“I’m trying to eat well most days but nothing is happening”. “I’ve cut out all carbs”. “I’m exercising every day and have only dropped two pounds in a long time”. “I can’t resist snacking”. I have heard this sort of complains over and over.
Some people do manage to drop some body weight but a staggering high percentage puts it back on, and more. WHY does this happen? I think the problem is rooted far deeper in our psyche than we allow ourselves to admit.
Are you ready for the big secret? Here’s how it goes: eat LESS and move MORE; and it goes without saying, don’t eat crap as it’s bad for you! But you knew that. So there, you’ve got the answer. But then, if it’s that simple, why is it so hard to control our appetite and how do we overcome this hurdle once and for all?
Many scientists out there – and I follow that school of thought – regard that gaining weight isn’t really down to a physical problem, rather a psychological one, which often manifests itself through the physical appearance. Therefore, until we discover and address what’s in our heads, no real diet will do the trick.
People don’t tend to be born fat; and if you think you have to cut out all your carbs, all your sugars, reduce meat and saturated fats to lose weight, think again. If you take in too many calories of the good food and burn off less then you take in, you’ll still pile the weight on as all those extra calories will be stored as body fat. FACT. Clearly it’s sensible to implement some of the above changes, but what I am getting at here is, you can have a load of super healthy food, and still put on weight if you eat more than you burn!
There are some conditions which make it more of a struggle to keep trim, however. For example, polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOS) sufferers have to work harder to try and keep trim; but even in these circumstances one can manage their calorie intake.
The sooner you grasp, accept and implement the above concept, the quicker you will start noticing changes in your body shape; as a result, all the distractions out there, whether they be new diets, the latest slimming pill or whatever other nonsense we are bombarded with these days, will not affect you in the slightest. In turn, you will see results, which will keep you well motivated and boost your confidence.
Now, there is another SMALL problem to work on, and that is to understand why you eat more than you should. What emotions are coming up for you? Do you eat when sad, anxious, bored, feel out of control or all the above? With some clarity, you can try to deal with these deeply rooted emotions in ways that are healthy, as opposed to self-destructive.
There are strategies out there that can offer the help you need right now. Go and find the one for you! It’s not time to sit back any more, get up and take control.
Build support with friends and family. Speak out about your feelings. Be proud to say that you want to get healthy. If you are surrounded by people who don’t share your goals, well… don’t share your goals with them.
Tell others how they can support you along your journey. It could be a simple thing, like join you for a walk or cooking something healthy together. Clearly, if your close circle of friends – or family – doesn’t share the same goals, avoid those conversations with them as they may discourage you and put you off altogether.
Join a community of like-minded individuals. There are several online support groups out there. Or if you are a member of a gym for example, reach out and befriend others. You may find that they’re also on the lookout for like-minded people. I know these days it’s more challenging with all these COVID regulations, but hopefully we’ll get back to some normality soon. For now, there is plenty available online.
Find an activity or hobby that entertains you. Take up walking meditation. Get into gardening. Volunteer to walk your neighbour’s dog. The list is endless, the sky is the limit!! Having something to help distract you and keep you from impulsively overeating can help curb thousands of calories over the long run.
Engage in routines that comfort you and nurture you that aren’t food: a beauty regime, like soaking your feet in warm, salty water, followed by a soothing self-applied foot massage. A face mask. Take a bubble bath. These acts really do help to build self-esteem and give you a sense of comfort that doesn’t come from food.
It really comes down to learning to manage those feelings right at THAT VERY MOMENT, when you’re just about to devour that overly sugary and fatty slice of cake (yes, sorry for being so blatant). Nurture, encourage and kickstart positive habits and behaviours which, I know as it worked for me, will guide you along the way on this journey and will motivate you to stay on track. FOR LIFE!!