When people hear what I do for a living, they always want to know my top tips for long-term weight loss. So today I’m going to give you some. I wrote out my top 10 tips, but it became way too long….so I’ve broken it down into two parts. Here is the first part, my top five:
1. Eat only when you are hungry. This means stop eating the minute you feel full. Anytime you eat beyond fullness, you are eating not because you are hungry, but for some other reason.
So what does it really mean to eat when you are hungry?
If you are in the middle of a sandwich, or a chicken dinner, and you are no longer hungry – you stop eating. You can save what you don’t eat for later.
It means leaving food on a plate if you’ve had enough. It means eating only when your body tells you it needs food — and stopping when it tells you it has had enough.
It means only having the leftover potatoes for dinner because you’re just not very hungry.
It means that if, after the potatoes, you find yourself hungry in a few hours, you can eat something again. There are no ‘rules’ on when to eat. You decide when you eat, and how much.
2. Eat foods that make you feel good, that keep you energized and feeling light.
Too often the ‘experts’ tell us what we should and should not eat: “eat this, not that.” I say, to hell with that. Here’s why: everybody and every BODY is different. What one person eats to feel good, won’t necessarily make someone else feel good.
So eat foods that make your body feel good and energized (notice I said makes your body feel good….not make your emotions feel good).
3. When you are not hungry, allow yourself from time-to-time to eat something purely for the enjoyment of it. I mean pure pleasure here.
I’ll never forget years ago watching Dr. Oz on Oprah. He was saying to only have dessert if you were hungry. And Oprah replied something along the lines of “and who eats dessert because they’re hungry?”
Think about it: do you really eat dessert because your hungry? Sure, maybe some of the time, but most often not really. Come on…we eat it for the pleasure. And though I believe you should like the taste of and enjoy everything you eat (otherwise, why bother?), but too often we forget about adding in that real pleasure. That decadent moment when you eat something truly delicious. Eating something not because it makes your body feel good & light (my #2 tip), but because it just really, really tastes good and it’s something you love.
Maybe it’s dessert. Maybe it’s a croissant from the bakery down the street. Maybe it’s something as simple as a few Oreos. But when you eat it, make sure you enjoy each bite, fully taste it as stop as soon as the joy of eating fades (yes, that means stopping as soon as the joy is gone). If you pay attention, you will be surprised how soon this might be.
I recommend only to do this about 10% of the time and you can still lose weight. But if you allow yourself to do this from time to time, you’ll see that your cravings will actually diminish.
4. Make peace with it (and you) not being perfect. We’re always concerned about making the ‘right’ decision when it comes to food and eating. So what exactly is the ‘right’ decision? When it comes to food there is no right or wrong — just choices. Choices that you make. Choices that no one else has the power to decide for you. Only you.
And there is no perfect. Do I sometimes eat beyond fullness? Of course. Do I sometimes eat when I’m not hungry? Yup, you bet.
The difference is that when I do — first, I give myself some slack, there’s no judgment. Second, I don’t do it often. And third, I become curious and ask myself why I did it. Which brings me to my next tip…
5. Be curious, not judgmental. When you do something that is ‘off’ your plan of what you would like to be doing, be curious and try to find out why you do what you do. Explore the thoughts that lead to the action. Why did you overeat? Why did you not take time to exercise today? Deep a bit deeper and be curious as to why you did or didn’t do what you set out to do. And if you look closely enough, you’ll find some really important answers as to why you struggle with your weight.
I have found that with all of my clients, their weight has helped them see and understand themselves better. And this translates into all areas of their life.
So be curious. Ask yourself what’s really going on? And what can you learn from it? Be kind and understanding with yourself. This is not the time (nor any time) to beat yourself up. Instead, give yourself the benefit of the doubt. There are very good reasons why we overeat (yes, good reasons). So looking at why you did or didn’t do something is just an opportunity to get to know yourself better and learn.
If you’d like more tips + get individual support, feedback, and accountability from me — be sure to check out my brand-new Thinner Peace Weight Loss Program. And there’s a special early bird rate if you register this month.
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