'Tis the season for fad diets. It seems that every time I turn around, I'm hearing about some new 'hot' crash diet that promises huge weight loss in a crazy short amount of time. I'm here to dispel a massive myth about weight loss. Are you ready?!
LOSING WEIGHT CANNOT BE A STRUGGLE.
Weight loss should not be a "fight," and you are not at war with your body. The more you strain and starve yourself, the more the body perceives the weight loss program (i.e. crash diet) as a fat-storing emergency. To get the body to burn fat naturally, you have to convince it the war is over. You do this by partnering with your body so it feels safe to release stored fat.
I work with my clients to teach them how to eat functionally to give their bodies what they need to turn fat storage off and turn fat release on. Every body is different and therefore every eating plan must be tailored to the individual's needs and sustainable for that person in the long term.
That said, when it comes to losing weight, you gotta get rid of the "buts." Buts = excuses. "I want to lose weight and get healthy, but...." Here are the five most common "buts" plus some ideas on how to overcome them!
Diets never work for me
Don't worry, it's not just you....Diets don't work for anyone! Research shows that the majority of dieters (over 90%) will inevitably put back on all of the pounds they lose and some extra too. Why don't diets work? They imply a short-term strategy and don't concern themselves with your long-term health and wellbeing. Most diets involve either cutting out or cutting down dramatically on major food groups and restricting calories, all the while undertaking a hardcore exercise regime. This is problematic for your health and almost impossible to sustain! Your body wants and needs homeostasis (balance), not deprivation or extremes. Any diet that involves restriction or fluctuating eating patterns is going to cause your body stress which, in turn, will make your body hold on to fat. Exactly what you DIDN'T want to happen! So, if you're ready to ditch the diets for a more holistic and functional approach to weight loss, feel free to reach out so I can help you devise an eating plan that is tailored to your individual needs and sustainable for you in the long-term.
I have no willpower
I believe restrictive diets don’t work because forcing doesn’t work. Humans aren't designed to restrict intake of food. When we do, our bodies think we're in famine or in an emergency and thus particular hormones and urges kick in to ensure our survival. This causes us to become obsessed with seeking out food and makes our bodies store any calories ingested for safe keeping. Again, restricting food doesn't work. But being kind and nurturing to yourself does work. Weight gain didn't happen overnight and weight loss won't happen overnight either. It takes time for your body to recalibrate after days, months, years of dieting. Be conscious of being too hard on yourself. Losing weight entails creating a positive relationship with your body where you are eating, listening, and responding to how your body reacts to what you are putting in.
I hate going to the gym
Who said you have to go to the gym? Go for a walk, take a dance class, go skiing, ride bikes with your kids, jump on your Rebounder, do some yoga stretches in your living room. The options are endless! The key is to figure out a way to move your body (note: I didn't say "work out") that you actually enjoy! If you can't fit anything in during the day, at least get up from your desk every hour and walk around the office!
I don't have time to cook
The average restaurant meal comes in at 1,500 calories so there's no question that eating at home helps you lose weight! Home cooking doesn't have to be a big deal. My first suggestion is to meal plan. Take some time on Sunday to plan your meals for the week, shop for the groceries you need, and do some meal prep like chopping veggies and making a batch of beans or grains. Making soups are great for Sunday meal prep as you can make a lot and freeze individual servings. An even easier answer to making your own meals would be to pick up an (organic) rotisserie chicken and some pre-washed greens on your way home from work. Pair with a pre-roasted sweet potato and you've got a delicious, well-rounded meal in five minutes.
I love food...sometimes a little too much
Ever noticed how the last bite of cake is never as delicious as the first? That's because, as research shows, the pleasure you get from food diminishes with each bite. This is one reason why eating slowly and mindfully is so key to weight loss. If you scarf down your meal in 7 minutes flat, I suspect you barely tasted it, much less chewed your food properly, and will be more inclined to go back for seconds because your brain hardly registered you ate anything yet. When you eat slowly, focusing on and savoring each bite, your satiety hormones will have a chance to register in your brain that you are full and don't need to keep eating. If you have a habit of eating quickly, make yourself a goal of chewing each bite at least 30 times. And if you often go back for seconds, try serving your meals from the counter instead of on the table, family style. Out of sight, out of mind!
Hope you found these excuse-busters helpful! If you or anyone you know is interested in getting some support around their weight loss goals, shoot me a line on the contact page and we'll chat!