How To Lose Weight For Good - It's Not How You Would Think!

1)  Thin does NOT mean healthy! And also bigger/heavier doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy either, despite all the hype about obesity being a killer. Don’t misunderstand, I am not suggesting that someone who is so heavy that they are bedbound is healthy, however being overweight is not necessarily an indicator of poor health either, your lifestyle habits are! You can have someone who is overweight but eats a nutritious diet, doesn’t smoke, exercises and has emotional health (they feel good in themselves) and they will be much healthier and less prone to illness than their thin counterpart who eats a diet that is poor in nutrition, smokes, doesn’t move much and feels stressed. Despite all the hype about obesity related illness, in this example the thin person is the one who is the most likely to get ill and die early! If you don’t believe me please read my other articles in this weight loss series.

Weight Loss With Red Sirens

RedSirenJulie - Weight Loss

2)  Most people are not meant to be skinny! There is so much pressure on us these days to be slim, and I think this pressure is felt most by women. The ‘ideal’ size that we are sold in Western societies is for most women, completely unrealistic! And the biggest problem with this is that all the time we feel bad about our shape and size, we are getting in our own way. How can we develop a normal relationship with food if we are stuck down we fear and guilt every time we so much look at a piece of chocolate. It would be better to learn how to love and accept yourself and then make the most out of your individual shape.

3)  You actually have a better chance of being healthy and managing your weight if you relax a little and stop struggling. If you can learn to relax around food again and tune into your body’s natural ability to tell you when you are hungry and when you are full your weight will take care of itself. It's called intuitive eating. When we are born we have this instinct inbuilt, sadly it is something we unlearn as adults. Once you can truly normalise your relationship with food and learn to enjoy it and use it to provide good nutrition, your chances being healthy and happier with your weight over time greatly increase. This is not impossible to do, it just takes a little practice. And once you have it you will now longer feel so tense around food because you will naturally stop when you are full, and choose a variety of foods (no, despite what you may think, when you relax around food you don’t end up only eating chocolate!)

4)  Exercise can be fun – even for people who don’t normally like exercise! It’s my experience that gruelling workouts and ‘duty’ gym trips don’t work for health and weight issues over time. Mainly because if you hate doing it, it will be hard to sustain over time, and it will be the first thing to go if your life becomes stressful. However, if you can find an activity you enjoy, you are onto a winner, because you will WANT to do it, AND you will even be able to use it to help manage stress! Look at this list of activities and see whether there is something that appeals, even if just a little bit. If you don’t see anything, don’t give up, the list of ideas is just the start, there is a lot more out there! walking in beautiful surroundings, swimming, dog agility, Salsa dancing, Zumba, Ballroom dancing, Pilates, Yoga, gardening, doing the housework with the music up loud, golf, tennis, squash, badmington, netball, hikers’c clubs.


Zumba ClassesCredit:

5)  Weight and resistance training help you to lose weight! Most women will say that they prefer to do cardiovascular exercise, and especially for weight loss, because it burns more calories. They think that if they do resistance training, or use weights that they will actually get bigger. While it is true that cardiovascular exercise will burn more calories AT THE TIME, when you change your percentage of body fat to muscle, and increase the muscle mass, you will actually burn more calories AT REST! What that means is that a person who has a higher percentage of muscle to fat, will actually burn more calories when doing nothing than the person who has more fat. So if you incorporate resistance and/or weight training as part of your exercise regime you will actually increase up your metabolism and your body will burn more calories ALL THE TIME! More so than you would have burned in your 1 hour cardiovascular workout. And don’t worry about getting bigger, you may shape up but you would have to train in a very specific way, using VERY heavy weights to get big muscles. For most people this is not what will happen, although toning can occur.

 6)  If you feel good about yourself you are more likely to be a healthy weight! For so long now it has been all about willpower, and mind over matter. Jane Fonda encouraged us to ‘feel the burn’ and fat camps tell us that we are lazy and weak if we struggle with our weight. We are told to restrict calories and fat and ‘be good’. And some people might have a little success this way. Does the approach work for most people in the long term? Heck NO! For most people this sets them up to FAIL over time. It’s too hard and it sets up struggle instead of creating healthy relationships to food and exercise which in my opinion are the only real ways to have a chance at good health over time. The cases of this approach to weight management truly working over time are very few and far between. And even when a person does ‘achieve’ thinness this way, are they ever truly relaxed and free of worry about their weight, or do they live in fear of getting fat if they lose control and have too much chocolate? There is a better way.

7)  I dislike the term ‘weight management’! Because I don’t think we have to ‘manage’ our weight. It immediately makes one think of a struggle, and something that needs to be managed and kept in check. Whereas actually the ability to take in the correct amount and type of food for the activity we do is actually a very natural and basic instinct that we have inside us, if we could only just tune back into our bodies again. Our body’s are actually very good at keeping us at the best weight for us, when we get messed up is when we have become so out of tune with our bodies and have fallen into bad habits. If we can make peace with ourselves, food and moving for enjoyment again, guess what, our weight will take care of itself!