Working from home and schooling from home. The very things that promote good health like activity and exercise, nutritious and controlled eating, and social interaction have fallen by the wayside. As things begin to open again, let’s take advantage and start by making healthy living THE priority.
Unfortunately, there has been a universal weight gain over the last 2 months. How do we deal with this and all of the negative ramifications that accompany it? First, steer clear from dieting. Diets are something you go on, and then go off. It isn’t a way of eating for life. Next, find a balanced eating plan best for health and weight loss. The plans that have proven to be beneficial to overall health and lead to weight loss are whole-food and plant-based.
Whole Food Plant Based eating
Whole Food Plant Based eating (WFPB), is the only way of eating shown to absolutely reverse heart disease and diabetes. It also is being used to lower blood pressure and reverse many symptoms of autoimmune diseases. On the preventative side, there is nothing better than a food plan full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, lentils, and some seeds and nuts. WFPB eating is a sustainable way to eat, satisfying, and calorie or portion counting is for the most part not important (except on fattier foods). It will get rid of the highly detrimental processed foods in your diet, too.
Here we go again
Even with this great way of eating, how can I be successful “this time” and not fall off my plan yet again? We are all human. We all have to make choices daily and sometimes we all make mistakes—ALL OF US!
How do we handle mistakes? Don’t be like my client Shelly used to be. Every time she was succeeding with her weight loss, she would make one tiny mistake and say “Oh, forget this!” Perfectionists bring unattainable demands on themselves and end up unhappy because they can rarely reach the levels they have laid out for themselves. Will a mistake cause us to lose perspective and go off the deep end, or is it something to learn from, put behind, and get back on track?
Unsuccessful weightwatchers don’t get back on track. They lose perspective and then they make poor decisions. According to Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist Dr. Judith Beck, they often tell themselves, This is terrible! I’m so weak – I can’t believe I did that! I might as well give up and eat whatever I want for the rest of the day, because starting tomorrow, I’ll have to cut my calories way back and deprive myself! What is interesting is that people trying to lose weight can be very rational and reasonable in other areas of their lives, but when they go off of their food program, they may end up compounding the first mistake with another and another.
Get back on track
Dr. Beck writes that in order to lose weight successfully, one must learn how to stop at the first mistake, put it in perspective, and recommit right away. It is, after all, a mistake, and that is all it is, so keep it relative. “Get Back on Track” is the mantra one needs to etch into his or her thinking. (My client Sheina learned how to do that and for the first time, was able to lose more than 15 pounds without turning back.)
There is always a temptation to do something radical after you’ve gone off. Not eating the next half day, going on a juice fast, taking off of work to run for 5 hours —DON’T! If you just eat healthfully and normally, that is the best thing for your body. The scale may take a day or two (or three) to reverse, but it will. Good eating and exercise is what works the best for slow, sustained and permanent weight loss.
Remember that we have mentioned many times that only 5% of the population really keep off their weight. They have 5 things in common (and pay close attention to number 5):
- Successful dieters solicit help. They look for “diet” and exercise buddies and are verbal about their actions, plans, and progress with their family and friends.
- The one thing all weight loss experts agree on is that planning and tracking your food and exercise is an invaluable tool. It creates mindfulness and awareness. These 5% don’t rely on chance. They understand what a portion is, either though measuring or eyeballing, but they know. And those portions are kept under control and done so without feeling deprived.
- Optimism and positive affirmations are used to make weight loss a positive experience. Successful dieters enjoy what they are doing and reap the fantastic benefits of living a healthier and longer life.
- Changes are made gradually. These 5% know there is no instant fix. They know that permanent change is gradual and it is a process. Too much, too soon is doomed to failure. So they take one step at a time.
- They do their best and when things go wrong and go back to their program. They know that we are all human beings and we all make mistakes. Each mistake should be another step to success. All or nothing won’t work. They get back on track every time.
There is no better time of the year to start a good exercise program. Walking is always a great way to start. Twice a week, do some muscle building exercises. You don’t have to join a gym. Learn how to do a proper muscle building routine and walk briskly to get the best results.
Exercise will help you feel renewed after this long period of isolation and restriction. So no matter how many programs you’ve been on, and how many times you’ve made mistakes in the past- GET BACK ON TRACK! Getting back on track will “add hours to your day, days to your year and years to your life.”