Imagine if I handed you a supplement that would automatically solve all your weight loss problems. Trouble sleeping? Solved. Can’t manage stress? Solved. Not getting enough fiber? Solved. Hormones imbalanced? Solved. Struggling with cravings? Solved.
Well, here’s where I pop that lovely thought bubble and tell you that this will never happen. Please understand that I don’t tell you this to discourage you, but to remind you that although there are no quick fixes, many of the changes that need to be made are within your control. Weight loss resistance is an issue for many of the women I see in practice and I wrote Finally Lose It to help those of you I can’t see one-on-one. So let me introduce you to what I call The Rules of Engagement – things to so yes and no to as you navigate this journey to set you up for success.
Things to say YES to when struggling with weight loss resistance:
Stocking whole foods
If there is crap food in your house you will crave it! No questions asked, high sugar, sweet and salty foods filled with processed oils and other inflammatory ingredients are addictive. The reason why they are so addictive is that there is an entire industry of scientists whose job is to make those foods crave worthy. “I bet you can’t eat just one” is not just a cute potato chip saying, it is a scientifically engineered concept. So in these situations what is a girl to do? Avoid the foods completely!
When you stock your house with whole foods that you prepare at home, or that were minimally processed and delivered to you, you can satisfy your hunger without sacrificing your waistline.
Thinking about when and how you eat
The first step before changing your eating behaviours is to identify when and how you’re currently eating. You may not notice that you always reach for a certain food at the same time each day or that you’re snacking after dinner.
After you’ve identified your eating patterns you can tackle them step-by-step. Do you eat in the car, while looking at your phone, or at your desk while working? Well it might be time to go to the lunchroom or sit outside while you eat your lunch to ensure you are sitting down, calm, chewing and enjoying every bite.
It is also important to consider when you are eating. The snacking, or grazing culture, that we are currently living in is setting woman up for metabolic chaos.
Personalizing your plan
Are you eating for your stress levels, optimal digestion and on the right rhythm? Do you have food sensitivities that are causing you to hold on to inflammation? Have you had blood work done, and interpreted by a naturopathic doctor or functional medicine provider? If not, then you may be missing a key element that is holding you back from achieving your goals. (Note: never fear, blood work is not your only option, my book Finally Lose It has many quizzes to help you personalize your plan. I also have this free quiz available to help you identify your number one obstacle.)
Getting adequate sleep and reducing stress
If I could shout this from the rooftop, I would. As you’ll learn in my book, Finally Lose It, the foods you’re eating don’t quite matter if your sleep patterns, circadian rhythm, and stress levels are out of whack. This actually might be a great place to start for those of you who are currently intimidated to change your diet. Focus on setting a routine before bed to unwind, ensuring you’re sleeping enough hours every night, and finding a simple, calming breathing exercise for times of stress.
“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Checking your mindset
One of my favorite quotes is “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right.” I firmly believe that with the right mindset, the right support and strategies for establishing healthy routines and food guidelines you can achieve your goals. This may seem like a reach for someone has been struggling but step one is to truly believe that this will be different. You can do it!
Things to say NO to when struggling with weight loss resistance:
A “no pain, no gain” mentality
This can apply to your diet or your workout routine. If you’re underfed and unsatisfied by your breakfast and lunch, it shouldn’t be a surprise that you’re face first into a bag of chips when you get home from work. The same applies for your workout routine. It is honestly not worth it to white knuckle it through your day because as we all know from experience; it normally has a bad ending.
Take the words ‘too busy’ and ‘there were no other options’ out of your vocabulary. It’s a matter of priorities and if you’re serious about making lasting changes then creating healthy behaviours should be at the top of your priority list. There are always moments to find and foods/movements/other rewards that can be found in a pinch, if you really want them.
Eating cardboard “diet” food
Why do we, as a culture, think that to lose weight foods should be processed to death, taste weird and come from a box or the freezer section? Food should be nourishing, satiating, and delicious. So throw out all that nasty cardboard ‘diet’ food and embrace whole foods. You’ll be better off for it.
Eating inflammatory and addictive foods
If you haven’t already, you really need to contemplate saying goodbye to dairy, sugar, and other foods that are inflammatory and addictive for you. I find it’s one of the things that patients are most resistant to, but once they cut it out they wish they would have done it sooner.
Complicated shopping lists, meal plans, and overwhelming meal prep
No one likes cleaning a million dishes or having a shopping list a mile long. The key to success is to simplify your life – especially your meals. I firmly believe that you can cook delicious meals by stocking your fridge with a few whole foods each week and having a few spices on hand. Play with the idea of limiting your shopping list to a Post It note. Get creative! You will be shocked at how many different meals you can make.
The word ‘rules’ is not meant to be restrictive, but as guiding principles to creating a healthy life and overcoming weight loss resistance. Now that I’ve given you the basics and a place to start, dive in. Whether you start implementing these changes on your own or pick up a copy of Finally Lose It, it is time to take your health to the next level.