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Let’s talk about weight loss

November 8th, 2018 | no comments

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If you are serious about losing weight, I need you to really tune into what I am about to say…

Stop trying to lose weight.

Wait…what?

The one thing that really plucks at my heartstrings is when I hear someone—be it friend, family, or complete stranger—announce they just started a new weight loss program. Maybe they are counting calories with their brand new calorie-tracking app, or perhaps choosing to follow a “keto” or “paleo” plan. Whatever the method, it gets to me every time.

Why do I get so emotional? Because I know where this diet will eventually lead them.

Sure they’ll plug along just fine for a week or so, meticulously measuring their portions with their perfectly calibrated food scale, scanning every label for the presence of carbs, and entering every morsel of ingested food into their phone. But what they don’t see is that “thing” bubbling beneath the surface of their skin.

They don’t see it, but I do.

I’m referring to that quiet, subtle brewing of discontent.

A yearning for normalcy.

A desire to turn back the clock and transport themselves to simpler times—when they could trust their body to tell them what it needed, how much it needed, and when to put the fork down. No, it wasn’t a reaching of their assigned calorie limit that guided them to stop eating, it was their brilliantly tuned-in body.

But because they proceed with the diet and fail to listen to this quiet unsettled calling, they end up sabotaging their efforts. You see, nothing about what they are doing is natural, so they subconsciously rebel. It’s like an invisible force pulling them to the pantry for chocolate chip cookies or driving their car to the nearest drive-thru and before they know it, are elbow-deep in a greasy bag containing French fries and God knows what else.

No human being is a match for this force. And no, the answer won’t be found in another diet…that will only add fuel to the force.

So how do you break free from it?

Take yourself back to your earliest recollection as a child and learn from your younger self. Think about it, as a child:

  • You did NOT diet or try to lose weight. Without question, you trusted your body to tell you when to put the fork down. You listened and naturally settled into the weight your body was comfortable with.
    • Think you can’t do this as an adult? Think again. In fact, it’s the only way out of your self-constructed, weight-cycling prison. Newsflash: if you’ve been on the same weight loss plan more than once, and you keep returning to it every time you put on a few pounds, that plan is NOT working! Oh no it’s not.

 

  • You did NOT label food as good or bad (and if you did…I’m sorry you had to go through that as a child). Food was food. If you ate a few pieces of Halloween candy, you didn’t follow it up with feelings of guilt and 30-minutes on the treadmill. You ate your vegetables, and although they didn’t even come close to comparing to that Halloween candy, you knew darn well vegetables were good for you and eating them meant you would grow up strong like Popeye.
    • Yes, certain foods will destroy your health if you overdo them on a regular basis. And of course there are foods that will totally rock your health when eaten consistently. But for heaven’s sake, please stop with the labels! The only purpose they serve is to make you feel like a loser when you eat a so-called “bad” food. Just stop it! 

 

  • You did NOT forbid yourself from eating certain foods because they had too many calories, carbs, fat grams, etc. Maybe your parents forbid you from eating certain things, like chocolate…and you remember how that turned out right? Once you got your hands on some, you inhaled it like a Hoover!
    • We humans thrive on the ability to choose. Take that right away and I’ll bet you wind up eating the forbidden food in a quantity five times larger than if you didn’t forbid it in the first place. This is so important. The beauty is, nine times out of ten you’ll find that once you’re “allowed” to have it, you really don’t even want it. It’s all about the power of choice. 

Can you wrap your beautiful head around this? Do you get it? Are you willing to look at food and your body through a totally new pair of eyes? Are you finally willing to trust your body in all of its brilliance like you did so effortlessly as a child? 

But wait a minute Melanie, surely what I eat matters. I know I can’t survive on jelly doughnuts and expect to enjoy good health.

Listen, the basics of healthy eating aren’t rocket science: eat oodles of plants, go easy on the sweets, drink lots of water, etc. You know this stuff. Even if you only get it 50% right and do so consistently, you are doing a good job. But consistency is a foreign concept to the individual who hasn’t yet embraced and embodied the above bullet points. It starts there. 

To help your body return to the weight that it is most comfortable (and stay there), you don’t need another diet. You need to listen to and trust your beautifully brilliant body like your life depends on it. Otherwise be prepared to ride that diet train right to the grave.

 

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Mushrooms

You’ve probably heard at least one health professional suggest you stay away from all white foods. After all, bread, flour, pasta, and sugar—all foods that can spike your blood sugar if you aren’t careful—are white. But what about those Earthfoods that happened to be white? Think garlic, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, and mushrooms?

Mushrooms are incredible. Technically a fungus,  they are one of the most health-promoting foods on earth.

Even though they are white, mushrooms pack as many antioxidants as those colorful fruits and vegetables we are told to eat more of, such as peppers, carrots, berries, and tomatoes. 

Here are just a few of the known benefits of mushrooms:

  • Give your immune system a boost.
  • Improve the health of your gut: mushrooms are a powerful prebiotic, which is like fertilizer to help grow the good bacteria in your body.
  • Weight management: mushrooms may alter your gut bacteria in ways that help promote a healthy weight. 
  • Cancer prevention: Research suggests mushrooms may protect against breast and other hormone-related cancers because they inhibit an enzyme called aromatase, which produces estrogen.

Enjoy mushrooms in sautes, stir fries, casseroles, and soups. Check out this week’s recipe pick for: 30-Minute Immune Boosting Mushroom Soup below. Whatever you do, be sure to eat mushrooms in the cooked form. According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content.

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
30-Minute Immune-Boosting Mushroom Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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