Weight loss is a great goal for improving overall health and wellness. Being overweight is something that a lot of us struggle with and besides feeling unhealthy, it can make us feel bad about ourselves (which is a major cultural issue to which we could devote not just another entire article but a whole book! But I digress…)
Poor body-image and self-esteem can make it tempting to lose weight too quickly, at an unsafe pace, and what’s worse is crash dieting is usually a spectacular failure when you end up re-gaining some, all, or more weight than you lost in the first place. Fad diets fail because they don’t address the root causes of weight gain, are not sustainable and don’t teach you lifelong tools for weight management.
Here are some really useful and easy tips to implement for weight loss and life-long weight management:
DETOX DETOX DETOX! Detoxing should be your weight-loss, weight-management and overall health mantra- the beginning, the end and everything in between. Detoxing actually can lead to relatively fast and easy weight loss as we typically carry 5-10 pounds of extraneous toxicity in our bodies and sometimes up to 20 pounds of waste that is just stuck. Detoxing primes your body to be able to heal itself and start working better, which also is the best foundation to lay for safe weight loss. Also, you’ll feel amazing!
Take out the Bad Stuff
Everybody knows that if you want to lose weight, you have to cut out “junk” food- foods that are highly processed, contain refined flour, refined sugar, are calorie dense and artificial. Unfortunately, most “diet” foods out there fall into this category! The “junk” is what gets built-up in the body, leading to bloating, heaviness, sluggishness and weight gain.
Also, many people are unaware of food allergies or sensitivities they have, to common things like wheat/gluten, dairy, soy and nuts. Consuming foods to which you have an allergy can lead to chronic illness and pain, or auto-immune disease, because allergens lead to inflammation which in turn causes all kinds of problems – including weight gain!
Put in Good Stuff
It is imperative to learn what foods are good for your body, will nourish it and help it repair itself. Once you remove the “junk,” determine if you have a food allergy and eliminate that food, there is a serious reduction in inflammation, and then the body can begin to heal itself. You can aid healing by flooding the body with nutrients from whole foods. This can lead not only to weight loss but overall wellness!
Work it Out!
Consult with your doctor before embarking on any exercise program to make sure you know what activities are safe for you. Exercise is critically important and a necessary part of a weight-loss plan, and life-long wellness.
Exercise a) engages and strengthens muscle groups for increased stamina, toning and metabolic activity, b) floods your blood with oxygen, strengthening major organs and body systems and aiding in detoxification, c) releases endorphins which make you feel good, happy and have less pain, and d) is fun! Exercising is one of the most important things you can do to aid your body in repairing itself, working optimally, and contributing to safe weight loss and life-long wellness.
By making use of the first four tips, your stress levels will typically decrease dramatically, but it’s well worthwhile to focus on stress reduction even more. Taking quiet time to meditate or pray, journal, express yourself creatively and/or have deep conversations with a friend or loved one, will help ensure that your emotional wellbeing is being managed too.
You could also get some R&R by spending time in a sauna or hot tub, taking nice detoxifying baths at home, getting a massage or getting acupuncture. Being overweight usually has a psychological or emotional component. Learning to deal with your emotions more constructively will help prevent and weight-regain and improve your overall quality of life.
For my clients, I generally recommend losing no more than 2-3 pounds weekly for safety and to make sure that your skin has time to adjust and so the weight doesn’t creep back on. You may lose water weight at first as your tissues shed unnecessary water retention. The best and safest way to lose weight is to focus on getting healthier and feeling better, not counting numbers on a scale. It’s so important to learn to love yourself, no matter what size or level of health you are. Make loving yourself a priority – and the rest will fall into place.