This year, I want to help you do resolutions a better way! For the month of December, I am going to post 18 new blogs sharing tips, tricks, motivation, recipes, Real Warrior Updates, and game plans for kicking off your 2018!
***But WAIT there’s MORE ***
When you share and/or follow my blog, you will be entered to win one of 3 sessions with me! On New Year’s Day, I will award the following:
1 free personal training session to a current client
1 free personal training session to anyone who shares / follows
1 free nutrition and coaching session
And don’t forget …
For the month of December Free Boot Camp Sessions! All Boot Camp Sessions on Thursday evening (5pm, 5:40pm, 6:20pm, 7pm) will be free. This is a great opportunity to invite your friends and family to come workout with you. Your 2018 goals start now, so plan your schedule accordingly so you can be here on Thursday Evenings.
Don’t wait until January to start attacking your goals.
Start now, start today and let’s cruise into 2018.
I have featured some incredible client transformations, but none of the warriors’ transformations would have been possible if they did not focus on making healthier food choices. Exercise alone will not result in long-lasting, or consistent weight loss results. As I shared in Mini Treats Can Have a Major Impact!, the holiday splurges really add up and can derail your progress before you know it!
Healthy eating is an integral part of any weight loss or healthy lifestyle plan, but we also know, you shouldn’t deprive yourself. With this weekend being filled with barbecues for Labor Day and the Fresno State Bulldogs tailgating season kicking off in full swing, I decided to share something healthy BBQ side options. Let’s just assume we are all going to indulge in something tasty off the grill but this does not mean your entire meal has to be “an unhealthy indulgence.”
As I discussed on my blog last week, access to healthy eating has never been easier. Easy Access to Eating Healthy The central California is especially lucky to have fresh produce on every street corner, farmer’s market, and even in some of our own backyards.
Heirloom tomatoes, strawberries, and fresh stone fruit are all in season and can add a new twist to your normal barbecue side dish selection. Change up those high fat sides of macaroni and cheese, chili, and potatoes salad with some healthy alternatives using fresh produce which is rich in natural flavor and can be locally sourced!
I googled “healthy barbecue side dishes” and within .66 seconds, I had 5.31 MILLION webpages, all loaded with recipes and photos at my finger tips! Here are some great resources to help you contribute healthier sides to any BBQ or tailgate.
If you get adventurous this weekend and make a new healthy side dish, post a picture on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitterand #CoachRobJCooks or you can SNAPCHAT me at coach_robj and I will feature some of the photos next week! Have a Happy, Healthy, and Safe Holiday weekend! Go Dogs!
When people see good things going on in your life like physical changes, healthy lifestyle choices, and an overall change in your mindset and focus, they want to know what you are doing! Stephanie, from Hire Up Staffing Service, aka #TeamKilla, wanted to share a bit of her new and improved lifestyle with her staff, as they prepare for a busy time of year and set new corporate challenges.
We sat down and laid out a plan for “Corporate Wellness with Coach Rob!” Our main goal for the staff was to help them learn how to be “comfortable with being uncomfortable” in order to help them push through and achieve new goals. On Fridays, I head to the Hire Up offices to pump these ladies up with a mini-bootcamp and a motivational topic for the week.
There are many topics that can fuel a change in lifestyle, but I started with some basics. A great place to start was to teach the team about having focused thoughts and walking through discomfort to achieve new accomplishments.
Control your mindset.
Passion comes from your core.
Do your personal BEST.
Achievement is limitless.
Mindset Matters: We choose our state of mind and our thoughts dictate how we perceive the world, so limit the negative and focus on all of the positive. Exercise your choice and find a way to claim your mindset. Check out my “Claim Your Morning” blog.
Passion comes from your CORE: In fitness, all movements originate from the CORE and in life our passions and desires originate from our Soul. The soul is the core of our being and when we listen, it guides us to what we love, what we are good at doing, and what leads us to pure joy. My soul lead me to coaching, where does your core lead you?Called to Coach!!
Do your personal BEST: YOUR ONLY COMPETITION is YOURSELF!
Achievement is LIMITLESS: There are thousands of public speakers, webpages, businesses, and books all dedicated to success and achievement. One key factor of any plan for success is not to allow yourself to be limited by your own doubts. Life is LIMITLESS.
I am happy to report the team at HIRE UP STAFFING SERVICE has had positive reviews about our Friday mornings! As a coach, especially as Steph’s coach, it is exciting to see a client incorporating her new goals and life changes into her role at work. Check out Hire Up Staffing Service.
Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” was identified in the 17th century by Dr. Daniel Whistler and Professor Francis Glisson when they discovered the causative factors of rickets.
Circa 1920, Sir Edward Mellanby worked with dogs raised exclusively indoors. He devised a diet that allowed him to unequivocally establish that rickets was caused by a deficiency of a trace component present in the diet and that cod liver oil (an excellent source of vitamin D) was an effective antirachitic agent.
Along with vitamins A, E and K, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin D actually refers to several different forms. Two forms that are important in humans include:
Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)- derived from plants
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)- derived from animal products and made in the skin when exposed to sunlight
In addition vitamin D has three analogs, each with different potencies:
Cholecalciferol – 1x
25 hydroxycholecalciferol – 5x
1, 25 dihydroxycholecalciferol – 10x
Vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin after exposure to ultraviolet light or obtained from the diet either from unfortified or fortified food sources or supplements. Unfortified sources include animal products such as cod liver oil, sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, and shrimp. Fortified sources include milk and some brands of alternative milks (rice, soy, almond, etc.).
Some vitamin D researchers suggest that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis and that the moderate use of commercial tanning beds that emit 2%–6% UVB radiation is also effective.
Individuals with limited sun exposure need to include good sources of vitamin D in their diets or consider supplements to achieve recommended intake levels.
As with many nutrients, vitamin D is absorbed in the small intestine. It is transported through the lymphatic system by chylomicrons and stored in the liver, bone, brain, and skin.
Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is inactive and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation. The first hydroxylation occurs in the liver, where vitamin D is converted to 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], also known as calcidiol. The second hydroxylation takes place in the kidneys, where it forms the physiologically active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], also known as calcitriol.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D ranges from 400-800 IU, depending on age, pregnancy/lactation status, skin color, sun exposure, diseases affecting nutrient absorption, and health status. This RDA is considered a daily intake that is sufficient to maintain bone health and normal calcium metabolism in 97-98% of healthy people.
It is important to note that numerous studies support much higher intakes for the prevention and/or management of a number of diseases, some of which will be mentioned later. These intakes can be as high as 10,000 IU/d, or >10 times the current recommended intakes.
(Vieth et al. 2007)
Measuring Vitamin D Status
Serum concentration of 25(OH)D is the best indicator of vitamin D status. It reflects vitamin D produced in the skin and that obtained from food and/or supplements.
Based on a review of the data on vitamin D needs, a committee of the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) concluded that people are at risk for vitamin D deficiency at serum 25(OH)D concentrations <30 nmol/L (<12 ng/mL). In addition, some are potentially at risk for inadequacy at levels ranging from 30–50 nmol/L (12–20 ng/mL). In general, the recommended range is 30–100 nmol/L.
There are two primary diseases caused by vitamin D deficiency:
Rickets – a malformation of the bones seen in children
Osteomalacia – skeletal demineralization seen in adults
Functions and Health Effects of Supplementation
A primary function of vitamin D includes calcium absorption in the gut for normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. In addition, vitamin D modulates cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and inflammation.
Vitamin D has been extensively reviewed for potential health relationships warranting supplementation. Some of these include resistance to chronic diseases (such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases), physiological parameters (such as immune response or levels of parathyroid hormone), and functional measures (such as skeletal health, physical performance and falls).
Low 25(OH) D levels have been associated with all-cause mortality and even more pronounced with cardiovascular mortality. It is still unclear whether vitamin D deficiency is a cause or a consequence of a poor health status, though vitamin D supplementation could perhaps be an approach to consider in reducing mortality and cardiovascular disease.
(Pilz et al. 2009)
Vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy mineralized skeleton. Sunlight causes the photoproduction of vitamin D3 in the skin. Once formed, vitamin D3 is metabolized sequentially in the liver and kidneys to 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D. The major biological function of 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D is to keep the serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations within the normal range to maintain essential cellular functions and to promote mineralization of the skeleton. It is generally accepted that an increase in calcium intake to 1000-1500 mg/day, along with an adequate source of vitamin D of at least 400 IU/day, is important for maintaining good bone health.
1, 25-dihydroxy vitamin D [1, 25-(OH)2 D] exerts its effects via the vitamin D receptor that belongs to the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor superfamily leading to gene regulation and a number of biological responses. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that 1, 25(OH)2 D can induce differentiation and inhibit proliferation of a wide variety of cell types. The anti-proliferative action makes 1, 25-(OH)2 D and its analogs a possible therapeutic tool to treat hyperproliferative disorders, such as certain forms of cancer.
(Bouillon et al. 2006)
1, 25-dihydroxy vitamin D (1, 25[OH]2 D) or calcitriol, has been implicated in many physiologic processes beyond calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, and likely plays a role in several chronic disease states, including cardiovascular disease.
Experimental data suggest that 1, 25(OH)2 D affects cardiac muscle directly, controls parathyroid hormone secretion, regulates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, and modulates the immune system.
Treatment with vitamin D has been shown to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension and modify the cytokine profile in patients with heart failure.
(Nemerovski et al. 2009)
Some cross-sectional clinical and epidemiological studies have found that low levels of vitamin D are significantly associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. While cross-sectional studies cannot establish causality, vitamin D supplementation for depression in those who are deficient warrants further investigation.
Dementia and Cognition
A review of thirty-seven studies suggests that lower vitamin D concentrations are associated with lower cognitive function and a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Further studies are required to determine the significance and potential public health effect of this association.
(Balion et al. 2012)
Vitamin D appears to play a role in the prevention of type 1 diabetes in genetically predisposed individuals, as well as type 2 diabetes, by affecting insulin secretion and glucose tolerance.
(Mathieu, 2005) (Palomer, 2008)
Recent studies have shown that the hormonal form of calcitriol can act as a regulator of immune cell differentiation and proliferation, specifically in T cells and activated macrophages. Vitamin D may have a similar role to that of other immune regulatory molecules such as cytokines, by modulating the inflammatory process.
Vitamin D plays a role in the synthesis of antibacterial peptides (short chains of amino acids) and in autophagy (cell degradation of unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components). Several studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D are associated with the susceptibility and the severity of acute infections and with an unfavorable outcome of some chronic infections including the HIV infection. Vitamin D supplementation improves response to treatment of some viral and bacterial infections.
Vitamin D is an important component in the interaction between the kidney, bone, parathyroid hormone, and the intestine, which maintains extracellular calcium levels within normal limits in order to maintain physiologic processes and skeletal integrity. Vitamin D is also associated with hypertension, muscular function, immunity, and one’s ability to deal with an infection, autoimmune disease (including multiple sclerosis), and cancer.
Vitamin D influences immunity via CD4 T cell differentiation as well as increasing the function of T suppressor cells. The active form of vitamin D produces and maintains self-immunologic tolerance. Some studies show that 1, 25(OH)2 D inhibits induction of disease such as thyroiditis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, collagen-induced arthritis and Lyme disease.
(Ginanjar, 2006) (Soloman, 2011)
Vitamin D status has been hypothesized to play a role in musculoskeletal function. In a study by Houston et al, 2007, vitamin D status was inversely associated with poor physical performance. Given the high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in older populations, additional studies examining the association between vitamin D status and physical function are warranted.
ADHD, Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and Impulsive Behavior
Brain serotonin is synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan and is activated by vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids. Inadequate levels of vitamin D (∼70% of the population) and omega-3 fatty acids can result in suboptimal brain serotonin synthesis, leading to a number of cognitive and behavioral disorders.
(Patrick & Ames, 2015)
Gloth et al, 1991, identified a pain syndrome associated with vitamin D depletion that is worsened by light, superficial pressure, as well as movement. This pain restricts mobility and function.
Faraj & Mutairi, 2003, evaluated 360 patients attending spinal and internal medicine clinics over a 6-year period who had experienced low back pain. They found that a vitamin D deficiency was a major contributor to chronic low back pain in areas where vitamin D deficiency is endemic.
Screening for vitamin D deficiency and treatment with supplements should be mandatory in this setting. Measurement of serum 25-OH cholecalciferol is sensitive and specific for detection of vitamin D deficiency and could be a useful assessment in patients with chronic low back pain.
(Gloth, 1991) (Faraj & Mutairi, 2003)
Because vitamin D is fat soluble and can be stored in the body, excessive amounts can be toxic and cause a constellation of symptoms, including: Hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, kidney stones, hyperphosphatemia, polyuria, polydipsia, ectopic calcification of soft tissues, nausea & vomiting, anorexia, constipation, headache and hypertension.
It is generally accepted that vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem affecting a wide range of acute and chronic diseases. Individuals should try to achieve optimal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations from dietary sources, supplements, and sun exposure.
The effect of vitamin D on epigenetics and gene regulation could potentially explain why vitamin D has been reported to have such wide-ranging health benefits throughout life. Increasing the vitamin D status of children and adults worldwide is an imperative strategy for improving musculoskeletal health and reducing the risk of chronic illnesses, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), neurocognitive disorders, and mortality.
Balion, C., Griffith, L. E., Strifler, L., Henderson, M., Patterson, C., Heckman, G., … & Raina, P. (2012). Vitamin D, cognition, and dementia A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neurology, 79(13), 1397-1405.
Bouillon, R., Eelen, G., Verlinden, L., Mathieu, C., Carmeliet, G., & Verstuyf, A. (2006). Vitamin D and cancer. The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology, 102(1), 156-162.
Faraj,A & Mutairi,A. (2003). Vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back pain in Saudi Arabia. Spine, 28(2), 177-179.
Ginanjar, E., Setiati, S., & Setiyohadi, B. (2006). Vitamin D and autoimmune disease. Acta Medica Indonesiana, 39(3), 133-141.
Ghosn, J., & Viard, J. P. (2013). [Vitamin D and infectious diseases]. Presse medicale (Paris, France: 1983), 42(10), 1371-1376.
Hewison, M. (1992). Vitamin D and the immune system. Journal of endocrinology, 132(2), 173-175.
Gloth, F. M., Lindsay, J. M., Zelesnick, L. B., & Greenough, W. B. (1991). Can vitamin D deficiency produce an unusual pain syndrome?. Archives of internal medicine, 151(8), 1662-1664.
Holick, M. F. (1996). Vitamin D and bone health. The Journal of nutrition, 126(4 Suppl), 1159S-64S.
Hossein-nezhad, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, July). Vitamin D for health: a global perspective. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 88, No. 7, pp. 720-755). Elsevier.
Houston, D. K., Cesari, M., Ferrucci, L., Cherubini, A., Maggio, D., Bartali, B., & Kritchevsky, S. B. (2007). Association between vitamin D status and physical performance: the InCHIANTI study. The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 62(4), 440-446.
Howland, R. H. (2011). Vitamin D and depression. J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv, 49(2), 15-18.
Maji, D. (2012). Vitamin D toxicity. Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 16(2), 295.
Marz, R. (1999). Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd Edition. Omni Press. Portland, Oregon.
Mathieu, C., Gysemans, C., Giulietti, A., Bouillon, R. (2005). Vitamin D and diabetes. Diabetologia, 48(7), 1247-57.
Nemerovski, C. W., Dorsch, M. P., Simpson, R. U., Bone, H. G., Aaronson, K. D., & Bleske, B. E. (2009). Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease. Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy,29(6), 691-708.
Palomer, X., Gonzalez-Clemente, J., Blanco-Vaca, F., Mauricio, D. (2008). Role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism. 10(3), 185-97.
Patrick, R. P., & Ames, B. N. (2015). Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior. The FASEB Journal, fj-14.
Pilz, S., Dobnig, H., Nijpels, G., Heine, R. J., Stehouwer, C. D., Snijder, M. B. & Dekker, J. M. (2009). Vitamin D and mortality in older men and women.Clinical endocrinology, 71(5), 666-672.
Rizwan, M. (2013). Defeat the ‘D’ deficiency–be sun smart. Journal of Pakistan Association of Dermatologists, 23(4), 357-359.
Solomon, A. J. (2011). Multiple sclerosis and vitamin D. Neurology, 77(17), e99-e100.
Venkataraman, R. (2008). Functions of Vitamin D. Journal of Young Investigators. Carnegie Mellon University.
Vieth, R., Bischoff-Ferrari, H., Boucher, B. J., Dawson-Hughes, B., Garland, C. F., Heaney, R. P. & Zittermann, A. (2007). The urgent need to recommend an intake of vitamin D that is effective. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 85(3), 649-650.
Ideally, our physiology regulates our appetite perfectly. We evolved to eat when we’re hungry, and stop when we’ve had enough.
Of course, it doesn’t always work that way in our modern society.
Appetite has a massive “real life” component. Subtle eating cues can trump physiology. These can include:
CUES FROM OUR PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
For example, the size of dishes, how close the food is to us, etc. One study found that people ate more from a candy dish right in front of them but much less from a candy dish 6 feet away. They also ate more from an uncovered candy dish than a covered candy dish.
CUES FROM OUR ORAL ENVIRONMENT
We like certain tastes and textures.
We like sweet, fatty, and “umami” (savoury) things.
We like creamy textures and crunchy textures.
We also like multiple tastes and textures together, such as sweet-salty.
CUES FROM OTHER SENSES
As the saying goes, “You eat with your eyes first.” We like food that looks pleasing, and we favour certain colours (ever seen candy with boring gray packaging?). Our smell is closely bound to our appetites as well as our memories and emotional associations. There’s a reason that Cinnabon smells so delectable — it’s part of a deliberate strategy to lure us in.
CUES FROM OUR SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT
family, friends, peers
cultural messages about when and where it’s OK to eat
CUES FROM OUR EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT
desire for comfort
symbolic associations with a certain food, e.g. “baking cookies makes me feel happy”
CUES FROM OUR FAMILIAR HABITS AND ROUTINES:
morning coffee in our special mug, or “the usual” at the coffee shop
being rushed in the mornings, so stopping at McDonald’s drive-thru
Friday beers after work with the boys
snacking in front of the TV while watching our favourite shows
cake at birthday parties
mom’s casserole at holidays
Sometimes these cues are helpful. Most have an evolutionary purpose. For example, knowing what food looks and smells good can prevent us from eating something that’s gone rotten. Eating when we weren’t hungry, but when food was available, would be helpful in a context when we couldn’t be sure where our next meal was coming from.
However, in 21st century society, our evolutionary survival mechanisms don’t work very well. Now, we’re surrounded by good-looking food that is available to us 24/7. We’re chronically stressed and seeking comfort. Our eating impulses are out of whack. Our biology no longer matches our environment.
When we are perfectly in tune with appropriate appetite and fullness cues, we eat when physically hungry and stop when satisfied (not stuffed). We maintain a healthy body weight.
When we are not in tune with these cues, our health and weight suffer.
Under-eating and over-eating
There are many reasons why we might under- or over-eat more than we need.
Under-eating might occur because of:
social pressures (e.g. among women to be thin)
a desire to restrict food to feel “in control”
over-preoccupation with “health”
rigid restriction/elimination of certain foods
Over-eating might occur because of:
social pressures (e.g. wanting to fit in at social events)
feeling “out of control”
a desire for comfort or self-soothing
disrupted biological routines such as lack of sleep or shift work
highly palatable tastes such as fatty and sweet foods
food availability: the food is there and it ain’t gonna eat itself!
Eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied is something that nearly all mammals are programmed to do from birth. Yet, in the U.S. we tend to “unlearn” this and only stop eating when we are “full.” Many cultures discourage this.
Throughout India, Ayurvedic tradition advises eating until 75% full.
The Japanese practice hari hachi bu, eating until 80% full.
Islamic guidance from the Qur’an indicates that excess eating is a sin.
The Chinese specify eating until 70% full.
The prophet Muhammad described a full belly as one containing 1/3 food, 1/3 liquid, 1/3 air (nothing).
There is a German expression that says, “Tie off the sack before it gets completely full.”
“Drink your food and chew your drink,” is an Indian proverb that encourages us to eat slowly enough and chew thoroughly enough, to liquefy our food, and move our drink around our mouth and thoroughly taste it before swallowing.
When someone is finished eating in France they don’t say “I’m full,” rather, “I have no more hunger.”
And countries outside the U.S. emphasize that eating should be pleasurable and done in the company of others.
Homeostasis: The body’s secret weapon
The body likes things to stay the same, aka homeostasis. When homeostasis is interrupted, the body tries to self-regulate and get back on track.
With body weight, there are internal challenges in maintaining homeostasis. As nutrients are used, they must be replaced. Our bodies say “Please replenish these nutrients”, aka “Eat.” Our bodies say “Thank you, that’s enough for what I require”, aka “Stop eating.”
When we honour homeostatic hunger signals, we achieve optimal health.
If we eat when we are not hungry, the distraction and pleasure are only temporary; consequently, we have to eat more to feel better, feeding the cycle.
If we do not eat when we are hungry, our body gets us back eventually by cranking up our appetite signals and smothering our fullness signals. The biggest trigger of binge eating? Dieting.
Have you ever observed an infant eating? They eat when they are hungry, and they stop when they’ve had enough. If they don’t like something, they spit it out.
Mindful/intuitive eating is kind of like that.
When we eat this way, it promotes physical and psychological well-being. Physically, it’s gratifying to not feel overly stuffed or empty. Psychologically, it’s gratifying to be able to honor the internal cues of hunger and satiety, much like it’s psychologically gratifying to drink water when thirsty, get warm when cold, urinate when the bladder is full, or breathe after diving 8 feet to the bottom of a pool.
Years of mindless eating, restrictive dieting, and the “good” versus “bad” food mentality can warp the way we respond to internal body signals.
When the idea of “bad” food is discarded, it often removes the punishing cycle of restricting and gorging. Why? Because when we acknowledge that a food is available to us whenever we want, we can begin to select a variety of foods we enjoy and become the expert of our own body.
Three key components of mindful/intuitive eating are:
Unconditional permission to eat
Eating primarily for physical rather than emotional or environmental reasons
Relying on internal hunger and satiety cues
Why is eating the right amount so important?
If we don’t eat the right amount for our needs, our bodies will try to self-regulate to maintain homeostasis or meet evolutionary needs. If we’ve under-eaten, we might compensate with a binge. If we’re over-eating on highly palatable foods, our bodies might say “This is great! Have more, just in case of famine!”
While many people periodically eat in response to sensations other than physical hunger, this type of eating becomes destructive when it’s the principal way of dealing with feelings or going along with easy food availability. If we eat each time we get lonely, sad, bored or happy, or if food is around us, we’re in trouble.
THE PROBLEM OF “DIETING”
Few nutrition professionals question the wisdom of using food deprivation as a means to manage weight. “Eat less” is the most common advice given to people wanting to lose weight.
Still, it doesn’t seem to be working for anyone. Some are beginning to acknowledge that “dieting” — as in significant, short-term food restriction — doesn’t work for sustained health and weight management.
“Dieting” can increase food cravings, food preoccupation, guilt associated with eating, binge eating, weight fluctuations, and a preoccupation with weight.
We might get into a cycle of “deprivation mentality”: we restrict, then lose control, then vow to “get back on the wagon” (ie. restrict further), then lose control again, then apply an even more rigid control, then lose control… over and over and over.
“Dieting” can work in the short term. People can and do lose fat and weight… for a while. But more than 90% of individuals who lose weight will regain it within 2 years.
“Dieting” doesn’t address either the underlying deprivation-binge mindset, or the real problems of why you’re overfat in the first place.
MINDFUL/INTUITIVE EATING AS AN ALTERNATIVE
Mindful/intuitive eating asks “Why am I eating?” and “Am I truly hungry?” Thus it can reduce binging and emotional eating episodes. The more mindfulness and meditation someone uses, the more weight they can lose (and keep off).
Mindful/intuitive eaters aren’t obsessed eaters. Rather, they simply appreciate the value of food as opposed to hurrying through a meal. As they stop judging themselves, they are more present and aware of what they are doing.
What you should know
LEARNING BODY SIGNALS
Figuring out satiety cues involves trial and error. The level and intensity of hunger can vary, as can knowing what foods/amounts will satisfy hunger. How the body responds to food is going to be different for everyone. It can also be different at different times of the day.
As I mentioned above, consider children. Kids generally push food away when they’re content. And they know when they don’t like something. Intuitive/mindful eating is about tapping back into that wisdom.
Be aware of how you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. For example:
Is your stomach growling?
Do you have a headache
Are you feeling shaky or irritable?
Do you feel “stuffed”?
Are you thinking, “I want to eat this” or “I need to eat this”?
Are you aware of what you are eating or are you just plowing in the food while you do something else?
If your eating routine is disrupted, are you upset because it’s a change in habit, or because you’re genuinely hungry?
Are you anxious or stressed?
Are you happy or sad?
One way to approach eating may be to start with a typical meal and then tune in to how you feel physically, immediately after and every hour after that meal.
Immediately after eating: If you’ve eaten the right amount for optimal health, you’ll likely feel a slight level of hunger, but still content. It takes about 20 minutes for the satiety signal to go from the gut to the brain. The composition of a meal can influence satiety, so include real/whole foods with fiber, protein, and fat (and balance omega-6 with omega-3).
About 60 minutes after eating, you should feel satisfied with no desire to eat another real food meal.
When you approach the 2 hour mark, you may be starting to feel a little hungry, and could probably eat something, but it’s not a big deal yet. If you are feeling quite hungry, you may not have had enough food or enough of a given type of food to hold your satisfaction.
At 3 to 4 hours, you should be feeling like it’s about time to eat again. Your hunger should be stronger, and will vary depending on when you exercised and what your daily physical activity level is. If you aren’t hungry yet, you probably had a bit too much food at your previous meal.
After 4 hours, you’re likely hungry and ready to eat. This is when the “I’m so hungry I could eat anything” feeling kicks in. If you wait much longer, chances of making a knucklehead food selection goes up dramatically. It’s important to have nutritious and appealing foods available.
There is variability with all of this, but getting to a point where you’re slightly hungry between meals is a healthy sign. If you are eating every 2-4 hours without ever feeling a level of hunger, you are likely eating more than you need.
IT’S OK TO BE HUNGRY SOMETIMES
If you’re trying to get or stay lean, it’s OK and normal to feel hungry occasionally.
It’s important to accept this feeling because it’s not going anywhere. Nor would that really be a good thing since hunger plays a vital biological function.
“Hunger is not an emergency.” — Judith Beck
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FOODS
We didn’t evolve with highly processed foods. These foods confuse our natural appetite mechanisms.
Eating a dessert on its own will often increase the craving for more. It’s not that you necessarily need more processed carbs, just that you’ve triggered the body into thinking it wants more. Processed foods trigger our natural reward systems (think: opioids and dopamine released in the brain) and we want more (and more).
Unprocessed foods help keep hunger/satiety cues clear, and it’s easier to make adjustments. Remember, if you’re not hungry enough to eat broccoli, you’re probably not hungry.
INCORPORATE ACTIVITY PROPERLY
Regular exercise makes us more efficient at using body fat, which can help balance appetite.
The type of activity can determine our appetite. Intense exercise, such as heavy weight training or high-intensity interval training, tends to suppress appetite in the short term, while low-intensity, endurance-type activity tends to stimulate appetite. (Ironically, many people do a lot of “cardio” when trying to lose fat, which can end up making them more likely to overeat!)
Still, some people play games when it comes to exercise and eating. They might allow themselves more food because they exercised, regardless of hunger changes. This “reward” system can be fickle and create a negative relationship with eating. “Exercise bulimia” occurs when we engage in a cycle of overeating then overexercising to “compensate”.
Practicing yoga can help with mindful/intuitive eating and assist in overall body satisfaction. This makes sense since yogic philosophy aims to unify mind, body and spirit.
Summary and recommendations
Dieting and cognitive control of food intake may actually lead to weight gain, disease, and disordered eating patterns.
Intuitive/mindful eating involves:
Slowing down the pace of eating (e.g., break during bites, chewing slowly, etc.).
Becoming aware of the body’s hunger and fullness cues and utilizing these cues to guide the decision to begin and end eating as opposed to following a regimented diet plan.
Acknowledging food likes and dislikes without judgment.
Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing and nourishing, and using all of the senses while eating.
Being aware of and reflecting on the effects caused by non-mindful eating (e.g., eating when bored or lonely or sad, eating until overly full).
Meditation practice as a part of life.
The goal of a meal is to finish feeling:
Better than when you started
Able to move on (not think about food until you are hungry again)
Energy to exercise and stay active
Eating too much or too little will result in variations of the normal responses mentioned above. This may include:
Anxiety or jitters
Low or nervous energy
Food cravings, even when physically full
What type of person is most likely to eat unhealthy food? A restrained eater depriving themselves of a forbidden food. This is the psychological phenomenon ofdisinhibition. Habitual disinhibition — in other words, regularly overriding our natural fullness cues — is the factor most closely linked to weight gain.
The goal of mindful/intuitive eating is to master the process of eating and not focus on weight loss. For dieters, this task is extremely difficult.
In 2006, American Idol contestant Katharine McPhee told the media she won her battle against bulimia through intuitive eating. And yes, the popularity of intuitive eating grew.
One study found that infants cry more intensely when hungry than when in pain.
Those who eat intuitively naturally are slimmer than those who diet.
If hunger doesn’t tell you to start eating, what tells you to stop?
If you eat when you’re not hungry, you’ll never be satisfied.
Food is a costly antidepressant.
If you have any doubts about whether you’re hungry, you’re probably not.
Hunger is physical. Over-eating is psychological, mental, and emotional.
When your true needs are unmet, triggers will return again and again.
We all know that vitamins and minerals are important, but why?
Here’s what you need to know about what’s in your food… or your Flintstones chewables.
What are vitamins & minerals?
Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in very small amounts for supporting normal physiologic function.
We need vitamins in our diets, because our bodies can’t synthesize them quickly enough to meet our daily needs.
Vitamins have three characteristics:
They’re natural components of foods; usually present in very small amounts.
They’re essential for normal physiologic function (e.g., growth, reproduction, etc).
When absent from the diet, they will cause a specific deficiency.
Vitamins are generally categorized as either fat soluble or water soluble depending on whether they dissolve best in either lipids or water.
Vitamins and their derivatives often serve a variety of roles in the body – one of the most important being their roles as cofactors for enzymes – called coenzymes. (See figure below for an example.)
Most minerals are considered essential and comprise a vast set of micronutrients. There are both macrominerals (required in amounts of 100 mg/day or more) and microminerals (required in amounts less than 15 mg/day).
Why is an adequate vitamin intake so important?
Vitamin deficiencies can create or exacerbate chronic health conditions.
9 water-soluble vitamins
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Deficiency: Symptoms include burning feet, weakness in extremities, rapid heart rate, swelling, anorexia, nausea, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems.
Toxicity: None known.
Sources: Sunflower seeds, asparagus, lettuce, mushrooms, black beans, navy beans, lentils, spinach, peas, pinto beans, lima beans, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, tuna, whole wheat, soybeans
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Deficiency: Symptoms include cracks, fissures and sores at corner of mouth and lips, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, photophobia, glossitis of tongue, anxiety, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
Toxicity: Excess riboflavin may increase the risk of DNA strand breaks in the presence of chromium. High-dose riboflavin therapy will intensify urine color to a bright yellow (flavinuria) – but this is harmless.
Deficiency: Symptoms include dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and stomatitis.
Toxicity: Niacin from foods is not known to cause adverse effects. Supplemental nicotinic acid may cause flushing of skin, itching, impaired glucose tolerance and gastrointestinal upset. Intake of 750 mg per day for less than 3 months can cause liver cell damage. High dose nicotinamide can cause nausea and liver toxicity.
Deficiency: Symptoms include chelosis, glossitis, stomatitis, dermatitis (all similar to vitamin B2 deficiency), nervous system disorders, sleeplessness, confusion, nervousness, depression, irritability, interference with nerves that supply muscles and difficulties in movement of these muscles, and anemia. Prenatal deprivation results in mental retardation and blood disorders for the newborn.
Toxicity: High doses of supplemental vitamin B6 may result in painful neurological symptoms.
Sources: Whole wheat, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, potato, garbanzo beans, banana, trout, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter, tuna, salmon, lima beans, bell peppers, chicken meat
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)
Folate is the naturally occurring form found in foods. Folic acid is the synthetic form used in commercially available supplements and fortified foods. Inadequate folate status is associated with neural tube defects and some cancers.
Deficiency: One may notice anemia (macrocytic/megaloblastic), sprue, Leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, weakness, weight loss, cracking and redness of tongue and mouth, and diarrhea. In pregnancy there is a risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery.
Toxicity: None from food. Keep in mind that vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency can both result in megaloblastic anemia. Large doses of folic acid given to an individual with an undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency could correct megaloblastic anemia without correcting the underlying vitamin B12 deficiency.
Sources: Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, black eyed peas, spinach, great northern beans, whole grains, baked beans, green peas, avocado, peanuts, lettuce, tomato juice, banana, papaya, organ meats
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Vitamin B12 must combine with intrinsic factor before it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. We can store a year’s worth of this vitamin – but it should still be consumed regularly. B12 is a product of bacterial fermentation, which is why it’s not present in higher order plant foods.
Deficiency: Symptoms include pernicious anemia, neurological problems and sprue.
Toxicity: None known from supplements or food. Only a small amount is absorbed via the oral route, thus the potential for toxicity is low.
Deficiency: Very rare in humans. Keep in mind that consuming raw egg whites over a long period of time can cause biotin deficiency. Egg whites contain the protein avidin, which binds to biotin and prevents its absorption.
Toxicity: Not known to be toxic.
Sources: Green leafy vegetables, most nuts, whole grain breads, avocado, raspberries, cauliflower, carrots, papaya, banana, salmon, eggs
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Deficiency: Symptoms include bruising, gum infections, lethargy, dental cavities, tissue swelling, dry hair and skin, bleeding gums, dry eyes, hair loss, joint paint, pitting edema, anemia, delayed wound healing, and bone fragility. Long-term deficiency results in scurvy.
Toxicity: Possible problems with very large vitamin C doses including kidney stones, rebound scurvy, increased oxidative stress, excess iron absorption, vitamin B12 deficiency, and erosion of dental enamel. Up to 10 grams/day is safe based on most data. 2 grams or more per day can cause diarrhea.
Carotenoids that can be converted by the body into retinol are referred to as provitamin A carotenoids.
Deficiency: One may notice difficulty seeing in dim light and rough/dry skin.
Toxicity: Hypervitaminosis A is caused by consuming excessive amounts of preformed vitamin A, not the plant carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is rapidly absorbed and slowly cleared from the body. Nausea, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, and dry skin can result. Excess intake while pregnant can cause birth defects.
Sources: Carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, squash, cantaloupe, bell pepper, Chinese cabbage, beef, eggs, peaches
Deficiency: In children a vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, deformed bones, retarded growth, and soft teeth. In adults a vitamin D deficiency can result in osteomalacia, softened bones, spontaneous fractures, and tooth decay. Those at risk for deficiency include infants, elderly, dark skinned individuals, those with minimal sun exposure, fat malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel diseases, kidney failure, and seizure disorders.
Toxicity: Hypervitaminosis D is not a result of sun exposure but from chronic supplementation. Excessive supplement use will elevate blood calcium levels and cause loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, excessive urination, itching, muscle weakness, joint pain and disorientation. Calcification of soft tissues can also occur.
Deficiency: Not a result of insufficient dietary intake. Caused by protein wasting conditions. Diuretics can also cause excessive loss of potassium in the urine. Low blood potassium can result in cardiac arrest.
Toxicity: Occurs when the intake of potassium exceeds the kidneys capacity for elimination. Found with kidney failure and potassium sparing diuretics. Oral doses greater than 18 grams can lead to toxicity. Symptoms include tingling of extremities and muscle weakness. High dose potassium supplements may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Deficiency: Very rare due to abundance of magnesium in foods. Those with gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, and alcoholism are at risk.
Toxicity: None identified from foods. Excessive consumption of magnesium containing supplements may result in diarrhea (magnesium is a known laxative), impaired kidney function, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, and cardiac arrest.
Deficiency: Does not result from low dietary intake. Low blood sodium typically results from increased fluid retention. One may notice nausea, vomiting, headache, cramps, fatigue, and disorientation.
Toxicity: Excessive intake can lean to increased fluid volume, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. High blood sodium usually results from excessive water loss.
Sources: Any processed foods, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables
Consume iron rich foods with vitamin C rich foods to enhance absorption.Iron
Deficiency: Anemia with small and pale red blood cells. In children it is associated with behavioral abnormalities.
Toxicity: Common cause of poisoning in children. May increase the risk of chronic disease. Excessive intake of supplemental iron is an emergency room situation. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases are associated with iron excess.
Sources: Almonds, apricots, baked beans, dates, lima beans, kidney beans, raisins, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, tuna, flounder, chicken meat, pork
Zinc deficiency results in decreased immunity and increases the susceptibility to infection. Supplementation of zinc has been shown to reduce the incidence of infection as well as cellular damage from increased oxidative stress. Zinc deficiency has also been implicated in diarrheal disease, supplementation might be effective in the prophylaxis and treatment of acute diarrhea.
Deficiency: Symptoms include growth retardation, lowered immune statue, skeletal abnormalities, delay in sexual maturation, poor wound healing, taste changes, night blindness and hair loss. Those at risk for deficiency include the elderly, alcoholics, those with malabsorption, vegans, and those with severe diarrhea.
Toxicity: Symptoms that result are abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Long-term consumption of excessive zinc can result in copper deficiency.
Deficiency: Relatively uncommon. Clinical sign is hypochromic anemia unresponsive to iron therapy. Neutropenia and leucopenia may also result. Hypopigmentation of skin and hair is also noticed. Those at risk for deficiency include premature infants, infants fed only cow’s milk formula, those with malabsorption syndromes, excessive zinc consumption and antacid use.
Toxicity: Rare. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Long-term exposure to lower doses of copper can result in liver damage.
Sources: Mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, barley, soybeans, tempeh, sunflower seeds, navy beans, garbanzo beans, cashews, molasses, liver
Deficiency: Symptoms include impaired glucose tolerance and elevated circulating insulin
Toxicity: Generally limited to industrial exposure. Long-term supplement use may increase DNA damage. Rare cases of kidney failure have also been documented.
Deficiency: Can cause limited glutathione activity. More severe symptoms are juvenile cardiomyopathy and chondrodystrophy.
Toxicity: Multiple symptoms including dermatologic lesions, hair and nail brittleness, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin rash, fatigue, and nervous system abnormalities.
Sources: Brazil nuts, mushrooms, barley, salmon, whole grains, walnuts, eggs
Deficiency: Not typically observed in humans.
Toxicity: Generally from industrial exposure.
Sources: Green leafy vegetables, berries, pineapple, lettuce, tempeh, oats, soybeans, spelt, brown rice, garbanzo beans
Deficiency: Never been observed in healthy people.
Toxicity: More likely than deficiency. Still very rare.
Sources: Legumes, whole grains
What you should know about vitamins & minerals
Years ago, medical professionals noticed that peculiar disease states were directly related to food intake. These diseases were found in the presence of adequate calorie and protein intake.
Scientists also noticed that these diseases were absent among people who consumed certain foods. For example, sailors who consumed citrus fruits on long sea voyages did not develop scurvy.
Thus, researchers reasoned, there must be other important substances in the foods. Eventually, they discovered that compounds only obtained from foods could prevent and cure these diseases.
Nutrient deficiencies in the general population
Nutrient deficiencies are common, usually from a poor diet overall, or from a reduced calorie intake. 68% of the North American population is deficient in calcium, 90% in chromium, 75% in magnesium, and 80% in vitamin B6.
Nutrient deficiencies are particularly common among populations such as the elderly, athletes (who have a higher requirement for many nutrients), and people with low incomes (who may not consume as many healthy foods).
When someone reduces food intake in an effort to drop body fat, they’re almost assured a nutrient deficiency. Why? Because as food intake goes down, nutrient intake does too.
Vitamin solubility and absorption
Fat soluble vitamins are mostly absorbed passively and must be transported with dietary fat. These vitamins are usually found in the portion of the cell which contains fat, including membranes, lipid droplets, etc.
We tend to excrete fat soluble vitamins via feces, but we can also store them in fatty tissues.
If we don’t eat enough dietary fat, we don’t properly absorb these vitamins. A very low-fat diet can lead to deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins.
Water soluble vitamins are absorbed by both passive and active mechanisms. Their transport in the body relies on molecular “carriers”.
Water soluble vitamins are not stored in high amounts within the body and are excreted in the urine along with their breakdown products.
Our bodies and the foods we eat contain minerals; we actually absorb them in a charged state (i.e., ionic state). Minerals will be in either a positive or negative state and reside inside or outside or cells.
Molecules found in food can alter our ability to absorb minerals. This includes things like phytates (found in grains), oxalate (found in foods like spinach and rhubarb), both of which inhibit mineral absorption, and acids. Even gastric acidity and stress can influence absorption.
Summary and recommendations
Vitamins and minerals play a role in normalizing bodily functions and cannot be made by the body (except for vitamin D from the sun).
Adequate intake from food and/or supplements is necessary to prevent deficiency, promote optimal health, improve nutrient partitioning and promote fat loss and muscle gain.
The interest in vitamin/mineral supplementation to prevent diseases and/or increase longevity comes from the idea that supplementation is harmless. Yet, serious adverse events have been reported. Don’t supplement unless you need to. Avoid supertherapeutic doses — doses greatly in excess of recommendations.
If you use a vitamin/mineral supplement, look for one providing nutrients derived from whole foods. Make sure this includes natural forms of vitamin E rather than the synthetic versions. Vitamin A should come from precursors like carotenoids and not preformed retinoids.
Women still menstruating should probably include supplemental iron. Men typically do not need additional iron (and in some men, it can be actively harmful).
Those suffering from malabsorption syndromes will need to adjust their micronutrient intake accordingly.
Those with limited sun exposure should investigate a vitamin D supplement.
Those on blood thinners should talk with their doctor before adding in supplemental vitamin K.
Those on a plant based diet might benefit from supplementing with iodine, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
A plant-based diet generally has a higher content of folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, and magnesium. It generally has a lower content of vitamins B-12, D, calcium and iron.
Vitamin A is present in tears.
Vitamins necessary for energy releasing processes: Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin
Vitamins necessary for red blood cell synthesis: Vitamin B9, B6, B12
In some studies, supplementation with the mineral chromium has reduced total serum cholesterol, triglycerides and apolipoprotein B and increased HDL-cholesterol.
The discovery of vitamins started the field of nutrition.
Earlier names for riboflavin (vitamin B2) were lactoflavin, ovoflavin, hepatoflavin and verdoflavin, indicating the sources (milk, eggs, liver and plants) from which the vitamin was first isolated.
Prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplements are associated with a reduced risk of low birth weight infants and with improved birth weight when compared with iron-folic acid supplements.
In observational studies (case-control or cohort design), people with high intake of antioxidant vitamins by regular diet typically have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than people who don’t consume enough.
Okay, so you’ve decided to get fit/ healthy and maybe you even re-activated your gym membership. Your fired up and motivated, but that big question looms- WHERE DO I START??
Do I focus on my eating?
Do I go on a diet? Which Diet: Paleo, Zone, Atkins, Soup, or whatever the hottest celebrity is doing?
Do I workout everyday? What type of workout: boot camps, HITT, TRX, Zumba, Pilates, Personal Training, or Yoga?
What supplements should I take? Do I need a fat burner?
Do I do all the above?
This list could continue, but you get the idea. When starting a fitness program there are so many things to think about and the “starting point” can become completely overwhelming.
So Where Do You Start??
FOCUS ON ONE THING AT TIME!! Yes, you should move more (exercise) and control your intake, but what’s most important is identifying what your Limiting Factor is. A limiting factor can be summed up as that “one thing” thats greatly impeding your progress. It’s the one thing that needs to be handled first and foremost.
A few examples are:
Exercise more Productivily
Consume less alcohol
Improve sleep quality
Eat less processed foods
Increase intake of key nutrients and fiber
Start a supplementation regimen
The goal is to identify what factor is limiting you and then work to improve it. This will be your starting point! Once you identify your Limiting Factor (LF) convert it in to an action step- something that you can actually start working on. Keep it simple and make sure you’re completely confident that you can face this head on. If you are not 100% certain that you can follow through then make it easier. Don’t focus on multiple items, just focus on ONE. Make it easy!!
You will now spend the next 14days (minimum) on this habit and tweaking things up until it’s absolutely convient for you to do. Once this is completed, you will then pick the next LF and start the process over.
This is a creative process! A process where you create the type of lifestyle you want one step at a time. Everytime you identify and begin to work on your LF you are in the process of creating future success. You are setting yourself up for sustainable progress. The objective here is to have a normal lifestyle that moves you closer and closer to better health and fitness. Many crash and burn because they “swing for the fences” and go all out. They neglect the power of “baby steps”!
So, if you are at the Starting Line in your fitness/ health pursuits and not sure where to start, begin by identifying what your Limiting Factors are and tackle them one by one. Start with the biggest and go from there. Remember, when conventing these factors into habits, seek to make it as easy as possible. Your confidence in following through needs to be 90%-100% otherwise you will get frustrated and end up crashing. This does not need to be about will power! This needs to be strategic, so spend some time thinking through your biggest road blocks and make a plan (a simple one). Make this process personal by taking inventory of your lifestyle and look for “opportunities” where you can make the greatest inroads.
Make a decision to start
indentify the limiting factor
convert into a habit and action step
be 90%-100% confident that you can do this
Work on it for 14 days, tweak things until the habit is “convient and doable”
Repeat process and start anew with the next Limiting Factor