Let’s face it—America has a problem with obesity. As a result, many clients come to our nutritional counseling center in need of a complete lifestyle overhaul. Many people are simply overweight, while others have developed bad habits, such as yo-yo dieting, or developed unhealthy behaviors or dangerous eating disorders. The majority is in need of strategies or programs for weight loss management and assistance with developing healthy habits.
Some diet obsessively, excessively restricting calories and over-exercising every day. If your goal is to be healthy for life, this kind of behavior is not what you should engage in—in fact, it’s the exact opposite. When you eat too few calories, your body can go into starvation mode, and as a result, your metabolism will get sluggish. When you start eating a more normal, healthy amount of calories again, you’ll gain the weight back and possibly even more. It’s a vicious cycle.
A fundamental tenet that we tell everyone who comes into our nutrition counseling center is to trust your body. Listen to what it tells you. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry and stop eating when you’re full. That being said, there are some other factors that weigh in on the process, no pun intended.
Discovering the root of your unhealthy habits is essential to reaching your ideal weight. Once you identify this, you can put a plan in action through which you can use nutrition to achieve better health. We often forget that food is meant to be used as fuel, not for comfort or to cure boredom. So if you find yourself to be an emotional eater or binge when you’re stressed, take some steps to cope with those situations in ways that don’t involve food.
If your goal is to lose weight and become healthy for life, you’re much better off exercising when you feel stressed. If you’re not ready to commit to a workout program, perhaps learn how to meditate, go for a walk around the block or take time out to read a book. Also do things in advance to take care of yourself and prevent certain situations from getting to you, such a booking a weekly massage to de-stress or a manicure and pedicure.
A key component of diets and programs for weight loss management is to be sure to learn the difference between feelings of real hunger and cravings. Think about why you really want to grab that unhealthy food and then choose another mechanism for coping when you can sense that it’s a craving rather than your actual appetite. Once you realize that it’s all in the choices you make, you’ll feel more in control of your weight and your body.
Spend time focusing on getting a healthy body and create a manageable strategy through which you can use nutrition to achieve better health. Develop healthy eating habits and get active! Once you’ve begun the transformation, you’ll start feeling better and will create a strong, leaner body in the process.