A few weeks ago, I got asked this question:
Do you need to count calories to lose weight?
Calorie counting is very helpful, and I encourage you to do it for a short period of time to really learn about portion sizes and what is in the food you eat.
But I rarely get my clients to meticulously track their calories, unless they want to do so.
Because most of them don’t want to. And because exact knowledge of their intake is not the biggest thing holding them back.
The biggest problem is mindset.
Thoughts that create self-sabotage.
Lack of self-belief.
Not putting themselves anywhere near high enough on their list of priorities.
Being stuck in the diet cycle of restrict, feel deprived, binge, feel ashamed, start again.
My goal is to help women break that cycle.
If you have a great relationship with food and with yourself, and you never knowingly overeat or overdrink, but you have weight you’d like to lose… then absolutely get yourself on my fitness pal and spend a few weeks tracking everything.
- If you have chaotic eating patterns
- If you feel like you have to cut everything out in order to lose weight
- If you use food for comfort or to relieve boredom or stress
- If you currently don’t value your body or your self very much
Let’s start addressing those first.
How to make this the LAST time you ever need to lose weight
How do we do that?
By doing it the right way. The long term way.
The way that works for you.
By focusing on creating a way of living and thinking that brings you success for the long-term.
This tends to involve getting healthy habits in place such as…
- Planning your meals.
- Fitting in some of your favourite less healthy foods and enjoying them guilt-free.
- Working on ways to deal with negative emotions that actually help you.
- Building your self-love, self-belief, and valuing yourself a whole lot more.
It’s not always easy, and that’s why it’s so important to enjoy the process.
What to stop and start doing for weight loss
Here are a few things to stop doing…
- Seeing healthy eating and exercise as a punishment (there are lots of ways to enjoy it)
- Expecting yourself to be perfect and beating yourself up when you’re not (no one does this perfectly)
- Denying yourself all your favourite food and drink (life is too short to not eat good cake)
Instead, let’s start…
Getting excited about all the good things you are creating for yourself.
Treating yourself with kindness and compassion and being your own best friend.
Telling yourself you can have anything you want, you’re just CHOOSING not to most of the time.
Because you want to be fit and healthy and the best you can be.
It makes such a crazy difference to start thinking that way.
Give yourself freedom, but take control
Restriction and avoidance lead to feeling deprived, then caving in and bingeing at some point down the road.
You replace all those calories you’d saved (and then some) with a massive blow out because it was just not sustainable.
Then you feel guilty and beat yourself up for falling off track again.
Most people at this point continue to self-sabotage for a while longer –
‘I’ve ruined it now, might as well carry on enjoying all this yummy stuff I’ve been missing out on’
Then start the diet process all over again.
This is not a sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off!
To lose weight and keep it off…
Lose it in a way you can live it.
Stop seeing foods as good or bad.
Stop telling yourself that YOU are good or bad based on what you eat.
Food is food.
Some helps you towards your goals. Some doesn’t help so much, but it’s delicious and you love it so you should absolutely include it in moderate amounts.
You are a human.
You are not defined in any way by your weight, dress size, or the foods you choose to eat.
There is so much more to you than that.
Come from a place of loving yourself as you are right now.
Change because you deserve better.
And with exercise…
Do you see it as a punishment, a chore, another thing you have to do?
How about flipping that to seeing as something like this…
You don’t HAVE to workout. You GET to.
It’s a gift. A blessing. An opportunity.
To get fitter, healthier, stronger. To just have fun.
Listen to your thoughts (and choose the best ones)
Us women are so hard on ourselves aren’t we?
We say things to ourselves we wouldn’t say to our worst enemy, let alone our best friend.
Often we’ve practised self-criticism for so long, it’s become a habit that we don’t even question.
Your challenge from today – every time you hear yourself think or say sometime negative about yourself…
Immediately turn it around.
What’s a positive thought you can think instead?
‘Oh look at my arms, they’re horrible!’
‘These arms have given so many hugs and so much love… they are getting stronger and more toned every time I workout… I’m starting to feel a bit of muscle and I love it’
And another one:
‘I always fail. I have no willpower’
‘Whenever I fall down, I always get back up and try again. I am learning what works best for me and I’ll keep going until I get there’
‘The scales haven’t changed – it’s not working. I may as well just go and eat crap’
‘I know the scales won’t change every week, and that doesn’t mean it’s not working. I’m doing this for me because I want to feel at my best. Crap food makes me feel crap. I deserve better than that. The scales will change again soon, and when they do I’ll be so fricking happy that I kept going.’
Decide that you are no longer prepared to give up on yourself
Many women have practised breaking promises to themselves over and over again.
Start a diet, find it’s unrealistic and unsustainable, give up on yourself, start again.
But this is a new You now, right? A new mentality.
A new way of looking at yourself and at weight loss.
Your brain needs you to prove that you don’t break promises to yourself anymore.
To build your own self-trust, make promises that you know you can stick to.
That often means small steps. Make it something that feels easy enough to do that you’re SUPER confident you can get it done.
Then go and do it.
Examples of this could be…
Walking 15 minutes every day. Filling half your plate with vegetables at dinner each night. Setting a realistic alcohol limit and sticking to it. Doing 10 squats and 10 push ups every evening before bed.
Small things add up. Once you get started and build consistency, you’ll find yourself wanting to do more.
The first thing to do is start showing yourself over and over again that when you say you are going to do something… you do it.
Because you are worth the effort.
So… no more starting diets.
No more looking for a diet plan that will work for you.
Create your own plan. One that you will enjoy and stick to.
One that suits your lifestyle, includes your favourite foods and drink, and prioritises YOU.
No more putting yourself at the bottom of the pile.
This is your body and your life.
You only get one of each of those things.
Don’t waste them.
Stop criticising and being so hard on yourself.
Start taking action (and keeping going).
Start backing yourself no matter.
Be prepared and willing to slip up over and over again because failing is part of success.
Decide that you will not beat yourself up anymore – you’ll just what you can learn and try again.
This whole health and fitness thing… it’s kind of a life-long game.
So make sure you enjoy it.
Remember it’s your journey. No one else to compare to.
You can do it.
You are worth it.
If you need any help, just let me know.
Always feel free to contact me HERE.