The weight loss industry is huge. New diets and new weight loss products come out everyday. If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s difficult to pass up on all these new miracle diets. You’ve probably tried a few different ones, and maybe you’ve even tried weight loss pills or shakes that claim to offer magical results.
Unfortunately, the majority of women I’ve met and worked with, have had very little success with strict diets and weight loss products. Some of them have lost some weight but haven’t managed to keep it off for long. This cycle of losing weight and gaining weight in short periods of time can be very harmful to our metabolism, our health and our ability to reach our ideal weight for good.
It’s time for you to end the destructive cycle of yoyo dieting and heal your relationship with food and your body. You deserve to enjoy food, feel great everyday and feel confident in your body. Here are some tips that I’ve discovered through years of research and my own personal experience. Most of these tips have little to do with the foods you eat but they will help you adopt the right mindset, which is crucial for healing your relationship with food and your body, and reaching your ideal weight.
- Throw away your weight scale. The amount of power women tend to give to their weight scale is insane. If they don’t like the number they see on the scale, their day is ruined. They forget that our weight fluctuates for so many different reasons. Weight is usually not a good measurement of our health and it’s never a good measurement of our worth. There are better ways to assess your progress towards your health and weight loss goals, such as blood tests if you’re managing a certain condition, or simply how you feel, how well you digest your food, how at ease you feel around food and food choices and how well you sleep at night.
- Take care of yourself first. Women tend to focus the majority of their time and attention on their kids, their husband, their friends, and their work. They dedicate very little time to themselves. This habit might work for a short period of time but we’ve all heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. If you’re not well, you’re not going to be able to take care of other people. You need to take care of yourself first. When you make yourself a priority, you’re going to be in a better mood and have a lot more energy to actually do things for others.
- Stop waiting for the day you lose weight to live your best life. No matter how overweight you think you are, your body is beautiful as it is. The beauty ideals created by photoshopped images of skinny models on Instagram are completely unrealistic. Appreciate your body for how it looks today and for everything it does for you everyday. Wear your best clothes, get your hair done, get a mani-pedi, meet people, go on that date you’ve been postponing and spoil yourself. You deserve it.
- Add more pleasure to your life. In today’s busy world, life revolves around work and to-do lists. Most of us don’t dedicate enough time to things we enjoy doing. So we often rely on food to be the only source of pleasure. Try to do something that excites you every single day, even if it’s for just 5 minutes, or even if it’s just buying fresh flowers for yourself. If you can’t think of anything that excites you, try a new class, join a new meet-up event, or spend some time with inspiring people sipping on a glass of your favorite wine.
- Eat mindfully. You’ve probably heard this one before, since intuitive eating has become very popular. Eating mindfully helps you enjoy your food more and understand when you’re full so you can avoid overeating. Sit down to eat, take a few deep breaths before you start eating, put down the knife and fork in between bites, chew each mouthful 20-25 times, stay away from any distractions (phone, laptop, TV, magazines, books, etc), and most importantly, fully enjoy every single bite.
- Eat a variety of unprocessed whole foods. Most people don’t eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables. Focus on adding more of these foods to your diet. They not only help you reach or maintain a healthy weight, but they also help you improve your skin, your nails, your mood, and your health in general. While I recommend you avoid eating processed foods, don’t think too much about restriction. Focus on adding in the good stuff. You’ll notice that soon your body starts craving less junk/processed foods.
- Get rid of guilt. Stop feeling guilty for not eating “perfectly”. If one day you feel like eating french fries and chocolate ice cream, go for it. Eat them slowly and enjoy every single bite. Remember that you’re not cheating on anything or anyone. You’re not making a mistake. You’re simply being human and you’re enjoying your life. That’s it. Enjoy it.
- Add movement to your life. You don’t have to go to crossfit classes if that’s not your thing. Nowadays, there are so many types of fitness classes that it’s very likely you can find one you like. If that’s not the case, you can always go for a walk in nature or throw a dance party in front of your mirror. Moving your body is so important, not only to stay fit and healthy but to improve your mood, your ability to concentrate and your energy.
- Cook and enjoy meals with people you love. For years, people have connected through food. Sharing a delicious meal with your loved ones has great benefits for your health and happiness. As Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, likes to say, when you cook your own food you add Vitamin L (love) to it. This makes the food much more nourishing than any food you can get at a restaurant.
- Be grateful. Most people tend to focus on what’s wrong or missing in their lives. I truly believe that what you focus on, grows. So why don’t you turn your focus to what you are thankful for? Even if you’re struggling in certain areas of your life, there’s always something to be thankful for. A great way to get into the habit of being grateful, is writing a list of 3 things you are grateful for every single morning. Make it a habit to include one thing related to your body and your health. It could be as simple as being grateful for your eyes that enable you to see the beauty of this world, your legs that enable you to move around or your heartbeat that keeps you alive.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to follow all these tips at the same time. Start with the 2 or 3 tips that resonate with you the most and build up from there. Let go of perfectionism – it doesn’t exist, at least when it comes to food and your body. Just do your best each day.
Now it’d be great to hear from you. What tip resonates with you the most? Share in the comments below.