I know, I know. The Weight Loss Process....
You think that it has to be tough.
And why wouldn’t you think that? That’s what we’ve all been told.
“No pain, no gain”
And somehow it ends up being your fault if you can’t do it fast enough or when the inevitable happens and you gain the weight back.
Whether or not you lose weight successfully is seen to be about how good of a person you are, not about the unrealistic demands put on women to be a size 2!
We live with ridiculous demands to have perfect bodies our whole lives AND if we can’t do that then we are just failures.
Meanwhile, we are shown images of tempting food and on the next page sexy, airbrushed women. And then we are told the lie that all we have to do is “work really hard”, and “be strong”, and “eat less and move more”.
On the heels of that, we are invited by the 71 billion dollar weight loss industry to find the perfect diet or the perfect pill. Once we do that, well, then all of our problems will be solved.
I’m on a mission to fight back against these illusions.
I am sick and tired of seeing women suffer so much thinking we have to live up to those ideals and we have to suffer our way to the pot at the end of the rainbow.
When I say “if you are not enjoying the process you are doing it wrong”, I believe that with every cell in my body. I can stand by my claim with full confidence.
Why? Well, I spend all of my days helping women lose weight in a way that is sustainable and pleasurable.
And I have learned that it absolutely does NOT have to be about suffering and deprivation.
As a matter of fact, if you are suffering and feeling deprived, it’s time to stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW.
There are just too many tools and strategies available to you to make the process fun and pleasurable. I promise!
In this post, I’m going to introduce you to 3 out of MANY tools I use with my clients daily.
I call them secret weapons because they are completely misrepresented and/or under-utilized in the typical weight-loss diets out there.
And here they are!
- Veggies are a secret weapon
- Physical activity is a secret weapon
- Radical self-acceptance is a secret weapon
Veggies: Your Secret Weapon #1
Whether you love veggies or not, it is undeniable that they are a powerful and under-utilized tool for fun and pleasurable weight loss.
- They contain fiber: Fiber is filling and satisfying. It also stimulates the production of healthy bacteria in the gut, which can aid in the weight loss process.
- They offer “roughage”. Technically, roughage and fiber are the same things. But I like to distinguish them. The fiber in whole foods (as opposed to fiber powders in processed foods) provides a scrubbing effect on the intestinal cells, which results in the liberation of mucus from these cells. The mucus helps to move the food along the digestive tract. This facilitates better digestion, which has many positive effects on the body including better immune function, better brain health, and more balanced hormones, to name a few.
- They are very low in calories. Need I say more? You can eat copious amounts of veggies and still have only had 50 calories!
- They provide tons of variety. One problem with most “diets” is that they become monotonous or people feel deprived. Having a ton of food variety is a relatively new concept for humans but hey, we like it. We want to feel like we have lots of choices. There are almost 1,100 vegetables out there!! Opportunity for tons of variety. You just have to be a little adventurous.
- They contain many “fat-burning” nutrients. Veggies are rich in “polyphenols”, which are plant-based nutrients that have been shown to have multiple benefits for our health. One of those benefits is that polyphenols turn ON FAT-BURNING! In particular, kale, arugula, parsley, cilantro, celery, red onion, radicchio, and lovage are very high in polyphenols.
- They are highly nutritious. When I work with my clients they enter their food into a food diary. And every time they increase the veggies we see higher levels of vitamins and minerals in the diet. Let’s face it, the journey isn’t just about losing weight, it’s about improving your health. And veggies do that!
So…..do you see how veggies are a secret weapon?
All you have to do is make them taste good (and there are endless ways to do that) and you can get all of these benefits.
You can add variety and diversity to your diet, eat lots of food that does not rack up the calories, get lots of vitamins and minerals, improve digestion, have a healthier microbiome, which leads to more metabolic activity, AND stimulate your fat-burning genes.
Wins all around!
Physical Activity: Your Secret Weapon #2
In the past, I wrote a blog post about the many wondrous benefits of exercise for your health.
So definitely check that out.
But when it comes to weight loss we have some pretty obvious reasons.
For example, exercise makes you burn more fat and calories.
That one you knew already.
Exercise is also known as a “keystone habit”. This means that when people start being physically active, it has a ripple effect and it ends up making us WANT to do more healthy things in other areas of our lives.
But what I want to get across to you is that the benefits of exercise run much deeper than that.
One example is that your microbiome improves when you are more physically active. And this has a beneficial effect on your immune system and your metabolism.
But the thing is this.
You don’t have to HATE the exercise you do.
As humans, we are at our best when we are active.
One study showed that a group of indigenous people living in Tanzania called the Hadza engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity on average 2 hours a day!
Compare that to where in the US only 23.3% of adults reach the targets for physical activity of 150 minutes per WEEK!
We are not moving as we should and we all know how that is turning out for us. Just one stat is enough I believe: 76% of adults in the US are overweight!!
Talk about pandemics!
And physical activity is a secret weapon because all you have to do is move.
You don’t have to become a marathon runner or a bodybuilder. You don’t have to suffer in the gym for an hour. You don’t have to ruin your knees or invest a small fortune in equipment.
You just have to get up and start moving.
Take a walk outside. Dance to your favorite song a few times a day. Clean the house. Plant some flowers or shovel some snow.
Honor your body’s need for movement.
Just think of it this way. If you had a dog would you ever consider just not walking it?
You need movement just as much as a dog does!
Okay, I’ll stop now.
Start small and start moving. Discover the magic of movement to make weight loss much more easy and pleasurable.
PS: If you are training a lot and struggling to lose weight, you may be overtraining but that’s a whole other conversation.
Radical Self-Acceptance: Your Secret Weapon #3
This is where it gets really juicy.
One thing that I say to all of my clients is this, “I am going to be that one person in your life who accept and loves you for who you are.”
This usually brings tears to our eyes.
How can I make such a bold claim?
Well, it takes practice.
And the practice starts with me.
Every day I get up and remind myself that I am fine just the way I am and I still love myself. And every night I do that again.
I’m telling your right now, if you can accept yourself for who and what you are, for all you’ve done and will do, for all your flaws and positive attributes, and for your body AS IT IS NOW, phew…..it is the most freeing thing in the world.
And guess what? Something magical happens.
Things start to fall into place.
You get clarity.
You feel lighter.
You start to make different choices.
You start to want to care for your body just for the sake of caring.
And this is when you are stepping into your power.
This just got deep!
Don’t believe me, try it out for yourself.
And this is certainly not a “one and done” thing.
This is a daily practice.
Just remind yourself that you are perfect as you are. You are worthy. You are loved and lovable. AS YOU ARE.
And this my dears, is your final and most powerful secret weapon because self-acceptance and self-love are really all the matters.