Losing weight is probably the most popular goal or New Years’ resolution people make between December and January. While weight loss makes sense not just from an aesthetic perspective, but a health one as well, most diets and New Years’ Resolutions around dieting will fail.
This report is going to help you with losing weight in the New Year, but take a different approach. It will talk about throwing conventional diets out the window, and finding a healthier way to lose weight and keep it off for good.
Why Diets Don’t Work
This can be a hard pill to swallow, and possibly one of the hardest parts of accepting this type of weight loss “method”. While diets do work for many people, the chance of them allowing for long-term weight loss where you keep it off is slim to none.
There are many reasons for this, from having restrictions lead to binge eating, to how unrealistic it is to have so many rules about what you can and can’t eat. The fact is, if you want to lose weight in the healthiest way possible, you might want to reconsider being on a structured diet.
The Diet Mentality
First of all, you are dealing with the diet mentality, which can be really harmful to not just your mental health, but your physical health as well. By being on a diet with rules about what you are eating, you are classifying certain foods or nutrients as “good” and “bad”. Just by assigning this bad word to certain foods, you are creating a larger craving. Suddenly, you want nothing more than all these bad foods, even though before the diet, you would eat them only sparingly.
This is the diet mentality you want to break by giving up on these types of restrictive diets, and instead just focusing on fueling your body and staying nourished with the healthiest foods you can get your hands on.
Another thing that often happens when people go on diets is that they go through cyclical binges. You start off great and almost get a type of high by sticking to your diet plan. You are sure this is going to be the one that helps you lose weight and keep it off for good.
But ultimately, you end up failing. There will come a day when you have a craving for the food you are told not to eat, and then you remind yourself you can’t have it, which increases the craving. Eventually, you give in and have a full-out binge session.
Then you go back on the diet, possibly even more of a restrictive one to erase the damage you just did, and the cycle repeats itself.
Stopping the Cycle
The only way to stop this unhealthy cycle, get back on track, and lose weight for good is to ditch the diet mentality. Start focusing more on foods that are healthy and will nourish your body, and suddenly your entire mindset about food and weight will change dramatically.
And the best part? You will lose weight in a healthy and natural way, that doesn’t feel difficult at all.
How Mindful Eating Can Help
Speaking of healthy weight loss and not sticking to diets, mindful eating can be really effective at helping you to lose weight and keep it off. With mindful eating, you actually pay attention to the entire eating experience. It isn’t about what you are eating, but HOW you are eating. You will be present during each meal, which really helps you to understand what nutrition you are feeding your body, and where to make changes.
How Mindful Eating Works
Mindful eating works just like any other mindful practice you have. You are going to be completely present during your meal, appreciating every bite, paying attention to the experience, and most importantly, noticing how your body feels when you eat certain foods.
Most people eat very mindlessly. You might watch TV while eating chips out of a bag, or rush through dinner because you have planners afterward. This can cause you to get gas and bloating from eating too fast, eat the wrong foods for your body, and overeat.
With mindful eating, you are paying attention to your body and really reveling in each bite, which in turn can allow you to see what foods your body loves, and which aren’t nourishing it much.
Using Mindful Eating to Lose Weight
The reason this helps you lose weight is all in your mentality and in the practice itself. Here are some reasons mindful eating can help you to lose weight:
You don’t overeat as much.
You start figuring out what fuels your body.
You understand more about nourishing your body with important nutrients.
By changing the eating habit, you don’t just snack all day long.
You learn to listen to your body’s cues.
Just give it a try! Sit quietly during your next meal, with no phone and no TV nearby. Focus on what you are eating, eat slowly and mindfully, and be present. You will notice just how amazing this experience can be.
What is Intuitive Eating?
The next part of healthy weight loss has to do with intuitive eating, which can also be combined with mindful eating.
What is intuitive eating? This is where you learn how to listen to your body to decide what to eat and how much. Nothing is off the table, there are no restrictions, and there is no calorie counting, carb counting, or specific diets.
It does take some practice, but when you learn how to give your body what it needs, you naturally lose weight and get to a really good mental place at the same time.
Listening to Your Body
You will first need to learn how to listen to your body, which is the most important part of intuitive eating, but also the most difficult. People who are going from yo-yo diets to this way of eating find many challenges. You fear gaining back all the weight you lost, and struggle with suddenly being allowed to eat whatever you want without guilt or regret.
The most important thing to remember is this – everything will even out and level out in time. In the beginning, you just focus on eating whatever you crave, not worrying about what or how much you eat. This is to heal your relationship with food and stop putting levels on everything.
Then you go through other stages of eating, like listening to your body, understanding the difference between satiety and being full, coming to terms with the feeling of hunger, understanding the hunger scale, and trying to figure out exactly what your body is craving.
It Doesn’t Happen Overnight
This is not a quick fix and you won’t start losing weight immediately. In fact, it can take longer to lose weight than most diets and workout plans, but you are looking at longevity here. You are healing your relationship with food, nourishing your body, and getting rid of that diet mentality.
What you need is patience, kindness, and the understanding that you will be healing your body from the inside out.
Reaching Your Body’s Natural Weight
Another thing to understand about intuitive eating is that it’s not about losing the most weight or being a certain size. When you follow it correctly, listen to your body, and eat whatever your body needs at the time, you will eventually reach your body’s natural weight. The weight and size it is meant to be, not the size you always wanted to be.
Finding Your Fitness Motivation
After you have figured out the diet aspect of your weight loss efforts, it is time to move on to fitness. This, as you know, makes up about 20% of your weight loss journey.
The problem isn’t starting a fitness program for most people, but keeping up with it. Here are some tips for finding what will motivate you to stick with it.
Changing Your Mindset About Fitness
While you are changing how you think about food and diets, you also want to change your mindset around exercise. Instead of thinking about it just for weight loss, think about it for your health. Get it into your head that you are working out for your health, including mental and physical health.
Remind yourself that it is good for your heart, it improves your strength and flexibility, it is wonderful for joint pain, it will help manage stress and reduce anxiety. There are many reasons to exercise aside from just losing or maintaining your weight, though those are definite bonuses of it.
Find Exercises You Love
You also want to have fun with your fitness routine, which means finding exercises you love to do. Even if you have always imagined exercise to be a chore, there is something out there for you, you just have to find it.
Experiment, try different classes, check out local boutique gyms in your area, think about something you have always wanted to do. Here are some options that go beyond the standard exercises:
Indoor rock climbing
Yoga or Pilates
Stop Feeling Forced to Exercise
You don’t want to feel like you are forced to exercise, otherwise, it will keep feeling like a chore, and eventually, you will give up. Change your entire mindset around fitness. Think of it as something that is great for your body, will give you energy, and will help with your mental health and wellness.
With these simple changes, you can start working on improving your overall health and wellbeing. You will suddenly have less stress, stronger muscles, and yes, less weight on your body.
You want to develop daily healthy habits, from drinking more water and fueling your body with healthy foods, to make sure you get regular physical activity. This is what will make a difference – this is who you will lose weight this year and actually keep it off.