Updated: Apr 2
As a health and nutrition practitioner, I get asked the same questions over and over. From how to lose weight, how to clear up acne, reduce bloating, get rid of cellulite and speed up fat loss.
These questions are asked on a regular basis, and today I’m going to share my advice on how to remedy them. Hopefully I have answered a few of yours.
Q - How do I lose weight (and fast)?
ANSWER: This has to be the number one question I get asked as a nutrition coach. People don’t just want to lose weight, and tone up their bodies, they want a quick fix and it to be done fast! Sadly, there’s no quick fixes for weight loss. Excess fat and body weight took several months, or years to gain, and to safely and effective burn unwanted fat will take time to lose. The good news is, there are several things you can do (that do not cost much) that will speed up your results.
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The first thing I recommend you do is work on getting a full night sleep. Sleep helps to regulate our hunger hormones so making sure you get 6 to 8 hours every night will go along way in helping reduce cravings.
Second, I highly recommend you start your day with lemon water. This helps to kickstart the digestive system, flush the body of toxins and aids in nutrient absorption when you have breakfast. Keeping hydrated will also reduce your appetite naturally, helping you feel fuller for longer, plus give you that beautiful, warm healthy glow. A natural detox will also help your body lose weight more efficiently. You can do this will botanical supplements or simply by eating clean, lemon and infused waters, and a 3 day detox like this one here.
Lastly, make sure that you are including whole foods and dietary fibre at every meal. When we eat nutritionally dense food, the body is more satisfied and less likely to crave the junkie stuff. Consuming 30 g of fibre per day also helps to keep you feeling more satiated and less likely to snack between meals. You can use a supplement or try chia seeds, psyllium husk, and ground flax seeds.
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Q - Why am I always breaking out?
ANSWER: This is a loaded question, but a common one. Our face is the first thing we noticed on a person, so naturally when we suffer from acne or breakouts it can be embarrassing. The skin is also the largest organ in the human body. When skin problems show up, it typically means the body is not happy on some level. Uncovering where the issue is can be complicated.
Our skin is an inside job. Acne is usually caused by bacteria on the skin and inflammation within the body. Skin follicles can get blocked causing pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and other irritations. Unsightly acne and sporadic breakouts can be triggered by changes in your sleep patterns, hormones, poor diet, gut health and due to stress. Whatever improvements you can make in these areas helps.
Clean up your diet and cutting back on overly processed foods, especially those with sugar and preservatives, goes a long way in improving skin conditions. Opt for anti-inflammatory food choices such as organic, hormone-free meat and dairy, plantbased proteins, wild fish, organic nuts, seeds and fresh, pesticide-free fruits and veggies.
Take a probiotic to help improve your gut health and a liver detox (if required) to help with nutrient absorption. Aim to drink 3 litres of filtered water every day and practice a good skin routine with all natural skin products. Those that detox the skin surface without stripping its natural oils or those products with a vitamin C content are especially helpful. One of my faves for caring for the skin naturally is Arbonne's Ultra Glow.
Q - How do I get rid of cellulite?
ANSWER: I work with a lot of mums. As we age and go through our child rearing years, our bodies change in so many spectacular and amazing ways. One of the less than desirable effects of all these life changes, and natural ageing, is stretch marks and cellulite.
You can read several ways to rid yourself of the cottage-cheese skin here, but in order to ward off cellulite or reduce its appearance you need to go within. Noticing a theme here?
As a Health Coach I can tell you from absolute experience that the majority of health conditions stem from our diet and gut health. If you want to reduce cellulite, you have to start by assessing your diet, level of fitness, hydration and sleep patterns.
A diet of highly processed foods and little water will most likely contribute to cellulite especially if you are in a more mature age group, but dimpled skin is not limited by age. I have treated women as young as 26 and 28 who had cellulite show up on the backs of their thighs, midsection and upper arms. In most cases the party girl lifestyle of fast foods, boozing and lack of sleep contributed. Once we fixed their diets and lifestyle habits, and got them working out like this and this we a saw huge difference.
If you really want to get rid of cellulite, you need to eat healthy, hydrate and get moving.
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Q - Why am I always so bloated?
ANSWER: Bloating is an unpleasant condition that can leave you looking like you are six month pregnant with an extended belly, abdominal pains, and nausea. It is different from gaining actual fat around your stomach as once the stomach settles and the air trapped within your abdomen is released, the bloating usually settles down. Developing a bloated stomach can be triggered by allergies, hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunction, gut troubles and changes to one's diet. Most common dietary triggers are a sensitivities to dairy and gluten.
Bloating is attributed to excessive gas in the intestines, however, many different factors can contribute to bloating including seemingly unrelated lifestyle issues, like lack of sleep, your menstrual cycle or chronic stress. When I work with clients who complain of this condition, I like to first rule out allergies, inadequate protein digestion (causing some foods to ferment in the digestive system), or the inability to digest carbohydrates, as well as potential imbalances in gut bacteria.
An imbalance of "good bacteria" can quickly lead to abdominal bloating, poor digestion, IBS symptoms and other health conditions. So I have clients complete a food diary for 3 days to see if we are dealing with any food sensitivities that need to be further investigated with a dietitian. You can do this at home by tracking everything you consume and noting how you feel afterwards. The biggest triggers as I mentioned are dairy products and gluten. Elimination and FODMAPS are helpful isolating food related issues.
Do you suffer from ongoing bloating, or is it only during your menstrual cycle or after eating certain foods? Start making note of when symptoms flare and make changes to see if symptoms settle. You can find 11 additional ways to reduce bloating here.
Q - Should I avoid eating carbs to lose weight?
ANSWER: This question should really be number one, and the short answer is no. When people want to lose weight they often think the secret sauce to fast weight loss is to cut back on carbohydrates thinking that will aid their weight loss, but in fact it does more harm than good.
Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient and converted to glucose in the body. This is our primary fuel system. When you restrict your carb intake beyond 20g per day, you trigger the body's backup fat burning system, ketosis. This is the basis of Dr. Atkins's diet and the subsequent spin offs of keto and other low carb, high fat diets. It has its place under medical guide for the majorly obese patients who need to lose weight quickly for life saving surgeries or health conditions, but in the hands of the masses carb restriction can really do more harm than good.
My number one concern for people following low carb diets it that they stay in ketosis too long and take it to extremes. This can cause all kinds of harmful effects on the liver, gallbladder, gut health and vital organs. The best advice I can give you is to make sure the quality of carbohydrates you consume is the focus not how much. Carbs come from many sources, but the high fibre varieties are best and raise blood glucose more slowly, require less insulin, and keep you full longer. Examples are grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and ancient sprouted grains, however, carbs are present in so many other foods as well. I coach my clients on how to look for the dietary fibre content in the carbs they choose and make educated choices from there. T
The takeaway? Carbs are essential and should be included in a well balanced diet. Be choosy and make sure the carbohydrate sources contain a high level of fibre.
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Q - Should I avoid fruit because its high in sugar?
ANSWER: I cannot tell you how often client say this to me, and they couldn't be more mistaken. The truth is that fruits are dense in vital nutrients and trace minerals. Yes, fruits contain a natural form of sugar known as fructose, but fresh fruits also provide necessary dietary fibre, a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient essential for our wellbeing and vitality.
A large factor is consuming fruit, is to always go for those that contain a high amount of dietary fibre and consume the others in moderation. Fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, unripe bananas, citrus fruits, rock melon, green apples and mangoes are good choices and have less of a sugar punch due their high fibre content. Consuming fruits with a source of clean protein is also good way to reduce the fructose impact on your blood sugar levels. A handful of no more than 10 almonds or walnuts paired with 1/2 a green apple makes an excellent snack.
Put it into action. ...what are you going to try from this article?
Wishing you health + happiness,
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