Okay, so here we are once again with New Year’s resolution promises made—that this 2015 goal setting will somehow be different. With clenched jaws we are gonna darn well lose weight and get fit once and for all.
According to the University of Scranton (Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1-1-2014), the number one New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. Interestingly, about 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, while 17% infrequently make New Year’s resolutions and 38% never make one. Sadly, 8% are successful in achieving their resolution.
How many New Year’s promises have you made? This year wouldn’t it be nice to NOT make a new year’s resolution and yet release your obsession with food and let go of that extra weight and feel fit physically, spiritually, and emotionally once and for all? Well you can.
It’s no surprise to you…or to me for that matter, that most people know intuitively that those who diet usually fail after the first few months—if they start at all. Some of the reasons for failure are common to most but somehow getting on board and working a healthy lifestyle plan just doesn’t happen even when armed with a plan.
With that in mind, I wanted to offer a basic beginner’s guide primer. No doubt you can find plenty of advice online, but I wanted to share the five principles I follow in my own practice that work beautifully for me in starting and maintaining my 100 pounds weight loss for years.
1. Initially write down every morsel you put in your mouth. Studies show that most people don’t mindfully eat; hence often they consume more foods than realized. When I first began my mission changing and releasing my obsession with food I recorded every morsel of food I ate… carving out a healthy breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner the day before. I found writing out my commitment to myself sealed the plan; hence, I stayed on track. I guess you could say it took the “guess work” out of what to eat.
2. Make smart food choices. Empty calories do not activate the “full button” in your brain nor stomach. In other words, foods that are nutritiously sound are recognized by the brain …and the belly… satisfying the hunger. Consuming processed foods keep the hunger button pressed blocking the full message because real food feedings are missing. So for example if you eat a banana, two poached eggs, browned potatoes drizzled with coconut oil and a cup of fat free Greek yogurt for breakfast there is no mistaking the brain that it hasn’t been fed. You are content feeling fed.
3. Review yesterday food choices. Analyze what you are eating and how it’s satisfying you—or not. If you find yourself thinking about food, hungry, or bored with the foods you are eating, you most likely need to go back to the drawing board to figure out what it is you are missing or eating that is not working for you. It’s not uncommon to not remember what foods were eaten one meal ago but by seeing your plan in print you can evaluate and correct to insure better choices are made for tomorrow.
4. Incorporate daily movement. Too often the New Year’s resolution “dieter” starts off like gang busters exercising beyond what their bodies can tolerate creating injuries or giving up out of sheer exhaustion. Don’t make this mistake. Start slow and steady and daily and you will win the race. The goal is progress not perfection.
5. Work a daily gratitude journal. Life can be hard and knock you down blocking a great start to healthy living for everyone—self included. I write in my journal each night what I am thankful for. Often I’ m totally amazed at all the blessings in my life that certainly would go unnoticed or forgotten if I didn’t nudge myself each evening by giving thanks. Of course there are those days where nothing goes right and nothing made me happy and finding even a crumb of gratitude is really tough. On those days I look at simple gratitude that I take for granted such as the very breath I take in, the legs to stand on, the fingers used to type, the eyes to see…or the bed to fall into after a long tough day. Gratitude comes small and large…
Question: What do you want to know about your beginner’s guide to release your obsession with food? Leave your question below. You can leave a comment by scrolling down and fill in as prompted.
Speaker, writer, licensed clinical psychotherapist, PhD in addiction psychology, eating disorder professional, hypnotherapist changing the view about compulsive eating one addict at a time.