Welcome to my first post for Weigh-in Wednesdays! Fittingly, last night I actually gave a talk on the topic of weight-loss. It seems to be a subject that so many people are interested in, yet are often so confused about. And with good reason! There is so much information floating around out there and we are bombarded by it everyday via the internet, television, and the countless diet books that fill the shelves in bookstores. In light of the recent talk I did (along with my nutritionist friend Joy), I thought over the next few weeks or so I would share with you some of the main points from our discussion. My goal here will be to help you cut through some of the confusion by offering up some tried and true strategies you can start incorporating into your daily routine today. Even if weight-loss isn’t your goal, the focus here (like all of my other posts) is actually on health. Weight-loss you’ll find is only one of the pleasurable side-effects – if you’ve got it to lose of course!
So without further ado, I’ll jump right into my first tip!
Set yourself up for Success
By implementing the following…
1) Don’t “go on a diet”! In fact don’t EVER “go on a diet” again. A healthy eating plan is something that should be incorporated into your life permanently. It shouldn’t be something you do for a couple of weeks just to lose a few pounds before returning to your regular bad eating habits. Part of the reason why diets often don’t work is because they leave people feeling deprived. And as many of us know, as soon as we aren’t “allowed” to have something we are usually left wanting it more! This can lead to unhealthy obsessions, not to mention feelings of stress, oftentimes resulting in a binge. Furthermore, food must be enjoyable! If you don’t honestly enjoy what you are eating you’ll never be satisfied and you’ll likely end up overeating the wrong foods. Remember, a healthy diet has to be sustainable over the long-run and shouldn’t be overly restrictive. Otherwise you run the risk of giving up and returning to your old ways.
2) Shift your perspective away from weight-loss and change your focus to getting healthy. Even if your end-goal is to lose weight, you’ll notice that when you shift your focus to becoming healthier you’ll take some of the pressure off yourself. In fact, you’ll actually find that weight-loss is a side-effect of a healthy diet – if done properly of course! When I use the word “diet” by the way, I’m speaking in terms of your daily eating regiment – not in the sense of “you’re on a diet”. Also keep in mind that anyone can go on a crash diet and lose some weight quickly (often water weight) but usually at the expense of something else. Lowered energy and mental fogginess? Dehydration resulting in premature aging? When you change your focus to eating healthy you’ll often notice other beneficial side effects besides weight loss, such as glowing skin, increased energy and mental clarity! Please also note that what I refer to as eating healthy might be a lot different from what you’ve been told by the “mainstream” diet directorates. More to come on this though in another post!
3) Don’t try to be something you’re not. What I mean by this is recognize where you are coming from. What’s your starting point? We are all unique individuals so we can’t think in terms of cookie-cutter nutrition. We all have different eating habits and we all grew up on different diets. It’s important that we honour where we are now at this point in time and transition accordingly. This means that if you’re currently eating meat twice a day everyday don’t try to become a vegetarian overnight! There are still things you can do to transition towards a healthier way of eating without being so extreme. Perhaps you limit your flesh consumption to 3 times a week and/or substitute some of the red meat for high quality fish. Similarly, if you are currently eating white-flour bread you should transition to whole grain bread, or better yet, sprouted whole-grain bread! There’s a hierarchy of foods that always allows us to make healthier choices.
Keep in mind that before you embark on any new healthy eating plan it’s very important that you set the stage for success. If you are one of those people who is constantly dieting and never seeing lasting results it might require that you completely change your perspective on how you think about food and weight-loss. That’s the funny thing about effecting change though. It actually requires you to change the way you do things to see results!
Here’s to the journey!