Have you tried to lose weight, only only to end up putting it all back on -and more?
You are not alone. Almost all people who go on diets end up weighing more in the end. In fact a growing number of Canadians are obese, many dangerously so. Diets do not work.
Yes, it is difficult to remain disciplined, especially when it comes to getting enough exercise and avoiding eating too much (or too sweet) food. Don't try to do it all alone!
Here are some clues to why you've failed in the past. You may have experienced:
- Done the 'yo-yo' diet. This approach is used with anorexics. The more we vary the amount we eat the more the body will store energy (in
the form of fat) for the next time you "go on a diet"
- You crave sweets, carbs and salt -the addictive combo that drives us to over-eat and return to bags of chips and other packaged foods,
over and over and over again
Fat stores toxins. When you try to lose weight your body may notice more toxins are in circulation and so encourages you to eat more!
- You lack adequate emotional or relational support (you're unhappy)
- You are eating foods that don't suit your body type
- You may be unconsciously adding weight and becoming large in order to protect yourself (hide your inner self or some fear) or to feel
more powerful ("push my way")
- Your will-power and fear of what you are doing to yourself aren't as great as are your cravings, emotional triggers and shame
- You lack the required enzymes & good flora in your gut to lose weight (which is one reason some people rarely gain weight regardless
of how much they eat). Having too much bad gut flora often leads to other health issues, too
- You may have a food and/or sugar addiction that you don't realise (most of us are addicted to sugar, and underestimate how much of it we
Cycle: You eat in order to feel better, then gain weight, then feel even worse about yourself, then eat to feel better... (This is a key
component in all addictions.)
- You snack a fair amount, especially after dinner (which can mess with sleep, too)
- You are not getting enough (quality) sleep, triggering your hunger pangs, leading to poorer sleep and thus more hunger pangs...
- You don't eat breakfast, or mostly have a coffee and a piece of fruit or a bagel
OK. I identify with one or more of these problems. So what do I do about it?
To begin with, you need to approach your situation with courage, knowledge, and support. If you have failed in the past you will likely fail again unless you change your approach.
Here are some helpful ways to address the list above (in the order they appeared). Remember, this is not medical advice,
only a report of what has worked for many people. Do seek medical advice before doing anything drastic!
- Instead of trying to "diet" (reduce calories drastically) gradually increase the amount of exercise you're getting (if you seldom
exercise now). Don't do it all at once unless you are under medical care and are prepared for the inevitable challenges. Begin to change your diet to include more whole foods (not packaged ones),
including raw vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts
Wean yourself off of sugar, artificial sweeteners,
soft drinks (of all kinds), and white baked goods (try not eating wheat for a week to see if you feel much better -many are intolerant of wheat of any kind except the ancient varieties). When
ingested, white flour is quickly turned into sugar. 1. Sugar gives us a "hit" of energy, quickly followed by a sugar "low", leading to
the impulse to eat something to pick us up... And so on. 2. Sugar damages every part of our bodies, and increasingly is seen to be as
addictive as its cousin, cocaine! Just be aware that your brain will make you pay for ending your sugar/flour fix! 3. Sugar intake feeds harmful flora in your gut, creating
health problems and sugar cravings
- To detoxify you need to drink plenty of water through the day. This is how the body naturally expels toxins. There are a large variety of
ways you can assist this process. Consider having several Raindrop™ sessions; this is a gentle foot and back message using pure essential oils. It's like having a spa. Ask us about other ways
- The kind of support that works may vary. Some prefer one-on-one support, others do better in group settings. Monitor how you feel when
you binge eat: are you feeling sorry for yourself, stressed, lonely, unloved, unworthy, numb, wanting to escape? Effective relationship counselling is one of the most powerful ways to change this. Clearing your toxic
shame ("I'm not good enough") is also vital. Having at
least one person to whom you are accountable (not accepting your mind games that justify a lack of following through) makes a huge difference
- The best foods for any given person vary to some
degree. If you are "insulin resistant" (see more below) then you are best to avoid a diet high in carbs (and especially sugars, including dried fruit and fruit juice). If you have an "O" blood
type it may be difficult for you to stay on a meat-less diet; choose fish and poultry. Everyone benefits from eating from a wide variety of
fibres (vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes and whole grains to support a healthy gut flora and gain vitality. Some people report that
drinking green tea also helps to curb their appetite as the tea alters our metabolism (increases it), may slow down absorption of carbs and
does slightly increase fat oxidation, all assisting with weight control. Greatly reducing red meat consumption has been shown to help a lot.
- Getting to the underlying emotional and relational issues that lead to over-eating
(or eating poorly) is often important. Those who have suffered sexual or other traumas will often be over (or under) weight in adulthood. Trauma automatically creates toxic shame that leads to
harmful habits such as binge eating. Seek appropriate assistance so as to become more empowered over your own life
Food cravings are driven by the brain that loves sugars! This is not something to deny. So try using a variety of ways to reduce those
cravings such as getting tempting foods out of sight (and asking others in your home to help you with this), getting enough quality sleep (a lack of sleep often increases our cravings),
essential oils such as dill (placed on your wrists and inhale the aroma), staying away from food sources, finding pleasure doing
other things that don't involve food, getting enough exercise, outdoor activities, vitamin D, etc. so as to reduce depression and 'the blues,' and getting enough fresh air and light. The
Emotional Freedom Technique (also know as "tapping") works well for many triggers, including food cravings. We can teach you this simple, yet powerful, method -just contact us
Enzymes and probiotics are absolutely essential for a properly-functioning gut (which is where about 70% of our immune
system resides!). Those who have the right microbes are far more able to keep a healthy weight (which is likely why some people don't gain weight while others do). How to get these microbes?
Eat mostly fresh (preferably organic) vegetables and fruit, cut out refined sugars, avoid saturated fats (coconut may be an exception), take a high-quality probiotic (the more strains and
number of bacteria in each capsule/unit, the better), take digestive enzymes to get started, and make sure each meal has something raw in it (raw food usually contains enzymes). Sugars
reverse all of these benefits. Note: if you have digestive issues such as IBS, auto-immune illnesses and chronic inflammation you may need to first address these. Ask for some suggestions
Sugar is the western world's addiction. White sugar is closely related to cocaine. It's found in most processed foods, many salts (!),
baked goods, and far, far more. High glucose corn syrup is even worse. Artificial sweeteners often increase our food cravings! MSG does as well. Sugar not only messes with our digestion and immune system, it also reduces our mental abilities -and more. It also kills. Treat sugar as though you would any other addiction (smoking, drugs), and kick the habit! You will feel
better soon after you reduce your cravings.
Getting away from the cycle of eating, feeling bad, then eating more requires determination, support, and
finding alternative ways of pleasuring yourself. Consider getting counselling, especially around issues of shame, guilt, powerlessness/hopelessness and/or loneliness.
It is better for your body and fat burning if you eat your last meal at least 4-5 hours before going to
bed. No snacking after that! Many people report having more difficulty sleeping when they've eaten closer to bed-time, leading to more tiredness and hence more food and drink
cravings. Having a mini-fast (no food for 14+ hours) forces your body to burn fat and reduce your sugar cravings. How to reduce your appetite in the evenings? Some foods may help, such as
green tea. A whole line of essential-oil infused products called Slique™ can reduce your cravings. So may using the essential oil of dill (on the wrists and breathed in). Suggestion: before dinner drink some
Slique™ tea or gum. Head to bed at a decent hour, and sleep! Without a full belly of food (especially sweets!) you
will likely discover you sleep better, and thus likely have fewer cravings the next day...
Difficulty getting to sleep can be caused by many factors. Avoid eating in the evenings (see the bullet
above), avoid using the computer or watching TV at least two hours before going to bed, avoid being around blue lights, meditate or pray, create a I-am-grateful-for-list as you go to bed, get
some good exercise during the day (not before going to bed), avoid stimulants in the later part of the day (such as chocolate, black tea or coffee), improve your relationships (ask us about this), and be good to yourself (in healthy ways). Other natural herbs and oils may help such as Peace & Calming™, lavender, RutaVaLa™, valerian and SleepEssence™; just ask.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Seriously. Those who either skip it or eat/drink poorly for it are the most likely to suffer weight problems.
Breaking your fast (hence 'break-fast') needs to be done in such a way to get your digestion up and running for the whole day. If you want to enjoy fewer cravings then focus on eating good
protein. Mostly plant-based; animal proteins are not great. Take a probiotic and/or eat a fermented food as these replenish the helpful flora your gut needs to function well. Avoid sugar and
artificial sweeteners! If you have a grain-based food make sure it is made from the whole-grain (not processed or refined); avoid wheat unless it's of a heritage variety
Getting support from those with whom you live: begin by telling them what you are trying to accomplish, the challenges, and how they can help
you (especially by keeping tempting foods hidden and not offered).
Those who are not getting enough magnesium, suffering from toxins stored in their fat, not drinking enough
water (pH should be alkaline, and contain trace minerals such as magnesium), and not getting enough exercise (at least 20 minutes a day) will find it very difficult to lose unwanted weight in a healthy way.
In brief: eat mainly a diverse variety (and colourful) of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, probiotics and enzymes, get lots of exercise
and fresh air, hide or eliminate tempting foods, drink water (mineralised and alkaline), get enough sleep, don't snack in the evening, avoid sugar -and create healthy relationships that include
support for the changes you are making. Improve your relationships with others and yourself.
Still think that you are the only reason you can't lose unnecessary weight? There are many other factors at work. Following the suggestions
above can overcome these, but know why it has become harder in the last few decades to lose weight: Read the Obesity Era. You are not alone!! Yet, if you are fed up with how you feel about yourself you can beat the odds!
Remember, one of the hardest things to change is asking someone (or a group) to support you to reach your goals. Someone (or a group) who
will honestly encourage you, hold you to your action-plans, praise you, celebrate with you, and more!