in my eating.

The one area I was struggling with in my health was snacking too much. I was eating several small snacks a day. I was feeling bloated and uncomfortable, even though most of the snacks were relatively healthy.

Have you let your health slide in the midst of being Wonder Woman this month?

You may want to just give up and start again January 1 with new health goals, but you don’t have to give up on the remaining few days of 2016. It doesn’t mean you have to gain weight.  You can put a stop to your health slide.

Letting Go of Wonder Woman Syndrome and Stopping the Weight Gain Today

First, read Secrets to a Stress-Free Christmas Season. You can still say no, be in the present moment, let go of your expectations, and let go of the Wonder Woman Syndrome.  Just for the remaining days of the year. You can relax and enjoy without driving yourself to exhaustion.  The world won’t stop turning if you don’t do it all. You can pick Wonder Woman back up again on January 1 if you want to, but try it.  You might find you are more relaxed than ever.  You can do anything for less than 2.5 weeks.

Then, determine which bad health habits have crept in that will make the most difference to you and weight gain.

What seems to be tripping you up?  Eating the treats at the office?  Enjoying too much alcohol at parties?  Not moving your body every day?  Eating too much at dinner time?

Finally, make one small plan to stop the weight gain. Just tackle one thing. Then do it!

Whatever it is, the one thing, make a plan to just focus on that for the remaining days.

I did it. I let go of my Wonder Woman Syndrome this month, but could I stop the weight gain and sluggishness? I knew snacking between meals too much was sneaking up on me. There are so many goodies that I wanted to enjoy.  I made a promise to myself to snack only once between breakfast and lunch and then another snack between lunch and dinner.  If I am going to a party, I skip both of those and have two small snacks at the party.  I have been doing it for three days now. I haven’t changed anything else.  Amazingly I feel better already.  I feel powerful like I can stop any bad habit creep that I want to.

Maybe by making this small change for just a few days I found my sword, shield, and lasso of truth.  Maybe when it comes to my health, I am Wonder Woman.

Comment below on your one thing you are going to do for your health with the few days remaining in 2017 to stop bad habit creep and weight gain.  It doesn’t have to be big, but it can make a huge difference in attitude and health.


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Healthy Breakfast | Healthy Breakfasts in a Pinch | Start the Day Right

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Wonder Woman Syndrome | Stop the Weight Gain | Bad Habit Creep

Secrets to a Stress Free Christmas Season

A stress-free Christmas. It doesn’t sound like those words go together, but they can. Use these four secrets to creating a stress-free December.

Stress Free Christmas | Stress Free Holiday | Stress LessThe holidays are among us – a time of year that’s known for its busy nature that can lead to quite a bit of stress.  After all, you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send Christmas cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones.  All of this, on top of your normal everyday life.  It can be overwhelming and stressful, to say the least.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ways to navigate this busy, stressful time of year and make this season a lot more enjoyable, less stressful and a time you will remember with fond memories.

These 4 secret weapons for a stress-free Christmas include…

Just say no. It can be difficult, to say no.  But the first thing or person you need to say no to is yourself. Say no to being perfect and perfectionism.  Everything doesn’t need to be perfect.  Things can remain undone and you still can enjoy Advent and Christmas.  You don’t have to attend every party. Your house will still be festive with a few, less decorations.  Remember it is the thought that counts, not that the gift is “perfect”.  Take a few minutes of quiet. Listen for that small voice letting you know what really is important.  Then let go of some of the things on your to-do list and perfectionism.

Put forth effort to be present.  It can be difficult, I understand.  It’s almost a reflex to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, or email when we have a free moment – do you do the same? You can dodge this by leaving your electronics in another room.  Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone and disengage from communicating with your gathered love ones.  When I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained, what really helps ground me is focusing on my senses.  What do I smell?  What do I hear?  What do I feel?  Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really brings you into the present moment unlike anything else.  It’s a wonderful tool to use to dial in and be present – and is a great tool to use year-round, not just during the holidays!

For more ideas read, 4 Tips to Calm Your Body, Mind & Emotions.

Stress Free Christmas | Stress Free Holiday | Inspirational Quote

Give up those expectations.  A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we have expectations.  Therefore, drop the expectations of how a gathering will go. Let go of the feeling that everyone needs to be peaceful and happy. Don’t have any expectations for how your house must look.  Just let yourself enjoy whatever comes. There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when things don’t go exactly as planned – spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can. You may find you end up with a stress-free Christmas.

Make sure you sleep.  It’s incredibly important to keep a proper sleep in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel.  Make it a habit to go to sleep at the same time every night you are home. When you don’t get enough sleep, everything is harder to accomplish.  You will get more done and enjoy more when you have enough sleep.  It also helps your body stay healthier and make better eating and moving choices. You may enjoy, Sleep to Detoxify Your Body and Brain.

What are your favorite ways to make sure you have a stress free Christmas?

To get off to the right start each day by eating a healthy breakfast, download the Breakfast in a Pinch for 5 Quick, Easy Healthy Breakfasts to Eat in a Pinch.

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Stress Free Christmas | Stress Free Holiday | Stress Less

Stress Free Christmas | Stress Free Holiday | Inspirational Quote

Eat a Healthy Breakfast & Start Your Day Off Right

Don’t just eat any food for breakfast, make it healthy by including proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. A complete, healthy breakfast will give you the energy you need for a busy day.

5 Healthy Breakfast Recipes | Quick Breakfasts Healthy EatingWhen I wrote 7 Simple Strategies for a Healthy Holiday Season, I probably should have made it 8 strategies and included eating a healthy breakfast. When I start working with a client, she usually has one of two issues that she needs to fix immediately.

Two Breakfast Problems to Fix for Your Health

First, she may skip breakfast.  This is not a good idea. A small percentage of the population may be able to do this, but by far, the majority of women must eat breakfast.  After a night of ‘fasting’, your body needs to have fuel to start working.  Food provides fuel for your cells, your brain, your organs to work properly.  Plus when most people skip breakfast, they usually make up those calories at lunch and snacking, and it usually means eating low-quality foods.  The hormones in your body are telling you, they need fuel. You feel sluggish, and you reach for a quick pick me up.  That usually is a high sugar food or drink.

I strongly encourage you to eat a good breakfast.

Healthy Breakfast Alternatives | Stop eating sugar for breakfast

The second thing I see is she eats a quick, high, simple carb, high sugar breakfast.  Again, this is not a good idea.  Your body, after the night ‘fast’, needs proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs to fuel the energy your cells need to do their jobs.

A bagel, piece of toast, pop tart, even a bowl of cereal are mostly sugars and carbs.  This may give you a boost of energy as your blood sugar rises, but an hour or two later you will feel the crash and be reaching for something else to raise your blood sugar again.  Roller coaster blood sugar levels wreak havoc on your cells and can lead to diabetes and other chronic conditions. Controlling your blood sugar is an important thing to do in order to allow your body to function properly.  Starting out with a good breakfast can be a great start to balance.

If you have followed my blog at all you know that I love this breakfast by Carrie Brown for many of my healthy breakfasts or packing on the go. However, it is important to eat a variety of foods.

Since most of us have busy days packed with to-dos from the moment we wake until we drop exhausted, I have created a beautiful PDF with 5 breakfast ideas you can make quickly. If you are in a pinch for time, you can still find a way to eat a good, healthy breakfast.  Even if you aren’t in a pinch, several of these are my go-to’s, like a green smoothie.

Download your Breakfast in a Pinch: 5 Quick, Easy, Healthy Breakfasts to Enjoy In a Pinch.  These breakfasts are easy to make, healthy, and tasty.  Made with easy ingredients.  You will be starting out your day with the fuel your body needs to do its job…make and keep you healthy and fit.

Tell me what your favorite breakfast is in the comments below.

5 Healthy Breakfast Recipes | Quick Breakfasts Healthy Eating

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5 Healthy Breakfast Recipes | Quick Breakfasts Healthy Eating
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