Welcome to Weight Loss 101! I’m always asked how to lose weight fast, especially ‘belly fat’ and I always respond the same, “you didn’t get there overnight, and it’s not going to go away overnight”.
Patience is the first thing everyone must learn if they are going to have any success. To get you pointed in the right direction let me break this into Weight Loss 101 segments.
First I’ve put together some common weight loss mistakes that might help you become aware of behavior that needs to change. Six to be exact!
REWARDING YOURSELF WITH FOOD. Food should not be used as a reward or to celebrate weight loss. Instead, choose a non-food item such as a book, CD, movie or massage.
SKIPPING BREAKFAST. When you skip breakfast you’re more likely to overeat at the next meal. You also continue in a catabolic state (muscle burning). If you’re in a rush in the morning, throw your oatmeal, peanut butter, berries or banana, protein, milk & water in a blender and drink your power packed breakfast!!!
SNEAKING OR HIDING FOOD. If you’re sneaking food, you’re ashamed or embarrassed about your eating habits. Instead, identify what emotions trigger you to eat.
EATING ON THE RUN. If you’re standing in the kitchen or eating in front of the TV rather than sitting at the table, you’re more likely to overeat. Take 15 minutes and enjoy every bite!
MISSING WORKOUTS. When you skip a scheduled workout, you’re getting out of your routine. If you can’t make it to the gym, climb stairs at your office on your lunch break or do crunches and push-ups while watching TV.
USING EXERCISE TO JUSTIFY BINGEING. A tough workout doesn’t give you permission to go home and scarf a hot fudge sundae. Instead, eat a small, healthy snack to refuel your body and feel good about your fitness achievement.
Now that we’ve touched on the basics, let’s dive deeper into Weight Loss 101.
One day, I woke up, looked at myself in the mirror and decided something had to change!! I had tried everything, high-protein/low-carb diets, weight loss medication, grapefruit diets, liver cleansing diet, smoke more eat less diet, bike harder and faster to beat my time, run more every day. All I got was fatter and fatter (and injured). Nothing worked. A few pounds would come off but then I’d gain it back plus more. I knew the missing link was food.
I dropped the cigarettes first. Yes, cold turkey!! I had smoked since I was 14. I was up to a pack a day and this was the 4th time I quit. But this time was different. I was done in my mind. I never craved it. I don’t believe the B.S. that when you quit your body goes into nicotine withdrawals. Maybe scientifically or chemically that might be true, but I believe in the power of the mind. It’s mind over matter and I decided I wanted something different.
Next, I dropped the 1/2 a bottle of wine I was drinking every night (“because a glass of red wine is good for you right?”)… Well, I actually realized all I was trying to do was to escape from the reality that my 18-year executive career had ended. And I was trying to escape the mental, physical, emotional & spiritual abuse from my ex-husband that spiraled me into a very dark time in my life.
A complete lifestyle change was in order and I was at rock bottom, sick and tired of being sick and tired…what did I have to lose? Absolutely nothing. I had nothing. Nothing but a strong desire to change it.
Today I have some questions for you to ponder. Search your heart for some answers. You are not required to comment but by all means be honest with yourself.
“Are you happy with the way you look and feel?”
“Are you satisfied with what you see when you look in the mirror?” (not just physical, but mentally and emotionally as well)
“Are you happy with your job?”
“How about your professional life?”
“Do you have friends and family you can talk to?”
Asking these larger questions makes you face yourself, and once you do that, you will begin to have clarity. You will know you want change, not just what you eat or how you workout, but a whole new lifestyle.
What about METABOLISM?
Glad you asked…
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that “the body’s metabolism, which directly affects the rate at which we burn calories, slows as we age”.
But it also slows any time our health is compromised, when our biochemistry is out of whack, and we don’t eat enough healthy food.
The rate at which our bodies burn calories is directly influenced by the quality of the calories we consume, and whether they stoke or smother our metabolism. Some calorie sources rev your metabolic engine, and others cause it to idle.
The more nutrient-dense a calorie is, the longer it takes to burn. That’s why, calorie for calorie, proteins and complex carbs (like those found in vegetables) are much less likely to cause weight gain than simple carbs, like those found in sodas, cookies, and crackers, which are quickly snatched up by the bloodstream.
Equally detrimental to metabolism is eating too few calories. When you don’t eat enough calories in relation to your metabolic resting rate, your brain sends a message to your body to slow the metabolism. As a result, the cells cling to calories, rather than burn them quickly (and goes after muscle for energy!), and your metabolism downshifts.
Ok, ok, ok. I know!
You’re thinking….this is all fine and dandy but it hurts my head to think about it.
Believe me, I hear these words all too often, “Michele, just tell me what to eat!” And I will always reply, “I can certainly do that but until you fix what’s going on inside your brain, it won’t matter what I tell you”.
This is why I come from a place of “an inside job” when it comes to weight loss. I want to help you understand the science-y stuff in terms you can embrace.
Think this thought….If you’ve ever suspected that not everyone should eat the same thing or do the same exercise, your rights. In fact, what foods we absorb well and how are bodies handle stress differ with each blood type.
Your blood type reflects your internal chemistry. It is the key that unlocks the mysteries of disease, longevity, fitness, and emotional strength. It determines your susceptibility to illness, the food you should eat, and ways to avoid the most troubling health problems.
Eating right for your blood type offers you a simple promise: if you eat according to the biochemical script that’s coded in your blood and genes, you can lose weight and achieve a level of health and fitness you might never have imagined. Instead of being at war with your body, you can live in harmony with your unique biology.
If we research the science and track history, we find our body needs good fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbs from meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. In fact, there are people around the world that live a lifestyle eating right for their blood type and they are healthier, leaner and tend to live longer than people in our own society, that consume sugar, grains and processed foods.
So, where do we go from here?
Step-By-Step, inch-by-inch. You can either go cold turkey as I did and remove all foods not compliant with your blood type, or you can begin with removing one thing at a time. (trust me it will be amazing as you remove things and experience a whole new improved digestive process)
Whatever you choose, I would encourage you to pat yourself on the back for every victory, big or small. Jotting down a few notes daily of your experience, documenting “how you feel” will be instrumental in your success or failure of this journey. I find that, to be THE most valuable exercise of the day.
If you need more structure, accountability and a deeper connection with me, I encourage you to work with me. We will dive into your mindset as well as your menu and fitness program customization for you. Listen, the lights will never all be green. To move forward, you have to take chances to make new choices to experience new change.
Keep in mind, managing your weight isn’t just about the number of calories you eat. It’s also about the quality and character of those calories.
Let’s talk about NUTRITION!
After 22 years of cardio, cardio, cardio and trying everything I read and heard to lose weight, but getting fatter & fatter, I came to realize, as I’ve said, the missing link was food and my attitude about it.
Check this out; “One of the biggest mistakes people make in losing weight is approaching their eating habits as a diet.” This implies a temporary change and also elicits all sorts of troubling connotations of temptation and denial”…precisely! Diet means DEPRIVATION!
I embraced the idea that I needed to learn about food, and the more you learn, the more empowered and motivated you’ll be to make good choices.
It became clear to me that few people understand that good nutrition makes losing weight easier. People blame themselves and their emotional weaknesses for eating behaviors. They may not understand that the bagel they are having for breakfast is setting them up for irresistible sugar cravings and feelings of depression in the afternoon. Or missing out on good nutrition at lunch is causing them to overeat at night. Our bodies are complex, but once you understand nutrition it’s unbelievably empowering and liberating.
Getting an appropriate balance of protein, carbs, fruits, veggies, and fats is key. But not just that, it’s learning which carbs to have and at what time of day. It’s zeroing in on what the best lean proteins are, and which “good” fats are necessary for healthy weight loss.
Until you REALLY understand what happens to your body during Catabolic and Anabolic state, you will continue to guess.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also critical. I preach to shoot for a gallon a day!
In addition to making smart and healthy food choices, of course, you also need to consider how much you eat. Planning and preparing will determine your success.
Let me ask you this, have you abandoned the “diet mentality” in favor of a sustainable commitment to healthy eating for life?”
There is no quick fix to a lifestyle change. No pill, shot, powder, meals delivered, change in 21 days, etc. So, STOP THE INSANITY.
Don’t put a band-aid on a wound that needs permanent healing.
If you think you are doing everything right and still not seeing results, then I challenge you to work with me to fine tune your own magic formula. I create Real Results in Real People to produce Real Change.
Last up is my fave – PSYCHOLOGY
Many people will make a commitment to weight loss from their deep sense of dissatisfaction of themselves. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with you, most weight-loss experts suggest, it is much more effective to let your motivation come from a sense of how much better your life experience could be if it came from a place of health, vitality and solid self-esteem.
**Always remember, you get what you give ~ even what you give to yourself. If you focus on negative emotions about yourself, you will get more of them**
If you do not celebrate even the smallest successes, you will never be grateful for what you accomplish, big or small. Take little steps and celebrate every single milestone. In most cases you will set yourself up for failure if you try to do everything all at once.
As you accumulate small successes and feel their impact on your energy and self-esteem, it will become easier to undertake larger goals.
When I made the decision to make a lifestyle change, I got rid of people in my life that were not in alignment with my goals. I had (and still have) an attitude of “not an ounce of negativity is allowed”. If there are loved ones in your life you simply can’t just “get rid of”, then limit the amount of time you spend with them and do not talk about your goals for which they are not supportive. I promise you will find clarity.
Just as clearing away emotional issues can make it easier to begin eating right and exercising, it is not at all unusual for people to start exercising and eating better and suddenly find themselves more energized, optimistic and motivated overall!
Let me leave you with this…
Some Food For Thought, ”Are you approaching weight loss from a positive perspective or a negative one?” “Have you developed a clear, realistic, gradual weight-loss plan, one that guides, encourages and rewards action but that also observes obstacles and adjusts for setbacks?”
No? It may be time to re-evaluate…YOU have the power within you.
Need a starting point? Check out The Motivation Workshop to learn how to achieve a state of mental and emotional balance, gain control of your body, your health and your life, plus set realistic goals and take back control of your mind.
“When what you want is more important than what you are willing to give up, you will succeed.”
~ Michele Jamison (MJ)
Got questions? Leave a comment! Let’s chat.