“Here Are 5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing” With Dr. William Seeds & Dr. Megan Rigby

Eliminate distractions during meals: Mindless eating is one of the top reasons for unhealthy weight gain today. When we eat distracted we are unable to recognize our hunger and fullness cues, thus overeating. Meal after meal our calorie surplus continues to increase and soon outweighs our daily expenditure. Therefore, I recommend getting rid of all […]

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Eliminate distractions during meals: Mindless eating is one of the top reasons for unhealthy weight gain today. When we eat distracted we are unable to recognize our hunger and fullness cues, thus overeating. Meal after meal our calorie surplus continues to increase and soon outweighs our daily expenditure. Therefore, I recommend getting rid of all distractions while eating and focus on the task at hand, food. Pay attention to the appearance, texture and taste of what you are consuming. Allowing your mind and body to have a deeper connection to food will enable you to have a better understanding of what you need.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Megan Rigby. Megan Rigby is a Doctorate Prepared Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nutrition Consultant and owner of MacroMINI which provides one-on-one online health and wellness coaching. With over 13 years of experience, she specializes in gut health, nutrition and fitness lifestyle changes. She has made it her mission to help others breakout of the diet mentality and find a balanced way of living to create sustainable changes which can be passed on to our youth. www.TheMacroMINI.com

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

I have worked in the medical profession since 2005. I graduated with my Bachelors of Nursing in 2006 and worked as an ICU nurse while attending Graduate school. I obtained my Doctorate Degree in 2013 with an emphasis on “Treatment/Prevention of Family-Obesity.” I have always loved teaching others the importance of living a healthier life. I am lucky enough to have found an outlet that combines my career and passion.

Growing up I was a physically active individual and casually worked out, but my true love for fitness began when I was obtaining my Graduate Degree. With a crazy school schedule and working night shift, I made excuses to avoid the gym. I was staying up late studying and eating unhealthy foods, which left me tired and never feeling well. I made the decision to get back in the gym and improve my nutrition. It was a personal goal to get healthy in 2009 and I never looked back.

When I began working out in Graduate school I stumbled upon the “competing” world. I did my first 3 shows while finishing up my degree. I found this kept me driven and regimented in my busy life. The gym and competitions were a great stress relief and hobby. After school, I could focus on my shows a bit more. Personal curiosity made me wonder how far I could take my love for competing. Within the first 2 years I won my IFBB Figure Pro Card. I have since competed in 3 Pro Shows and made a conscious decision to hang up the heels. I was no longer leading a balance lifestyle and found myself unhappy with my overall physique off the stage. I have spent the past 3 years refocusing on my mind and body in order to be the happiest and healthiest I can be.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Well I would have to say the most interesting story was actually leaving a successful career in the medical field to pursue a new one in the health and wellness industry. After many years of nursing and then schooling to become a Nurse Practitioner, I began to feel like something was missing and felt the need to do more. Working in clinic I was getting all of 15 minutes to sit down with patients and try to solve difficult health and nutrition problems. I just felt the need to do more and began working with people one-on-one as more of a hobby. Quickly I realized how fulfilling this was and set out to start my own online health and nutrition business. It was a long 18-month journey of working full-time in clinic to coming home and working all night, but it was well worth it. I eventually took the leap and left my corporate NP career to focus solely on my business, MacroMINI. I am proud to say to a year after taking that risk I am a successful entrepreneur and couldn’t be happier.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Well there have certainly been a lot of mistakes along the way. As many books have been written or experts out there who claim to have all the answers, learning to be an entrepreneur is a truly personal journey. While I don’t know if any of them seem rather humorous (at least not to me), I would have to say just allowing others to influence some of my decisions with the business that I didn’t really agree with. What you end up with is someone else’s vision or thoughts and you lose your ability to connect with it. Then you are stuck in this odd place guessing what someone else wants you to do rather than trusting your gut. I quickly realized that you must be authentically yourself every step of the way and just let the chips fall where they may.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Personally, I feel my medical background and experience has lent me the authority to stand out in the rather crowded fitness and wellness industry. I am a Doctorate Prepared Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nutritionist and Pro Figure competitor. I believe being able to look at things through several different lenses has allowed me a greater understanding and ability to work with people to achieve their goals. When designing personalized nutrition for my one-on-one clients I am able to consider medical history, labs results, hormones, body composition, schedule, family, and so on in order to create something that works specifically for them. I also understand what it is like to diet from my days of competing and how it can negatively impact relationships with our own body and the food we eat. This has steered me to put additional emphasis on each client’s mindset so they can truly make lasting, long-term changes. I believe balance and sustainability are key components to creating a healthy lifestyle.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am most grateful for my husband Ryan. He has always believed in me and encouraged whatever decision I wanted to make. Whether it was going back to school to get my doctorate to eventually leaving my practice to start a business, he gave me his full support. He helped make it possible to take that leap and has been there every step of the way since.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion, what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

All or Nothing Mindset: So many people start something new with the anticipation or expectation of being perfect and when that doesn’t happen, they throw in the towel. Unrealistic expectations are one of the main reasons so many get caught in this vicious diet cycle. Time and time again they find the motivation to start, only to be derailed when things don’t go according to plan. I’ll save you the suspense; you are going to fail at some point. If we understand that coming in, it won’t become the reason you quit. I teach my clients to focus on balance and consistency. I would rather my client who is craving a cookie simply eat it and move on. Realize they are human and this is not the end of the world or even the end of their day. Focus on healthier choices moving forward and get over it. Be practical and realistic with goals as well as setbacks along the way.

The “I am too busy” excuse: We are stronger than our biggest excuse. Yet so many people let the “too busy” excuse be the reason to never even start. Trust me, I get it… Life is busy and sometimes it doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to fit everything in. Sometimes that might very well be true, but it also comes down to priorities. Somewhere along the line, you decided that your health wasn’t as big of a deal and it fell down the list. It might be a bit cliché, but what happened to “as long as you have your health?” I don’t expect people to make fitness and nutrition their entire life, but it should be a part of it. This goes back to being realistic with time as well as expectations. Something is better than nothing and it could be as simple as stretching daily or taking a walk around the block. So instead of making an excuse, just make it happen.

Not putting your HEALTH first: Too many people start their journey with only a physical goal in mind. This alone won’t hold you over very long, especially when that body is not in the mirror tomorrow. Physical differences tend to be the last to show and if that is your sole influence, you’re more likely to get discouraged and call it quits before anything can be seen. The main reason for starting to make lifestyle changes must be improved health. Exercising and eating better because you want to live longer, avoid medical issues, and just overall be happier. Those are goals that can fuel you much beyond appearance alone. I am also realistic and understand wanting to look better or a certain way is a part of this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and certainly can help drive motivation. We just need to understand it is secondary and if you put the important stuff first, you will stick with it longer… and you’ll have it all anyway.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Eliminate distractions during meals: Mindless eating is one of the top reasons for unhealthy weight gain today. When we eat distracted we are unable to recognize our hunger and fullness cues, thus overeating. Meal after meal our calorie surplus continues to increase and soon outweighs our daily expenditure. Therefore, I recommend getting rid of all distractions while eating and focus on the task at hand, food. Pay attention to the appearance, texture and taste of what you are consuming. Allowing your mind and body to have a deeper connection to food will enable you to have a better understanding of what you need.

Drink water before, during and after eating: With our busy lifestyles, we tend to eat way too fast. This does not allow the brain to catch-up and signal that you are satisfied. Drinking water before, during and after a meal helps set the pace while consuming food. Additionally, this keeps us hydrated which is important because we often feel hungry when we are actually dehydrated. Pick an appropriate portion size, pour your water and slow down while eating. Give the brain and body time to recognize the nutrients consumed and then consciously decide if more food is needed or not.

Something is better than nothing when it comes to exercise: You do not have to jump into a full nutrition and workout routine day one. Those who jump in before they are ready tend to fizzle out rather quickly. Changing everything at once is overwhelming and not sustainable in the long run for most. It is my suggestion to create little adjustments over time and let their benefits accumulate. Start slow: go for walks, build up to running, then make your way to the gym. These are simple steps you can begin to make over reasonable time frame. Aiming for consistency and developing habits will serve you better than going all out right from the start.

Create healthy habits with nutrition: Again, stop trying to accomplish everything at once. Make smaller changes that you can build upon as you progress. This will be less daunting and you are more likely to stick to them. Start with something like limiting sugary drinks or how often you eat fast food. Try to consume whole foods for most of your meals throughout the day. These are practical changes you can make over time, which leads to sustainable results.

Set aside time to journal or mediate each day: Mindset is a big one. I encourage all my clients to take time for themselves to reflect on the day and clear their mind. A negative mindset can be detrimental to creating a healthier lifestyle. Journaling and meditating can lead to important self-discoveries as to why we think and do many of our unhealthy habits. During this time, I always ask that clients to reflect and then strategize how they can improve moving forward.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

Improved Health: The prevalence of High Cholesterol, Type-II Diabetes, Heart disease, and other medical co-morbidity can be greatly reduced by exercise and healthier eating. For that reason alone, creating a lifestyle change is essential.

Improved Mood: Nourishing your body and keeping it active increases endorphins and serotonin in your brain. The better you treat your body, the better you feel. I find it hard to stay down or mad after a great workout.

Improved Food Choices: When we workout, we often want to make better food choices. There tends to be this “domino-effect” when we incorporate healthier activities into our lives resulting in other positive behaviors.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are critical?

Rather than focus on 3 specific exercises, I think it is important to incorporate 3 different types of activity; all which are critical for overall health.
Strength Training: I truly believe everyone should participate in some sort of strength training to enhance their body’s longevity. It helps to build muscle, which protects our bones, ligaments and strengthens our metabolism. I recommend at least 30 minutes of strength training 3–4 times per week. This can be done with resistance band, functional training or traditional weight lifting.

Cardiovascular Training: It’s right there in the name, “heart” training. Walking, jogging, hiking, swimming or any other activity that gets your heart pumping will do the trick. Today everyone thinks cardio is solely for burning fat. While you will certainly burn calories and that can lead to fat loss, it isn’t the only benefit or reason to get yourself moving. I recommend at least 15–20 minutes 4–5 times per week for optimal benefits.

Stretching: Often overlooked, stretching is important for flexibility, agility and injury prevention. If we can keep our body moving optimally, we are more likely to continue exercising. Stretching is something that can and should be done daily. It is also something we can do just about anywhere at any time… so there really is no excuse to skip it.

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

Nourish the Body for Recovery: Eat food! I think so many people enter an exercise regimen with the goal of dropping body fat and looking better. Years of mainstream diet conditioning has lead us to believe that means ultra-restriction. While some may need to reduce their overall daily intake, it is still important to ensure the body is getting appropriate fuel for recovery. When reducing calories, be sure not to cut them to a sub optimal level that could harm the body’s overall goal of becoming healthier.

Drink Electrolytes: Electrolytes are important for hydration and recovery from exercise. When we sweat, our body loses electrolytes, which can dehydrate our muscles and place us at risk for injury. When we drink water, we dilute our natural electrolytes, thus requiring replacement. Our bodies movement of water through the muscle and surrounding cells is dependent upon balanced electrolytes and without this we can become overly sore or increase our chances of injury.

Stretching: Outside of an injury, muscle soreness is most often the build-up of lactic acid within the muscular cells. In addition to the overall discomfort, this can also cause tightness and decreased output. Stretching is necessary to maintain flexibility and avoid injury. It is often neglected, but should not be overlooked in any regimen no matter the experience level of the individual.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

So, I do not like the term “diet” or at least how it is used today. Unfortunately, over the years this word has been overused in the weight loss space and we automatically associate it with shedding pounds. Our brain now equates diet with restriction and we are constantly fighting the ramifications of that. I prefer personalized nutrition when discussing eating habits which seems to resonate with people because we are solely focused on them and not whatever fad happens to be all the rage. For most of my clients, I teach them how to count macro nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) as I believe it provides the strongest foundation to learning proper nutrition. It is more detailed than calorie counting, but it helps teach people to understand what they are consuming.

Is there a book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

Without a doubt, Mindset by Carol Dweck. I always find myself going back and reading passages when I am feeling that a task might be too great or something is outside of my comfort zone. When I first began kicking around the idea of starting my business, I was constantly met with self-doubt that I had the necessary skills to be an entrepreneur. My “fixed” mindset was telling me since I wasn’t born with those traits, I was out of luck. However, approaching things with a “growth” mindset I understood that anything can be learned and skills can be developed. It helped me face challenges and overcome the setbacks that almost all business owners face along the way.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Fuel the Future! My movement would be focusing on teaching children proper nutrition. They are the future and we must start educating them young to impart healthy habits and prevent childhood obesity, body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Our society and attitude around healthcare tends to be reactive rather than proactive and for this reason we have many children growing up with disordered eating habits. By the time they reach adulthood, some of these issues are nearly impossible to eliminate or at least significantly more difficult than they could have been if treated at an earlier age. As adults, it is our responsibility to invest the time and effort to make sure our children have the best opportunity to be healthy.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

You are STRONGER than your Biggest excuse. This always resonates with me and my clients, because we all have reasons as to why we “can’t” or “wont” do something, but if we let that get in our way we would never accomplish bigger and better things.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would have to say Tom Brady. I truly feel he embodies a healthy lifestyle. Watching him continue to improve athletically and fight the aging process is inspiring. Granted he is surrounded by a team of experts, I am still fascinated on how he keeps showing-up younger and healthier than the year before. His determination and perseverance to take care of his body is motivating and proof that nutrition along with exercise can play a vital role in our health and wellness.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

IG: Macro_MINI

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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