By now we all know that traditional dieting doesn’t work. Restricting and depriving yourself of the foods you love will eventually lead to a “f**k it” moment when you’ve had enough and over indulge on all the foods you’ve labelled as “off limits”.
This yo-yoing between deprive – binge – deprive – binge may be familiar with you if you’ve been trying to lose weight for a long time. It’s mentally exhausting, “why can’t I just stick with it?” “I’ve got no willpower” “I’ll start again Monday, this time I’ll do better” etc.
But something has got to give. The old way IS NOT WORKING. So how do you shift from the all or nothing mindset? These are my top weight loss tips that have absolutely nothing to do with food or exercise and EVERYTHING to do with your approach to weight loss.
Get in touch with your hunger and emotions
When you eat consciously it is so much easier to form a healthy relationship with food and your body and this is where mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the key to navigating the journey from deprivation to indulgence.
Mindfulness allows you to press the pause button and notice what is happening in that moment. Mindfulness allows you to get in touch with your body’s signals like hunger and cravings and then, in that moment of pause, make a choice. Are you eating because you’re hungry or are you reaching for food because you’re bored or stressed or looking to distract or reward yourself?
Mindfulness is a practice. To get good at it all you have to do is start. Start today.
Meet your emotional needs without food
Eating is a very seductive distraction that immediately soothes negatives feelings and certain foods (chocolate, cakes, desserts) will even trigger a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain. However, this relief is very short lived and it won’t be long before the emotions you’ve been trying to avoid reappear; possibly with a serving of guilt and shame on the side.
The secret is to acknowledge and process your emotions without using food. This takes practice but it’s so worth the effort because you can be sure that if you’re reaching for food because of an emotional need rather than a physical need, eating is not going to satisfy it.
Take consistent action
“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, it’s what we do consistently” – Tony Robbins
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. Taking small daily actions that you enjoy will create positive, feel-good momentum in your life, you’ll are more inspired to continue to take actions that align with your desires. This kind of action feels very different from relying on willpower and forcing yourself to take actions you think you “should” take. Lifestyle change is a marathon not a sprint so rather than expecting huge changes overnight, focus on progress not perfection.
Trust yourself to create a diet and lifestyle that suits your unique preferences and needs. You don’t need a meal plan to tell you what to eat, how much and how often. Learn what foods nourish you and keep you satisfied, learn how to exercise and move your body and learn tools and strategies to help you get the results you want (these topics are covered in depth in the Menopause Diet Plan). When you begin to understand your own hunger and emotional triggers and how to respond to them mindfully, you will build a strong trust in your own ability to make the right choices. You won’t need to follow another diet plan or join another slimming club because you’ll know that the only person who can create the perfect diet for you is YOU.