Why More Willpower and Diets Aren’t the Answer to Your ‘All or Nothing’ Eating...and What Is

 
EatingCake.JPG

Your dieting mindset is what’s causing your ‘All or Nothing’ eating in the first place.

I know you’re thinking,

“Wait what???!!! That can’t possibly be right!”

“If only had someone that could slap the food out of my hand I would be successful!”

“If I could just have more willpower to resist the delicious food, I would be successful!”

But, it’s actually this mindset of restriction that’s screwing you over.

And in a minute, I will tell you why.

But, first I want to tell you a story… (If you don’t want to read it, and just want to understand why you have this, and how to overcome it, skip to the bottom.)

My Past ‘All or Nothing’ Relationship with Food

I used to be an ‘all or nothing’ eater too.

There was noooo way I could have just a little bit of ice cream, chocolate, cookies, you name it.

Everyone’s story is different, but I got to this place because I used to over-exercise.

Since I hated my body so much (and myself because I saw myself AS my body) this caused me to abuse exercise.

This over-exercising made me overeat. I couldn’t control what I was putting in my mouth after I worked out because my body NEEDED the calories.

Every time I did this, I would shame myself. I would say “Oh you are so bad for eating all that.”  

And since I knew I wanted to lose weight, I carried these words over to anytime I ate something “bad.”

It’s these words right here that cause us to lose control with food. We think that by saying “You’re so bad”it’s going to make us avoid that food in the future.

When in reality it just makes us want it more.

I now have a healthy and happy relationship with food. And this is what I want for you too.

Why Your Mindset of Restriction is Causing Your ‘All or Nothing’ Eating

The dieting mindset is one of restriction.

This is just what diets are about and what they teach people to do. So, it’s not your fault that you ended up in this place. But, you’re here nonetheless.

This mindset of restriction begins with labeling certain foods “good” and others “bad.”

This labeling of “good” and “bad” is what gets you into trouble. And this is how …

When you’re having a food that you’ve labeled as “bad,” you’re telling yourself you’re bad for eating it.

I understand, you’re saying this to try and avoid eating more of this food, or eating it again in the future. But, guess what?

By saying this, you’re doing the exact opposite.

For 2 reasons:

Reason 1

When your brain hears, “I’m bad”, it doesn’t say “Oh I’m never going to do that again.” It says, “Well, if I’m bad, and this is just who I am, I’m not going to change this behavior.”

So, the very thing that you’re saying to yourself to avoid your ‘All or Nothing’ eating, is what’s setting you up to do it again in the future.

Reason 2

When you’re eating something and you’re telling yourself you should never have it again, this creates fear of missing out (FOMO.)

Meaning, these thoughts are creating a fear of not being able to have this food in the future. And this fear is what makes you eat all of it in the moment.

Your brains says, “Well, if I can never have this again, I better eat it all while I have the chance!”

And I know you know this happens, because you see it happen over and over again!

And so have I! I used to deal with this myself…until I created a different relationship with food…

How I Overcame My ‘All or Nothing Relationship with Food and How You Can Too!

I Stopped Attaching Emotion to Food

Meaning, the quality of person I was had nothing to do with the foods I choose to eat.

AND

Understanding that food is on a continuum. Some food is more healthy than others. One isn’t “good” and the other “bad.”

Which means there are certain foods we live on and others we don’t. Just because a food is less healthy doesn’t mean it can never be eaten (even if you want to lose fat.) It just all comes back to how much of this food you’re eating in total.

And this is why we want to get rid of the good and bad labels. Because this is what makes us lose control over how much of this food we’re going to eat.

Why the Dieting Mindset Will Never Lead to Fit AND Happy

The dieting mindset is so black and white...and the world we live in is not black and white.

It has a lot of gray.

Meaning, there’s a lot of ebbs and flows in real life. And just having a bunch of rules telling you want you can and cannot do doesn’t work in the real world-because it’s always changing.

You need tools on how to deal with cravings and the ebbs and flows of real life.

Right now, the food is in control. Not you.

The way your mind is currently wired to think about food is what’s giving food the control. You want to change the way you think about/interact with food so you can be in control.

Telling yourself a certain food is off limits or that you’re never going to have it again is not reality. And it’s going to make you want to do the complete opposite of what you’re trying to do.

How Brainy Betties Helps You Overcome Your ‘All of Nothing’ Eating and Take away the Stress so you can be Fit AND Happy!

Having a great relationship with food isn’t just about overcoming ‘All or Nothing’ eating.

It’s about taking the stress away from eating and learning how to eat in a way that maximizes your unique body, likes, and life.

And to do this, we need to talk about A LOT of different things other than just fitness.

One of these things is food, and the relationship you have with it.

Read more about how your relationship with food affects your results, life, and happiness in the blog: Why Brainy Betties was Created Post #1: Mindset Around Food

Brainy Betties is not only small group fitness training for women, but an educational program to help make you Fit AND Happy.

What does Being fit AND Happy Feel like?

It feels like freedom.

Freedom from obsessing about food, obsessing about exercise, and obsessing about your body.

It’s a state of caring for yourself and your body that is surrounded in self-care (love for yourself.) Not one of hate and trying to constantly hate yourself into change.

It’s having the fitness level you want while also loving the life you’re living.

Becoming fit AND happy elevates your life in ways you never knew possible.

Not only will you live in a non-obsessed (happy) state, but you live in a state of love for yourself.

This love and active care for yourself is what takes your life to the next level.

Your next level of living.

Be Fit AND Happy!

~Ashley

Click here if you want to end your 'all or nothing' relationship with food so you can be fit AND happy!

 

Is Your Workout Making You Too Hungry to Lose Fat?

 
 

If fat loss is your goal, how you eat is your number one priority.

Your type of exercise (and amount) has to be in line with this. If your workout is too long/too intense that it’s making you ravenous (can’t control what you’re putting in your mouth) it’s going to be VERY hard to lose body fat.

You end up eating just as much, if not more, than what you’re burning off.

What Types of Workouts Do This?

Knock Off High Intensity

Understand that TRUE high intensity workouts (15-20 minutes of intervals pushing VERY hard) can be a great addition to your fat loss exercise regimen.

But, the problem is when they’re done for too long. This combination of length and intensity can cause a change in your body’s hormones. When these workouts are abused (done too long), you can potentially go from an optimal fat burning environment to a hunger and fat storage environment.

*Know this: If you’re doing high intensity for an hour, it’s not truly high intensity.

Let that sink in for a second.

The higher the intensity of the workout, the shorter the duration should be. Because if it’s truly HIGH intensity, you can’t do it for that long!

So, many workouts that are labeled high intensity aren’t true high intensity. They’re more like moderate intensity done for a REALLY long period of time-making them feel really hard. But not necessarily being the most effective when looking at the bigger picture and how many women’s bodies respond negatively to lengthy extreme exercise.

Cardio That’s Too Long

I was guilty of this for years!!!!

Back when I younger and didn’t understand human physiology, I used to think that running was the way to fat loss and the body that I wanted.

Of course when I first started to run I saw some fat loss. But, then it just all of a sudden stopped. And I would notice that my appetite was always high. So, if I ever took a break from running I would gain weight. Has this ever happened to you?

Sooo frustrating right?

Well, this is a perfect example of not being efficient with exercise. Just because something feels hard and you’re putting in a lot of effort doesn’t mean you’re going to see your desired result if you’re going against the physiology of your body.

So, many times women who run will see this happen and also women who do a lot of spinning.

This Doesn't Happen to Everyone

And of course the crazy thing is that this doesn’t happen to everyone! Many times, more men can get away with these types of workouts and not have it affect their appetite.

And some women can get away with it as well. It’s just that many women can’t. I am one of them.

But, everyone is different and you have to pay attention to how YOUR body responds.  

Are These Types of Workouts Bad?

Of course not!

It’s just that you have to know what you really want and how much you love that style of exercise.

Meaning, if you love running does that mean that you can’t run if you want to lose fat? No! It just means that if you want fat loss, you will have to dial it back (in length) until you find that it’s not making you hungry.

And to be even more efficient, add strength training into your routine.

How Do You Want to Live?

You want to ask yourself these questions:

“What are my goals?”

And

“How can I be the most efficient in reaching them, while also taking into account what I truly like to do?”

Think Big Picture

Thinking big picture means:

How can you get to your goal in the most efficient way possible and stay there for the long-term?

Cardio is not the most efficient way to keep fat off for the long term. It can help speed up the process of losing fat (as long as it’s not being abused), but to be the most efficient long-term, you want to be prioritizing strength training.

Strength training changes the hormonal profile in your body to be more fat burning and less fat storing.  This is why it’s sooo much more efficient long-term.

And I’m not talking about workouts that look like strength, but are actually cardio. If you’re holding weights, but doing a lot of very high rep exercises, this is not strength.

Relying on cardio for fat loss is kind of like being a hamster on a wheel. You always have to work for what you want.

Creating a strong body allows you to be efficient 24-7. When you’re working out and when you’re not.

The higher the efficiency (and taking into account what you like), the higher the chance of being successful long-term.

Be Fit AND Happy!

~Ashley

 

THANKS FOR READING!

If you think this could help someone you know, please share!!!

 

Why You Gained Inches After Menopause and What You Can Do About It

 
 

*Warning-This blog is very sciency-because menopause is about hormones...just is what it is. 

If you don't feel like reading it, just understand this gist:

The hormonal changes that a woman goes through after menopause makes her more sensitive to carbohydrates and stress. 

Meaning, carbohydrate intake needs to be appropriate for the individual, stress levels (from life and exercise) must be managed well, and using the right types of exercise in the right amounts (because exercise is a stress) is important to optimize fat burning. 

 

If you don't want to learn the science, skip to:

 How We Address Menopausal Fat Loss At Brainy Betties

At the bottom of the page

 

Did you gain fat in your middle after menopause?

Is this something you WANT to change and feel like you’ve tried “everything”?

There's always more to losing fat than calories in vs calories out, but especially after menopause.

This is a hormonal game.

Meet Paula

*Not her real name. Changed for privacy purposes.

Paula, a woman in her 60's, came to me after living an active life and eating healthy.

She never had an issue with body fat until she went through menopause. 

She said:

"I thought women who gained weight after going through menopause were lying-until I experienced it myself.

I've always exercised and ate healthy, but when I went through menopause, it didn't matter-I was gaining weight in my middle no matter how healthy I ate or how much cardiovascular exercise I did."

Does this sound familiar at all?

Lets go over why this happens, and why what used to work, no longer does.

Then, at the end, we'll talk about what Paula did to overcome this, and what you can do too!

*Again, if you don't care about the science, just skip to the bottom.

Why Most Women put on fat in their middle After Menopause

Reason #1: More Carbohydrates from the Diet End Up Being Stored as fat.

Why?

Estrogen and Progesterone decrease after menopause.

These hormones help make your body more sensitive to insulin (insulin is what helps bring carbs/sugar from the blood stream into the muscle), and when there isn’t as much of these hormones around, it’s much harder to get the carbs/sugar from the blood into the muscles.

This is also known as becoming more insulin resistant.

Since the muscles can’t take in as much of the carbs/sugar from the blood (and it has to go somewhere), it gets converted to fat and shuttled off to the fat stores.

Reason #2: Belly Fat Increases Because of the Change in Progesterone and Cortisol

Cortisol is the hormone responsible for storing more fat around the middle. And progesterone helps to fight the fat storing tendencies of cortisol.

This is why when there’s less progesterone around and cortisol isn’t properly managed (by not picking the appropriate type and amount of exercise and/or by not keeping stress in check), more fat is stored around the middle.

The Effect of Stress

Since stress HIGHLY affects cortisol, women after menopause that are stressed are WAY more likely to put on body fat, and have a MUCH harder time losing it if they aren’t effectively managing stress.

Reason #3: If You Haven’t Been Strength Training Regularly, Your Body Has Now Lost Enough Muscle to Significantly and Noticeably Impact Your Metabolic Rate.

The old saying: “If you don’t use it, you lose it” really holds true here.

After the age of 25-30, if you aren’t continuously on a regular strength training program, you start losing muscle mass. This loss of muscle affects how many calories you burn at rest, and also like mentioned above, your ability to efficiently utilize carbs/sugar from the blood.

So, at this point the fat gaining potential is two-fold, because not only do you have less muscle working for you but, the muscle you do have doesn’t work as efficiently as it could.

But, no worries! This can be reversed.

Why What You’ve Tried in the Past Hasn’t Worked

After menopause, you may have tried some things that used to work for you, but now don’t. This all has to do with hormones.

Things you may have tried and why they didn’t work:

  •  Just Doing Cardiovascular Exercise

Since this activity is not building much muscle, it does very little to address the carb/sugar uptake issue when you’re not doing the activity.

And for the same reason, also doesn’t do much to increase the resting metabolic rate either.

  • Just Eating Less and Moving More (but not strategically)

Eating Less

Just eating less, but not addressing the amount and type of carbohydrate intake can offer lackluster results because of how carbohydrates affect your hormones.

And this doesn’t mean be afraid of carbs! Not by any sense. It just means you have to learn how the type and amount of carbohydrates you’re eating are affecting your unique body.

Moving More

Cardiovascular exercise is great and you want that too! But, relying on just that isn’t going to get you where you want to go. Again, this is because of how strength training/having more muscle mass effects your hormones.

  • “Strength” Training That’s Not Really Strength Training

Any kind of workout that’s labeled strength training or even looks like strength training, but ISN’T DEVELOPING MEASUREABLE STRENGTH, isn’t actually strength training.

And it isn’t addressing the overall carb/sugar uptake/hormonal issue or effectively altering the resting metabolic rate either.

  • Excessively Exercising (in any form)

This can actually make the situation worse (gain body fat) because over-exercising has the same effect on cortisol as stress. Because it’s a stress!

You CAN have too much of a good thing, especially after menopause.

How We Address Menopausal Fat Loss at Brainy Betties

Some women can start to see some success by doing just one thing specific to menopausal fat loss (depending on their stress levels and how much fat they have to lose.)

But, to be as efficient as possible and to continue seeing fat loss, all 4 of these things need to be addressed:

  • Appropriate Food Intake (quantity and quality)

  • Cardiovascular Exercise That’s Appropriate for Menopausal Fat Loss

  • Strength Training That’s Appropriate for Menopausal Fat Loss

* Learn why strength training is so important for fat loss in the blog: WHY STRENGTH TRAINING SHOULD BE YOUR FITNESS PRIORITY.

  • Activities That Effectively Keep Stress/Cortisol in Check

at Brainy Betties, Paula learned (and you can too!): 

  • How to eat in a way that is specific to her unique body and is also in-line with losing fat for menopause.

  • How to Strength train and create exercise programs specific for menopausal fat loss (and in a way she could replicate at home.)

  • Which stress relief practices are best for lowering cortisol to ensure her body is able to burn fat.

*At Brainy Betties, learning how to lose fat (and keep it off!) is a combination of our in-person training sessions and our FIT and BALANCED educational sections. 

Paula Was Shocked

Paula was very shocked at how just making a couple tweaks to her food, incorporating appropriate strength training, and stress lowering techniques allowed her body to start burning fat. 

She's now fitter and happier than she's ever been. 

It's not always about working harder. It's about working smarter.

Working with your body-not against it. 

Be Fit AND Happy!

~Ashley

References:

Thank you to Dr. Jade Teta and the Metabolic Effect company. As much of this information was based off their many works. 

If you're post menopausal, feel like there's no hope, but still want to be Fit AND Happy, click here!