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What are the biggest things that help someone stick to a weight loss program/lifestyle change?
1. Food journal/diary. Those who keep detailed notes of what they eat and drink each day are at least 60% more likely to succeed in their long-term health goals. Unless you lie in your own journal, it works as an accountability partner and a history that you can review to determine changes you need to make at different points or when something isn’t working.
2. Simplicity. Those who believe they need lots of variety and complicated recipes often overwhelm themselves in the process. While it’s great to make foods you enjoy and avoid boredom, it seems at least in the early stages, most people are more successful when they have fewer choices to make and less time to spend on a daily basis preparing food. This is why the next piece is so important…
3. Food prep. While most people do not enjoy the time and effort it takes to prep food for a healthy diet, the willingness to do this work not only reduces The time to prepare meals throughout the day or week, but it also makes it much more convenient and motivating to make healthy food choices once the prepped food is ready and/or packed up. If you are eating mostly vegetables and fruits and simple meals, food prep really doesn’t have to take that long. You can even shorten the time by breaking up food and pulsing in a food processor or using the slicing blade to make the prep time shorter. YOU CAN ALSO PREMAKE DRY SALADS BY ADDING SMALL AMOUNTS OF EACH INGREDIENT TO THE PROCESSOR, PULSING LIGHTLY AND THEN PACK IT UP. DO THIS A FEW TIMES AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT A TIME SAVER IT IS.
Yes, there are other important aspects to staying on track to lose weight and improve health, such as family/friend support, cooking skills/practice, regular blood tests, vitamin/mineral supplementation when necessary, exercise…But these top three can take you a long way all on their own and especially in addition to the other aspects.
Need a health/life coach to take you to your goals using a holistic approach to food and behavior? Hire us! It is never just about food! Learn how to change habits, use tools such as delayed gratification, visualizations, how to approach new food choices, the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, reduce inflammation and pain, fight anxiety with food and psychological tools.
If you feel tired, you automatically grab a cup of coffee or many cups, along with a sugary snack to get fast energy. Then when you get hungry later, you might be tempted to go for some fast food and bring home a pre-cooked meal for the family instead of feeling the desire to cook a healthy meal at home. By the time you lie down in bed, you can’t fall asleep due to the sugar spike. So you sleep little and wake up tired again the next morning…and so the cycle continues. Or maybe you have inordinate stress due to say a pandemic or normal stress from work, finances, or family.
The short-term result is that you may have the ability to get through the day, but in the long term, you gain weight due to less than stellar food choices in combination with none or minimal exercise.
In addition to the above, metabolism slows down quickly when you don’t sleep enough. While slower metabolism in a healthy nutrient-dense lifestyle is a good thing (to be discussed in a future article,) sudden metabolism drops due to sleep loss is another cause of weight gain, even without increasing your intake of poor food choices.
How do you resolve your lack of sleep?
- Avoid caffeine after lunch.
- Exercise regularly to improve the quality of sleep. It’s up to you when you exercise but it is suggested that most people should not exercise close to bedtime.
- Cut out junk food at night – high-calorie, processed foods or “heavy” foods can cause indigestion, bloating, and cause your body to focus on digestion instead of healing when you are sleeping. This impacts the quality of your sleep and body functionality and can result in quick weight gain.
If you are getting a full night of sleep most nights and still wake up exhausted, you may need to evaluate your current stress and anxiety levels. There are many exercises you can use to reduce anxiety and stress for short-term and long-term needs. On the other hand, there may be underlying conditions, and you should seek your doctor’s advice for further examination.
Need someone to help you put down that ice cream or pick up those vegetables? Hire a coach. @darcikingry is available via Zoom, phone or other media to help you with tips and tricks and the facts. It’s never just about the food. That’s why hiring a coach trained in holistic life and health coaching can make a difference in your success.
Darci has been on The Doctor Oz Show, highlighted in the 2015 PBS special with Joel Fuhrman, M.D., interviewed by Elisha Lee of Eat to Live Daily and the popular Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/eattolivedaily/ and is included in the book Legends of Change by Rebecca Frith. Follow Darci on Instagram at @darcikingry or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/eatforlifesupport and https://www.facebook.com/SimplyNutritarian.
There are more myths than truths out there about weight loss. Most people are desperate for a quick fix and become victims of fad diets, dangerous surgeries, and useless pills. But you can save money, your life, your time and heartache by following some simple rules to get started. You don’t have to do everything at once! Do what you can and stick with it no matter what comes your way. Start over when you fall down -immediately – and don’t let the insecurity of others pull you into their downfall and drama.
There are are some strategies that work. But like anything worth it, you have to do the work – there is no safe magic pill that guarantees thinness and health forever unless you do the work and practice the discipline to get there.
1. Eat mostly whole-food plants and vegetables and fruits. Cooked, raw, both…I don’t care. Just eat them and eat them more than anything else!
2. Drink water – and pretty much only water – most of the time. Tea and carbonated water are ok too. Avoid large glasses of juice (even pure fruit juice) and most definitely avoid sugary drinks filled with chemicals. Every cell in your body thrives when infused with simple water – start with at least 8 ounces first thing upon waking and keep it going with every meal and break.
3. Eat only when truly hungry – call it intermittent fasting or just listening to your body. Real hunger is felt in your mouth, not in your stomach. Most of the noises and feelings in your stomach between meals are actually your body’s process of digestion – not preparing to eat every few hours. Our bodies can’t focus on healing when we are constantly digesting food. So let’s give our bodies a break between fill-ups.
4. Avoid processed sugar – it is not only unnecessary, but there are also hundreds of reasons to stay far away. From blood sugar spikes to liver damage to cancer. Look it up! Or message me for how sugar ruins us – a little is ok but few people have the discipline to stop at a little.
5. Exercise – Yes, food is about 80% of weight loss success; however, exercise is still important for a healthy body and mind. So break it up by doing things you enjoy such as riding a bike, playing with your kids, walking, lifting some weights (fill up some gallon containers with sand or water!), or going for a run. Anybody movement is good body movement. Aim for at least 30 minutes per day.
6. Sleep – and sleep some more. We tend to underestimate our body’s need for rest. This is when our bodies can truly focus on healing and not much else. For those trying to lose weight, a healthy 8 hours sleep each night is vitally important to reduce fat-inducing hormones, such as cortisol.
7. Chew slowly – two winning outcomes here: you will likely eat fewer calories AND your body may have an opportunity to increase the hormones that aid in weight loss.
8. Practice delayed gratification – most (yes, I know it is not everyone) people in our society have a lot of emotional attachments to food, as well as a lot of temptation and family and friends who enable. Food addiction in the USA is REAL. To combat this, you must practice delayed gratification exercises but waiting 30 minutes when you are tempted to eat something that does not do your body good. Read, exercise, watch TV, play a game, talk to a friend or eat something healthy and filling. If this doesn’t work, FORCE yourself to wait another 30 minutes. Still no? eat half of what you want and wait another 30 minutes. The more your practice, the more your mind and body will begin to change habits and lose the addictive compulsion. But you have to be consistent. Most people lose their “craving” within 30 minutes. And yes, I know it can be physically painful that emptiness in your stomach and brain for feeling deprived of that ice cream or grilled cheese. But you can do this!
Need someone to help you put down that ice cream or pick up those vegetables? Hire a coach. @darcikingry is available via Zoom, phone or other media to help you with tips and tricks and the facts. It never just about the food, that’s why hiring a coach trained in holistic life and health coaching can make a difference in your success.
Darci has been on The Doctor Oz Show, highlighted in the 2015 PBS special with Joel Fuhrman, M.D., interviewed by Elisha Lee of Eat to Live Daily and the popular Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/eattolivedaily/j and more. Follow Darci on Instagram at @darcikingry or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/eatforlifesupport and https://www.facebook.com/SimplyNutritarian.
How does coaching help those trying to solve constant anxiety, lose weight, improve health and have a better quality of life, and what is required for the coach/client relationship to be successful?
The clients who get the most out of coaching are those who make the time to speak with a coach and are committed to making changes in their life. They recognize that they need someone to guide them through the process to reach their goals and improve their mental, emotional, physical and sometimes spiritual health. A successful result comes from a client who understands that the best approach is for the coach to elicit a plan on a partnership basis and not simply dictating everything a client must do with no room for flexibility. No matter how strict the program needs to be, it is vitally important that the client participates in the planning and the entire process beyond just following the “rules.”
This only works if the client understands what changes need to be made in order to reach their desired goal(s). We all understand that too many calories and no exercise does not aid in weight loss. We all know that we must eat a significant amount of vegetables to take in enough micro-nutrients to bring on improved health and a feeling of well- being. A coach helps a client to take knowledge and desire and turn it into action with achievable results. Even a client with the best intentions can have trouble sticking with a particular way of eating or exercise for more than a few weeks before falling off the wagon. The trick is that a coach can help you stay accountable and keep you moving forward, even when you do fall down. A good coach uses tough love and positive reinforcement, along with factual guidelines and sincere support to keep a client motivated. A good coach also has a great foundation from both education and experience to share so that a client can eventually become a better coach to themselves and sustain the health improvements, weight loss and quality of life that is gained during a program.
Discipline is one of the biggest challenges for people who want to make lifetime changes. Why is it so hard to stick with a plan or routine? Because humans are not naturally disciplined. It takes repeated practice to develop discipline even when you are determined to lose weight or change your habits in other areas. A coach helps you by teaching you exercises and holding you accountable. When we have to tell someone the truth about what we’ve eaten or how many times we did (or didn’t) do our anxiety exercises over the past week, we are more likely to make things happen. This is true because humans in most cases do not want to disappoint the person they have made a promise to or who has committed time and effort to help them through a desperate time. Often people find discipline strength for short sprints in our lives – saving money for a vacation or a new car or that engagement ring for a new bride. But when it comes to our health and wellness, we often decide, “It’s too expensive,” or “It takes too much time.”
The ultimate responsibility of a health or life coach is to ensure that a client understands their particular health, weight loss or emotional or other needs and how the process must work to make permanent and positive changes; but also refers a client to a licensed medical professional when necessary. Coaches can help a client through advanced psychological practices, advice on succeeding on a particular food plan, dealing with anxiety and how to reduce or eliminate it. More and more people are turning to coaches who specialize in specific areas and often have personal transformations or other experience beyond their education to help them better relate to their clients.
If you have tried time and time again to make changes in your life to better your physical or emotional health through coaching, healthier eating habits and best practices and have failed, consider hiring a coach to get you on the right track. Ask yourself these questions: How many times have I tried on my own? How many different programs and diets have I tried? Have I committed fully to a plan for more than a few weeks? Do I know the basics but still can’t seem to make it work? Do I have chronic pain, overweight or anxiety that is holding me back from a happy and peaceful life?
Change your health, change your life!
Think Intentional is not a replacement for your doctor and will not direct you on making changes to your medications or medical treatments. A holistic health coach is a compliment to medical care and can guide you to live your best life.
For medical or mental health emergencies, always consult your doctor or other licensed medical professional or dial 911 on your phone.
Most people lose weight quickly when they first change their diet, start an exercise program, or make other changes to their lifestyle. After the initial weight loss or when you get closer to you goal, weight loss typically slows down, often to a crawl or a complete stop. There are many reasos why this happens.
Our bodies were designed to feast when food is available and conserve energy when food is scarce. So when we get closer to our goal weight or fitness level, it should not be a surprise that our body fights to retain the remaining body fat. That being said, here are some other reasons you might not be losing weight:
Failing to Track What You Eat
It has been proven time and time again that those who track what they eat on a regular basis lose more weight and maintain the loss. When you journal your daily food intake, it keeps you accountable, whether you have a health coach or not. It also boosts your confidence when you make healthy choices and helps you figure out what to change when you are at a plateau or even gaining weight. Too much of some healthy foods can still sabotage all of your best intentions.
Not Eating Enough Whole Foods
While juicing, smoothies, soups, and fasting have their place in a lot of people’s lifestyle, many people are perplexed when the scale stops moving in the right direction. When we drink most of our calories, our bodies are digesting “too” efficiently. This means that our bodies have far less work to do in order to process the macronutrients and calories. This causes us to raise our blood sugar, hold more calories and fat from the meal, and slow down our weight loss. Does this mean you can’t have juices, smoothies, and soups? Absolutely not.
The point is that it is extremely important to chew most of your food when you are losing weight. I eat soup multiple times a week, but I also eat a lot of salads, vegetable dishes (both raw and cooked) and whole fruits. So these wonderful drinks and foods have their place, but not as a constant meal replacement.
You Are Only Doing Traditional Cardio Workouts
There are a lot of myths out there in regard to weight loss, and in turn in regard to exercise. While cardio is necessary and beneficial, you will have better results when you add these other exercises into the mix, you get all the benefits
- Add strength training/weight lifting to your weekly program. The reason for this is that increased muscle mass allows you to burn more calories, even when you are resting. Toned muscles also look good!
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – You may think HIIT is just the latest trend, but the theory has been around for a long time. What is it? You push yourself to work as hard as you can for a short period of time, such as a minute. Then you slow it down for two-to-three minutes and push hard again. The benefits of HIIT are a strengthened cardiovascular system, faster fat loss, improved endurance, and increased muscle tone. The best part of HIIT is that you can apply it to all types of exercise, including cardio, weight lifting, and jogging/running.
- Slow Exercise – This includes most forms of yoga, Tai Chi, and other breath-focused exercises. Adding at least a few days a week to your routine has been shown to aid in weight loss, reduce anxiety, and improve stress management.
- Lack of Variety – Just like the foods we eat can cause our bodies to rebel if we eat the same combinations regularly, stagnating the types of exercise we do can have a similar effect. So get out there and change it up, try something new and have fun with it.
You Are Not Sleeping Well or Enough
All by itself, a good night’s rest can help you lose weight more quickly and keep you from getting sick often. Our bodies focus on digestion and healing when we sleep. I know that I can have a difference of several pounds on the scale based on whether I have been sleeping well or not.
Numerous studies now show that lack of sleep is one of the top contributors to obesity. Lack of sleep effects our cortisol levels (among many other hormones), which are a big factor in fat gain or loss.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you are free to eat as much as you want. While that may be relatively true for greens or cruciferous vegetables. Most people don’t binge on those super nutrient-dense foods. Eating an abundance of potatoes or sprouted grain bread or avocados is going to add up.
One day of binging can sabotage a whole week of balance, healthy meals and prevent weight loss (or even cause weight gain). Don’t let yourself yo-yo just because you are eating healthy foods. Be a mindful eater. If you suffer from a history of binge eating, you most likely suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Find an experienced life or health coach to help you discover a solution to this challenging cycle of sabotage. For severe anxiety or eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, contact your trusted medical doctor or a doctor who specialized in eating disorders.
There are as many reasons for not losing weight as there are diets that promise to help you “once and for all.” Learn to be your own advocate by reading, researching, and seeking coaching for guidance or accountability. Few people are overweight simply because of their food choices.
Food choices are all or in part based on behavior that has been learned and repeated over time. You can change your behavior, the foods you eat, and finally find a healthy way to lose the excess weight. Watch for part two of this three-part post.