Weight Loss and wellbeing can be a complex process, but here are a few weight loss tips to help you identify why you may be struggling with your weight loss goals.
The factors involved in our eating patterns and digestion can get pretty convoluted. But one thing is for certain, the role our brain plays in our eating behaviour and how our body deals with food on the inside, is of epic proportions. Both the physical and mental health cannot exist without the balance of the other.
One massive part of our brain’s role in our eating habits is just that, its ability to develop habits, sometimes without even noticing. Often, they are not always aligned with what we want for our health and wellbeing. What’s more, as a mother we have to be profoundly aware that these naughty little habits have the potential to rub off onto our mini me’s, causing them issues later on.
So, there is nooooo better time to nip these habits in the bud before they become too ingrained, in both us as mothers and our little tigers.
The first step: start being more mindful and begin to actually notice what habits you have picked up along the way. These pesky habits could be something you are already aware of, but helplessly fell into, or something that has just sneaked in, like eating whilst cooking meals. Keeping a lifestyle journal is a great way to help track this, grab the free one here.
Now I know, as a Mum the ideal of having the luxury of being mindful may sound absurd (I get a lot of clients laugh in my face for this, and the same clients thank me a week later)! But as a Mum, I also have absolute faith that you can do it, despite everything you already have on your plate. You are a superstar!
Here are some common examples that I see in my wellness workshops, but let me know on social media what others you have:
- Skipping breakfast
- Not drinking water until you are thirsty
- Eating leftover toast crusts (an old fave of mine)
- Drinking soft drinks as part of your daily ritual
- Skipping lunch
- Overcompensating for starving yourself of food all day (cause you are so busy) by eating a big and fat, carb heavy dinner. A sure way to increase your weight, if that is what you want of course
- Eating whilst cooking dinner
- Eating when standing up
The list goes on, but have a look at your day yourself and try and weed out any habits that are not particularly helping you in the wellness department. A great place to start is with a lifestyle journal. Give yourself honest feedback on what you are eating and either look at it yourself or better still get a professional to give you a few tweaks and tips where you can improve.
Below are 3 of the most common habits or as I call them weight loss killers, that I see in Mums and, how when managed properly, and consciously, can make a difference to your body, inside and out.
WEIGHT LOSS KILLER #1
EATING ON THE RUN
It seems that we are always on the run, especially us Mums. For most Mums the thought of sitting down to eat, let alone actually chewing the food is the stuff of dreams. You are lucky if you shove a biscuit or piece of toast in your mouth as you run out of the door, inhaling it, in between stopping the kids from arguing in the back seat.
Of course every now and again we have no choice but to eat on the run, but for many of us this “multi-tasking” is something we do daily... several times.
The thing is this “multi tasking”, for many of us, it becomes a habit that we practice daily. We are all so busy. That said, sitting down for 5 minutes, is not going to make a massive difference to your day. Even you can afford 5 minutes to eat.
My best solution to finding time to eat properly, i.e., mindfully, is to get up earlier than the kids to give you that time to properly wake up. Just think of having a hot cup of coffee in peace and finishing it all, with no interruption, whilst it is still hot. Couple that with eating a high protein brekky and then you’ll be ready to power through your day. Failing that, give yourself a rule. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PUT ANYTHING INTO YOUR MOUTH WHILST STANDING UP. I know this sounds tough but I encourage you to persist and instill it. Not only that, but it is a great habit to teach your kids, not only because it keeps the rest of the house free of crumbs, but it is essential for your digestion.
So why is eating on the run such a big deal. It can often cause, and lead to:
- OVEREATING. This is huge. This picking or grazing can lead to a massive calorie influx, so much so, that I have seen clients frequently eat their entire dinner whilst cooking it, only to sit down and eat it “properly” ...again!
- INDIGESTION. Such as gas, heartburn, bloating,
- FAILURE TO FEEL SATIATED. Causing you to eat more.
- FAILURE TO CHEW. Sit still and actually be aware and mindful of eating, is necessary for your brain to send signals to other systems in your body. Digestion is a complex job, involving a myriad of organs in your body. Give it a bit of TLC and the opportunity to do its job in the way it was intended, properly and completely.
It all comes down to the magnitude of our brain to gut connection and how we have to honour and respect it in order for it to work for us. These essential parts of our body work together and in order to do so, we have to let them have a bit of time together, acting on the same job. No split roles here. By focusing your brain’s energy on several tasks, i.e., multitasking like us Mums do, we neglect to give our brain and gut time to work together properly.
WEIGHT LOSS KILLER #2
EATING THE KID'S LEFTOVERS
I hate food waste with a passion but not so much that I would rather increase my pant size to avoid it. In our first world, unfortunately it cannot be helped, especially when my kid’s leave crusts and bits of food on their plate.
Many Mum’s (and Dad’s) solve this problem of food waste by simply “hoovering” up the food into their own belly. This may be ok, but if it is just a side dish to your main meal and you do it every day, it will lead to weight gain.
“I am not a garbage disposal unit” Repeat after me…
I applaud your values on waste, but really, do you value your waistline or waste more. Make the choice.
There is a lot of value in this lesson, and I don't mean just for you. Children mimic their parents’ eating habits from an early age. Eating leftovers is ok every now and again, but if your children see you do this regularly, they will inevitably do the same, leading to another cycle of health and digestion issues for them. Use this as an opportunity to simply teach your kids the value of food but also that the lesson of not putting too much on their plate.
“I am not a garbage disposal unit” Repeat after me…
WEIGHT LOSS KILLER #3
NOT DRINKING WATER BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER FOOD
Water is essential for digestion. I mean, how could you get your food through the approximately 9 metres of gut, from your mouth to your bum without it? Food needs something to push it through our body and water is a big component of that.
As an added bonus, drinking water before eating helps satiate your thirst centre before you eat. Many people who fail to drink enough water, favour eating food rather than drinking due to the distance of the food and thirst centres in the brain. Quite literally we often mistake thirst for hunger, resulting in unnecessary overeating.
WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?
Studies show that dehydration is a major cause of constipation. Constipation is one the body’s natural detox processes and should happen daily to rid the body of unwanted toxins. Failure to get rid of the toxins leads them to build up in your system, causing some pretty uncomfortable feelings, such as trapped gas, belching, bloating, swollen joints, puffy skin and skin that’s sore to touch. It can feel as if your body is basically bloated like a sponge and painful or uncomfortable to touch. The toxicity of the body also extends to your head, causing headaches and migraines.
These effects in the body are awful but can be so easily fixed. I promise you!
DRINKING MORE WATER is the solution. It really is that simple. No amount of drugs or medicines are going to help you in the long term, and the solution is so much cheaper and lighter on the body.
I would aim for a goal of 1.5 litres per day, but work up to it gradually. The lifestyle journal here, has a section to help you manage your water consumption. Alternatively you can put a reminder in your phone or diary every time you drink water thought the day. Another simple way to ensure you get enough water, is to start the day with a 1.5 litre bottle of water and make your way through to empty.
That is all. I suggest drinking filtered water in an attempt to get rid of any particles collected in water pipes etc. An inexpensive worktop filter is fine. No need for major expense.
HINT #1 : Your gut prefers warm to hot water, similar to how you have your coffee.
HINT #2 : Add a bit of lemon if you are suffering with constipation.
These habits are of course not exclusive to us Mums, but I do see them a lot in busy Mothers and even catch myself doing them when I am particularly stressed or busy. The key is to keep an eye on yourself and what you put in your mouth. You are in the driver’s seat, you are the boss of your well-being.
Identifying bad habits and eliminating them or replacing them with better ones, can trigger a cascade of awesome rewards.
Yours in wellness
what bad habits have you started to recognise in your daily life? It is amazing how many you can pluck out and the impact their elimination can have on your wellbeing
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