Welcome to Motivation Weight Management Assist Podcasts, our regular and informative podcasts on all things health and weight related.
As often as we can, we will bring you a podcast that deals directly with a topic related to your health and your ongoing concerns about weight, be it your own weight or that of your partner, a child or a close relative or friend.
Your chief host on the Motivation Assist Podcasts will, in the main, be our clinics director and co-founding partner, Aisling Connolly. With more than 24 years' experience in the weight loss arena, Aisling brings a wealth of unrivalled knowledge and experience.
So, if you are fed up of yo-yo dieting and not being able to keep the weight off, listen in to our Motivation Assist Podcasts.
What Is A Weight Loss Plateau And How To Deal With Blocks
This podcast will address what we call a weight loss plateau, the reasons behind it and some of the tools we have that will help you to deal with it and successfully move on.
What is a weight loss plateau?
A weight loss plateau is where you are losing weight and then it stops for some unknowable cause / reason. According to the Oxford Englsih disctionary, to plateau (out) is to ‘stay at a steady level after a period of growth or progress.’ In this instance your progresss would be the week-in, week-out steady weight loss until you plateau.
Plateaus are a normal part of the weight loss process. When we look at the weight loss graph of clients it is generally not linear, it will be in step-wise fashion – lose weight-plataeu-lose weight-plateau. This is normal but for some people this plateau can be naturally frustrating where, despite you best efforts, there is not weight loss in that week.
What’s going on?
* First of all, do not panic. Have faith that this plateau will pass and that you will continue to lose weight. Because it will pass.
* Switch things up. Open your Motivation Food guide and look through the rich array of foods that you can add to your weight loss regime. Try new vegetables. Check out the Motivation website or the mobile app for new recipes. Change is key. Try new protein sources. You may be getting most of your protein from meat and chicken. Try fish or plant-based proteins. We do know that when pope change their food that it tends to kickstart the metabolism as well.
* Shake up your routine in terms of exercise. It is not a requirement to exercise to lose weight but if you do it will considerably improve your weight loss results.
* Are you keeping track of things by using your Food Diary? If you are not keeping track of your intake then calories can easily creep back up, thus undermining your weight loss efforts. We can’t stress how important it is to maintain your Food Diary. Those that do are 50% more likely to lose weight and to maintain that weight loss.
* Complacency is a common occurrence – ‘I know everything and I’m doing ok’. Take the opportunity to go back to the clinic, weigh in, reinvigorate your enthusiasm with the help of your weight loss advisor.
* Check your fibre intake! Variety is important so look to broaden the range of vegetables that you eat.
* Cut back on salt. We advocate an unprocessed diet but we acknowledge that due to time constraints, people may have to elect for processed food on occasions. If so, pay particular attention here as salt-rich foods can lead to water retention which can act as a foil to your weight loss efforts.
* Are you drinking enough water? A bad day for a client might be one glass or water or none at all. Overlook water intake and it will have a detrimental effect on your weight loss efforts. Dehydration causes fatigue and you won’t be as motivated to exercise and in addition, and we don’t know why, but when you are hydrated, your metabolism fires at a higher calorie burn rate.
* Are you overwhelmed or stressed? This can happen during a plateau and the negative voice can creep back in. You can spend a few days becoming aware of your negative thoughts or perfectionist ways of thinking.
* Try and note them in your daily diary and you might be surprised how often they are coming up. Your audio programming files are important here. Reconnect asap with your weight loss advisor and they will help you address this issue.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon altogether, don’t set yourself excessive or unrealistic goals.
Don’t say you are going to hit the gym five days a week.
Start small and build on that. Commit to small changes and celebrate each one along the way. All these successes add up.
Slip And Learn: How To Deal With Perfectionism And Guilt
This podcast title Slip And Learn: How To Deal With Perfectionism And Guilt is probably one of the more important podcasts we’ve recorded.
The first and probably most import thing to note – everyone has them, slips that is. Let’s get that out of the way – you’re not on your own.
We learn from our mistakes and it is inherent in the human condition that we don’t always get things right, be it at the beginning, middle or close to the end of any programme (weight loss, stop smoking, etc).
It is how we deal with these slips that is crucial to our long-term success (and happiness).
At Motivation, from day one with new clients, we get them so sign a commitment form and we let them know there will be slips along the journey – you are only human. We show them how to think about slips differently as most clients will have tried and failed any number of conventional weight loss programmes due to quitting after a slip or series of slips.
Thinking about slips or failure differently empowers our clients to be able to slip, to learn and to move on without missing a step. No pangs of guilt of feelings of failure.
As Maebh points out, when somebody relapses, it’s not if but when and it’s either going to go one of two ways:
* If they have been listening to their weight loss advisor and if they have been using their Motivation tools, they will react quite well to the slip. Most importantly, they will recognise and see it as part of the process and they will just carry on with their journey and get back on track. Learning to deal with perfectionism and guilt is a core aspect of the programme.
* The other option is those people who beat themselves up. They too are perfectionist but unfortunately haven’t used the tools and worked on the issues. Critical to this point is Maebh’s observation that perfectionism is a trait that can be worked on; people do change and you can work on this side of yourself.
The perfectionist’s outlook is that if they are not doing it perfectly well all of the time then they shouldn’t do it at all.
The reality is we all relapse or slip.
The reality is that as weight loss advisors we know that when clients stick to the programme 70/80% of the time they will be successful.
You will deviate and you will relapse and it’s important that when this happens you act with compassion towards yourself.
How do you know if you are a perfectionist of if you suffer from feelings of guilt?
For Maebh, her perfectionism and feelings of guilt were both identified and confirmed when she completed the Mental Weight Questionnaire.
Maebh adopted the mantra that it’s ok to make mistakes but as she points out, it took a while to trickle down from the head to the heart.
Now, Maebh is able to park a mistake (be in parenting, eating, whatever) and get on with it.
This podcast runs to just over 18 minutes and it’s an invaluable tool in helping you to learn about slips and relapses but most importantly, how to deal with perfectionism and guilt.
How Best To Approach Setting Weight Loss Goals In 2020
This podcast covers how best to approach setting weight loss goals in 2020 and it’s also worth noting how it covers the challenges new year goals bring.
Key to getting the most from this podcast is taking on board Maebh’s assertion that change is a skill that has to be learnt and practised. It takes time and as Maebh points out this is not what the general public want to hear. They want change and they want it now – why not as that’s what all the quick fix and fad diets claim.
The genuine reality is that, and maturity most definitely tells you this, is that is takes time and you can’t rush these things.
It’s important to point out that losing weight is a positive change that you are making and it’s important to try and enjoy the journey rather than seeing it as an endurance test. If you pigeon hole it as an endurance test you may well be setting yourself up for failure. You frame of mind is critical to success.
Be careful of guilt and perfectionism. If for some reason you slip up don’t throw the towel in. Slips are common and happen to most people. It’s how you deal with the slip that is important. They key is to see the slip for what it is and move on. We will help you with that process.
As both Aisling and Maebh point out, your ambition or goal to lose weight is best approached by breaking it down into a series of small steps.
What’s important to recognise is that when you start out on your weight loss journey, we will be there for you, supporting you on every step.
While the end goal will be ever present, we work with you to focus and celebrate the many minor achievements along the way. We will help you to feel better both physically and mentally.
Another important consideration for people when looking to a new year goal is to think about how they want to feel rather than the goal itself.
If you were able to achieve that weight loss how would that make you feel and how would that transfer into your daily life:
* Better health
* More energy
* Less stress
* Feeling really proud
All these things are far more effective that focussing on the end weight loss goal as such.
Underlying this is our approach to changing the habits and behaviours that are causing you to overeat in the first place.
By working on those habits and behaviours you will come to notice significant changes in your mental wellbeing with the physical weight loss as a very happy companion.
Setting weight loss goals in 2020 need not be so daunting or off-putting. Previous years and previous failures can be consigned to the past by signing up to a Motivation Weight Management programme.
Enjoy the podcast.
The Truth About Sugar Podcast
After years of fat being health enemy number one, we now know that sugar is the main cause of obesity and the overweight epidemic. And it’ a highly addictive substance that the body has very little use for it. The World Health Organisation has lowered its recommendations for daily intake for both adults and children.
Some key takeaway from The Truth About Sugar Podcast:
One. We don’t need sugar. There is no nutritional value in sugar. It provides empty calories and we already get sufficient calories from our food.
Two. Reactive Hypoglycaemia. A lot of Motivation clients, when they start, will say they have a problem with sugar. They don’t realise that physically what they are doing is taking a drug every day and by consuming sugar they are feeding their addiction.
What happens is their blood sugar soars through the roof. They feel a bit better which is then followed by a crash and they don’t realise they when they are experiencing a low that it’s their body craving sugar.
Three. Many products in our supermarkets are pumped fill of sugar. We now know that this is a significant contributor to obesity but on top of that, heart disease as well where the arteries are hardened.
The average Irish person downs about 100 grams of sugar per day. This equates to 25 teaspoons of sugar and the WHO says, at most, we should only be consuming 6 teaspoons per day.
For a child, two Weetabix biscuits contains about half of one teaspoon of sugar but a bowl of Frosties contains about 9 teaspoons, already above the recommended daily intake.
There are ten teaspoons of sugar in a tin of coke.
There are thirteen spoons of sugar in a large tin of Red Bull.
All this excess sugar is a significant contributor to heart problems, issues with immune systems and it accelerates ageing.
Scientific research and evidence support the claim that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Sugar hijacks that part of our brain that deals with dopamine and reward. So, basically, what happens is our brain gets a lovely little pleasure kick after the sugar and it feels good (like cocaine). You get that kick and the body gets used to that amount of sugar and the brain craves more of the same drug to get the same effect.
We hold our client’s hand as they come off sugar and we’ve lots of helpful tips:
One. Sugar is sugar so don’t replace it with other forms such as honey, for example. Have replacements that we know are very low in sugar such as our own Motivation protein bars.
Two. Anything that has 5g or less per 100g of sugar of product on the labels is a low sugar product item.
Three. Alcohol. If you are going to go sugar free you need to park alcohol for a while. It would be a disaster and will lock you into your sugar addiction.
Four. Exercise. It’s one of the best things to do when you are coming off sugar. Even a little bit on a regular basis.
Five. Forget processed foods in jars or tins. They are very high in sugar. Use natural products where possible.
Six. Eat often so you don’t get the blood sugar dips.
Please note, it’s only a matter of a couple of days and you’ll feel so much better.
Our advice is to take step back today and make a conscious decision to tackle your sugar habit. It will be one of the best short-term and long-term health decisions you will make.
Sinead’s Weight Loss Story and The Importance of Maintentance
This is Sinead’s weight loss story and how important it is to stay in touch with your clinic so as to help maintain your target weight.
Sinead started with Motivation and weighed 10st 10lbs. She comfortably hit her target of 9st 6lbs and then we didn’t see Sinead for a while. Summertime came and Sinead disappeared.
As Sinead says, “I thought I’d manage ok but one of my triggers (for overeating) is lack of routine and in particular, having the kids off school.”
Sinead found it difficult to set aside the time necessary to look after her weight maintenance or self-care as she calls it.
When Sinead returned after the summer her weight had crept back up to 10st 3 lbs and more importantly, her Mental Weight read 14st 10lbs.
For Sinead, the Mental Weight was crucial in helping her to pinpoint the root causes of her weight issues. Her key triggers are guilt and perfectionism that she admits she continually has to work on and as she says, “if I don’t carve out that self-care, I find that it just creeps back in so easily.”
Over the summer break Sinead let the old habits creep back in and chief among them was reward eating.
It was only when Sinead returned after the summer that she realised that she had been focusing more on the scales rather than “what I’m thinking and why I’m doing it.”
Sinead says she wouldn’t have figured that out without coming back and connecting with the professional help here at the clinic.
Sinead had lost her way completely with hypoglycaemia. As she remarks, hypoglycaemia is a very effective way of addressing the issues raised by the Mental Weight report. Namely, how’s she’s feeling and the choices and behaviours that she can and will make when she has hypoglycaemia under control.
What’s interesting listening to Sinead is how much she underestimated the negative impact of not managing hypoglycaemia. Once she got that under control lots of positive things started to fall into place.
Sinead was absent for just over a month and as Aisling points out, it’s illustrative of the damage you can do to your weight loss efforts in such a short amount of time. Aisling quite rightly points out that it is critical not to let guilt prevent you from picking up where you left off. Obviously, the sooner you get back on track the better but even if it’s been some time, it’s never too late.
Sinead’s parting words of advice: keep in touch because your clinic team will provide the support to help you though this journey. And it is a journey.
As we always say to clients, weight loss is a journey because once you reach your target weight then it’s all about maintenance. Our maintenance programme, that Sinead will attest to, provides the regular maintenance check-ups that are key to helping her stay on track.
You can listen to Sinead’s weight loss story below.
Dangers of Intermittent Fasting and The High Fat Keto Diet
In this podcast, the ‘Dangers of Intermittent Fasting and The High Fat Keto Diet‘, Aisling and Maebh talk about intermittent fasting and the high fat keto diet and in particular, why they are not recommended for anyone looking to lose weight. The results are only short term and the overall effects are negative.
Maebh starts by pointing out that the attraction of these extreme diets is that they appeal to the quick-fix desire that exists in most people: I want to lose weight and I want to lose it now.
Maebh adds that here at Motivation we do not prescribe or follow any quick-fix solutions because they do not work. This isn’t just a Motivation point of view, our viewpoint in the shortcoming of these quick fix / extreme diets is proven from research from across the world; research that clearly demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these diets in maintaining weight loss in the long-term.
With regard to intermittent fasting, our bodies are not designed to fast. We are not designed to go long stretches of the day without eating or taking nourishment.
A great way of visualising this is to think of our metabolism as a fire that must never go out. Here at Motivation we believe in continually stoking that fire to keep it burning.
On top of this there is the hunger that you must endure. This is counterintuitive to how our bodies work. We need energy to function, to carry our commitments at work, at home or wherever. How can you be expected to be functioning properly if you are denying your body the fuel it requires to maintain its core functions.
There is any number of different intermittent fasting regimes. Some skip breakfast, some skip lunch, some skip dinner, some skip all meals for a day or two. The Snickers ad hits the nail on the head but for all the wrong reasons. If you do not feed the body you will suffer from hypoglycaemia and you will, as sure as night follows day, crave sugary foods – cue Joan Colins.
Protein is like petrol or the fuel on the fire. Deny your body the core and primary fuel and the fire will fade and lack the heat to keep you going.
Food is energy.
Food is fuel.
This is an undeniable fact and yet there are proponents of intermittent fasting that promote and advocate for these extreme, quick-fix and ultimately ineffective regimes.
High Fat Keto Diet
At Motivation we recommend a ketogenic diet but is must be stressed that our ketogenic diet is not to be confused with the high fat keto diet, a diet we do not approve of. The high fat keto diet is reliant on really high saturated fat-rich foods.
What’s alarming is that so many people will stick to this extreme diet without first consulting with a healthcare professional.
The high fat keto diet was made popular by professional cyclists that follow this regime not to lose weight but to maintain their body weight and build energy reserves that they can draw upon to deal with the excruciating pain and physical demands of races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia or any of the one-day gruelling criterion races during their racing year.
The high fat keto diet is another extreme and highly restrictive diet and we do not recommend it.
Maebh puts it succinctly when she says, “the high fat keto diet is a disordered way of eating.”
With close on 25 years in business, the Motivation ketogenic plan is scientifically proven to be healthy, sustainable and highly effective for weight loss in the long-term.
List to the ‘Dangers of Intermittent Fasting and The High Fat Keto Diet’ 13-minute podcast below...