Health coaches, the good ones at least, don’t count calories. They know a secret I want to share with you today. The secret is this: the old “calories in calories out” paradigm is DEAD and that very important message is slowly but surely making it’s way to mainstream media.
The problem is the SLOWLY part, which means that by the time this message finally makes it into medical school curriculum it’ll be too late to do you much good. An example of this lag in the times in action is my sweet friend’s depressing experience with her doctors. She eats a fairly healthy, nutritionally sound diet, does not indulge in fried foods or sweets, yet she has steadily gained weight year after year, and is currently about 30 lbs up. She went to her Dr who told her to “try to eat better” (she was already) and then she went to an endocrinologist for hormone tests but was told to “lay off the cheeseburgers”. Seriously. He said that. And she does not even eat cheeseburgers. And he did not even run a full thyroid panel on her (and lemme tell ya, her symptoms plus the weight gain SCREAM thyroid dysfunction!).
The reason that “calories in calories out” does not hold up is our bodies are not a vacuum. There are too many other factors at play like leptin, ghrelin, CPK, uric acid, cortisol, adrenal function, thyroid levels, micro biome balance and so much more. Did you know there is a gene scientists are calling the “thrifty gene” that causes those among us with this gene to conserve far more fat on our bodies than our non thrifty gene carrying peers? What about the role your micro biome plays? Certain strains of bacteria actually tell your fat cells to hold on to more fat which makes burning fat off much more difficult than if you didn’t have an overabundance of that specific strain. And back to the thyroid, the master gland of your metabolism, if that isn’t functioning properly it doesn’t matter how many calories you DON’T eat and how much exercise you DO, your weight won’t budge.
So, now that you know calorie counting is useless, and you now know all these influential factors are at play inside your body, what do you do? When not counting calories, what DO you count and how? This is where my favorite jewelry line comes in. “Count Me Healthy” by Chelsea Charles. I first heard about this line when I was asked to participate in a photo shoot for their “healthy jewelry” line and I instantly fell in love. The bracelets have movable beads that you can use to track various health goals throughout the day. They look adorable stacked and come in a variety of colors to help you keep track of all your health goals. I love to use them to count what MATTERS (ie: NOT calories!). Here’s how:
1. Count Your Water Consumption
This sounds simple but I can not stress this enough. Dehydration affects many chemical processes in your body and will majorly affect how efficiently your body works. The average person drinks a mere couple of glasses of water a day. I recommend TEN glasses of water a day. Try using a silver bracelet or one with blue crystals to remind you of water and move a bead from left to right every time you consume a glass of water. Don’t like the taste of water? Add slices of lemon, cucumber, lime, strawberry, watermelon, mint, or essential oils to spice it up!
2. Count Your Vegetable Consumption
People today are simply not eating enough vegetables. To truly optimize your health and fend off potential disease you need to massively increase your phytonutrient intake. Each and every vegetable has a different combination of goodness your body needs. Blueberries have anthocyanin which is a powerful antioxidant, carrots are crucial for eye health and have carotenoids which your body converts to Vitamin A. Eating just one button mushroom per day has been linked to a 64 percent decrease in the risk of breast cancer! Make sure you are getting loads of veggies every day and keep them as colorful and diverse as possible to ensure you’re receiving the full range of phytonutrients. I recommend 10 cups of veggies a day. To track this goal, try a silver bracelet with multicolored beads to remind yourself to get ALL the colors of the rainbow.
3. Count Your Movement
This is especially important if you have a desk job. Researchers, who are now calling sitting “the new smoking”, have found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. So get up periodically and MOVE! Go for a brisk walk on a long phone call, do some squats at your desk or push ups if you have room. If you’re in an office building with stairs ALWAYS take the stairs! Try a rose gold bracelet for this one to remind you of your blood flow and your heart health. Every time you get up and move around, move a bead. Try to do this 10 times a day too!
Where To Start
These three changes sound simple, but actually implementing them can feel like an uphill battle for the uninitiated. If you’re used to eating a few cups of veggies a day only at dinner, suddenly upping your intake to 10 can seem insurmountable, so I recommend baby steps. If you’re currently eat 2 cups of veggies a day, make it a goal for one week to get in 4, the next week go for 6, and keep working your way up. Apply this same “baby steps” principle to vegetables, water, and movement alike and you’ll be well on your way to optimal health.
Will doing just three things instantly reverse metabolic syndrome, heal hypothyroidism, reduce insulin sensitivity, or any of the other ailments that could be plaguing you? Of course not, these things take time and concerted effort. Revealing optimal health is much like peeling back the layers of an onion, one by one you get closer to the center. But I can honestly say that tackling all three of these goals will have a far larger impact on your overall health than you could ever possibly imagine. It will absolutely begin to peel back those layers and get you started on the right path. If you do all three, you WILL feel a difference. So head over to Chelsea Charles and grab yourself some bracelets to help you keep track of these oh so important health goal, and get started TODAY. Your health shouldn’t have to wait.