It has been my experience that most clients that I see would consider themselves to be healthy eaters. It is only when you get them in front of you, ask them some questions and maybe get them to fill in a diet diary or weekly food list that you get a true understanding of what their diet is truly like.
Most of us, in general, will stick to a diet plan for a couple of weeks, lose little weight even though we haven’t deviated from the plan at all, get frustrated and give up. One of the most common mistakes made by many is that if you have a temporary lack of willpower and eat a cheat food or meal that you then think that because you have ruined the plan that you may as well keep ruining the plan. The problem with this is that when you continue unhealthy eating habits it’s hard to stop. One day turns into 2, turns into 3…… you get my drift. So, you might end wondering, “How to achieve weight loss goals regularly, and how do I keep myself motivated?”.
In the end, you just give up and blame the unrealistic photoshopped images you constantly barraged with on advertising and social media for giving you unrealistic expectations around how you should look if you eat a healthy diet or drink a diet soft drink instead of full sugar.
The truth is that there are many misconceptions surrounding healthy eating, for example, that eating healthily means that you are eating plain, bland, boring foods. Yet, healthy eating should be varied, tasty and above all else uncomplicated.
Instead of having these expectations on how we should look if we eat a healthy diet’, why don’t we instead focus on how eating a healthy diet will make us feel?
We want to feel good, look good, sleep better and stress, less right? Eating a healthy diet can do all those things if you can stick to the plan. Sound easy? Not unless you have a plan in place to stay focused and consistent.
Let’s start by setting some actionable, achievable weight loss goals. Goals that revolve around making your healthy eating plan simple, yet sustainable i.e. by simply choosing whole foods over highly processed foods. Sometimes, these weight loss goals don’t have to be kilo specific, they can range from walking, being present, or even meditating daily. These are some steps you can take to help you achieve your weight loss goals:
Step 1: Remove all Temptations
Throw out all processed foods and sugary drinks from the house. Jars of biscuits and lollies sitting on your kitchen bench may look good however, you are really putting pressure on your willpower in these circumstances. Instead, try being prepared, always make healthy snacks/foods available (not biscuits and lollies). Stock your fridge with fresh fruit, vegetables, good fats like avocados and eggs. This will put you in the right mindset for your weight loss goals, and how to achieve them.
Put these foods on shelves in the fridge and pantry so that they are within your eyesight, think about how often your partner or kids can’t find something when it is literally right in front of them (they can benefit as well).
When shopping the only shop on the outer perimeter of the store as the middle of the store generally contains highly processed food. Choose oily fish like salmon and mackerel to eat 2-3 times a week. Nuts and seeds also make a great snack and are an amazing source of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, as these healthy foods are proven to increase the long term health benefits.
Step 2: Focus on Nutrients
Not all calories are created equal, the quality of the calories consumed will make the biggest health impact. Fat-free, low-fat or low calorie means little apart from a pretty effective marketing from usually wealthy food manufacturers. Think about it, fat and sugar are generally used in cooking to make a meal tasty, these foods are sweetened with sugar, sugar syrups, additives, preservatives and other chemicals to make them fat-free or low-fat. Alternatively, you can bring out your inner chef and cook more meals at home.
Not only is this kinder on your hip pocket but you know exactly what you are eating and know that there are no hidden unhealthy or high-calorie ingredients lurking in your meal.
Step 3: Move More
Take a walk outside in nature and absorb the additional benefits of the Vitamin D that is penetrating your skin from the sun. Start a jogging practice, Yoga and Pilates are wonderful exercises that are relatively low impact and great for your strength and muscle tone. Exercise has been shown to not only boost your mood but reduce stress and help to weight loss. This can definitely be a direct aim to help quantify your weight loss goals, and directly assist in it.
Step 4: Be Present
Minimize distractions when eating and attempt to concentrate solely on your meal. Pay special attention to how you feel when you are eating, especially feelings of hunger and fullness. Slow your eating down and chew well to give your body time to register when it is full to prevent over-eating, you will become much more aware of your eating patterns and habits. Keeping a journal may also be beneficial, this can provide accountability and give you the opportunity to express gratitude for your meals, your family, your home.
Step 5: Plan Ahead
This will help remove feelings of overwhelm, prepping meals and snacks will help keep you focused on eating healthy and from making impulsive unhealthy food purchases.
Wavering from a dietary plan is inevitable however, it doesn’t have to mean you throw in the towel and go back to old negative eating patterns. Don’t beat yourself up, tomorrow is a new day and the more you can implement these 5 steps above the more successful you will be. If you have any questions about crafting your weight loss goals, whether they’re quantifiable or steps to getting to where you want to be, contact us today, or visit our hCG Diet products to help you get in the right direction.
Adv Dip Health Science Naturopathy, Nutrition