I hear it all the time, “I exercise and eat right and I still can’t lose weight.” I know the feeling. That used to be me back in my early thirties. I would workout every day, eat what I thought was healthy, and the scale still didn’t seem to budge, or I would drop a few pounds and then put them and more back on a few weeks later. I tried all the diets out there. Atkins, Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, Cabbage Soup Diet, South Beach Diet, Mediterranean Diet, The Blood Type Diet, Vegetarian, Vegan, Ketogenic Diet, Macrobiotic Diet and many more. The problem with all of these diets is that one size does not fit all and many are too restrictive to continue for the long-term. Sure, a diet will help you drop weight initially, but as soon as you go off of the diet your weight goes up again. You usually wind up weighing more than you did before you started the diet.
Humans have lost touch with their body intuition and what their individual needs are. The body is a very sophisticated piece of equipment that operates at optimum performance when we fuel it and care for it with love and appreciation. The truth is that your body will balance itself given the right environment, nutrition, and nurturing. This is not to say that we have to baby our body, but that we need to show more respect and gratitude for the living organism, teaming with microbial colonies that protects us, shelters us, carries us, and enables us to do and be everything we have ever done or ever will do. We abuse our bodies physically and psychologically; we poison it, starve it, stuff it, damage it, hurt it, stress it, berate it, overwork it, exhaust it, and just all around devalue it; then we wonder why on earth it doesn’t stay healthy or look good for very long. When you learn to treat your body like your best friend, or the way you want others to treat you it becomes easy to make choices and practice behaviors that create the body of your dreams.
Here are four simple steps anyone can take to lose weight and keep it off effortlessly:
- Make the decision to love and respect yourself enough to take compassionate care of your body.
- Don’t eat after 6pm and make dinner your smallest meal of the day.
- Eat small meals made up of fresh vegetables and fruits and a small portion of protein and always chew your food well.
- Remove all processed grains and sugars from your daily consumption.
These are simple things that can be done, but they are not always easy. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables at each meal can be a daunting task for someone that has spent most of their life eating out of bags and boxes. The good news is there are hundreds of websites that offer recipes and tips for cooking and eating fruits and vegetables. Make spices and herbs your best friend and look for a salad dressing that contains no soybean, corn, canola, or safflower oil and no sugar. You can always make your own in a pinch. I use a vegan ranch dressing, from my local co-op, when I don’t have the time or desire to make my own.
I currently consume much of my fruits and vegetables in smoothies, so I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. The smoothie combinations are limitless and can help break up the monotony of eating the same thing day in and day out. I start my day with at least 20oz of smoothie, usually including fresh celery, cilantro, kale, chard, lemon juice, ginger, parsley, apple, and add frozen wild blueberries, strawberries, mango, papaya, or raspberries, add some collagen powder, pea protein powder, and detox green powder and use ginger water as the base. This makes enough smoothie for me to have for breakfast and lunch or dinner. My other meal usually consists of organic salad greens like spinach, arugula, endive, escarole, red lettuce, or baby kale and some roasted broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans, onions, garlic, carrots, or sweet potato with some walnuts, pecans, or pumpkin seeds, sauerkraut, and some tangelo slices or purple grapes. I add roasted chicken or fish on some days. I make as much of my produce organic as I possibly can and frozen items are Non-GMO if I cannot find organic. My poultry is organic and my fish is wild caught to cut down on toxins and chemicals.
Obviously, my meal plan is a bit simplistic and extreme, but it works for me right now. There is no need to limit yourself to this extent unless you find it easy and fun for you. I can help you customize meals based on your likes and dislikes, but ultimately, you will be responsible for an approach that you can maintain long-term. This can change and evolve as your tastes change and evolve. When you learn how to listen to your body and follow your intuition, nutrition will become second nature to you and struggling to lose weight will become a thing of the past.