If you’re reading this, I can confidently guess you’ve been on a few diets over the span of your lifetime. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve been on more than a few.
For some, following a structured diet is the exact prescription they need to lose weight, increase energy and improve a long-standing health condition.
But for those who struggle with emotional ties to food, following a diet can be like carrying around a ball and chain every day.
But what’s the better option? Because with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of diets out there, and the ever-changing, and often confusing, nutrition do’s & don’ts in the media (eat this, not that…now eat this) it can feel like there aren’t any options left.
Discourage no more! What I’m going to share with you today may not be the most popular or highest trending topic in health and wellness, but I’m here to tell you that it works.
But before I share with you what works, let me tell you what DOESN’T work (because time is precious and none of us likes wasting time spinning our wheels):
• Restricting foods (or an entire food group) for the sake of weight loss
• Eating when you’re emotionally hungry
• Being unfamiliar with your body and the signals it sends you
When you put yourself on a restrictive diet, you’re bound to rebound. You’ll have cravings for the things you “can’t” have and your inner rebel will win in the end. It’s inevitable and it’s likely you’ve experienced this before, right? Do yourself a favor and just don’t do it.
When you eat just to soothe your emotions, you’re most likely eating foods that aren’t feeding your body the nutrients it needs. Things that are loaded with sugar and processed carbs do a great job at feeding you emotionally by stimulating “feel good” hormones like serotonin, but they do nothing much in the way of fueling your body with the nutrients it needs. Again, just don’t do it.
Knowing your body, inside and out, will take you a long way on your journey towards better health. If you’re so busy that you’re not paying attention to your body (what works/doesn’t work for you) then you’ll just keep “spinning” through life instead of feeling like you’re WINNING. And I know you’d rather be winning, right?
So here are the 5 simple things you can do to start winning the unnecessary battle with food and come out top:
1. Say no to diets that are restrictive. Instead focus on exploring new, healthy foods that will give you more energy, provide your body with the nutrients it needs, and make you feel good physically and emotionally all day long.
2. Recognize when you’re physically hungry vs. psychologically hungry. Instead of eating through your emotions, recognize what’s really going on and be proactive in a healthier way. When you’re stressed, for instance, destress by calling a girlfriend, taking a bath, journaling, taking a walk or turning on some music and dancing it out. You’ll feel better afterwards without having the guilt of eating something not-so-good-for-you.
3. Pay attention to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. But before you even do that, know when you’re actually hungry. For most people, this is when you literally feel empty and your stomach is “growling”. If you’re eating outside of this range, you’re likely eating out of habit or stress. Pay attention and see what queues you listen to and adjust as needed.
4. Drink more water. We forget that water is one of the most import nutrients we can give our bodies. We can go without food longer than we can go without water before detriment sets in, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Adding fresh lemon juice to your water first thing in the morning (warn water, preferably), is a great way to start the day.
5. Add more fat to your diet. Yep, I said it. Make fat your friend. The key to this is to eat healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado…just to name a few) and reduce sugar and starchy/processed carbs, as well. Because if you don’t, the weight will pile on in the blink of an eye.
Getting these 5 things going will set you up for success and you’ll start to lose weight, have more energy, and feel confident in your body again.
Not sure how to get the ball rolling?
Not so sure you can stay on track after getting started? Let’s talk about how I can help.