Spring is here! That means the birds are a singin' the sun is shining and the temperature is going up! Are you already breaking into a cold sweat over the loss of bulky winter sweaters and your favourite jeans and the need to move into less clothes and even the dreaded swimsuit? If you are like the majority of my world you want to head into spring and summer feeling confident and proud of the way you look and that can mean a desire to lose weight.
Now I truly believe that there is no 'perfect weight' and that everybody is unique and should be proud of who they are. But let's get a little real-extra weight is a self conscious thing for a lot of us and we would love to know the secret to shedding those lbs and looking and felling great in whatever summer throws our way
So-what IS the secret? Well-I hate to say it but there ISN'T one and beware of anyone selling you something that says otherwise. No pill, meal supplement or other 'system' is going to work magically and get rid of your excess lbs with no extra effort-and if they do there is no way you're keeping it off after you stop buying whatever magically worked in the first place. Losing weight and gaining it all back again is one of the hardest experiences for your body (and wallet) to go through (new sizes don't come cheap in all your fave brands). It sends your hormones completely out of whack and actually increases your fat storage capability after-this means it's even easier to gain weight when you are a serial yo-yo dieter.
So what can you do? You have to understand how your body works in the first place. Your body needs a lot of energy just to maintain basic functions like breathing and digesting. This is called your RMR. Plus it needs calories to cover the extra things you want to do like go for a run or dance all night: when you add these two together this is the amount of energy (or calories) you need to maintain your weight. Any lower and you start to lose and any higher and you gain. Sounds pretty simple but of course there's more to it. If you start regularly eating too few calories, instead of burning extra fat your body will kick into fat storage mode and actually manufacture as much fat as possible (this would have evolved over times of famine and the importance of conserving whatever energy we were able to find). The other big factor is your hormones-if you are stressed out, or eat food which spikes your blood sugar your body releases insulin which is your fat storage hormone-so again instead of losing you gain fat.
So now that you know what NOT to do-what's left? It's all about eating the right amount of (healthy) fats, protein and carbohydrates, avoiding over processed foods and empty calories and maintaining steady blood sugar (plus balancing out and extra factors your may have like estrogen imbalances, etc). Sound simple? No? Good-it shouldn't! It is definitely a complicated process which is why people are always looking to sell you the latest magic pill! Recognize that there isn't an easy fix, but that by listening to your body and making a few healthy changes you can be on your way!
So here's what to do: try these steps first:
- Cut out everything processed. Seriously-it is not helping you and IS actively hurting you. Processed food is usually stripped of nutrients and will also spike your blood sugar. It is also usually super saturated with calories or flavour which can completely throw off your hunger/full cues (there are hormones for that)!
- Eat food-especially fat! Seriously-do the opposite of starving yourself. Try to choose meals with healthy fats, some complex carbs and good protein. Your cell membranes are made of fat, your brain is 60% fat and your hormones are made of fat. You literally need good quality fat to live-AND if you do lose weight and don't eat enough fat you are literally inviting that tell tale sagging skin. Healthy fats can include avocado, coconut oil, olives and good quality meat. For snacks try sticking to fresh fruit, veggies and hummus. Oh-and if you are really craving something try to have the healthiest version of that thing-and try to keep it at a little bit. If you give in to cravings on a small scale instead of denying yourself, you are less likely to binge eat and go completely off the rails later.
- Drink water. Don't drink pop, juice or any other empty calories. It's amazing how much we consume in the form of beverages. Cut that out and miracles may happen.
- If you do all of the above and still need some help call me (or someone like me who you know like & trust)! We can figure out pretty quickly what's going wrong and set you up to succeed!
The most important thing is to know that it isn't hopeless and even better-once you drop the extra weight the HEALTHY way you won't have to do it again-you'll finally know your bodies 'secret' formula and can always take it back to square one when you get off track!
Thoughts? Questions? Ask me in the comments!