Diets are so common. We see them advertised online and in commercials, and overhear our friends and colleagues talking about the latest and greatest way they’ve found to lose weight.
It’s something we’re used to. Maybe you grew up with diets being a normal way of life. Are you familiar with the cycle of going on a diet, losing a couple of pounds and then going on another diet in a couple of months because the other one “stopped working?” Maybe your “diet” is skipping meals and only grabbing bites here and there in the midst of your busy schedule and responsibilities. Maybe those bites involve high sugar to give you that extra “kick,” and you think that’s OK because you need to lose a few pounds, and your calorie intake will all balance out. Perhaps you rely on willpower to control your eating, but this is setting yourself up for failure and frustration, because eventually, that willpower and motivation will decrease, and allowing yourself one “treat” during a low moment could lead to a binge.
Not only will these “diets” not work, they are also bad for your body.
There are a dozen chemicals in the brain that will tell your body to gain weight, and another dozen that will tell your body to lose weight. The hypothalamus—the section of the brain that is set to regulate the body—acts like a thermostat to keep the body at a set place. So, regardless of what goes on outside of it, it is working to regulate everything within your body. When you diet, or don’t eat properly, hunger, activity and metabolism are all affected. If you lose too much weight, your brain will do whatever it can to reset your body back to what it considers to be “normal,”—hunger will increase and metabolism will slow down, whether or not you had any excess weight to lose. If you were to lose 10% of your bodyweight, you would need to continually consume less calories (250-400 less calories) to maintain the new weight because your metabolism has slowed.
There is a way to give your body the nutrition it needs, take care of your overall health, and maintain a healthy weight. Instead of trying multiple diets and constantly losing and re-gaining the weight, implement Mindful Eating into your everyday lifestyle.
Try these Mindful Eating Practices:
- Eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you aren’t hungry anymore. (Don’t let the amount of food on the plate dictate when you stop eating; stop when you feel almost full).
- Eat slowly. Remove any distractions and focus just on eating. Don’t think about what else you need to do, don’t talk on the phone. Just eat, chew slowly and enjoy the different flavours and textures of what you’re eating. Enjoy it! When you slow down your eating speed, it gives your body the chance to let you know when it’s full.
- Don’t use food as a reward. If you sometimes reward yourself for an achievement using a food item (or a high calorie beverage), change the reward to something not related to food.
What have you experienced when dieting? Have you ever tried to eat more mindfully? Mindful eating can encompass how you think about food and food items, how you prepare your meals and how you consume them. I’d love to hear what you have to say about your own experiences, and how you’re implementing mindful eating into your daily routine. Come on over to the Simply Fit with Lisa Austin Facebook Group and let’s chat about it!
If you think you are ready, take the first step. Then let me take over.
For most people, getting started is the hardest thing. Figuring out what to do first. Overcoming that fear and taking that first step into the unknown.
I understand that, I know that feeling all too well. I’ve been there and making the change to move from “all or nothing” to “always something” was one of the best things I’ve done for myself and my family.
But the first step must begin with you. If you’re ready to start looking and feeling better while putting yourself first, I’m here to help.
I have a program that will help you to put yourself first, it’s customizable to your lifestyle, measures your progress… it is structured for success!