When we talk about weight loss we usually don’t include self-care in the conversation.
It’s usually about how many carbs or calories you are eating and how much you work out.
But really anything that helps you feel good is good for your body.
Stress, poor sleep, overwhelm, confusion. guilt, deprivation, and general suffering are all going to impact your digestion and hormones.
And digestion and hormones are major players in the weight loss game.
So, when you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, think self-care first.
Here are 4 powerful self-care tips that you can start doing today to help you lose weight and gain health.
Become an Expert in YOU.
Start paying attention to your body today.
Rather than listening to some guru who has never met you. Listen to your body. You know your body better than any “expert”.
Just because someone says carbs are the root of all health problems, it doesn’t mean that is actually the case for you.
Just because someone says the vegan diet is the best, it doesn’t mean that is the case for you.
Studies are done in different ways but unless you were in the study, it doesn’t mean those findings actually apply to you specifically.
What I am hoping you glean from all of this is that you are the expert in you.
You are the only person who truly knows if a food or food group is working for you or not.
Just pay attention and realize that the diet gurus do not know you and therefore they cannot tell you what you should eat.
In order for you to feel that your journey is relatively effortless you need to be freed from dietary dogma. Pay attention to what you are eating and see how you feel.
Stop demonizing entire food groups and stop judging yourself.
Be free child.
If you are not sure what is right for you I suggest starting with eating as many whole foods as possible.
Also, please check out a blog post I did about how to tell if your diet is working for you: 6 Ways to Judge if a Diet is Right for You.
2.Prioritize Self-Love Above All Else
If you were to promise to treat yourself with as much kindness and compassion as you would treat your best friend in a time of need, imagine what that would look like.
I am asking you to go easy on yourself.
Your mindset and your relationship with food is way more important than any dietary rules or regulations. If you are eating a super processed diet and you feel good and you are really taking care of yourself as best as you can right now, you are doing the right thing.
The path to true health is certainly NOT paved with self-judgement or feeling guilty about your choices.
Remember that you can really only control your own thoughts and actions. If you get upset about things beyond your control you are just getting upset without any benefit.
Try to prioritize your feelings above all else. Protect yourself from damaging thoughts by becoming committed to keeping tabs on your thoughts.
A lot of the problems we have around food arise from thoughts we have about “what should be”.
“I should weigh this amount.”
“I should be able to figure this out more easily.”
“This food is good for me and that food is bad for me.”
Imagine if you told yourself that your top priority is to feel good above all else.
You can only do this by accepting there are some things out of your control.
If your body is not what you think it “should” be, just accept that. Feel good about what is.
Because the reality is that your body is exactly where it is. You cannot change that right now.
But you can choose your thoughts around your body.
Love your body for how it is, right in this moment.
Love yourself for all the things you have done up until now. The yo-yo dieting, the poor choices, the binge-eating, the stress-eating, the extreme dieting, the guilt, the shame, the failure. Those are all in the past. You cannot change them now.
You can either choose to feel good about them or bad.
Feeling bad does not change the past and it does not help you.
So, why not feel good.
This is self-love. It is about accepting what is and protecting yourself from negative, useless, wasteful, and damaging thoughts.
3.Give Your Food the Attention it deserves
Focus on eating with care.
Give your food the attention it deserves.
Close your eyes and savor it. This is so much more freeing than reading a book and following steps 1 through 25 of the author’s favorite dietary practices.
If you were to truly indulge your senses at every meal and really be present with the food each time you eat, you would not overeat.
You would eat just the right amount.
The issues come from anticipating some big reward and then rapidly and mindlessly chowing down without paying any attention to how the food actually tastes.
And then brushing off the fact that you feel guilty or physically ill or uncomfortable afterward.
If we remember this we can keep level-headed about the food.
Next time you are really looking forward to eating french fries (or any other food that you think might not be so great for your health) make sure that when you eat the food you pay attention throughout the process.
Does it taste as good as you thought?
Are you eating too much when you really lost the pleasure after the first 2-3 bites? How do you feel afterward?
And with this kind of mindful eating you will slowly but surely identify the foods that are most nourishing for your body, not someone else’s.
Listen to your body and eat mindfully, and feeling deprived or overeating will be a thing of the past for you.
4.Love the Food You Eat
The path to sustained weight loss and high health is paved with delicious food!
I really mean this.
If you are not looking forward to your meals every day, you are doing something wrong.
By delicious I do not mean convenient comfort food that does not nourish your body.
Delicious foods are whole foods that are rich in flavor and texture, that are visually appealing. and send off enticing aromas.
They make you feel good before, during, and after you eat them.
They nourish your body and your desire to take pleasure in eating.
This type of food will command your attention
You absolutely have to be paying attention in order to love the food you eat.
No mindless eating allowed.
Love the food you eat because it tastes good AND it nourishes you.
If you found yourself inspired by these words and would like to continue the conversation with me, please set up a strategy call.
In a strategy call we would discuss your goals, challenges, dreams, desires, self-limiting thoughts, and more. I will then give you my thoughts on what would be the best way to approach making changes. A strategy call is not a nutrition consult, it is the beginning of designing a roadmap to your success and happiness.