Search for the best way to lose weight and you’ll find almost 900 million results in a nanosecond. The sheer volume is dizzying. Combine that with conflicting theories and promises, it’s no mystery why we’re confused. So I thought, what if I could make weight loss a no-brainer?
I got the idea when I discovered No Brainer Day, a holiday encouraging people to stop over analyzing things and second-guessing themselves. Perfect! I coach clients all the time who tell me they don’t know what to eat or what exercise to do. There’s some niggling thought that there’s a right way to lose weight and keep it off that they just haven’t found yet.
But here’s the truth: they know more than they think they do. (And so do you!) But all the “expert” advice has convinced them they don’t. From media blurbs on today’s superfood to a co-worker’s latest detox that she swears by, filtering through what actually works can be painful.
So, I’ve put together these three tips on how to make weight loss a no-brainer:
1. Outline your own healthy eating plan: Forget cleansing and dieting, and focus on what you know. Make a list of all the foods that benefit your health, help you lose weight and (bonus) you like. If you took five minutes to write it down, you’d come up with dozens of foods. Don’t complicate this. If you keep in mind whole foods (versus overly processed foods that come in a box), you’ll do just fine. Blueberries, salmon, spinach, plain Greek yogurt, ground turkey, steel cut oatmeal, black beans, flax seeds, avocado…this is a tiny fraction of my list. And while I lean plant-based, you can see my list is not “pure.” That’s okay. Next, brainstorm all the ways these foods can combine to create meals, and make your plan from there.
2. Ask “Why am I eating?”: Is it physical hunger? Then eat. If not, ask why you want to eat: boredom, stress, procrastination…sometimes just because it’s “there” and “looks good.” But non-hunger eating will sabotage your weight loss plan every time. See if you can sit with the feeling and identify its source. If it’s boredom, can you be bored for a few minutes? Or do you need more excitement overall? If it’s procrastination, why are you avoiding the project, conversation, etc.? Remind yourself that eating only delays the inevitable, and wouldn’t it be better to just get it done? Whatever the non-hunger reason, stop, dig in and decide what you will do instead of eat.
3. Move your body: Exercise is more important to health than weight loss. Yes, it can greatly transform your body, but if you’re inconsistent, starting from scratch or don’t traditionally like exercise, focus on being active instead. What activities do you like? How can you make movement enjoyable? Thinking you have to run or take a HIIT class because they burn the most calories only helps if you like those exercises or are motivated and committed to do them consistently. Select an activity and start small. Even 5-10 minutes three days a week. It gets you in the habit which is most important. Without the habit, there is no movement.
See? No-brainer! 😊 You’ve got the wisdom and knowledge for healthy weight loss. Implement what you know and stick with it. Get support and additional information as needed. But start with trusting yourself.
You know more than you think you do.