Self Care Habits for Weight Loss

July 1, 2019

Do you have habits that are holding you back from your health and weight loss goals? Listen in as we discuss which eating and lifestyle habits might be holding you back, plus some new habits that can move you forward. We will also talk about some of the biochemical reasons you might be making unhealthy choices since 40% of what we do every day is based on habits and not on actual decisions we make.

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MELANIE: Well, welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley. As a dietician, I work with clients who have cancer, IBS, arthritis, fibromyalgia, MS, diabetes, and maybe also want to lose weight; which brings me to the topic of our discussion today. We'll be discussing eating and lifestyle habits you may currently have that may be holding you back from your health and your weight loss goals. And Teresa Wagner, who is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, is in studio with me this morning. Teresa, how many years have you been helping clients at Nutritional Weight and Wellness?

TERESA: Well, Good Morning, Mel. I'm excited to be here with you this morning.

MELANIE: Yeah, it's fun to see each other.

TERESA: Yeah! So to answer your question, I've been teaching and counseling clients at Nutritional Weight and Wellness for the past four years, so time goes by pretty quickly. It doesn't it seem like it could be that long already. Many of my clients are surprised at our teaching and counseling style. Quite often a new client will come in thinking I’m just going to tell them, you know, “Start to count calories” or “Track those fat grams.” “Start drinking diet soda.” But that's really the furthest thing from what we teach. We help our clients look at their current habits and their behaviors into regards to what they're eating and drinking. And we also have them look at how well that they are sleeping and help them if they're not able to sleep well, to sleep better.

MELANIE: Everybody needs that.


MELANIE: I always say to my clients, “You may know that eating a balance of real foods is best for you, but if you are constantly driving through the fast food lane or ordering pizza to be delivered, you are stuck in old, unhealthy eating habits.” So let's try and find out why you're eating this way so that you can truly understand the negative side effects of this habit. We can help you adopt better eating and lifestyle habits. And we call these self-care habits for health and weight loss.

TERESA: Yes. And today we want to go over some of the habits that might be holding you back from losing weight and then maybe suggest some new habits to help propel you forward so that we can reach those goals.

MELANIE: Absolutely. That's our goal. We will even discuss how and why you got into some of these unhealthy habits in the first place. I think that's important. For instance, do you know the biochemical reason that you got into ordering that coffee mocha and the cookie at 3:00 PM every afternoon? Some of you have given up the cookie, but are you still picking up that coffee mocha; that caramel macchiato? What is your body saying to you?

TERESA: Well, Mel, have you heard or read some of the research that says 40% of what we do every day is based on habits, and not on actual decisions that we make? Yeah, so 40% of what we do is based on our habits. One great example of this is we brush our teeth every day. At bedtime it's just automatic. You wash your face; brush your teeth; just as you would after breakfast in the morning. We don't think about it. We just do it.

MELANIE: Ingrained, you know, from either our family or our own rhythms.

TERESA: Right? I say to my kids, have you washed and brushed?

MELANIE: So listeners, as you think about this, do you have habits that are holding you back? Here's another question for you. Are you still skipping breakfast? Research tells us that people who skip breakfast have a higher risk of becoming obese, which is contrary to what people think back in the “calorie-in, calorie-out” days, right? Many people are actually skipping breakfast to save on those calories. Unfortunately, they are still living with the old misconception that calories count. Boy, I used to teach that, so I feel a little guilty in some of those habits may have. But unfortunately when you're still living in that misconception, you miss the reality. That misconception is not supported by research findings.

TERESA: I, yes, I am familiar with the “I'll save my calories for later strategy.” And if you think about it, if that's you, how well does that strategy work for you? If you develop the good habit of eating some protein, some beneficial fat; some vegetable carbohydrates… Your metabolism and your energy will dramatically increase. I'm pretty sure a number of you tuned into the show a few weeks ago when Dar and Marie interviewed Dr. Bobinet. She is the author of Well Designed Life. Dr Bobinet: yes. Dr Bobinet encourages people to actually design their nutrition to support a healthy lifestyle. She also said “At first you may not be perfect, but keep trying until you find the solution that works for you.”

MELANIE: The solution.

TERESA: Yeah. It sounds a lot like what we do and what we say to people. You know, design that nutrition plan. And then, you don't have to be perfect for it to be successful.

MELANIE: And we're always looking with our clients, what is the solution, or as I call it, “the switch” that works for that particular client? And it really is about substituting one habit with another habit instead of just trying to stop. The solution for some of us could be eating eggs and vegetables sautéed in butter for breakfast. If you don't have time to make eggs, and I hear that a lot, or you don't happen to like eggs or you're allergic, then maybe a protein shake is the answer for you. A number of my clients have a bowl of chili for breakfast, while others have full-fat cottage cheese, blueberries and sliced almonds. It's funny; clients will look at you and say, “I can do that?” I'm like, yeah, have some chili for breakfast. One of my favorites is leftover steak bites. This is grilling season. If I've got leftover steak or a pork chop, I sauté them in cubes with some sweet potato, and then some sweet peppers and mushrooms. And that's a wonderful breakfast.

TERESA: Yeah, it sounds good. It's also, you know, thinking outside of the box. I think we have this idea that breakfast has to be a certain thing, you know. And so, I love that idea. When you are designing your plan for breakfast, what do you think it'll be? You know, I have a client who loves organic liver sausage. Mm.

MELANIE: Some people just love it.

TERESA: Yes. Yes.

MELANIE: I admire them.

TERESA: I do too because it is such a nutrient dense food. So in any case, this client eats liver sausage and then she has apple slices and she dips those apple slices in almond butter for breakfast. And it just works for her. You know, that might not work for everybody. And so if you think that idea doesn't necessarily sound good for you, it's just another example. Like Mel was saying, it's just thinking outside of that breakfast box that we're sometimes trapped within. What that client said to me is she said, “Since you gave me permission to eat healthy fats, I love it. I'm not hungry and I have more energy, and I've lost weight. My friends just can't believe it.” And that's common, right? We hear that all the time because we are, people are surprised that you can actually eat and lose weight.

MELANIE: And not be hungry.

TERESA: And not be hungry because we are so conditioned to think that, you know, in order to lose weight, we have to make these big sacrifices and we have to feel hungry in order for that weight loss to happen.

MELANIE: We don't.

TERESA: We don't.

MELANIE: So what is the habit or habits you may need to change, listeners? Take a minute to reflect on that. Do you, do you take a trip to the vending machine on your break? Or do you reach into your desk drawer and think about what's in there after lunch: To nimble on pretzels? Or do you grab a candy bar and a coke at the convenience store? I also want to want to say, do you have that granola bar? And you've convinced yourself that, that people eat those granola bars in the woods: They must be healthy, right?

TERESA: They must be because they have, you know, these athletes or these pictures of rock climbers on the packages, right?

MELANIE: They must be healthy. So do these things happen to you in the middle of the afternoon? Normally you wouldn't even think about grabbing a coke or a candy bar or swinging through and getting that Cafe Mocha. But, why have you lost control? The truth is low blood sugar leads to a lack of focus, poor decision-making, fatigue and cravings. This is chemistry. This is not their character. So clients tell us every day that their jobs are so demanding that they have to work 12 hours and rarely have time to eat or drink anything. I hear this from my teachers. So they have major blood sugar crashes causing them to experience out of control eating when they finally get to get a chance to eat. You know, Teresa, I tell my clients, just because you're starving doesn't mean your stomach is bigger than it was when you weren't starving. It's the same size, so just have a balanced meal before you dive into a huge portion of whatever you're grabbing.

TERESA: Which I think is so interesting because I have never thought about it in that way where… because I've made that mistake of course of when I'm really hungry, you know I eat more. But I've got to keep that in mind now that my stomach is the same size, regardless.

MELANIE: So Teresa, I think it's time for our first break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and we're discussing habits that will either help you achieve your health and your weight loss; those goals or those habits that will hold you back from achieving those goals. And we will be right back.


TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Melanie and I want to share some interesting research about processed foods. Researchers are finding that processed foods are a much bigger health problem than we have thought in the past. Here are some results from three interesting studies: One paper was published in the BMJ, which was previously the British Medical Journal, but it was recently shortened to the name BMJ. One paper reported research that found that the more ultra-processed foods or factory foods a person ate, the more likely they were to get sick and die. Another study found that those who ate ultra processed foods were more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. And the final study found that people who ate more processed foods just had a higher risk of death from all causes. Researchers from the National Institute of Health found people who ate a diet of ultra-processed foods consumed about 500 calories more per day than those people who ate whole foods.

MELANIE: That is so interesting. People don't really think about, you know, when you're rushing especially, but scientists are now thinking that processed foods with all of the additives (I call them Franken foods), sugar and the lack of fiber disturbs the gut micro biome. This is the trillions of different bacteria that line our intestinal track. They’re our happy bugs. This disturbance in turn increases the risk of chronic disease and overeating.

TERESA: And for many Americans, half of the calories that they are eating in their daily diet come from these processed factory foods, those “Franken foods” that you like to call them.

MELANIE: We all know what those processed foods look, what they look like, don't we?

TERESA: Yes, we do.

MELANIE: They are chicken nuggets from fast food. We do not see chicken nuggets running around in the farmer's field, right?

TERESA: No, we don't.

MELANIE: The fast food from restaurants: chips, soda, pizza, cereal; the list goes on and on. So you will fill in the blanks, whatever you eat. If it comes from a package, you know it's probably processed. During each break we will share more information about the harmful effects of processed foods. So be sure and stay tuned.

TERESA: Yes. Well before we went to break, we were talking about high blood sugar and how that affects our body. And we know that high blood sugar is stressful on the brain. Likewise, low blood sugar is also stressful for the brain. Considering it's your habits that are often holding you back, get started by changing those simple biochemical reasons, such as that low blood sugar or perhaps it's that lack of good sleep or lack of the quantity of sleep that we need to break those habits. Maybe you're starting to realize that your out of control cravings for sugar probably started, you know, many years ago after you frequently skipped meals. Maybe you were trying one of those very low-calorie diets and you were experiencing those low blood sugars consistently. You know, you are not a weak-willed person. You just have low blood sugar.

MELANIE: So true.

TERESA: I often hear from clients, “I'm successful in every other aspect of my life. Why can't I get this food piece right?” And I tell them, you know, it is not a personal defect of yours. It's blood sugar. Let's get it balanced. And you will be amazed at your new found strength that you have because it's not an issue of willpower. It's biochemistry.

MELANIE: Absolutely. It's not their character. It is biochemistry. So I bet some of you listeners are wondering, what do you do if you have a job that doesn't allow for breaks? I'm hearing that more and more.


MELANIE: Here's an idea that my clients who are unable to take breaks at work put into practice: Cut a protein bar into bite-sized pieces such as a Peanut Butter and Berries RX Bar. I love that brand. Or the UCAN Cinnamon Swirl bar is a favorite, and put the pieces in a snack bag. You can also cut an EPIC meat bar into pieces and put them into a bag. Then you can add a few almonds or pecans and you can slip those into your pocket so you can nibble on them throughout the day. May not be ideal, but some of my clients even take a bathroom break and nibble during their bathroom breaks. But it's better than letting your blood sugar crash and feeling that out of control terrible feeling. I think outside of the box and do, do what my clients need. I mean, we're always problem solving, but clients and listeners, ‘What do you have to do to stay balanced?’ is what you need to ask yourself to feel good.

TERESA: Right? And I think that that makes us better employees, too, when we have adequate fuel in our body in order to fuel our brain so we can think well and be effective at our jobs. You know, some of my clients make up three protein shakes at a time. When they are able to, like you had said, they kind of slip out for a quick minute and drink a part of that shake or maybe all of it, just depending on how much time they have. And I think, Mel, I think I heard a story from you. You have kind of a trick that you tell people to do with protein shakes, don't you?

MELANIE: I do. I think no matter how busy the work environment, everybody's allowed to bring their coffee mug; their thermalized coffee mug. So what I tell them is you make a smoothie, get a wide opening in one of those thermalized coffee mugs and put your smoothie in there. And that is your quote unquote coffee.

TERESA: Yeah. And those, those cups are amazing at keeping things cold or hot, you know? So it's really a great option. This is one way that you are not allowing your work schedule to hold you back from your weight loss goals. Now if you fall apart and you order that Caramel Macchiato, which contains 16 teaspoons of sugar, and then also order those, you know, two small cookies with it, that might have another teaspoons of sugar, you have just put 22 teaspoons of sugar into your body.


TERESA: And this is kind of dangerous because as many of you know, cancer cells love sugar. Also, as far as our topic today, sugar turns into fat on our body, and sugar increases inflammation. Eating sugar products, which include processed carbohydrates is a habit that definitely holds you back from weight loss.

MELANIE: Teresa, a good point to make is if someone is a person who says, “I don't crave sugar, I don't have a sweet tooth. I go for salty foods like chips.” I always tell them, “What is that salt on?” It’s usually on chips or pretzels, nacho chips or corn chips. Well, think again because those “carby” processed foods turn into sugar. Do you know how farmers fatten up their cattle? They feed them corn. So that whole popcorn, newsflash: corn chips and popcorn fatten up people. I'm thinking one of my kryptonites is gluten-free crackers. I cannot have gluten free... I'm gluten free, but I don't buy those processed gluten-free foods because when I'm tired and lazy, I can slap some butter on it and think… rationalize in the moment it's balanced. But yeah, I just don't have that in the house. I don't have my kryptonite in house.

TERESA: Yep. I love those justifications, right. If it has butter on it, then it's balanced. I have my carb and my fat.

MELANIE: No matter I ate 32 chips.

TERESA: Yeah, that's right. And you know, we all have those things that our own personal thing that we have to be careful with. You know, for me it's the salted nuts. I really, you know, I could eat, like we're talking about popcorn… I could eat salted almonds like popcorn. So I really have to be careful and measure those out prior to having them. And speaking of popcorn and eating things like popcorn, I wonder how many of you have that popcorn habit? Did you know that the average American eats 54 quarts of popcorn each year?

MELANIE: How many Teresa?

TERESA: 54 quarts.

MELANIE: Holy buckets.

TERESA: Melanie just mentioned that farmers feed corn to fatten up their cattle. They also use corn to fatten up their pigs. So what do you think popcorn is doing to your waistline? Eating popcorn is another one of those reasons that 40% of Americans are now considered obese.

MELANIE: And we used to tout popcorn as the diet food.

TERESA: Oh yeah, absolutely.

MELANIE: So I'm one of the horror stories I can remember about 20, 30 years ago teaching 20 years ago was putting buttery flavored Pam spray on air pop popcorn. And I think about how horrific that is, knowing the research that we know now.

TERESA: I did that in college: The “I Can't Believe It's Not Butter” spray.

MELANIE: What is it?

TERESA: What is it?

MELANIE: So, I'm sure many of you listeners are thinking, “Why is popcorn bad?” There are a number of reasons. One reason is that nearly all corn is genetically modified. Another reason is popcorn is cooked and popped almost always in damaged fats. Even if you are popping in healthy coconut oil, the glycemic index is too high. So I want to dig into the glycemic index here, looking at the glycemic index of popcorn and how it relates to weight loss. So let's start with the question: What is the glycemic index? It is the value assigned to food based on how slowly or quickly carbohydrate foods cause an increase in blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of sugar is a hundred cornflakes. It's 81 and popcorn is 72. Those numbers indicate that sugar, corn flakes and popcorn; quickly increase your blood sugar level. On the other hand, an apple is slowly releases its sugar with glycemic index of 36. If you are a popcorn lover and eating popcorn at the movies, it is probably a habit holding you back from weight loss. So we'll talk more about that when we come back from our second break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you're a person who includes processed foods in your diet frequently, think again, because researchers are finding these foods increase the risk of disease. Processed foods are not created on farms. They are created in factories. They are pumped full of chemicals for flavor and to extend the shelf life as well as additives for color. They're also full of refined, damaged fats. And at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we recommend eating real food such as grass-fed meat, organic eggs, broccoli, red peppers and sweet potatoes, and spinach, just to name some of my favorites. Real foods are full of ample vitamins and nutrients to support your health. The Nutrition for Weight Loss 12-week class series starting in July is a perfect way to learn all about eating real food. We even have simple tasting recipes to share that are all made with real food and we'll be right back.


TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Let's get back to understanding the harmful effects of eating processed foods. Researchers have found a link between diets heavy in processed foods and an increase in inflammation. One measurement that we often ask our clients to ask their doctors for them to have measured is a blood test marker called C-reactive protein or CRP for short.

MELANIE: Good inflammation marker.

TERESA: Yes. And a lot of times they're like, “What's that?” And sometimes you have to have a little convincing with the doctor to say, “Could you just run this number for me?” But a lot of times they're open to running it if you would really like to have it run. So that that inflammation marker, that C-reactive protein, we want you to have that run because people who eat an unhealthy diet of processed foods tend to have higher levels of CRP in their bodies. And sometimes we just don't know how well we're doing with our diet. And so it's a good way of checking in to see if we're doing as well as we thought or perhaps, just a little bit of motivation to have a number to work for. As dieticians and nutritionists, we are always helping our clients switch from processed foods to real foods. So we don't tell them to just cut them out. What we want to do is find that, that alternative that will make them happy. So we want them to switch to those real foods and we often need to help our clients learn how to choose these real foods. Eating real food is a lifestyle for us, the people who work at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, and it's a true passion of ours and we love to share it with you. So, call our office at 651-699-3438 to set up a consultation so we can help you make the life-changing switch from eating processed foods to real foods. Now before break we were talking about the glycemic index. So let's just kind of review what that is. The glycemic index is the value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly carbohydrate foods cause an increase in blood sugar. And that level is, it's on a scale of zero to 100; sugar being 100. And we were talking about how popcorn and corn flakes are very high on that scale. And then something like an apple with fiber is lower on that glycemic index. And so an option that might be better to snack on... So say you are going to the movies; a favorite snack of mine that I like to make and can easily be taken to the movies… Or just have it along when you're out and about is the, it's the crispy nuts recipe. Mel, have you made that recipe before?

MELANIE: It's delicious.

TERESA: It’s so good. It's so easy. My favorite is the pecan version. I just prefer the roasted pecans to some of the other nuts.

MELANIE: I do too: being a southern girl.

TERESA:  Yeah!

MELANIE: The pecan doesn’t get enough press.

TERESA: Yes, it's my favorite. And if you pair it with a few dark chocolate chips, it's such a great snack, and it's so much lower in sugar than say that popcorn at the movie theater would be. Or you know, maybe something that you would grab when you're out and about. So if you would like to find this recipe, it's on our website at Just click on recipes and then go to the crispy nuts recipe. And honestly it is a super simple recipe; very little hands on time.

MELANIE: That's what we want.

TERESA: Mm hm.

MELANIE: Snacking at the movie is a longtime habit, right, for many of us?

TERESA: Yes, absolutely.

MELANIE: You walk in. You smell that popcorn. It's a problem.

TERESA: It is a problem.

MELANIE: So why not take along a healthy snack that will move us forward in our weight loss and overall health? And I'd like to say don't go to the movies hungry.

TERESA: Yeah, that is, you know, that's probably the key.

MELANIE: Have a really good dinner or balanced meal or lunch before you go. But, it's my understanding that most movie theaters make their money from the concessions sold more than on the movie tickets. So a theater size box of Dots contains 40 teaspoons of sugar. Just imagine spooning 40 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth. So you have to take a loan out for some of those snacks, I think.

TERESA: Yes you do. They are not cheap. So then you could also, besides, you know, doing something great for your health, also something great for, you know, your finances.

MELANIE: It is. One of the things that I will bring if I haven't had time to make the crispy nuts is I recommend almonds in a little baggy, equal parts, unsweetened coconut flakes, and then maybe a teaspoon of the mini dark chocolate chips. It tastes like a Mounds candy bar.

TERESA: Oh, I have a feeling there's going to be some people making that: a Mounds candy bar sounds…

MELANIE: And that's in place of the popcorn, not with the popcorn.

TERESA: That’s right. Yes. Well another habit: getting away from the movie theater and the popcorn. Another habit that could be holding you back from your weight loss goal is the happy hour wine habit. So you may be thinking, “Well, what's wrong with drinking a couple of glasses of wine with friends?” Here's one answer: Obesity researcher, Dr. Michael Jensen from the Mayo Clinic reported that alcohol intake is associated with a bigger waistline. It's because the liver burns the alcohol instead of fat.

MELANIE: You know, I was reading some research recently and this research said that if you have an alcoholic beverage, your liver stops burning fat for 24 hours.

TERESA: Oh my goodness. So think, if you have that nightly habit, you know, if you are, you come home, maybe you have a stressful job and you come home from work and you just like to unwind with a glass of wine or a beer or something like that. Every 24 hours you're putting that alcohol into your system, and so your liver is on hold for burning that fat almost all the time.

MELANIE: It's a real; it's a real weight loss blocker. A good question to ask yourself is, “How many times do I drink wine or an alcoholic beverage every week?” Think about that. Do a tally in your head. As research clearly states, you cannot lose weight when you drink alcohol. In fact, most people actually gain weight. Here are some of the other risks that drinking can cost your health. Drinking wine or alcoholic beverages can lead to achy joints and muscles, brain fog, dehydration… Poor sleep is huge. We talk about that. Fatigue and of course, weight gain. Researchers have found that if you drink two glasses of wine three or four times a week, you can easily gain 10 pounds in a year: 10 pounds. In four years, you're up 40 pounds. The wine habit could definitely be a habit holding you back from weight loss. I have really noticed in clinic, Teresa, that wine consumption these past few years, wine consumption has really amped up in our female population. I call it “vitamin W”. They don't think about that as part of the weight loss connection. So what is resulting in weight gain? …Possibly your wine habit.

TERESA: And we also talk about that, you know, as far as not just like the, the aspect of the liver, but what about sleep? You know, when we're, when we're talking to a lot of women, sleep is such an issue for a lot of women. And when we talk about the book, Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker, and he says that alcohol is the most powerful REM sleep blocker that we know of.

MELANIE: Wow. Say that again.

TERESA: So Dr. Walker says that alcohol is the most powerful REM sleep blocker that we know of above narcotics and sleep aids and any of those other things.

MELANIE: Really something to think about.

TERESA: Yes it is. So you know, instead of avoiding all social situations involving alcohol, if you go to a bar or to a restaurant or to a party, there are some non-alcoholic options that you can have. And a lot of them look an awful lot like you're having a cocktail like everyone else or a drink like everyone else. So you can either order, like say, a soda water or a Perrier with a twist of lime; Or maybe like a bloody Mary without the vodka in it; or perhaps just getting an iced tea. It can take awhile to develop that mindset. But it's really important, because, well, for me it's really important because I want to be around to enjoy my children's graduations, their weddings and future grandchildren.

MELANIE: That's important. Sometimes with our clients it might be the habit of pouring something into a glass to relax.


MELANIE: So what about putting a LaCroix in there with some raspberries?


MELANIE: Or a squeeze of lemon or something in your wine glass to switch from one habit to the other habit. And I think you still find it relaxing. Many of my clients still enjoy that. And they find that they're able to replace one habit with another, and suddenly their weight begins to come down, and they're absolutely thrilled. I say give it two weeks and let's just, let's just watch and see what happens. It doesn't have to be a lifelong commitment, but if you see the results, I think it will motivate you. So it's already time for break three. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Teresa and I have so much more information to share. I really wish we had two hours for today's show because we could easily talk about more, more about eating, lifestyle habits for weight reduction. With that extra hour, boy, could we fill it or what?

TERESA: Yes, we sure could.

MELANIE: To learn more about habits for weight loss, maybe it's time for you to join us in our upcoming July Nutrition for Weight Loss class series. Check out the info on our website, or call our office at 651-699-3438. We believe after 12 weeks of learning, you will happily give up processed foods for real food that taste great and can help you lose the weight.


TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. There are many possible reasons why eating processed foods is linked to more diseases. One theory that makes sense to us is that the sugar and processed foods may feed the bad bacteria in the gut, resulting in more inflammation. And what we know too is that that bad bacteria talks to our brain and that we get messages from the bacteria in our intestinal track. And so we want to make sure that we're feeding that bacteria in our gut, the good bacteria: the good things, so that we get those good messages from our brain to our gut and back and forth. The bottom line is eating a lot of processed foods leads to more health problems for many people. On the other hand, eating real whole foods… So things that you could theoretically grow yourself or raise or go out and maybe fish for…

MELANIE: Or from a farmer's field.

TERESA: Yeah, exactly.

MELANIE: You know, Teresa, I tell clients many times, if you can't name the plants you pluck it from or the mother it came from, don't eat it.

TERESA: Oh, that's really good.

MELANIE: And then they'll say, “Well what about pizza? And it's, you know, it's got cheese on it that comes from a cow and it's got a wheat flour crust; and wheat comes from the farmer's field...” And I say, if you have to process it in your head, it's a processed food.

TERESA: Mel, I love all your, your little like, I don't…sayings.

MELANIE: Weirdness, yes.

TERESA: It’s so good. Yes, I love it. So eating those real foods, right? So if you have to process it in your mind, it's probably a processed food. So eating real whole foods supports the health and healing of your body. The risk of having poor health now or in the future maybe one important reason to break your unhealthy habit of eating processed foods. So next week tune in as Kara and Lea discuss the positive and negative sides of stress.

MELANIE: Stress has a connection with weight reduction.

TERESA: Yeah, it sure does. But it'll be interesting to see the positive sides of stress too, because we often just look at the negative sides of those types of situations.

MELANIE: We do. And just to, one of the things when you're talking about real food, I love of an analogy that I use with my clients. I mean, I think I'm so clever here.

TERESA: Well, you are!

MELANIE: This one works. I tell my clients, all right, you're going on vacation this summer. Now let's say you put on the counter a bag of Doritos, a little package of peanut butter crackers, and maybe some McDonald's French fries or any fast food French fries. Now you go on vacation for two weeks. You've left that on the counter. You come home. What do you find? And they'll say, well, nothing. Everything's pretty well not changed. I mean, I think they’re stale.  That’s about it.

TERESA: Yeah, true.

MELANIE: Now, you put on your counter broccoli, some egg salad, and some chicken breast. You go on vacation for two weeks, you come back, what do you find? Well, obviously they say, well, it'll be rotted. And I’ll say, right: rotted, stinky. So here's the connection. If a food decomposes or rots, it means it has life in it.

TERESA: Oh, that's good.

MELANIE: If a food does not decompose or rot, it means it has death in it or it, there's no life to go bad. So a real simple way, it's a very simplistic way of thinking now of food is if it goes bad, generally it's good to eat. If it doesn't go bad, generally it's bad to eat.

TERESA: Yeah. I love that. I love that. Real food spoils.

MELANIE: Real food spoils. We often say walk around the perimeter of your grocery store. That's the real food. And when we eat real food, our metabolism begins to heal and we start making that connection between our bodies. Our liver: that metabolizes fat. Our metabolism heals, and we begin to lose the weight we've struggled with. It's not because our clients are older and just, well, “This is my metabolism. It's slow now”. There's a connection with what we've been eating over the past 10 years that has slowed our metabolism. And that's correctable with the help of a nutritionist or a dietician to sort of walk you through that process.

TERESA: Yeah, and I think that that's one of the things too, that it's that slow process of slowing down our metabolism. So we have to take that into account when we're thinking about losing weight that we really, it's not going to be 30 pounds in 30 days.

MELANIE: It really isn't. Not if it's sustainable.

TERESA: Right? If we're going to heal our body, we need to eat these real foods so that we can rebuild our body from the inside and naturally speed up that metabolism.

MELANIE: So listeners, let's do a check in with yourself. So if you're in a place that you can do a tally on a piece of paper or even raise a finger with the list; if it connects with you, raise a finger. Put a tally on a piece of paper. These little add-ins in your day could be slowing your weight loss by slowing your metabolism. How often a week do you have popcorn? If you have popcorn once a week, put a finger up. How many times do you have glasses of wine? Do you have glasses of wine during the week or every night? Put a finger up.

TERESA: And maybe put a finger up for the number of days a week you do that.

MELANIE: Oh, that's good too. If you're social and you go out and you eat processed foods at a happy hour, those processed foods give you another tally or a finger. What about cleaning your child's plate?

TERESA: Oh, that's a good one.

MELANIE: Yes. We don't want to waste food, but it can work just as well if you put it in a little container in the refrigerator rather than down mom or dad's throat. How about licking the spoon or taking lots of bites if you're making something to take… It's not necessarily something that you would eat. I'm thinking cake batter, cookie dough… You're making a treat to take, but you happen to nibble and lick that spoon. Put a finger up or give yourself a tally. How about a handful of candy at work?

TERESA: Oh, sure.

MELANIE: M&Ms; or getting less than seven hours of sleep. Think about that. So if you have a whole hand up, then it might be time to take some thoughts and about how to change those habits and when you need help with that. That's what we do all day long.

TERESA: Yeah, we help people strategize and I think a lot of times we have, just situations that come up very often that are hindering our weight loss. So coming home from work, just starving after work… So as soon as you get home, you know, you have to make dinner but you're going to go raid the pantry and you know, because you just can't help it. Once again, it goes back to that sort of the biochemistry. You just kind of can't help yourself. And so you might choose healthy things. Like I was talking about almonds, you know, having a cup full of almonds is probably not going to be helpful in your weight loss goal. But having 16 would be okay.

MELANIE: Certainly better than grabbing the chips or the crackers.

TERESA: Yes, absolutely.

MELANIE: So you think about going from good to better, to better to best. So you know you're in a good place when it's real food. However, over-eating those nuts…

TERESA: Yes, right. Over-eating can be overeating and, and just knowing what areas in your life are holding you back, and that's what we help you do. It's well, what can we do so that you don't come home from work, that you are completely famished. Maybe it's we have something that we can stick in the car so that you can have a little snack on your commute home so that when we get home, we're not starving. Our blood sugar’s nice and balanced. Then you can be nice and relaxed and you can make dinner. And to Mel's point about tasting every, you know, everything that you're making, maybe you don't do that as much so that when you actually sit down to have dinner, you're in a place where you're still hungry.


TERESA: You know, rather than being full and then feeling like you have to eat dinner because you made it, even though you snacked so much before.

MELANIE: You know, Teresa, I had a client who actually formulates recipes for living.


MELANIE: So she has to taste.


MELANIE: And so I said, become very, very familiar with the spit cup because you can taste, but that doesn't necessarily mean you consume.


MELANIE: And each client has a different story and each client has a different scenario. And I would say we're never really surprised anymore: certainly not me, after three years. Don't feel that your situation is unique, surprising or shameful. If you struggle, chances are we've heard, even that week, someone who has the same struggles. So I just encourage, we're nonjudgmental, we're here to help. And it's our passion to be very helpful with our clients. And to not make them feel like they're a unique mess. So our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a great day.

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