How long can you last on your own?

In 2013, the Daily Mail reported that the average woman’s diet (in the U.K.) lasted five weeks, two days and 43 minutes. That was the point at which most women gave up.

I’ve tried dieting and also gave up. The longest probably lasted about 2 months. The depressing thing was that with each successive diet, the weight Dietseemed to come back on more quickly than the previous time and I ended up weighing more each time! Then research came out indicating that the reason you gain back more weight is that your body readjusts its baseline and requires not just fewer calories because it’s maintaining a smaller body, but even fewer than that because it wants to protect itself from loss. I finally realized the damage I was doing with dieting.

What I needed was permanent lifestyle and diet changes, not a diet. It took the support of my partner from my health coaching program to plan for, implement and follow through on those changes in a way I never could before. It took more than 5 weeks. When I did, the baby belly I had held onto since the birth of my son (in 2003) melted away (14 years later) without any effort and without restricting calories. I always eat now until I’m satisfied and love the food I eat. I no longer crave sugar. I can look a piece of commercial white flour, sugar-laden, gluten-filled cake in the eye and feel no regret whatsoever about not eating it. I still enjoy sweets – but sweets I bake at home with healthy ingredients and safe sweeteners that won’t raise my blood sugar or put me at risk of cancer.

Habit change is difficult in the context of a busy life and other priorities. Investing in health coaching is not just about information, although that is important. It’s investing in someone to keep you accountable over an extended period of time as you make those permanent changes. Many of us try but fail on our own. This recent article on Medium: “I Lost 86 Pounds and Learned a Few Things” supports that conclusion. In that case, it was a personal trainer that keep him accountable. The important part was that someone was keeping the author accountable.

If you think you may need help staying accountable as you make the changes that will lead to permanent weight loss,  please reach out and set up a free 1-hour consultation. I meet with clients in Tucson, AZ or online from anywhere. We can talk about whether health coaching may be a solution to your problems. You have nothing to lose . . . but weight.

Should I give up gluten or is it just a fad?

First, not everyone should give up gluten – for many it is a fad! There are many good reasons to give it up, however.Bread photo

The single most important would be if you tested positive for celiac disease. However, that’s only a very small percentage of people (about 1%).

The second would be if you notice a sensitivity to it. Common symptoms include foggy brain, depression, ADHD-like behavior, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain and chronic fatigue. If you have these symptoms, a guided elimination diet (of gluten and other foods) is one tool I use to help my clients determine if food sensitivities may be at the root of their symptoms.

Another important reason to give up gluten is if you have an autoimmune condition such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Multiple Sclerosis or many others. Gluten triggers the release of zonulin, which causes a loosening of the tight junctions in your intestinal wall to, creating intestinal permeability or leaky gut. This allows proteins, toxins, partially digested food and microbes to pass out of your intestines and into your bloodstream, triggering an immune reaction. Gluten also causes inflammation, which is a precursor to autoimmune diseases. When your system is overloaded with inflammation and frequent overstimulation of your immune system, it begins to attack indiscriminately, often targeting your own tissues, which is what autoimmune diseases are.

In addition, the gluten molecule resembles your body’s own tissues, particularly your thyroid, confusing your immune system. So when gluten is eaten, it attacks both the gluten and your own cells. Casein, the protein in dairy, is also similar in form to gluten and can also trigger similar confusion and autoimmune disease.

Giving up a food that forms the base of your diet can seem impossible, scary or just not fun. Part of my work is to help you determine the foods and recipes that you both love and that help you feel your best so that you can focus more on what you can eat rather than what you can’t eat.

If you need help with an elimination diet to find the root cause of your unexplained symptoms, or you want help reversing your autoimmune condition naturally, I can set up an individualized program for you. E-mail me for more information. I work with clients in person in Tucson, Arizona and all over the country via videochat or phone.