Metabolism & Stress Eating with Michele Riechman

Metabolism & Stress Eating with Michele Riechman

Hey, welcome to the Habits and Humor podcast, you guys. I'm Suzi B, and you're here because you want to learn more about health habits, happiness, and all things progress. Today on this show, we are going to break it down in simple bite-sized chunks so that you can get actionable takeaways because we're all about taking action.

Learning is awesome, but unless you do something with that knowledge, People to you. So let's get action. Let's take action and get right into it today. I want to welcome a phenomenal guest to our show today. You guys, I'm so excited that she's here. Michelle Reman, thank you for coming to the show today.

Michele, welcome. Thanks so much for having


You bet. How do I pronounce your last name? Michelle. You say the E.


Riechman. Riechman. Okay. Sorry. Excuse me. Michele Riechman. All right, you guys. I'm gonna give you a brief introduction to who Michele is and then. We're just gonna jump right into it. I just wanna know a little bit more about you, Michele, how you got to where you are and what are these big three topics that we're gonna cover today?

So Michele is a personal trainer. She's a yoga teacher, she's a health coach. She's got a doctorate in physical therapy. She helps women who. Have put themselves on the back burner and let's face it, who of us can't claim that at some point or another to finally get in shape, optimize your metabolism, and lose weight for good without dieting.

This is why she's on the show, you guys. Same concept, same alignment with what I teach as well. So this is so great to have you here, Michelle. Thank you for being here.

Thanks so much for having me.

Yes. So let's just dive right into this, the, into the discussion first with the hot topic of metabolism. Then we'll learn a little bit about more about you and go through some different things as we go along.

But let's just hit it right on the head. What's the deal with metabolism as we age? Does our metabolism actually slow down and are there factors that can help speed it back up? Or does it stay stable? And these, there's all just, scientific nonsense that's being thrown at us. What's the deal with metabolism?

Yeah, so a lot of the research coming out shows that metabolism doesn't really slow down till about the sixties. So you're like 60 in your sixties. What's,

that's not what most of us have been told, right? You guys? Yes. Raise your hand here if this is already new information. All right, keep going. Michelle.

Yes. Most of us think like in the thirties, our metabolism slows, but it's because we're changing things that we're doing. So if we think about movement, exercise, and nutrition, because all those impacts our metabolism. We're moving less. So if we think about when we were young and a kid, we're moving a lot.

Even sometimes when we're in college, we're walking to classes, so we're just getting a lot of movement. We get a job, we have kids. We start to become really sedentary and not move. So we're burning. Less calories because we're just not moving as much. A lot of times we're not exercising like we used to, so we're burning less calories, we're losing muscle mass, and we're not eating as well.

We're overstressed, we're overworked, so we tend to stressy. We tend to eat more sugar and all these add up together to make it appear as if our metabolism is slowing down. But there's still a lot in our control, and even when we hit our sixties, when the metabolism slows down a little bit. There's so many lifestyle things that we can do to help our metabolism.

So going back to those factors, we can start to move more. So how can we get more steps in? Because our society is very sedentary, so most of us have jobs where we sit, where we're just really not moving a lot. So we have to intentionally put more walking and more movement into our day. And then we need to figure out how we can fit in strength training.

So I picked strength training as exercise because that helps to build our muscle mass. And the more muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories you're gonna burn doing nothing. So if we have two people and one person has 50 pounds of muscle, the other has 25 pounds of muscle, the person has 50 pounds of muscle, is going to burn a lot more calories.

Doing nothing. So it helps to keep our bodies strong, it helps to keep our metabolism up, and then we cannot forget diets because we cannot outrun our fork.

So what we need, hold on. Before we get into diet really quick, I just wanna roll it back into your exercise for just a hot second. Yeah. So for strength training, a lot of us are like, okay, I have to do a separate strength workout.

I'm a big fan of combining the things, and so are you. On the mindset or the belief that, you know, what if you just add in a little bit of resistance with what you're already doing, that counts as strength training, or does it have to be specific lifting weights, that kind of resistance.

So for strength training, it's gonna be anything really where you're feeling your muscles burning.

And so you can do higher reps or lower reps. I usually like to aim for the eight to 12, but I also do a variety. So you wanna feel that muscle burn cuz when that muscle burns, that means the muscle's gonna break down and it's gonna build up and become stronger. So that's your cue, your strength training.

You can also do yoga. That is strength training. So you're holding a yoga pose and those muscles are burning. That means you are building strength. And I always tell people, do what you enjoy. So that's the most important thing when you start to exercise, is do something you enjoy and that you're actually gonna do.

And then try to incorporate a little bit of things that you might need to a little more intentionally.

Awesome. I like that word a little bit more intentionally. You guys, you can absolutely just add things into what you're currently doing. Don't feel like, okay, I don't have a gym membership. Now I have to start over if you want to.

If you want a new part of your workout life, excellent. That's a phenomenal way to start. But if that's not what you already do, that's okay. Just add a little resistance to what you're already doing. I even just had this conversation with my sister this morning. She's I really just love to hike and bike.

I'm like, awesome. Do more heels, carry some weights with you when you hike. This is all good things, so just keep. Doing what you're doing and adding resistance, that's how you're gonna get the metabolic boost from your strength training. Yes. Awesome. So keep going. Let's go. Yeah, let's go. The


Yeah, I'm gonna add to the strength training a little bit because it doesn't have to be complicated. You can do 10 minute workouts three times a week for strength training. So if someone loves to hike and bike, they don't need to do some super complicated strength training routine, 10 minutes at home.

You can do body weight, you could get some hand weights or bands, something super simple, but you're giving that quick focus time to strength training. And I personally, so I'm a mom of four and things are busy. I never really work out longer than 30 minutes. I might go for a longer wi bike ride or a hike or walk or something, but my exercise time is usually 15 to 30 minutes.

So you don't have to make it long. It doesn't have to be complicated.

That's me too. Yes. Let's make it simpler guys. If you haven't seen the fitness formula challenge that we did this morning to simplify exercise, check that out, but yes. All right, let's keep going. So we've got some we want more muscle in order to increase metabolism and metabolic processing.

What else? Yeah,

so let's talk about food a little bit because you cannot outrun your fork. So we have this mentality, or some of us, I can just burn off what I'm eating. I can eat that piece of cake and then just burn it off. But one that puts us in a really bad mental state and relationship with food.

And we do need food. We need energy, and we can't look at. Exercise as a punishment. So we wanna make sure that we're eating healthy. But the same idea with exercise that we can use with food is, it doesn't have to be complicated. Most of us already know that we should be eating more whole foods. A lot of us don't quite understand the impact that Whole Foods has on our metabolism.

So one example is if you are eating a hundred calories of chicken and you're eating a hundred calorie granola bar, So we always think it's calories in versus calories out. And there's some truth to that, but the type of food matters. So if you're having that a hundred calories of chicken, your body needs to break that down.

So it takes a lot more energy in our body to break down protein and also fiber. So that a hundred calorie granola bar, your body is gonna absorb all of those calories, but it's not gonna quite absorb all those calories from the chicken. So this is where. Eating more whole foods also makes a difference.

So it's almost like you could eat a little more calories, and that's why also eating more protein, more fiber, it's also more filling. So when we're focused more on those whole foods, we might actually eat a little less because we get more filled up. But our body is going to also absorb less calories because it takes more calories to break down protein and more whole foods in our body.

Awesome. And that breakdown process is metabolism. You guys, that's a huge part of what your metabolism is doing. It's feeding your muscles, which is the exercise part of it, and it's breaking down your food. So that's, it's all intertwined here. It's not one thing or the other. These whole foods are so crucial.

I know there's a lot of people out there that are like, okay, with Whole Foods I get bored of the same things over and over again. What's, and then, or I stress eat or I just go for the easy stuff, the sugar. What are some of your concepts on helping us with those mindset issues?

Yeah, so with the food, there's different ways to cook food. So let's say you don't like zucchini raw, you could air fry it, you could roast it in a pan. So thinking of different ways to cook things and flavor things like herbs are such a great thing to add. You can do fresh, you can do the dried, but it really can change your food.

And there's also a lot of micronutrients. In different herbs to use. So finding some different recipes and having a variety of things you can do, it helps your gut, but it also just helps not being bored, but also if you're the person, you're okay with eating the same thing most days and you're in a good routine and it's healthy.

You don't have stress about it. Of course, it's good if you would add some variety, but also sometimes we just need to keep things simple. If we're on a good track. And then with sugar. So sugar is a huge thing. We can basically say overall, like we know that sugar is not healthy, some people, it could be lifesaving.

If you had nothing else to eat for seven days, go ahead, eat the sugar. That would be great for your body. But overall, sugar is just so abundant in our society. It's also snuck into things like spaghetti, sauces, barbecue sauce has a ton ketchup. So it's really hidden in different things that we also wouldn't even think of.

So that goes back again to the idea of I am cooking more at home, eating more whole foods. I'm controlling what is in my food. And so when it comes to sugar cravings, It is very addictive. So sugar is more addictive than drugs. So just to keep that in mind, if you're really struggling with sugar cravings, and the first thing I tell people to do is to create a pause.

So let's say there is a cupcake at work. And they're all over the place and you really want one is first just creating a five minute pause because that urge feels so strong at first. But if we can just create a pause and you can use the pause to deep breathe, to walk around, to get away, to distract your mind and just create that space.

And don't worry if you still want that in the five minutes you can have it. But first, training your brain to create that pause is really important because once you start creating that pause and it becomes a little more of a habit, then you can work on what is really going on when you're wanting that.

Have you not ate enough? Are you just really wanting that and breaking down what's going on? And then you can increase that pause and then you can start to break that addiction to sugar.

I love that. So the pause gives you a little bit of time to process maybe why you want the thing. Is it the, I see food, so I need to eat food?

Or is it because you're actually hungry or, that's a question I ask myself all the time is why do I want this or why would I eat this? And if the answer is because I need it right now and because it's fuel, that's a totally different conversation than, oh, because I just saw it and now I want it. Yeah, no, pause is crucial.

I love this. Create

the pause. Yeah, and it's really just retraining our brain because we are so used to, I want this, I'm gonna get it. There's no like cognitive thought, or if there is, it's just pretty this is what I'm doing. I'm just gonna have this. So really just training your brain to pause and create that conversation with yourself.

Awesome. Love this. Create the conversation, create the pause. So we are increasing muscle, we're increasing the good foods that we're eating. But here's the thing, so many of us are in a rush. So many of us are busy and we don't have time to cook at home. So we're just grabbing whatever's easy, whatever's on the go.

And that is what's making us feel garbagey. How do we without, spending five hours a week meal prepping and meal planning, and all of those things that most of us just don't have time for. How do we create consistent, easy access to whole foods and good things and Increasing that metabolic process without the stress, without the sugar.

How do we do that? Yeah.

Yeah. And I think one thing to keep in mind, anytime you're changing something you're doing, it's gonna be a little bit of a challenge. So really creating a little space to allow that, that's gonna take more time. So if you're changing what you're eating, it's gonna take more time.

But so if you have one meal, and it's brand new. It's gonna take a lot longer to cook. To prep, you have just a lot more thought, but once you've made it five, six times, it gets a little easier and it requires less thought. So really just setting yourself up for, I know this is gonna take a little more time to change this, but also starting simple.

So maybe you're just gonna start with your breakfast. And getting a few different things going, and maybe you do that for two or three weeks, then maybe you're gonna add in your dinner and then your lunch. But really starting slow because it really does take a lot more brain energy. And just keep in mind, if you're just starting with your breakfast, that is better than starting something that's more extreme that you can't stay consistent with.

So allowing that space to learn how to do new things, learn how to cook new things and prep new things. So I also recommend having a day of the week. Typically, like Sunday's great for a lot of people where you prep some stuff so you can even, I have clients who prep their smoothies, so they put the stuff in a bag so it's ready to go because a barrier to them, they don't have the five minutes in the morning to put those different things together.

So they're prepping it before, so it's ready to go and they're ready to start the morning. The same thing with food, like I might cook rice and quinoa in the pressure cooker. And have that to go just for the rest of the week. I always make dinner and try to have leftovers because that's typically what I'm gonna have for lunch.

So really finding ways to simplify and to prep at one time.

That's awesome. So one thing that I find a lot of people struggle with is when we cook stuff in advance, it just goes because proportion control is such an issue. If you guys are thinking about meal prepping or thinking about, cooking extra dinner, And saving it for lunch.

But then there's never enough for lunch because you eat just ate seconds. Here's a little rule of thumb that I have that I started doing a couple years ago. I plate in the kitchen, I plate the food in the kitchen and I don't bring the dishes to the dining room. So we eat at a separate place so that in order to get seconds, you have to go back to the table.

And every time I steer away from this, I always eat more. My portions get quickly out of control if there's more access right in front of me versus if I have to get up and take eight steps to get more. That's a big enough barrier that most of the time my kids and I don't do that. So if this was one recommendation I would have for you guys, keep it in the kitchen and then Then bring your food, plate, your food, and eat that in a separate place.

This can oftentimes be, again, a struggle for those of us that are super busy, but that can be, doesn't have to be from kitchen to table. This can just be from kitchen to car. Just make sure you're portioning out one portion, and then just use those meals to go a little bit further. When you're eating good portion control, it will help you to have more healthy meals in the future.

Yeah. And to add to that, really tuning into your body when you're hungry and when you're full. And one thing busy people don't wanna hear, but that will help with digestion and feeling full, is to slow down when you're eating. So I even give 'em the habit of eating really fast, but. Digestion first happens in our mouth, so we have to chew our food and enzymes are released that start to break it down.

So really eating slower, getting lots of chew, having a drink of water in between bites, just really eating slowly is gonna help you tune into, oh, I'm feeling full. Like the other day, me and my husband, I was like starving and we went out to this taco place and I got. Two tacos, but I like scarfed them down so fast because I was just so hungry and he's oh, cuz usually that fills me up.

I'm like, no, I actually still feel hungry, but it's like only been like five minutes. So I'm sure my needs like another 15 to tell if it's even hungry or not.

I do that too. I'm totally a super fast eater and you guys, if you haven't done the SIP challenge yet, that'll come back around in a couple of months.

It's awesome. Sip between bites is a life changer, balances your hormones, it helps you take back, control, your portions, all the things. Yeah. Awesome. And I love that you're saying, just slow down, chew more, sip between bites. Do whatever you gotta do to feel. So that when you, even if you are super hungry, when you sit down to eat that meal, it doesn't require more food.

It just requires a little bit of self-control to slow it down. Yeah. One thing that I like to do is when you are eating in other places, like in the car or on the run where you're not really thinking about it, Is to really think about it, turn off the radio, take a sip between bites. I have a specific water bottle that I take in my car that has a straw so that I have easy access to water between bites and I just highly recommend this.

You guys, if what, whether you're eating on the run or whether you're not. That portion control factor is so crucial. And I love also what you said about starting with a little bit at a time. So maybe start with just breakfasts. Don't overwhelm yourselves with okay, I'm gonna go whole foods entirely every minute of every day.

Start with breakfast. What is a good breakfast routine that I can have maybe, five or six options that every week that I can just put in the rotation of breakfast. And I know I have those things, those staples in my home. Then once you've mastered that a little bit for a couple weeks, move on to lunch and add that to it.

Then you can just add on a little bit at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. Speaking of overwhelmed, let's jump right into stress eating. Why do we stress eat, and why is it so hard to let's just go right into that. Why are we, why do we stress eating? What can we do about it?

Yeah, so a lot of us, it's ingrained since we were a kid.

So if you think about it, and parents now it's easy for us to do this. Our kid is sad. My husband wants to give them ice cream. Like something happens, they're hurt. We comfort people with food. Even think of like funerals, you're like bringing food to the family and not that they might need meals and help, but we use food as a comfort in our society.

So we have grown up. That way thinking that we need food. So what happens is as adults, we get stressed. We want comfort. We go eat food. Typically, we're gonna go for sugar or carbs because it's gonna hit our bloodstream faster and it's gonna increase our dopamine to make us feel better. But what we really need is why are we stressed?

Like what's going on? And having ways to deal with that. And most of us, or some of us haven't really learned tools to deal with our stress, to talk through our feelings, and we've stuffed these other things, but they're having a big impact on our health. So it's going to impact the way we feel, the way we think, what we do, and then it's gonna impact what we choose to eat.

And. When we're eating carbs and high sugar, we're not gonna feel as good. We'll have that temporary good feeling, but in the end, we're not gonna feel as good and we haven't dealt with what's really going on. So dealing with what's really going on is probably not an easy. It's not an easy process, but figuring out different tools you can use, like going for a walk, talking with a friend, journaling, figuring those couple tools that you can use and have that.

So when these stressors do pop up, that first you're recognizing that you're stressed and that's you're stress eating. And it's interesting because I'll use the word stress changing or emotional eating interchangeably, and some people be like, I stress eat, but I don't emotionally eat. But when you talk to him, They are emotionally eating because they have emotion they're not even recognizing.

So it can be a vicious pattern and a vicious cycle to recognize and then to work through. And sometimes working with someone can really help you work through that and also see what's really going on.

Excellent. Sometimes working with someone is the key that you need. I know, Michelle, you have a funny story and if you guys are new to the show, we like to use embarrassing moments as a way to keep these concepts memorable and relatable because we've all embarrassed ourselves a million times.

And Michelle, tell us a little bit about your embarrassing moment where you learned that sometimes it's okay to have that mentorship and it's a good thing that can really help you.

Yeah, so my parents have a ski boat, so I grew up water skiing, and the front of the boat comes to a point and there's like a hidden thing under the seats, and it had the anchor.

So my dad throws me, tells me to throw out the anchor. So it's heavy. So I'm stepping with my foot in this box and I'm about ready to throw it out, and my dad is whoa, stop. Because I was gonna throw the anchor while I was stepping on the rope, which would've caused rope burn. I don't know. I might have fallen into the water.

Who knows? So just that idea of we need to learn things and we need help. With that sometimes, because we all have our different things that we know, but we also have things we don't know, and we also have things we can't see. Like I didn't really see what I was doing, but obviously my dad could see that was not gonna go well.

And it's the same thing when it comes to our health. We can't always see these little things that we're struggling with, but it's easy for someone else to see it.

Beautiful. Yes. I love the whole idea of just Hey, I'm gonna do this thing that makes sense. I'm gonna throw the anchor in because it makes sense and this is the action that I need to take.

And really, you're putting yourself at some pretty massive risk. Yes, you're absolutely right. So many times with our health it is. It's just something we don't even know. We don't even see. You don't know what you don't know. So work with somebody to help you answer those questions that you need or just, come to things like this and get your questions answered here.

Speaking of that we're gonna go ahead and end the show with just learning a little bit more about you, Michelle. I would love to know your story, your background on how you got into physical therapy and then how you got to where you are now, and a little bit about that and then tell us.

What you've got going on right now, how people could reach out to you. And then we'll open up the room for question and answer session.

Yeah, so I really have been interested in health and fitness since high school. I was an athlete, I had a hamstring injury and I went to physical therapist. So that's what started my journey of physical therapy, like how different movement, strengthening, stretching, these different techniques can really heal the body.

And then as I had kids, after I had my third kid, I really struggled taking care of myself. And I remember going up a flight of stairs and being out of breath, and it's I am way too young for this. I don't want this. But I didn't feel like I had that much time because you're just trying to keep these humans alive, take care of your house, do all these other things.

But the idea of, okay, going up a flight of stairs doesn't take long. Like I don't need to go run a 5K or a half marathon. I just need to make it up a flight of stairs. So I started with 10 minute workouts and really just built up to 30 on some days, but really made those small, consistent changes. And the same thing with my nutrition, just tweaking it a little.

I didn't need to change everything. And when you start to tweak it a little, keep things simple, it's really a lot more sustainable. So that is what I help my clients do. Let's just see where we can start, what you're gonna do, what you can stay consistent with.

Beautiful. Start small, start simple, and be consistent.

None of you have ever heard those words from my mouth before. I'm sure just kidding. I say that all the time. Thank you so much, Michelle. This has been enlightening and you guys have to take away anything from this. I don't know. You guys can definitely share your takeaways, tag Michelle and I on the habits and humor group on Facebook there, and tell us your takeaways from today, but for me, create the pause.

Deal with really what's going on. Give yourself the time to ask the questions, why am I eating this? Or why am I doing this? Or why am do I want this? And is there something else that really would actually solve the problem that I have? Beautiful. Create space and deal with what's really going on. Thank you so much, Michelle.

I really appreciate you and your brilliance. Those of you that are still here, go ahead and stay here and you can start typing your questions in the chat. Or I will ask you to unmute yourselves in just a moment. You can just ask them. Those of you that are joining us as listening to this on a podcast feel free to join us live on these Tuesday calls.

So if you are here in person, you get these question answer sessions. Thank you so much, Michelle. Thanks everybody for being here, and we will see you next time on Habits and Humor.