Up until about two years ago, I can honestly say I don't remember not being on a diet... raise your hand if that's you?
Frankly we all know diets are shit because they’re a pain in the butt, they suck to be on, and ultimately they don’t work for the long term. You might lose some weight in the beginning, but every dieter knows that when the diet is over, the weight comes back and then more weight magically appears. And then getting rid of that weight is even harder than it was in the first place... and the yo-yoing of your life continues. Boo.
Diets are like an abusive relationship with yourself. You want it to work, so you try and it seems great for a while, then you are sad and surprised when it doesn't work and then you try something new.... and so on and so on until you vow never to go back and then you are sitting counting your calories, denying yourself food you are craving and punishing yourself for being so useless, all because you ate a Malteaser or gained a pound.
People diet because they want to loose weight, and let's face it the buzz of fitting into your clothes better, and getting compliments, not to mention the health benefits of weighing less are numerous - and I hear that, trust me - that used to be me.
My strong advise to you though is to pack up all those short term solutions into a box in the loft, and lets get serious. Are you ready to end this abusive relationship for good... are you ready to give up dieting and feel great about yourself and most likely loose weight? .... yassss... let's do this.
Ok - so we have broken up with dieting. Now what?
Let us turn our attention to three key principles of the new you. Move - Nourish - Believe
Now before you panic, I am not for one moment suggesting that you get on the treadmill and run like a crazy person. You can if you want, but in reality this has more to do with what you put in your mouth than how many miles you run to no-where in the gym. Trust me on this - hours of cardio is not your saviour. My personal hate for treadmills aside, exercise is great for lots of things. It keeps bones healthy and strong, it puts us in a good mood, and it gives us energy. But it is not the determining factor in whether or not we can fit the booty comfortably into those jeans from 10 years ago.
I love the gym, so I train hard 5 or 6 days a week but that is not for everyone. Commit yourself to 30 mins of active movement everyday. Start slowly and with something easy by walking more, or going for a bike ride, or a pilates or yoga session - do what suits you and your lifestyle. So sit less, walk more and you will notice a change not only in your body, but also in your mind.
Basically this comes down to the fact that losing weight in a way that’s healthy and sustainable has everything to do with the
quality of the calories that you eat and not about the quantity of the calories that you eat.
You need to shift your mindset and your previously terrible relationship with food - and nourish your body. Eat foods that fuel you and make you feel great, not bloated and gross. Eat foods that help you sleep, spark your brain power and enable you to be the best version of yourself.
Loosing weight is a by product of this shift in mindset, a good one, but it wont be your goal. Once you start nourishing your body instead of treating it like a rubbish bin, you understand how good you can feel and you never want to go back. The fact you are skinny now... kinda comes second.
When we eat the right stuff, we can eat the same amount or more than we’re used to eating and still lose weight until we reach the perfect weight for our frame. And then we just rest, at our ideal weight, sporting our favorite clothes and looking hot while doing it, without a hint of deprivation in sight.
Here comes the science.
When we make the swap from eating low fiber, high fat animal based foods and processed foods to eating high fiber, complex carbohydrate rich plant foods, we end up eating the same amount of food or more, but we eat far fewer calories in the process without even trying.
This is because one gram of fat packs in 9 calories, whereas one gram of carbohydrate has only 4 calories. And our body tells us to stop eating based on the weight of each meal, not the calories consumed in each meal. Since a whole food, plant based diet is focused around complex carbohydrates, not fat (like diets that incorporate animal based foods and processed foods), we can eat until we’re totally satisfied, never count calories or macronutrients and still lose weight. This is because we’re eating the same amount of food but consuming half the calories. Sounding pretty good so far right....??
When we eat the right fuel, weight loss is almost automatic.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind. The way of eating that helps us easily lose weight and keep it off is the same way of eating that lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, protects us from chronic illness and disease, makes our skin glow and boosts our immune system.
I promise I am not about to start spouting endless crap about how you need to embrace your inner goddess and I have absolutely no interest in cleansing your energy but ultimately life is hard, and a lot of your problems are because of you and how you have dealt with them. That's life. That's what makes us human - what defines you is how you deal with the cluster fuck that you go around in. The final pillar of the new you, is belief - not just in yourself, but in what you are doing, what you are trying to achieve and where you are going.
Next time you eat a doughnut instead of an apple, let it go - life's to short. Next time you don't work out, because you don't feel like it - leave it alone - there is more important things to stress about. Next time you pour a glass of wine instead of having a green tea - move on. Listen to your body, believe what it is telling you and don't let the voice in your head (you know the one that thinks your crap at life) overwhelm you.
And in turn, when you cook a fabulous plant based meal and everyone enjoys it, congratulate yourself - you are winning at life right now. Or when you put on your favourite skinny jeans and you look good - take a photo and show the world - you earned that right, and take the compliments from people with a smile in the knowledge that you do look good, you do feel good, and you are bloody proud of yourself.
Our thoughts lead to our feelings.
Our feelings lead to our actions.
our actions lead to our results.