Category Archives: Weight Loss

A Food Journal


Whether starting out or needing to re-align, a food journal is a great idea.

Food Journals and a working lunch…

Food Journal you say? But …this is Paleo! We have moved away from all that…Well yes and no. The foods incorporated into our programs give you the physical means to deal with hunger and cravings and we  find that many of our old issues and difficulties do resolve in the absence of the mood swings, irritability and imbalance we have experienced as carb addicts.

But for those who have used food as their “coping mechanism”, it can sometimes happen that, having strived to overcome, we fall back into those old patterns and habits and just like that, the weight starts to creep back on.

The trick is to catch yourself as you fall.

And here’s where a food journal comes in: it makes you accountable and it makes you think and in this way you start to get back control. Start by opening a new book. On page one make a list of all the things you have been doing that are making you gain back weight. Don’t be shy, dig deep, you already know the answers. Ready?  Now list, like this: too many lattes, too much snacking (be specific) too many nuts (what had started as a few turned into a handful and then the whole packet), grapes by the pound….still paleo  but somehow it’s all got out of hand….

So now watch your hand form the letters and write the words. Sometimes being present with the words as they write brings everything up sharp and into perspective. Have you noticed sometimes when things are getting tricky we simply “check out” for moments of our life here and there and pretend these things are not happening, that we don’t have any control. Well you know what – we do. You do. It’s you who is putting the food into your mouth after all. No one else. You simply have to be aware of what you’re doing and catch yourself before you fall.

Now draw up a second column and make a note of what you are going to do to change that habit. Walk past Costa’s or change your route to work? Nip out at lunch time and buy something for lunch or pack a little something from home? Change your routine. Shake it up.  Become aware of the habit, of what you are doing and change it up. You can do it. Do you want to know something good? The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published this 20 week study confirming  that those who kept a food journal dropped double the weight of dieters who did not record their food habits. But you have to be real with it. Record what you eat not what you think you are eating and not what you think you should be eating.  It’s just you and reality sharing the moment and that’s all that counts.


Healthy Fast Food

And my working lunch? Here it is paleo and clean.  This little meal kept my hunger satisfied all afternoon.  I ate around two o’clock having fasted through the night from 8pm.  Then ate supper at six with Michael and the kids.  Tomorrow we are going to do it different.  We will start with the typical PaleoWorks style breakfast and fast through the day for a late tea.   Sometimes it’s good to change things up a little!  Try a food journal yourself and let us know how you go!


Weight Loss and Sleep


Weight loss: are you getting enough sleep?   It’s a serious question..Take a look at this:

It’s 2004 (6 December 2004) and the headline reads:

“Sleep loss, appetite and weight gain”

Did you see it?  The article goes on to confirm  that researchers at the University of Chicago  have found that partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

So this study (published in the 7 Dec. 2004 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine), gives us a mechanism linking sleep loss to the current epidemic of obesity.

In the experiment, research subjects (who slept only four hours a night for two nights) had an 18 percent decrease in leptin, the hormone that tells the brain there is no need for more food, and a 28 percent increase in ghrelin, the hormone that triggers hunger.

The study volunteers, all healthy young men, reported a 24 percent increase in appetite, with a surge in desire for sweets, such as candy and cookies, salty foods such as chips and nuts, and starchy foods such as bread and pasta.  Aha!

“This is the first study to show that sleep is a major regulator of these two hormones and to correlate the extent of the hormonal changes with the magnitude of the hunger change,” said Professor-Eve-Van-CauterEve Van Cauter, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. “It provides biochemical evidence connecting the trend toward chronic sleep curtailment to obesity and its consequences, including metabolic syndrome and diabetes.”

Need more convincing?  Take a look at this study on 5 and 6 year old children that concluded the prevalence of obesity was increased as sleep amount decreased, independently of other factors..Or this study of sleep deprived animals that showed a strong preference for a high- carbohydrate diet.  Scientists have known for years that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and obesity: are you getting enough?

“Our modern industrial society seems to have forgotten the importance of sleep,” Van Cauter said. “We are all under pressure to perform, in school, at work, in social and professional settings, and tempted by multiple diversions. There is a sense that you can pack in more of life by skimping on sleep. But we are finding that people tend to replace reduced sleep with added calories, and that’s not a healthy trade.”

It could explain why so many of us who are chronically sleep-deprived also are overweight. And it could be part of the reason sleepy new parents, stay-up-late college students and shift workers pile on the pounds.

Sound familiar?  Does pressure of work and limited “down time” make you want to trade in your sleep time for more TV?  It’s a small change to your routine but the pay-off can be spectacular in terms of cravings and hunger..try it and see!

Weight loss and sleep, tell us how it’s working for you?  Sharing is fun!

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