Many people are confused about what are the top habits for healthy weight loss.
All too often we are told to focus on what we are eating and how much we are exercising.
But when it comes down to it, most of us realize that it is much more about our attitude than the details of what we eat.
This is shown to be true when we realize that most of the popular diets out there have similar outcomes when it comes to long-term weight loss results.
There is no ONE diet that has been shown to be the best!
Based on my years of experience working with hundreds of people in their weight loss journeys I have identified certain habits that outperform the rest.
I have identified the top 3 habits for healthy weight loss.
The Top 3 Healthy Habits for Healthy Weight Loss
- Nourish Your Body, Mind, & Spirit
- Make Health Your Priority
- Practice Self-Compassion
Let's look at each of these lifestyle habits in detail.
Nourish Your Body, Mind, & Spirit
When we look into the world of dieting and weight loss the first thing we see is what to eat and what not to eat.
We are bombarded with rules and regulations, restrictions, and a slew of morality-driven ideas about what is "good" or "bad" for us.
And videos by perfect-looking diet or exercise gurus fuel our guilt.
I think this is the wrong way to approach it.
I believe very strongly that we need to start with nourishment rather than restrictions and judgment.
That is why I always say, "nourish first"!
This means nourishing your body, mind, and spirit with things and experiences that are satisfying.
Don't start by taking away things, start by ADDING THINGS that you like!
When you nourish your body properly you eat food that is delicious and nutritious.
When you nourish your mind properly you do activities that stimulate your intellect and that give you joy and pleasure.
When you nourish your spirit you have an inner practice of prayer, meditation, stillness, introspection, and time in nature, or whatever else makes you feel fulfilled, whole, and mindful.
It is damaging to follow strict diet rules and it doesn't work for lasting weight loss.
When we restrict we feel longing.
And that backfires every time!
When we seek out activities and foods that give us pleasure before, during, and after we engage in them, then we are nourishing ourselves fully.
When we feel nourished we no longer need to regularly seek out food to fill physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual gaps in our lives.
The concept of "Nourish First" is fundamental to how we help our clients lose weight in a lasting and joyous way.
Make Health Your Priority
We can all come up with a million reasons we don't have time to nourish ourselves.
We might say we're too busy to cook, exercise, relax, or meditate.
We might claim that our children need us so we have to put them first.
We might even think that our bosses or clients are why we are not prioritizing our health.
But when it comes down to it, life is all about choices. Just one choice after another.
I can choose to continue writing right now or to take a break and take a walk.
I can choose to book fewer appointments so that making my daily smoothie can stay on my calendar.
I can choose to go to bed a little earlier.
And so can you!
If you are not sure if your health is your priority, just look at your life.
If you see evidence everywhere of choices that put health first, then you are doing it already.
But if you look at your life and you see that you often "don't have time" or are "too tired" to practice self-care, that is almost always a reflection of your choices and ultimately your priorities.
In order to stay healthy in this inherently unhealthy world full of stress, busyness, and quick fixes, we have to put our health at the top of the list.
Only you can do this.
No one will do it for you!
Being kind to yourself takes strength and courage.
If you tend to feel guilty, feel self-judgment, or berate yourself for your choices, that is probably because you think you have to do that.
We have been programmed to believe that the only way we'll get better or do better is to feel bad about our choices.
That is absolutely the wrong approach.
And frankly, it's the easiest one.
You may think that by being hard on yourself you are exhibiting strength and resilience.
But you are not.
What takes strength is to be kind, compassionate, and forgiving to yourself.
So, if you fancy yourself a strong person that gets things done right, you will have to make self-compassion a habit.
Self-compassion requires self-acceptance.
I like the term "radical self-acceptance".
Radical self-acceptance means that you accept yourself fully and completely and that you allow yourself to be who and what you are.
It is so freeing to practice this level of self-acceptance.
And it allows you to be compassionate toward yourself.
Compassion means that you accept, allow, forgive, and you move on.
When you move away from beating yourself up and/or feeling guilty and move toward allowance, acceptance, and forgiveness, it opens up space and possibility.
Now that you are allowing yourself to be who you are, you can relax, your brain functions better and so does your body.
When you are relaxed and your nervous system is calmer, you can come up with new ideas, you can be more creative, and you can more easily make better choices.
This is the ONLY way to live your life in a healthy, balanced way.
Beating yourself up, feeling guilt, and blaming yourself and others is never productive and it is not a sustainable solution to healthy, lasting weight loss.
These three habits are absolutely essential for lasting weight loss.
That is why we encourage these habits with all of our clients.
Adopting these habits takes time and patience, and it usually requires support.
That's where we come in!