It's true! Through years of experience and research, I have finally come up with my top 4 tips for successful weight loss.
Tip #1 Loose the Guilt
Tip #2 Reduce your frustration and anger.
Anger, frustration, and other negative emotions can severely influence our chances of successful change. Emotional eating is probably the most widely noted motivation behind weight gain. Although anger is an emotion just like the rest and completely normal, chronic (long term) anger is a sign that there is something bigger and more scary waiting in the dark. Perhaps sadness, fear, or unmet needs are the cause and this is what causes us to reach for the bag of chips rather than a carrot. If you are angry a lot or find yourself snapping at people for no reason take a moment or two (or three or four) to ask yourself why. Why are you angry? What need are you not satisfying? Let your emotions lead you into "self-discovery" (oh God, I'm sounding like a self-help book) instead of stuffing them down only to see the results on your face, your body, and your demeanor.
Tip #3 Lighten up through laughter and enjoyment.
VW website Funtheory.com. Check it out if you haven't yet...http://www.thefuntheory.com/ . VW is doing some fabulous things to help change health behaviour. They simply made things fun. It is noted in the research that enjoyment is one of the key components to long term behaviour change. Weight loss is simple if the process is enjoyable. How many times have you ENJOYED a diet or an exercise program? If the answer is never...it is time to look at your methods. Enjoy the foods you eat and enjoy your physical activity. If you love it, you will do it without hesitation.
Tip #4 Drop the old beliefs about weight loss
Zander Room, offered women a chance to giggle their fat away by placing a belt around their waist and turning the knob to 11 (Spinal Tap reference by the way). We haven't really come all that far since. Our beliefs about weight loss originate through society's messages of weight loss (via media mostly). We still offer weight loss programs based upon fast, quick, and easy. Hell, the Biggest Looser, a show based upon extreme and unhealthy methods to loose fat quick, has to be one of the most popular on TV.
I can't stress this enough. A focus on weight loss will never lead to successful, lifelong weight loss. Why? Every time we reach out to the next "expert" or "superfood" or "exercise gimmick" or "fitness class" expecting to loose those unwanted pounds we end up with nothing but discouragement because the results are not forthcoming (usually because we expect it now). So what do we do? We say "screw it" and slip back into old behaviours. I 'm not saying everyone does this, but from my own experiences working with folks, I see it happen more often than not.
Happy and Healthy Canada Day 2010 Canadians!