PS. Watch the FREE video training I made on the ABC’s of Weight Loss for EMS. Just click the blue button below to watch the video.
PS. Watch the FREE video training I made on the ABC’s of Weight Loss for EMS. Just click the blue button below to watch the video.
Are you in EMS/HEMS and want to lose some weight?
It may seem impossible given your irregular schedule, hours you work per week, stress, and confusion over what you really should be doing in order to lose weight.
Here are two tips on how to start your weight loss journey today….weather you are on duty or off.
Tip 1. Don’t eat if you’re not actually hungry.
This myth in EMS about needing to eat right now to prevent future hunger is just plain stupid and is a big contributor to weight gain. I wish I would have been told THAT when I started out in EMS over 20 years ago. Instead, I was told by everyone that “you better eat now while you can…you don’t know where you will be later.” “You do’t want to miss a meal”. “We could get busy later, so just eat something now to help hold you over”.
We also get these message when we are not on duty. It might sound like this “I made this just for you”, “A few bites won’t hurt”, “I worked so hard on this and you’re not going to eat it?”.
When was the last time you ate when you were not hungry?
As long as you are alive, you will get hungry. It is the way the body was designed. When our body needs energy, hormones are released (mainly Ghrelin) and we feel hunger. We can’t prevent future hunger by eating when we are not hungry. That math does not add up. What we are really preventing is us staying at our current weight (and losing weight!).
Eating when the body does not require fuel really disrupts your body’s hunger/fullness hormones and causes you to store more fat. I will say, that this is not true for everyone. I’m sure you know that one person who is thin and eats all the things all the time and never gains weight. They are one of the few lucky ones. And, are the exception, not the rule.
How do you know when you are hungry? Do you look at the clock and calculate the last time you ate to determine your hunger? How does hunger feel in your body?
What happens if you don’t eat the moment you feel hunger? Let’s go to that worst case scenario…you are just getting ready to eat and the pager goes off, you have an interfacillity transfer, which means it will be three hours until you are done and able to eat. Fast forward three hours….you made it. You didn’t get sick. You didn’t stop along the way for a snack. You maybe even forgot you were hungry.
How did you survive? Your body was able to utilize the stored glycogen from your liver and access your stored fuel…aka your fat (a process called gluconeogenesis). This is how the body was designed to work during times when there was less food available. During times of excess food, our body stores the extra for later use. For most of us, “later” never comes. We never allow our bodies to access our stored fuel.
Please don’t hear me say that I think you need to “starve” yourself to lose weight. That is not what I teach my clients. I just want you to become aware of your hunger and to know that if you have to miss a meal, your body will do what it was designed to do.
Tip 2. Eat until you no longer feel hungry…not full
Most people eat until they feel physically full. Or, all of the food is gone. This is overeating. Overeating = weight gain.
Learning to become aware of our own hunger and fullness is key to weight loss.
The hormone Leptin is responsible for our “fullness” signal and the hormone that drives us to get up and move our body (to use the fuel we just took in!). Here’s the deal with Leptin, we often ignore it. Our brain overrides what our body is telling us…which is to STOP eating and go MOVE. Instead, we listen to our brain which tell us to keep eating and then rest.
We will always struggle with our weight when we outsource our hunger/fullness to things outside of us. For example. eat only because food is available at the moment and stop eating when the food on our plate is gone.
It’s time put your focus internally instead of externally.
This means respecting your hunger and honoring your fullness signals. And not listening to your brain (that voice in your head) tell you to keep eating, or that a few bites more won’t matter. They do.
And, if you get hungry and not eat because you get busy at work it’s totally ok. Remember, you have stored energy on your body and it knows how to access it.
I like to joke with clients about the number one thing you should eat when you want to lose weight….your own fat! Getting a flight just before I’m going to eat is my favorite. I know that I will be totally fine if I miss a meal. In the coming weeks I will talk more about Intermittent Fasting and becoming Fat Adapted. It really is a game changer for our industry!
If you want to take these tips to the next level, I suggest you dedicate a few days to get up close and personal with your hunger and fullness. Let’s approach it like a scientist and call it an experiment.
Turn off all distractions. Grab a note book when you start to feel hungry. Time for data collection….Write down all the thoughts you are thinking about being hungry. See if you can really articulate how it feels in your body. See how long the hunger lasts.
Rate your hunger on a scale. -10 is the most intense hunger, and -1 is a faint whisper of hunger, 0 is neutral. True hunger comes in waves and should never feel like an emergency. If you feel “hangry”, you are likely feeling withdrawl from sugar and flour.
Next, keep that notebook near by and eat your meal. Make a note of the time and where you are at on the hunger scale. Write down every bite. Check in with your body after each bite. Do you still feel hungry? Write down what you are thinking about. Give your hunger a number. Continue doing this until all the food on your plate is gone. When you are done eating, write down the time and really describe how you are physically feeling (aka fullness). The fullness scale is just like the hunger scale. +10 is overly stuffed, +1 is just past neutral, +5 is full. Write about what your thoughts are about what you ate, how you are feeling and whatever else is coming up for you. Set your timer for 30 min. In your notebook, write the time and describe how you are feeling and give it a number on the fullness scale. Set the timer for 30 more min and check back in again and write it down in your note book. The more data you collect the better.
This seems really tedious, and that is the purpose of it. It is a great way to help show you how to slow down and notice what you body is telling you.
When I did this for the first time, I was blown away by all the thoughts I was having while I was eating. I was used to distracted eating (watching TV, checking social media, listening to a podcast, or talking with family). It was crazy to see how my brain was trying to tell me to keep eating (one more bite won’t hurt, it’s healthy food so you can eat more, you worked out today and so on). I was shocked by how little food it would take to reach satisfied. Even more alarming were the thoughts about wasting food. It started to become really clear why I was overweight. I literally overate at every meal. I ate when I was not hungry. I had snacks to avoid boredom or deal with my stress.
I tell people all the time, if you want to lose weight you need to know what you are eating and what you are thinking.
Tell me how your “experiment” goes and what you learned from it. Getting the data and analyzing it will be such an eye opener and from there, you can start making changes.
I have room for a few more 1:1 clients if you are ready to start losing weight for the last time. Send me an email or DM on Social and I’ll give you all the deets.
PS. Are you in my close FB group? Click below to join!
Hunger part 2
Last week I went over the physical sensations of hunger, this week I’ll talk about the emotions of hunger.
I see you…rolling your eyes at the mere idea of talking about emotions/feelings and how it could possibly be related to Weight Loss!! Stay with me though. This is really important.
In the following paragraphs I will use the words emotions and feelings interchangeably.
How we FEEL will determine the ACTIONS we take.
This is really good to know because if we want to change our actions (ie. overeating, overdrinking, overspending, etc.) we will need to become aware of how we are feeling.
So, where do our feelings come from anyways?
I want you to stop for a second and really try to think about this. Why do we feel motivated? Stressed? Sad? Happy? Committed? Valuable?
Feelings come from our thoughts.
What?? This was news to me.
Ok, so back to hunger…the emotional kind.
Remember, there is also the sensation of hunger. That starts in your body and travels to your brain….thanks to hormones.
Emotional hunger starts in the brain and travels to your body.
It might sound like this “ooh, that strawberry pie looks really good”. Now you are feeling desire. What type of action does desire produce? Usually the action of eating the pie. Even if you are not feeling the sensation of hunger.
When we are constantly thinking about food, watching cooking shows, reading food blogs, or trolling Pinterest for new and amazing recipes this makes us feel desire, excitement, anticipation, and wanting of food. Next thing we know, we are eating…grabbing a snack.
Ever notice that you eat when you are bored? We are not really hungry, we are just looking for something to do, or are avoiding something.
This my friend, is emotional eating.
We have never learned or been taught how to deal with negative emotions. Many of us think that if we feel negative emotion, something has gone wrong. We are doing something wrong. There must be negative emotion so we can notice the contrast of positive emotion.
Our primitive brains like to deal with negative emotion by using things outside of us to feel better. I call this buffering. We use food, usually highly processed foods that contain sugar and flour or alcohol to feel better. How does this make us feel better?
It is a distraction from how we are currently feeling. And, we get a hit of dopamine. So, our primitive brain creates a neural pathway for this behavior and we repeat it over and over and over. Soon, it becomes so ingrained that it feels automatic.
But, the truth is, it only makes us feel better temporarily. And the cycle continues.
So, what is the solution?
Learn to experience negative emotions with out using food or alcohol.
Now, I’m not going to lie and tell you that this feels amazing. It doesn’t. It feels like ass.
It gets easier over time, but negative emotion will still continue to show up and that’s ok. We need to experience negative so we can feel how great the positive is.
I teach my clients how to experience negative emotions.
Imagine if you stopped using food and alcohol to feel better.
This is part of the journey to permeant weight loss.
If you would like me to help guide you, please click on the blue “Learn More” button below. This will take you to my booking calendar where you can schedule and FREE call with me to learn what I have to offer. I promise I won’t be all weird and salesy. I have been where you are, and I want to help as many people as I can without any gimmicks or quick fixes.
Have a safe week!
This topic has been popping up all week.
The weather has not been great for flying.
Our industry has downtime. Sometimes due to poor weather, or just the nature of the job.
It seems like we have two modes: Busy. Not Busy.
Once all of the daily duties are done and we are caught up with education and all those emails, we have downtime.
What are you doing with your downtime…..
Do you spend that time on your phone trolling social media?
Play games on the computer or your phone?
Sit in the recliner watching the NCIS marathon on TV?
Read a book, magazine, paper (do people still get those?)?
Or do you eat? Grab just a little snack?
Why don’t you just sit there and be bored?
We live in a culture that thrives on instant gratification.
We can pick up our phone and instantly be entertained.
We think that being bored means that we are boring.
We find the feeling of boredom so intolerable, we will do anything to avoid it.
The biggest reason we want to avoid boredom is because we have to sit with our own thoughts.
Many of those thoughts make us feel terrible. We ruminate or thought loop on a few thoughts all the time.
“Why can’t I lose weight. I can’t control my eating. How did I get like this. Why is it so hard to lose weight. I shouldn’t have ate that. I’m stuck.”
What do we do when we feel bored? We buffer.
Buffering is when we want dull an emotion we are feeling.
We most often buffer with False Pleasures.
False Pleasure are concentrated forms of natural pleasure. Just like sugar and flour are concentrated versions of the sugar beet (or cane) and wheat berry.
Our brains are flooded with the neurotransmitter Dopamine from False Pleasures.
Natural pleasures give us a small “hit” of Dopamine that pales in comparison to the False kind.
Can you see how you have been buffering from boredom?
One of the common causes of weight gain in EMS is due to boredom.
We eat when we are bored. We use food as a distraction from our negative emotions.
We try to use food to make us feel better.
We will give ourselves that huge hit of dopamine with a cookies, chips, ice cream, or some other snack and that feels really good in the moment.
What is the result we get? Net negative consequences like weight gain.
If you are wanting to lose weight, I recommend to everyone that they stop snacking.
I never used to consider myself and emotional eater or a snacker. Turns out, I was.
When I started my weight loss journey, it become very clear that I would do whatever it took to avoid boredom.
Sitting with my own thoughts was so painful, I would do things that had negative consequences. Like snacking at work, which would cause weight gain. Having a few beers at home after the kids went to bed, this one really disrupted my hormones and caused weight gain.
Now, I love being bored. I intentionally set time to be bored. I use this time to look at my thoughts. To question them and decide if I want to continue to think them.
When we allow boredom, we can enter a sate neuroscientist call Autobiographical Planning.
This is where we can look at our life in the big picture sense and decide how we want to live our future. We can see and figure out our big goals and consider how to get there.
If you are always buffering from boredom, you won’t be able to access this part of your brain. You will just stay right where you are at.
The next time you find yourself bored at work, see if you can just sit with it for 5-10 min.
See what thoughts are coming up for you. How are you feeling?
If you want to be an over achiever (and I’m pretty sure you do) grab a notepad and write these thoughts down. See if you can name the feelings you are having. Can you feel the urge to go buffer? What do you want to do to make these feelings go away…check your phone, look at Facebook, check your email, turn on the TV? What are the net negative consequence you have gotten in the past from buffering?
If you want to take this information to the next level, let me help you.
We can get on the phone and I can show you how working with me can change your life. It’s free and super easy to do.
Diet mentality thinking…
How many calories should I be eating?
What about the Macros?
I’m not able to lose weight because I can’t fit working out in my busy day.
That food is bad.
Calories in. Calories out.
Everything is fine in moderation.
I just want to eat like a normal person.
If I can’t do it perfect, I don’t want to do it.
I just have to be good long enough to get to size ___.
I need to get this weight off by summer.
Throwing away all the “junk” food in the house will make it easier to not want it.
Have you ever thought any of those above thoughts? Is that how you are currently thinking about dieting?
I would argue that thinking any of the above thoughts will not get you permeant weight loss.
The result of weight loss comes directly from our thinking.
Most people think weight loss comes from the gym and the kitchen.
Ok, a little might come from the gym. A lot comes from the kitchen, but the majority comes from our thinking.
I work with my clients to drop the diet mentality thinking.
I show them how their thoughts end up in their results.
Here are some examples of thoughts that will result in weight loss.
I’m choosing not to have that today.
I didn’t plan for that today.
I can have it tomorrow.
It is ok to feel hungry.
Every bite does matter.
If I say yes to that free cookie, I am saying no to my goal weight.
I also encourage my clients to ask themselves a lot of questions…and answer them!
How can I lose weight today?
How does that feel in my body?
Does that food serve me?
What emotion am I trying to avoid by having this snack?
Am I really hungry?
If you are looking to drop some weight and drop your diet mentality, I would love to talk to you!
Click the blue Book Now button below to set up a Free 30 min Consult Call with me. I will take you through your Before and After, it can be life changing.
I am so busy.
Why do we glorify “Busy”?
We wear our busyness as a badge of honor.
But are you reeaalllyyy busy? C’mon…..tell the truth.
Being on you phone, trolling social, watching TV, listening to a podcast is not busy.
Those are distractions.
Why do you want to be busy?
Is it possible you are just being busy to distract yourself?
Distracting yourself from your own negative self talk.
Many of us stay busy because we don’t like the idea of being alone with ourselves, with our own (painful) thoughts.
The truth about busyness is that it does not drive any action.
Yeah, you might get a few things off your to-do list, but you likely aren’t doing that ONE things you know you need to do.
If you really think you are a special snowflake and are over scheduled, I challenge you to do a time journal for three days. This is where you write down what you are doing every 30min from the time you get up until the time you go to bed.
I call this a reality check. I did this. Turns out, I was super busy…doing stupid shit all day.
I made some radical changes.
Goodbye NCIS, Foodnetwork, Bravo, HGTV. I will miss our time together, but I need to GSD.
I started saying no to everyone and everything that did not align with my goals.
“I’d love to volunteer, but I can’t, I’m sorry”.
Another thing I changed was dropping the word “Busy” from my vocab.
I’ll catch myself every now and again, and I notice how terrible it feels when I say it.
Then you’ll notice how everyone around you says how busy they are.
I challenge you to tell yourself the truth about what you are really “busy” doing…then drop the word busy all together.
Want help from me to free you from the busy mindset and get you taking real action on your goals? Whether you want to lose weight or feel better, I can help.
Click the the blue Book Now button below. This will take you to my Free 30 min Consult Call schedule. Pick a date and time that works best for you and we will get on the phone and I’ll show you how different your life can be!
I look forward to hearing from you!!