Posts Tagged With: Metabolism

What is Refined Sugar Doing to Your Body?

One of the blessings of Whole30 is that it is a refined sugar free lifestyle.

Refined sugar is in many items we purchase including salsa, salad dressing, and ketchup. Many processed foods, those frozen meals, crackers, etc…contain refined sugar.

Sugar causes the breakdown of collagen. Collagen helps us to look youthful. Sugar speeds up aging.

Sugar causes bloating and helps feed cancer. It also helps feed candida (yeast overgrowth in the stomach).

Excess sugar causes your body to crave more food. Refined sugar is addictive, studies show it can as addictive as cocaine.

Sugar stimulates brain pathways just as an opioid would, and sugar has been found to be habit-forming in people. Cravings induced by sugar are comparable to those induced by addictive drugs like cocaine and nicotine .Source Sugar Addiction

I gave myself two weeks to just eat what I wanted. I am back to Whole30/Paleo. One thing I saw significantly decrease while on Whole30, my appetite. I ate significantly less. When I started eating bread, sugar on December 31rst 2017 I noticed the following:

  • Increased hunger! I could not eat enough food.
  • Facial swelling and bloating.
  • Acne
  • Craving bad food.

Sugar may be sabotaging your fitness and nutrition goals. It may be the culprit for your excess hunger. Refined sugar is not your flat belly friend.

The skinny jeans I wore two weeks ago were snug today. They still fit, yet they are a bit tighter around the waist. Just two weeks of sugar and things were on the incline.

I am delighted to pass on the cookies, cake, pie, and loaded dressings. Give me olive oil, fruit, dates, almonds, vegetables, and whole foods. I feel better living a Whole Foodie Lifestyle.

Are you monitoring your sugar intake? Is your diet mostly refined sugars?

You could see drastic changes in your health by limiting refined sugar.

May 2018 be a year of healthier food choices!



Images: Pinterest

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Set Goals Instead of Making Resolutions

Set Goals, Not Make Resolutions.

Every year I draft goals for the year. Goals are more than wishes, desires, or it would be nice. Goals are more than a resolution of “I will do this or not do that.” Goals are measurable and have a plan attached to them. They are measurable. Therefore I use the S.M.A.R.T method. Is the goal specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound? Smart goals are far better than resolutions.

Here are some examples from 2017. These were some goals for 2017:

1. Stop investing in one-sided relationships, people I never hear from unless they have a crisis and I am the initiator of everything.

I made a list of said people (specific)

I made a list of all the ways I was investing in them, just pouring out (measurable)

I quit some things that were no longer my assignment and stopped the items on list two (measurable, attainable, realistic)

This essentially stopped January 1 of 2017 (time-bound)

I still love people and give without expecting reciprocation. I did stop overinvesting and devoting so much time to one side relationships. I still love those people, yet do not chase people down to love them. I have since then had God bring in numerous people who love in return so our relationship is mutual. We both bring something awesome to the table and feast together.

2. Drop Several dress sizes (I prefer losing inches than looking at a scale because my body type is mesomorph-I gain muscle quick and can be small and weigh more than my counterparts).

I wanted to get back into size 6-8 (specific). It was not for vanity, I had tons of clothes I could not wear-bummer. ūüôā

I weighed, took measurements (measurable)

I looked into nutrition programs that were not crazy fad diets (realistic, attainable)

I set the goal for the year (time-bound)

I started the Whole30 program.

I am back to a size 7/8 and still losing. Instead of 1 round and quit, I have completed several rounds to meet my goal. Now I am going to work on cutting-building more muscle/getting lean muscle.

Are you setting some goals for 2018? I would love to hear about them.

You can do this!


Erin Lamb

P.S You can check out the Whole30 program here Whole30 Program.

Photo credit: Pinterest

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Life After Whole30

I hope you gave Whole30 a shot. I did and do not regret it. I lost 14 pounds without exercising much. I did take my Whole30 further than the 30 days. I went for two rounds. Yet 7 pounds a month is great progress. It is healthy progress. 

If you did or are trying Whole30, I highly recommend easing back into eating non Whole30 foods. They provide guidance for reintroducing foods-one group at a time. I started with some grains, example corn. I was okay with grains. Then I tried dairy. Ummmmm…my stomach hated it. So I am less prone to eat dairy post Whole30. It is rare to have it. I tried beans. Another irritant. Therefore, I have built a new meal plan that is 80/20. Eighty percent is Whole30 and 20 percent is non Whole30. 

I have not gained weight by reintroducing non Whole30 foods. I am still losing and have incorporated more exercise. 

After talking to your doctor, I would highly recommend this program. Whole30 changed the way I view food. It changed the way I make meals. It changed the way I eat. 

Eating processed foods does not appeal to me. In the rare occossion of eating junk food, it does not make my body feel good. I prefer fruits, vegetables, and whole foods. My body runs better on whole foods. I still read labels, and ditch foods loaded with chemicals. I have a fondness for bananas, mangoes, berries, almonds, olive oil, purple potatoes, steak, roasted chicken, natural salad dressings, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes. 

Learning a new way to eat is good. All the exercise in the world does not negate a poor meal plan. Changing the way we eat is a lifestyle change, not a temporary diet. Changing the way we eat leads to a better life, to wellness. 

So ditch the excuses and do something for your health! 



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Hormones that Promote Weight Loss


Hi friends, I have not forgotten about you. I told you I would do another post on hormones. There are hormones that can prevent weight loss and there are hormones that can help promote weight loss. I am not recommending you take supplements for your weight loss. Diet and exercise help to keep hormones stable. Talk to you doctor if you believe your hormones are not well-regulated.

Adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism.

Adiponectin is a protein-based hormone produced naturally by the body that manages fat lipids and glucose (blood sugar). The hormone has direct control over the way a body metabolizes insulin, and so adiponectin is believed to play a key role in the management of type 2 diabetes, although research is ongoing. The hormone is abnormally low in obese people, suggesting a healthy diet may contribute to adiponectin production, and that may, in turn, help prevent people form developing diabetes. Adiponectin also reduces inflammation in cell tissue inside blood vessels and so holds some clinical promise in treating cardiovascular disease.

You’ve probably heard of this hormone is relation to raspberry ketones which reportedly causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster. This is due to raspberry ketones helping to regulate adiponectin. Supposedly apple cider vinegar also helps as well. Not enough supporting evidence on the research on for these two supplements.
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in mammals, reptiles,birds, and other vertebrates.

In general, androgens promote protein synthesis and growth of those tissues with androgen receptors. Testosterone effects can be classified as virilizing and anabolic, though the distinction is somewhat artificial, as many of the effects can be considered both.

Anabolic effects include growth of muscle mass and strength, increased bone density and strength, and stimulation of linear growth and bone maturation,

We can maintain healthy levels of testosterone by weight lifting. The more muscle we have, the more calories we are burning.  If you believe you have low levels of testosterone, get checked out by your primary care physician. I do not recommend taking any supplements to aid with testosterone production.
Three of the best ways you can keep your hormones in check are with diet, exercise, and sleep (6-8 hours). Proper nutrition and weight training (if you are able to) are vital to health. If you believe your hormones are out of whack, talk with your doctor. As stated in the previous post about Hormones that Hinder Weight Loss, you can be doing all you know to do and still not lose weight if the issue is hormonal.
Best of luck to you, and I will hopefully be back to weekly posts now!
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Hormones that Hinder Weight Loss


Hello wellness friends. I have not forgotten about you. I hope you are sticking with your program and working out/eating well. Tonight I wanted to talk about hormones. When we think of metabolism, some don’t think that our hormones tell our bodies to lose weight or gain weight. So, it is not simply calories in and calories out all the time. If our hormones are out of whack, we can exercise and workout and gain weight! Let’s start with some definitions.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I am a scientist. This site is not set up to diagnose or treat any illness. Consult your Primary Care Physician (PCP) or Endocrinologist (specializing in treating metabolic disorders).

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activity of certain cells or organs. Many hormones are secreted by special glands, such as thyroid hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Hormones are essential for every activity of life, including the processes of digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and mood control. Many hormones, such as neurotransmitters, are active in more than one physical process (

Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. Metabolism consists of anabolism (the buildup of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). The term metabolism is commonly used to refer specifically to the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy (

Here are some (not all) of the hormones that may be inhibiting your weight loss.

Thyroid hormones. If you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, you will not be able to lose weight and even on a diet you may gain weight. A condition known as hypothyroidism leads to weight gain, puffy face, intolerance to cold, brittle hair, fatigue, poor muscle tone, and more. If you are working out and eating right and not seeing any results, contact your PCP and have your thyroid hormones checked. A simple blood test (T4 and TSH) will let your doctor know whether you are not producing enough of this hormone.

If you are not producing enough thyroid hormone, your doctor may prescribe synthroid or a generic form of thyroid hormone to help your body return to normal functioning.

Cortisol. It’s also called the stress hormone though synthetic forms are used to treat disease. High, prolonged stress, and even over consumption of salt can trigger the body to produce this lovely hormone. This hormone causes weight gain!

  • Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.It also decreases bone formation. Various synthetic forms of cortisol are used to treat a variety of diseases (Wikipedia).

A great way to combat cortisol is to get plenty of sleep, workout daily (but not excessively), cut back on salt, rest, and find ways to minimize stress. There are many supplements marketed to treat Adrenal Fatigue or excess cortisol. Talk to your PCP before taking supplements. Some can have serious side effects.

Insulin. Stable blood sugar is key for weight loss. Dips and peaks in blood sugar tell the body to store fat. Some people suffer from insulin resistance due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS) and find it difficult to lose weight.

  • It is a peptide hormone, produced by beta cells of the pancreas, and is central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. Insulin causes cells in the liver, skeletal muscles, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood (Wikipedia).

Ways we can combat insulin issues. 1. Talk to your doctor if you believe you have diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), or POS. 2. Eat healthy. Ditch the sugary foods and opt for fiber, veggies, and lean protein. Don’t eat dessert or foods with loads of sugar alone (causes spikes in blood sugar). Add protein and or fiber to meals with desserts. Cut back or cut out high glycemic foods (white potatoes, bread (white and wheat), white rice). Opt for sweet potatoes, quinoa, greens, and lean proteins.

Ghrelin (Appetite regulator) and Leptin (Full/Not Full). We talked about these hormones before. They tell your body it’s hungry and when it’s full. When these two hormones are out of whack, you feel hungry all the time and never full. Lack of sleep is normally the culprit for messing with the balance of these two hormones.

Try to sleep 6.5 to 8 hours a night! Turn off that computer, TV, smart phone an hour before bed.

Well, my friends I want to end here. I might do a follow-up post on more hormones later like estrogen, testosterone, etc… The summary is this. If you are eating healthy, working out, and do everything right and you’re still not losing weight or seeing improvement-talk to your doctor.


Keep up the good work! I am cheering for you!! xoxo Erin.

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Mistakes Dieters Make

Hey friends! I hope your week is starting off well. I was excited this week to put on a garment that was tight since purchase and now it’s baggy. Yeah for progress. I wanted to list of some mistakes dieters make and include some I have made in the past. I hope they help you on your journey. As stated in every post, talk to your doctor before starting any program.

1. They look for a quick fix. Yes, I said it. Everyone wants results instantly with little effort. Well, anything that comes quickly can be lost quickly. If you jump on the new diet craze and lose tons of weight with little effort, you will probably not sustain those results. If you have weight to lose, it will require work on your part to get it off. 3,500 calories equals 1 pound. So, if you want to lose and keep it off, doctors and experts say a good target it 1-3 pounds per week. People get discouraged if they don’t see results immediately. I say with any program give yourself 6-8 weeks. If you’re not seeing any results in that time frame, then talk with a nutritionist, physician, or endocrinologist. Some people suffer from low thyroid hormones¬† (hypothyroidism) which will cause you to gain weight and have trouble losing.

2. They measure progress by the scale only. You can lose muscle and water and be light on the scale; that does not mean you are necessarily healthy or more fit. You can lose more inches and not see the scale budge as much as you like. I have an athletic build and therefore my BMI at a size 6 is still higher than it predicts it should be. However, my cholesterol is stellar, I workout 5-6 days a week, and eat pretty clean. I am simply a muscular person. You can be skinny and unhealthy or have more fat than muscle. Measure your waist. Studies have shown that abdominal fat is pretty good indicator of health. “Women with a waist measurement¬† of more than 35 inches or men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches¬† may have a higher disease risk than people with smaller waist measurements¬† because of where their fat lie”

3. They don’t drink water. You must hydrate and flush toxins from your body. If you are working out and eating clean, lack of water will still slow your progress. Your body needs water to run efficiently.

4. They rely solely on diet pills and substances to enhance their metabolism. I am not here to bash anyone’s product. I tried many before. Some worked well and as soon as I stopped taking them, I gained weight and more than I lost. I’ve learned the best way to live is to eat healthy, workout, build muscle, cut out sugar and unhealthy processed foods, and drink water.

5. They want to lose weight while eating unhealthy food and being a couch potato. Fat doesn’t magically melt away. It’s stored energy. If you overeat, you will gain weight. If you’re eating unhealthy food, over-eating, and live a sedentary lifestyle, you will gain weight. Being healthy is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. If you want to change your life, it’s a lifetime committment to eating healthy and exercising.

6. They over-train and don’t eat enough. Our bodies are temples not machines. If you overwork the body and don’t give it enough fuel, you will sabotage your results. Treat your body like a temple. Take time to rest. Eat clean, train hard, and rest when you need to. If you’ve never worked out, I recommend checking with your doctor and meeting up with a certified fitness trainer.

7. They stick to the same workout routine forever or don’t challenge their body.¬†Once the body adapts to an exercise it gets easier. Programs like P90X are successful because they promote muscle confusion. They switch up the workouts so the body is continually improving. Our bodies are smart. They will adapt to¬†use less energy than before.

8. They starve, then binge eat. We talked about this before. Starving yourself is bad, bad idea. Your body does not like it at all. If you starve the body for long enough time, your metabolism will slow down to use less energy. When you start eating again, your body will hold onto as much as it can.

9. They limit calories but make poor food choices. I was one of those people who ate within the calorie restrictions and still wasnt seeing the results I wanted. Why? The quality of food I ate was poor. Feed your body good food: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, legumes/beans, food with natural vitamins. Most people don’t get enough fiber which helps with blood sugar and weight loss. Add some fiber!

10. They skip meals. I work in a laboratory. Research doesn’t pause so I can eat every 4 hours. So, the lack of regular eating over the years has impacted my body and metabolism. Try to eat every 4 hours at the maximum. 5 to 6 small meals is better than 3 big ones. It’s good for your blood sugar.

11. They make perfection or some airbrushed person in a magazine their target. When I was¬†a teenager¬†I was interested in modeling. I did some print work in college. It’s amazing to see what they can do with computer software. Don’t make a magazine layout or celebrity your target. Each body type is different. Celebrities and models get paid to look good. They often have trainers, nutritionists, and hours of free time to workout. Figure out what your body can look like and make being healthy the goal. Perfection is over-rated and varies from person to person.

12. They aren’t sleeping enough. I wrote about this in a previous post. Lack of sleep will negatively impact your fitness goals.

13. They give up too soon. Like I said before, it takes time to get there. I am still working towards certain goals. It’s a journey! Keep at it and don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Every small step in the right direction is better than no steps at all.

Never Give Up! Tumblr Image.


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When Working Out Isn’t Working Out

Good day mates. So, you’ve been working out and the results seem to be minimal. What’s the deal? Well, there are many factors to consider when looking at weight loss and fitness. I am going to share with you some of the things I’ve researched, seen in my own life, and shared with my at work Biggest Loser Contestants.

First things first. Calories in=calories out. If we eat more than our body burns, then we will gain weight. There are some other factors involved that we will discuss today.

Some reasons why you may not be losing weight or seeing results.

1. You haven’t been at it long enough. Most people want instant results or drive through results. We step on the scale and say, “Yes, I’d like to lose 10 pounds by tomorrow, thanks.” Reality is that it takes 3,500 calories spent to lose 1 pound. If you cut 500 calories a day through diet and exercise then you lose about 1 pound a week. 1 to 2 pounds a week is healthy as the slower it comes off, the slower it comes back on. So, keep up the good work and give yourself a few months, not a few days or weeks to see drastic changes.

2. You’re low on muscle mass and muscle burns more calories than fat. Women especially tend to want to skimp on the weights and resistance training for fear of becoming a female hulk. We don’t have the ability to become the female hulk without supplementation or steroids. So, don’t be afraid of muscles. I’ve found circuit training yields the best results-continual working of the muscles intertwined with cardio. Check with your doctor before starting any program especially high intensity workouts.
3. You skip meals (you should eat every 2-4 hours and not after 9 pm). Advice given by my friends who are body builders and fitness models. I have seen the results of their nutrition program and it works. I eat breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. I also try to make sure there’s protein and fiber at eat meal so my blood sugar remains stable.
4. Your metabolism is slow because you have been a yo-yo dieter. If you’ve been on and off a diet your entire life, then your body is pretty confused. My cousin lost 120 pounds a few years ago. At first she was eating 1500 calories a day and working out but the pounds weren’t coming off. She went to see a nutritionist and they told her all the diet pills and yo-yo dieting had wrecked her metabolism. She had to eat really clean, exercise twice a day, and not take any diet pills for a few months before her metabolism rebounded. So lesson learned. Quick fix diet pills often help you get the weight off but work against your natural metabolism. When you stop taking them you gain weight, and it’s harder to get it off.
5. You eat food with minimal nutrients. I will say this over and over. All food is not created equal. If you are feeding yourself processed food, sugar, fast food, and tons of alcohol, your body will not respond with burning fat. Most of those foods are either high in sugar, salt, or fat, and little to no vitamins. Think of the body like a car. You wouldn’t pour diet soda into your oil tank. So, don’t do that to your body. Your body needs healthy food to run efficiently. Also if you drink diet soda it works against your weight loss. We’ll discuss that later.
6. You are not drinking water. Water keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins from your body. When you don’t drink water you over tax your liver which is already supposed to be breaking down fat. Your liver metabolizes proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, thus providing energy and nutrients.
7. You’re not eating for your unique metabolism. I found out this year that I have a fast oxidizing metabolism. Meaning my body breaks down carbs quickly and therefore I eat them and I am immediately hungry. They increase my hunger. Once I found this out, I began to eat less carbs and more protein and healthy fats. Look up fast, slow, and balanced oxidizing metabolism.

8. You are type-A  or super stressed (stress causes weight gain and it lands on your belly). Stress is killer. Take time to relax.

9. Your thyroid is out of whack¬† or other hormones are out of whack. Check with your doctor if you’re working out, eating right, and still not losing weight. It could be hormonal. For women PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) will cause you to gain weight.
10. You’re not eating enough food. As stated in the last post less than 1200 for women and 1500 for men is the bare minimum or the body thinks it’s starving. Also, if you’re working out hard, you’ll need fuel for those workouts. We’ll talk about calorie needs in another post. You can look up BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
11. You’re not sleeping enough. Sleep is our friend. Lack of sleep leads to stress, overeating, and it messes with our metabolism. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night if you can.
Well, dear friends. I hope this blog continues to help you on your journey to wellness. LMK if there’s any topic you’d like covered. Here’s some motivation for us to keep going!

You can do it! tumblr image.

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