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

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“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.

 

 

 

How to Stay Focused on Your Health When Life is Hectic

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As modern day women, we can all relate – juggling a career, kids, housework and a relationship is a tough gig!  In the midst of the day to day chaos, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself.  The thing is, when we’re not taking care of ourselves we actually become less efficient at juggling all those elements of our lives.  One of my favourite sayings is from Eleanor Brown: “You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”  To be truly present in each and every moment, and to serve those around you (whether at work or at home) you need to have ‘filled’ yourself up with all the essential ingredients for wellness: nutritious food, physical movement, sleep, love, and joy.  How do you manage this when you’ve got 2 weeks worth of washing to catch up on and you’re running on coffee to keep you going?  Read on for a few of my favourite ways to stay healthy when life just won’t slow down.

Put the kids to bed earlier

Are you still wrangling your kids into bed at 10pm?  Bed time is often such a stressful time for so many parents, and stress is the last thing you need at the end of your day.  In fact, stress before you go to bed will affect your entire nights’ sleep!  Children need sleep and they need an earlier bedtime than their parents.  Don’t think you’re doing them a favour by giving in to their tantrums and tears – read them a story and leave them to go to sleep.  I know it’s not easy, but it’s a step you need to take to reclaim your own health and energy!

Change the way you drive

Here’s a great thought – what if you left just 3 minutes earlier each morning, and you could relax in the car on the way to work/school/child care/wherever.  Imagine not holding every muscle in your body tense while you drive!  What a nice start to your day.  Just 3 minutes earlier than usual, and you can drive knowing that you have enough time to get there on time no matter how many red lights you get.

Another tip for driving – listen to music that relaxes and soothes you.  Studies have shown that loud, fast music makes you drive faster, increases your heart rate and heightens your nervous system (in other words, it’s kind of stressful to your body!).  If you tend to spend all day in a stressful state, put on some calming music, leave 3 minutes earlier, and make your car trips a time for you to wind down and breathe.

Try a smart wake-up alarm

Have you heard of those cool alarms that wake you up when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep?  When you’re asleep there’s a few different cycles you go through, some of them are deeper sleep than others. Your lightest sleep cycle is called Phase I, and there are some alarm clocks that are able to analyse your breathing pattern to determine which phase of sleep you are in, and wake you up at the best time – usually Phase I.  Have you every noticed that some days you wake up gently and quite easily, whilst other mornings you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck when your alarm goes off in the morning?  Try a smart alarm and you can avoid those ‘hit by a truck’ mornings.  The alarm clocks are also available as smartphone apps, just search in the app store. (PS. Make sure your phone is set to flight mode if you’re sleeping with in under your pillow, you don’t want to be exposed to high levels of radiation all night.)  A good start to the day usually brings a good day!

Cook and freeze in advance

Cooking large portions and storing in the freezer is the oldest trick in the book, but it’s a really great way to ensure that you always have something quick and healthy on hand.  Don’t know if you’ll find the time to have a cooking day to freeze a whole lot of meals?  Try cooking a little extra each night at dinner time and freeze the leftovers.  This saves you a heap of time and also means that you’ll have a variety of different meals in the freezer to defrost and reheat on those nights you just can’t bear the thought of preparing dinner from scratch.  Being prepared means you’re less likely to rely on take-away foods.

Utilise the benefits of superfood powders

A superfood powder, I hear you say?  What on earth is that?  Basically, it’s a cheats way of getting a whole lot of essential vitamins and minerals into your body easily and quickly.  My favourite brand is Vital Greens, but there are plenty of different ones out there.  You can get greens-based powders, or even beetroot-based or fruit-based!  Don’t be afraid to give them to your kids, too.  By having a dose of superfood powder in the morning, you know that no matter what happens during the day at mealtimes, you’ve had a little boost of nutrition to start you day off right.  With soil depletion a real issue in agriculture and the uncertainty over how long fruit and veg are stored for before you buy it, the nutritional content of much of what we eat is significantly lower than what it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago.  Superfoods powders are not to be relied on as your only source of nutrition, but they’re a great way to add extra goodness to your day.  You may find that you have more energy, better moods and clearer skin with regular intake of your superfoods, too!

Move with your kids

Don’t have time to exercise?  Exercise with your kids.  Go to the park and practice soccer with them.  Wash the car together or go out and walk the dog.  Did you know just 15 minutes of exercise each day significantly reduces your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and many other chronic diseases?  Physical activity is also a great way to reduce stress and low blood pressure.  Don’t wait for half an hour of free time to magically appear so that you can go for a walk – you have to make time to exercise and move your body!

Make your health a priority

Ultimately, you need to make the decision to make your health a priority.  Do you want to be there to watch your children grow up, get married, and have children of their own?  Do you want to be fit and healthy enough to play with your grandchildren and enjoy every moment with them?  Don’t wait until your 50s or 60s to start thinking about health and looking after yourself.  Everything that you do each and every day is paving the way to your future health (or lack of).  Be a role model for your children and teach them how important their health is by making your health a priority.  And remember, you cannot serve from an empty vessel.  When you take care of yourself, you’ll find that you have more energy and clarity of mind, and suddenly everything else that you are juggling doesn’t seem so hard.

 

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

Top 5 Tips for Motivation & Consistency

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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.

Five Reasons to Eat MORE Sugar

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You’ve already read all the reasons to eat less sugar, right?  Today, I’m giving you five awesome reasons to eat MORE sugar each day!

(Warning: article may involve sarcasm.. a lot of it)

1. You really like feeling tired all the time

Yupp, excessive sugar consumption is strongly linked to poor energy and fatigue.  The link between the two is partly due to fluctuating blood sugar levels, and often your energy levels can follow your blood sugar levels throughout the day.  If you particularly enjoy feeling tired in the afternoon, start eating more sugar-y foods!

2. You like having uncontrollable sugar cravings

You know that 3pm sugar craving that you just can’t ignore?  It can be caused by imbalanced blood sugar, which comes (in part) from eating high-sugar foods earlier in the day.  That sugar-laden breakfast cereal you eat every day?  It’s really increasing you sugar cravings for the rest of the day.  That banana you had as a snack?  Also increasing your sugar cravings later on in the day.  But by all means, if you love those uncontrollable cravings, why not switch to Fruit Loops for breakfast and really get those cravings going.

3.  You want to gain weight

For too long, fat content in foods was blamed for causing the increasing weight and obesity problems in our society.  In the past 10 years, however, research and anecdotal evidence has proven sugar to be the enemy when it comes to our waistlines.  So if you’d like to gain weight, particularly around your stomach area, eating more refined sugar would be a great idea for you.  According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has increased dramatically in the past decades, in parallel with increasing prevalences of overweight and obesity in the United States.

4.  You love having mood swings

Do you really enjoy having severe mood swings?  The people closest to you must really enjoy them too!  Your ability to cope with carbohydrate and sugar intake impacts how susceptible you are to sugar-induced mood swings, but for a lot of people the link is really strong.  Often, your mood will follow your blood sugar levels, so as your blood sugar goes up and down and up and down, it causes your mood to go up and down and all over the place as well.

5. You’re hoping to develop a chronic disease in the future

Excessive sugar consumption has been linked to coronary heart disease, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and more.  Hoping to develop one or more of these serious chronic diseases?  Load up your plate with a whole lot more sugar, girl.

 

Bottom line:  There’s lots of ways you can protect your health through daily choices, and minimising your intake of refined sugar is a great place to start.

 

Pssst.. if you’re struggling with sugar cravings, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.  You’ll learn why you have the cravings and how to eliminate them completely.

 

References:

Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fa5c/06bde9e258feda4c472416da985132bf962b.pdf

A Psychosomatic Study of Hypoglycaemic Fatigue: http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Citation/1944/07000/A_Psychosomatic_Study_of_Hypoglycaemic_Fatigue.1.aspx

Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/2/274.full.pdf+html

Carbohydrate ingestion, blood glucose and mood: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763402000040

 

 

How is a naturopath different to a dietician?

danni-archer-naturopath

Do you know what a naturopath is, or how a naturopath can help you lose weight?  A couple of weeks ago, I had a huge shock.  I surveyed almost 100 gorgeous women who want to lose weight, and asked them if they knew what a naturopath was.  OVER 50% of these women had no idea what a naturopath is, or does! So I’ve decided to write this blog post today to clarify what I do as a naturopath, particularly when it comes to helping you lose weight, and also how my approach might differ from a dietician or nutritionist.

So first of all, what is a naturopath?
As a naturopath, my focus is on helping you lose weight and keep it off.  My training in naturopathy was based on utilising natural health principles to bring my clients to better health – this includes assessing your diet, lifestyle and genetic factors.  The main thing you should know about naturopaths (well, good ones anyway!) is that we work holistically.  This means that when I’m working with a client for weight loss, not only am I helping that client make simple dietary and lifestyle changes, I’m also looking at their emotional health, their mindset, their physical wellbeing, and addressing ALL aspects of their wellness.

How does a naturopath differ from a dietician or nutritionist?
I think the easiest way to explain this is with the following examples:

Scenario 1: You visit a dietician with the goal of losing 10kg
You go to a dietician, and you’re given a meal plan diet to stick to.  You’re also told to drink more water and exercise 5 days per week.  You have your next appointment booked for 4 weeks time so that the dietician can check on your progress and weigh you, measure you, etc.  After four days on your new diet, your intense food craving for chocolate takes hold and you eat a family sized block in one sitting.  The next morning, you just can’t find the energy to get out of bed and get to the gym.  So you don’t.  Two weeks into the diet plan, you haven’t exercised for over a week and your diet has been up and down – some days it’s just impossible to stick with it and other days you feel super motivated.  What happens when it comes time for your 4-week check up?  You cancel the appointment.  You couldn’t possibly face the dietician and tell him/her that you had failed, so you give up completely.  Maybe in the new year you can try again, but for now it just feels way too hard.

Scenario 2: You visit a naturopath with the goal of losing 10kg
You make an appointment to see a naturopath, and you have an hour long appointment.  You chat about your diet, and what you’re struggling with food wise.  I ask you what foods you like and what foods you don’t like.  We discuss your food cravings and delve a bit deeper into what is actually causing them.  I ask you about your energy levels, your sleep, your current stresses.  We chat about exercise – what you enjoy and what you don’t.  I get an insight into your health history, your medical history, your family history.  I even ask you about fun stuff like your bowel movements and your periods, because all that stuff gives me insight into your current health.  I explain everything to you as we go – THIS is why you have sugar cravings at 3pm everyday, and here’s how you can get rid of the cravings completely.  THIS explains why you haven’t been able to shift those last 10kg, and why diets have failed in the past.  THIS is why you have low energy, or constipation, or daily headaches.  And then we take a baby step forward.  Usually, it begins with getting rid of your food cravings so that you feel more in control of your food choices.  I don’t like strict meal plans, but instead I help you create healthy changes in your current diet.  Your next appointment is scheduled for 2 weeks time, and you come back excited, motivated, and ready to take the next baby step towards your weight loss goal.  And within 3 months, you’ve lost 10kg and you’ve gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for your amazing body and all that it can do.

In scenario 1, you’re relying on mere willpower to get you through.  You try to fight your food cravings, and you try to force yourself to exercise consistently.  And when that fails, you’re off the band wagon and you’ve given up completely.

In scenario 2, you’ve discovered why you have food cravings and you’ve eliminated them completely.  I’ve explained why you have low energy, and we’ll work on improving that energy before I ask you to exercise consistently.  All of a sudden, we’re working with your body instead of against it.  Wow, what a sense of freedom that is!  There’s no sense of failure here, because we’re taking baby steps and working from the foundation up to ensure your success, rather than relying on willpower to get you through.

So, what’s the point?
I’m not here to tell you that naturopathy is the only solution for every one looking to lose weight.  What I am saying is that if you’ve tried diets in the past and given up, and you’re struggling to keep the consistency with your diet and exercise regime, maybe it’s time to look a little more holistically at what is going on.  My holistic approach to weight loss is the very reason my clients are so successful at not only losing weight but also keeping it off, and doing so in a way that feels easy and sustainable.

 

If you’d like more information on how you can work with me, visit this page or contact me here.

danni-archer-weight-loss

 

 

How I Overcame My Fad Diet Habit

danni-archer

My name is Danni, and I’m a weight loss and food cravings expert, qualified naturopath and self-love coach.  Quite a title, right?

My passion is helping women to understand their bodies, improve their health, lose weight in a way that is sustainable and keep it off for good. I help women understand why they have food cravings so that they can eliminate them completely. And I help women reconnect with their bodies and learn to love themselves again.  And the reason I am so passionate about all this is because I’ve been there.  I’ve been exactly where my clients are, and I know how hard the struggle is.

Throughout my teens and into my early 20s, my weight went up and down like a yo-yo. Seriously, I was as low as 58kg and as high as 71kg. I had a terrible relationship with food and with my body, and I tried every fad diet you could possibly think of. Through my studies and other life experiences, I learnt a different approach to health and weight loss and I finally managed to get to a healthy weight and stay there. And I’ve never been happier.

If I had a dollar for every time I said “I’m starting my diet tomorrow”, I reckon I’d be pretty bloody rich by now.  I would frequently sit down and write out meal plans for my next diet, the one that was going to work, the one I was going to stick to for real, the one that would get me to my goal weight.  So I would have my ‘last supper’ meal the night before my diet started – usually consisting of some kind of takeaway food like KFC or pizza, followed by copious amounts of chocolate or ice cream or cake or maybe all three.  It saddens me to say that some nights, I actually tried to make myself eat to the point of feeling ill, in the hope that it would ‘turn me off eating junk food forever’.  I’d convince myself, every single time, that it was the very last time I’d binge eat.  And I was always convinced that the next day was the day I would start my super successful diet.

Needless to say, most of my diets consisted of starving myself, and four days was probably my record of sticking with it, before I gave in and found myself bingeing once again.

All that training that I’ve done, all those experiences and everything I learnt along my own journey with weight loss is what I’m here to share with you. It’s so much more than just what you eat and how often you exercise. There’s emotional factors, stress, physical problems such as thyroid function, hormonal levels and liver health. There’s food cravings and self-image problems and unhealthy patterns that you’ve developed around food and eating. And the biggest thing that I have learnt through everything is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to weight loss.

You are unique. Your body is unique. Your story is unique. Your dietary needs are unique. What works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you, and that’s why I’m so passionate about working 1-on-1 with women to help them understand their individuality and work with it, rather than trying the diet that their neighbour’s mum’s cousin did and then failing miserably.

So I work with women online via video call as well as in my Hove clinic. And I help them achieve the very same things I have achieved myself.

Freedom. Empowerment. Happiness. And of course, a healthy, sustainable weight.

 

P.S.  If food cravings are something that you struggle with, click here to download my FREE food cravings guide.

Food cravings? Willpower is not the answer.

food cravings sugar chocolate danni-archer

food cravings sugar chocolate

It’s Monday.  You’ve just started a brand new health kick, and you’re convinced that THIS TIME you’ll stick with it.  You have an event coming up in three months and you want to lose 10kg in that time.  You’ve removed all the junk food from your house, and you got pizza for dinner last night as a kind of last supper – just to prove to yourself that it was the last time you were going to eat food like that for at least 3 months.  You’ve got this.  Motivation is at an all time high, and nothing is going to stop you this time.

It’s Thursday.  You skipped the gym this morning because you snoozed your alarm too many times.  You were running late to work and didn’t have time to eat breakfast or make a healthy lunch, so by the time 11am comes around you are starving.  Sushi is the healthiest choice around, so you grab a couple of rolls and basically inhale them without thinking.  But it’s okay, you’re still on track, you haven’t given up yet!  Back to your strict diet tomorrow, for sure.

It’s Sunday.  It’s now been 4 days since you went to the gym, or exercised at all.  You’re feeling like a bit of a failure.  Your diet hasn’t been terrible, but it hasn’t been very good either.  And now you’re sitting on the couch thinking about the packet of potato chips sitting in the cupboard.  You rationalise; “I haven’t really stuck to my diet this week anyway, so I might as well just start again tomorrow”.  Before you know it, the packet is empty and you’re hit with guilt, regret and shame.  Why did you do it?  Why did you give in so easily?  Why couldn’t you just be a bit stronger and ignore your cravings?  You didn’t even enjoy the chips in the end, you were just eating them to punish yourself! Why, why, WHY do you always do this to yourself?

Gosh, that cycle is exhausting.  Trust me, I’ve been there!  And the reason I’m sharing this with you is because I know what it’s like to struggle through with nothing but willpower and CONSTANTLY feel like a failure.

You feel like you’ll never lose weight.

You feel like there is something wrong with you because you just can’t stick to a diet.

You feel worthless because you’ll never fit into those size 9 jeans sitting in your cupboard that you bought 4 years ago as “motivation to lose weight”.

It’s a really horrible place to be, all that guilt and shame and failure.

But wait for it…. *drum roll please*….. THERE IS ANOTHER WAY!  While the dieting industry would love you to believe that will power is your only option when it comes to losing weight, I’m here to smash that myth.  Let’s be cynical for a second: if all those dieting pills and weight loss shakes actually worked, wouldn’t the dieting industry be out of work?  Wouldn’t they lose customers every time someone actually succeeded in their programs?  Wouldn’t they make A LOT MORE MONEY if they actually set you up to fail in the first place?  By convincing you that your willpower is not strong enough, and then convincing you to try again, use a different product, start again next week or in the new year, the dieting industry is making you into a lifelong customer.  And that’s a win for them and their wallets.

So what’s the alternative to willpower?

Willpower works against your body.  It tells you to ignore food cravings, push through your low energy, ignore your stress and stick to your diet plan no matter what.  So the alternative to using willpower is to work with your body.  Listen to your body, get in touch with you and your individuality, and work from the foundations up.

When you work with your body, you delve deeper into your food cravings and figure out what is causing them, so that you can eliminate them completely.  Not having food cravings in the first place is a lot easier than fighting those cravings will willpower.  (This is what I teach in my online program Overcome Food Cravings).

When you work with your body, you figure out what is causing your low energy and you fix that first, rather than forcing yourself to “smash it out” at the gym when your body is screaming out for rest.  It might require increasing your iron intake, or improving your quality of sleep, or a number of things.  But whatever is contributing to your poor energy, that needs to be addressed before you can expect to stick to a consistent exercise regime.

How do I work with my body?  I don’t know where to start.

This is exactly what I do with clients in my 1-on-1 GROG sessions.  And no, we don’t sit around drinking wine together (although that sounds like fun too!).  GROG stands for Get Rid Of Guilt.  In an hour session, via video call or in my Hove clinic, I will help you understand what is going on at a foundational level so that we can get you to a place where eating healthy foods and exercising regularly feels easy.  No battling willpower, no feelings of guilt or failure, just a really down-to-earth and simple approach to getting you on the fast track to success in your weight loss goals.

I’ll help you get rid of your food cravings altogether.  I’ll help you improve your energy levels, get your digestion working properly, and give you coping strategies for stressful and emotional situations.  Whatever obstacle you need to remove before you can start living a healthy, happy life – I can help you out.

For more information on my 1-on-1 GROG sessions, send me an email or comment below.

I struggled against my body and blamed my lack of willpower for way too long, and I don’t want you to do the same.  Book a session with me and together we’ll get to the root of your issue, so that you can find freedom with food and healthy living.

If you want to book a GROG session now, click here.  And feel free to bring wine! 😉

 

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.

My ‘Day on a Plate’

danni-archer
danni-archer-naturopath

Inspired by too many “what a nutritionist eats in a day’ articles that are completely unreasonable for the average person (I’m looking at you, Lola Berry), I decided to share my own ‘day on a plate’ to give you an insight into my average daily diet.

I am a qualified naturopath, and my biggest passion is helping women lose weight and get their food cravings under control.  I help my clients improve their eating habits, reduce their cravings, understand their bodies and approach themselves and their bodies with just a little more kindness.  I help my clients find exercise that they enjoy, and create a healthy lifestyle that is simple, sustainable and enjoyable.

But I also help my clients find balance, and encourage them to enjoy their life in amongst all the healthy eating and exercise.  There is no point restricting your diet to the point that you’re miserable and can’t go out and have fun with friends.  There is no point setting unrealistic goals and expecting to have a perfect, clean diet 100% of the time.  I’m a realist, and I know from experience that expectations of perfection and unsustainable dietary restriction is only going to cause cravings and a negative mindset and possibly even binge eating.

So please, don’t compare your current daily diet to mine or anyone else’s.  We’re all at different stages and what works for me might not work for you.

Here’s my average daily routine:

6.30am  Breakfast:          1x espresso coffee with soy milk

8.30-9am                             Protein shake – either Medi-Restore or a combination of Vital Protein powder and Vital Greens powder, in 50-50 water and almond milk

1pm                                       Mountain rice wrap with roasted chicken breast and salad (baby spinach, leafy green lettuce, rocket, carrot, beetroot, cucumber, tomato all tossed in a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice) with hummus

3pm                                       Homemade banana bread, if I haven’t already had some for breakfast

                                OR          1 banana with Justin’s Almond Butter (soooo yum!)

7pm                                       Dinner is almost always some kind of protein with a variety of veggies.  Curries and stirfries are popular in our house, so is pasta, veggie bakes, homemade pies.. I try to mix it up to keep things interesting.  Some weeks I’ll do a big cook-up on Sunday for the week, and other days I’ll cook simpler meals each night.  Being just the two of us at home, meals will usually last us at least 2 nights, or we might have leftovers for the lunch the next day.

So that’s my average day on a plate!

But I’m human just like you.

Some days I’ll have a second coffee (my fiancé has turned me into a coffee lover!)

Some days I don’t take enough food to work and come home absolutely starving.

Some days I feel like chocolate, and although I always tune in to figure out why I’m actually craving it, there are days when I’ll eat something else instead and days when I’ll have the chocolate I’m craving.

Wherever you are right now in your health journey, it’s totally okay.

I used to eat hot chips almost daily, and craved chocolate like crazy.  I had a phase when I was 18 years old when I ate nothing but BBQ Shapes and salami and drank energy drinks every day.  Even just a couple of months ago I was having a rough patch emotionally, and my eating habits were completely reflective of that – I had no motivation to prepare food and was eating packaged convenience foods or nothing at all.

I’ve got a complex relationship with food, and even though my eating habits can fluctuate, I am connected to my body and always feel in control of the decisions that I make.  And if I’m having a rough patch, I know that it’s not forever, and I just do the best I can to get myself through.

So sure, I can give you my average “day on a plate”, but it doesn’t always look like this.  And that’s totally okay.  

Cause I’m human.  And I’m not perfect – but I am healthy and happy, and that’s the most important thing to me.

Gluten-free Blueberry Muffins

danni-archer-weight-loss

Ingredients

Makes 10 muffins

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 16-18 minutes

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 heaped tsp almond meal
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw or coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk (you can use a plant-based milk to make these muffins dairy-free!)
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C, and grease or line a muffin tray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla extract, milk and coconut oil) except for the blueberries. Make sure the coconut oil is soft enough to mix but not hot, as it may cook the egg if it is too hot.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Add the blueberries to the mixture and fold gently to combine.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tray and cook for 16-18 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow muffins to cool completely before removing them from the tray.