Sure, food is a big part of losing weight. But it’s not the only part.
This is such an important realization to make, if nothing else to stop yourself from buying into the next fad diet with some super formula that will make you loose weight faster than lightning.
That’s nothing more than excellent PR and marketing work. Rarely there’s any science at all behind it.
The following tips are true for the vast majority of people, whether or not you have diabetes, metabolic syndrome, adrenal fatigue, other problems with endocrinology, or just plain don’t-know-what-to-do status.
1. Mental Clarity
The major, number one on the list of weight loss tips is: Mental Clarity.
This is so important I could talk about it all day.
What you eat and how/if you move is crucial to what happens to your weight.
But so is also your mental state.
You’re probably confused and feeling lost when your weight loss suddenly stops or you can’t keep the 500 kcal limit a day (ok, that last one is i n s a n e). You start wondering what’s wrong with you and why you can’t look like that Victoria’s Secret angel…. (ok, that last one is probably self-explanatory… We all have different circumstances and starting out points; all of us can’t end up looking like a super model!)
So you end up feeling stuck. What’s a girl to do?!
a)Answer these crucial questions for yourself:
– What/who/why am I holding on to this weight for?
– What is my excess weight shielding me from? (This can be mental or physical things, like not wanting extra attention or having been bullied around the time when you started gaining weight.)
– Who will I be when I’ve lost this weight?
– How will people see me when I’ve lost the weight?
The answers to these questions will help you clear your mental blocks around weight loss.
Answering your “why” (as in why you want to lose the weight) is bringing back the enjoyment in the whole process. It’s a motivator, part of the goal and something to look at on days where everything is blah.
So WHY do you want to lose weight?
If that doesn’t work, you might need more help, in which case I’d recommend working with a coach, therapist or practitioner (for example nutrition and/or emotional freedom technique (EFT Tapping))
No sleep – no weight loss.
This has so much to do with hormones, de-stressing and giving your body the time it needs to heal and repair itself.
When you’re depriving your body of sleep, you’re actively stressing it. And let me tell you this, nothing will happen to your weight if you stress! (Apart from if you want to gain a few and feel miserable.)
Stress hormones, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and epinephrine give your body other things to do than to focus on weight loss. They throw your body into a “fight or flight” mode and all your body will care about is surviving. Certainly not about losing weight, it will rather hold on to it in case it needs it for the flight-part.
A night here and there without proper sleep is, admittedly, not going to do much. But when it becomes a habit, it might halt your progress.
This goes for any other stressors as well, not just the lack of sleep. Our new favorite hobby, “being busy”, definitely doesn’t help and is a reason why I think so many are overweight these days.
“Eat less, exercise more”, right?!
God no, please don’t!
Exercise shouldn’t be a self-punishing mechanism, although I know very well that it can easily be one.
You should exercise because you enjoy it. Because you feel that your body feels well. Because your mood improves and you can push yourself a little further every time.
Yes, it’s important to exercise. But it’s just as important not to do it out of hating yourself. You have to love the weight off!
As for what kind of exercise you “should” be doing, I couldn’t care less!
Do what motivates you, what makes you feel good and what makes your heart and soul sing those happy tunes.
Be it power walking (with a good audio book!), running, dancing, weight lifting, swimming, mountain climbing, (aqua-) aerobics, pilates, yoga, tennis, football, floor ball, basket ball… You get the point; whatever it is that makes you feel good – do it!
4. Eating only when you’re hungry
“Ooohhh, it’s almost 12 o’clock, that means I get/need to have lunch!”
Unless you actually are hungry (and by hungry I mean properly so, not just any little rumble in your tummy), don’t eat a full meal.
If you’re not hungry when your usual lunchtime rolls around, there’s no one who says that you h a v e to eat. Save it for when you actually are hungry.
Eating because you’re used to it is frankly pretty silly. It makes you eat more than you need to, and, in most cases, it puts you back on the blood sugar roller coaster. (You don’t want that, whether you’re diabetic or not.)
I’m definitely not advocating any type of eating disorders!!
But I am telling you to listen to your body. What does it tell you? Are you really hungry, or are you just bored? What does it need? Are you procrastinating something that you know you should be doing with a snack or a meal?
Check in with yourself before your next meal, are you really hungry?
This point could (and will be) a whole blog post/a third of my book.
That you are what you eat is clear by now, with everything you eat slowly becoming part of your cells, muscles, skin, bones, organs, hair and nails.
So that what you eat plays a more-than-crucial role on your weight journey is clear as crystal.
Let’s assume you’ve realized that all them carbs aren’t your best buds.
And let’s assume you’ve done something about that. Like starting to eat less processed carbs, flour, bread, pasta and rice, and have started eating more healthy, healing, happy fats. For instance.
And what if your weight is still the same? Or, gasp, has increased?!
If you’ve gone over the point’s I’ve mentioned above, here’s 3 things for troubleshooting Vol. 2.0:
– You’re not eating enough fat, and still eating more carbs than your body can tolerate.
– You’ve fallen for the “low carb baking” train and use almond flour (etc) like it would be water. There is such a thing as eating too many nuts, and in this case, I’m pretty sure that’s what’s happening.
– You’ve heard dairy is basically a “free food” instead of the carby stuff, so you use it. A lot. But it might be that your body cant handle all that diary, and reacts with bad skin and weight gain.
No bueno. Dial back on these things one by one until you find which one(s) is(are) your culprit(s).
Patience, my dear, patience.
Being someone who has close to zero patience (working on it!), I understand you completely.
You’ve made all the changes needed; you’ve even given up on bread.
So, naturally, you expect results, like, yesterday.
Except that’s not always the case.
After years, even decades of abusive eating, your body won’t “get it” straightaway.
We can adapt, and your body will adapt to your new, healthier ways. Being animals of habit, the same goes for your body when it comes to weight loss. It knows what it knows and not a thing more. But it can definitely learn new things.
All you need to do is to give it a fair chance to do so, too!
Can you show yourself, your weight loss journey and your body a little more patience? I think you can!
Quick recap of what’s important with weight loss:
1. Mental Clarity
4. Eating only when you’re hungry
Which of these have you tried? Where are you still struggling? Answer in the comments below!
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