Pesach (Passover) is now behind us. Many of us have been over-eating or were inactive, both before and during the holiday. Although the incentive might be there to start taking better care of our health and to lose weight (your clothes may be tight), it can be difficult to revive healthy habits.
Now is the time to get back on track!
The weather is warming up, getting outdoors will be easier, and the extra bit of appetite from the cold winter won’t be a factor. Let’s take a look at how we can accomplish this.
Step 1: Say “No!” to dieting
When you go on a diet, you are not just fighting your taste buds. You are fighting a high-powered signal from your brain all the time. Using willpower only works for so long. Multiple studies have shown that willpower is a short-term tool at best. Diets often mean you are still eating most foods, just less of them. Alternatively, you are doing something worse—you are eliminating an entire class of foods that your body needs to function normally.
The failure comes as this point: vital nutrients are missing, willpower is finished, and you can no longer sustain your diet. In your break down, everything becomes permissible again (that feeling of “eating everything in sight” sets in).
Okay, no diets. Now what?! How do I lose weight, prevent and even reverse disease, and be satiated if I don’t do a diet?
Step 2: Go for nutrient dense foods
Eating a lot of foods that are nutrient dense, full of fiber, and water heavy, will automatically crowd out high calorie and unhealthy choices. A plant-heavy diet, meaning mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains (preferably intact), legumes and lentils with a small amount of nuts and seeds will keep you trim, healthy, and never hungry. Also, these are the foods that are not addictive.
Keep processed foods out of the diet. Make a real effort to keep animal proteins and dairy products to a minimum.
Step 3: Learn from mistakes. Gain perspective.
How can I be successful “this time”?
We are all human. We all have to make choices and sometimes we make mistakes—ALL OF US! So how do we handle mistakes? Are mistakes something which will cause us to lose perspective and go off the deep end? No, mistakes need to be used to get back on track.
Don’t lose perspective!
According to Cognitive Behavioral Psychologist Dr. Judith Beck, to lose weight successfully, one must learn how to stop at the first mistake, put it in perspective, and recommit right away. So when the inevitable happens, and you’ve eaten an entire box of cookies or have missed consecutive days of even minimal exercise, just write yourself a positive note like, “I can succeed” or “now’s the time to improve.” Read it a few times and hang it up in a place where you will see it. When you wake up the next morning, just simply get back on your program.
Step 4: Slow and steady wins the race…
There is always a temptation to do something radical after you’ve gone off your food or exercise program. Not eating the next half day, going on a juice fast, taking off of work or school and running for 5 hours, or going on a “detox” diet…Don’t do these kind of things!!
Eating well and selecting healthy choices, 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 and is always what works the best for slow, sustained, permanent weight loss.
One other little tip to help you: stop eating by 7:00-7:30 at night. You can still drink, but stop your solid food intake. Give your body a break from food for 12-14 hours every night.
As we mentioned earlier, the warmer weather and post-holiday time is the best time of the year to start a good exercise program. Walking is always a great way to start daily exercising and at least twice a week, do some muscle building exercises. You don’t have to join a gym.
We can all follow through on our resolve to improve our health and wellbeing. Let’s take the right steps and make our changes really stick! At The Wellness Clinic we provide one-on-one guidance to help bring lasting change and success. Wishing you enduring success in your health and weight loss journey! Getting back on track using the steps outlined above will help you “add hours to your days, days to your years, and years to your life.”