The Topic of Weight Loss
Weight loss is an interesting topic. It’s both one of the most taboo and most talked about things in modern society.
Have you seen how many weight loss advertisements are on American television alone? It’s like 1 in 3 commercials is a diet pill or plan.
Don’t quote me on that statistic. I made it up. But seriously, you’d be hard pressed not to see at least 1 advertisement every time your show has a commercial break.
Since we’re talking about it so much, I figured I’d add my two cents based on what I’ve researched and tried on my own journey. Since, you know, I’m opinionated as hell and I always have something to say.
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A NUTRITIONIST AND I AM CERTAINLY NOT YOUR DOCTOR.
I will always encourage you to do your own research, not just take what anyone says and run. Health & nutrition are too important to take lightly.
So take what I say with a grain of salt. Try some things out, but don’t keep doing anything that’s not working for you.
Let’s get into it…
1. Get Rid of Your Scale
The last time I was weighed was at my doctor’s office. I can’t remember when I last weighed myself. And do you know why?
Because unless your doctor or a medical professional has given you reason why you should, you do not need to be obsessing about the number on the scale.
Seriously. All it’s gonna do is stress you out more.
Plus, there’s the little inconvenience of weighing different amounts throughout the day. Unless you want to plan the exact time you weigh yourself everyday (which come on, life is hard enough), just let it go.
It’s not that important.
And if you become obsessed with that number on the scale and watching it go down, you could end up distracting yourself from your main goal, which should be to get healthy.
So again: see your doctor and get yourself weighed there. If there’s no cause for concern, then don’t concern yourself.
Concentrate on how you feel. Your body knows what it needs to be healthy; listen to it.
2. Avoid Crash Diets Like The Plague
We’ve all tried one at one time or another…
Now, let me be clear: I do think that cleanses and fasting can be beneficial. We do eat a lot of crap these days, and sometimes the only way to flush all (or most) of that out is to let your body concentrate only on those toxins.
It takes a lot of energy to digest and break down food, which is probably why you feel so groggy and heavy when you eat certain things. So a short fast or cleanse can allow your body to concentrate on breaking down and flushing out anything it couldn’t before.
But I’m talking a day, maybe two, tops. Any more than that, I’d talk to your doctor first.
And most doctors ain’t fans of the crash diets, either. You can’t make a healthy lifestyle change out of them. The only goal is to lose a lot of weight fast, which can be really unhealthy and even ineffective in the long run.
Unless you’re able to make a change that you can maintain, you’ll probably just gain all the weight back anyway. And then you’ll have tortured yourself for nothing.
Conclusion? I don’t fucks wit pills, lemonade diets, SlimFast, or any of that. My recommendation? You shouldn’t, either.
3. Eat Healthily, Eat Often
I’m gonna say something I always say: crowd out, don’t cut out.
Remember in the last section when I mentioned making a lifestyle change you can stick with? This is how you do it. You start gradually replacing your meals and snacks with healthier options.
I LOVE to eat smoothies or fresh fruit in the mornings. Plain and simple, nothing added. But it was a process getting to that point. I had to “train” myself to enjoy plain blueberries as a snack.
I basically had to take the easiest meal of the day (breakfast, for me) and start replacing it with simple smoothies. From there, I’d start packing my lunch, which was basically just a series of healthy snacks I could graze on throughout the day.
My favorite snacks are dates. Great for calories; eat 2 or 3 for a snack and you should be good for like an hour or 2.
Which leads me to my next point: I don’t count calories. Haven’t for 3 years now (since starting my health/fitness journey).
The way I see it, counting calories is a pretty damn miserable way to lose weight. It’s easier (and more satisfying) to retrain your taste buds to like simple, healthy foods.
I eat what I want when I want, and now, I’ll go for something like fresh fruit or sauteed veggies. And I don’t seem to have any problems keeping off unnecessary weight, even when I’m not exercising as much as I’d like.
4. Exercise Regularly
I’m not gonna tell you how to get a hard body and arms like Michelle Obama because, frankly, I don’t have any of that, either.
Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate that kind of hard work and dedication, but I just don’t have it. I like to sweat and I like to build heat in my muscles, but I’m not training to win any marathons or anything. Working out until a feel like I’m gonna puke is not ideal.
So this is for those of us who only want to work out 2 or 3 times a week or everyday for 20-30 minutes, which is enough.
It is so much better to push yourself really hard for a short amount of time than to half-ass it for an hour.
What do I do? 20-30 minutes of Vinyasa yoga a day. Get that blood moving and that heat generated without killing myself.
That’s good enough.
5. Rest and Destress
Allow yourself to rest. Even the most powerful of athletes have days when they don’t set foot in a gym.
But I’m not just talking about physical labor. Have one day a week where you take a break from everything that’s pressuring you in life.
When you’re stressed out and tired, your body is essentially a hormone-and-chemical casserole (thank you, Grey’s Anatomy for the inspo behind that line).
Similar to when you don’t eat, your body goes into panic mode. The chemicals released when you’re stressed are trying to prepare your body for a trying time, whatever that might be: famine, harsh elements, long journeys…
Back when we were running around in the wild and hunting and stuff, this was great. It helped us reserve and hold on to energy and calories to prep for whatever hard stuff was waiting for us. Now, it just tends to make us fat and unhappy.
Don’t be fat and unhappy. Give yourself a break.
6. Give Yourself a Cheat Day
Ok, THIS part is my favorite. Give yourself a day to eat whatever the hell you want to eat.
People tend to underestimate just how effective a cheat day can be. This is gonna help you stick with your healthy eating throughout the week. It helps you reinforce the “crowd out” method and keeps you from feeling like you’re depriving yourself.
Don’t worry about diet, don’t worry about losing weight, just treat yourself. One day a week. Maybe on your rest day.
So you can still have cake, but as a reward for being good all week ;).
In general, stop worrying about it and just live…
Once you start integrating healthier habits, just let the rest of it go.
I think the key to losing weight is to not try to lose weight. If a doctor has told you that you need to, then by all means, lose weight as fast as you can to get to a healthier goal weight.
But do not obsess over the numbers on a scale. Concentrate on living your best life, doing your best, and feeling your best.
Drop me a comment and tell me what you think!