Is Your Health a Curve, or a Rectangle?

Hello, folks, Dr. Mike Breen here, with the Healthy Transformations program, and you’re watching on healthytransformations.ca. Myself and Christopher Lawrence run the Healthy Transformations program, which is a program of dietary modification for weight loss and health optimization. And one of the reasons we run the program, is because we’re dealing with a really serious problem in our culture, and that is the reality, and also the sense, that as people get older, that they are bound to suffer from ill health. There is so much chronic disease in our culture in fact, the World Health Organization just identified that 89%, that’s almost nine out of 10 people in Canada, will die of a chronic disease. And what’s important about that, is that chronic diseases don’t take you out in a week, or a month, or a year. They take many, many years before you reach your demise.

So what it really boils down to, is this sense of consistent loss of health. And I’m gonna represent that just in a little graph here if you bear with me. So what we have across the bottom here is age, and what we have on this side is healthfulness. And what happens in our culture, to a very large extent, is people are born, we presume, and hopefully that’s the case, where children have given at least a fighting chance, with high level of health, but then it declines consistently and gradually, over the course of time. So this might represent age 20, and you’re still actually pretty healthy, but there’s 30, there’s 40, there’s 50, and you can see exactly the point. By the time you get to middle age, we’re already suffering, to a very large extent, from ill health.

The principle that we like to put forward, and this is something that is within a lot of scientific literature, this is just not something that’s made up, this is a real phenomenon, and it’s called the rectangularization of health decline, meaning that instead of having a curvilinear health decline, that health decline doesn’t have to be like this. In fact, you can live a life where you start from the same point, and health declines much more slowly than this, you get over to a certain point, and then you have a more rapid loss. So, living a life that’s full and vibrant for a long period of time, getting an infection at a very advanced age, living longer, as you can see down here, but what the important point is, is that all of this stuff here, that shaded area right there, is quality of life. That’s the ability for people to enjoy their life, to travel, to play with grandkids, and to be vibrant throughout their life. It’s something that is absolutely possible, and it can be initiated through proper health patterning, particularly health patterning that is associated with food. We underestimate the power that food has in terms of being able to drive healthfulness, and the Healthy Transformations program does exactly that. So if you’re interested in actually taking a pathway that rectangularizes your health decline, then the Healthy Transformations is the program for you.

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Ten Most Powerful Ways to Curb Your Sugar Craving

Ten Most Powerful Ways to Curb Your Sugar Craving

Sugar is the enemy. Yes, yes. I know we need a certain amount of carbohydrates in our bodies; however, when it comes to sugar we overconsume.

Health professionals have discovered that many people experience sugar cravings, and this habit has made it impossible for them to stick to a healthy diet.

Cravings are said to be as a result of your brain’s need for a reward and not necessarily your body’s need for food. It’s ok to indulge a little, but over time it tends to become a habit and from there an insatiable craving. The dangers and disadvantages of too much sugar are something I am sure you are well aware of. Hence, there is a need to put a stop to those cravings.

In this article, we take a look at the ten most powerful ways to curb your sugar cravings, they include:

Eat a healthy, filling meal rather than junks

It’s one thing to crave something; it’s another thing to be hungry. Craving is not your body’s message that you need energy; it’s instead the dopamine saying you need a reward. When you crave for junk food when hungry, the best thing to do is to consume a healthy filling meal as soon as possible.

Rather than stock your kitchen with garbage food, stock it with nutritious snacks or pre-made food. Foods rich in proteins such as egg, meat, fish, and leafy greens are ideal for curbing hunger. This may not seem like such a good idea when all you want to do is woof down a sugar-filled snack, but when you consider the side effects, it will help you resist the temptation.

Have a hot or cold bath

This has proven to work wonders for those who crave sugar. The water to be used for bathing shouldn’t be just cold; it must be hot but not so much that it burns the skin. Allow the water glide over your skin and your back, stand in the bath for about ten minutes, and after that step out of the shower. Or do the opposite and make it cold. You will experience a kind of dazed feeling as though you have been in a sauna for far too long or as though you are schoking your body into alertness. Before you are done with your bath, your sugar craving will be gone.

Go for a walk

This is another effective way of dealing with a sugar craving. Go for a brisk walk, and if you can jog or run, then that’s better.

This serves two purposes, first is that it helps you keep a distance from that sugar you are craving, the second is that the exercise releases a feel-good chemical called endorphins which enables you to lose the craving.

Drink water

Your craving could be caused by dehydration, but by taking at least a glass of water, you not only keep your body hydrated, but you also get to deal with the cravings.

Desist from consuming artificial sweeteners

If what triggers your craving for sugar are artificial sweeteners, then it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Have a support system

While trying to curb or stop your cravings for sugar, its best to have someone who understands what you are going through and is willing to help you scale through. It’s not going to be easy stopping what you love, but with determination and a sound support system, it can be done.

Have enough rest

Getting enough sleep daily is vital for your overall state of health; it also helps you prevent sugar cravings.

Avoid triggers

If you are aware of the things that trigger your craving for sugar, then its best to avoid it. It may be certain activities like walking past an ice-cream parlor or French fries.

Have a reminder

It is essential that on this journey of trying to curb your sugar craving that you have a list of the reasons you have decided to stop taking sugar. Regularly read the list to be reminded that you have a purpose and goal; this will help you stick to the plan.

Take multivitamins 

By taking multivitamins, you prevent any deficiencies that may occur with sugar withdrawal. If you can take junks now and then without having a relapse then it’s ok, otherwise, avoid it altogether.

 

Christopher James Lawrence is a Co-Founder of the Healthy Transformations Programwith Dr. Mike Breen.  He is also the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching — a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind.  He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”.  Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker that truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him here.

[VIDEO] Amrit's Story

Amrit – I’m Amritpal Grewal and I’m a mortgage broker for Iverico Mortgage Solutions and I process mortgages for a living. What brought me to the Healthy Transformations program was,

I was unhealthy at the time when I had joined. Unfortunately I had tried multiple different diets, a lot of different exercise programs and it was unfortunately filled with a lot of trial and error and a lot of failure unfortunately and I was just ready to try anything at that specific time, and that’s what brought me here.

 

The sum of the results that I had achieved in this program, the number one that sticks out in my mind is obviously the weight loss. The weight loss for the entire year was actually more than 60 pounds. So from my heaviest at 253 pounds, to coming down to 190 pounds and still counting. So that’s number one for me. The other things that I achieved were realizing a lot about my triggers. The triggers meaning what things are kind of going ahead and setting me off, what things I need to really watch out for that drive me off the program altogether. The foods specifically and how they made me feel, okay. So when we talk about greens, how they actually make me feel and then my thinking, how it actually goes ahead and changes. Learning a lot about my body and learning about the nutrition and what it does to my body on a day-to-day basis is what I really took away from the program altogether. The toughest part of my program was actually breaking the old habits that I actually had. So when we’re talking about socializing with friends, how to get past some of the challenges there that drive you away from the program. When we actually sit down and learn a lot about food and nutrition and some of the specifics about what goes into your body, automatically you really start to realize about how much you’re harming yourself with your old habits. When you actually put those goals on paper, when you put those achievements that you see yourself attaining through the entire year, that specifically really puts a lot of pressure, a positive impact of pressure on you to achieve what you set yourself out to do.

 

The best part of the program I think was the support that we have, so I mean continuously being on the program, you’re meeting every two weeks to talk about your struggles, to talk about your positive outcomes, to talk about what works, what doesn’t work. You’re in a team environment and you’re all here to achieve the same result, is to get healthy and so for me I think the easiest was just showing up. When you show up, half the battle is already done. So you’re learning so much about exactly what needs to be done and the other half is applying it,

so which comes naturally when you have all the support around you.

 

What I would say to somebody considering to join the program is don’t think about the cost point of view, think about what you really want to achieve out of the program. I would strongly encourage anyone to write down your goals, to really put it on paper, and to read them over and over again. If you think that it’s something that’s possible, it is definitely possible. For someone that like myself who had tried everything with trial and error. We used to go to the gym two times a day, morning for cardio and evening for weights. And we did a lot of gym training, unfortunately that didn’t even bring me close to my goals. What really did was the knowledge, the actual application of that knowledge as well, that really got me down to the weight that I wanted and is getting me to the body that I want as well.

 

I think anything else that I wanna add is do the program. It’s priceless, the knowledge that you actually are acquiring and to go ahead and be someone that your family goes ahead and looks up to. You’re doing your family a huge service in terms of being an excellent role model for them and I think it has so many different benefits, I can’t even list them right now, so join the program.

 

(upbeat music)

[VIDEO] Vicky's Story

Vicky – My name is Vicky Walter and I am a grandma and enjoy my life just doing what I need to do. I had a friend do the program and I really liked what I saw of her and she explained the program a little bit to me and that’s what drew me to the program, it was something that I thought I needed to try.

 

I am 297 days in. (laughing) And as far as goal wise, I am past my goal. I have lost 63 pounds. I have recommended a girlfriend to the program and I had to talk to her four times to just tell her and this is what I told her was you need this program, because she was a lot like me, with her body pains and issues and things like that and I knew that she could do the program and I knew it would make her very happy. So when I talk to people about the program, I explain it’s an anti-inflammatory program, not a weight loss. Weight loss is the bonus part of the program. The health issues are even better. So that’s how I explain to people why they should do the program.

 

Oh, I could just tell them my story, how good I feel and how good they would feel if they tried a little harder to stick to the program and that it would be so worth it to just try it and work a little harder because it is worth it. I can only say how good I feel and I get all these comments how good I look and that makes you feel even better and feeling good in your own skin again is good.

 

I kinda thought my life was going to be the weight that I was and feel as unhealthy as I felt, pain all the time. So my knees are good, I’ve had a knee replacement 14 years ago, saw my surgeon and he was amazed that they hadn’t changed in a year ’cause last year I was looking at another

replacement and he said it hasn’t changed so keep doing what I’m doing ’cause he was amazed how good I looked and how good my knees looked too. So that’s, that’s a kicker for me.

 

(upbeat music)

 

How to Deal with Food Cravings

Four Ways To Finally Kill Your Food Cravings

You’re sitting at your desk going on and about your daily activities when suddenly, out of nowhere, you’re overwhelmed with the need and urgent desire to devour a full plate of salty French fries. Your mind couldn’t stop thinking about the treat. So you think “maybe I’ll have just a bite. Or maybe I’ll eat all of it and skip dinner later tonight”. Life will be a lot easier if our mind is wired to crave healthy food, but it’s a daily struggle to hold ourselves from junk food. The problem arises when you have little to no control over your craving on a daily basis, you’re basically setting yourself up for serious health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, etc. Every time you give in to a craving you re-enforce the neural pathway to eat this way. Meaning, it makes it more difficult to stop giving into the cravings. You don’t have to go down this road, food cravings do not have to rule your life, and there are scientifically backed methods to deal with cravings effectively.  There are four schools of thought on dealing with cravings and I suggest you implement parts of them all.

#1 Distract Yourself

The first is to distract yourself with another activity (walking, reading, TV, etc.). TV usually isn’t the best choice if you associate TV with mindless eating. You can also take a series of deep breaths, do a quick workout, dance to an upbeat song, take a brisk walk or even jog. Exercise has been shown to release Dopamine the “feel good” hormone that can actually help suppress the craving.  To be honest with you, this is more of a short term tactic and doesn’t often create lasting results BUT it can still be useful.

In a study recently conducted, researchers found out that spending at least 10 seconds thinking about something else apart from the cravings actually works effectively in getting rid of the craving altogether. Moreover, cravings usually last about 10 minutes, so distracting yourself by engaging in a visually interesting game interferes with the mental processes that support that craving. Jackie Andrade a psychology professor at the University of Plymouth pointed out that such visually engaging activity like playing a game on your phone can actually reduce your carving levels to about 20 percent. He concluded by saying it’s difficult to think about something vividly while simultaneously engaging in another mentally stimulating activity.  Just distract yourself with anything. The activity does not matter, what does matter is engaging in an activity that takes your mind off the craving.

#2 Mindfulness

The other, and in my opinion, more important and effective route is to actually sit with the discomfort of the craving without running away from it. This is a mindfulness activity. While this experience can be uncomfortable, it has been shown in research to be very effective and have long-lasting effects. Mindfulness is generally the practice of been self-aware and being in the present and it can be used to effectively deal with food craving. A research study at Indiana State University focuses on the effect of mindfulness before eating when or when cravings occur. The focus is on an individual’s awareness of beliefs, behaviors, and emotions associated with food intake. There are several ways by which you can practice mindfulness. My favorite way of doing this is to grab a pen and paper and write out the following:

  • What am I noticing about my emotions right now?
  • What am I noticing about my thinking right now (what thoughts am I experiencing)
  • What do I notice in my body (what sensations might I be experiencing)
  • What does my intuition tell me (the gut check)

Then observe. Watch how these things shift and change, become acutely aware of the shifting and changing and notice that by not giving in to the craving that the world is okay. At first, this will feel very difficult, but with regular practice, you can turn these cravings into milli-second automatic responses and move onto healthier choices.

In other words, do not rush through the cravings and or ignore them but rather be with them, make friends with your cravings. Just like an enemy, keep your friends close but your enemies’ closer. The more you know your cravings the less control they have over you and the less myterious and unexplainable they become. Then if your cravings still persist ask yourself the questions contained in this article:

https://healthytransformations.ca/4-important-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-eating-anything/

Remember, just because you have a craving doesn’t mean you need to act on your thoughts. It is also important to have healthy alternatives to suppress cravings. You can develop different strategies to overcome the urge to eat. For instance, you can think about the long-term negative effects or the immediate reward you gain by sticking to healthy food choices. Focusing on both your long-term and short-term health goals can also effectively help to curb the cravings.  I would suggest creating a plan around cravings. For example,

“When I am craving popcorn I will do [fill in the blank with lots of ideas of what you can do, including the two suggestions above].” Writing plans out has been shown to be more effective than thinking about them.

#3 Bacteria in the Gut

It is also important to note that cravings can also be caused by the imbalance in gut bacteria. Gut bacteria are known as “microbiome” and they are a critical part of the digestive system. These bacteria play an important role in the body by contributing to your overall well-being. However, not all bacteria in the body are harmless, specifically, there are some strains of bacteria that can cause you to crave what they need to survive such as sugar, carbs, candy, etc. that can be easily broken down and absorbed.  To deal with these harmful bacteria, you need to starve them off by minimizing the intake of sugar and carbs in your diet while consuming a probiotic supplement regularly to keep off the harmful bacteria.

#4 Tracking & Planning

I have found out that planning and tracking your food in a journal can be an effective way to curb food cravings. Endeavor to write down everything you eat throughout the day in a food journal. Most times we tend to consume food quickly and forget about them especially if we’re motivated to eat by cravings. But remembering that you’ll have to come back to your food journal may actually reduce your desire to eat it in the first place. With constant practice, you will find out that your ability to resist cravings will become stronger over time— just a muscle that is consistently trained. Think deeply about your habits and nutritional needs to find out whether there are some observable risk factors that can be eliminated to curb cravings and have a more satisfying appetite.

References

http://www.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/~ahsu/papers/Chi_iCrave_PostReviewFinal.pdf 

More Questions?

Feel free to reach out and ask us.

More About Christopher James Lawrence

Christopher James Lawrence is a Co-Founder of the Healthy Transformations Programwith Dr. Mike Breen.  He is also the Chief Value Officer and Founder of Change My Life Coaching and Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching — a fast growing whole-life, leadership and business coaching company, and the only one of it’s kind.  He is also the author of “Go Beyond Passion: Discover Your Dream Job”.  Christopher is a Certified Master Coach Practitioner (CMCP), trainer and facilitator, and a passionate public speaker that truly cares about the success of each and every single person he comes into contact with. You can reach him here.