I’d love to hear your story and experience, or thoughts on weight loss, and our relationship to food and ourselves. Read my weight-loss story. By sharing we can learn from and support each other, it is empowering and so important to do, so please feel free to leave a comment X X
Here are some important things I have learned about how to lose weight sustainably:
#1 BE PREPARED
Preparation is a vital part of the success of any diet change. Stock your kitchen with the healthy foods you want to eat.
don’t leave temptations in your path.
Make things as stress-free as they can be! If you live with others, ask them to keep their snack foods out of sight while you are transitioning to your new, healthier habits.
Planning out your weeks lunches and dinners is a great way of reducing food stress and making sure that you eat healthily. Bulk make the foods you want to eat for the week ahead, making life easier and less stressful, making delicious meals easier to cook, and cutting down on the chance that you will turn to the foods you are trying to avoid.
Make sure you eat plenty of protein, beans and pulses are a great low fat source of protein that will keep you healthy and satiated for longer. Eating whole foods is the best way to go as they contain the nutrients we need, which helps create a balanced relationship to food. People often overeat because they feel hungry, and often this is due to a deficiency of nutrients in some way and eating food that is only temporarily filling. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, seeds pseudo-grains and pulses gives us everything we need to feel balanced and strong.
give yourself the best chance of success! you’ll get there!
And if you do make what you feel is a mistake, then learn from it and move on, don’t put unnecessary criticism on yourself, because aside from anything else, this will make it harder for you to make the changes you need to make. Such a journey is rarely straightforward, that’s life. It’s about long-term change, and necessarily this will take time.
#2 HONESTY and PRACTICALITY
eating a vegan or vegetarian diet does not mean necessarily eating a healthy diet
You can live on chips and beans, soya cheese and other processed foods. A plant-based diet indicates a healthier diet with a high concentration of fruit, veg and whole foods. But you can eat a plant-based diet and still be eating too many of the wrong things such as nuts, starchy carbs and grains for your specific calorific and health needs.
eating healthily is not just about what you eat, but how much, and why – it’s about finding the right balance, for you.
In my experience the key to sustainable weight loss is addressing why you have put on weight; changing the habits that aren’t helping you, and replacing them with healthier habits that will. It may be that you are eating too much of the wrong foods, or eating too much of the right foods. Try to understand why, and how you can help yourself change.
To exercise as much as you can is good advice for everyone, it will make you feel happier and more positive, relieve stress, tone and tighten your body, get your lymph system pumping to flush out those toxins, increase your insulin sensitivity (insulin is a growth hormone, the more sensitive we are to it, the less we need and so the better), increase your metabolism, and improve your circulation and skin tone.
you deserve to feel better, to feel good ♥
If, like me, you have physical restrictions, choose a low impact exercise that you can do comfortably. I swim regularly, doing my physio and yoga exercises in the pool, which helps my joints. I use an exercise hula-hoop, to build core strength, and I walk as much as I can. Try to motivate yourself to do more, if (like me) you are not always motivated to exercise. Use a health diary for encouragement and to keep track of what you do and what you want to do.
Stress is a big reason why many people over-eat the wrong, and even many of the right, foods. Stress also in itself, by releasing hormones, makes you put weight on. Try to reduce your stress as much as you can, do as many relaxing activities as you can, and look after yourself.
be kind to yourself.
Identify what factors in your life cause you stress, and anxiety, and try to rationalise and reduce them, and also to identify how that stress is affecting your relationship to food. Work on those key issues that are within us, the roots of why we overeat. When we are stressed and anxious we over-react, are often blinkered in our approach, and obstacles often seem greater than they are.
change is so often less difficult than it seems!
Eating wholesome food gives your body the tools to reduce the harmful effects of stress on your body. It is your tool to help yourself, use it.
#5 KEEP A FOOD LOG
A food log or health diary is such a good tool for sustainable weight loss. It lets you see what it is that you are eating and drinking, and to motivate yourself and remember why you are making changes.
be honest with yourself.
Write down everything you eat, and drink, and then you know when you are, and see where your problem areas are. Maybe you are drinking too many sweet calorific drinks, maybe eating too many nuts, or other fatty snacks. Often the problem is portion size. It took me a long to really get my head around this, but I cooked too much, and loaded up my plate too much. This is often wasteful, and also takes a lot of pleasure away from eating. If you are still hungry and actually need more, have a second helping. And don’t beat yourself up about it, stress is a big reason why a lot of us are overweight, it leads to ’emotional’ eating, and releases hormones that cause weight gain.
big, small, or inbetween, you are important, and deserve to be looked after and treated well, and it’s up to you to do that.
#6 EAT MINDFULLY
Often we eat without fully realising it. Try to be mindful about when, what and where you eat. Over-eating, taking in more energy via food and drink than you burn off, is the root cause of weight gain, make sure you are eating the right sized portions, and the right proportion of carbs. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, seeds and other whole foods. The healthy plant-based anti-inflammatory whole foods I eat have helped me to do that. Find the wholesome foods that make you feel good, for snacks or meals. And if you are making big changes in your diet towards plant-based, low-processed food, give it time; your body and mind will adapt, and soon a mouthful of the simplest natural foods will taste so delicious, and really hit the spot. And they’ll be guilt-free, and only help you on your path towards losing the weight you need to lose and feeling happier and more comfortable.