jennifer barsky signature yoga coach mentor

Nutrition science, resources, Shed

When you work against your body …

Spin the wheel, pick a diet, any diet, and you will probably lose weight. For awhile.  But research shows that eventually, your body will fight back. When we diet, not only does our body start slowing fat loss, it actually engages our mind in sabotaging our efforts, making it virtually impossible to continue losing and keeping it off.

For more than 50 years, scientists have known that calorie restriction and deprivation cause us distress and anxiety and actually prompt our bodies to push us to eat and store fat. If our body is fighting us every step of the way, the cravings will overcome us, willpower won’t work and we will end up heavier, sadder and more frustrated than when we started.

… your body will work against you.

Tune out the noise …

There is so much contradictory information out there, but the good news is that more than ever before, research is showing us what our bodies want to keep us light, lean, vibrant and free of menopause symptoms and preventable disease. We understand more about the negative impacts of inflammation and insulin resistance, and the importance of our gut microbiome and active, healthy bacteria. We know more about the foods that nourish our cells and support our health, and we understand a great deal more about the types of habits, ways of living and emotional approaches that help bring our body and mind together to support, not sabotage our efforts.

Fortunately or unfortunately, we are what we eat. Eat lousy and we feel lousy. Eat whole, fresh, nutrient dense foods that nourish our cells and make them function at their best and we feel great. But as we know too well, good nutrition doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Our relationship to food is impacted by our internal and external emotional and physical environment. Entering menopause, finding balance and shedding the weight and the habits holding us back has never been more important. But diet alone won’t help us lose weight. We need to work holistically to set ourselves up for success.

… and focus on what works.

Introducing S.H.E.D. The four pillars of wellbeing that actually work.

We designed S.H.E.D. based on the science, the evidence and even more importantly, the real experience of women in midlife.

When I was growing up I remember my mother and her friends struggling to keep their weight in check as they got older. What I also remember was that  they were most successful when they dieted together. It was doing it with other women and having to report in to each other every week and be accountable that did it. The women who leaned most on the group succeeded most in changing their habits. It’s borne out by research. Sharing the Journey works. This is the ‘S’.

I mentioned habits, because ultimately, it’s all in the habits. If you get up in the morning and brush your teeth, you do it because it’s habit.  Even on days you don’t feel like it, you tend to do it anyway. No one has to tell you anymore. It’s ingrained. This is a habit of self-care. The key is to add more of these habits. The ones you don’t overthink and just do. If you can brush your teeth and wash your face, you can meditate or do yoga daily, or eat more greens. It’s easier to crowd out bad habits by introducing small Habits of Self-Care. This is the ‘H’.

The next thing that works is becoming knowledgeable. You don’t do what you don’t know and you won’t stick to what you dont understand. You have to educate yourself, cut through the sensationalist marketing and get to know the Evidence First. This is the ‘E’.

And finally, it’s about changing the way we think about food what we put in our body defines how our body runs and feels. It wants a variety of nutrients, most of which come from plants, and it wants clean proteins, good fats, some whole grains, lots of water, clean air and some sun. That’s it. And it likes structure and rest periods when it doesn’t have to digest anything so it can focus its energy on repair at a cellular level. It wants to be fed a proper Diet, not ‘Dieting’. That’s the ‘D’.

We aren’t saying taking care of yourself is simple, but what we are saying is that this combination of not going it alone, building consistency, learning from what we know and eating high fuel-quality foods, is a combination that has been proven to work. And it is a combination that works especially well for women in midlife.

I know, because I am one and it’s the only thing that has worked for me.