Are you looking for a handy list of healthy foods that will help you lose weight naturally? You won’t exactly find that here – but you just might find something even better! The 6 tips you’re about to discover are quite different than a list of foods, and are some of the important missing ingredients when it comes to natural weight loss. That’s because they’re the underlying practices that truly support sustainable and natural weight loss. Let us know what you think:
1. TRUST YOUR BODY
This is step number one, because if we want to truly create natural weight loss, we need to believe that it’s even possible. We need to know that our body is not at war with us, that it’s not fighting our weight loss efforts. The body is always doing the best it can to make us feel healthy and safe. When we can trust our body, listen to it, and respect its innate wisdom, we relax on a deep level. From that place, natural weight loss is possible. Some of the best things in life happen to us because we trusted.
2. EAT SLOWLY
Slowing down means sitting down when we eat, and truly relaxing. It means chewing our food and breathing. It means putting our fork down between bites and being present while we eat. Slowing down is the first step in supporting good digestion. When we eat slow and in a nourished way, our appetite is naturally regulated, our digestion is empowered through the physiologic relaxation response, and we can enjoy what we eat without hungering for more because we missed the eating experience by munching our meal too quickly. Simply put, natural weight loss is accelerated by good digestion.
3. EAT REAL FOOD
The diet and food industry has responded to our desire to lose weight with some very strange diet-foods. We’ve got a myriad of low fat foods, artificially sweetened food, and reduced-calorie foods that are supposed to help us lose weight, but the notion that eating low-calorie, highly processed foods will help us lose weight, and keep it off, is outdated. When we eat poor quality foods, they don’t satisfy or sustain us, so we eat more. Quite literally, when the brain senses that we are nutrient deprived, because of low quality food, it signals us to eat more. That’s one of the reasons why so many people can eat a large portion of poor quality chips, or cookies or soda, and still feel hungry. If instead, we reach for fresh, whole, organic, local, and nutrient-dense real foods, we feel more satisfied and more deeply nourished. Our appetite lets us know we have indeed received the nutrition we need and signals our awareness when it’s naturally time to stop eating, and move on to the next part of our glorious day. For natural weight loss, choose truly natural food - it’s so much more delicious.
4. ENJOY FOOD FULLY
Truly savoring our food allows us to activate the part of our nervous system that tells our body it’s time to digest and gets our natural weight loss machinery – our metabolism – humming along. The key to really relishing each and every bite we take is to slow down and sink into the experience of our senses. Every time we step into appreciating the colors, smells, and textures of the food in our mouth, as well as the taste, of course, we promote natural weight loss. Pleasure promotes a relaxation response, which is the state of parasympathetic dominance where digestion, assimilation, and non-exercise calorie burning is most efficient.
5. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Self-criticism often goes hand in hand with wanting to lose weight. Our self-talk – the internal dialogue of what we say to ourselves when looking in the mirror – can often be a little vicious and mean. In fact, our body perceives our self-criticism as an attack and responds accordingly. We shift into a fight or flight stress response. Our body moves its energy and blood flow to our arms and legs so we can run from our perceived threat. In this survival mode, we artificially limit assimilation, digestion and normal calorie burning capacity. The bottom line here is this: self-criticism reduces our ability to shed weight. If you want to support natural weight loss, try looking in the mirror with some self-compassion and kindness.
6. STOP TRYING SO HARD
We often try so hard to lose weight. We try to rally our willpower. We pull out the scales and measuring cups. We obsess about the grams and calories. We even get really critical with ourselves in the hopes that we can bully ourselves into eating less. Have you tried this strategy before? If we stop trying so hard and actually be gentle and compassionate with ourselves instead, we’re much more able to trust our body, slow down, enjoy our food, and help our body to shift into natural weight loss. If negative self talk was a successful and effective permanent weight loss strategy, it would have worked long ago.
A list like this may seem daunting, and it may seem easier sometimes to simply stick with the celery sticks, but if we want real, lasting, natural weight loss, we have to jump into more meaningful self-work.
At the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, we train our practitioners in natural weight loss approaches that are honest, doable, sustainable, and truly nourishing for body and soul. Please consider using some of these strategies and let us know what happens.
If you’re interested in learning more about our Eating Psychology Coach Certification Training, or any of our other offerings please sign up for our free information packed video series called “The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough” here or email us at [email protected] to learn more.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out our FREE information packed video series – The Dynamic Eating Psychology Breakthrough – you can sign up for it HERE. It’s a great way to get a better sense of the work we do here at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. If you’re inspired by this work and want to learn about how you can become certified as an Eating Psychology Coach, please go HERE to learn more. And if you’re interested in working on your own personal relationship with food, check out our breakthrough 8-week program designed for the public – Transform Your Relationship with Food HERE.