After my last article a few weeks ago on What I’ve Learned About Weight Loss Over the Past 6 Years, I have never received more positive feedback from people who appreciated my transparency and who are interested in looking at health beyond what’s in their grocery carts. So to everyone who responded with a kind or encouraging word, thank you so much! While it wasn’t easy to put myself out there for all the world to see, I honestly believe the way to truly looking and feeling healthy from the inside out is in fact to concentrate more on what’s going on internally versus simply focusing on that which we can “see.”
I think it’s vitally important to understand that holistic health is a balancing act and must involve the whole picture, or in other words, the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a person. So, I’ve decided to split my follow-up into several additional parts because I think that in order to really grasp these ideas, you need to chew on them for a bit instead of reading a whole list of points, one right after the other. The first tip I’m sharing focuses on why approaching weight loss and/or dieting from a calories in/calories out viewpoint doesn’t work long-term and how it can actually do more harm than good.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting on everything from why it’s important to eat real food to how you should think about eating to why maintaining your ideal weight will be nearly impossible without first learning to control your thought life. My hope is that you’ll understand how this all ties together and will be well on your way towards becoming a healthier, happier you.
So before you read on, ask yourself this all-important question: Have you been successful with your past or current routines? If the answer is no, then perhaps it’s time to re-think how you’ve been viewing food and weight loss. Use the tips in this series to identify possible roadblocks that may be getting in the way of your success. You only have this one life to live, so if it’s not headed in the right direction, hop in the driver’s seat and change your course. If you’re ready for a new you…then buckle up, hang on and enjoy the ride. Things are about to get good!
Weight Loss Tip #1: Your Body is NOT a Bank Account
We have simplified weight loss in this country to follow a basic calories in versus calories out equation. In other words, if I eat less and exercise more, I will lose weight. What is so frustrating to me about this mentality is that it does not take into consideration the fact that our bodies respond hormonally to both our food and our thoughts. We are much more like a biochemistry lab than a bank account. In upcoming blog posts, I will be talking about how your biochemistry lab responds to both your fuel sources and your thought life.
Before we go any further, however, it’s essential to first understand this basic concept: When you eat 1600 calories of just carbs, your body will respond completely differently than if you eat the same 1600 calories from protein, carbs and fats in combination. The idea of eat less, exercise more actually puts the body in a state of increased stress hormones, namely adrenaline and cortisol. Initially, the increase in adrenaline does aid in fat loss and people typically get very excited because they can see results early on. Unfortunately, the results are almost never long-lasting due to the simultaneous increase in cortisol. In fact as cortisol levels remain elevated for extended periods of time, muscle tissue begins to break down in order for energy production to continue, metabolism actually decreases, and most people end up in a worse state than when they first began. Not a pretty picture.
The above scenario actually explains why I have heard the following statement hundreds of times over the years: “I have tried every diet and it worked in the beginning but with each “diet” it is harder and harder to lose weight and keep it off!”
Can I just finally say that some days I WANT TO SCREAM from the top of my lungs that the diets you’ve tried DID NOT WORK!!! If they had, you would not be sitting in front of me and you would have KEPT the weight off. Of course I don’t scream because I know what it feels like to try everything to lose weight. But what we do need to realize is that many of the “diets” out there are doing more harm than good by creating imbalances in your biochemistry, and that is why you get “quick” results that CANNOT be maintained.
I always like to remind my clients that when I started my process of HEALING—not dieting—it took me 4 months to lose a single pound. Many of what I refer to as my “check engine lights” went away when I began healing; my cravings disappeared, I had more energy, my digestion greatly improved and my monthly cycles were a lot better. BUT (and this is a big but), I had screwed up my metabolism from trying so many diets over the years that I needed to heal before my body would drop any weight.
The point of this post is not at all to make you feel guilty or ashamed. In fact, it’s just the opposite! I want to help you get on the right track and I want this post to be an encouragement to you! I want you to remember that part of weight loss is getting your biochemistry lab back in order through your diet and thought life and for many people, this process takes time. If it were as simple as the calories in/calories out principle, many of us would not be struggling with our weight and health like we are.
So stay tuned for upcoming posts that will share a host of insights I have learned to help you look at your health and weight loss from a holistic perspective. In the meantime, take some time to think about how you are viewing your body…Are you a biochemistry lab or a bank account?