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Every mom’s journey is unique and, as usual, we don’t know the real story behind the perfect Instagram shot.

Six weeks—that’s the standard number of weeks given for women to refrain from exercising after giving birth. With my first pregnancy I made it to five weeks, but this time I was set on getting to six. I was ordered to cease workouts at 37 weeks of pregnancy, so at four weeks postpartum, I’ve been off the sauce for seven weeks total—which feels like an eternity to a fitness junkie.

 

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By using diet experiments, you will be able to understand what eating certain new foods will do to you based on their macronutrients.

 

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A person needs a little madness every once and awhile, or else they’ll go crazy. I’m paraphrasing words from a character in the novel “Zorba the Greek,” which seem to capture a mindset that many inhabitants of Ikaria, Greece seem to have. They relish the taste of wholesome food, they love to dance and they are […]

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Few things are more satisfying than exploring the great outdoors with your trusty pooch at your side. Personally, both me and my furry friend like it rough when it comes to walks, with the more vegetation and rough terrain, the better. But as the weather begins to warm up, there’s a looming threat on the […]

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As a personal trainer you attract clients of all sizes who are looking to make behavioral and physical changes in the pursuit of health and wellness. And, you’re committed to helping people achieve exactly that, which is why it’s so important to be aware of the warning signs of disordered eating and eating disorders.

Relying on behaviors that occur on the spectrum of disordered eating to control body shape and size not only pulls people out of their lives, but most often stops them from achieving the results they ultimately desire — living a full, healthy and engaging life.

There are a number of ways that you can support both your clients who are struggling with disordered eating, and clients you are getting to know and beginning your work with.

You have a unique opportunity to begin to change the tide in how people see personal training — shifting from a weight- and body-focused approach that often encourages and supports eating disorder behaviors, to a weight-neutral approach that addresses and supports people to achieve a supportive relationship with food and their body, and lasting health.

If your client is struggling with an eating disorder, encourage them to seek support from a team of eating disorder specialists.

Staying within your scope of practice and referring your client out for evidence-based treatment is imperative.

Collaborate With and Trust the Team That Your Client Receives Treatment From

Connecting with, learning from, and collaborating with local eating disorder professionals bridges the gap between disciplines and provides a consistent and cohesive message of support to clients who are struggling with disordered eating.

It is important for you to know that effective treatment of eating disorders is a collaborative approach, often times pulling in strong and healthy support systems. As their trusted coach, you may be a primary support to your client who is beginning treatment. And at times, the most supportive thing that you can do for your client is to trust the recommendations of the treatment team to suspend or shift the focus of your coaching relationship to support goals of recovery.

Understand That Fat Is Not Synonymous With Unhealthy

Our society has a longstanding and deep-seated fear of fat, which drives people to try attempt to lose weight and change their body composition. Most times, this results in weight cycling — fluxing between periods of restriction and overeating. The fear of getting fat, or shame of being fat, fuels eating disorder behaviors in people of all sizes.

What most people don’t know is that engaging in disordered eating and exercise patterns, behaviors that are not sustainable in the long term, actually increases bodily inflammation, hypertension, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia.

Weight cycling is also associated with poorer cardiovascular capacity and increased mortality risk [1]. These are the conditions that nine times out of 10, the health and wellness industry blame on fat, when in fact, the fear of being or becoming fat are the driving forces.

Studies suggest that being five pounds underweight is actually more dangerous to someone’s health than being 75 pounds overweight [2]. And, that people of all sizes who engage in health-supportive eating and movement behaviors have lower mortality rates than people engaging in disordered eating patterns and sedentary lifestyles [3].

In other words, you can in fact be fat and healthy.

Working toward health and sustainable behavior change, instead of weight loss, plays the greatest role in health improvement, regardless of body size. Understanding that the behaviors that coincide with disordered eating — restricting, binging, and inconsistency in movement — are what actually impacts health markers, can help you and your clients shift away from weight-focused goals and fear of fat, to goals that truly support their long-term health.

Shift Your Focus Away From Weight and Body Size to True and Holistic Health

Taking a weight-neutral and holistic approach to helping people live healthier lifestyles has been shown to help people feel better and actually achieve improved health markers.

Shifting the focus from the scale to caring about and for one’s body in the here and now through enjoyable and sustainable movement reduces feelings of shame surrounding body size, reduces pressure to achieve a certain body type, and increases the likelihood of being able to normalize eating and movement patterns.

Clients who are struggling with their relationship to their bodies and food should be encouraged to measure the gains they’re experiencing outside of the gym, such as:

  • Engaging in hobbies and relationships that give them joy.
  • Moving toward self-acceptance.
  • Being kind to their bodies through movement that they truly enjoy and that enhances their life.
  • Addressing emotional vulnerabilities like depression, anxiety and previous traumas that may be contributing to their drive to change their body size.

Get Introspective About Your Own Behaviors

It’s important that you also process how you have engaged, or still are engaging in disordered eating behaviors yourself.

The old saying, “you can only take people as far as you’ve taken yourself,” can’t be more true when it comes to supporting your clients in moving away from disordered eating thoughts and behaviors.

Take some time to reflect on your personal belief system about being or becoming fat, about how you see, or try to control, your own body size, and how that informs the way you care for your body and how you relate to food.

If you have a preoccupation with the foods you are consuming, how often you engage in movement and how you see your body, seeking support from an eating disorder specialist can help you begin to dismantle the belief systems and narratives that are holding you back from living a full and engaged life — regardless of how your body shows up to the world.

Acknowledging how weight bias and efforts of body control inform the way you interact with yourself and your clients is an important step in being able to open yourself up to new ways of working with clients that encourage self-acceptance and support them to achieve lasting health.

Note: A quick and easy way to find local eating disorder professionals (in the U.S.) is to search the National Eating Disorder Association’s website. You can also search your area on Psychology Today to connect with clinicians who specialize in treating eating disorders.

References

  1. Bacon L, Aphramor L. Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift. Nutrition Journal. 2011;10:9. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-10-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3041737/
  2. Flegal, KM, Graubard, BI, Williamson, DF, Gail, MF (2007). Cause-specific excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and  obesity. JAMA, 298(17), 2028-3037.
  3. Robison J. Health at Every Size: Toward a New Paradigm of Weight and Health. Medscape General Medicine. 2005;7(3):13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1681635/

The post How to Support Your Clients to Move From Disordered Eating Toward Lasting Health appeared first on Girls Gone Strong.

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Now that spring is finally here, we’re setting our sights on lighter fare. But that doesn’t mean we’re saying goodbye to comforting pasta dishes! This orzo with shrimp and peas perfectly toes the line between winter and spring, and it cooks in one skillet in under 30 minutes. What’s not to love?

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Victoria Beckham can always get people talking. Try as we might, we will never know what “really wanna zig-a-zig-ah” means, and this week she celebrated turning 44 by posting a photo of her birthday cake to Instagram, prompting the entire world to say, “Wait, that’s not a cake!”

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I’m grateful that the British royal family exists, because it allows the rest of us to procrastinate at work by wondering, “What does the Queen do all day?” When de facto British cultural ambassador and famed cartoon pig, Peppa Pig, considered that question, she came to the conclusion that because a queen can do whatever she wants, queens must spend all their time eating chocolate cake.

It turns out she’s not that far off, because a former British royal chef says Queen Elizabeth is a tremendous fan of chocolate — and chocolate cake in particular. Queens, they’re just like us!

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Are you surprised there’s someone left in the world who hasn’t been to Costco? Well, my husband and I may have been the last two. (Turns out even our children have gone with other people.) To be honest, we aren’t big bulk shoppers. We don’t have a lot of storage space, and I’m afraid of commitment, whether it’s to one brand of cereal or anything else. But I keep hearing good things about Costco and finally decided it was worth a try.

After I promised my husband he could act silly and I wouldn’t get mad, he agreed to go, and I braced myself. While we probably won’t be there once a week, there were some pretty great deals and a few happy surprises, so we’ll definitely be back.

Here’s what we learned while we were there.

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Veggie burrito bowls are a one-stop shop, delivering the best part of a burrito — the filling — without the fuss. With the slow cooker, this one-pot meal is completely hands-off, easily filling in for Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday. Fill your bowl with tender brown rice, smoky pinto beans, fresh veggies, and a dollop of citrusy sour cream, but make sure to leave room on top for your favorite burrito fixings.

This recipe will teach you how to use your slow cooker’s constant and gentle heat to cook veggie burrito bowls. While your first instinct might be to chop the vegetables, sprinkle in the rice, pour on the broth, and stir, this recipe shows you how simple strategic steps guarantee the vegetables cook evenly while the rice plumps.

With smart use of your slow cooker, the rice, beans, and a crisper drawer full of vegetables cook in one pot without so much as a second glance until it is time to scoop and serve.

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