Eat This: 5 Fabulous Foods For Weight Loss

Nobody likes rules.

Especially food rules.

“Eat this, not that.”

Snore.

If you’ve been reading me for a while now you’ll know I don’t often talk about what, when or how to eat.

If we’re really honest, we already know what, when and how.

The missing ingredient is the why. When you’ve sussed why you overeat, the entire weight loss puzzle just clicks.

You default to your body’s natural, healthy happy-weight blueprint, the one you were born with. (Your body has such wisdom, hon).

However…

…today, I am going to focus on the what to eat. I’m thrilled to share with you five foods I’ve recently included on my table.

All of the foods are well-documented for their weight loss abilities.

But awesomely, I’ve noticed a surge in my energy levels and, best of all, that bloated time-of-the-month-feeling, has completely evaporated.

Yay.

I encourage you to try them on. And to notice how your body responds to them. Imagine feeling so good you’ll gladly add them to your table too.

They are:

(1 + 2) Drink water with lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar.

I drink a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar 15 minutes before all my main meals (especially breakfast).

Both of these act like a wakeup call to your stomach, signalling, “Listen up down there, food incoming!” and stomach acid is produced.

In the ‘olden days’ when meals took hours to prepare, we didn’t require lemon juice or ACV because our stomachs started producing stomach acid (which aides digestion) from the aroma of simmering food.

But these days, we often eat on the run or consume swiftly prepared meals (think, microwave or take-out) so our stomach has little notice of incoming food and isn’t prepared with stomach acid when it does arrive.

3. Cinnamon – the super spice?

Taste isn’t the only reason to love cinnamon. In Chinese medicine and Ayurveda it’s long been revered as a superpower spice.

Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde which increases the amount of progesterone we produce. This is GREAT news for us women.

Progesterone is a beautiful thing. It’s a powerful anti-aniexty agent, an anti-depressant and is essential for fat burning.

Adding a couple of dashes to your porridge in the morning or a stick of it in your morning coffee is all it takes.

Now, this said, I’m absolutely not advocating you start guzzling cinnamon. It has been found to be toxic in large doses.

4. Eat liquorice (that’s licorice to our American friends)

Turns out my dad was right. He’s as healthy as an ox – and has always loved liquorice.

Liquorice root is one of the most popular herbs in the world. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese all recognised its medicinal qualities.

It has all sorts of healing properties, but for us women who are looking our improve health and lose weight, liquorice is GREAT for the adrenal glands. (More on the importance of adrenal glands on weight loss in a future post).

For now, all you need to know is healthy adrenals = happy weight.

Just so we’re clear here….I’m not giving you permission to eat the entire packet, okay! A couple of pieces a day (I eat it as a pudding) and notice how your body responds.

5. Reach for the green.

Strong, black and first thing in the morning (I adore coffee). Morning tea, lunch, later in the day with friends. You get the picture. I really adore coffee.

But my body didn’t adore the biochemical reaction from coffee.

Caffeine from coffee triggers adrenaline (a short term stress hormone), which signals to every fibre of your body “uh-oh, warning, flight/flight response”.

It signals UNSAFE.

When we feel unsafe, we bolt….

…usually, to the fridge, the pantry or the vending machine.

Whenever we feel unsafe (physically, emotionally, mentally) we store fat. In caveman days it helped us survive.

So, I’ve have replaced all except my morning coffee with green tea.

Yup, I’ll not lie to you; it was a stretch for the first four days.

S-T-R-E-E-E-T-C-H!!!!!

Now though, my energy levels are so consistently vital, and my tummy is ‘bloat-free’ so it’s easy (really, it is) to reach past the coffee pot.

Need more proof to reach for the green?

Specifically, it helps you lose weight by speeding up your metabolic rate.

A recent study in the USA of overweight chaps found that, with no other changes to their diet or exercise regimes, drinking green tea three times a day burned up 200 extra calories a day. The green tea drinkers also found that their energy levels were greatly increased.

And because it’s jam-packed with antioxidants it helps your liver too. Nice one.

So there you have it.

Five foods you can add your table.

Add ’em and see how you feel.

Your body is talking to you.

It has wisdom to share.

Start listening.

I leave you with a love note from Buddha.

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

Love etc, Avril

PS: Clearly, if you have something ‘deeper’ going on, adding these foods (or any specific foods) isn’t going to shift the weight.

If you know you have an emotional eating thing happening – email me so we can work this out together. If you need help finding the solutions, that’s what I’m here for.

How to Lose Your Diet Rules

In my workshop last week, one of the participants brought up the fact that she sometimes doesn’t like to eat leafy greens because they remind her too much of her dieting days. Whenever she eats greens (salad in particular), she feels what she used to feel while dieting – restricted and annoyed, and even a phantom-like feeling of hunger.

How many of you can relate to that feeling? I know I can! When I first started working with the concept of intuitive eating, I felt like I was fighting a never-ending battle with a variety of food rules, even food rules that conflicted with one another. I had spent significant portions of my life as an Atkins dieter, an Overeaters’ Anonymous member, a low carbohydrate vegetarian and a Weight Watchers’ points aficionado. As you can imagine the Atkins part of me and the low carb vegetarian part of me had some things in common but highly disagreed with the Weight Watchers’ point keeper and the O.A. dieter! Did I believe in low carb or low fat? Was a scooped out bagel a good choice or a terrible one? Was I overdoing the olive oil or should I slather it on?

And while I have come to terms with my diet rule demons, as a counselor who often talks about intuitive eating, I can run into some problems. In my class last week, I started to talk about what foods were good to consider when you’re suffering from low energy, but whenever I talk about food in this way, I often have to work my way around my own fears of sounding like a Weight Watchers or O.A. leader. Whenever I talk about leafy greens and added fiber and drinking adequate water, I get a creepy feeling that I’m imposing food rules on my clients, even though I have no intention of doing so. To me, I care more about how my clients actually feel when they eat certain foods than how they should feel or what they should be eating.

Diet rules impede intuitive eating because they stop you from connecting with your body’s wisdom. Whether you’re confining your eating habits to old diet rules or avoiding food that reminds you of your dieting days, you end up being a slave to diets. I’m sure that wasn’t (or isn’t) your intention if you’re breaking away from diets!

So here’s how to lose those diet rules…

1) Call Them Out! – Take a moment to write down all of the diet rules that still haunt you. They may be conflicting, nonsensical, or sometimes sort of sensible. Whatever they are, get them all out on paper. Then decide if any are worth keeping. Only keep the ones that really honor your body and its changeability – such as getting adequate water, eating some leafy greens here and there stuff like that. Throw out any rules that limit the types of foods you can eat (unless you have allergies or other health concerns) and definitely toss the calorie and carb counting.

2) Listen To Yourself – We all have a voice within us that tells us what foods nourish us and advises us as to our hunger and fullness. Note, we ALL have this voice. Sometimes this voice has been stifled by pushy parents or diet rules or our emotional torment, but trust me, it is there. Take steps to actively listen for this voice. Honor it no matter how quietly it speaks. If you think you heard it and turned out to be wrong, listen for it again tomorrow. Trust me that it is safe to trust yourself.

3) Pay Attention – Notice which foods feel best to you. Do you like a muffin and coffee in the morning or an apple and almond butter and tea? Does it depend on how much sleep you got, how much stress you’re under? What time of year it is? Are comfort foods comforting sometimes and sometimes not so much? Notice the effects on your energy levels. Notice comfort and discomfort.

Continually repeat the above!

In truth, the only rule is that there are no rules. You make the rules. It’s okay to be heady with that power as long as you let your body lead the way.