There may be things you’d like to change, lose weight, new experiences you’d like to have, goals you’d like to achieve, but as you are at this very moment, is good enough. (And likely exactly where you need to be for your next phase of growth.) FYI, you are not stuck. If your intention for this year was to create changes in your body,
I beg of you:
PLEASE DO NOT GO ON ANOTHER DIET!
Diets are created from a mentality of restriction, deprivation, tracking, obsession, scarcity, fear tactics and so many other yuck based factors. Spoiler alert, they DO NOT WORK. I repeat, DIETS DO NOT WORK. You probably already know this if you’ve been on a diet in the past and are contemplating another…
1. Not sustainable.
2. Do not take your unique body into account.
3. A poor investment with little return.
Diets typically leave you feeling like crap when you can’t stick to one or flawed when you gain the weight back, and then some, afterward. So why I wonder, do so many women still think dieting (a.k.a restricting & punishing) is the way to the body and life of their dreams? The only way to TRULY find your ideal weight is to connect with your body. To understand how to nourish her properly and to do your absolute best to take action on these things daily.
You must learn how to take care of yourself and your body FOR LIFE and you will not learn this from dieting. Finding a natural, easy weight relies upon TRUST. For yourself and your (brilliant) body. You likely know the things you need to be doing and your body knows how to and is designed to thrive.
If your list of desired improvements included losing weight, or any variety of creating a better relationship with your body, I’ve got you covered with my very best secrets for weight loss (& true body love) today. While you may have heard some of these before, some may be brand new to you. See which suggestions resonate. Which ideas feel enlivening? Start there. There’s no need to try to accomplish all of these things at once, simply choose one tool to implement at a time and stick with it until you feel comfortable in the groove. Then move on to the next one.
My top secrets for weight loss:
Feed your soul
Friends, family, moving your body, spirituality and a satisfying career nourish us. In my work, we call these things “primary food”. Primary Food is the things that nurture our existence on a very deep, fundamental level. Lack of primary food creates an over-reliance on secondary, edible food.
Stop multitasking while you eat. SERIOUSLY
Let 2018 be the year that we abolish eating on the run, in front of the TV or computer, while scrolling on our phones, or any of the other ways we distract ourselves from being present with our food. Turn off the TV, get away from the computer. Make a practice of sitting down and savoring the food you’re eating with NO distractions.
Slow the F down while you eat
This is so important! Slow your pace. Breathe. Take time with your food. Eating slowly helps your body digest. It takes time for food to hit your stomach and your body to catch up. Your body needs time to realize you’re full in order to digest and process the food you’ve eaten. Pro tip: It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full.
Rest and relax daily
When you are sleep-deprived or stressed, your body will crave energy, causing cravings for junk food, sugary snacks, and caffeine as an energy boost. A much more sustainable practice for long-lasting energy and efficient metabolism is to get consistent sleep and take time throughout your day to pause and rest. Not only will you feel better, you’ll rely less on stimulating foods/drinks to keep you going.
Chew your food
Digestion begins in the mouth. When you thoroughly chew your food, your body will better assimilate nutrients; you’ll slow down your eating and likely feel full and satisfied with less food.
Return food to its rightful role in your life
Food is not your lover, your best friend, or your caretaker. Food is fuel for your body to run and thrive optimally. By healing your relationship with food and letting go of emotional or compulsive eating habits, you create space for so much more freedom in your life. If you struggle with your relationship to food, find support. Deep and lasting transformation is possible. If one person can break free from emotional and compulsive eating, anyone can.
Avoid letting one indulgence lead to others.
Aim at consistency each day as much as possible. It counts.
Eat a plant-based diet
Plant foods are typically lower in fat and calories and higher in filling fiber than meat, dairy, and processed foods while providing loads of essential nutrients. Aim to make ¾ of your plate fresh, organic veggies.
Move, move, move
Get a Fitbit to track your steps. Find a workout that makes you happy. Do any type of physical activity every day. Seriously, any type. Movement is movement. The key to sticking with it is finding movement you enjoy.
Eat real food
Avoid products with high-fructose corn syrup or a long list of unpronounceable ingredients. They tend to be highly processed, lacking in the nutrients your body needs and are often loaded with empty calories. Choose real food in its most natural state. Aim for less packaging and shorter ingredient lists.
Skipping meals causes your blood sugar levels to peak and dip, affecting your energy and moods. It can also cause overeating later on because you’re so hungry. Read more about top-notch breakfasts here and here.
Schedule time for FUN and PLEASURE
Boredom and stress can lead to overeating. Make sure to take time to laugh, play and participate in activities that bring you joy and pleasure.
Maintain a positive mindset
Everything we take in is food for our mind, body, and spirit. I cannot stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with positivity. Supportive friends, family members and mentors that care about your well-being are imperative medicine in today’s world. In the same vein, feeding your mind and spirit– not just your body–with high-quality nutrients helps to make sure you’re vibrating at your highest.
Be mindful of the things you watch on TV, read, or listen to. Negative thoughts and emotions actually create hormonal responses within the body that SHUT DOWN metabolism and digestion. Thinking positively is more than just a novel idea, it is a huge key to overall health.
Learn to listen to and trust your body
Open the door to connection and communication with your greatest ally, by paying attention to the subtleties with which your body speaks. Learn your natural cues for hunger and fullness. Notice when your energy lags and allow yourself to take a break. Eat foods that help your body feel good. Without honest and healthy communication, any relationship will struggle. Having a positive relationship with your own body is the gateway to healing.
Eat less meat
Most people eat way more animal protein than they need. Aim to eat meat at 1 meal per day instead of all 3. Better yet, tune into how much and when your unique body craves animal protein. It could be once a day, almost never, or every few days. Everybody is unique.
Heal your gut and eliminate foods that trigger inflammation
Uncover any food sensitivities you may have and work to stop eating foods that disrupt your digestion and aid in inflammation. Eat plenty of fiber to help strengthen your gut flora and consider taking a daily probiotic.
Refine your lifestyle choices
As Geneen Roth says,
“We eat the way we live; how we eat is also how we spend money, time, love and energetic resources.”
Weight gain and issues with food are merely symptoms of an underlying issue. Often these symptoms relate back to the choices we make in our lives. Many of us know what we need to be doing and also know a lot about nutrition, but the issue is we’re just not implementing what we know to do consistently.
If the information were all we needed, we wouldn’t struggle the way we do. Creating a life that supports your health and well-being is imperative to achieving sustainable vitality and a healthy weight.
Remember, it takes time to make a change. Many of these suggestions are ongoing practices and aren’t shifted immediately overnight. Take your time, go slow and have the courage to reach out for support when you need it.