Do you want to lose weight?
Not everyone who wants to lose weight has disordered eating, poor body image, or an eating disorder. For people who experience disordered eating behaviours, I suggest focusing on creating a healthy relationship with food instead of weight loss. Some people experience weight loss as a byproduct of reducing or even eliminating binge eating and overeating. However, some people would benefit from weight loss for health reasons or limited mobility. It is important we do it for the right reasons and in the right way. I want to dive deeper into looking at common mistakes when starting a weight loss journey and what to do instead.
3 common mistakes
1} Restrictions and the elimination of food groups
Many people cut out entire food groups when trying to lose weight. For example sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free, or carb-free. Obviously, eating becomes encumbered by all sorts of rules. In addition, the focus of ‘I can not eat this’, causes deprivation, and consequently emotional pain. This kind of dieting goes against our innate human psychology, which is naturally wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Moreover, these restrictions cause stress, worry, and a sense of lack. This, in turn, might lead to binging and overeating episodes. In all honesty, it has nothing to do with weak will-power. Merely, our human psychology is not designed to be tortured with diets. This is why we fail.
2} Judgment and fear creates stress (increasing cortisol levels)
Some people say to me ‘I look at food and gain weight!’. Whilst not literally true, there is some truth to this. When there is fear, anxiety, stress (or perceived stress) both cortisol and adrenaline are elevated. So even with the seemingly harmless internal dialogue such as, ‘I am so disgusting’, ‘So fat’, ‘I am ashamed to be seen like this’, generates a surge of stress hormones. Furthermore, if you look at a delectable piece of cake and feel scared of eating it, the same hormone surge process occurs. These hormones also cause fat storage, all working against our actual goal of losing weight!
3} Not addressing the core reason why you are struggling to lose weight
Finally, causes for weight gain are highly personalized. Indeed we should not blindly follow the ‘fad diet’ that worked for our best friend or neighbour. Usually, these diets do not address the core issue and are unsustainable. Moreover, people quit, only to fall into another diet trap. Ultimately, we need to address what is going on for our own situation.
Some causes for weight gain might be:
- large portion sizes
- binge eating
- too many processed foods
- hormonal imbalance
- blood sugar issues
- emotional reasons
What to do instead?
We need to focus on joy and pleasure. Sounds too simple? It’s not. When there is joy we won’t need ‘motivation’. Moreover, we will naturally be drawn to healthy food. Also, we will be pulled effortlessly towards our goals. So, how do we create joy and pleasure?
Add movement that cultivates joy. Such as dancing, yoga, family bike rides, hiking, gym class, Zumba, or tramping. If the movement you choose is joyful, you will not feel the ‘effort’ component.
2} Add food you love
Focus on adding rather than eliminating. What are the foods you can add that are full of nutrients and taste good and satisfy you? In the Balanced Diet Framework, I teach how to add all food groups seamlessly into your diet. When you eat in this way you will notice you will crave less chocolate and sugar. Further, by allowing yourself to eat treats you enjoy, you will dissolve the stress around the ‘forbidden foods’.
3} Mindset to lose weight
Thirdly, create a compelling future and vision. This involves visualizing your goals daily. Ask yourself….What are you striving for in life? What activities are you doing? Who are you surrounded with? Are you traveling? Are you enjoying time with your family? What is your dream job? Keep your compelling vision in your mind. Meditate on this. Physically bring those emotions of already having that life into your mind and body. Undoubtedly, you are less likely to binge or overeat when you feel good and excited about life. Consequently, this state will allow you to effortlessly take aligned actions towards your vision.
So when does a person have the best chance to lose weight?
- First, they approach weight loss from a logical perspective (not emotional)
- Second, they accept where they are on their journey
- Thirdly, the process to lose weight involves joyful movement and enjoying satisfying meals (not by stress and deprivation).
- Finally, the motivation to lose weight comes from wanting to increase the quality of life (as opposed to shame and wanting to please others)
What if losing weight could be easy?
Ultimately, there is no need for self-torture or a battle of willpower. By creating a joyful daily movement routine and a compelling future; motivation will be borne from internal elation. Happy hormones will be released and we will feel excited to remain committed our newly acquired habits. Please get in touch if you would like to chat or need more support on this journey. Eugenia x
Download The Balanced Diet Framework here which includes a free recipe book! Or below, I have a free resource to support you around binge eating or emotional eating – click the link below.
6 KEY STEPS TO
END BINGE EATING CYCLE &
RELEASE EMOTIONAL WEIGHT
Regain power over food!
Binge eating and emotional eating is not a food problem, it is an emotional problem.
We can’t rely on will-power to stop binge eating. In this e-book I am addressing the underlying reasons why we use food as a drug and what our body is trying to tell us.