Dannielle Archer • Naturopath     0432541629                 BOOK NOW

Craving Crunchy or Creamy Foods? Here’s why.

Craving Creamy Foods
Mashed potato, yoghurt, soft cheeses, chocolate, custard, ice-cream, cream, thick shakes – craving these types of foods is often linked to the texture that they provide when we eat them.  The gooey, creamy sensation of these foods in your mouth stimulates the pleasure centre in your brain and makes you “feel good”.  For this reason, creamy foods are often a source of comfort, and cravings for them tend to be from an emotional cause.  If you’re craving these foods regularly, you may need to work on some non-food sources of comfort, or change the way you deal with your emotions.

Do you process and acknowledge your emotions, or do you prefer to pretend they don’t exist?  Do you crave creamy foods when you are feeling sad, lonely, rejected, or perhaps even when you feel really happy?  Emotional eating is a way of suppressing our emotions and not dealing with them.

If you suspect that emotions are playing a role in your current eating habits, the next chapter will be really beneficial for you to create change and reduce your cravings.

Craving Crunchy Foods
Psychologists have for a long time believed that as adults, we have our very own ‘inner child’.  Your inner child is the part of you that desires to play, experience joy and feel carefree, just as you did when you were a child.  As adults, we can get so caught up in our achievements and goals and trying to ‘figure it all out’ that we can easily ignore our inner desire for pure joy and happiness.  The ‘crunch’ factor in some foods, like savoury or sweet biscuits, potato crisps, toasted bread, crispy fries, deep-fried foods, and even raw veggies brings us back to our childhood, when we were much more aware of how foods felt in our mouths and the textures they held.  If you’re craving crunchy foods, perhaps your inner child has been a bit neglected.

When was the last time you felt carefree?  When was the last time you experienced true happiness or joy?  When was the last time you played and laughed and felt free to be silly?  Nurturing your inner child and your innate desire to be careless is an important part of your overall health and happiness, and may help to reduce your cravings for crunchy foods.

 

 

P.S.  If you feel like food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to know more about how I help women do all of the above (without guilt, or shame, or blame) you can click here to book a free intro session via phone or video call.

Craving Chocolate or Caffeine? Here’s why.

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Chocolate Cravings
Many of us have heard that chocolate cravings can be a sign of magnesium deficiency.  The cacao bean is a natural source of magnesium but unfortunately by the time it is processed into a milk chocolate block, the amount of magnesium left is minimal, if any.  Still, your body will crave the cacao for it’s magnesium when in a state of deficiency.  And the craving will continue until your magnesium levels are replenished.

Interestingly, many of us women crave chocolate prior to or during our period, a time when muscle cramps are common.  Any guesses as to what nutrient is needed to relax muscle spasms and cramps?  You guessed it – magnesium!  Magnesium is also important during times of stress, so if you’re craving chocolate like crazy, check in on your current stress levels and see if you can reduce those in a healthy, positive way.

Magnesium is naturally high in the following foods: leafy green vegetables, red meat, nuts and seeds, dried seaweed, herbs and spices, beans, legumes and cacao beans (e.g. raw cacao powder and dark chocolate).  Healthy stress management will also help you keep your magnesium levels adequate and prevent chocolate cravings.

Remember:  you may also be craving chocolate due to it’s high fat content, sugar content or caffeine.  It may even be a combination of factors!

Craving Energy Boosters
Coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, energy drinks and sugary foods provide us with a temporary energy boost and can be relied on to “keep us going” each and every day.  If you tend to crave these kinds of foods/drinks, it’s time to check in with yourself and look deeper – what is actually causing your low energy or fatigue?

Are you getting enough sleep each night?  Are you eating enough iron-rich foods or drinking enough water? (A lack of either of these is linked to fatigue and low energy.)  Are you over-worked and stressed?  Are you eating enough calories each day?  Are you over-exercising?

Treating your fatigue and improving your energy from the very cause eliminates the need for temporary energy boosts from foods and drinks.  Instead of just looking at the symptom (tiredness, or craving caffeine etc), look deeper and fix the reason for your fatigue.  That is where long-term health results are found – otherwise you’ll be treating symptoms forever without cure!

 

 

P.S.  If you feel like food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to know more about how I help women do all of the above (without guilt, or shame, or blame) you can click here to book a free intro session via phone or video call.

Craving Salty Foods? Here’s why.

salt-cravings-danni-archer

Hot chips, crisps, flavoured savoury biscuits, salted popcorn, fast food products, savoury baked goods like sausage rolls, sauces and marinades and flavourings, or even just plain old salt itself!

Salty food cravings tend to result from high levels of stress and/or adrenal fatigue.  Your adrenal glands are organs that sit next to your kidneys, and under any kind of stress they produce and release a hormone called cortisol.  Cortisol helps your body to cope with stress and also prepares you for a fight or flight response – i.e. are you going to run away from your stress (flight) or stay and deal with it (fight).  This is said to come from your ancestors where a stressor was generally either being faced with a predator or some kind of famine.

Cortisol is helpful when produced in healthy amounts, but due to high levels of stress in today’s society, many of us are actually overproducing cortisol to keep up with their busy lives, and as a result your adrenal glands are overworked and become a bit sluggish and slow (hence the term adrenal fatigue).  There are various stages of adrenal fatigue before it becomes a debilitating condition.  The reason all that is important is because your adrenal glands need a variety of minerals to function, and to produce cortisol (stress hormone).

So when you are stressed, and your body is producing lots of cortisol to cope with that stress, you can end up quite deficient in minerals and as a result, start to crave salt!  Natural salts contain a wide variety of minerals – even up to or more than 80 in some salts – and so your body knows that when it is mineral-deficient due to stress, salt may help to replace some of those minerals in your body.  The issue is that table salt, iodised salt and chicken salt, the types that are normally used in the salty foods you crave are highly processed and contain little or no nutritional benefit.

That’s why you will keep craving more and more salt to cope with stress, because your mineral stores are not being replenished through the processed salts and your body doesn’t know what else to do.

What are your stress levels like?  Are you living an extremely busy lifestyle, or are you prone to stress regardless of your workload?  Are you allowing yourself time to relax, unwind and recharge your precious adrenal glands?

Here’s a top tip: spending just 20 minutes outside, whether you are moving your body or just sticking your toes in the sand or grass, has a cortisol-lowering effect for 21 hours afterwards.  21 hours benefit, from just 20 minutes!

Lower cortisol = healthier adrenal glands = less salt cravings

 

 

P.S.  If you feel like food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

P.P.S.  If you’d like to know more about how I help women do all of the above (without guilt, or shame, or blame) you can click here to book a free intro session via phone or video call.

It’s Not Just About Calories and Exercise

danni-archer-weight-loss

Speak to many people about weight loss, and they’ll tell you that you just need to eat less and exercise more.  Simple, right?

Well, if it was actually that simple, I wouldn’t be so busy helping women lose weight.  Because honestly, my clients pretty much know what to do.  They understand that a calorie deficit *technically* should cause them to lose weight.  They’re minimising carbs, and eating salads and trying to do all the right things.  And while there is usually a handful of things they need to slightly tweak in their diet, there’s no major bombshells.  Not a whole lot that they haven’t heard before.  They’ve read enough dieting stuff online and in books to know what to do and what not to do.

So if my clients are already reducing their calories and exercising semi-regularly, why aren’t they losing weight?  Why are they sitting in front of my at my clinic, or in front of their computer on a video call with me?  Why are they still looking for answers to their weight?

Because it’s not just about calories (food) and exercise.

There is so much more that can impact your weight – both your likelihood to gain weight, and also how quickly you are able to lose that weight.

  • Thyroid function (a slow thyroid = slow weight loss)
  • Digestion (how often are you pooping?  Seriously, it affects your weight)
  • Liver health (impacts your weight and energy levels)
  • Toxic load (a toxic body wants to hold onto body fat, so this will slow down weight loss)
  • Inflammation (linked to higher body fat percentage)
  • Reproductive hormones (especially for women, when reproductive hormones are out of whack, you’ll have a really hard time losing weight and keeping it off)
  • Food intolerances (can cause fluid retention, weight gain, poor energy and more)
  • Insulin and blood sugar regulation (high insulin production makes it really hard to lose weight)
  • Metabolism and metabolic syndrome (can make you prone to gaining weight!)
  • Nutrient deficiencies (did you know every 2nd woman on the planet is iron deficient?  What you might not know is that iron deficiency impacts your body’s ability to produce essential thyroid hormones, thereby altering thyroid function and metabolism.  There’s lots of other nutrients that are essential to maintain a healthy body weight, too.  And certain nutrients can actually help speed-up weight loss, so if you’re deficient in those ones, you’re really gonna slow your progress.)

The list goes on..

So no, it’s not about calories and exercise alone.  It’s about all the other factors that are impacting your weight, and making it hard for you to lose weight.

If it was just about calories and exercise, wouldn’t we all be our healthiest weight by now?

You’ve tried the calorie restriction and excessive exercising a thousand times, and you’re still here reading this article.  So maybe now it’s time to look at what else is actually going on with your health and your weight, so that you can make long-term changes (not short-term fixes).

In my clinical and personal experience, the key to losing weight long-term is:

  • identifying the factors that are stopping you from losing weight, and
  • correcting those issues so that you are able to lose weight and keep it off, for good

So the next time someone tells you that you just need to eat less and exercise more, slap them!  (Not really, haha, maybe just direct them to this article).

If you’d like help identifying and fixing whatever is holding you back from losing weight, you can book a free introductory session with me by clicking here.

And if food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

A Natural Approach to Weight Loss

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If you’re like most people, you have at one time or another thought about losing weight.  When you think of health professionals who can help you lose weight, you might think about a dietician, a personal trainer, or even a doctor.  But have you ever thought about seeing a naturopath?  As a qualified and experienced naturopath specialising in weight loss, I’m going to share with you some of the ways in which naturopathy can support you to safely and effectively lose weight.  Of course, you should always consult a health care practitioner before making any changes to your current diet or lifestyle.

What is naturopathy?

So you might even be wondering, what is naturopathy?  It is a traditional system of medicine focused on natural remedies including herbal medicine and nutrition, among other things.  Naturopathy was once seen as witchcraft, but has recently had a facelift and modern day naturopaths now utilise the most up-to-date scientific research to support their use of natural treatments.  Naturopathy is popular because it is safe, effective, and often causes less side effects than pharmaceutical medications.

Why should I see a naturopath for weight loss?

If you’re wanting to lose weight, a naturopath is a great choice for many reasons.  Naturopathy is all about treating the patient as an individual and as a whole person. This means that rather than focusing on one aspect of your health, you’ll be treated holistically.  The human body is complex and multi-faceted, and when it comes to problems with weight there is usually more than one cause.  Often, health care professionals will treat one cause, and after weeks or months of little or no results you are left discouraged and disheartened.  Treating holistically ensures that all aspects of your health and your weight are investigated and nothing is ignored or missed.  In this way, naturopathy ensures that you have the very best chance at losing the weight and living your healthiest life yet.

You’ve tried a thousand diets already, and you’re still here reading this blog post about weight loss, right?  Naturopathy provides a long-term approach to weight loss, so you can lose the weight, improve your health, and maintain that for good. No more dieting!

Some surprising factors that can influence your weight loss.

You might not be aware that the following factors can significantly affect your weight and/or efforts to lose weight.  A good naturopath will help you to identify and correct these issues, and thereby help you to shift the weight for good!

  • Your digestion plays an important role in weight loss.  If you regularly suffer from bloating, constipation, diarrhoea or stomach discomfort, chances are your digestion is a little under par.  If your body is not able to digest and absorb the goodness from the food you’re eating, your weight loss efforts may be thwarted.  Think of poor digestion like a car with an oil leak – you can put the very best fuel in the car, but with a leak you’re still only going to get half as far!
  • Your blood sugar is a term to describe the way in which your body processes sugars.  Extreme blood sugar imbalances often lead to diabetes, but you can also experience mild to moderate blood sugar imbalances, usually without even knowing it!  Symptoms can include shaking or mood changes when you’re hungry, headaches, sugar cravings, and anxiety or anxious tendencies.  Blood sugar imbalances lead to weight gain via a cascade of hormonal interactions including insulin and cortisol (your stress hormone).  Without addressing blood sugar imbalances, you may find it is very difficult to lose weight.
  • Stress levels are often high in todays society.  We are living in a fast-paced, busy world!  When you’re stressed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol to help your body adapt to the stress.  Unfortunately for us, cortisol actually encourages your body to store fat, particularly around your middle section!  This means that during periods of short- and medium-term stress, when you eat meals, your body is signalled by cortisol to store the fat from that meal on your body, rather than burning it up as energy.  So stress = weight gain!  Without addressing your stress levels, you may be missing a giant piece of the weight loss puzzle.

In summary:

  • Naturopathy is a safe and effective system of medicine, backed by scientific research.
  • Weight loss is very complex, and can only be successful when treated holistically and individually.  By ignoring certain aspects of your health and weight, you may find weight loss efforts are completely unsuccessful.
  • Naturopathy can help you to lose weight by addressing all underlying causes and factors, thereby helping you keep the weight off for good!

 

And if food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

The average daily diet of a yo-yo dieter

danni-archer-weight-loss-diet

If you’ve ever tried to diet in order to lose weight, chances are you can relate to this common scenario.

Here’s the original plan:

And here’s what actually happens:

Does that sound familiar?  You manage to eat super healthy all day, and by the time 3pm comes around you have the uncontrollable urge to snack and you just can’t stop!

There’s a number of reasons why this happens, including:

  • not eating enough calories earlier in the day, causing excessive hunger
  • inadequate consumption of protein, causing a tendency to overeat
  • consuming sugar and carbs, whether natural (from fruits etc) or refined (processed foods) without adequate protein and/or fat content

You don’t need to follow this unhelpful pattern any longer.  Work with me and find out why diet’s don’t actually work, and how to balance your blood sugar to reduce sugar cravings.  And get off the dieting merry-go-round!  I coach women all over the world and help them to lose weight, eliminate food cravings, heal their relationship with food and learn to love their bodies again.

 

And if food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

You Don’t Need to Exercise if You’re Skinny

danni-archer-exercise-weight-loss

“You don’t need to exercise, you’re already skinny.”

The words seemed to echo as they were said to me.  When did exercise become all about weight?  When did exercise become something that only overweight people need to do?

Let me clarify: I am not at all denying that exercise is an important part of long-term, sustainable weight loss.  I always work with my clients to help them find a form of exercise that they want to do; something they enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like a chore.

But exercise is about so much more than weight loss.

Exercise is about physical health, AND mental health.

Did you know there have been studies proving regular, low-to-medium-impact exercise to be as effective in treating depression as certain anti-depressant drugs?

A study of over 12,000 men found that at least 30mins of vigorous exercise per week was clearly linked to a longer life, regardless of the participant’s weight, family history and smoking status.

It has long been accepted that exercise plays an important preventative role in Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

Exercise also helps to maintain bone density, reduces bone loss, and post-menopausal women who are regularly exercising have a significantly reduced risk of bone fracture than those who do not exercise.

Honestly, I could keep listing statistics forever.

The key message that I want to get across to you is this: exercise is not a punishment for being overweight.

Exercise to keep your bones healthy.  Exercise to improve your memory and prevent Alzheimer’s.  Exercise for happiness.  For goodness sake, exercise to LIVE LONGER.

Don’t just exercise because you’re fat.

 

 

 

Top 5 Tips for Motivation & Consistency

danni-archer-weight-loss

I hear it all the time – the number one thing you struggle with when it comes to eating healthy and exercising regularly is consistency.  You can eat really clean for a week or two, even going to the gym 5 days a week or walking every morning.  And then one day all of your best intentions come crashing down and you’re eating Hungry Jacks for lunch, wondering what happened to your health kick.

In this post, I’ll share with you five of the most fail-proof ways to stay motivated, committed and consistent.

1 Set micro-goals

Setting a goal to lose 20kg in 6 months feels pretty daunting – and it’s a lot easier to give up when your goal feels so far away.  Setting micro-goals means you break your ultimate goal down into smaller, achievable chunks.  So instead of focusing on your 20kg goal, you might set a goal to lose 1.5kg in the next 2 weeks.  Not only does setting micro-goals make your ultimate goal feel more achievable, it also allows you an opportunity to celebrate every milestone you achieve.  And if there’s one thing that keeps motivation levels high, it’s continued success.

2 Celebrate along the way

Don’t wait until you achieve your big goal to celebrate and congratulate yourself – that’s super boring!  Recognizing every single achievement and milestone is a sure-fire way to keep your motivation levels high.  Wouldn’t you rather focus on what you have already achieved, rather than always focusing on how far you’ve got to go?  You can celebrate achieving your micro goals, and even non-scale victories like fitting into your size 10 jeans again, or finding the confidence to go swimming at the beach with your kids.  Whatever it is – you deserve to be celebrated!

3 Don’t just go by the scales

Have you ever been on a “health kick” or diet and everything is going well – you’re feeling good, the number on the scales is going down, and then one day you weigh yourself and you’ve managed to gain weight?  It’s really fricken disheartening!  And if you’re left feeling like you aren’t seeing results, it’s easy to give up.

It’s important that you recognise that the scales are not the most accurate picture of weight loss – that number will fluctuate due to hormones, fluid retention, bowel movements.. all sorts of things!  I highly suggest you don’t weigh yourself more than once per week.  If you really want to track progress, take measurements (in cm) of your waist, hips, bust, arm (bicep) and upper thigh.  Then re-measure after a few weeks, and you’ll be surprised at the changes (even when the scales aren’t reflecting it!).  And remember, if you’re feeling more comfortable, or happier, or more energetic, or your clothes are fitting that little bit better – all of those are worth celebrating.  It’s not all about the number on the scales.

4 It’s not “all or nothing”

Imagine you are pushing a boulder up a rather steep hill – you’re halfway up and all of a sudden you lose grip.  In that split second you realise you have two options:

a)    pause for a while, right where you are, holding that boulder in place and start moving forward again when you’re ready

b)   let go of the boulder completely, watch it fall to the ground and then walk back down and start from the bottom all over again

Which scenario seems easier?

When it comes to “health kicks” and diets, most women I know take option B.  They “slip up” one day, and spend the rest of the week eating crap foods and feeling crappy, promising to start their diet again on Monday.  Why does it have to be all or nothing?  Does just one tiny little lapse mean you have to give up completely and start all over again?

I don’t actually believe in “slip ups” or “cheats”, I believe in balance when it comes to eating.  But no matter what you eat, it doesn’t mean you have to give up and start again.  Stop, pause, hold your boulder in place and keep moving forward when you’re ready.  It’s so much easier to have a break than it is to let go and start again.

5 Keep it simple & sustainable

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of short-term diets and restrictions, because you generally end up gaining any lost weight back as soon as you start eating normally again.  Meal replacement shakes – especially when they only allow you one real meal per day – are an unrealistic and unsustainable way of life for most people.  And they should be!  Wouldn’t you rather enjoy a wholesome meal full of delicious flavours, colours and textures than drink a mixture of artificially-flavoured powder and water?

Keeping your lifestyle changes simple and sustainable makes it so much easier for you to be consistent and stay committed.

 

Want individualised support to help you create changes and stay consistent with them?  I work one-on-one with women who want to lose weight, improve their health and feel happier.  You can find out more about working with me here.

And if food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

My Philosophy on Weight Loss & Health

As the owner of Divine Health & Wellness, my goal is to help women understand their bodies, reconnect with their true self and heal their relationship with food.

Something I see a lot in my clinic is women wanting to lose weight, and I am incredibly passionate about approaching weight loss from a holistic approach.  Most of my clients have tried 10+ diets before they come to see me for help, and it’s important that they understand that weight loss is not just about calories and exercise.  There are so many more factors involved, and this is where the traditional ‘diet’ industry really lets us down.

Here’s a real-life example of the importance of a holistic approach to weight loss:

One of my dear clients was in her late 20s, was a strict dieter, but couldn’t seem to give up chocolate.  It was her weakness, she told me!  No matter how hard she tried to ignore her cravings, every night she would end up eating an entire family-sized Cadbury block.  She wanted me to help her improve her willpower and give up the chocolate, but I approached it from another perspective.  Why was she craving the chocolate so strongly?  A number of reasons, including magnesium deficiency, omega 3 deficiency, low calorie intake during the day and unstable blood sugar levels.  All of which are quite simple to correct!  So I didn’t tell this client how to improve her willpower, in fact I didn’t even tell her to stop eating the chocolate every day.  I helped her correct her nutritional deficiencies through food and supplements, I taught her how to keep her blood sugar levels steady and stable, and I asked her to eat more calories during the day.  Well, she came back to see me two weeks later and said her cravings had basically disappeared after three days of making changes.

The dieting industry tells you to work against your body, push through painful exercise, fight cravings with willpower, ignore your hunger pangs and restrict your calorie intake.  What I do with my clients is the opposite.  I teach my clients to work with their bodies, so that we can get to the root of what is truly going on, find out why they are really struggling to lose weight, and fix it.  There is no point struggling to lose weight because you’ll be struggling forever!  Instead, I’m here to help you find simple, sustainable, successful ways to lose weight and keep it off.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, and individualised support is the fastest way to achieve and maintain your goals.

My promise to my clients is:

  • a non-judgmental, caring approach
  • open and honest support
  • practical and realistic advice (I don’t expect you to change everything overnight!)
  • motivation and encouragement when you need it most

I’ve struggled with my weight in the past, and all the other stuff that comes with that.  And that is why I am so passionate about helping women out of the black hole of the dieting industry.  Because I know how amazing it feels to free yourself from not only the excess weight, but all the stress and guilt and shame that comes with weight issues.

For even more support from me, you can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/divinehealthwithdanni and join my private Facebook group too.

Yours in health and happiness,

danni-archer-weight-loss

 

P.S.  If food cravings are holding you back from staying consistent with your eating habits, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.