29 Jun

Are You a Food Addict? Let Me Help!

A recent study from Yale University* found that in some people, exposure to foods high in fat or sugar leads to chemical changes in the brain that make them want to return to those foods again and again. But once  you are aware of whats going on for you, having a Coach like me create a plan, accountability, and begin to foster new habits and mindsets, we can overcome it together! (read below) GettingWellWithMel@gmail.com

Up until relatively recently, the scientific community scoffed at the idea of food addiction. It’s been thought that the act of overeating doesn’t really qualify as substance abuse. After all, drug addicts need increasing amounts of the stuff to get high, and they’ll show symptoms of withdrawal if they’re denied a fix. People who claim they’re a food addict, as in “addicted to pizza,” though, don’t experience pizza withdrawal. And most don’t necessarily need to ingest an increasing number of slices in order to get any enjoyment from it. But a recent study from Yale University* found that in some people, exposure to foods high in fat or sugar leads to chemical changes in the brain that make them want to return to those foods again and again.

In some ways, we’re all a bit predisposed to over-consumption. Our bodies are programmed to constantly search for food, and our brains are wired so that we’re rewarded when we find it. Humans evolved in a land of scarcity, not plenty, so having these drive and reward systems in place made sense when finding food meant survival.

Our ancient ancestors craved high-calorie foods and experienced pleasure from eating them, which then drove them to continue to seek them out. And it makes sense that sweet, fatty foods would be some of the most pleasurable—since they’re so calorie-dense, they would have been highly prized. Today, of course, we have plenty of food around at every turn. But our wiring hasn’t changed: the reward centers in our brains are made to ‘light up’ when we see, smell and devour our food.
The Yale researchers reported that high-tech brain scans helped them to distinguish so-called “food addicts” from ordinary, everyday over-eaters. Participants first filled out a food addiction questionnaire, then underwent a brain scan while admiring a picture of a milkshake. In those who had scored high on the questionnaire, just gazing at the milkshake caused their pleasure centers to light up like a Christmas tree.

It’s also been shown that when we eat foods high in fat or sugar, it drives up levels of dopamine—a neurochemical substance that stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain. But in some people, fatty, sugary foods don’t raise dopamine levels very much, so they crave more and more of these highly palatable foods in an attempt to do so.

It’s thought that this may be due, in part, to a shortage of dopamine receptors in the brain—areas where dopamine molecules first need to bind before they can work their magic. This same scarcity of receptors, or “reward deficit,” is also thought to lead to addictive behavior involving alcohol or drugs.

There’s no question that for many who struggle with their weight, the primary issue is that they have bad habits that need to be and can be changed. While the psychology of overeating has been pretty well-researched, food addiction studies are now delving into true physiological differences in the way people respond to food. This exciting new area of research may help to explain why some people are able to control their weight more easily—and why others feel completely powerless when it comes to controlling their urges to eat.

Gearhardt AN, Yokum S, Orr PT, Stice E, Corbin WR, Brownell KD. Neural
Correlates of Food Addiction. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2011 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Reach out to me! I’d love to support you in overcoming your overeating habits! GettingWellWithMel@gmail.com

29 Jun

When Staying Off Track is No Longer and Option

Get ripped

Vulnerable share: sometimes our greatest motivation to achieve something we’ve never achieved before comes from being inspired by others’ achievement, sometimes from a number or target we set, and sometimes it comes from a past accomplishment of our own.

After my photo shoot in march, I was on the road traveling for more days than I’ve been home. And I’m so grateful to have had the many opportunities to travel, network, connect, explore, and spend time with friends and family. And try as hard as I could, my health & fitness routine was impossible to maintain at the level I wanted for myself.

And then I injured myself a month ago and I got in my head and certainly in my own way. I found myself in pain, and doctors saying not to be active.

I’d question whether eating to my plan was worth it and somehow at the end of some days, I’d find myself halfway into a chunk of dark chocolate, telling myself to put it down and start over again tomorrow.

Another day would go by where I didn’t work out (doctors orders), and my macro planning was off. Clothes weren’t fitting the same. My attention was focused on great things, just not on my results.
Yeah it could be worse, but this was not the standard I wanted to live to. So last night, I got a massage and envisioned letting go of the things and ways of being that held me back. I flipped through photos of myself and my actions that got me the results in this photo.

I went through my pantry and dumped all the junk.
I set myself up with new meal prep, made sure I had all the herbalife products I needed, and had a big glass of aloe.
Tomorrow, I told myself, is
when I begin again.
I start anew.
I rise up.

And when the alarm went off this morning, I texted my clients and asked if they’d partner with me. To restart and have an epic week together.
Some thanked me for the vulnerability.
Some agreed to join in on the restart.
Some shared their successes, down 12 lbs, down 15 lbs, ran a 10k. Wow!
And there I was, back in the game! Ready to go!
This is the time it counts the most.
When you’re not sure how to restart, but you know that that’s all there’s left to do.
I hope this helps someone out there who just needs a reminder to go again, one more time. That all there is to do is START.
LOVE yourself for where you are.
FORGIVE yourself for whatever happened.
And go … UNTIL.

Thank you to all my partners for joining me in the crusade to being our best!
If you’ve ever felt this way and are ready to hit the RESET BUTTON with me, message me directly and comment below. Summer is coming and I WILL NOT go another day without being impeccable to my word and action, and I’d love partners in this journey!

29 Jun

Fit to Fly…Flyin Fit

flyin fit
FitLife Livin’

May is a traveling month for me:

My little cousin Michael got married in Dallas, Tx over the weekend and my little niece Kelsey is graduating from University of Iowa next weekend…  and rather than fly back and forth to LA, I decided it would be way more fun to bring you all along with me and spend time with my parents and explore New Orleans and Chicago between the two big weekends. So I thought I’d share a bit on how I travel while keeping it clean and a bit on my travel meal prep game ….

Travel tip- you can absolutely save yourself from airport food. Bring meal prep and use frozen water bottles and frozen yogurt to keep it cold. Even my shake is frozen so now I have ice cream on the flight~!

Meal Prep can fly… you just have to be smart about it
Check out all the rules on TSA’s website.​

So I brought ground turkey and spinach, a miracle noodle frittata, frozen water, and Greek yogurt! Booooom! I’m keeping it healthy for the next few days.

And of course you know I packed my shakes in ziploc baggies, tea, vitamin tablets, and post-recovery protein beverage mix so that I’m ready for whenever I get a workout in on the trip. More to come on that later…

Please Comment Below questions and ideas of where you’d like to travel while keeping it clean and healthy!