We all go through the crazy cycle of dieting, and there are so many to choose from. Will they work? Many go through deprivation, punishing diet regimes, and many may lose weight initially. Once the diet stops, not only do they gain back what they lost, but may even gain more weight. This leaves them dissatisfied with dieting and weight loss.
DIETS DON’T WORK
Research shows that food restriction just makes you want to eat more. And over the long term, dieting can backfire, triggering your body’s survival defenses, slowing your metabolism, and making it even harder to lose weight in the future.
What, why, when, and where we eat, determines weight loss. The right approach to weight loss is a holistic approach. The result is long-lasting and one will feel great in losing weight. When one needs to get healthy, weight loss will occur naturally. Let the main aim be not ‘weight loss.’ Our approach and notion to this has to change.
A new approach to healthy eating is based on brain science, mindfulness, and awareness on what, why, when, where, and how we eat. Many times, we eat because we are bored, stressed, lonely, disconnected, lack of sleep, never-ending pandemic, and other reasons. Diets and diet books are not the solution. When we are aware of the triggers, the root cause of the issue will help remove/manage them. The result is healthy and weight loss happens naturally. If you are not sleeping well, take care of that trigger factor and try to sleep well. Meditation, yoga, and therapy, whatever it needs to get a good night’s sleep. If there are unresolved issues, getting therapy, and dealing and taking care of emotional triggers will get you healthy.
Look for hunger cues, what you are hungry for. Pause, and mindfully think, is it hung or lonely, and understand how food feeds your feelings. Many times, we are lonely at night, and we want dessert or something sweet to manage our loneliness. And we may be less disgusting after that rasagulla or ice cream after we eat them.
These feelings are because of the dopamine released from the brain. They are addictive, have strong feelings and they always go for sweet, salty, and high-fat cravings. Sometimes, the trigger could be the picture or videos that we see. Take a walk, or meditate, do yoga, and wait out for 20 minutes to see if you are still hungry for that dessert. Don’t buy or have foods that trigger you to eat. Control the environment by having fruits, hummus, and veggies around, and make it hard to reach the trigger factor food or item. Small behavior changes add up and you will be motivated to stay healthy.
For many, time is a factor. We are busy handling jobs, life, and chores and do not have enough time to cook each meal. Find a time in your week, and batch cook the items for the week, and have them when you are hungry, and save money as well. Have some protein like nut butter or beans with meals so that you feel full and you can better focus on the work. Sometimes making small swaps, like making your salad dressing using simple ingredients at home rather than store bought dressing, which is processed and high in sugar and salt.
Exercise is needed and aid in weight loss. The body is a complex system, it will compensate in other areas that we have burned during a workout. Moving more does not literally translate to burning more. Exercise and moving help us to feel good, sleep better, and boost self-esteem. They help us perform well in other areas like mental wellbeing, motivate us to pick up a hobby, and stick to being healthy. Exercise does not give a ticket to get out of one’s bad diet.
Weight loss is not your fault nor about willpower, calories intake, or exercise. Change or control the environment that triggers the behavior. Motivate yourself to do some squats or use your weights while waiting at the copy machine, waiting at the checkout counter, or waiting for your water to get filled up. When you feel good, you will lose weight.
Don’t change your whole lifestyle in a stroke of a movement. Always do some weight-bearing exercises, it could be as simple as lifting small weights, or your pets as part of your workout regime. Humans are social animals. Connect with family and friends – emotional and psychological connections are important to feel good and overall well-being. Connect with God and reflect on HIS teaching and messages. Follow these right approaches, you will feel connected, feel good, and have a better chance of doing what you are doing which is simple, and easy to follow.