Do you really want to lose weight?
For years we have been bombarded with diet plans and diet products. We have been led to believe that the ab roller will solve all of our problems and that eating a low carb, low calorie diet with raspberry ketones will result in permanent weight loss. Artificial sweeteners have “improved” high calorie drinks and every natural food now has a low fat option.
The weight loss industry is a multi-billion if not trillion dollar industry and is a sad reflection of personal failure instead of success: Obesity is on the rise, more people are cycling through weight loss and weight gain – leading to even worse health outcomes. While the general population continues to spend more years in a formal educational setting, many of us lack the common sense of our ancestors. We stress about money and time, but we use the time and funds we do have to search for the latest fad, trend, surgery or product that will give us instant results.
So what can you do about it? Permanent weight loss and improved health will be achieved if you are committed to making small lifestyle changes. This may seem daunting, but as you know or will discover, searching for that quick fix is simply delaying your success. On a positive note, a lifestyle change does not need to be difficult. Here are a few:
- Ensuring adequate water intake: An easy yet very effective way to increase energy, reduce muscle soreness and decrease cravings
- Sleep well: An individual who doesn’t sleep well will have higher than normal levels of coritsol which makes losing weight difficult. Sleep in complete darkness!
- Understand about low fat products: Many are simply products that have more sugar or artificial sweeteners in them. These products have been added to replace the fat that has been removed. Unfortunately, they cause a higher spike in blood glucose, followed by insulin and are often more detrimental to your health and your weight than the original products.
- Learn and apply a hormone diet: Yes eat a diet that balances your hormones this is much more important than obsessing over calories in and calories out.
- Understand your relationship with food!: Do you eat for fuel or do you snack when you are bored or emotional? Tackling this obstacle by becoming aware of it and choosing a healthier action is better than any appetite suppressant you will ever find at a health food store.
Lifestyle changes need to be realistic – not necessarily drastic. And while some people can “cut cold turkey” most people need to avoid extremes so don’t think of eating healthy or exercising as an all or nothing scenario. The road to weight loss as well as any health goal is to view it as a spectrum and simply move toward the healthier end with small steps each day.
Dr. Natasha has worked in the weight loss industry for 15 years. Her goal is to help individuals make meaningful and realistic lifestyle changes that will result in permanent weight loss and greater health.
Dr. Natasha Vani BSc, MSc, ND
Naturopathic Doctor and Exercise Physiologist