At 10, 10:30pm or so... I was eating because I was tired, which seems really stupid when I think about it as I was going to sleep soon anyway - why did I need a snack? Why did I need a boost of energy to get me through the last couple of hours of the evening? I don’t want the extra calories so I’ve decided to try out the mantra “REST MORE: EAT LESS.” Can we just rest more and eat less? My logic behind this is that sometimes...
when we are tired we eat for a boost of energy. Makes sense right? But you know that lack of sleep is linked to weight gain because our hormones get all messed up. The hormone that tells us when we’re hungry (Ghrelin) and the one that tells us when we are full (Leptin) misfire. If we’re not conscious of it we just react to the hunger and eat more than we need.
Here are the questions you can ask yourself and that I ask myself to stop overeating-
1. Why has your energy dropped? It might genuinely be that you need a meal. Like when it’s 9.30pm and you didn’t eat dinner because you were too busy and you actually need a meal. Is it because of what you ate last ?- maybe you’re having a big energy drop because you ate too many carbs a dinner and you’re tired now- 1 hour later! Is it lack of sleep? Is it emotional- Is your energy low because you are dreading something coming up and your mood affects you by making you feel flat? Or what else made you tired? This is something to ask yourself when you are about to eat due to low energy.
2. What will you do instead? If it’s real hunger what food do you need right now? Hopefully you can find a healthy way of satisfying that GENUINE hunger. Have you eaten enough fiber, protein, healthy fats, carbs etc. today? Can you just rest and not eat? Can you just think “Oh I’m low in energy I will just go and do something relaxing for a little bit or go to bed, or meditate even, to recharge?" On that note, you’ve probably heard that meditation can be as effective as sleep - well I saw some comments by people on a meditation course saying their Fitbit thinks they’re asleep during their practice. I think that’s great because if you’re aiming for your 7 or 8 hours a night or whatever, you can top it up with meditation*. You’ve got that proof to show that your body is rested - that your heart rate is as low as for sleep when you are doing the right kind of meditation.
That’s all folks. I’d love to hear from you now. Comment below or on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter I’m interested in whether you eat when you're tired? What helps? Does just being aware of it help or do you put something in place for when you feel like you just want to eat because you’re tired? Let me know :)
*Meditation doesn't replace sleep but it can help you need less and give you much needed rest.
Do you get out of breath running for the bus? Want to be fitter but never quite get around to it. You’re not alone. Most us don’t achieve half the goals we set.. Yet, remain that way and we’ll never know what it feels like to feel successful. A life half lived. Always wishing, never doing! Fortunately, there’s an answer - Stick to Brian Tracy’s four Ds. Here’s how they work...
D is for DESIRE
How much do you desire being fit? Do you want it enough to commit 100%? Keep the awesome benefits of meeting your goal in mind - your reason for putting in all the hard work. Making a change involves short term discomforts and sacrifices like skipping that lie in on a cold dark morning to fit your workout in. If you don’t want it enough you won’t take action on tough days.
D for DECISION
Have you actually made the decision to achieve your goal? Just wanting something doesn’t make it happen, you have to DECIDE. Are you willing to pay any price and go any distance? Change costs time, energy or money. When you establish upfront that the result is worth it you’re one step ahead in the motivation game.
D for DETERMINATION
How determined are you to succeed? Are you willing to keep trying even if you don’t see results straight away or when you don’t get it right first time? Make a plan for setbacks. “If x happens I will x”. Save yourself from getting disheartened and giving up things get tough.
D for DISCIPLINE
Are you willing to master yourself and develop the habits you need to succeed? Will you work on your goal consistently until it is reached? If you twist an ankle are you going to find other ways to exercise or use it as an excuse and stop working out? Create your strategy and stick to it.. Will you cut out takeouts, take 10,000 steps a day, Do 3 hard workouts a week?
So to recap, you’ve gotta want it, decide to achieve it, stay determined and stick to a strategy. You go girl!
Wanna get fit, strong, healthy & able to move freely? Try my 30 day or 12 week programs - both available at my home studio in St. George Staten Island.
In the early days after my grandmother's death, I found myself standing in the cookie and candy aisle. "Just have what you want," I told myself. It was comforting but it led to weight gain. Obviously, it wasn't the right time to be calorie counting. This is a particularly poignant example but we make these decisions about food every day consciously and unconsciously.
Is there something that feels more important for you than cutting calories? When your mental, emotional or physical energy is elsewhere, change is hard. Maybe you are not overweight and you have better things to do than lose the few pounds you'd LIKE to lose but don't NEED to lose.
If you're overweight or already experiencing negative effects on your health you need to make better food & exercise your priority. Ask yourself what you spend your time and energy on and why. What is more important to you than weight loss? How can you work around that or rebalance your priorities?
Like this approach? I'd love to work with you.
What should you avoid? Well that depends how you feel after eating what you eat. Knowing what to cut out your diet is not about following a fad, adopting a mediterranean diet or going Keto. To know what to avoid, forget childish faddy diets. Note the foods that make you feel bad after you eat them and start cutting them out starting with the worst! If you're not sure, see how you feel 20 mins after eating. Cookies are going to leave your brain foggy and you feeling lethargic but... going too far the other way by not including even healthy carbs in your meal may leave you snacking on UNHEALTHY carbs later. Maybe you are on an energy roller coaster- When sugar, refined carbs or caffeine wears off you will want more of the same. What you eat now determines what you’ll crave next so choose wisely.
What makes YOU feel great, or awful, may have no relation to what you’ve been told you should and shouldn't eat. The military diet for example, may be perfect for one person but cause bloating in another. Healthy tomatoes might give you heartburn. Again good for someone else but not for you. Cut out what doesn’t make you feel great but always be mindful to keep your diet healthy and balanced.
WORKOUT WITH ME for 12 weeks and get all the support you need to change your eating habits as a free added bonus.
4 months ago Anni made the decision to start exercising. “At age 65 I decided it was now or never!”
“Once I had committed to a regular workout and a careful diet of adequate protein, plenty of veg & moderate fruit, I began to lose weight and feel great! My energy level has increased so much and I want to maintain and improve on what I have achieved so far.”
She's lost 17 lb and experienced some other awesome benefits too. “I’ve had great relief from back pain and my hips don't ache when I get up from sitting a while. Walking uphill is easier too. I also feel stronger in everyday life, more balanced, less wobbly… it’s the little things like getting up - you suddenly realize it isn't as big an effort as before”
So what does she do in her 3 times a week workout? “I know how important it is to protect my bone strength as I get older so weight bearing exercises are an essential part of my workout." She loves squats and uses resistance machines, walks on the treadmill and does mat work.
Want to get fit but not sure where to start?
Do you feel like the pounds are sneaking on… or like you just don’t feel as vibrant as you used to?
You’re not alone. It happens to all of us. We feel like it's an inevitale part of getting older. The great news is it’s just not true! We just move less than we used to.
“Studies have found that people who spend more time each day watching television, sitting, or riding in cars have a greater chance of dying early than people who are more active”… and unfortunately... “staying active does not mitigate the harmful effects of sit time.”1
How depressing is that? Sitting makes us die early!
As a personal trainer, I let my clients know that workouts that build muscle, keep joints mobile and their heart healthy are awesome. AND it's also essential to limit sitting and keep moving in day to day life too.
So how can you become less sedentary, transform your body & live longer?
The American Council on Exercise (ACE Fitness) 2, insists we need 5 mins of standing activity in every hour seated. OK yes, sometimes you're in a 3 hour meeting you can't stand up in but when that isn't the case here's a simple 2-step process you can use.
1. Make a note of the things you need to do that CAN involve being on your feet where you are (home, work). Eg, calls, coffee breaks, ironing etc.
2. Do them for 5 mins every hour you spend seated.
It's a small change to make to avoid “the consequences of a sedentary life” that are “as well documented as they are dire.”! 3
“If there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.” ~Tarnopolsky 4
There are over 112 waking hours in the week for most of us. Even motivated exercisers spend only a few of these working out. Thankfully the less intense movements we do the rest of the time burn the lion's share of our daily calories. Walking is THE place to start no matter what your fitness level. I encourage my clients to sneak in extra steps any chance they get.
An extremely wise man once said- “If you are in a bad mood go for a walk. If you are still in a bad mood go for another walk.” Hippocrates 5
Recognize these kinds of questions?
Our inner voice sure does like to torture us doesn’t it?!
When we have these thoughts they influence our behavior whether we notice them or not.
Our brains are wired to solve problems and seek answers. It will find a negative answer if you ask a negative question. I don't know about you but that seems like a waste of brain power to me!
So how can we turn this around?
Give your mind the mission to find good stuff by creating positive questions.
Here's an example-
(Warning. These statements do end up sounding super corny but they do make you feel better, which is the point.)
"Why CAN’T I just sort my diet out once and for all and stop having to start from scratch every time?"
Change can't to can etc. and write in the positive. Think of what you DO want instead. Include at least one positive descriptive word per question and reword until you don't get reminded of the original problem.
"Why CAN I stick to a well-balanced and DELICIOUS diet?"
What else do you want? In this case it's for it to be easy.
'Stick to' is a reminder of what you can't do so we'll take that out.
"Why do I always find it so EASY to EAT a well-balanced and delicious diet?"
Now your mind is focus on the words 'easy' 'well-balanced' 'delicious' and is starting to seek out evidence.
Give yourself a little time to get used to the change of direction. Your mind will kick into positive seeking mode in no time.
Why can't I keep the weight off? = Why am I always at my optimum weight?
Why can’t I stop eating so much? = Why do I find it so easy to eat the perfect amount of food?
Why can't I just a have drink or two at parties instead of getting wasted? = Why do I have such an awesome time at parties without drinking much alcohol?
Why am I so useless at sticking to an exercise program? = Why am I so brilliant at working out regularly?
Credit to Noah St. John for this idea.
Have you ever started a new exercise program full of enthusiasm but then got injured or burnt out, started dreading working out and gave up? Still got a goal to lose weight or get fit? Well... have you ever tried doing a new SMALL habit every day for 7, 28, 90 days etc? If you haven't tried a chain maybe now's the time.
The chain process is attributed to Jerry Seinfeld. James Clear explains- "The Seinfeld Strategy works because it helps to take the focus off of each individual performance and puts the emphasis on the process instead. It's not about how you feel, how inspired you are, or how brilliant your work is that day. Instead, it's just about "not breaking the chain."
"Pick a task that is meaningful enough to make a difference, but simple enough that you can get it done.". If you don't have a current workout regime I recommend taking more steps. There are loads of great fitness trackers, apps and low cost pedometers to help you measure your progress. Simply see how much you walk on the first day and increase daily for x amount of days. You could work up to a good amount, 10,000 steps is often recommended and keep the chain going after that at your new target rate.
Mark each day you complete your task on a calendar or use a chains app to get that 'I've accomplished something' buzz.
Consistency Consistency Consistency!
Don't break the chain!
Do you feel inspired and alive about making a healthy change one minute... and before you know it it's months later and your idea has drifted into oblivion?
It's definitely not just you. Here’s me. I'm wide awake at 4am again. I've always been a night owl. My mind is whirring and planning and excited for my next project but… all this energy will be wasted if I don't make practical plans.
Jim Rohn wonderfully explains “when the idea is strong, clear and powerful...capture the emotion and put it into disciplined activities”
Successful people aren't necessarily smarter than others. They are just doers!
So what change do you want to make? How will you commit to action? Some of my favorites are
What's your favorite way to make sure you take action on your goals? Comment below
Here are some of the health & happiness benefits of exercise. I hope they motivate you as much as they do me.
What benefit would you most like to experience?
The list is endless...
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in St George SI & Battery Park NYC specializing in fully personalized programs for women who care about their health & want to get fit and/or lose weight.
When she's not coaching
you can find her traveling, taking photos or coming up with new ideas for you! she's British & lives in Staten Island, NYC with her American husband.