Getting Into the Fastlane for Weight Loss
Today I want to talk to you about the five key principles of weight loss. I’m also going to take these principles above and beyond weight loss, because there are many people that lose weight and then gain it back or are consistently trying to lose weight. Ultimately, what people want is a sense of freedom in their body, and a sense of freedom in their relationship with food.
I’ve been working in the area of weight loss for over 12 years, and there are common frustrations I hear, aside from just the number on the scale. The biggest frustration is that people feel stuck – what they’re doing isn’t working, they put weight on very easily, and they gain back the weight they just lost. The frustration is that they’re not moving in the right direction towards having freedom in their body, freedom in their mind, and freedom from worrying about weight issues ever again. They’re also experiencing what I call weight loss fatigue, where the idea of weight loss is always on their mind: always thinking about food, always looking at different diets. It becomes a non-stop process, which leads to weight loss fatigue. People get tired out and just say “forget it”, until it gets bad enough, then they get back on the bandwagon again. Another big frustration in the weight loss process is a sabotage mindset. Many people feel that, when it comes to their relationship with food and their weight, it seems like another part of the brain takes over, and they feel a lack of control. This can be very frustrating because consciously, yes, they want to lose weight, but something keeps tripping them up over and over again. It’s not just about the number on the scale; it’s really about how much time one’s weight loss effort is taking up in their life, mentally, emotionally and physically.
What is BODY FREEDOM?
BODY FREEDOM is essentially the opposite of these frustrations. BODY FREEDOM is getting to the point where one loves their body, they’re comfortable in their body, they can move in their body. Body freedom is also about knowing habits and routines as second nature – knowing what to eat, when to eat, and not to overthink it. It’s eating well because they like to, and they enjoy it. Yes, they can have indulgences with food – a special occasion, a nice restaurant, on vacation – they can indulge and not feel guilty. They can comfortably maintain, occasionally indulge, and even correct if they’ve overindulged. They are in sync with their body and know what they need to do.
BODY FREEDOM is also about developing a mindset of complete control over food choices. There isn’t anything else driving food choices, and the person is in control. Again, this is not about always being perfect; one can choose to indulge, but it’s a very mindful choice where they can thoroughly enjoy it and not feel guilty. Then, they know they’ll go back to eating healthy with an occasional indulgence. When someone achieves body freedom, this is ultimately the thing that gets them to the point of being freed up from worrying about weight and food. They can feel great, look great, and have a better quality of life, freeing up time and energy which can be dedicated to things that are much more fulfilling.
How Can I Achieve BODY FREEDOM?
There are five key principles to achieving BODY FREEDOM. In the coming weeks, I’m going to go over these five principles.
- Having a Plan
- Your WHY
- Developing Habits
- Course Correction
You may find you have already achieved some, but it’s necessary to include all five in order to reach body freedom. In this post, I’m going to talk about the first principle, and I’ll discuss the other four principles in coming posts.
The First Principle: Having A Plan
The first principle is that you need a plan. Often when people first decide to lose weight, they are motivated and enthusiastic in the beginning, have a few successful days, but then things gradually fall a-part and they get off-track. There was a burst of excitement and motivation, but no real plan in place. Having a plan provides clarity and structure. When you plan out what, when, and how much you need to eat, you don’t need to figure out what you’re going to do before every single meal, because you’ve already planned it out. People naturally work well when provided with structure and clarity. This is one foundational element that helps to override impulsive behaviour, because a plan means that you are not being caught unprepared.
It is not enough to simply have a plan – it must also be the right plan for you. Sometimes it can be hard to know what the right plan is for you, because things change over time. What you did to lose weight in the past, maybe in your 20s or 30s, may not work as well in your 40s or 50s. Our bodies change as we age, especially when it comes to hormones and metabolism, and even changes in our weight leads to changes in the biochemistry of the body. Every body is different – just because your friend followed a plan that worked wonders for them, does not mean that plan will work wonders for you. All this to say, it’s essential to assess all of your personal factors to create a plan that’s right for you, then you can put that plan into action.
So, the plan is your starting point. I encourage you to reflect on times you’ve tried to lose weight. Did you have a plan where you knew what you needed to eat, when to eat, how much to eat? Or was it a very vague, generic plan to eat less carbs, more protein? If a plan is too general, it’s not enough to provide structure and clarity, and it likely won’t work. There’s a great quote about planning, “a failure to plan is a plan to fail,” and this is definitely true when it comes to weight loss. So, create a plan!
Next week, I’m going to talk about principle number two, which will give you further guidance on what you need to do to achieve body freedom. If you feel like you’re not in control of your eating habits, you’re tired of dieting and worrying about your weight, I encourage you to check back to learn more about how you can become liberated and refocus your time and energy on more fulfilling things.