Summer is here and we’re all thinking about losing weight!

Summer is here and we’re all thinking about losing weight we may have gained 29841189_sduring the winter or the weight we’ve wanted to lose for years. We want to look good at the beach, on the golf course and in those cute summer clothes.  Unfortunately, all of these summer activities cause so much anxiety because we think we need to lose weight and the pressure is on to do so! But all prior attempts have not resulted in the outcome we want.  What to do???

The intentions are there to get rid of that weight but what is stopping us, why is it just outside of our grasp? Why aren’t any of the diet programs working in the long term? Everyone has to answer that question themselves but I would venture to say that we’re just going about it the wrong way. Losing weight takes a lot more than following a low calorie weight loss plan and upping our exercise. It takes becoming more in tune with our bodies and our emotions.

To help you get started on your weight loss journey, here are the top 3 things you can do to start.

1. Keep an eating journal for 2 weeks. I know, I know, recording what you eat is a real drag but it’s the only way to get back in touch with your body and your emotions when it comes to eating. The journal can help you recognize patterns. Do you overeat at night? Do you get off course during the day if you don’t have breakfast? Are you eating when you are experiencing a particular emotion or situational trigger like stress at work? To help you do this, here is a link to the Eating Journal I created where it prompts you to not only record your food but your hunger levels, eating speed, feelings before and after each meal and what happened during the day that was non-food related.  Click here to get the FREE Eating Journal!

2. Review your eating journal after a week and then after two. What have you noticed? Do you feel hunger before eating? Are you a fast eater? Do you eat more on the weekends when you’re not as busy as during the week? Once you identify patterns, you can brainstorm strategies to get more in tune with your hunger cues. Pay particular attention to what you recorded AFTER you ate. Did you feel better or less full after having a balanced meal containing protein, healthy fat and healthy carbohydrates than if you had a meal high in fat, carbs, salt and sugar? If the answer is yes, you can begin to make food choices on what made your body FEEL better rather than on what your brain tells you tastes better. Make sense?

3. Ease your way into weight loss. How many times have you started a cleanse where calories are severely restricted or food is off limits all together in order to get a head start on shedding those pounds? How many times did you binge on the weekend before you started the weight loss diet on Monday? If you’re like me, there are far too many times to count!  Did those strategies get you where you wanted to be? No, I didn’t think so…me either. Remember, weight loss is a journey of self-discovery and we all know that self-discovery takes some time and effort. Taking the time to understand who you are as an eater, what your true feelings are around food and what eating habits you’ve developed over time will go a long way in helping you lose weight and keep it off for good.

Notice that these tips mention nothing about restricting your food or increasing your exercise. There’s time for that but you will only be successful if you tune in to your body and feelings, eat intuitively and stop beating yourself up around food. Once you gain this critical understanding, you can begin to gently and compassionately decrease calorie intake in a way that is sustainable for weight loss and life.  Even though you won’t be starting the weight loss journey in the typical way, you will emotionally feel better that you are starting in a DIFFERENT way.

Good luck and let me know how it goes. Head to my Facebook page by clicking here to share your Eating Journal insights…I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered about yourself as an eater!

Weight Loss: Mind over Science?

Is weight loss really about mind over science?  I’m not sure that either is more important than the other but one typically gets left out of the equation and that is the powerful force of the mind. 

Weight loss is quite simple if you look at the science of it all…calories in and calories out!

Copyright : George Tsartsianidis

Copyright : George Tsartsianidis

So why is it so elusive and difficult to achieve? It’s difficult because we make it hard through our mindset. All the gimmicks out there promising weight loss are just different ways of regulating calories in and calories out so they should all work, right? Wrong!  Because they don’t help us address the most vital piece of the puzzle which is getting our thoughts and mind in alignment with what we truly want… to lose weight.

It comes down to emotional eating. Wanting that piece of chocolate or choosing a side of fries over a side salad is not just about the taste of the food, it’s about our thoughts around that food. Our bodies are crying out for nutritious food that fuels our body, not for greasy, fat-laden goodness. If we looked at food purely as an energy source to keep our bodies energized and organs flowing smoothly, we would inevitably choose the healthiest, highest quality food out there. But our thoughts don’t allow it. If we were truly using food as it was intended, without the interference of thoughts or emotion, we wouldn’t have a U.S. populace that is 1/3 obese.

So, what do we do? Well, it’s not trying (and most often failing) another weight loss program that doesn’t address WHY we eat. The winning combination is undertaking a sensible meal plan that promotes the practice of healthy and mindful eating and gets to the root cause of why we want the fries over the salad.

Here’s how to start getting that winning combination:

1. A mindful eating practice is being aware of “calories in and calories out.” If you want to lose weight calories in need to be less than calories out – simple. Awareness is the key here. Ask yourself how many calories you’re taking in each day…I think you’ll be surprised at how many calories you’re eating. Please don’t make the mistake of using this as the next weight loss “quick fix’ because willpowering your way through eating as few calories as possible can backfire quickly. Use this calorie information as a guide to make better food choices.

Copyright : Krasimira Nevenova

Copyright : Krasimira Nevenova

2. Address the emotional eating and change your mindset around food. If you’re lusting after a high caloric food with little to no nutritional value, then something is at play with your thoughts around the food or your emotional state. Are you thinking that you NEED the fries because they are off the “diet” and they are forbidden? Are you substituting food for lack of intimacy? Are you stressed, bored or habitually eating because watching TV just begs for chips?

Until you become aware of what you’re doing with food RIGHT NOW, you can’t possibly create a plan that will get you to your weight loss goal. Be aware and gain this understanding without judgment. Once you are “in the know” you can begin to craft strategies (they’ll be even more effective with the help of a Binge Eating & Weight Loss Coach such as myself ;)) that will gently and compassionately help you shed those pounds…for good. You will begin to understand who you are as an eater which is made up of the foods you eat and why you eat them.

Once the root cause is understood, you can begin to address weight concerns by pulling up the root and re-planting it with normal, healthy and nutritious eating. So, get those gardening gloves out and meet me in the garden!

Finances and Weight Loss Go Together?

How are finances and weight loss related?  Can addressing discombobulated or neglected finances have an effect on your relationship with food or keep you from weight loss? Absolutely, because disorganized finances create stress. We all know that stress can shut down digestion and decrease metabolism causing us to hold extra weight (for a more detailed description of how stress affects the body, click here). The self-inflicted stress caused by sloppy finances is so common because we are either intimidated by managing our money or don’t have enough of it.  But, it’s not as hard or as intimidating as you may think as our guest blogger, Susan Glusica, Financial Representative with Wealth Advisory Group LLC in New York, shares a few tips on how to take control of your financial future.

Since most people in America today spend more time planning vacation, which is pleasurable and immediately rewarding, than they do on planning for retirement [Source: “American’s Spend More Time Planning Vacations Than Retirement” June 23, 2014, www.businessinsider.com/americans-plan-vacations-over-retirement-2014-6]—which is ironic because the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be—here are the top three uncommon ways I seek to help my clients overcome financial stress:

  1. As an experienced professional, who also is a coach, I consistently seek to inject Money Tree Blog imageawareness and transparency around money. This means being able to see your financial picture or snapshot virtually anytime or anywhere you are. Because, let’s face it, unless you know exactly where you are today, and understand how you got there, you are likely unable to improve your ability and potential to build wealth. And sure, money isn’t everything, but it sure helps your stress level if you are growing yours smartly!
  2. Another important part of our process is helping clients prioritize, or “chunk,” their financial plan actions. In order to best set oneself up for success and help reduce financial stress, we encourage clients to share what their dreams, goals, and aspirations are, so we can help them set up a custom, prioritized and optimal way forward to help ensure those are met, which automatically includes their needs. Think about it. Wouldn’t you be more likely to stay on track financially if you knew that your plan would work no matter what, to the extent possible, and if there were attainable milestones or stages along the way?
  3. We teach our clients about three types of leverage which their financial plan should strive to engage for optimal results. One of these is leveraging other people’s time (or OPT). When you collaborate with an experienced resource, it typically leads to more optimal results because you enhance your efficiencies and don’t have to go it alone, thus giving you potentially greater results than you would have or could have achieved on your own. What if you knew you could access this leverage with no obligation and little to no out-of-pocket cost? What if that way, you could learn and apply some of the wealth building approaches of the affluent?

Obviously, we have just scratched the surface, so I look forward to becoming an additional financial resource to your readers and help you begin to overcome financial stress!

The first and hardest step in unraveling the quagmire of your finances is asking for help.  But that step is worth it because you stand to gain financial security and a better metabolism. Having more money AND losing weight? What could be better than that?

Susan Glusica is Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Wealth Advisory Group LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Guardian.

2014-11994 Exp. 9/2016