“You already have the precious mixture that will make you well, use it.
As a nation we spend over 40 billion dollars a year on weight loss programs. Yet over 65% of us are overweight if not obese. Information on fat grams, fitness and calories is abundant. If this is what we truly need “more information” wouldn’t we all be thin, fit and nearly disease free by now? While a healthy weight and a fit body are important, true wellness and radiant health involve more than what the scales say and how muscular we look. Being well means being whole, centered and connected ~ a smooth running sum of several important parts. Wellness is balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit. It is living well on a daily basis. To lose weight and to keep it off, both the art and the science of healthy living must be embraced. The science of weight loss is really quite simple. Everyone knows the formula ~ eat less and exercise more ~ but few people follow it. However, we know more now about this simple but intricate process and we have better information on how the body responds to food and exercise. We also understand the significant role that emotional eating and metabolism play in the whole picture. First, let’s look at four basic steps to good eating:
- 1. Eat a Nutritious Breakfast: Not only does it start your day on a healthy note but it accelerates your metabolism. Also, it prepares you well for exercising
2. Redistribute Your Calories: Eat a healthy breakfast, a moderate lunch and a light dinner. Remember: the more frequently you eat (within sensible limits), the higher your metabolism
3. Set a Nightly Cutoff Time: Start with stopping 2 hours before bedtime and work up to 3 hours. Not only will this encourage an appetite for breakfast but it will help with emotional eating
4. Make Healthful Food Choices:
- a. Rule of Thumb:
- 50-60% Carbohydrates: grains, fruits and vegetables
25-30% Fat: monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil, canola oil and avocado
- b. Excellent to Eat in Moderation:
- Fruit: 3-4 Servings a day
Vegetables: 5-7 Servings a day
Whole Grains: 7 Servings a day
- c. 8 Glasses of Water a Day
- Processed carbohydrates
Also, maximizing your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) is an important factor in weight loss and weight maintenance. There are four basic ways to raise your metabolic rate:
- 1. Stay Hydrated: 8 glasses of water a day helps burn calories
2. Work Out Aerobically: With a physician’s okay, exercise 30-60 minutes, 5-7 days a week
3. Incorporate Strength Training: With a physician’s okay, commit to resistance training 2-3 times a week
4. Eliminate Emotional Eating: Get to your feelings at the time and choose an alternate way of nourishing yourself
The “art” of weight loss is the experience of becoming aware and of integrating a harmonious way of eating into your life. It is knowing that each choice you make either diminishes you or enhances you. Mindful nourishment invites you to:
Listen to and respond to your body’s signals of hunger and satisfaction
Discover what you truly want to eat
Enjoy good food and rediscover the pleasures of the palate
Learn how to handle emotional hunger that creates the urge to eat
Feel joyful and alive as you become more active and aware of your body
Do a life affirming action everyday
Learn ways to nurture yourself that don’t involve food
Let go of will-power and make wise, informed choices
Allow time for silence, solitude and serenity Dwell in gratitude ~ moment to moment.
Love yourself all along the way
Your body believes everything you say ~ whether spoken out loud or to yourself (anyone have nagging self-talk going on?). Your mind ~ your beliefs and attitudes ~ have the deepest influence on your body. Literally every cell of your body thinks. In light of this, it might be wise to remember these three things:
- You are already a balanced and whole person.
You are your most valuable resource. As the former Surgeon General of the United States said:
You the individual can do more for your own health and well-being that any doctor, any hospital, any drugs or any exotic medical devices.
All obstacles are internal. The only thing between you and the person you want to become is responsible choice.
Getting to where you want to go in life is a process. It takes time, commitment and a series of accomplishments, each building on the other. In order to become healthy and fit we must give up our belief that our well-being lies outside of ourselves and accept full responsibility for a health conscious lifestyle. Each choice we make either diminishes or supports us on our journey. It’s never too late to initiate a change for the better! Whoever you are and whatever you are doing, you are in the exactly the right place to begin taking steps to maximize your capacity to be well and feel whole.