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!
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.
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!