Weight

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Video 3: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays

In this video series I’m talking about ways to keep your willpower up during the holidays. In the video yesterday I shared three things you can do if you find yourself to be uncomfortable at a social gathering and therefore obsessively thinking about food and alcohol. In this video I talk about how our desire to fit in with others can overshadow our healthy eating goals.

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Laura B. FolkesVideo 3: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays
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Video 2: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays

In this video series I’m talking about ways to keep your willpower up during the holidays. In the video yesterday I discussed one reason we focus on the food and drinks at a party is because we are avoiding feeling uncomfortable. By having the awareness of what we’re avoiding, it can help so you can determine what you need in the situation. In this video I provide some suggestions of things you can do if you find yourself at an event and being consumed by thinking about food.

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Laura B. FolkesVideo 2: How to Keep Willpower Up During the Holidays
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Interview: Is “Fat” a feeling?

When I started my journey to become a Health Coach I decided to start working with my own Health Coach, Ali Shapiro. Even though I had lost 60-pounds and was maintaining my weight, my thoughts were consumed by food and constantly thinking about when I was going to eat next. It scared me to think that I could possibly get hungry and be ill prepared without any food on hand. I thought there had to be a better way other than the exhausting mental gymnastics. I had done one of the leading weight loss programs for years with success in getting down to my goal weight. However I was missing one piece of the puzzle.

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Laura B. FolkesInterview: Is “Fat” a feeling?
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Clean Living: A guide to Eating Clean

When it comes to clean living, one aspect to consider is clean eating. It seems like this is a topic around food and diet that has become more prominent in the news and media, which is exciting for someone like me who is a Certified Holistic Health Coach.

It is definitely becoming more mainstream as restaurants such as Panera have cleaned up their menus to only include “clean” foods and ingredients. In case this concept is new to you, here’s the definition of clean eating: “At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible.”

Based on this definition, eating clean is not a diet but is more of a way of life. It’s going back to simpler times when there weren’t as many packaged foods available and people relied on fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, good fats and whole, unprocessed grains as their food sources. I realize that eating a perfectly clean diet now a days can prove to be challenging, so here are a few tips and small steps you can take to start eating clean:

  1. Strive to eat clean 80% of the time. While this is ultimately where you’d like to get to, if you’re currently eating clean 20% of the time, aim for 40% and build on it slowly until you’re able to get to 80%. Making small, incremental changes can be helpful so it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch. Ultimately you want any changes you make to be sustainable.
  2. You can still buy packaged foods; you just want to be sure to read the label. Ideally you should be able to pronounce and identify every ingredient and there should only be a handful of ingredients listed. If the label looks like a long paragraph you may want to skip that food and look for an option with fewer ingredients.
  3. It’s important that you don’t feel deprived. Many diets are built around deprivation, which is why 95% of fad diets fail and most people will regain the weight they lost in 1-5 years1. One way to ensure you don’t feel deprived is to find clean recipes of some of your favorite foods. Here is a list of some great recipe options from Greatist.com.

Some of the benefits of eating a clean diet could include a more balanced energy level, maintaining a healthy weight, building up your immune system and improved sleep to name a few.

As with everything, you don’t need to strive for perfection when it comes to eating clean. Making small improvements and taking one step at a time will lead to results.

About Laura:

Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.

Receive a free “Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Healthy on the Go” with tips and snack ideas you can enjoy anytime and anywhere at www.laurabfolkes.com. Laura can be contacted at laura@laurabfolkes.com.

 

 

Source: 1Statistics on Weight Discrimination: A Waste of Talent, The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, Retrieved July 18, 2011, from (http://www.cswd.org/index.html)

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Laura B. FolkesClean Living: A guide to Eating Clean
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Interview: An Insight Into One Client’s Journey

I recently sat down with one client and interviewed her to share more about her experience of working with a Health Coach for the first time. It can be hard to make changes when it comes to working toward your health and weight goals so this is a candid insight into Lisa’s journey. Please leave a comment below if you can relate with any part of Lisa’s story.

Laura: Was there anything that led you to decide to make changes to your diet?

Lisa: I had been experiencing a lot of stress and felt like my life was spiraling out of control. In January 2016 I woke up one morning feeling my heart racing and thought I was having a heart attack. I went to work that day but only made it through part of the day when I decided to go to urgent care. I was diagnosed with having a panic attack. I knew at that time that something needed to change.

Laura: Why did you decide to start working with a Health Coach?

Lisa: After the panic attack episode I wasn’t sure what do next. I had heard about Health Coaching but was skeptical on if that was the right approach for me. I scheduled a session with Laura and after our conservation I realized she would be able to help guide me to make lifestyle changes to control my stress.

Laura: What has been most beneficial about working with a Health Coach?

Lisa: I have changed to eating a more natural and clean diet while reducing refined sugars and processed foods.  As a result my stress level has decreased and my sugar cravings have reduced significantly. I have also lost 25 pounds so far and have noticed that I am sleeping better. I used to take naps on weekends during the day but I find that I no longer need them because I have so much more energy during the day now.

Laura: What has been the biggest challenge/obstacle?

Lisa: The biggest challenge for me was realizing that a change needed to be made and how to take that first step. I had a fear of the one-on-one interaction and was concerned that I would be judged or criticized. However, after my first session I realized that was not the approach you take and was immediately put to ease.

Laura: Do you have any advice for others who are considering making some habit changes?

Lisa: My advice would be to be gentle on yourself. There are days when I may not be perfect but I know that my goal is lifelong health and a detour every now and then is not the end of the world. I still enjoy eating out but make better choices to ensure I don’t feel deprived. If I feel like I have a set back we talk it through and I leave the conversation feeling more positive. I’m still learning how to be gentle with myself but have made a lot of progress thanks to you!

About Laura B. Folkes:

Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.

To learn more visit www.laurabfolkes.com or contact Laura at laura@laurabfolkes.com.

 

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Laura B. FolkesInterview: An Insight Into One Client’s Journey
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Fitness Trackers & Weight Loss

Fitness trackers have become popular over the past few years and as a Health Coach, many people ask for my thoughts on them. I personally wear one but I often tell people that while they are a good way to track your activity level each day, I would not use it as a weight loss tool. Part of the reason is because some fitness trackers track how many calories you burn, including the amount burned from breathing. Since we all need to breathe, it seems odd that is included in the equation.

Our bodies are complicated machines and calories in/calories out simplifies how the body works. There are many factors that determine how many calories you burn during a workout including the type of exercise you do, the intensity, length of time and the foods you eat. Your body will burn off a piece of chocolate at different rates than a piece of spinach depending on the specific workout. Therefore it isn’t accurate to solely look at how many calories you consume and the amount you burn off.

I recently read this article on today.com about a study that was conducted on the correlation of fitness trackers and weight loss. The study found that people using fitness trackers lost less weight than those that did not wear one. One of the reasons they found is because, as the article states, “Activity trackers … may give some people a false sense of how active they are. ‘Look how active I was today I can eat this cupcake.’” Dr. Adrienne Youdim, at the Center for Weight Loss at Nutrition at the Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills also said, “There is this psychological shift when patients see calorie counts or the amount of physical activity; they allow themselves to eat more because they have done some sort of physical activity.”

There are many health benefits to staying active so we shouldn’t give that up. Instead, we should reframe the purpose and use of the activity tracker.

About Laura:

Laura B. Folkes is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and is a Certified Holistic Health Coach. She supports busy adults to take back control of their eating, successfully navigate life with food intolerances, reduce cravings and/or make sustainable changes without deprivation. After successfully losing 60 pounds and working through her own emotional relationship with food, Laura recognizes there are many factors keeping individuals from sticking to what they know works but it’s her mission to help others overcome these factors to become healthier and happier.

Laura can be contacted at laura@laurabfolkes.com

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Laura B. FolkesFitness Trackers & Weight Loss
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An insight into my own weight journey

 

I struggled with my weight starting around the age of 12. I tried a countless number of diets and became burnt out from constantly working at losing weight. I was exhausted and not only had days where I felt fat, but months. I thought I was big boned and was meant to be overweight until I finally lost the last of 60 pounds in 2008. When I hit my goal, I thought I was home free and would never go back to where I had started. At that time, the thing that was keeping me at my goal weight was fear. Fear of putting it all back on. Fear of failure. While I was successful with losing the weight, the battle didn’t end. I would argue that keeping the weight off is just as hard, if not harder than losing the weight because I knew what I needed to do but sometimes sticking to it just felt hard. I’m not telling you this to discourage you, but more to share my experience.

My success with weight loss is what inspired me to want to help others through their journey but it doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I strive to eat as clean and natural as possible but I do enjoy an occasional burger and fries and who doesn’t love pizza? I still have my ups and downs and consider myself a work in progress. While I have uncovered quite a few emotional ties to food, I’m still working through the stories that keep me stuck. And I do still get stuck. The good news is that I’m able to realize that I’m stuck much faster than in the past and I have tools and support to help me find clarity.

I wanted to open up to you to share my experience and the challenges I have encountered to show that you’re not alone if you experience something similar. I would love to hear more of your story in the comments below, or you can email me at laura@laurabfolkes.com.

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Laura B. FolkesAn insight into my own weight journey