Top 10 Weight Loss Tips Part II
Last week in part I, we went over the first 5 tips for weight control, that is: Power Up with Protein, Curb the Crappy Carbs, Fat Friends and Foes, Harmonize Hormones and Move Those Muscles. Read last week’s post here. So we carry on from there. This is a bit of a longer post, but tough to shorten.
6. Crush Cravings
This seems to be the age-old question; why do we have cravings? Cravings are one of the most complicated aspects of weight control. While we may have good intentions, we are easily derailed by uncontrollable cravings.
Blood sugar crashes are a common cause of sugar cravings. Your body knows that the quickest way to raise blood sugar levels is with a quickly assimilated, easily digested simple carbohydrate, ie. “crappy carbs”. This means you need to eat enough balanced, quality meals regularly, before you are starving, to stave off these blood sugar crashes. If you give in to the sugar craving, you will continue the blood sugar roller coaster.
Nutritional deficiencies can cause cravings, which can be good if you really listen to your body’s cues. Our SAD (standard American diet), is devoid of many of the essential nutrients we need because of poor quality soil, industrialized production, excess processing and poor choices. So while many are over-fed and thus overweight, they are also undernourished.
Food sensitivities can cause cravings in the same way addictive substances can cause cravings. Our bodies are exposed to same foods day in and day out, where in the past we used to eat more seasonally. This sets us up for overuse sensitivities. If these foods aren’t digested properly, they can escape our digestive system and cause an immune response. Unfortunately, the symptoms associated with these sensitivities are relieved by consuming the offending food, hence the craving.
Emotional/spiritual longing – shame, fear, insecurity, anger can all cause an emotional craving for comfort foods. These may differ for all of us, but usually consist of high carbohydrate, possibly high fat, high sugar and/or high salt foods.
Lastly, there is the issue of careful product development. We all know the slogan “Bet you can’t eat just one!” Processed food manufacturers spend millions (possibly billions) of dollars researching new “recipes” to find that “bliss point” that will cause consumers to crave their newest products. This is why avoiding processed foods is the only strategy to avoid this trigger.
7. Slash Stress
The chart below shows the effects of our body’s being in stress or non-stressed mode.
Stress Mode Non-Stress Mode
Increased heart rate Rest
Increased blood pressure Repair
Dilated Lungs Digest/absorb/assimilate food
Stalled digestive function Heal
Sphincter contraction Detoxify
Our body can’t differentiate between types of stressors, so when we are under stress, the maintenance functions of our bodies’ doesn’t happen as it should. Additionally, we can’t operate in both modes at the same time. So when we are stressed, there will be no rest, repair, proper digestion, healing or detoxifying happening. We excrete cortisol to help fuel the adrenaline rush of the “emergency”, but when fight or flight doesn’t happen, that extra energy release isn’t burned as fuel, so insulin will jump in to deal with the excess, which is stored then as fat. If you do this day in and day out, you can guess the result. For some, this stress response will also cause cravings for high-glycemic foods.
Stress can be emotional, psychological, chemical, physical, immune, lifestyle, or food related.
Stress relieving activities are endless, and include pretty much anything that can distance you from your stresses. Some examples are: deep breathing, exercise (not excessive), clean water, whole foods eaten mindfully, happy thoughts, yoga, laughter, restful sleep, outdoors, hobbies, vacations, journaling and anything else that will induce relaxation.
A certain amount of stress is inevitable and necessary for survival, but make sure you balance it with stress relieving activities to allow your body’s natural maintenance routines to take place.
8. Love Your Liver
The liver is your body’s powerhouse performing more than 500 functions including: filtering toxins, regulating hormones, fats, proteins and sugars, regulating your mood and directing metabolic processes.
Many toxins are stored in your fat cells where they can be kept safely away from important functioning tissues and organs. When the toxic load is great, your liver is distracted with dealing with detoxification. Toxic stress leads to pancreatic dysfuntion, so insulin production is impaired, causing digestive issues, sluggishness, constipation etc. Overwhelming the liver also causes hormonal imbalance, inflammation, thyroid dysfunction and other issues. All of this can lead to weight gain and unless mitigated, the inability to lose weight. Performing some sort of detox protocol can help, but care must be taken to provide the right tools for the liver to do its job. See my post on detoxification.
A 3 step protocol for “loving your liver” includes reducing your toxic intake in your diet and your home and work environment; eating a healthy low toxin whole foods diet, along with moderate exercise; and supporting your liver with nourishing and detoxifying foods and supplements.
9. Fantastic Fibre
Tied somewhat to the detoxification theme is “fantastic fibre”.
Fibre binds to toxins to aid in their removal, gives you that full satisfied feeling, and improves eliminative function.
There are 2 types of fibre, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and tends to thicken into a gelatin-type substance when left to sit in liquid. You see it in oats, flax, chia, etc. Insoluble, doesn’t dissolve and passes through our bodies virtually undigested. We need a balance of both, and nature provides them in balanced form in most of our plant-based foods.
If you aim to get the recommended 25-35 grams of fibre mostly from food sources, your diet will naturally consists of the types of foods needed for healthy weight loss and maintenance. These foods include: whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Just remember to consume adequate liquids, otherwise, this fibre will attract fluid from your body stores and possibly lead to dehydration and bowel compaction. Be especially careful of fibre supplements such as psyllium, which can absorb 100x their volume in water. It is best to get your fibre from food sources.
10. Attitude adjustment
Make sure you set realistic goals with regard to weight loss and embark on such a lifestyle journey for the right reasons. In other words choose “I want to be fit and healthy” over “My husband wants me to lose a few pounds” or “I need to fit in to that dress for that wedding”
Don’t settle. You have a right to wellness rather than continuing with the present reality. You need to be fit and healthy to be the best you can be for your family, employer and for your own happiness.
Get support. Work with an expert (a holistic nutritionist, an exercise specialist, and possibly a therapist if there are emotional or psychological issues around your weight) and make sure you enlist the support of your family and friends, as your challenges will affect them along the journey and beyond. You need their support so they don’t distract or derail your efforts.
Stick with it. Don’t give up just because you fall off the wagon. Slow and steady wins the race. Make sure to have small realistic, manageable goals.
Set yourself up for success by preparing and visualizing. A lifelong change requires proper planning to foresee obstacles and prepare coping strategies before they occur. You need to imagine how your life will change when you make this commitment to yourself. Your friends may desert you because you won’t engage in previous self-defeating behavior. If your family is overweight, and not on board, they may complain about your food choices or ask when they get to eat “normal” food again. True success requires a lifestyle change and you need to ready for it in every way.
Contact me if you are interested in learning more about my 12 week Restoration Program (not just for weight loss).
#blisspoint, #healthyweightloss, #stressandweightloss, #fiberandweightloss, #attitudeforweightloss, #supportforweightloss, #cravings,
Tanya Sullivan is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant with many opinions on the state of our food and health.
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