Put body image aside for just a tick if you will. Let’s look at the health side of weight. Being overweight isn’t just uncomfortable; it’s a sign that something isn’t working as well as it could be, no matter what the situation. It’s important that we move away from looking at weight as an ‘ideal’ and start looking at what that means for you as an individual. Consider at the health implications, the hormone imbalance and the strain on the body. Forget setting unrealistic and unhealthy goals, your ideal weight isn’t necessarily going to be the same as your healthy weight. With this in mind, I want to share the 5 easy suggestions I offer to my patients to help shift or maintain healthy weight.
Go crazy with coconut butter
Coconut butter and oil are super healing on the gut, they help restore healthy gut function, which is important when it comes to assimilation and ensuring your body has everything it requires nutritionally. When your body’s nutritional requirements are met, not only do you need less food (because your body is satisfied) but also you crave far less. Since cravings are often, if not out of boredom, signals that your body is asking for something more on a nutritional need. Coconut is unique in that it isn’t digested like most other therapeutic fats and actually skips a stage of the digestion process. What’s more, it will rev up the digestion, which is excellent news for those who experience weight gain from hormone imbalance. It impacts the thyroid directly to amp up its function too, which is essential for happy hormones. Be sure you’re buying exceptional quality. My favourites are Niulife and Loving Earth.
Water water water
Because we are made up of around 70% water but our bodies love being well hydrated. This helps our body in many ways – it ensures our liver can continue to clean our bodies, it means our cells have everything they need to work properly, it means we don’t over eat and it ensures that our digestive system can adequately break foods down. It also helps our kidneys to flush the body too – it’s all well and good to stir up the liver, but if it simply dumps the toxins elsewhere – that’s converts to weight gain too! How much is good? I generally go with the guide of 8-10 glasses per day. Make the first one a warm lemon water and really kick along that liver. Consider it your daily jump-start! This also extends to herbal tea too!
Mineralise with Salt
For so long we have been told salt is the enemy but did you know that nutrient rich salt can considered your daily does of minerals? Step aside Saxa table salt and forget refunded and full of caking agent varieties – I’m talking your mineral dense, nutrient rich salt found in its purest source like that which is found in the Himalayan Alps. Real salt from nature will see your body rocking along. Much like your daily multi vitamin, minerals play an equally important role in fuelling your body, making gangbuster hormones which we know inadvertently affects weight. My favourite is this from Power Super Foods.
Essential for hormone balance, are therapeutic fats. Remember your hormones are made of fats and proteins, your nerves are covered in a special fatty protective layer and your body thrives on being well fed. It is for this very reason you must include therapeutic fats by way of oily fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, eggs, chia seeds, organic grass fed meats and of course coconut products that all keep your body loved up in the nutrient department. Know this; fat doesn’t convert to fat in your body but quite the contrary. Sugar on the other hand will head straight to your hips. It is inflammatory on the gut, leads to pain in the body (hello period pain) and weights down your inner workings like nothing else. It’s also super addictive. It’s a good one to wean off – and if you need some guidance check out Sarah Wilson’s 8 week program.
Ditch the Stress
If you’re an avid reader, you’ll know I’m not long back from Hawaii. Besides getting my daily dose of Vitamin D by way of sunshine (it’s totes my stress reliever) I was able to properly ‘switch off’ the power switch for the first time in 2 years. I stepped off the plane and people kept telling me how well I looked and how lean I looked (granted, my food choices were limited). For the most part, I shrugged it off thinking it was the tan but after a pow wow to my good gal pal Sam Gowing she reminded me just how stress makes us hold onto weight. Right on! I had distressed and my body let go. Of course the adrenals can be to blame for helping us hold onto unwanted kilos – that’s a survival mechanism. The stress response (cortisol) as we’ve discussed many times isn’t supposed to be this constant trickle into our systems. We’re designed to experience (and cope) with short bursts of stress but when they become an ‘all day long’ kind of thing, our bodies go into a frenzy, and inadvertently cortisol drives oestrogen, and fat cells feed on it. We simply continue to tip our hormones out of kilter and our weight follows suit. How do you de-stress? Seems I’ve found my way… Hawaii is calling!
Image found here