Women's Wellness Series:  How to BOOST your immune system

Posted by Meredith C. on Aug 7, 2020 10:54:23 AM

How does the immune system work and can you improve its effectiveness?  This is a very important question given the current events worldwide over the last few months. Usually, your immune system does a remarkable job of being your first line of defense against illnesses.  But sometimes it fails or completely loses its ability to protect you. This is why we have put together some tips and suggestions as to how to boost your immune system in this installment of our Women's Wellness Series.

The human body’s immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend the body from invading microbes such as bacteria and viruses. What is important to understand is that it is a system...a system that interconnects throughout your body that requires balance and harmony.  Think about the multiple systems of a car.  A car needs a properly running fuel system, electrical system, and steering system to name a few in order to work.   In the human body, the immune system needs a properly functioning cardio-respiratory system, nervous system, and digestive system to name a few. Each of these systems needs to be as strong as possible in order to support the health of the immune system.

how to boost your immune system

 

Boosting these varied systems requires a CONSISTENT multi-faceted approach to include:

  • A healthy diet high in fruits and veggies
  • Limit sugar, alcohol, processed foods
  • Adequate high-quality sleep
  • A well-rounded exercise program that includes heart rate work AND strength training
  • Behaviors and/or programs to manage stress and anxiety.

Have questions or need help in boosting your immune system?  Our dedicated and informative personal training staff are here to assist you to live your life full of health and vitality. Also, be sure to register for our free ZOOM nutrition webinar that will specially cover how a healthy diet can help to boost your immune system. 

 

Like what you read? Check out other helpful articles in our Women's Wellness Series

 

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, nutrition, the women's club

TWC installs airPHX® system to protect members from COVID-19

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jul 22, 2020 12:33:39 PM

Dear TWC Members and the Greater Chantilly Community,

Our new, state-of-the-art filtration system called AirPHX® (pronounced 'air fix') has been installed in the club! https://www.airphxsports.com/

The health and safety of our members and staff is and has always been our top priority. While we were closed, we were actively investing in new ways to add to our already robust cleaning regimen. As you know we have implemented enhanced cleaning/disinfecting protocols as well as adding new measures/technology, one of which is our new AirPHX system. We are one of only a few clubs in the area to have this technology. 

AirPhx The Women's Club

Considered to be the gold standard in continuous cleaning of the air and surfaces, AirPHX removes pathogens from AIR and SURFACES (as opposed to UV light filters that only sanitize the air). AirPHX uses atmospheric cold plasma to change a small percentage of the oxygen molecules in the air into a unique spectrum of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that kill bacteria, viruses, and mold. First, airborne pathogens are destroyed as air circulates through the unit. Then, air containing oxidizing molecules circulates through the club. This effectively reduces all air and surface pathogens throughout the facility. Each AirPHX unit will treat up to 150,000 cubic feet to provide our member's hospital-grade levels of cleanliness. Most importantly, it eliminates 95% of influenza, coronavirus, norovirus, MRSA, Staph, athlete’s foot, and over 30 additional common bacteria and viruses. 

This is just one of the ways The Women's Club has been working to better serve our members, our staff, and our community and we welcome you to come and enjoy the enhanced workout experience!

Best In health,
The Women's Club Team
womensclub@aol.com

YES! AirPHX is effective against Coronavirus. Click to see the test results here.

 

 

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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, the women's club

Women's Wellness Series: Protect Your Heart!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 14, 2019 12:19:14 PM

Fact: One in four American women will die from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The good news? You can take action to improve your heart health. This American Heart Month, let's work together to learn about how we can protect our hearts. 

You can take small steps to improve your heart health every day. Here are 5 heart health tips for women to help you keep your ticker in tip-top shape:

1. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Choose low sodium and salt foods; limit foods that have trans fat, like pastries and fried food; and cut back on sugar. Read tips from the FDA to learn how to maintain a heart-healthy diet.

 

asparagus-barbecue-cuisine-361184

 

2. Manage your health conditions. Take your medicines as directed and get your blood pressure and cholesterol tested regularly. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level on a regular basis.

3. Get the facts about aspirin. Some people take aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke, but it is not right for everyone. Ask your doctor if you should use aspirin.

 

heart-attack-warning-signs

 

4. Know the signs of a heart attack in women, including:

  • Chest pain (heavy ache or pressure)
  • Pain in your upper body (arms, neck, jaw, back, or upper stomach)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Unusual or unexplained tiredness
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Feeling sick to your stomach (nausea)
  • The signs of a heart attack can be different for women than they are for men.

5. Join a clinical trial. Clinical trials help healthcare professionals learn about how women of different ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds respond to heart health treatments. Visit the FDA Office of Women’s Health Women in Clinical Trials web page to learn more about how you can participate in a clinical trial.

Visit the FDA Office of Women's Health's website to learn more about heart disease and what you can do to improve your heart health. This month and beyond, protect your heart by making good heart health decisions!

 

 

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Topics: women's health, group exercise classes for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, group fitness classes

Women's Wellness Series:  The Resolution Solution

Posted by Trinity Perkins on Jan 3, 2019 12:16:54 PM

New Year New You image

Nearly half of us are making New Year’s resolutions, but less than 10% of us will keep them through February. Whether it’s lack of motivation, lack of resources, or loss of interest, many of us will start off strong but lose the spark, especially when it comes to our fitness goals. It’s time to map out a fresh strategy for 2019! Here are 5 tips to help you stick with your New Year Resolutions:

  1. Be specific – Rather than aiming to “exercise more,” map out the exact days and times you’ll be hitting the gym each week.

  2. Buddy up – Reaching goals is better with friends! ‘Planners’ should pair up with ‘doers’ and people who like to research everything before making a move should pair up with those who like to jump right in! You might work differently but you can help keep each other motivated and focused.  

  3. Break it down – If your goal is to “lose weight,” break it down into bite-sized action steps you can take right away. A smaller goal of “lose 1 lb a week” is easier to measure and track as you work toward your long-term goals.

  4. Be realistic – Reaching the resolution finish line is as much about the journey as it is about the result. Be realistic with your resolutions so you’re not miserable along the way. If cutting out sweets altogether is a no-go, commit to eating sweets once or twice a week instead.

  5. Celebrate small wins – Sometimes we focus so much on the big goals that we don’t see all the awesome milestones we reach along the way. Celebrate the small wins to keep you motivated to reach your long-term goals. Book a massage or treat yourself to a healthy meal. You deserve it!

Need help setting goals or getting started? Book an appointment with one of our certified personal trainers or with our nutrition coach today!
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Topics: women's health, goal setting, Women's Wellness, health tips, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, new year's resoltuions

Women's Wellness Series:  How SMART goals can help put you on the right track

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Oct 3, 2018 2:51:52 PM

 

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Would you like to make a change to help you live a healthier life but don’t know where to start? Have you set big goals for yourself only to find yourself feeling so overwhelmed that you give up? It’s time for a SMART approach to fitness goal setting. This approach allows you to define goals in a specific and measurable way so that your progress can be easily tracked. SMART goals are:

Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous. For example, “I want to be healthier” is very vague. What exactly does “being healthy” look like? Does it mean losing weight? Eating less processed foods? Beginning an exercise program? Specifically identifying what “healthy” means to you will help to create a clear goal.

Measurable: Goals must be measurable so you can tell if you are making progress. How will you measure your progress? Making a goal measurable will also allow you to know when you have reached your goal.

Attainable: Goals should be realistically attainable. A goal that is too easily attained or very unrealistic can be very demotivating.

Relevant: The goal should have relevance and be important to you. Setting a goal that someone else would like for you to achieve is not very motivating!

Time-bound: Goals should have an estimated time for completion. Knowing that you have a deadline can help keep you motivated!

Need some help setting up goals that are right for you? Make an appointment with any member of our personal training staff to get you set on the right path! 

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Topics: women's health, goal setting, health tips, personal training, personal training for women

Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 20, 2013 3:28:00 PM

Mom On-the-Go = Mom In the Know

Emily Stone knows a ton about being a busy mom with lots of challenges to maintaining her fitness and wellness routine. Since so many of our readers find themselves in the same boat with plenty of things pulling them in all different directions, we have invited her to share some personal advice with you on how she keeps herself going throughout the day and how you can boost your metabolism. Enjoy!

Boosting Metabolism and Energy Throughout the Day


When I get to the afternoon, sometimes I want to get the license plate of the Mack truck that ran over me. Often it’s just burnout from the day. But when I’m struggling to get myself going from the morning onward, there are a few things I like to do that help me out. These tips boost my metabolism and energy so that I’m still kicking when school’s out.

Sleep

beautiful-beauty-bed-914910-658632-edited

Did you know that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep each night do not do as well on complex mental tasks? We need more sleep. But as a mom, it’s so hard for me to get a good night’s sleep. There’s the repeated begging for an extra story or song in the evening and the 3 a.m. nightmare. I’ve had to prioritize my life around getting enough sleep. I usually get 9-10 hours from the time the last kid goes to bed and the first one waking up. I aim to spend 8-9 of that time sleeping, and 30-60 minutes getting ready. If I can’t get quality sleep, at least I can usually get quantity sleep. And I’ve found that the more I sleep, the more active I am and the more I can accomplish during the day.

Exercise

My metabolism is slower than a tortoise. My best defense against this is to exercise. The cool part is that it stretches me out and gives me a ton of energy, too. Sometimes I sneak in a run after walking the kids to school. Otherwise, I work out at home. I can wake up 10-15 minutes early and do some interval training for a high-powered workout in hardly any time at all.

Breakfast

cottage cheese

Skipping breakfast is a terrible idea. Better to make it quick and healthy. If I plan ahead, eating before I’m out the door can be pretty easy. And no, I’m not talking about donuts and pastries. If I have five minutes to sit and eat, cottage cheese is my go-to. I get a healthy amount of fat, decent calcium, and tons of protein. If I don’t have five minutes, I love smoothies and protein shakes. I find that protein is the best source of continued energy for me throughout the day. Instead of starting the day with a coffee, I actually start my day with a whey protein shake. I personally buy my protein from Beachbody, but you can find whey protein everywhere, even at the grocery store!

Natural Energy Boost

I also try to stay away from coffee in general—too much caffeine (particularly on an empty stomach) can make me feel crazy, so I try to take other routes. Most natural supplements that are touted as alternatives to caffeine actually have caffeine in them. If I’m looking to avoid caffeine or cut it down, I load up on B vitamins and amino acids like taurine, which are both known to boost energy and metabolism. I really love the liquid B complex from GNC, you just add a few drops to a bottle of water and you’ll feel continuous energy throughout the day!

Relax

Above all, I think it’s important to periodically pull myself off the canvas and look at what I can do to feel happier. This can be as simple as getting up from my desk for a few minutes to stretch and walk around every hour. l set up some music playlists on my computer and phone that I can listen to when I’m home cleaning, out running errands, or working. This makes work and chores less exhausting.

learn to relax


In my busy day, I could get exhausted and overwhelmed easily. But when I try to get enough sleep and exercise, eat well and relax, I find that I end the day happier and excited for what’s to come.

 

The article above was written by Emily Stone.

Ms. Stone is a full-time mom, health freak, fitness enthusiast, and wannabe chef. She is the proud momma of two girls and a loving wife. Emily is in the process of starting up her own blog, but in the meantime, you can follow her at @FitMommaEm.

The opinions and advice expressed by  Ms. Stone are not necessarily that of The Women's Club or it's agents.

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, healthy eating for women

What Every Woman Should Know About Hormonal Imbalance

Posted by Angie Quehl on Sep 12, 2013 10:08:00 AM

Can You Really Achieve 'Hormonal Harmony'?

Hormonal transitions occur throughout a woman’s life. The two most dominant are puberty and Menopause! But let’s give credit where credit is due: Perimenopause is no “walk in the park” either. Regardless of where you are in the Perimenopause /Menopause continuum, the normally occurring hormonal shifts can precipitate the onset of complex physical and emotional health challenges. 

Currently, there are nearly 50 million post-menopausal women in the US. Are you one of them?  If so, take heart. You’re in good company and probably well-versed on the symptoms most commonly experienced by your peers. However, in some ways every woman’s menopausal transition experience (this includes perimenopause) is unique. So, how is it possible for women of all ages to achieve Hormonal Harmony

There is no “one size fits all approach” but, there are solutions for nearly every woman’s menopausal transition issues. The first step is to identify where you are in the menopausal transition continuum by answering the following questions.  

Has your menstrual cycle become irregular or have you missed your period for twelve months?Hormonal Harmony resized 600 Do you have hot flashes? Are you fatigued? Is your sleep interrupted? Do you have difficulty getting up in the morning? Do you have night sweats, vaginal dryness, breast enlargement, or tenderness before your period? Have you experienced unexplained weight gain and muscle loss even with proper diet and exercise? Are you irritable? Do you have mood swings? Do you find it hard to concentrate? Have you experienced periods of forgetfulness? Have you lost interest in sex? Have you experienced hair loss, dry skin, and brittle nails? Do you crave sweets and salty foods? 

If you haven’t missed your period for twelve months, but have any of these symptoms, you may have entered the stage of perimenopause during which, the hormonal “ups and downs” and natural progression of hormonal decline gradually lead to postmenopause.  

Whether you are peri or postmenopausal, you may want to learn about or confirm your understanding of the following:

 

  • The most common hormonal imbalances and symptoms associated with each phase of the menopausal transition.
  • How a menopausal transition hormonal imbalance affects the thyroid and adrenal glands and often lead to age-related chronic diseases
  • How hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue can be misdiagnosed and symptoms can be mistaken for those associated with menopause
  • How underlying or under-diagnosed conditions can sabotage your menopausal treatments, physical fitness program and lead to weight loss resistance
  • What tests accurately diagnose underlying conditions 
  • How personalized wellness approaches  prevent or reverse unwanted symptoms and disorders caused by menopause-related hormonal imbalances 

Advances in Anti-aging medicine have made it possible for most women of all ages to overcome the challenges of a hormonal imbalance. Self-empowerment encourages today’s woman to seek the answers she needs to improve her quality of life at any age. So, get the answers you’re looking for! Please join me on June 19th for an informative lecture on how you can experience “Hormonal Harmony” for life.  

 

Article submitted by Dr. Eva Coleman of Harmony Medica, Reston VA

Dr. Eva ColemanDr. Eva Coleman is a Board Certified M.D. with more than two decades of experience in Internal Medicine; specializing in prevention and treatment of Diabetes, Cardiovascular and chronic systemic diseases. She has held affiliation with INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, and completed a fellowship with the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine.  

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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness

5 Myths about Cholesterol Busted

Posted by Angie Quehl on Aug 2, 2013 1:21:00 PM

The Good, The Bad, The Whaaaaat?!

Did you know that American people overall have the highest cholesterol in the world...Pretty sobering when you look at it that way isn't it? Most people know that high cholesterol is a dangerous problem but many are not sure of the why's and the how's or what the heck is an LDL or HDL and what all of those numbers mean. In addition, there are a lot of myths out there about the causes, symptoms, and prevention of high cholesterol.  The first step to fighting high cholesterol is to sift them and search out the medical facts on both high and low cholesterol in order to make the best determination about what is good for you and subsequently good for your health!

cholesterol

Cholesterol Myth #1

You will experience high cholesterol symptoms if there's a problem.

Cholesterol Fact: Most people can't tell when their cholesterol is dangerously high.

About 20 percent of Americans have high cholesterol and don't know it. There are no real medical symptoms associated with high cholesterol. In fact, most won't find out their high cholesterol status until after they suffer a medical event like a heart attack or stroke.

If you would prefer to find out whether or not you have high cholesterol before such an event, you should begin having your high-risk cholesterol checked in your 20s and then once every five years. Your risk for high cholesterol rises with age, so men over the age of 45 and women who are 55 and over should be tested more often. Those who struggle with high cholesterol or have numbers close to the danger line should be tested more often, as well.

Cholesterol Myth #2

A prescription is the only way to lower dangerously high cholesterol.

Cholesterol Fact: Medication is one way to lower cholesterol, but you can do it without a high cholesterol prescription through dietary changes and exercise.

cholesterol medication

It is in fact recommended-as long as your cholesterol numbers are not too high-that you start fighting the dangers of high cholesterol issues by making changes to your diet and beginning to exercise regularly. If your cholesterol numbers are borderline, you may be able to avoid medication altogether. If your high cholesterol is already in a danger zone, then you may be able to stop taking your high cholesterol medication after some months of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Here a few goals that diet and exercise can help you attain:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise, even if gently, for about 30 minutes a day 5 to 6 days per week
  • Cut out trans fat from your diet (hydrogenated oil)
  • Reduce your saturated fats to under 7 percent of your calories
  • Reduce your cholesterol intake to 200 mg per day or less
  • Increase your soluble fiber intake to at least 10 gram per day
  • Increase your fish intake or take omega-3 supplements each day

Cholesterol Myth #3

All cholesterol is bad cholesterol.

Cholesterol Fact: There are different kinds of cholesterol and some are not only not bad for you, but necessary for your body to function properly.

There are three different kinds of cholesterol: high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). HDL is good because it serves the purpose of helping your body transport waste to the liver, maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, clear extra cholesterol from the bloodstream where it otherwise would collect, and block your arteries.

LDL is also responsible for carrying cholesterol from the liver to where it needs to go in the body, but it is much lighter and breaks more easily. This means that they hover in the bloodstream, often attaching to the blood vessel itself, collecting and causing a blockage that often results in a heart attack. VLDLs are even lighter than LDLs and affect the cardiovascular and circulatory systems just as negatively.

Cholesterol Myth #4

High cholesterol is only a problem for men.

Cholesterol Fact: High cholesterol is a problem for both men and women.

Estrogen is a hormone that helps monitor and maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, so women who are experiencing a regular menstrual cycle are less likely candidates for high cholesterol than are men of the same age. However, after menopause when a woman's estrogen level plummets, her chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke due to high cholesterol significantly increase. It's important that women maintain low levels of cholesterol throughout their lives to prepare for the loss of estrogen later.

Cholesterol Myth #5

You should get your first cholesterol test after the age of 45.

Cholesterol Fact: You should start getting tested for high cholesterol in your 20s.

HDL - 60+ mg/dL Getting tested for high cholesterol is easy: a blood test done after fasting called a fasting lipid profile. You can have it done in conjunction with a batch of other blood tests to simply the process. The test will show your cholesterol levels in terms of HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. If you have any questions about how to get a test or your test results, ask your doctor. In general, your goals should be:

  • LDL - 100 mg/dL or less
  • Triglycerides - 150 mg/dL or less
  • Total cholesterol - 200 mg/dL or less

Don't Know Your Numbers?

know your cholesterol numbers

If you live in Northern VA in the Chantilly area, you are in luck! We are hosting a women's wellness event on August 12 which is open to the public where cholesterol screenings will be offered. Our screening will feature a simple "finger stick" test that will give you the results in minutes! If you are interested in learning where you are and what you can do to lower or even prevent high cholesterol in the future, get more details on our upcoming event.

 

 

Sources:
WebMD

About.com Cholesterol

Yahoo Health

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness

Alcohol and Weight Loss -- Does Drinking 'Really' Sabotage My Diet?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jun 28, 2013 3:46:00 PM

To Drink or Not to Drink

So you are super pumped and committed to making some changes in your eating habits. Or perhaps you are trying to shed a few pounds to fit into that perfect outfit for a special occasion like a summer wedding or a class reunion. Buuuuuut you also still like to enjoy a drink two socially. What IS a girl to do?! What the heck is the relationship between alcohol and weight loss and will drinking even a glass of wine socially affect your diet and weight loss plans? 

The Down Low

Alcohol does have a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss, and rightfully so. But the consumption of alcohol in some form or another has been around since the cavemen, so imbibing is not likely to go away any time soon. The question then is if an occasional drink has a place in a healthy lifestyle. The answer...yes, but we should have a strategy about how to consume. 

alcohol and weight loss


First things first

It is important to understand how alcohol affects your body. Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and fluids. With a normal diet, of carbs, fats, and protein your body gets the energy it needs. These foods are slowly digested and absorbed within the gastrointestinal system. This digestive process drastically changes when alcohol is consumed. The alcohol now gets immediate attention (because it is viewed by the body as a toxin) and needs no digestion. When the body is focused on processing alcohol, it is not able to properly break down the foods containing carbohydrates and fat. So what happens? These calories are converted into body fat and stored permanently in your body.

So I Should Save My Calories then, Right?

WRONG. Skipping a meal or two because you know it will be a night out on the town or just knowing you will be drinking is a terrible idea for a few reasons. Since alcohol actually stimulates the appetite and then you go out on an empty stomach you are more likely to munch on those salty bar snacks (which makes you want to drink more), or more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline.

A Better Strategy-- Research shows drinking an alcoholic beverage before or during a meal reduces your inhibitions and willpower. Wait to order that drink until you're done with your meal! To avoid over-drinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage and, if you're planning on drinking later, eat a healthy meal first. You'll feel fuller, which will stop you from over-drinking. If you are worried about a looming night out with friends, include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories—instead of skipping a meal.

Tip: To prevent post-drinking noshing you’ll regret the next day, prep some healthy, low cal options before you go out. If they’re ready to eat and right in front of you when you get home, you’ll be less likely to reach for chips or cookies. Good options include pre-popped popcorn, raw veggies with hummus, or cut fresh fruit.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Drinking before bed will keep you from having a deep, restful sleep, thus leaving you tired the next day which can trigger you to feel like you need to eat more. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid your stomach produces giving you an inflamed stomach lining. At 7 calories per gram, alcohol has more calories by volume than both carbs and proteins and slightly lesscalories in alcohol resized 600 than fats. More importantly, these calories have no nutritional value. None! A 12-ounce beer is about 150 calories. How many calories in a glass of red wine? About 88. And if you reaching for a shot of liquor that number can range from 85 to 115 calories. And who usually has JUST ONE? It only adds empty calories to your diet. Why not spend your calorie budget on something healthier? 

"Dry" 

Another big reason not to mix alcohol and exercise is that alcohol is a diuretic. It causes water loss and dehydration. You also lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Sip on This

So, to drink or not to drink? I say “In moderation." Limit your intake and take the occasional time off from drinking altogether to give your systems a much-needed break. Also, consider swapping out some of those high cal choices like fruity mixed beverages (even as cute as the little umbrella is) with some of these lower-calorie "fit chick" options.

goodchoices resized 600

What do you think?

How do you feel about alcohol? Does it tend to get in the way of your weight loss goals? Did any of this info surprise you? Please share your thoughts by dropping a comment in the box below or tweet them to us @Womensclub_va.

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, weight loss for women

Break Free From Emotional Eating!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 14, 2013 4:23:00 PM

Are You Feeding Your Emotions?


Emotional Eating

Are you an escapist? Do you feel the need to dive face-first into a big bag of chips or a bowlful of ice cream for the pure feeling of being comforted? Food tends to be a way of coping and dealing with the discomfort we experience. Experts believe that up to 75% of overeating may be due to reasons other than physical hunger. By practicing a little introspection you can usually figure out what is causing you to use food as a drug to silence your emotions. First, identify the triggers to emotional eating, such as:

Social Eating -- If you find that most of your social interaction involves food, then it's possible that you and your friends are using food to calm stress. Think about your activities, and consider offering new ideas to spend time with friends that do not involve food.
physical hunger vs emotional hunger


High Stress -- Whether it is job stress, family stress, or something else entirely being too busy and leading a stressful life causes a high level of the hormone Cortisol to be released into
the body, which in turn leads to cravings for high-calorie foods. Also, living a busy life lends itself to running through the drive-through. Preplanning for times of high stress and being busy can go far in eliminating making bad choices.


Habits -- Most of us have habits ingrained in us from childhood around food. That is where the whole idea of comfort foods came into being. Whether it's mac and cheese or a hearty bowl of beef stew, or something else entirely, the foods from our childhood can often comfort us and make us feel loved. Try redefining love to something more healthy such as a nice hot cup of tea and honey or going outside to play a game of tag.

How to Tame the Emotional Eating Beast

Once you identify the issues that are causing you to overeat or eat the wrong kinds of foods, you will be able to stop eating mindlessly and emotionally. It's a lot harder to kick a food habit than any other type of habit. We don't need alcohol, or drugs to live, but we do need to eat. There are a few tried and true tips to help you overcome your need to binge emotionally on the wrong foods.

Make a Substitute -- Instead of binging on Doritos and cheese, find an alternative such as sliced crispy apples with sea salt. You'll get that crunchy satisfaction plus the salt you crave in a healthier way. Plus it's a lot harder to eat too many apples than too many chips.
Start a Journal -- Writing down everything that you eat, in addition to your feelings surrounding eating or choosing not to eat something you know is bad for you is a good way to channel your frustrations. Just keep a small notebook and pen in your purse so you can write any time you're tempted to reach for a donut instead of a more healthy choice.
Get Moving -- Studies show that getting even 30 minutes of exercise per day can help you with your weight, your cardiovascular health, and with reducing cravings. Any time you have a craving, drink a glass of water first, then if you still have it, get out and go for a walk, or turn up the music in the house and dance! The rush of endorphins will assist with resisting cravings and make you feel great.

Alternatives to emotional eatingGraphic from kptto.org

Don't beat yourself up!

Get in touch with your emotions, everyone has them! It is all in how you deal with them. If you do have an episode of emotional eating, learn fromovercoming emotional eating the experience and the very next meal eat healthily!

Need more advice? We have a wonderful team of fitness and nutrition experts that are just a mouse click away. You can click the button below to submit your questions electronically or, if you are local to the Chantilly, Fairfax, Centreville area and would like to talk to us about strategies for overcoming emotional eating, you can Request a Consultation.

 

Ask Fitness Questions Here

 

 

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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, weight loss for women

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