Yep, it’s that old weight-loss chestnut again.
We’ve all been there somewhere – you can’t lose it, you don’t know how, you don’t know where to start, or you’ve tried 101 ways and none of them have worked.
Considering a quarter of all Australians are now obese (and more than half are overweight) it’s really no surprise to you or me that there are so many people looking for the answer. So before you read on, let me warn you that this article is not the magical answer.
Sorry to disappoint you but please keep reading!
What I am going to give you is a few new ways to look at it, and hopefully some new ideas that you’ll go away and put into practise.
The media likes to fill your head with all sorts of stuff. Sometimes it’s good (I just learned that global warming ‘slowed’ a little bit last year – woohoo!), sometimes it’s bad (everything involving the current state of Australian politics in my opinion!) and sometimes it’s just nonsense (celebrity break-ups are not my idea of good news coverage). And guess what – nutrition reports in the media usually fall in the nonsense category. So for the purpose of the next ten minutes, I want you to forget everything you’ve learned through TV and magazine articles and approach this with an open mind (don’t be scared!).
Yep, not enough of it. There’s been a crazy myth going around for the last 40 years or so that fat is bad for you, but I’m afraid that just isn’t so. Your body actually needs fat for its survival – every single nerve and cell! It helps with your digestion and energy, keeps you feeling full for longer, helps in the production of your hormones (very important!), regulates water balance and body temperature, and helps with your memory and brain structure (it’s 70% fat!). There’s a whole lot more but just believe me when I say, it’s important. Not to mention, when you buy something ‘fat free’, it’s generally full of sugar and that is FAR worse for you than a little fat. Just make sure you stay away from the trans fats (goodbye margarine and deep fried food!) and get stuck into the good fats (hello avocados, coconut, eggs, almonds, cashews and olive oil!).
Calories are not created equal I’m afraid! An average woman consumes around 2,000 calories a day but does that mean you can eat a Big Mac with fries and a vanilla shake for 1,680 calories, and a couple of apples for the rest of the day, and think you’re being healthy?
That’s a big oh hell no!
Throw your calorie counting book (or phone app) out the window (figuratively if it’s your phone of course) and just start eating real food. If you’re eating veggies, fruit, nuts and salad, you don’t need to count anything.
Look, I’m all for the gym, but weight loss is 80% about what you’re eating and 20% how you’re moving. Yes you still need to exercise but if you’re spending 2 hours a day doing it and nothing’s happening, then you have to look at your food. If you’re filling your body up with processed food, takeaways and sugary drinks then nothing you do at the gym is going to counteract that. Cut your gym time down to 45 minutes, go home and cook something with real, fresh ingredients. Then watch your weight drop.
Stress plays a major, major role in weight management, and the more stressed you get about your weight, the more it’s going to pile on. This is because when you’re feeling stressed your body releases a hormone called cortisol, and too much cortisol slows your metabolism, lowers your immune system and stops your body from burning fat for energy. Stress can also affect your blood sugar levels, add to weight gain around the mid-section (exactly where you don’t want it) and make you crave more sugary, deep fried and salty foods.
Comfort eating anyone??
So the solution is to find something which relaxes you. This might be going for a walk in nature, reading a good book, doing yoga or meditating, having a good sleep or just cuddling up to your gorgeous spouse. Think of something you love and go and do that thing.
I truly believe that when you make the decision to become healthier, weight loss really is just a side-effect of that process.
Health is the vehicle, not the goal!
Being healthy will get you from where you are now right up to your twilight years, and if your focus is on being the healthiest person you can then you won’t even think twice about your weight. Once you’re eating well, exercising and adding some relaxation into your day, weight loss will just happen. Amazing right!
Your body knows where to go!
You just have to help it get there.