Five Things You Can Do to Stop the Lose/Gain Weight Cycle - Right Now!
1. Stop criticizing yourself.
Has criticizing yourself for how you look, what you ate, or going off your food plan ever helped you lose weight permanently? Stop with the put-downs. Even if they are meant to be helpful, these reminders of your inadequacies work against you, stressing your nervous system and increasing the desire to overeat. Focus instead on the simple question, “Am I truly hungry, or not?” (See number 2, below).
2. Listen to your stomach.
There is a lot of attention paid to the content of what people eat, but not the physical process of eating. Your stomach is more reliable than a food program or a “should” because it will tell you with a physical sign when you have had enough. You just have to learn to listen to it. The guideline is: If your stomach is empty, it is time to eat. If it is full, it is time to stop eating.
3. Eat what you enjoy.
Forcing a super-clean way of eating may satisfy nutrition requirements, but we are humans and our souls like to have a little fun. If you let your stomach tell you when it’s moderately full, and you eat something you truly like, you won’t overeat on it - and you are likely to eat less overall because you will feel satisfied. Enjoyment is the key to stopping the Lose/Gain Weight cycle.
4. Make sure you keep up with the vegetables.
When we are busy, it can be hard to get enough veggies. Remember how enlivening it is to eat fresh vegetables and fruits. It's well worth the time it will take to make a smoothie or veggie dish. But don’t cut out the carbs and rich foods altogether. Healthy eaters enjoy both.
5. Exercise for the fun of it.
Did you know that the part of your mind that calculates calories and how many steps you took today is the same part that judges you, aggravating your nervous system and making you want to overeat? Take a break from that part of your brain. Instead, exercise for the love of it: for the refreshing intake of breath, for the beat of your heart, for feeling alive. If you have trouble finding the time, keep trying. Moving is a rejuvenating little vacation when you do it in the spirit of pleasure - even for ten minutes - and is a big part of regulating your weight through love, not pressure.
Challenging your beliefs and moving into new action is the beginning of your permanent departure from the Lose/Gain Weight Cycle. The important thing is: just start.
The recommendations above are an introduction to my method. For more information about how to incorporate this way of eating, and for workshops and coaching, go to www.sheirakahn.com.