IDM Success: Overcoming a keto plateau.
Fasting helped Ann reach her goals after plateauing on keto.
IDM Health Educator Terri Lance on the effects of mindset
So, does how we think about our health, weight and level of physical activity matter?
Am I just focusing on “woo-woo” when I encourage clients to listen to what they say to and about themselves when it comes to these factors and others? Or, could you actually positively affect your outcomes by tweaking your mindset?
In a study spanning 21 years, researchers at Stanford University looked at mortality data – including how much subjects exercised and how much they perceived they exercised – compared to others. Results showed that those who perceived they weren’t doing as much exercise as their peers actually died younger than those who perceived they did more exercise, even when they actually did was the same amount!
Octavia Zahrt, the author of the study, reported a 71% increased mortality risk for folks who saw themselves as being less active than their peers.
Of course, the study can’t explain this difference in mortality risk (even when researchers accounted for health status and factors like smoking), and we cannot conclude causality. But, it is interesting to consider how one’s perception and mindset about self affects stress hormones and motivation, etc.
In another study of hotel housekeepers, who get quite a bit of regular exercise through their daily work, it was reported that most did not perceive this as significant exercise. So, researchers told some of these housekeepers that they were getting quite a bit of exercise and shared how this might benefit them.
Interestingly, measures showed that, four weeks later, these housekeepers had lost weight and lowered their blood pressure compared to those not informed about the amount and benefit of this exercise. Again, this study did not explore what influenced these changes, but perception of the level of exercise they were getting was associated with positive health changes.
Another interesting study looked at the mental/emotional associations with chocolate cake. Yes, you read that correctly! I was surprised to learn that a number of researchers have explored various aspects of behaviour and health, based on whether participants associate chocolate cake as a source of feelings of guilt or celebration.
Though some have postulated that guilt might help participants control their eating behaviours and make healthier choices, most results indicated the opposite. Those who associated chocolate cake with feelings of guilt experienced more negative feelings, reported less healthy behaviours and intentions, lower perceived levels of behaviour control, lower levels of self-compassion and higher overall levels of stress.
And, in one study looking at women seeking to lose weight, associating chocolate cake with guilt was actually related to an increase in weight. While those participants who saw chocolate cake as a celebration demonstrated, on average, more success in losing weight over the 18-month period of time of the study.
So, what do you want to believe and say about yourself, your body, your health, your ability to fast?
When I hear IDM clients and community members say that they can’t fast, they can’t control what they eat – or they make disparaging remarks about their weight, their character, or willpower – I cringe. There is so much power in our way of thinking about ourselves and how we speak to and about ourselves. It seems crucially important to focus on the positive – what we can do, however grand or small, and associating our efforts and abilities with progress and self-compassion.
Is it safe to stop taking Metformin while fasting?
Coach John Clary examines that in his most recent video.
Low Carb USA is coming!
May 3 to 5 in Seattle
If you’re in Seattle at the start of May, be sure to check out The Low Carb USA Conference on Metabolic Health. Among many other great take-aways, you’ll learn how you can systematically reduce obesity, reverse diabetes and improve overall metabolic health for your employees, health plan members, patients and individuals. (CME credits available for all Allied Health Care Professionals.)
Best of all, Megan will also be speaking!
Use Promo Code MarchMadness for $50 off full price admissions. Ticket price includes two chef-prepared low-carb dinners.
Visit the site for more information.