Health, Wellness, & Nutrition Articles
A Woman’s Way to Weight Loss
Posted on October 24, 2014
Arbitrary standards of beauty negatively impact both women and men. But there is something particularly insidious in the way we teach women and girls that their value as human beings is connected, in no small part, to their perceived physical attractiveness. Even female politicians are routinely criticized about their appearances. It’s no wonder, then, that many women approach weight loss from a place of desperation. In an effort to win approval from others, they look for the solution that will help them shed the most pounds as quickly as possible. Some examples of this include calorie counting, diets that require you to keep track of “points,” punishing workouts and, in more severe cases, eating disorders.
Why Choose an Eating Psychology Program?
Posted on October 23, 2014
What, exactly, is eating psychology? For a lot of us, when we hear the term, we immediately think of eating disorders. That’s certainly a part of the eating psychology landscape, but it’s not the whole picture. The psychology of eating refers to the many ways that our thoughts and emotions impact—and are impacted by—what and how we eat. So what does it mean to be a professional working in the field of eating psychology? There are two main routes you can go. The first is working with people who are suffering from eating disorders. The second is working with those whose struggles around the psychology of eating may not have reached that level, but are presenting real challenges that are holding them back from living their fullest lives. Here’s what you need to know about each option.
Body Image for Women: 5 Great Tips
Posted on October 22, 2014
Body image concerns plague both men and women. Unrealistic portrayals of masculinity—the idea that for a man to be desirable, you should be able to bounce a dime off his pecs—are insidious and need to be taken seriously. There is a unique spin when it comes to women, though. Culturally, we behave as if a significant portion of a woman’s value as a person is determined by her perceived physical attractiveness. And of course, this causes all kind of insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. So what can women do to create a sense of self-worth that’s not dependent upon how closely they resemble society’s arbitrary and nearly impossible standards of beauty? Here are some suggestions.
A Secret to Weight Loss
Posted on October 21, 2014
These days, weight loss plans are a dime a dozen, and every nutrition “expert” has another magical elixir that will supposedly make you eternally beautiful and skinny. But many of us have tried them all—we’ve done the low-carb thing, we’ve tried low-fat, we’ve cut out gluten—and nothing seems to work. So what’s truly the key to losing weight loss? It’s simple, but it’s not easy. And the real secret is this: self-love. Here’s how to put it into practice.
Can Yoga Help Overcome Binge Eating?
Posted on October 20, 2014
Perhaps you know the feeling: you’re uncomfortably full and surrounded by empty cartons or crumpled wrappers. That sick feeling begins to bubble up from your core: it’s not only a physical sensation of unpleasant fullness, but deeper, darker humiliation and guilt, coming down from a high that’s replaced by gut-dropping shame and anxiety. When we binge, we tune out. We go unconscious, we disembody, we are nearly unreachable. The logical part of our brain shuts off, and our bodies go into panic mode. Not enough, is the message that your body receives. Not safe enough, not supported enough, not grounded enough: Danger. But what if you caught yourself before reaching that stress level? What if you closed your eyes and deepened your breath, settling back into that loving, quiet place that always dwells within you? Yoga can help us reign in our emotions and regain control over our behavior. It can gently eliminate the anxiety, and reprogram negative patterns we have around food.
The Best Health Coach Training for Women
Posted on October 19, 2014
There are a lot of health coach training programs out there, and it’s natural for women to be curious about which programs suit their unique needs and interests. It’s important to understand that there is no single “best” training for women, but the ones that tend to be better matches for them are those that acknowledge that women often have different learning styles and interests.
How Do People Make Peace with Food?
Posted on October 18, 2014
We are immersed in a social attitude that pits our minds against our bodies. Various media tell us to be sexy but not sexual, that our bodies aren’t and will never be good enough, that this or that superfood will be the key to longevity and a thigh gap. Is it any surprise that nearly everyone is fighting an incessant internal battle with their bodies and food? Trendy ways of eating are tirelessly revised and rewritten, and we are constantly fed information about the best of what to eat and when. We are coerced into eating when we’re not hungry, or not eating when we are hungry; mindlessly consuming food that doesn’t taste good and enjoying less of what delights us. It’s no wonder that more and more of us are throwing in the towel and raise a white flag in the fight with food.
7 Tips for Teens and Body Image
Posted on October 17, 2014
These days, it seems like a lot of us have insecurities about our bodies that can be intense at times. And it feels pretty terrible. It can be particularly challenging for teens—both guys and girls--who are often struggling to fit in, at the same time that they’re beginning to discover who they are as independent young adults. If you’re a parent of a teen—or an adult who’s otherwise involved in the life of a teen—here are a few ways you can help them establish a positive body image.
Are You Using Yoga to Love Your Body?
Posted on October 16, 2014
In nearly every major city, yoga studios are popping up promising hotter, more humid rooms with athletic and powerful flows that will sculpt your rear into a rock-hard yoga butt. Thin, flexible people in contorted poses flood our social media feeds and are smeared on the pages of yoga magazines. It seems in some ways, yoga has transformed into just another militarized exercise regimen advertised in a way that makes us feel bad about ourselves. Practicing yoga isn’t an automatic ticket to body love. Just like any other exercise, yoga can be abused and used as a punishing tool to fuel war with your body. Oftentimes, it may seem like avid yogis are loving their bodies with a disciplined and vigorous practice, but are inwardly fanning the flame of a less-than-great body relationship. But by tracing this practice back to its roots in the Yoga Sutras, an ancient text explaining how to practice, we can see that the core principles of yoga promote balance and overall wellness of body, spirit and mind to encourage self-love. Keep these yoga concepts in mind while you practice to make sure you’re using your yoga to nourish, not hurt, your relationship with your body.
Natural Weight Loss
Posted on October 15, 2014
It seems like there’s a new “perfect weight loss system” cropping up every day. One supposed expert might tell us that the answer to our prayers is to religiously count how many “points” we consume each day, while another says we should all be worshipping at the Church of Low-Carb. So, what’s an eater to do? The first step is to realize that there is no single diet that’s right for everyone. We all have unique bodies, so the diet that helped your co-worker lose 20 pounds might not do much of anything for you. So does that mean all those nutrition experts trying to sell their weight loss systems are just peddling false promises? Not necessarily (unless they’re promoting “diet foods” that are chock-full of scary, artificial ingredients—in which case, actual snake oil might be the healthier option!). There is usually a kernel of truth in any diet, the key is to learn to take what works and ditch the rest, in order to create a natural weight loss strategy that suits YOU. Here’s how to get started.
How Do I Control My Appetite?
Posted on October 14, 2014
These days, a lot of us feel like we’re struggling to control our appetite. There is often the impression that appetite causes us to eat more than we want to, and leads to weight gain. As a result, many of us approach the situation from the perspective of reining appetite in. It’s not hard to understand why so many of us take this approach. It makes us feel like we have a greater sense of control—like we will attain the bodies we want (whether that means eradicating body fat or just maintaining our current weight) if we can simply get a handle on our appetite. Of course, what we’re really hoping to get by achieving the “perfect” body is love, acceptance, and approval from others. And at first glance, controlling our appetite may seem like an easier way to get those things than addressing the deeper, underlying issues or insecurities that cause us to feel we’re not worthy of love and acceptance unless we lose weight. It looks like there are a lot of good reasons to keep our appetite in check. We supposedly won’t gain weight, we might even lose weight and, we believe, we’ll convince people to like us. So what’s the secret to controlling appetite? Well, the answer is, you don’t. Instead, you should welcome it. Here are a few ways to do that:
Choosing a Health Coach Training
Posted on October 13, 2014
For many of us, the decision to become a health or wellness coach is a hugely important one. It’s often something we come to after struggling with our own health challenges, and usually stems from the desire to help others who are going through the same thing. It’s more than just a job—it’s an opportunity to take the soul lessons we’ve learned and the wisdom we’ve gained and use it to uplift those coming along after us. So now that you’ve concluded coaching is the path that’s right for you, it’s vital that you choose a health coach training that will enable to you to do that. How do you choose a program that will meet your needs? Here are a few questions to ask when making your choice.
The Secret Strategy to Having More Energy
Posted on October 12, 2014
Imagine this. It’s 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon. You still have hours of work to go, but all you want to do is put your head down on your desk and take a nap. So you go to the break room, where you pour yourself yet another cup of coffee and grab a Snickers bar from the vending machine. You understand that caffeine and sugar are just quick fixes, but you don’t really know what else to do. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. A lot of us are suffering from chronic fatigue and low energy, largely because we function in a world that encourages us to “power through” any challenge we run into and often sees self-care either as selfish or lazy. But that way of thinking is detrimental, because the real secret to having more energy is rest!
Mindful Eating: Why Bother?
Posted on October 11, 2014
“Mindfulness” is trendy right now. Mindful living, mindful breathing, mindful exercise, mindful environmental impact, even mindful eating. With a loaded buzzword like this one, it’s hard to keep track of what it means to be truly present and aware. So what is mindful eating anyway, and why even bother? Mindfulness is simply being conscious in the moment without distraction. It is the act of bringing your attention into the now, viewing emotions and thoughts at a distance instead of getting swept up in the frenzy of ups and downs. This act brings awareness to what is instead of how hopes and fears can color a given situation. Releasing expectations we unconsciously carry with us leads to more joy, satisfaction, authenticity and consistency in our day-to-day.
Is it Time to Stop Dieting?
Posted on October 10, 2014
If we were to take a random survey of people on the street, most likely, a majority of them would either be dieting or would have done so in the past. Dieting is incredibly popular in our culture, and entire industries of foods, books, and videos perpetuate it. In fact, it is so common that, in our daily lives, it often seems difficult to find someone who hasn’t dieted or restricted what they eat in some way—and this is especially true for women. It’s something that is socially accepted, and even considered admirable. It’s thought of as a sign of self-discipline. As a result, many of us diet chronically over years and even decades, trying everything from low-carb to low-fat, from paleo to veganism. So the natural follow-up question is, do diets work? And the answer is, yes and no. Sometimes, diets do in fact help us lose weight. But they don’t often help us keep it off. There is a kernel of truth in most diet plans. With low-carb diets, for example, it is actually true that a diet high in processed carbohydrates is typically not the healthiest option. But by suggesting that people cut out healthy, whole foods like fruit and sweet potatoes, they become unsustainable both practically and nutritionally. (The disclaimer here is that there are some medical conditions where it is indeed recommended to eliminate even some whole foods that are considered healthy.)
How to Have Better Digestion
Posted on October 9, 2014
It seems like digestion has become a hot topic lately. And it makes sense - when it isn’t functioning smoothly, we feel awful! It makes us feel heavy and sluggish, and it can even be painful. Here are some tips to help you get your digestion operating at its best.