As soon as people enter the diet world, they’re usually taught the simplistic notion that input versus output is the key to weight loss. That basically, you must burn off more than you eat.
Sounds reasonable enough, right?
I’ve met a lot of women like this, and in all honesty, I believed this myself for years and spent most of my grade 11 year nibbling on bits of lettuce and hardly anything else.
The problem with most diets out there is that they result in people being half-starved with metabolisms crawling along at a snail’s pace.
So now, this notion of eating less and doing more doesn’t apply. In fact, it’s this concept that has put so many people in this situation in the first place.
They’re denying their bodies the calories and nutrients they need in an effort to shed those pounds and not only does it not usually work, at least, not long-term, they’re often hungry, tired and irritable in the process.
You see, studies show that the vast majority of people (mostly women) who lose weight on a diet gain it all back within 5 years. This is why the diet industry alone is worth BILLIONS. If it actually worked, there would be no money in it.
So what does work? Learning how to actually eat, so you can tune out the massive dieting industry and stop buying into diets, pills and potions and start actually feeling good and enjoying food again!
I want to help you understand how this works.
Continued calorie-restricting causes your metabolic rate to slooooow down. The metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories for energy.
When you’re in an extended state of calorie-restriction, your body goes into survival mode and stores incoming calories (since it thinks it’s starving and wants to save every last calorie for survival, instead of using up your fuel for all your bodily functions.)
This is a lose-lose situation.
When we’re under prolonged calorie restriction, many basic biological functions also slow or shut down, and we end up with compromised immune function, and that can lead to not being able to fight off infections and viruses, or being able to filter toxins from the body, and low energy.
I get it. We believe this is the way to go because they’ve seen so many other people do it. But it never lasts and it’s not sustainable!
This concept is so widespread, yet it’s dangerous. If you continue with cutting calories, then you are causing more damage to your body.
In other words, the more you ‘diet’ the more damage you are doing to your body and it will get harder and harder to lose weight the more you do it.
Having the knowledge, or the tools as I like to call them, about the right way to eat means you can avoid “dieting” and all the negative aspects that go along with it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a happy person on a diet!
Once you understand the powerful effect food has on the body it can help you reach your goals without dangerously cutting calories.
You won't be able to lose weight long-term without these things:
So remember, cutting calories is not the answer to long-term weight loss.
Ready to ditch the dieting, restrictions and rabbit food and instead lose weight while becoming healthier AND feel amazing? Awesome. Send me a message here.
May Anne xo
Admittedly, I used to have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I’ve actually come to enjoy it now and that is because I choose to do exercises that I enjoy, and I leave the rest.
(Don't feel like reading? No worries - just watch the video above!)
Really, a lot of my exercise comes from daily movement and isn’t just for the sole purpose of working out.
By that I mean, I take my son to the park and we play baseball or soccer, I go for family hikes, I take my dog out for walks, and I even make my house cleaning into a workout! (Can you picture me doing squats as I clean the shower walls?)
Some of my body movements are from actual intentional exercise but a lot of it is from just being intentional about getting my body moving with things I enjoy!
It’s important to understand WHY exercise is an essential component of healthy living or weight loss program, and HOW it will increase its effectiveness by helping you to tone up, strengthen your bones and speed up your metabolism, which will help you to lose weight more quickly.
While 80% of weight loss is what we eat, exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and plays a really important role in weight loss as well.
Benefits of Exercise:
You don’t have to join a gym or buy fancy equipment. Incorporating movement into your daily living is easier and less complicated than you might think.
Getting your body moving four to five days per week for at least 30 minutes will do wonders.
As I mentioned earlier, finding something you enjoy is key. If you don’t enjoy it, you won’t stick with it. You can start small and gradually increase the time and intensity.
The picture below features one of my absolute favourite ways to get my body moving - hiking in nature with my family (this was during our summer vacation in Gaspe, Quebec last month.)
When I hike, I get it all - fresh air, sunshine, exercise, nature AND time with my family - Bonus!
Here are some other great ideas:
The main thing is to find something you enjoy – so you stick with it!
You also want to choose some weight-bearing exercises to strengthen your bones. A benefit to this is lean muscle mass speeds up your metabolism, which helps with weight loss.
Even after your workout is over, you’ll continue to burn calories because of the increase in muscle.
If you’re worried about looking bulky – don’t. Basically, if you can lift the weight you’re using 10 times in a row, you’re only going to tone your muscles and not bulk up.
Here’s your ACTION TASK: Choose an activity (or more than one) from the list above, or use your own ideas, and get your body moving 2 days this week. You’re going to gradually increase that to at least 4 days/week.
If you’re like me, you’ll need to schedule it in your agenda, and give it the same level of importance (or higher!) as paying the bills.
Whenever we do something for ourselves, for some reason, it’s the first thing that gets set aside when anything seemingly more important comes up. Do you see this happening in your life? If so, make sure you read this blog post about why it's essential to put yourself on your to-do list.
So, expect that to happen and when you see that happening, take note of it, and make sure you rearrange your schedule so that exercise and the time needed to prepare your foods is a priority.
You’re worth it and when you take the time to take care of yourself everyone around you benefits.
When you feel better about yourself and you’re giving your body and mind what they need physically, emotionally and nutritionally, others are going to notice a shift in your mood and your attitude and it’s going to affect your relationships for the better.
After you watch this video (or read this post), I want you to share in the comments below what exercises you’re choosing to get your body moving this week!
Until next time,
May Anne xo
Now that we’re full-blown into summer, let’s talk about summer weight gain.
You likely spent the winter working hard and if not, definitely the spring because summer was right around the corner and you wanted to look good. You exercised consistently, you were careful to eat more healthy foods and you watched your portion sizes.
Why? So you would look great at the lake and have plenty of energy to enjoy summer. Everyone wants to greet summer with a healthy, toned body.
But summer, in spite of all the fun and relaxation it brings, can be tricky and can deal us a cruel blow when it comes to our health and fitness.
Do you tend to notice the scale creeping up part-way through summer? If so, you’re not alone. Summer is a very easy time to overindulge and pick up those pounds that you shed during the winter months.
No doubt that’s not what you want.
Remember that bad habits creep in slowly. Perhaps you’re skipping your workouts a couple days each week, because ‘You have so much to do.’ Or maybe you’ve been indulging in unhealthy food or drinks a little more frequently when you are with friends. It happens-little by little. It happens one small choice at a time. Unfortunately, those choices add up fast.
If this tends to happen to you every summer, there are some things you can do to save yourself this summer. Really! There’s no reason to let another summer pass by leaving you with guilt and feeling embarrassed to strut your stuff in your bathing suit by the end of August. You can keep yourself looking awesome all summer long.
Here are a few common reasons that people gain weight in the summer and how to remedy them:
Don’t let the summer festivities undo all the hard work you’ve done to get you where you are right now.
It’s not about taking the fun out of summer, it’s about making the best possible choice with whatever circumstance you’re in.
If you find that you’re struggling with trying to eat healthy while you’re on the go, grab my Healthy Eating On the go guide for free HERE, and if you know other busy, on the go people that would enjoy this video, please share it!
If there's a topic that you would like to hear more about, please let me know in the comments below.
I always personally reply.
Until next time,
May Anne xo
Do You Know What Insulin Resistance and Summer Have in Common?
Plenty, it turns out, and it has everything to do with what you’re eating this summer. Even though summer brings with it an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, making it easier to eat healthy, it also brings added risks.
What could taste better during the lazy, hazy days of summer than fruity cocktails and rich ice cream?
Unfortunately, these are the foods that can spell danger for your blood sugar level. The few minutes of pleasure that you derive from those cold, sugary treats can pave the way for decades of chronic illness, as well as weight gain.
I'm going to get a bit science-y here for a minute and talk about Blood Sugar Basics.
When you eat sugary treats, your blood sugar levels rise. Your blood sugar level is a measure of how much sugar or glucose is circulating in your bloodstream. Too much glucose in your blood is dangerous, so your body works hard to lower the levels. It does this by releasing insulin, a hormone which enables your cells to absorb the excess glucose.
The danger comes when you continue eating too much sugar, because your body responds by producing more and more insulin. Too much insulin trains your cells to become resistant to insulin, and this is called insulin resistance.
The net effect is that it then takes more and more insulin to make your cells remove the glucose from your blood. When this happens, your blood sugar levels stay elevated, your insulin levels stay elevated and you develop pre-diabetes.
Along with the risk of diabetes comes weight gain, cravings for more sugar and carbs, as well as mood imbalances.
Still want that ice cream? I know, me, too. ;-)
Moderation is the Key.
Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean that you can never indulge in a sugary treat again. What it means is that you need to be smart about the amount you eat and how you eat it.
Have you ever heard of the glycemic index? It is simply a way of categorizing foods according to their effects on the level of glucose in your blood. A food with a high glycemic index will cause more glucose to build up than will a food with a low glycemic index.
In order to control your blood sugar levels, it is helpful to eat lots of foods with a low glycemic index.
And if you eat foods with a high glycemic index, be sure to pair them with low glycemic foods in order to slow the effect on your blood sugar.
High glycemic foods include white flour, white sugar, white rice, and even big, white potatoes. Low glycemic foods are foods that have lots of fiber and protein. These would include beans, whole grains, lean proteins and nuts.
Simply being aware of the glycemic index will help you eat in a way that reduces the stress on your body. If you are going to have an ice cream treat, make sure you eat it at the end of a meal that contains low glycemic foods.
So this summer, have an occasional treat, but be sure it is occasional...seriously. ;-) Your body will thank you!
A great trick that I've been using this summer is brewing a pot of citrus-flavoured herbal tea and then chilling it in the fridge in place of regular iced tea! If you prefer some sweetness, just add some honey while it's still hot.
Want tips for eating healthy while on the go? Download "THE BUSY WOMAN'S GUIDE TO HEALTHY EATING ON THE GO." It's FREE!
Grab your FREE GUIDE HERE.
Until next time,
May Anne xo
Let's talk about diet food, and why it’s keeping people overweight, tired and moody. Now before I get started I want to tell you that I used to fall for the diet food trap as well. I used to look for products that said “diet, lite, zero percent fat or low-fat.”
(Don't feel like reading? Watch the video above - it contains the same information)
In the past, you would never catch me buying full-fat anything! All my salad dressing were lite, my cheese slices, my yogourt was zero percent fat. When I had a salad I would have all veggies and no protein or fat because in my mind, that would make me fat.
I had believed that this would help me to maintain my weight or help me to lose a few pounds when I had gained a bit.
What I couldn’t figure out at the time was why I was so tired all the time I was moody, irritable and anxious and by the time the evening rolled around I was cravings carbs and junk food. I wanted chips, candy, pizza, cookies, you name it, I craved it.
I was constantly relying on willpower to resist eating more, and ultimately the willpower would fail and I would feel like I was just not strong enough. Every afternoon around 2 o'clock, I felt like crawling my desk and taking a nap.
By the time I left work and picked my son up from daycare and made dinner, I was usually too tired to do anything else. And then I would feel guilty because I hadn’t spent any time having fun with my son. And when I did force myself anyway, I really had to drag my butt to do it.
Years later, after studying nutrition, I realized why everything I was doing was not working for me, and that eating these ‘diet’ foods, was setting me up to fail and creating a blood sugar imbalance.
Diet foods are usually highly processed and mostly simple carbohydrate based and almost always sugar is added to compensate for the fat being taken away, because it would taste horrible otherwise!
High carbs and low fat are a bad combination when it to weight loss and your health. It’s impossible to feel good, have energy and a balanced mood when you’re relying on diet foods.
It’s no wonder my willpower could not win against this. I was fighting against blood sugar issues caused by eating mostly simple carbohydrates, and not enough healthy fats and protein.
When you team willpower against a blood sugar imbalance, willpower will lose every single time.
I realized that my lack of willpower was not all my fault.
And if you’re stuck in a cycle of craving carbs and feeling like it’s just too hard to make the food choices you want to make and that you’re not strong enough, it’s not your fault either.
There’s a good chance that you’re fighting against blood sugar issues as well, caused by eating too many simple carbohydrates.
I really had thought I was making good choices when I would have just lettuce and veggies with a light salad dressing for my lunch, however, I wasn’t getting the proper balance of nutrients my body needed and always felt hungry shortly afterwards.
And then of course the energy crash a few hours later, the resulting cravings for more carbs, and ultimately giving in to grabbing a muffin or a bagel or something sweet to pick me up.
Getting off the blood sugar roller coaster and making sure that that every meal and snack that I eat has a balance of protein, fats and carbs was a game-changer for me, and when I don’t, my body will let me know with either cravings, tiredness or feeling irritable.
So I encourage you to ditch the diet foods, and instead reach for foods that are real, whole foods as close to nature as possible.
Include healthy fats and proteins with every meal, so you can easily say no to the foods that are keeping you stuck in yo-yo dieting, have more energy, and a more balanced mood.
One of the biggest challenges for most of, is trying to eat healthy when you’re on the go. When you’re playing chauffeur for your kids many activities, after you’ve been working all day.
To help you out, I’ve created a guide to make it easier to still eat healthy when you’re the go, so you don’t have to rely on fast food that will keep you keep you from your goals.
Download your FREE HEALTHY EATING ON THE GO GUIDE HERE.
Until next time,
May Anne xo
Water is one of our most important nutrients (and it might seem kind of boring, but it's actually my favourite drink!)
I know it seems like such a simple thing, but drinking enough water can easily become overlooked for people who aren’t used to drinking water regularly, and they can be easily become dehydrated.
Paying attention to daily water intake is important and might take some pre-planning if it’s not something you’re used to doing.
Try to prevent even mild levels of dehydration as even being slightly under-hydrated can impede our daily performance.
The following symptoms may indicate even just a mild hydration:
Here are just a few of water’s many benefits and functions:
Urine output and sweating make up your greatest fluid loss, but other ways fluid is lost is
in feces, through exposure to humid or warm air and when you exhale.
Don’t rely on thirst alone as an indicator to drink water because you are already
slightly dehydrated by that time. A good tip is to aim to drink on a schedule of 1 cup every hour.
An easy way to monitor your hydration levels is to check the colour of your urine.
Great news if your urine is clear or pale yellow! That means you are adequately hydrated, but if your urine is darker like apple juice, you need to increase your water intake.
If you are eating A LOT of fresh fruit and veggies then that also counts towards your water intake, but if you’re eating a lot of processed, boxed foods or eating out at restaurants often, then you need to increase your water intake to help flush the extra toxins out of your system.
If you find plain water too bland or boring, here are a few helpful ways of upping your water intake:
Personally, I take my water canteen with me everywhere I go and sip water all throughout the day.
Comment below - are you currently a water drinker? Yay or Nay? If 'Yay,' what are your best ways of remembering to drink enough?
Until next time,
When I work with clients in my programs, one of the first things we start with is a kitchen cleanout, and the reason we do this is to get rid of the foods that are not only harmful to your health but will tempt you and make it harder to lose weight.
We then focus on replacing them with foods that will nourish your health and bring you closer to your goals.
(If you don't feel like reading, just click PLAY on the video above. It contains the same information!)
It’s really important to understand that having the proper foods available, and removing the foods that get in the way of your goals, is essential for success.
Sugar is a huge one and anyone who’s been listening to me for any length of time knows this. Excess sugar gets stored as fat and it also causes our insulin receptors to become burned out, which can result in diabetes. Sugar also creates cravings for more sugar.
Something to remember as well is that refined grains turn into sugar in your body. These are things like bread, pasta, white rice…anything made with flour.
So remember that when you eat those things, they’re getting turned into sugar in your body and they’re getting stored as fat if you’re not burning them off right away.
If you take a look at your condiments like ketchup, mustard, stir-fry sauces and salad dressing, sugar is almost always in them.
A lot of times it’s disguised under names you don’t recognize, so it takes a bit of a detective work, but basically, if you’re buying your condiments from the regular aisles in the grocery store chances are, they contain hidden sources of sugar, sodium and unhealthy fat.
All of these make it harder to lose weight.
It’s important to start reading the ingredients on the labels. You want to look for a minimal amount of ingredients on the label. The less, the better.
You can always dress the food up when you get home. Avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce because they were probably made in a lab somewhere.
Buy more foods that don’t have labels, because what you see is what you get. Examples are fruits and vegetables.
Remember that just because something says it’s healthy on the label, doesn’t mean that it is.
Sugar could still be the first ingredient when companies make these boisterous claims. Once you get into the habit of reading labels, it will quickly become a habit and you’ll know what to look for.
Items that say low in fat, lite, low-calorie doesn’t make them healthy.
We want to avoid these.
These often have added sugar or flavour enhancers that cause weight gain. We need the fat anyways. It keeps us fuller longer.
I want to make it super easy for you to start reducing sugar in your diet, so you can get closer to your goals.
All you have to do is click HERE for my FREE 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE, so you can be armed with the knowledge to reduce sugar from your diet, without giving up all sweets.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this video so feel free to post in the comments!
I’ll see you next time.
PS. Remember to grab my FREE 5-DAY SUGAR-FREE CHALLENGE, so you can start reducing the sugar in your diet and reducing your waistline!
Last week, you may have seen the first part of this post, where I shared five of the eleven reasons you may not be losing weight. I’ll include the link to the first post HERE, so if you haven’t seen it, you can watch it now.
Today, I want to share with you the remaining SIX REASONS why you're not losing weight.
#6. You’re Not Drinking Enough Water. It’s surprising how many people are not drinking enough water. It’s such a simple thing, but can make all the difference. Hydrating helps your body flush out extra water, toxins, and can get rid of that extra weight.
#7 You Use Diet Drinks. Cutting out sugar and empty calories are good for weight loss, but the long-term effects of diet drinks are the exact opposite. Artificial sweeteners found in soda, juice, low-cal flavored yogurts and other diet foods, actually increase cravings for sweets like cake and cookies. Not to mention, they’re harmful for your health as well.
#8. You Rush While Eating. I used to be so bad for this and I’m sure I’m not the only one known to finish up a work assignment while quickly eating lunch at the same time. Or to mindlessly snack on food while watching a movie with the family. We all do it, but it’s too common nowadays, and eating while distracted can cause you to overeat, even if what you’re eating is "healthy."
Mindful eating will help you to enjoy it more, and will also help you to pay attention to your body's signals.
#9. You Don’t Take Time To Relax. If I asked you when the last time was that you haven’t felt stressed out, you probably wouldn’t be able to remember. It’s not just you. Between your work, family and personal life, you’re almost always stressed out.
The issue is that stress doesn’t just make you feel out of control; it can also halt weight loss by forcing the food you eat to be converted to fat rather than used as fuel, and that has to do with an increase in the stress hormone cortisol.
#10. You Focus Too Much On Working Out. Working out is obviously important for weight loss and we need it to be healthy. In fact, exercise makes up 20% of weight loss, while what you eat makes up the other 80%.
Unfortunately, some people will put most of their focus on working out and not enough on what they’re eating, and they end up either over-training without the proper nutrients to replenish or they end up wondering why they’re not getting the results they want.
#11. Your “Why” Isn’t Clear Enough. Most people start a new plan or program without the proper motivation, and this leads to falling off the plan in no time at all.
When you don’t have your reason “why” you’re doing it clear enough, any old excuse will have you reaching for a row of cookies. Motivation needs to come from within.
You need to spend some time on your reason why and become really clear on it, make it strong so it resonates with you, and then keep it in front of you at all times.
When I work with clients both 1:1 and in group programs, we walk step by step together through tips like these and many more, and we’re able to spend more time on them.
If you would like my help in discovering ways to overcome that weight loss plateau, so you can finally have the body you’ve been waiting for, simply message me HERE.
I’ll see you next time.
Statistically speaking, by this time (the end of January), most people (80% actually) have already thrown their New Year’s Resolutions out the window. Crazy, right?
That’s a lot of ditched and thwarted hopes and dreams. Doesn’t make a person feel very good to think that they failed.
Can I just say, that if this is you, and your resolution was to lose weight...that it’s not your fault. Not likely, anyways. You probably just didn’t have the proper tools to set you up for success.
If you’re relying on the same old same old, then you will continue to get the same old results. The fact is, dieting has failure written right into it. Diets aren’t sustainable and they don’t last.
Lifestyle changes, however, do work. They’re made to be sustainable and they’re made to set you up for success - lifetime success! Can I get a heck yes!
My job - no, my PASSION, in life is to set people up for lifetime success with their health and weight loss goals. No more guilt, shame, blame or lowered self-esteem from failing at yet another diet. YOU are NOT the failure - the DIET IS.
There are a few very important pieces to the puzzle that dieting doesn’t include and that is eating in a way that balances hormones and blood sugar and reducing cravings.
Without doing that, it will be next to impossible to lose weight and keep it off.
If you’ve dieted in the past, chances are your metabolism is damaged and your hormones and blood sugar are out of whack, and until they’re brought back into balance, trying to lose weight will be a never-ending battle.
If this is a struggle that you’re experiencing, and you keep doing things the same way you’re doing them now, you’re probably going to be in the exact same position this time next year.
“If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
This is one of my favourite quotes, because it’s so true.
So what’s different about how I do things?
I teach people to stop dieting and instead to use food as fuel for their bodies, so that food works WITH their bodies instead of AGAINST their bodies. The result? They’re able to lose weight more easily, their hormones and blood sugar are brought back into balance, their cravings are reduced, they have more energy, their moods are more balanced and they’ve reduced inflammation.
They’re overall health is improved as a result.
If you want to find out more about what I do and how I can help you achieve your health and weight loss goals, send me an email HERE.
I offer a 15-minute complimentary Discovery Call, where we would discuss the best options for you and to see if we would be a good fit!
Until next time,
We've all heard of MSG, or Monosodium Glutamate, and I think it's something we don't really give a lot of thought to- I know I didn't for the longest time. However, there are BIG reasons why I think we should.
MSG is a salt that is chemically converted into a flavour enhancer. It’s found in almost all popular processed foods, fast foods and restaurant foods, and research has shown that it causes weight gain and obesity by causing damage to the area of the brain that is in charge of the appetite regulation, known as the hypothalamus.
This causes leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone that controls how much a person feels like eating. When MSG is consumed, the fullness and satisfaction that come from having eaten is completely lost, leading to an urge to eat that never stops.
MSG is added to over 80% of boxed, canned, processed foods and restaurant foods, and is disguised under many names.
What is does is, it supercharges the taste of food, but not in the way you would think. You know how food can make you feel so good sometimes? MSG operates on the brain and it tricks it into thinking food tastes really great. It gives you a drug-like rush that provides a brief sensation of well being.
It’s highly addictive, which causes people to keep coming back for more, and they end up overeating. MSG is a huge factor in the epidemic of obesity because of its effect on leptin. In fact, when researchers want to fatten up lab rats for experiments, they feed them MSG. Just google “msg to make mice gain weight.” Researchers have proven that MSG destroys the hard wiring in the brain of a rat like it does in the brain of a person.
So knowing all this, why do corporations sell food that contains MSG? Because it makes cheap ingredients taste great and it keeps people coming back for more.
The way MSG causes a person to gain weight is this...When you ingest MSG, your body tries to protect you from it, and it does this by adding fat stores in an effort to trap the MSG.
The catch is, your body WILL NOT release those fat stores as long as you continue consuming MSG. The only way to release the fat is to stop consuming foods containing MSG and anything that your body can’t properly metabolize.
The best way to avoid MSG is by buying whole foods and preparing them at home and adding your own spices and herbs. The next best thing is to become an expert at label reading and knowing the various disguises that is used for MSG.
Even terms like spice and natural flavor can mean the presence of MSG. The term MSG is rarely seen listed on a food label, but it’s likely there in a disguised form. I created a Facebook and Instagram post on this the other day and listed 30 names that MSG can hide under.
I want to make it easier for you to make the switch over to clean eating. I know not everyone has the time to figure this all out on their own. Life is busy, I get it.
Because nutrition is my job, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. I want to help you take the guesswork out of learning how to eat clean, so you can save time and energy from trying to figure it out on your own.
My 14-Day Body Reset is family friendly and includes everything you need to make the switch to clean eating in an easy to follow, step by step manner and even includes recipes and meal plans the whole family can follow.
If you’re ready to ditch the processed foods and make the switch to eating real, whole foods, check out the link HERE.
Until next time,
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.