Are you getting enough whole grains?

Whole grains are part of a healthy balanced diet. They provide important nutrients that may help reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular disease.

The current recommendation is to have at least half of your grains as whole grains, meaning 3 to 5 servings of whole grains per day.

But do you know what they are and why they are important?

Whole grains are unrefined cereal seeds that still contain the whole kernel (bran, germ and endosperm). This means that they hold more nutrients than their refined counterparts.

During the refining process, the bran and germ are discarded in order to improve taste and texture. However, this process strips away fibre, antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. What is left is basically starch, which is quickly broken down during digestion causing a rapid rise in blood sugar.

Three Tips to Make Exercise Part of Your Life

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve noticed that lots of people are having a hard time reengaging in regular physical activity.

The thing is that we had so many disturbances in our routines (blame the pandemic 🙄) that many of us have fallen off the bandwagon.

Even people who were regular exercisers before the lockdowns are now finding quite challenging re-establishing a routine and getting their mojo back.

So if this is happening to you (or if you simply want to make exercise part of your lifestyle), keep reading😊

 3 tips to make exercise part of your life (and to actually enjoy it!)

How Lack of Sleep Impacts your Weight

Did you know that poor sleep can impact your waistline?

That’s right. Fat tissue has it’s own biological clock that can be affected by lack of sleep.

For instance, our bodies tend to release enzymes that promote fat burn at times of high energy demand (such as early in the day) and that promote fat storage when there’s less energy demand (at night), following our natural circadian cycle.

However, when this cycle is disrupted, let’s say by staying up late watching Netflix, our ability to regulate appetite is also affected. We tend to crave high calories treats at a time in which the body is storing energy.

In addition, a poor night of sleep reduces levels of leptin (hormone that promotes satiety) and increases levels of ghrelin (hormone that stimulates hunger). That means you’ll be more likely to overeat.

Besides when you’re sleep deprived, you’ll also be moody and foggy. So there’s a good chance that you’ll look for comfort in tasty snacks and won’t have the willpower to resist cravings.

So here are a few things you can do to have a better night of sleep.

5 steps to better sleep

  • Move your body – Regular exercise may help you realign your internal body clock. Just avoid very intense exercise late in the evening because it may interfere with sleep.
  • Turn off electronic devices – Artificial light disrupt melatonin production which is responsible for deep sleep. Put away your phone and other devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Clear your mind – A mind full of thoughts and worries creates stress, making harder to fall asleep. Journaling before bed is a good way to empty your mind.
  • Find relaxing activities – Activities that calm you down reduce the fight or flight response and contribute to a better night of sleep. Take a bath, meditate or read (paper book, no electronic devices!).
  • Make the room dark – A dark room induces melatonin production making it easier to fall and stay asleep. Turn off the lights, cover your windows and put your phone facing down.

BONUS TIP: Be careful with sleep ins – most people need to be awake around 16 hours before they feel sleepy. So if you wake up very late, you probably struggle falling asleep at night.

Keep in mind that a good night of sleep can make you feel good during the day. It also contribute to better food choices, more energy to work and exercise and better ability to manage stress. Seriously, sleep is a recovery rock star.

Breaking Bad (habits)

A habit is hard to break.

Old Proverb

You’ve probably heard that many times. But do you know why?

Well, a habit is a behaviour that has become nearly or completely involuntary due to continuous repetition. This behaviour becomes so ingrained that it is triggered without conscious awareness and elicit an automatic response.

Because of this nature, it is said that a habit is hard to break. Unless…

… you make a conscious effort to rewrite the pattern.

But in order to rewrite a pattern, you must first understand it.

Which brings me to the habit loop.

3 reasons why you shouldn’t set weight-loss as a goal

How many times have you said that you were going to lose weight? And how many times have you given up before you got there?

According to several researches, almost half of the adult population of the USA (49.1% – CDC 2018), UK (48% – Mintel 2016) and Australia (46% – DAA 2017) are actively trying to lose weight.  Unfortunately, the success rates seem to be very low because many people make several attempts throughout their lifetime.

But what is the real problem here? Is weight-loss a mythical creature that no one seems to know how to capture?

In my perspective, the problem lies on how we have been conditioned to approach weight-loss and it all starts with the goal setting process.

You see, for most people, weight-loss is not even a goal. At best, it is an intention. The same as getting rich, being successful or finding happiness. What does it even mean?

Turn weight-loss failure into success

Weight-loss is not just about calories in and calories out

This is a gross oversimplification of a very complex process. You see, weight-loss is a multifaceted process with way too many variables that cannot be just boiled down to a mathematical equation.

The truth is that even the scientists don’t know for sure everything that it is involved in it. So let’s spot pretending that this is just a matter of exercising more and eating less.

The human body is a complex piece of machinery that relies on homeostasis to function properly.  If you are not familiar with the term, homeostasis is a self-regulating process that resists changes in the external environment in order to maintain a steady state of physical and chemical conditions that are crucial to survival.

When we make drastic attempts to lose weight, we threaten the stability of systems, and the body has no choice but to defend the energy balance.

How to Use Affirmations Effectively

You probably heard about affirmations before. You might even have tried doing affirmations as part of a self-development process. But have you being performing them in a way that will bring you the results you want?

You see, to be effective you must fully believe in the affirmation you are performing. And I find that that’s where most people fall short. Repeating a sentence without fully understanding or accepting its content will not change how you feel about something.

So let’s look at a better way of doing it, shall we?

First, what are affirmations?

What’s Lifestyle Change

So you want to change your body, to become fit and healthy, to feel comfortable in your own skin so you can finally be free to enjoy life, go after your dreams and fulfil your true potential.

I get it.

It is not as if you haven’t tried before. You certainly did. Some things worked for a while. Others left a bitter taste behind. And now, you might be a little discouraged.

You are not alone. I’ve heard this story multiple times. That’s why I decided to make this video. To show you that there is nothing wrong with you. It is the way you have been approaching that it’s not the best.

Here’s why you haven’t succeed yet and what you need to do to get back on track.

Lessons from a Fitness Challenge

The fitness industry loves Challenges. And at this time of the year, they seem to be everywhere: “40-day build challenge” or “12 weeks to a bikini body.“

I’ve never been very fond of challenges because they tend to reinforce behavioural patterns and beliefs that are not beneficial.

For instance, most challenges are short-lived contributing to the erroneous belief that losing weight (or building muscle) is a fast process. To deliver results in such short period of time, most programs rely on endorsing extreme behaviours that are not realistic (or safe) for the average person. Those behaviours generate an enormous amount of deprivation which could potentially lead to unhealthy compensatory behaviours (binging, purging or over exercising). Besides, most programs don’t expand on how to maintain the results, so once the challenge is over you are on your own.

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