At Shift, we see a many clients looking for effective ways to manage their weight, eating habits or feelings around food. This can be in the areas of weight management, binge eating, yo-yo dieting, obesity, bulimia, or just frustration with not being able to achieve weight and health goals. Whatever the exact behaviour, the reason and related limiting beliefs are often the same and at the root of the issue.
Why Weight Loss is Hard
A common problem around weight management concerns polarized, “all or nothing” thinking. A cupcake in the staff room turns into a wave of regret that blooms, often, into opt out behaviours like being sedentary, binging or self-loathing talk.
The polarized thoughts make a negative cycle and come from limiting beliefs about oneself. For example, “I am not good enough” creates the dysfunctional need “I need to be perfect.” This in turn creates a whole maintain of maladaptation.
The pressure from the “I need to be perfect” means that new diets, new pressure and new ventures begin over and over. When the eating plan or whatever is adhered to with great precise rigidity, everything is even. Not happy, just even.
But when perfection cannot be maintained, and the dysfunctional need cannot be met, the limiting belief “I am not good enough” is felt with a vengeance. It hurts. It creates negative emotions, thoughts and self image. This is what creates the poor body image. The cycle of stuck-ness and the unrelenting weight management issues. Its hard to be consistent in the light of this cycle, so adhering to any healthful plan of lifestyle is generally impossible.
Tips and Tricks for Weight Loss
Reduce portion sizes
One of the easiest things you can do is reduce your portion size. We often take more food on our plates than we really need, especially when we’re hungry! Start by taking less food than you normally would, and if you still feel hungry, you can always have a bit more. According to the Government of Canada, one Food Guide Serving consists of 3oz of protein, 1 cup of fresh vegetables, and a grain product (1 slice of bread for example). Keep in mind that when we go out for dinner, the portion sizes are quite large and normally are not a good example to follow.
Eat healthy foods
When it comes to food choices, think healthy! This may seem like an obvious statement, but when you are deciding what to eat, ask yourself “Is this good for my body and mind? Do I have the option to make a healthier choice?” You are the only one who can change your eating habits! Still treat yourself, of course! But make conscious choices. If you have the option of a muffin for breakfast or some fruit and yogurt, opt for the fruit and yogurt, especially if you know you’ll be having some pasta later in the day.
Track your intake of calories
According to estimated energy requirements, the average Canadian adult needs about 2000 calories per day. This of course varies between individuals. Keep an eye on your caloric intake throughout the day; you’d be surprised at how many calories some meals or snacks really are.
Regular physical activity
Our weight depends on how many calories we take in, and how much exercise we get to burn them off. The Government of Canada suggests at least 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity per week for the average adult. This isn’t limited to going to the gym – be creative! Taking dance classes is an awesome example of a way you can increase your heart rate and burn calories.
Set reasonable goals
You may have big goals in the long run, but remember to set small, manageable goals to work up to those big goals. It can be discouraging if you don’t meet your goals, and it’s important to keep your confidence up while managing your weight. Small goals could include doing yoga or going to the gym once a week. If you can do that, your confidence will start to grow and you can start increasing your goals.
Be kind to yourself
This is one of the most important factors in weight management. Don’t beat yourself up or put too much pressure on yourself if you aren’t getting the results you want. These things take time and in order to meet your goals, you have to stay positive mentally. At Shift, we can help you navigate to more positive self-talk and eliminate the barriers that are getting in the way of this.
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