How many diets have you started and stopped in your lifetime?
I can say I have tried every major category of dieting there is. I have tried low-fat, no-fat, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, low-carb, no-carb, and see-food (when you see food you eat it, hehe).
I can say unequivocally that diets do not work for the long term. They are inevitably bound to fail. It’s actually built into their design. Not intentionally but there are some very valid reasons.
Why Diets Don’t Work:
- Diets are designed for the general public. They don’t, and can’t, take into account you and your specific lifestyle. They will work for some part of the population but they don’t apply to everyone. You need to know what your body needs in order for a diet to be truly effective for you. Or better yet, you can learn how to stop dieting and start eating healthy.
- Most diets ask you to eliminate an entire category of food. Removing all the fat, carbs, or animal protein from your diet will NEVER last. Your body needs these foods to function properly. It’s fine to take a break from them for a short time but ultimately you will return to eating the foods you love. Machines follow all the rules all the time, we are humans.
- The food industry doesn’t want you to succeed. Yes there are a million “diet” foods or foods designated as fat-free and sugar-free but they actually contribute to our weight problem. The food industry is designing foods that make us want to eat more without providing any real nourishment to our bodies. This kind of food, that is prevalent in our grocery stores, is making us want to eat more and more in an attempt to get the nutrients we really need.
If you are really trying to stick to a New Year’s Resolution of weight loss, you have to stop dieting.
Here are four steps you can take right now to start signalling fat-burning in your body and lose weight naturally:
1. Drink Water – Most people do not get sufficient water to really lose weight and keep it off. Our body relies on water to flush out the body. If you are serious about weight loss you need to be drinking at least one half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. (i.e. If your current weight is 150 pounds, you should be drinking at minimum of 75 ounces of water every day. If you can get more, you will see your weight start to drop faster.)
2. Get More Sleep – Current research is showing that lack of sleep is contributing to our weight issues. When we don’t get enough sleep the hormone for eating, ghrelin, spikes significantly and the hormone for satiety and fat burning, leptin, drop dramatically. This is a lethal combination for anyone trying to lose weight. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal for effective weight loss.
3. Make Moving Fun – Commonly, when a person sets out to lose weight they begin thinking about workouts and gyms. But that isn’t the only way to get moving. Doing something you love to get moving is the most effective way to mobilize our fat stores to energy production. Commit to doing something that makes you smile or laugh. Take a dance class, go for a walk, ride a bike, take the stairs, teach the kids how to jump-rope or hula-hoop. Or better yet, turn on some music and dance in your living room. It doesn’t need to be formal or complex. You just need to move your body. I have worked up a sweat just vacuuming the house. Be creative! There are endless opportunities to move if you start looking.
4. Eat One-Ingredient Foods – the biggest weight issue we have in our culture is the over-consumption of processed foods. Start eating more one-ingredient foods, like apples, pears, carrots, grapes, artichokes, celery, nuts, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, or tomatoes.
One-ingredient foods are just whole foods that come in their own wrapper and have a high water content. The more of these kinds of food that you eat, the easier it is for your body to create energy and burn fat.
When you switch your focus from dieting to feeling good and properly feeding your body, weight loss will occur naturally and easily.
What is one thing you can do TODAY to reach your weight loss goals?
Guest Post by Theresa Grisanti.
Theresa Grisanti has been studying and applying her understanding of health, nutrition and intuitive eating for more than 15 years. Her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, included instruction from leaders in the holistic healing field, such as Andrew Weil and Mona Lisa Schultz.
Photo Credit: Water And Glasses by George Hodan, Woman Eating Apple by Petr Kratochvil, Slim Belly And Measure Tape by Petr Kratochvil
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