I have been a nutritionist for 18 yrs and have wavered in and out of some good and bad eating habits. I used food as a  major part of my healing strategy when I was very ill in the early 90’s. I know exactly what to eat, but emotions can be a powerful force to draw you to foods (like chocolate) that will make you feel better. I have a sign on my fridge that says “There is nothing better than a good friend except a good friend with chocolate”.

You can tell what my craving is!

I have always seen this correlation and still will emotionally eat. That is why I wrote the book “Food and the Emotional Connection” in early 2000. I used to teach a course in the corporate world and at the college in Ontario called: “I’m stressed…pass the chips”. People came out in large numbers. So many of us can all relate to this topic.

Also as a flight Attendant for years, it was not always easy to find really good food to eat when you were constantly on the road…or should I say in the air.  Many of us with busy schedules have challenges with making good food choices when we are on the run. The trick is being prepared and packing snacks up ahead of time, and making large meals and freezing them. That has worked well for me.

Another factor I have found in food and how your body utilizes it, is the change in hormones as we age. I used to be able to drop 10 lbs without trying very hard but as I have gotten older that isn’t the case. Balancing your hormones is critical in maintaining health and balanced weight.

Another major issue is your metabolism. So when I read “The Fast Metabolism Diet” by Haylie Pomroy, I was intrigued. My friend lost 8 lbs. in the first week and I have heard of many other success stories. My weight loss was much more gradual, but I learned allot about my body doing this. Everybody is unique.

I have to qualify that IAM NOT A DIETER, and as a nutritionist don’t typically support this. But this diet is about boosting your metabolism so your body can better handle the occasional indulgence. You actually eat allot. Three meals and 2 snacks a day. There is really good science in the book to support this.

I also think every body has its own unique rhythm on how it best metabolizes food. This process helped me get into a better rhythm for my body and improve my eating habits. Though I am no longer on it, as it was too exacting and time consuming , I have stuck with eating 3 meals and 2 snacks regularly and cut back dramatically on sugar. Still have the occasional indulgence but this seems to be Ok especially when you do this with no stress and just enjoy. The body then can easily absorb it.

I found this book also very informative with facts like:

“Wheat is a billion dollar agricultural business. To increase crop yield and thus profits farmers have hybridized wheat to make it sturdy enough to withstand the most extreme conditions. As a result it has become not just indestructible in the field but nearly indestructible in your body, in other words it is very hard for your body to digest and extract its nutrients” That is why so many people have bloating when they eat wheat.
Can you relate to that?

As you can tell….the topic of nutrition is a big one and can be complicated.

You are probably thinking by now, when is she actually going to get to the point?

SO WHAT REALLY IS THE SECRET?

Managing stress! Really? Yes really? Here is the scoop: When you are under stress your body excretes hormones signaling it to store fat and burn muscle. OMG we are in danger let’s… hoard fat. When your diet is poor and overloaded with chemicals, the body creates new fat cells to house the toxins, and then metabolism slows. When your body is relaxed and happy, digestion occurs effortlessly and your body can easily absorb all the nutrients even if you do indulge occasionally. “Stress can be a  weight gainer”. Again everybody is unique! And certainly extreme stress, like grief and loss can do the exact opposite and make you loose weight.

I saw how releasing stress can affect the managing of weight, echoed so many times with my clients when I counselled in nutrition or did workshops and talks. One woman told me that she had been on a vacation and ate things she loved that were not on her “diet”, but she was so happy and relaxed that she was shocked that she didn’t gain any weight.

So learn some stress managing techniques (my book has a number of them to choose from) and “chillax” more. Meditating is wonderful at slowing it all down and helping you relax and tune into what is really important! A relaxed body can easily absorb all the nutrients and will not be hoarding fat.

Take time to enjoy and if you find your face in a piece of chocolate cake…please just enjoy! Let go of the guilt. You can make a different choice next time:)