Posts Tagged ‘nutritionist’
Weight loss. Why is it so hard? The never-ending desire to lose weight no matter how much or how little. It seems so elusive and difficult for so many. No matter who I speak with, when I mention that I am a nutritionist, someone will always say, “I need to lose weight”. What I find so interesting that most people know what they need to do to lose weight. The problem is they just can’t do it. Here are 3 obstacles that usually keep people stuck and 3 solutions on how to move past them.
OBSTACLE #1: Mindless Eating
I find that most people lack an awareness of their habits and behaviors around food. Think about it. Do you know how many times you walk into the kitchen and open the pantry or refrigerator and grab something to eat, especially after dinner when you are no longer hungry? How about how many times you eat what’s left on your kid’s plate after you’ve finished your meal? Or how many times you walk by your co-workers desk and grab a handful of M & M’s, pretzels or whatever happens to be in the jar? These mindless acts of eating are often the stuff that people don’t even pay attention to and can’t understand why the weight is either coming on or not coming off.
Solution: Pay attention to whether you are experiencing HEAD HUNGER or STOMACH HUNGER. Do you think you are hungry or are you hungry? We all know what hunger feels like. Create an awareness of what goes in your mouth during the course of the day when its not an actual meal or planned snack. Once you start to become aware of how much extra goes in on a daily basis it will be easier to change this behavior and eliminate potentially hundreds of extra calories by the end of the week.
OBSTACLE #2: Restrictive Dieting
Going on a restrictive diet is the worst thing you can do to try to lose weight. Just thinking about possibly feeling deprived sends most people running for the nearest buffet table. These diets usually involve low fat or worse, fat-free processed foods. Restrictive diets are not maintainable long-term. This is a huge reason why people fail to stay on a diet plan and yo-yo diet. Low calorie diets or diets that remove food groups will, no doubt, set you up for an eating disaster because at some point you will go off the diet plan that you went on to lose weight.
Solution: Eat! Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day depending on how long your day is. Find good-tasting, healthy whole foods that you like and make you feel good both physically and mentally since our brain plays a huge part in our satiety. Be sure not to wait longer than 4-6 hours between meals and snacks. Buy a great cookbook and find ways to make your favorite foods healthy and delicious!
OBSTACLE #3: You Think it’s About Willpower
I hear over and over again “I have no willower” or “I wish I had willpower. If I did I would be able to stick to a diet and lose weight.” I am here to tell you that weight loss has little or nothing to do with willpower. Willpower, even if you did have it is short-term. It doesn’t last the rest of your life.
Solution: Change your way of thinking about food and eating. Focus on creating maintainable healthy habit changes that you can incorporate into your everyday life. The definition of a habit is: an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. Once you adopt healthier habits you will never have to worry about having willpower.
[Lisa will share 3 more obstacles and 3 more solutions in a future post]
About the guest columnist: Lisa Goldberg is a nutritionist and weight loss coach with a Masters in Clinical Nutrition from NYU. You can register for Lisa’s FREE Right Mind, Right Weight Online Summit by clicking here. Lisa is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State since 2001. Lisa specializes in personalized weight loss coaching, emotional eating, mindful eating, lifestyle and habit/behavior change. She helps her clients create the changes they desire so they can lose weight for good. Lisa also counsels clients on overall wellness, restoring health from chronic disease states, sports nutrition, and vitamin supplementation. Lisa has her private practice in New York City.
One recent morning I was up early, finished with the gym and running a few errands. While in my car and stopped at a red light, I saw a man on the crosswalk, consuming a large bag of barbecue potato chips. I checked the clock in my car (still before 9am) and did a doubletake, surprised that this person apparently could not begin his morning without the chemical-y goodness of artificially-flavored chips (yes, I checked the brand on the bag to see if they were all-natural or not).
Then, as if to emphasize a point, I saw another man nearby — this one sucking on a cigarette as if he were in outer space and needed it for oxygen. I must admit that I was in awe — so much so that a honk behind my car made me snap to and realize the light had turned green.
As I drove on, I thought about these two people. If you had been with me, you would have seen that the looks on their faces indicated their chosen substances were life giving forces that they needed to begin (or even get through) their respective days. But I assure you I wasn’t judging these folks. Instead, I was shuddering — reminded of a time in my life when I needed my own unhealthy substance to begin my day.
When I weighed over 450 pounds, I would wake up with a serious food hangover. And I assure you that “food hangover” is no catchphrase. Back when I weighed more than my scale would even register, I would eat at night until I was literally stuffed and in physical pain. I would then toss, turn and sweat all night long — until finally rising in the morning, barely able to stumble to the bathroom due to being in such anguish.
This is when I would grab for my life giving force of diet soda. That’s right. I would have to consume 3 to 4 cans first thing in the morning in order to be able to start my day and actually function. Along with the artificial ingredients (that I’m sure my body mistook for sustenance) and the caffeine, I think that the carbonation somehow helped digest the leftover food from the night before. I truly was unable to function before having multiple cans of diet soda. I was addicted — to this (and so much more).
I’m not proud of this confession — but I make it as a reminder to myself that I never want to go back to a time in my life when, to function, I felt like I had to remain on a cycle of self-abuse (in this case delivered by consuming the wrong foods and/or beverages simply to begin my day). Whether barbecue chips, cigarettes or diet soda, these are not the kinds offood groups recommended to start our day — food groups that can give us a positive (and healthy) outlook.
Letting go of what doesn’t really serve us means making a commitment to getting back to paying attention to how our bodies feel when consuming such substances. Today the thought of ingesting diet soda makes me want to barf. Don’t get me wrong. I’m human. I want my big cup of black coffee along with my all-natural cereal and fresh sliced fruit. But all of these things work together to add some pep to my step — rather than clogging my body, mind or organs with unnecessary ingredients that my body cannot process (and that might even cause harm in the long run).
Was this you, too? Or is it you? What do you feel like you have to have first thing in the morning that might give a nutritionist a panic attack? By paying attention to how you feel (how you really feel), you might just realize these substances aren’t what you’re craving after all. And as our tastes change, our bodies, minds and health can change — for the better. So tomorrow morning, why not rise, shine and dine — on a healthier, happier (and ultimately more delicious) choice than chips, cigarettes or diet soda? The life you save may be your own.
Photo Source: eatyourbooks.com