Shaping Up

February 15, 2008

Depression and Over-Eating

Filed under: depression, over-eating — Tags: , , , — clairec23 @ 3:50 pm

Do you ever wonder why you over eat?  Do you ever feel depressed and turn to food as comfort just like I talked about in my last post?  Depression is strongly linked to over-eating and although over-eating certainly does not mean you are depressed – if you are depressed then you are more likely to be susceptible to over-eating.  It’s a cycle really.  You feel low so you eat food that gives you an instant rush but you are left feeling unsatisfied and needing that rush more often than before.

A lack of serotonin in the system is known to contribute to depression, anxiety and even sleep disorders.  One reason for a sudden lack of serotonin in the system is a change in diet.  Diets are notorious for being unbalanced and too restrictive for normal human beings.  Women in particular seem to go on diets more often and upset their natural balance.  If you do go on a diet make sure that you do not eliminated key, healthy foods, vitamins and minerals.  It will just make that diet even harder to stick to and give you some negative side effects to boot.

February 14, 2008

Comfort Food

Filed under: comfort food — Tags: , , , , , , — clairec23 @ 3:30 pm

We all feel low sometimes and one of the quickest ways to make us feel better is often to grab some comfort food.  Comfort is usally something starchy or sugary and gives us an instant lift.  Comfort food can release serotonin in the brain which makes us feel good again.  Certain foods sustain this feeling for longer than others so it makes sense that high sugar foods can give us a quick high that inevitably results in a low.

A craving for comfort food can often come from a loss of certain vitamins in the diet.  If you don’t eat enough of the right foods, you may find yourself needing those quick pick me ups more and more often just to feel good.  This isn’t a good habit to get into and is often the start to poor eating habits and an expanding waistline.  It is much better to eat a varied and nutritional diet to get whatever you need before you start to feel so low that a tub of ice-cream is the only thing that will make you feel better.

Knowing exactly what certain foods do to your energy and hormone levels can be the answer.

February 13, 2008

Hit And Miss

Filed under: breakfast, snacks — Tags: , , , , , , — clairec23 @ 2:07 pm

I’m pretty hit and miss with this blog.  And with my aspiration to become healthier.  I need a little motivation at the moment because I’ve been under the weather.  The last thing I want to do is go outside for walk and the thoughts of huddling up on the sofa with a large cup of coffee and an oversized bar of chocolate are winning me over rapidly.  I suppose that we all get tempted sometimes.  To be honest, I don’t believe in cutting “bad” foods out of the diet altogether.  In fact, I think a little bit of everything is good for you.

The key is to avoid overdoing it.  Easier said than done, I know.  But a guilt free square of chocolate a day is less likely to set you back than a binge fest on a whole box of chocolates!  Small portions can’t hurt as long as you cancel them out with some healthy snacks too.  A decent breakfast and some sweet fruit to snack on can help you steer clear of the cookie jar.   We all know what’s good for us but it can seem like too much effort at times.  We have to just tell ourselves to go for it and develop good habits for a change.  If you eat breakfast every morning for a month, you will find it easier to keep that habit going for the following month, for example.

February 6, 2008

Diet Pills

There aren’t many quick ways of losing weight.  The quick ways tend to be the unhealthy ones.  People are too impatient to spend time working out and eating healthily to lose weight at a safe pace.  They turn for help in the worst places.  Diet pills have a huge profitable industry all aimed at those who are insecure about their weight and prepared to spend large amounts of money for a quick fix.  Some of them work.  Some of them don’t.  Most that work also cause horrible side effects.

Side effects of diet pills can be headaches, moodiness, bad skin and even palpitations.  They are not intended for regular use because of the ingredients and can be highly addictive.  Most women in particular find that they put a lot of weight back on once they stop taking the pills which just leads to the circle going around again.  It’s much healthier to do things the right way.  Yes, it takes longer but at least it doesn’t give you headaches and palpitations!  If you insist on taking diet pills, do your research first, find a reputable company that uses high quality ingredients that have been scientifically proven to work and be careful to take them as intended.  If you begin to feel ill in any way, stop using them.

February 5, 2008

Liquid Detox

Filed under: detox — Tags: , , , — clairec23 @ 2:42 am

We pile so much junk into our bodies that our insides can become clogged up with toxins.  A lot of people believe that in order to become really healthy, you must first clear out the system of all of these toxins, thus making a fresh start.  I’ll be honest with you, it isn’t that easy to clear everything out.  Years and years of built up rubbish takes its toll on the body and even when we do start to clear it out, our body goes into shock and reacts badly for about a week usually.

The most natural form of detox – if you can take the withdrawal symptoms because that is exactly what they can feel like – is to go on a liquid diet.  Allow the body time to clear itself by removing solids from the diet.  Some people go further with this.  They drink only water, honey and pepper or they take laxatives but this isn’t exactly good for you.  If you regularly detox in this manner, you could leave yourself with a weakened immune system.

From my own research, I gather that the easiest, healthiest and less intrusive way can be the liquid detox as long as you are ingesting enough vitamins and minerals to keep your body strong and healthy.  Drinking liquidized fruit and vegetable juices will make you feel like complete crap for a couple of days, your skin will break out, you’ll get headaches but after a certain point you start to feel rejuvenated.  Of course if you go straight back into your old eating habits, the body can go into shock again.  I definitely do not recommend regular detoxes for those who overindulge in alcohol and food binges.  It’s too much for your body to keep switching from one extreme to the other.

But if you do it the right way, a liquid detox can help you lose a couple of pounds, flatten a bloated belly, clear your skin, make your hair shine and give you a lot of energy.  Consider all of the options before you begin upon a detox course.

January 31, 2008

Moving on to Steamed Vegetables

Filed under: steamed vegetables — Tags: , , , — clairec23 @ 6:14 am

I have to admit that I’ve been a lazy eater of late.  Running around after two children all day leaves me with little or no energy to focus on a healthy tasty meal.  We eat out or get takeaways far too often.   It’s simple to live a little differently, it’s just hard to make the first steps.  I’ve been thinking that maybe my lack of energy in the evenings is down to a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables.  My next baby step will be introducing steamed vegetables into our diet a lot more regularly than before.

Vegetables have a huge amount of nutritional value, they are low in fat and full of essential vitamins. However, cooking can decrease the beneficial qualities of the vegetables so the quicker they are cooked (and with the least amount of additions like salt or oil) the better. Very few vegetables improve with cooking but apart from eating raw vegetables the next best thing to do is to steam them. It seals in the flavours, vitamins and minerals and is very easy to do.

Steaming requires no additions such as oils or fats. The texture and colour remain the same and the amount of cleaning up is drastically reduced. Just about any vegetable can be steamed and any meal can use the addition of some steamed vegetables. As long as the vegetables are chopped evenly so that they are similarly sized, the lot will finish cooking at the same time. All it takes is a pot of boiling water and a steamer basket. The basket of vegetables is placed over the pot and the steam from the water cooks the vegetables quickly. It literally takes less than five minutes as long as a high heat is used.

The quicker they cook, the less water they will absorb. They can easily overcook and will become soggy and lose valuable nutrients. Steamed vegetables should be tasty, colourful and some even remain crunchy. The fresher the vegetable the better and they really don’t need any flavourings although you can try adding lemon juice or soya sauce to the water so that the steam infuses the vegetables with an extra flavour. There isn’t much point in cooking vegetables if you let all of its value be drained out of it so steaming is the perfect and healthiest way to cook vegetables.

This is why I think it might make a huge difference in my eating habits.  I don’t dislike vegetables, but I always think it’s too much hassle, particularly when I have two quite picky eaters in the home right now.   Steaming is very quick and the cleaning up afterwards is minimal so I really need to try.  I know that growing up, my family members all overcooked vegetables which is probably why I would never touch any until I became older.

January 29, 2008

Baby Steps, Dress Size Down

Filed under: alcohol, breakfast, dress size, eating habits, water, weight loss — Tags: , , , , , — clairec23 @ 5:39 pm

I haven’t been able to blog for a bit and I haven’t been concentrating on getting healthy.  But I have gone down a dress size, so I’m happy with that.  How?

Some very small simple things.  I haven’t been eating less and I haven’t been exercising more.  I have been eating breakfast, I have been drinking water and I haven’t been drinking alcohol as frequently as before. 

Eating breakfast:  It’s so important.  I know people say it all the time but it really has made a big difference in my eating habits.  Never mind the fact that I have more energy throughout the day.  I’m full for longer so I’m less hungry and probably less likely to pig out in the evenings.   As long as I eat something, I’m okay.  I really recommend this if you don’t do it already.  I get quite lethargic and it takes me a while to wake up if I haven’t had breakfast.

Drinking water:  I’m still not drinking enough but it is making a difference.  My skin feels better, I’m more on top of things than before and it really is contributing to how hungry I feel every day.  They say when you are dehydrated, you mistake the feeling for hunger pangs and I completely agree.  My best tip is to drink mouthfuls of water while eating a meal.  It helps to fill you up quicker, keeps you hydrated and stops you from reaching for seconds.

Drinking less alcohol:  I have bad habits when I drink.  Never mind that the alcohol itself is calorific, but I eat a lot of snacks and fast food when I drink.  I feel constantly peckish no matter how much I eat and somehow all of those bags of crisps/chips just seem to vanish into thin air.  I definitely snack a lot less when I don’t drink.  I’m pretty sure my stomach is somewhat flatter too.

January 14, 2008

Taking it Easy

Filed under: step, toxins, water — Tags: , , , , , , — clairec23 @ 4:51 am

I know I’m taking things slow…but I know me.  If I try to do everything at once, I will give up at the first hurdle.  I need to get used to it so taking it one day at a time is how I’m going to work it.  I’ve been eating a lot of junk lately but cutting it all out will just make me want it more.  I’ve decided that my first step will be water.  As in starting to drink some.  Every day.

I *used* to drink a lot of water.  I *used* to have clear skin all of the time.  Now I have the occasional breakout and I put it down to a complete lack of water in my system.  Yesterday I drank a bottle, today I drank a bottle so tomorrow I’m aiming for two bottles.  Again, I’m taking it slowly as I don’t want my system to go into shock because I’ve suddenly changed my entire eating and drinking habits.  If my body goes into shock I’m going to feel like crap and then I’ll more than likely give up.  One change a day is less likely to drain me. 

I know that my skin is probably going to have one major breakout within a couple of days as the toxins begin to be cleared out but it’s worth it if I get back into this one extremely healthy habit.  I’m going to try and avoid alcohol too.  It will give my liver a chance for a change!  I am also going to switch from regular tea and coffee to green tea which is much healthier.  I am dreading the headaches though!  I also think I should buy a weighing scales, just to keep a record of my progress when I do start to make a concentrated effort on getting fit – although I will be judging myself based on dress size more than anything else.

January 13, 2008

Shaping Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — clairec23 @ 5:57 am

I am a young mother who plans on getting healthy for her children.  I don’t want to be skinny but it would be nice if I could run around without needing to collapse afterwards :) 

 I figure using a blog will be a good enough incentive not to fail!

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