Why you haven’t lost weight this week?

crop kid weighing on scale

The diet industry is not fir for purpose and it has become clear that many women are struggling with the pressure to succeed. I’ve heard from a lot of ladies who feel stressed, unmotivated at their clubs because they didn’t drop a stone on week 1 or are progressing much slower than expected – this breaks my heart!

Has this ever happened to you?

How did you feel? I used to feel like it was my fault. That I must have done something wrong on the diet without realising, or that my body just didn’t work the same as others and wasn’t as good. I was worried about weigh ins, and if I hadn’t lightened by at least 3lb I felt awful about myself. Even when I shed 1 lb, I beat myself up as it wasn’t “enough”.

So why does this happen?

Adipocyte cell  showing fat reservoir

When we lose weight fat cells break down, but what a lot of people aren’t taught, is that those cells don’t break down immediately. The body likes to be prepared, and if the cells are needed again soon they need to be ready. Rather than breaking down, the fat reservoir fills with water. By the time you weigh in, they are still heavy, although you have lost fat. Once the body knows those cells are no longer necessary for you, they break down and you finally see that reward on the scales.

Drinking enough water is the best way to stay hydrated. When our bodies are properly nourished, we retain less than if they’re lacking anything else! That’s why it’s important for everyone – keep drinking 8 glasses every day.

If you are getting lighter on your diet, but getting frustrated as the weight is going, but not as fast as you like try this exercise:

clear glass jars on white wooden shelf
Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Grab a bag and raid your cupboards. Take out packets and tins and whatever you need to do until the bag weighs the same as the amount of weight you have shed since you started your diet. Now take that bag with you everywhere you go for the day, walking the dog, to the park with the kids. Even to the loo!

In the evening when you put that bag down and put everything back in your cupboards, notice how much lighter you feel without it. How much easier it is to move. You used to carry that weight around with you everyday and now you can put it down. The more weight you drop, the easier your life will become.

You are not alone in your weight loss journey. Many people have embarked on the same path and achieved great success. Remember, it is important to be patient and allow your body time to adjust as you make healthy changes. Stay focused on your goals, take things one step at a time, and remember to enjoy the process! I am here to support you every step of the way. Are you ready to get started?


Related Post

selective focus photography of ace of spade playing card

The Transformative Power of an ACE in Understanding and Overcoming Unresolved Childhood TraumaThe Transformative Power of an ACE in Understanding and Overcoming Unresolved Childhood Trauma

I mentioned on TikTok this week about ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences – not cards), impact on your life and a fellow friend of mine who works with Trauma through a different methodology told me she had never heard of it, so I thought if she hasn’t heard of this – maybe you haven’t either?

Our beliefs about who we are, the world and how those pieces fit together are formed throughout our early childhood. For some, this could mean that they fell into a pond when they were little and now they don’t like being near open water, for some this could mean a strong association between feeling loved and the smell of freshly baked cupcakes.

For others though, it could mean they learnt that no one was interested in what they had to say. It could mean they learnt that they were only worth something when they were winning. or worse still, that they didn’t deserve love and happiness.

That is where ACE’s come in. The Adverse Childhood Experience Assessment was developed in the 80’s by Dr. Vincent Felitti in his Obesity Clinic. He came up with a hypothesis that the problems some of his clients had with food, was actually a coping mechanism for trauma. Since then it has been further developed and even more poor outcomes in later life have been linked to having 1 or more of these experiences, with the more experiences being linked to worse outcomes in life.

It has been discovered that ACE’s can have a profound effect on a persons physical and mental health throughout their life, including;

  • Heart health problems, such as coronary heart disease.
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Phobias
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Eating Disorders, such as over or under eating
  • Developmental Disruption – presenting very similarly to ASD / ADHD / ADD
  • Increase risk of Auto-immune disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Cancer
  • Lower income
  • Lower education level
  • Problems forming relationships
  • and many others

I have spent more than half my life knowing I was different, growing up most of my friends were much older than me, I didn’t have a lot in common with my peers. I thought I had a form of undiagnosed ASD because I ticked so many of the boxes, even while doing my hypnotherapy training this was never explained to me in detail. It wasn’t until I started learning more about treating Trauma and delving into a specific trauma awareness course kindly held by the Arizona Trauma Institute that I even started hearing about this. Thankfully I am now and people are becoming more aware of how brain development and physical health, not just mental health, is affected by the experiences we go through in our formative years.

I will be sharing the ACE assessment in my newsletter this week, if you are interested or it could benefit someone you know, don’t miss out and sign up now!

I would love to meet you and hear more about your experiences with trauma in a supportive and kind space. For more tips and info from me, please join me over on Facebook.

3 things you can do to keep the winter blues at bay3 things you can do to keep the winter blues at bay

Winter is a tough time of year for many people. The long, dark evenings can make it feel like there’s no hope left in the world and that we’re all just doomed to be miserable forever. But winter doesn’t have to be a season where you hibernate at home and dread going outside. There are plenty of things you can do to keep the winter blues at bay! Here are 3 ways you can beat those winter blues this season:

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

1) turn on some music

Music affects our mood in so many ways, if you don’t believe me, next time you go to watch a horror movie watch part of it with the sound off. Suddenly it isn’t scary anymore. Music can make us mournful or scared, or it can give us a boost and fill us full of those happy endorphins while dancing around the kitchen.

If when you wake up it is still dark outside and you are on your second cup to get you moving, put on your favourite happy music while you get ready and you will soon be full of energy and optimism for the day.

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

2) get out into nature

There is no such things as bad weather – only inappropriate clothes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Now is the perfect time to get to the shops and get yourself a winter coat you feel good in, that keeps you warm without feeling like the Michelin man. Put it on and go outside. Exercise is amazing for your mood, and when coupled with the joy of being in nature it has a very real physiological affect on the body and mind.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

3) Start a journal

I think this is one of the most important for me, you can use an app like I do, such as Beautiful Mood, or any notepad you can pick up.

At the end of the day, write down 3 things you are grateful for.

Underneath that, write down 3 things you acheived today.

And finally write a statement that empowers you, for example “I AM ENOUGH” or “I AM HEALTHY AND LOVE WALKING OUTSIDE”.

Now that you have the tools to create a happier winter, don’t forget to take advantage of them. You can book your FREE consultation call with me today and get started on making this winter better than ever! The only thing left for you is to put on some music, go outside and journal your way to happiness in these next few months. I’ll see you soon 🙂


Part 2 – Why your depressed and what you can do about itPart 2 – Why your depressed and what you can do about it

There are many reasons we find ourselves depressed or anxious. I covered most of these last week (if you haven’t already, you can read that here), we may have been told we have a hormone imbalance, we may be suffering from inflammation in the brain, reduced serotonin and reduced neuro-plasticity (the brains ability to communicate with itself, let go of old connections and establish new ones). So if all this is going on in our brain, why am I talking to you about your diet?

We have all heard of the importance of serotonin and dopamine in stabilizing and boosting our mood, but what may surprise you to learn is that 95% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut and over half of our dopamine is synthesised there too.

The gut is referred to as our second brain, it has it’s own functioning ability outside of the brain allowing it to communicate with the brain. According to Professor Felicia Jacka of the Food and Mood centre, 90% of information travelling this superhighway is going from the gut to the brain, and only 10% from the brain to the gut.

So it makes sense that the foods we eat and the health of our gut directly correlates with the health of our brain.

The truth of it is – Your comfort foods are actually making you feel worse.

That’s right, the foods you eat when you feel low, actually contribute to you feeling worse. The below is a list of foods to minimise in your diet and why they are not helping you shake the blues.

  1. Alcohol, tobacco, other drugs

We know typically these are depressants, and yet we still reach for a glass of wine or a joint to have a good time or numb the effects of stressful day, but they affect the nervous system. Alcohol interferers with our sleep, promotes inflammation as, news flash, our body swells and gets aggravated when we poison it. Add to this that it makes your blood sugar go up and down like a yo-yo, it actively reduces serotonin and actually increases production of hormones that increase your levels of stress and anxiety. It’s a quick fix that not only is toxic to our brain, but damages the gut lining and our healthy bacteria.

2. Added sugar (refined sugar)

We have all been to a children’s birthday party where the children are ‘hyped’ up on sugar and then all get tired and short tempered almost as quickly. The link between the ‘sugar high’ and our food is so similar to that of alcohol or drugs we even treat it as such and limit how much we allow our children to have. We know it’s not good and yet we sit there eating entire chocolate oranges in 10 minutes (or was that just me?)

What sugar actually does is promote inflammation, cause fatigue and irritability, and stop us being able to effectively deal with stress. A study cited by Mind over Munch in their video here, stated that people with a high sugar diet were 23% more likely to develop depression or anxiety.

3. Processed Foods & Fast Foods

We know they aren’t good for us, but the trans fats found in processed and fast food correlate with anxiety, aggression and depression among others. Processed meats are often full of salt , sugar and a lot of…

4. Artificial sweeteners and anything else you can’t pronounce in the ingredients

The clue is the in the name, artificial. They aren’t food and our bodies don’t know how to process them as such. Not only can these ingredients lead to weight gain, they are also associated with headaches, dizziness, migraines as well as mood disorders. If it isn’t food, don’t eat it.

5. ‘White’ grains

When they make white flour, white rice etc, they take away everything that is good about the grain and leave behind what is basically a form of dehydrated glue. Simple carbs like those found in white bread, white rice have nothing good for you, but wow are they full of gluey starch, a simple sugar that causes massive irregularity in your blood sugar.

6. Refined oils

We know how amazing Omega 3 is for our brain health, more about that later, but have you heard of it’s arch nemeses, Omega 6? Neither had I before I started this research, but much like a negative cancels out a positive, Omega 6 (found in refined oils) compete with and block out the Omega 3s. Rather than helping our brain function, Omega 6 causes inflammation, impairs brain function and has been shown to worsen depression. Worth noting a lot of the already really bad fast food, is then fried in refined oil.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

I’m not telling you that you can never have a glass of wine after a stressful week (studies have shown small amounts of red wine have a positive effect on our mood and health), or you can never treat the children to McDonalds, but it should be exactly that – a treat. In order to really help lift our spirits, we need to limit these foods that are literally making us depressed (it’s no surprise that the western world has the highest consumption of these foods and the highest rates of common mood disorders) and eat foods that truly make us happy and function well.

  1. Fatty fish

I promised I would come back to this Omega 3, the undisputed ruler of the brain health foods. Our brains are actually made up of 60% fat. Healthy fats in the form of Omega 3 are fuel to our brains. The best source of Omega 3 is in Salmon, but other fatty fish such as sardines, mackerel and tuna are also good for you. Not to mention all their other health benefits. Also, if you really don’t like fish, Omega 3 is one of the only nutrients that still has a positive effect on mood when taken as a supplement.

Fatty fish also contain amino acids, if the nutrients we take in from food were love letters amino acids would be the envelopes. Tryptophan in particular is the envelope of choice for our happy hormone, serotonin.

2. Nuts and seeds

If you are vegetarian / vegan and cannot eat fish, then you will be pleased to know that walnuts, chia, flax and hemp seeds are also really good sources of plant based Omega 3. Walnuts especially have a recognised mood boosting effect. One study measured participants depression scores and found they were 26% lower in people who ate 1/4 cup of walnuts a day. Eating that amount of walnuts (roughly a dozen halves) also lead to greater optimism, energy, hope and concentration. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of tryptophan.

3. Meat, Poultry, Eggs Dairy AND SOY

All meat, regardless if it is red or white meat is an excellent source of complete proteins and amino acids, although the best sources are chicken and turkey.

Eggs are also a good source of folate and vitamin D, which may have links to our immune health. Folate can also be found in legumes such as beans or chickpeas, as well as nuts and seeds.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is folate? Folate is a very clever B9 vitamin who’s job is to help regenerate cells and tissue. Low levels of folate have been linked to increased risk of depression and poor response to antidepressant treatment

4. Vegetables

Of course I’m going to tell you at some point to eat your greens. Vegetables, especially dark leafy greens such as cabbage, spinach and broccoli, are packed full of nutrients and folate. They are also full of antioxidants.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Why are antioxidants good? Oxidisation of cells in the body, splits them at an atomic level. These atoms have unpaired electrons and zoom around the body looking for another atom to pair up with. Think of it like a pair of magnets stuck together, and then the Oxygen comes in like the flat mate they swear they are just friends with and splits them up leaving one magnet looking desperately for love, and not caring what they wreck in the process. These are what you may have heard referred to as free radicals. They are natural and normal, but like everything, in moderation. If there are two many of them, our body can’t keep up and they can cause diseases and have even been attributed to some cancers. When this happens, the body is in oxidative stress which has also been linked to depression and anxiety.

5. Fruits

A healthy mix of fruits is essential for your diet, but berries are your best choice when choosing mood foods. All berries are some of the most antioxidant rich foods that exist, so much so in blueberries, they are considered a depression food.

Avocado is also great for you, and they are not just for millennials. They are full of healthy fats, folate and also rich in amino acids helping all that good stuff get to where it needs to be.

Keep in mind that any change to your diet in the right direction is going to help you to feel better, you don’t need to become Gillian McKeith overnight to get the benefits, but the more you can eliminate the less helpful foods and eat more of the good stuff, the better you will feel. The catch 22 is, if you are feeling depressed you may not feel worth spending the time and energy to buy and make these foods, but there are really quick, simple and cheap solutions available on line. If you know someone who is depressed, why not make a large batch of something yummy you can take round to a friend (and leave, please don’t put pressure). Something easy to reheat or eat cold they can just grab – Such as a crust-less quiche using yogurt instead of cream and packed full of chicken, red peppers and spinach.

If you would like this quiche recipe, please email me (melanie.parker@thebeliefdistillery.co.uk) and put “Brain Quiche” in the subject.

Please keep in mind, no specific food is a treatment for anxiety or depression, and these recommendations are NOT a substitute for medical or psychiatric advice. Please consult with your physician or mental health professional before making lifestyle changes, especially any changes that involve medication.