A question about weekly weigh-ins in our private Facebook group this week and so many Instagram accounts still approaching weight loss in the worst possible way, prompted this blog piece.
The old way to approach weight loss is based on an athlete’s training schedule. Strict low calorie starvation diet, high intensity exercise with a gruelling schedule of maybe 5 days out of 7. Constantly measuring how you’re going all the time via weigh ins, time measures or weights able to be lifted.
It’s intense, extremely painful and is designed specifically to result in a particular sports performance. An athlete will do it for a season, then have “off season” where they do none of that, and put all the weight back on and then start again with pre season training.
Where as we try to keep going year round!
The other thing to note is that athletes sacrifice their body and health for this sports performance result. They’re not doing it to get healthy. It’s actually damaging their body—their hormones, their metabolism, their thyroid etc. It was only ever meant to be actioned short term, to get a short term sports result.
So when we try to emulate this and try to get a different result out of it—namely healthy body and weight loss long term—can you see how it is a mismatch of goals and method?
It’s designed to fail for our specific purpose!
A particular Instagram person I follow has been losing and putting on the same weight since I followed her three years ago. She’s back at nearly her highest weight again of 300lbs (136kg or 21 stone) and is now torturing herself yet again with another intense exercise program called F45. So she has lasted quite a few weeks on this and has lost some weight. But she is complaining of being super tired all the time and not being able to sleep well any more.
So those of us who have been down this road a few times now will recognise that she is heading for a much worse massive health failure of some sort if she doesn’t listen to her body and tries to keep going. The on and off again weight loss over the years will also have down-regulated her metabolism too, so she will find it harder and harder to lose weight as time goes on.
It is terrible to watch and one of the worst things is that her many followers are cheering her on! Encouraging her to keep going and telling her she looks great. To me this sounds like they are encouraging her to damage her body and push harder for a full blown disease!
They don’t realise it, but that’s what they’re doing.
So let’s flip this on it’s head.
The new approach to losing weight is to nurture and nourish your body. It’s about setting up an enjoyable lifestyle that you love, as well as understanding how your body and metabolic health actually works.
- To easily estimate the right amounts and learn the types of foods to eat for your body’s needs and feel completely satiated.
- To gently exercise the right way. This involves frequent movement throughout the day. So that it enhances your metabolic health, and doesn’t work against you.
- To rest and relax when you feel the need and not feel lazy and undisciplined about it. That may include skipping a few days of your normal exercise because that’s what you need right now. Then just picking it up again a few days later, because the feeling of wanting to move comes back.
It’s a gentle, holistic approach that designed to work for the long term because it’s so easy and fun to do. It just becomes what you do, as part of your new lifestyle.
The ZEN BEACH DIET
I called my book the ZEN Beach Diet because it’s about finding peace with how and what you eat. It’s about drinking coffee and eating sweet things because it feels good. Knowing that these things are actually good for you, if you do it the right way.
The approach should feel like you’re on a blissful holiday where you soak up the sun, rest when you need to, go for a swim in the ocean or hike a mountain just because it feels good to do it.
It definitely not about weighing yourself or measuring every mouthful of food. That’s not a joyful life. It actually adds stress and that’s not a healthy approach at all. You’ll know when your pants get a bit looser, you don’t need the scale.
Focus on daily actions
If anything, the focus should be on making sure you do the actions daily that will lead to the result you want. Focusing just on the end result doesn’t necessarily help you along the way.
Some helpful actions to take
- Have a checklist that you can tick off, if you feel you need it initially to stay on track.
- Set a phone alarm to go off every hour to remind you to get up and move.
- Grate four large carrots at the start of the week, so you make sure you have your carrot salad every day and check it off the list.
- Do a big cook up and freeze meals to make it easier for yourself.
Focus on the tasks. Make sure it’s habits you enjoy that easily fit into your life and just do it. Eventually you will make it to your goal. You won’t even realise it happened because you were too busy having too much fun.
Get started on the right track today with the ZEN Beach Diet, The ONE TEN TONED exercise program and the 3 DAY SUMMER RESTART— which is the easiest one of all to follow. It’s a refreshing new approach and an enjoyable process for optimal health and weight loss. It’s the plan with the highest likelihood of long term success. Why? Because it’s about optimal health and it’s super easy to do.
Get started today!
Note: I realise that some types of people are motivated by a daily or weekly weigh in, but for 95% of us, it just leads to psychological problems and feeling bad about yourself. It doesn’t work for me, but as in all things, do what works best for your individual needs.