When You Haven’t Changed Anything… But Your Pants Don’t Fit

I’m no stranger to that struggle.

You’re positive that you’re not eating more food or “junkier” food but you’re still gaining weight. And you don’t think you just shrunk your clothes, are PMSing, or haven’t taken a good poop. How could this happen?

You’re not going crazy. You’re not alone.

Here’s why your favourite seasonal fashion staples might be feeling a bit snug these days.

The “calories in, calories out” argument is an overly simplistic, outdated view of how weight management works.

There’s definitely more to it than just how many calories you’re eating, right?

A lot of this comes right down to your metabolic rate which is affected by things like your activity level, history of dieting, body composition, and what you eat.

But let’s go beyond the tired “eat less and exercise more” advice and dive into some of the less obvious underlying reasons why you may be gaining weight even though you’re eating the same way you have for years.

Things like:

  • Aging
  • Hormones
  • Sleep
  • Stress

Aging

Funny things happen the older we get. People commonly experience lower energy levels, more digestive discomfort, and weight gain, as well as aches and pains. If you work an office job at a desk, you might also be particularly familiar with those aches and pains.

Aging can result in hormonal changes for both men and women. And these can contribute to loss of some lean muscle mass, as well as increases and changes in fat storage on our bodies. Women tend to pack more around the hips and thighs, while men more so around the waist.

The good news is that this is very common and not your fault.

Hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism and as such can be a massive contributor to your weight gain. There are several things that can affect it and throw it off-course.

When your thyroid gets off-course and produces fewer hormones, your metabolism slows down. And when your metabolism slows down, you can gain weight… even though you’re eating the same way you always have.

Pro Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your hormones tested. Oh, and try the thyroid-friendly recipe that I created for you at the end of this post.

Sleep

There’s plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.

And as we age it can become harder and harder to get a good night’s sleep.

The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night at consistent times as much as is possible to help avoid weight gain.

Pro Tip: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. The first place to start is by implementing a calming bedtime routine, like listening to a guided meditation, enjoying a soothing cup of herbal tea (I love lavender and rooibos), and keeping the lights dim.

Stress

You’re not imagining it – it’s everywhere! So many things that can cause stress responses in your body.

And you know that stress hormones are not going to help you sustain healthy habits or maintain a healthy weight, right?

While you can’t necessarily change all your stressors you can try to adjust your stress response to them.

Pro Tip:  Try meditation or yoga, mindful eating, journaling. What about those new adult colouring books that are all the rage now? You may even want to look at your work or living situation and do what needs to be done to make a change, even if that might be drastic.

Conclusion:

There are lots of factors that can affect your weight, even if you’re eating the same way you always have. Aging, hormones, stress, and sleep are all interconnected to each other and can all contribute to weight gain, even if you’re eating the same way you always have.

We go deeper with this in my LPFL Body Alchemy program! Learn more here.

Seaweed Sushi Bowl

IMG_20181029_195930_537

Serves 2

  • 1 cup cooked rice (I used black Japonica rice)
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • ½ red pepper, julienne/matchsticks
  • 2 small carrots, julienne/matchsticks
  • 2 Tbsp. dried seaweed (such as nori or arame; I used 4 squares of olive oil SeaSnax, torn up – wasabi flavour is also amazing here!)
  • Small handful microgreens such as broccoli sprouts or pea shoots
  • 4 strips tempeh, cut into small pieces (can use plain or marinated – I like Lightlife smoky BBQ or Tofurky brand sesame garlic); can substitute chickpeas or jackfruit if desired
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Dressing:

  • 3 Tbsp. plain or seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger

Divide the first eight ingredients into two bowls.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a small jar or bottle and shake well to combine.

Pour the dressing over the sushi bowls. You may have some extra.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip:  This is a great lunch to take on the go. Keep dressing in a separate container so you can give it a shake before adding it onto the sushi bowl.

[LPFL Body Alchemy starts as a group online on Wed Nov 28 2018! Use code “alchemytea” at checkout through Nov 26 to get a free tea with your purchase of Body Alchemy.]

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/lose-weight-in-menopause/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sleep-stress-and-fat-loss

Is My Poop Normal?

There’s actually a reason I ask every client I see about their poop.

(Totally unrelated aside: my job is so glamourous, peeps.)

You might already know that your poop can reflect your physical – and sometimes even emotional – health.

You may get constipation or have diarrhea when you eat something that “doesn’t agree with you,” or when you’re super-nervous about something. Maybe you even find you need to go 3+ times in the 2 hours before your end-of-semester graded recital with staying in your program on the line. Maybe this accurately describes my own life in university with performance anxiety. Maybe that’s TMI. Maybe we’re moving on now…

Continue reading “Is My Poop Normal?”

[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!

STRESS!!!

Its causes are absolutely everywhere. Would you agree?

Our natural “fight or flight” stress response is supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve, well, fought or flew. But, in our society, with stressors basically ever-present – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic.

You might already be familiar with the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.”  It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep.

Now did you know that too-high levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity?

Do you experience any of these? Keep reading – I have a list of foods, nutrients, and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower this stress hormone naturally! Continue reading “[Recipe Post] Lower Cortisol with Dessert? Yes Please!”

Stay in Bed… All Night Long (for the Other Good Reason)

Do you feel like you’ve had a messy breakup with sleeping through the night?

Are you feeling exhausted or basically running on fumes all day?

Keep reading! I have some great tips (and an amazing recipe) to help you stay in bed all night long… for the other good reason. *ah-wink* Continue reading “Stay in Bed… All Night Long (for the Other Good Reason)”

LoveBites: Eat Yo Veggies

Your friendly reminder to not rule out fresh-prepared and frozen fruit & veg. They are amazing time-savers in the kitchen, especially if you find yourself frequently slammed with fatigue, cramps, sadness, or other PMS symptoms you have to deal with, on top of needing something to eat, on top of worrying if that something is even healthy. If you’re going to eat for convenience, this is still a step in the right direction.

Remember when you can get your butt to the store to read labels – make sure there’s nothing funky added like sugar, salt, colour, etc.

I’ve professed my love for ready-to-eat beet spirals lately, and I use frozen fruit (I love the PC Organics power fruit berry blend, and mango chunks) in my smoothies all the time. I’m also a fan of frozen broccoli And butternut squash chunks, and use fresh salad greens mixes to eat as salad as well as to throw into pasta sauce, curry, soup, and of course smoothies. And while they’re not just simple veggies, I like to grab a bag or 2 of Ikea frozen veggie balls (sneaky veg!) when I’m there.

What are your go-to time-saver fruit & veg choices or tricks?