When it comes to the way we eat and how we should treat our body, there are no simple equations! Our metabolism and our weight, and our relationship with food and our relationship with our bodies it's pretty complex - so how can we start a path toward your optimal self?
First, we have to understand and disconnect from quick fixes, and being truly ready to find out the underlying reasons why we eat the way we eat and why our body reacts the way that it reacts.
Our first thought when deciding to get in the path towards optimal self it's going straight to a NEW extreme diet.
But the thing with diets as we have experienced many times, it's that it has only temporary benefits, and that more often than not, we regain the weight.
There are numerous studies on the biology of weight loss, focusing on the effect that dieting has on our body - specifically on our metabolism and on our emotional health.
Weight regain is one of the most common result of dieting. Almost everyone on a diet can lose weight in the short-term, but keeping it off , now that is accomplished by very few.
The majority of people who diet regain the weight they lost within a couple years. The reason for this is that our bodies are set up to resist weight loss—they have no idea we want to lose weight. They only see it that they have to survive with less food because we drastically decrease caloric intake, so our body makes adjustments.
Getting into more details..
Our metabolism changes so that our body can survive with little food, it has to make it work in order to survive. With this drop in metabolic rate, if we eat the same amount of calories that used to lead to weight loss, we’ll find it no longer works.
Our bodies are now running on fewer calories, and storing the leftovers as fat. The hormones that used to make us feel full change as well. The same amount of food that used to fill us up, may now leave us feeling hungry.
There are also neurological changes that make it very hard to stay on a diet—an intense preoccupation with thoughts about food, increased focus on food and calorie counting, and feelings of unsatisfied hunger.
One of the main negative consequence of dieting is the emotional part of it, most individuals regain the weight and then blame themselves for a lack of discipline— but in reality what they're experiencing is the normal biological reaction to calorie deprivation.
So it's not a lack of willpower, because really all humans are equipped with willpower.
Reality is, that they need to understand how their body functions, and what is the APPROPRIATE amount of calorie intake for their body, as well as the PERSPECTIVE, the way they are approaching "dieting".
The first steps towards TRUE optimal self, would be, ditching the scale, and the calorie counting. This would be a huge step towards a better relationship with food and our body. I mean who loves weighing themselves or sees the scale and has happy thoughts. No one, ever.
Second, it's finding what it is your leanest sustainable weight, what does that mean? A weight where you, have energy, feel healthy, look healthy, you are not binging nor you are starving.
While there is no specific formula to determine this weight, this is is more of an instinctual one. One way that you can know what weight is your true leanest sustainable weight by analyzing:
Have you noticed that your body keeps coming back to a certain weight through the years?
That’s generally around the middle of it. It’s likely around what you weigh when you are eating good whole foods, finding yourself satisfied—without dieting or binge eating, and when you aren’t engaging in intense exercising.
And the real things it that, for many of us, our leanest sustainable weight is heavier than our "ideal" weight. So we have to be real, and honest.
Getting back a bit to changing PERSPECTIVE, which will help us identify a true sustainable weight. It also about looking at the bigger picture, ultimately what the number says in the scale is beside the point.
So, what's the point?
The point is that you can be healthy and reach your optimal self at almost any weight—close to your leanest sustainable weight—so instead of focusing on the number, why not just focus on being healthy?
Even better, it’s actually easier when you focus to improve your health than when you focus to lose weight (stress factors come into the equation and also interferes with weight loss).
When you come from the perspective to improve health, you take it more easy in yourself less stressed, you are more realistic, and you enjoy the process. Ultimately making it sustainable and enjoyable.
What would be a way to make your life healthier in a non-strict dietary way?
After tossing the scale and the counting calorie app, then would be, focusing in adding vegetables whenever and wherever.
Veggies should always be first, no whats or buts, doesn't matter if you eat a pizza right afterwards, your body will digest the pizza entirely differently and better if you eat veggies first.
When you set that small rule, you are not putting into discussion what should I choose veggies vs pizza, veggies vs sushi, it's just simple veggies first regarding what you eat afterwards.
Because believe me, if you set veggies into competition against other foods and more in the beginning, more than likely they will loose.
Inevitably your taste buds will start changing and wanting more of the good stuff, by good stuff I mean healthy wholesome foods.
How to add veggies to your life?
Morning Green Juice, Smoothies, with your eggs in the morning, soups, in your pastries, you name it!
Also, always have some type of veggies prepared: baked, sautéed, boiled.
So how about doing thing different this time around?? You might get a different result.
Now, I would love to know: What is your biggest barrier when it comes to achieving your optimal self?
Please comment below, I would love to help!
Lots of love,