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!

Four Ways to Save Time in the Kitchen

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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

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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.

 

 

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.

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.

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

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.

 

 

 

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 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.

Food cravings? Willpower is not the answer.

food cravings sugar chocolate danni-archer
food cravings sugar chocolate danni-archer

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! 😉