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Lose weight… not your sanity

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In this day and age where technology has pervaded almost every area of our lives, leading to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, dieting has become an issue most of us struggle with at some point or another.

Throw in pressure from the media to look a certain way – for both girls and guys – and what you have is a never-ending quest to attain the ‘ideal’ weight, through whatever methods necessary.  Detox plans, slimming programs, and ‘miracle’ pills are thriving more than ever. And in the struggle to fight off the flab, we’re making ourselves absolutely miserable.

Many try extreme crash dieting and completely cutting off intake of the foods we crave. However, in the long run, this doesn’t work because depriving ourselves of what we crave only intensifies our cravings. And yo-yo dieting can wreak havoc on the balance of vitamins and minerals that sustain your body.

Is it possible to lose weight without losing our sanity in the process?

Nutritionist Lisa Turner believes we can maintain a healthy weight without putting ourselves through the agony of dieting. She believes that our bodies are more intuitive about what – and how much – we should be eating than we actually give them credit for. She believes that it can be as simple as listening to our bodies cues about what, when, and how we eat.

“When you’re eating by the numbers (calories, portions, grams of fat, etc), you’re eating according to your intellect rather than your body’s cues,” she says. “Diets and eating plans don’t teach us to listen to what our bodies want to eat. They teach us to ignore our bodies, and eat what’s outlined on the plan.”

For weight loss to last long-term, it requires a radical shift to a way of eating that is wholesome, healthy, and most importantly – sustainable. It’s not about an impossible list of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s but about being mindful and deliberate about your eating.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to move towards a healthier, less stressful way of eating:

  • Start each day with a nutritious breakfast.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep each night, as fatigue can lead to overeating.
  • Eat your meals seated at a table, without distractions. There is the tendency to eat more when you are preoccupied or on the go, as you are not aware of how much you are consuming.
  • Eat more meals with your partner or family. Take the time for good, unhurried conversation. The brain takes time to register that you’re full, and many times overeating is the result of eating too quickly.
  • Replace cravings with wholesome, natural options – eg. Honey instead of sugar, whole wheat instead of refined, grilled instead of fried.

These baby steps will not only help keep your weight in check, but lead to a more balanced, wholesome lifestyle overall.

Image: Some rights reserved by foshydog

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