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.

Homemade Hummus

Combine: 1 tin rinsed and drained chickpeas, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil,
1-2 garlic cloves, 2 tbsp tahini (optional) in a blender and process until smooth. 

Add water (up to 1/4 cup) until desired consistency. 

Note: Tahini is optional but is recommended as it is a great source of calcium!

Chia Pudding

weight-loss-healthy-snack-ideas

weight-loss-healthy-snack-ideas

This is one of my favourite snacks – high in protein and omega 3 fats, high in fibre and a number of essential minerals, and it kinda tastes like a dessert! Winning.

Note: this is best when made the night before, soaked overnight

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (any colour)
  • 1/4 cup milk (any kind) or water
  • your choice of toppings (see below)

Method

  1. Soak chia seeds in liquid – preferably overnight – or until liquid is completely absorbed.  I find the easiest way to do this is put the chia seeds and liquid in a jar, shake it up and leave it soak in there.
  2. Top with whatever you like – my favourite is 3 tbsp greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/3 banana (sliced) and a handful of blueberries.  

For toppings, think: plain yoghurt, berries, banana, stone fruit, mango, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond butter or other nut butters, bee pollen, cacao nibs, buckwheat kernels.. the options are endless!

Tip: If you find it a little bland, add more fruit or a bit of honey.  

Two-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

pancakes-breakfast-healthy-weight-loss

pancakes-breakfast-healthy-weight-loss

I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t love pancakes.  If you’re focusing on weight loss, or just looking for a healthy breakfast idea, these two-ingredient pancakes are perfect for you!  (I’ve also been known to eat these cold, with a slather of almond butter on top.. soooo yummy)

Makes around 4-6 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3-4 eggs, whisked

Method

  1. Just combine the eggs and banana and cook pancakes in a non-stick pan.  You can top your protein-rich pancakes with berries, nuts and seeds, and a little honey or pure maple syrup.

Note: stay away from artificial ‘maple-flavoured’ syrups in the supermarket – they’re just flavoured high-fructose corn syrup. You’ll have to spend more to get the pure stuff, but it’s so much healthier and tastier.

Easy Egg & Veg Cups

food-eggs-weight-loss

food-eggs-weight-loss

It’s true what they say – eggs really are the original superfood.  Whether you’re eating keto, wanting to lose weight, or just have a really healthy snack – these egg and veg cups are perfect!  Kind of like a cheat’s quiche.  They’re free from gluten and super high in protein and nutrients.  Have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy cold or heated up.  Super simple!

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • large handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled into pieces
  • 1/4 cup red capsicum, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs

Method

  1. Grease a 12x muffin tray. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk eggs in a small bowl, season with salt, pepper and dried herbs.
  3. Add spinach, bacon, feta and capsicum to bowl and combine.
  4. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tray and bake for 40mins or until slightly browned on top.  Allow to cool slightly in tray before removing. Refrigerate once cooled completely.

A Natural Approach to Weight Loss

weight-loss-danni-archer-naturopath-adelaide

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.

Four Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

danni-archer-weight-loss-diet

Are you tired of spending hours in the kitchen?  Are you feeling guilty that your kids sometimes get takeaway meals instead of home-cooked?

Gone are the days when mum would be at home all day baking bread, preparing dinner and baking goods for the childrens’ school lunches – we are all busy mums and partners, running errands all day, some of us working half-time or even full-time.  Here’s a few simple tips to help you reduce the amount of time spent in the kitchen – so you can serve up a delicious homemade meal and have more time to spend with your beautiful children!

1. Read the recipe before you start

By reading the entire recipe before you start, you can figure out any times where you can have two parts happening at once.. E.g. boiling the water while you cut up the veggies and prepare the meat.. By not looking ahead, you could be spending twice as much time in the kitchen!  Don’t trust that all recipes will give you a heads up for things like boiling water or pre-heating ovens, read ahead and you could save yourself some time!

2. Cut and freeze veggies in advance

A really good habit to get into is freezing your own ready-to-cook veggies.  Simply cut up some veg, place it in a freezer bag or zip lock bag, and use it on those nights you are just too exhausted or too time-poor to cook healthy food.  How easy is a stir fry or steamed veggies when they’re already prepared?  Simply heat in a wok or saucepan, or place in a steamer, and cook up a good source of protein to go with it. It’s super easy, and it saves you money by doing it yourself rather than buying frozen pre-cut veg.

3. Use your food processor

Okay, so you spent a decent amount of money on a fancy food processor, but you don’t use it?  Why are you wasting your time preparing everything with a knife when you’ve got a machine to do it for you?  Food processors are great at chopping up onions, carrots, and other hard vegetables.  You can slice veg for a coleslaw, ground nuts, some will even grate cheese for you!  Have another read of your food processor’s manual and make sure you’re utilising all it’s features – I promise, the clean up is worth it when dinner takes you half the time to make!

4. Stop peeling all your vegetables

This one sounds just downright lazy, but hear me out – the skin on a lot of your vegetables actually contains a significant amount of fibre (for healthy digestion) and a heap of vitamins and minerals.  The only reason most of us peel our veggies is to make them look better, but it means that we’re missing out on a lot of goodness that is in the skin!  Plus, it takes up more time in the kitchen.  Vegetables like carrots, zucchini and potatoes can usually be eaten with their skin on – just give them a good scrub, and prepare as usual.

Healthy eating does not have to be time-consuming!  Small changes to your kitchen routine can make a big difference and save you heaps of time in the long run.

Keep an eye out for my new recipe book ‘Healthy Shortcuts’ set to be released in March 2018 for more time-saving kitchen tips & tricks, and super simple, healthy and budget-friendly recipes.

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.