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The Key to Losing Weight & Maintaining it

weight loss

Embarking on a weight loss journey is an empowering time in a person’s life.  An opportunity to implement new, supportive practices that will eventually harden into habits. At Awaken Your Health, we know that making healthy and sustainable changes doesn’t have to be about deprivation, restriction, calorie counting, or fad diets. It’s about taking responsibility for your health, supporting your food relationship, knowing you deserve joy, and feeling your absolute best every single day!

Knowing the best methods to lose weight can be confusing. People can feel bombarded with information over-load baffled by fad diets, pills, potions and tricks – it’s no wonder it all feels ‘too hard’. So how do you know what’s right for you and the best way to achieve results? 

What’s Wrong with weight loss pills, tea’s & fad diets?

The main problem with fad diets is exactly that, they are a trend.  It is both unrealistic and unhealthy to maintain those diets (and their results) over the long term. Weight loss pills are another common approach taken to weight loss. They can be detrimental to your health and often even come with an array of nasty side effects such as heart palpations, insomnia and anxiety due to the high caffeine content. I’m sure many of you have seen weight loss teas advertised on social media and magazines? These too can be damaging to health due to their diuretic and/or laxative action that can lead to severe dehydration and dependence.

A Naturopathic Approach to Weight Loss

A naturopathic approach involves a full health assessment, where your current health status, diet and lifestyle are all taken into consideration. Health investigations may be suggested to identify hindering factors affecting your ability to lose weight. This holistic approach allows us to design an effective, tailored plan to suit your unique requirements. It provides you with the best possible chance of achieving your weight loss goals, and the right tools and education to maintain your amazing results!

THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS

Making small yet effective changes is the key to weight loss success. These 5 steps can benefit anyone looking to improve their health or lose weight. The best thing is that you can start them almost immediately.

Include 1 Healthy Fat with Each Meal

Good quality fats digests slowly, helping you feel fuller for longer and you eat less overall. Try including one of the following with each meal; olive oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, nut butters, nuts and seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed/oil, oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines).

Always Pack Your Snacks

This is a big one if find yourself reaching for a chocolate bar at 3pm. Being prepared with a healthy snack is the key to avoid overeating and making poor choices. Always keep a range of balanced snacks on hand or in the desk at work – raw nuts, bliss balls, dried figs or prunes, boiled eggs, chia puddings, hummus or tahini and carrot sticks, fresh fruit or yoghurt pots are all great options. Don’t have time to prepare snacks? The next tip will help.

Set a Prep Day

I am a huge fan of locking in a ‘prep day’ once a week. There’s no need to give up the whole day, even just 1 hour is sufficient (providing you have the ingredients available in the kitchen). Prepare snacks in bulk, put the slow cooker on and freeze a few meals for lunch, do a sufficient food shop and stock your pantry with clean wholesome food for the week ahead.

Switch on Fat Burning Mode (your metabolism)

Our body’s metabolism dictates how we burn fat and produce muscle. Stimulate your fat-burning power by increasing these food sources; chilli, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, green tea and protein (eggs, lean meat, poultry, fish).

Increase NEAT 

NEAT stands for (non-exercising activity thermogenesis), it is the energy expended for all physical activities that is not sleeping, eating or sport-like exercise – think of it as moving more and sitting less! Increasing regular movements into your day has the ability to increase your metabolic rate and burn more fat. This step is crucial for those who spend long hours sedentary for work or traveling in the car. Examples include typing, walking to work, taking the stairs, carrying your groceries, fidgeting, dancing, gardening, cleaning, housework, try doing squats or calf raises whilst brushing your teeth – it all adds up!

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Body talk

young woman meditation on sunset beach

With the pace of modern life, your body’s inner wisdom and intuition is incredibly easy to become disconnected from. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness, time in nature, and even being well rested can help us to still our minds and the noise of the world, just enough to hear our inner voice, and our body talk. Our intuition connects us to both our inner selves, and to something larger and beyond our own lives and ourselves.

Taking the time each day to tap into our own body’s inner wisdom, to gain a basic understanding of what our body may need for that particular day, is vital to fostering a sense of harmony and connection on the body, and providing it with what it truly needs.

When we explore the body, what we put in the body, and how it makes us feel, we cannot overlook our relationship with our body and with our food. Understanding that we all have a unique relationship with our food, stress, and our environment is a first vital step.

Thinking about what drives your food choices is always a good place to start. Is it about convenience? Cost? Are you an emotional eater? Is it about taste for you? Are you a follower of emerging trends for super foods? Whatever it may be, there is a sense of food and information overwhelm when it comes to Nutrition: I see it every day in private practice. And one of my pet hates – adopting highly restrictive eating regimes – can foster and add momentum to unhealthy relationships with food, turning eating a battle. Forgetting dietary labels, particularly when sticking to a particular way of eating is not serving our body’s needs, is courageous but necessary if we are to truly be intimate with ourselves. We can be so heavily influenced by the things around us. Allowing time each day to come back to yourself – unplugging, disconnecting from gadgets and social media, connecting with the earth and your body via an intuitive meditation /mindfulness/ yoga practice helps you find your true self.

“The way is not in the sky, the way is in our hearts”. Buddha.

Healthy eating is often simple eating. To reduce food complexity and to take the battle out of your food choices, the ancient sanskrit translation of Sthira and Sukha comes to mind. Applying both effort and steadiness, combined with lightness and ease to the way you nourish your body, to find the sweet spot for your way of eating, is a wonderful mantra: one I apply with clients daily.

 

Tabitha X

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