Let’s talk about weight, a touchy subject. Before we dive in let’s talk about self love. In the last issue we discussed happiness and how to cultivate it. The same is true of loving and accepting ourselves as we are at any given moment.
While you may not be okay with the number on the scale, the process of change can be much easier if you appreciate your body for what it can do for you and not just what it looks like.
It is true that many people are carrying around too much weight, and we see the consequences of that frequently in the rise of metabolic disorders, as well as an increase in back and joint pain.
Do you know your ideal body weight? You can find this by using a BMI chart, but remember that BMI is only an equation that uses your height and weight and does not take into account your muscle mass. There are other, more accurate ways to find out your body composition, but use BMI numbers as a reference point and don’t spend too much time fretting over them.
If you are looking to lose weight, a safe and healthy rate happens at about one to two pounds per week. So if you want to lose 20 pounds, plan for 10-20 weeks.
YOU CAN’T OUT-EXERCISE A BAD DIET
Weight loss is about 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise. If calories are dramatically cut and/or if there is a significant shift in the type of food a person eats (for example, cutting out processed carbs), there may be an initial period of significant weight loss. If this is combined with exercise, the results will usually be even faster.
The results may stagnate after a while, however, because our bodies resist change. The next phase will have to include more effort in order to see change.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE
Determine the habits that will help you reach and sustain your goal weight. Drinking more water, cutting out processed carbs, getting more vegetables and protein and exercising more are some strategies.
Break these habits down into their most basic components. For example, if you want to eat more vegetables, start with what you’re currently eating and try to increase that by one serving every day for a week. Work on just one habit per week until you master it.
Planning meals is another key to weight loss. A plan will help you avoid grabbing quick, processed foods. Most people plan on a weekly basis, but if you’re just starting, try planning two days to start. Some people plan every meal, but if that is overwhelming, try planning three or four meals per week and gradually increase the number of meals you plan each week.
Anna Greguson, of Brennan Family Chiropractic and Nutrition Center, says that minimizing sugars is key in losing weight, as excess sugars in the body are stored as fat. She recommends incorporating minimally processed foods and healthy fats, such as those found in grass-fed butter, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, eggs, fish and grass-fed or organic meats.
Find an expert who can help with your goals. Olmsted Medical Center offers three surgical weight loss options, and they have a nutrition education services team that your primary care provider can refer you to. A certified nutrition coach can help guide you on your journey, and a registered dietitian can help with clinical nutrition if you have medical issues.
While there are lots of tips out there for weight loss, remember that the most meaningful change will happen when you are doing it out of love and honor for your body.
Emily Watkins is a personal trainer and a Precision Nutrition Certified Coach, and she helps her clients dig deep to find true motivation for change while appreciating the amazing capabilities of the human body.