FIT Talk With Tania  

Get started and stay on track with your health goals, one per cent at a time

One per cent at a time

It’s two weeks into the new year and I'm seeing a lot of people making the decision to start putting health first. Very typical for January.

What's also typical are interruptions, distractions, a crisis, a celebration, etc. Just when you think you've finally got yourself organized to “let's do this!” (whatever “this” is for you) the car breaks down and needs an expensive repair or your hours change at work. Maybe your kids get sick, someone comes to visit, the neighbour needs you to dog-sit. Does this resonate with anyone?

And so you're sitting there thinking what the heck happened? You had things so nicely planned out and coordinated, right? It's called life.

Life happens. And in case you haven't figured it out yet, it's going to keep happening. The good and the not-so-good. We can't control the things that happen to us but we can always control how we react to them. Even when it comes to our health.

When you first think about those little—or not-so-little interrupters—most people see them as just an annoyance—an inconvenience at having to reschedule everything. But do you really have to postpone, put off, push back, reschedule or cancel? I think not. Those little interruptions are part of life.

If life is going to keep “happening,” you have to make a decision. You can be at the mercy of life's interruptions or you can decide not to let them distract you from the things that matter, the things that are important. I was at a workshop years ago and the presenter said something that stuck with me.

He said the important things in life are often bullied and regulated by the urgent things. And it's true.

So how can you get started and stay on track with your health journey even when life is happening around you, to you and at you? Simple. You go all in at one per cent.

The one per cent rule is powerful because it allows anyone to get started with anything, anytime and not fail. It’s because I believe everyone can do at least one thing one per cent better tomorrow than they did today. This is works especially well when life is happening and you're the “all-in” type of person.

When it comes to health, one percent can be drinking more water, parking farther away from the door when you shop, taking the stairs, eating a balanced breakfast with protein when you'd normally just have coffee, and so on. You get the idea.

It allows you to not put off making health a priority and to get started and keep going even when, well you fill in the blank.

Some of you may wonder what's wrong with actually waiting until the storm passes and then diving in full force, fully committed, with no distractions. Well, nothing really. Likely that's how it will work for a lot of you, and that's awesome. But for those who are wondering when, or even if, the crazy will stop, the one percent is for you.

I’m not going to lie, it will take you a little longer to hit your goals. But if you never start, you'll never hit them.

Health is a journey. I like to think of it like a family vacation road trip. You've got everyone packed up, ready to go, you jump in the car, you are cruising down the highway, it’s a nice sunny day and then driving through some small town, you hit road construction.

Traffic is moving slow and you can see the detour sign up ahead. You know it's going to add another hour or so onto your driving time but you take the detour and you arrive at your destination a little late, tired and hungry. But you made it.

Your health is like a road trip and your body is the vehicle that drives you through life. On the family vacation, you wouldn't throw up your hands in frustration, turn the car around and take everyone home just because of a detour, right? Same applies to your health.

As long as you get started and just do one percent better every day and don’t turn the car around, you will get there. You will reach your health, weight or fitness goals because by making a decision to get started and not letting the urgent things bully and regulate your health goals, you're also creating healthy habits that stick. And that's always a win.

If you're ready to get started, you're invited to join 8 Weeks is All it Takes on Facebook where Tania and the group will be living the program right along with you.

You don't need a diet to get healthy, you need a plan

A healthy you in 2022

Happy New Year. Hope you all had a blessed and wonderful Christmas, enjoying time with family and friends. If you're like me, a lot of that quality time also included food. A lot of food!

Whether you stuck to your plan, or things got away from you a little bit, I do hope you all enjoyed a few holiday favourites—guilt free.

And now you're back on plan. At least that was the plan, right?

With so many get-togethers involving food, drink and treats over the holidays, it's no wonder this is the time of year when temptation to resort to trying a diet is the strongest.

Even some of my FITlifers have confided that, in a moment of desperation, they have entertained the idea. But when you get right down to it, we all know diets don't work. They lie. Because even though diets will get you some results up front, they won't get you results you'll be able to keep for life.

So why would you want to do it? Trust me, you don't.

What if you could learn how to eat the foods you love in a way that promotes health, something that works with the way your body was designed to function and something to optimize your health while at the same time allowing you to achieve your weight goals? Well, you can.

Here's the deal. Today being Jan. 1, many of you are likely setting, or thinking about setting, New Year's resolutions. And, as a quick search showed some combination of weight loss, exercise and health topped polls for the past three years, it's safe to say that will likely be the case for 2022 as well.

Although health and weight loss resolutions are trending, it's a trend without traction. Clearly whatever people are doing isn't working. And really, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

But it's not your fault. Diets don't work. Oh sure, you'll always get some results at the start, but it's keeping them that counts. I think by now most people know diets don't work long term, they just don't know what else to do. So they make resolutions and try again, thinking, “If I could just have more willpower.” Sound familiar? You're not alone.

Simply making a resolution won't make that diet work any better this year than it did last year. Because diets set you up to fail. Diets make you believe that you're the problem, when in fact, they make you follow an impossible set of rules.

Diets make you eliminate food groups, count calories, keep you from eating the same dinner as the rest of your family, and flood you with guilt for that tiny sliver of birthday cake you didn't even enjoy at your kid's birthday.

Diets require you to be perfect. No wonder people give up after a few months. Who wants to live like that? No one. What you need is a resolution with a plan and a program to make it happen.

Diets use food to lose weight. Period. A plan focuses on using food to create health. And when you put it together with a program that teaches you how to eat the foods you love in a way that enables a healthy inflammatory response, promotes circulation, naturally balances blood sugar, optimizes digestion and supports collagen resilience, you get results you can keep.

Statistics say that people will buy a new diet book every 90 days. Having a plan and a program means you don't have to be perfect to get results. It means when life happens—and it will—you have the know-how to get yourself back on track. Things to keep in mind this weekend scrolling through social media and Amazon.

So how do you know if what you're considering is a diet selling you snake oil or a plan and a program for success? Consider these three things.

• Is it based in science?

• Does it make sense and can you do it for life?

• Would you let your child, or any child, do it?

If you can answer “yes” to all three, you have a plan and a program that will set you up to win with your health and make 2022 your last weight loss resolution ever.

If you're looking for a plan and program to kick off 2022, join Tania's 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook.

How to avoid the 12 Pounds of Christmas

The 12 Pounds of Christmas

The Twelve Pounds of Christmas

(Sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas)

Oh, the first pound of Christmas was easy to ignore…..

(And) It all started with a box of Lindor.

The second pound of Christmas, a tummy full of bloat…..

Fast food while Christmas shopping …

The third pound of Christmas came sneaking up on me…

Eggnog and cookies…

The fourth pound of Christmas came with the butter tarts….

I should never start!

The fifth pound of Christmas appeared overnight….

Yikes! My pants are tight!

Shortbread cookies baking, how fattening can they be?

Butter added six pounds…..

Staff parties are in full swing so plan for food and cheer….

Seven pounds already this year….

The neighbours came a-calling and brought with them some cheer….

Can eight pounds come from beer?

The thermometer is dropping, but the scale says nine pounds up…

Make that latte “light whip”…

Now it’s time to trim the tree and decorate the house…..

That extra 10 pounds makes it a workout….

The season’s not complete without fruit cake and mincemeat….

11 pounds to my seat!

After turkey and the fixin's you’ll be more stuffed than the bird….

12 pounds up this Christmas, how absurd!

It's fun to play around like this and change the words to The Twelve Days of Christmas, but for some people this isn't actually that far off from what really happens over the Christmas season.

Here are five last-minute tips and a few strategies to help you make it through the holidays without gaining weight this year.

1. As much as possible, stick to your regular meal schedule of eating a protein, fat and carb every three hours. One meal won't make or break your results, it's what you do consistently in and around that meal that determines that.

2. Carry balanced snacks with you—protein bars, shake mix and a shaker bottle, unsalted nuts and a Mandarin orange are just a few of the things I never leave home without during the Christmas season.

3. Never arrive hungry. Having a small balanced snack before heading out to a dinner or party will make sure you are choosing what to put into your mouth rather than the mindless munching that happens when your blood sugar drops. FYI—Restricting food all day and “saving room” for that big dinner is actually worse and will cause your body to burn muscle and store even more fat that sticking to the plan all day and then simply indulging for the one meal.

4. Have your alcohol with food. Alcohol is a carbohydrate. Think of that glass of wine like a piece of bread. When carbs are consumed by themselves, blood sugar spikes and fat is stored. In order to minimize that spike and the carnage, it's best to enjoy that glass of wine with dinner. Or a least a small handful of nuts.

5. Hydrate. Not only will water help flush out any bloat that may have been collected by the extra sugar, salt and alcohol but it will also help you to feel better the next day if you did happen to overdo it just a little the night before.

Even with just a week left until Christmas, it's never too late to make a difference. Plan your off-plan meal and be choosy when you indulge. And then enjoy it guilt free.

Studies show those who plan their special occasions, tend to make much better choices in the days leading up to it.

And those who choose to indulge in only their most favourite treats tend to enjoy them guilt free and are typically satisfied with smaller portions, whereas those who randomly indulge simply because it's Christmas and treats are available, tend to report less enjoyment and more guilt. It’s a sure-fire recipe for living the Twelve Pounds of Christmas. Something none of us wants to carry into the new year.

For tips, takeaways and healthy treat options on how to prevent holiday weight gain and thrive through Christmas, join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes group on Facebook today.

Focus on the good, not the bad when it comes to your eating habits

Eliminate food guilt

Food guilt comes from knowing a food is not so good for you, and eating it anyway.

Here we are, the first few days into December. Christmas lights are shining around the city, people are decking the halls and attending parties and family, friends, fun and food make it a good time—unless you're that person who is great with the first three, but views the last, food, as one of those unmentionable four-letter words.

Maybe you are someone who, as soon as food is involved, begins to feel some level of guilt about what you just ate. If this is you, you're not alone.

A March 2019 article in the New York Post did a piece on this very topic and reported that, a new study found Americans, increasingly aware of healthier and more natural alternatives, feel guilt about 29% of the food they eat on average.

Those feelings of guilt struck about five separate times per week, lasting around 20 minutes each time. The Post further reported that 36% felt bad after eating dinner and a whopping 42% felt more guilt after snacking. That's a lot of bad feelings for a lot of people about food.

Love it or hate it, we all need food to live. Food is part of almost every holiday and special occasion we celebrate. And I highly doubt that's gonna change.

So, doing what you can to ease—and maybe even eliminate—that guilt, and bring back a healthy relationship with food, would seem the right thing to do. Agreed? Good.

As the Post article reported, food guilt comes from knowing a food is not so good for you, and eating it anyway. The guilt comes from choosing to do the wrong thing. But what causes people to knowingly choose what they, themselves, would consider to be the “wrong” thing? Here are two things to think about that will trigger that behaviour.

The first is restriction. Often, in an effort to manage health and/or weight, people incorrectly buy into that they must eliminate certain foods and/or restrict when they eat. Diets do this. Some eliminate carbs, others fat. There are those that say you must only eat at certain hours of the day, where others say it doesn't matter, just as long as you don't consume more than a certain number of calories per day.

For the most part, people tend to like to follow the rules. Follow those rules, stick to the program and, voila! Success, right? But when there are so many conflicting rules, the tendency is to feel you're not doing anything right. And because food is essential and not eating is not an option, you choices are all “bad” in some way.

The second thing to remember is that trends matter more than events. A colleague and fellow nutritionist, Jennifer Flatt Fleischer, said it best: “One meal won't make you healthy, just as one meal won't make you unhealthy.”

She's absolutely right. Most reasonable people would agree, even if they don't know much about health because it just makes sense. However, what tends to happen is, you eat something you wish you hadn't, beat yourself up about it and then throw in the towel telling yourself, “I blew it! Everything is ruined. Imight as well just call it a day and maybe start again next week.”

By doing that, the one meal turned into several meals over several days. That one meal we all agreed would not make or break anything, immediately became a trend and I'm sure we can all agree that eating unhealthy foods multiple times over an extended period will pack on those extra pounds and wreak havoc on your health.

Any negative thought floating around in your head, requires about 20 positive thoughts to counteract the ill effects. So shift the focus to all the things you are doing right and celebrate those. Trust me, you're all doing some things right.

So, when you do eat something and feel that guilt start to creep up, stop – you can even stand tall and put up your hand, physically, just as if you were a police officer stopping traffic. That helps put the brakes on the negative self-talk that comes with the guilt. And then start naming, out loud, all the things you did right for your health that day.

So, you grabbed a cookie from the staff room during a break. Yep, maybe not the best choice. But instead of letting it drive you crazy for the rest of the day and drowning that guilt in a peppermint mocha on the way home and then ordering pizza for dinner because the whole day is ruined anyway, look at, and celebrate, all the good things you did do.

Maybe you started the day with a big glass of water and remembered to include protein with your breakfast. What about that lunch you brought from home to avoid ordering take out with coworkers? And the five times you took the stairs today? You get the point. It's not what we do one time that determines our health, it's what we consistently do.

Start focusing on the good things you are already doing and I promise, you'll feel motivated to do more.

Get back on track with a free 21-day holiday reset. Join 8 Weeks is All it Takes on Facebook for more information and to follow along.

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About the Author

Nutritionist Tania Gustafson, owner of FIT Nutrition, has been active in the health and fitness industry since 1986 when she entered as a fitness instructor and trainer.

In 2011, Tania partnered with internationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Mark Macdonald, and in 2017 officially earned the title of Master Nutrition Coach in conjunction with Venice Nutrition and the International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaches (IBNFC).

Tania is one of only five health professionals licensed and certified in Canada to deliver this proven, three-phase program of blood sugar stabilization, not dieting.Tania is committed to ending the dieting madness both locally and globally and educates her clients on how to increase health with age.

Tania is able to work with clients across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. to restore health and achieve their weight loss goals.Tania is a wife, mother of three adult children, global entrepreneur, speaker, workshop facilitator, writer, blogger, podcast host, travel junkie and self-proclaimed gym rat.

For more information and to book your complimentary health assessment go to www.fuelignitethrive.com. Check https://www.facebook.com/fuelignitethrive/  and https://www.facebook.com/groups/8weeksisallittakes/

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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