In order to maintain adequate body weight throughout life, we need to focus on what, when, how much and how we eat (in combination with other conscious steps – exercise, proper rest, good sleep, work with stress, emotions and so on).
I can talk about this for a very, very long time …
I’m not one of those who can eat whatever he wants and not gain weight, not at all. I carefully maintain a reasonable weight and optimal body condition. The point is to keep your body fat and active body mass normal, that is, not too small (underweight) or not too large (obesity). Moreover, the body must receive adequate food. All of this requires a balance in food, exercise, and relaxation. Think about what you should pay attention to in the diet in the first place, and to what extent you can relax, because too much attention and restrictions are not the same way. Maybe you yourself guess.
Personally, I had a period when I was quite strict with myself regarding my lifestyle, had a strong will and was very disciplined (I went for a run, even if I was very tired, I was strict in food, even if I wanted something tasty, she knew how to constantly deny herself her desires, etc.). But life has taught me a lesson.
I am grateful to fate for my own experience, because I can help my clients, and I know what they are going through. Now I know that, for example, when I constantly denied myself tasty food, in the end I could not stand it and broke down. And I ate it (a chocolate bar, a cookie, whatever) very quickly and with remorse. Or when I regularly jogged, despite severe fatigue, only illness stopped me, when I could no longer move at all. There were a lot of such cases in other areas as well. Now I know for sure that everything that we do through force, excessive and too much, in the end will not lead to anything good.
Since then I have been “sinning” consciously. Although the word “sin”, in my opinion, is incorrect, but in this context it is very expressive. I would rather express it with the phrase “I deliberately indulge”, because I do not perceive it as a sin, but as a gesture of love for myself. I don’t usually eat sweets, but when the time is right, I can indulge myself in dessert. It should not be under the pressure of the environment: “well, try the cake”, but only when you yourself want it.
How to deliberately sin / indulge
I will try to explain this using the example of my client, who was looking for a balance: in which cases you can afford a little more. And she realized that her sweet tooth tended to be related to habits, current emotions, or the result of an unbalanced diet on a given day.
My client is one of these women who, until she was fifty, tried to lose weight all her adult life, but in the long term she did not succeed. Usually she always went on a diet, lost weight, but after a few months she returned to her original weight. It was only after decades of losing weight and struggling with obesity that she realized that if she didn’t overcome her established eating habits and start solving her life problems, which she compensated for with food, she would never be able to maintain the weight of her dreams.
- It is often not enough to just go on a diet and start exercising. Fundamental changes must occur in our subconscious.
Therefore, they say that losing weight begins with the head. It doesn’t work so much that we just think in our head that we want to lose weight or change something. We must realize that when we are under stress, we eat in one way, with a partner we eat in a different way, in different life situations we eat in another way, and so on.
After realizing this, my client realized that she usually only changes her eating habits for a short time and then returns to her usual diet. And that was the defining moment.
What you need to realize:
- My client realized that she could not go without snacks during the day . She only ate three times a day throughout her adult life (and I’m not saying this is wrong, on the contrary, it works for someone and works). However, she dined at noon and dined at seven in the evening. The long interval between meals led to the fact that in the evening she was hungry like a wolf and could eat whatever was in front of her eyes. Adding an afternoon snack (usually rye bread with ham, cheese, egg, cream cheese, avocado, hummus, almond butter plus vegetables or fruit) prolongs the feeling of fullness and prevents evening overeating.
- The habit of walking my dog for hours every morning before work was also critical to her. Usually in the evening she did not have time to walk so much, but in the morning she used to start the day with physical activity.
- She knew that if there were sweets at home, which were her “weakness”, she would definitely fall out. Therefore, she kindly asked her husband and son to stop buying sweets, and if they wanted something, then let them buy it secretly and hide it somewhere where she could not find it. The family agreed with this because they wanted to support her.
- She also learned that when she was a little girl, her mother used to eat sweets and worries. My client adopted this habit and used sweets as a sedative in the same way. This work on herself cost her a lot of effort, because it is not enough just to realize this problem, you need to eradicate it. For starters, instead of lashing out on sweets, she brewed herself a cup of black tea with honey and lemon and drank. The sweet taste, combined with her favorite tea in large quantities, helped her calm down and prevent the raids on sweets. Thus, she avoided a decent amount of unnecessary calories.
- When she had a strong desire to eat something (mainly sweets), she began to think about the motives of her appetite and emerging desires. If this was a situation where she was really stressed and needed sweets to calm down, then she drank the aforementioned black tea and worked on her emotions. If it was a different situation, when she subconsciously realized that she had not been full during the day and that her blood sugar was fluctuating, then she ate regular, balanced food (for example, a snack or dinner) instead of sweets. Over time, the appetite for sweets disappeared. Sometimes her tastes also depended on the female cycle – she realized that she really wanted something sweet. And she ate it. Sometimes the desire for sweets was caused by boredom or old habits. In these cases, she refused sweets, because these thoughts arose automatically out of habit. At these moments, she said to herself: “Yes, appetite, I know about you, but you are just a fruit of my mind,” – the thought disappeared, and desire too. If even after all the manipulations she wanted something sweet, then she ate the dessert with taste, peace and conscious delight. She also realized that it was correct in this case, in the sense that she had no remorse after eating (which would otherwise come to her quite often after eating sweets).
- A deliberate rejection of sweets also led her to find that before, when she completely gave up her favorite food or sweets, she lived in a state that “losing weight is a punishment.” And with this thought, she always lost weight: “Losing weight is a punishment, and when it is over, I will receive a reward . ” Now, when sometimes she spoils herself, she no longer thinks that losing weight is a punishment, and she is losing weight slowly but surely.
This whole story sounds very unlikely, but I know this personally from the words of my client. It was very important for her to understand that she cannot lose all those extra pounds right here and now. She stopped focusing on big changes. And she began to slowly move towards her goal. Not all at once, but gradually, when she eradicated one bad habit, she switched to another. We cannot immediately radically change our life and at the same time persist. Our eating habits are usually outdated eating patterns, and changing them requires attention and patience.