Posts Tagged ‘pounds’
Recently I’ve been reminded of a disturbing trend in the billion dollar diet industry—albeit one that has been pervasive for years. I refer to it as the “Light Switch Mentality” that’s being sold by many organizations, programs, books and so-called experts who proclaim that to lose excess weight, you (we) should be on a diet. But this kind of thinking often leads to the opposite of being on… Being off.
Certainly being on or off has become part of the dieting vernacular. But in my humble opinion, it’s a way of thinking that can potentially lead to more weight gain than weight loss. In fact, it’s while many of us with a dieter’s mentality are on our diets that we’re focused on when we plan on going off. It’s a mindset we’ve been sold as the way to success, when in reality, it can be the way to put on extra pounds.
As someone who started gaining excess weight around first grade, and whose parents immediately took me to a doctor who put me on a strict diet (yes, even at a very young age), I can attest to the fact that the on/off cycle contributed to my continuing to gain weight throughout my youth. Sure, I would take off a few pounds (when I was on). But then I would gain even more weight back (when I was off). By the time I graduated from college, I was clocking in at over 450 pounds. And this was after years and years of constant dieting—the very thing that was supposed to be helping me was actually doing more harm than good.
Thankfully, I was able to remove myself from this cycle after my home electronic scale started reading “ERR” (its internal code for error, since it was not programmed to register any weight above 400 pounds). It’s when I stopped thinking of “dieting” (and being on and off of one) and started embracing healthy eating that I began to make some real headway. Within a year’s time I had dropped most of my excess weight. And sure, I yo-yoed up and down the scale for a couple years after that. I was, after all, recovering from a lifetime of “on and off” behavior. But once I nailed it (reaching a healthy weight for my height and body frame), I’ve stayed at this weight for well over a decade.
But this is where I quickly bring up that damned light switch thinking again. Because many people who see my before pictures want to know my secret to losing over 250 pounds of excess weight without any kind of surgery or medication. They’re not too thrilled when I tell them the secrets are eating less, moving more, getting plenty of sleep and drinking enough water (AKA common sense). And they sometimes go onto register abject horror when I tell them I have to keep all of these mandates in mind even today (otherwise right back up the scale I’d go).
Successfully losing excess weight has nothing to do with a light switch. There’s never a time that we should be on or off. If we’re prone to gaining weight or if we choose to lose excess weight to benefit our mental and physical health, then it’s going to take some work. This doesn’t mean food plans can’t be extremely helpful. But whether we choose to have a salad for lunch or even if we opt to have some ice cream for dessert, we’ve got to always think about portion size and ingredient content (yes, even when it comes to the salad).
This doesn’t have to mean we are always on and never off. Instead, we can adopt new mindsets and start living life as healthy minded individuals. You know—like those those fantastical types who can eat half a donut and then declare they’re full. (Yes, even I’m dumbfounded by this kind of behavior to this day.) But what these people know that we do not, is that they can have another donut (or whatever) in due time. But those of us on the endless on/off cycle of dieting often think, “I will be on my diet tomorrow (or Monday or come January 1st),” so I better have eighteen donuts today.
On. Off. Not always helpful.
Healthy thinking. A move in the right direction.
And healthy thinking can include well made (meaning clean ingredient) treats that can be easily and moderately worked into our eating plans—whether we’re taking off excess pounds or simply maintaining a healthy body weight.
Although somewhat baffling, this can be triumphant news if we allow it to be. Thinking less of on and off can mean reduced shame and self-punishment (also part of many dieting cycles, mentally speaking). Fact is, you are beautiful at your current weight (inside and out). If you choose to get healthier and drop some of the excess weight, then do so in a fashion that embraces all that life has to offer and try leaving the on/off Light Switch Mentality behind.
At the risk of an eye roll or two, what do you have to lose?
By Lisa Goldberg, Licensed Clinical Nutritionist
In the 15 years that I have been helping my clients lose weight by changing their mindset, habits and behaviors around food and eating, I have observed that more than any other influence, our emotions seem to sabotage our eating behavior.
If emotional eating is something you struggle with and it keeps you on the diet roller-coaster, I want to offer you some strategies that you could start to implement so you could change your behaviors and begin to stop emotional eating. The next time you find yourself wandering into the kitchen or thinking about the fast food drive-thru, try implementing these strategies:
5 Strategies to Stop Emotional Eating
When you “feel like” you want to eat, ask yourself “ AM I HUNGRY”? If you are not, try to figure out what you are really feeling that is making you want to eat. If the feeling isn’t hunger, make a cup of tea, drink some water or brush your teeth. (Believe it or not, this really works!)
When you want to eat because of how you feel and not because of hunger, use the acronym H.A.L.T. and decide if you are Hungry, Anxious or Angry, Lonely or Tired. Find another way to soothe those feelings rather than through turning to food. And remember: Food won’t ever fix your feelings — and can often leave you feeling worse after a binge!
Be sure you are pre-pared and pre-planned for all of your meals and snacks. Always have a healthy snack in your bag or your desk so you do not get too hungry and make bad choices. Have food in your home to prepare healthy meals and take a few minutes to look at the restaurant menu online before you go out to eat so you make the better choice before you get to the table. Planning ahead helps you make good choices and if you fear getting hungry, you are prepared.
Always remind yourself what you really want. You think you want the pastry in the moment, but what you really want is to lose weight and feel better about yourself. Also remember WHY you are telling yourself no. If you remember your why it will feel less punishing. Dropping a few pounds and feeling good about yourself will last longer and taste better than the pastry. Trust me on this!
Each morning when you start your day, spend some time thinking about staying mindful in regard to your choices and what you really want for yourself. Any time you eat, you choose what goes in your mouth. Practice asking yourself “Why would I choose to eat something that makes me feel bad longer than it makes me feel good”? When you make choices that make you feel good, it prevents that voice in your head that says “I’ve blown it so I may as well keep going”.
The fact is, when you learn how to honor your hunger and learn how to get comfortable feeling your feelings, you will feel better both physically and emotionally and set yourself up for long-term success.
About the Guest Blogger:
Lisa Goldberg is a nutritionist with a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. In addition, her certifications and Licenses include: Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Dietician/Nutritionist licensed by New York State, Certified in Adult Weight Management by the ADA. Lisa is also a personal trainer certified by the American Counsel on Exercise since 1994. She was the Nutritionist at the New York Stock Exchange from 2003-2007 and for 10 years served as the nutritionist to traders on Wall Street. Anyone who would like to discuss their weight loss goals with Lisa can schedule a free 30-minute weight loss consultation with her by clicking here. (Simply let Lisa know you found out about her on the Just Stop! blog.)
A Note from Gregg:
As some of you Just Stoppers might remember, I have been lucky enough to be a guest in nutrition rockstar Lisa Goldberg’s recent weight loss summits not once, but twice. I love Lisa’s total approach to wellness, which not only includes getting to a healthy weight, but also enjoying life and learning to love and appreciate yourself in the process. And because we’ve had such a good time working together and sharing ideas, Lisa has graciously asked me to participate in her upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program (for the body, mind and soul) – during which you can discover how to break old habits and behavior patterns that keep you from losing weight once and for all. Holistic Health Coach Nicole Benson will also be joining us to add her knowledge and expertise.
Any Just Stopper who wants to find out more information (without any obligation), can click here to schedule a free 30-minute Discovery Session with Lisa herself to find out more about the upcoming 6 month online group weight loss program.
Here we are… Almost a month into the new year, which begs the question: Where are you in regard to your current fitness goals?
The good news is that wherever you happen to be, today is a new day and the only question you have to ask yourself is, “Where do you want to go from here?” Even if you haven’t accomplished everything you set out to do this month, beating yourself up, mentally, probably won’t help move you any closer to where you want to be. Instead, give yourself a mental hug and remind yourself why you want to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.
Too often we focus on what we’re giving up rather than what we’re gaining (pun intended). Living life on the “healthy side” offers so much more joy, so much more happiness and so much more choice. Don’t rob yourself of everything you have ahead of you. And if that means dragging your butt to the gym or turning down a second helping of pasta, do it. Because it’s worth it. Put those “horse blinders” on and stay focused on the reasons you want to lose weight and/or get healthier.
The stronger your positive mindset, the stronger your chances of actually reaching your goals. And those of you who are familiar with my story know that I know what I’m talking about. I once weighed in excess of 450 pounds. I would become out of breath just from talking on the phone. One day I decided “Enough was enough.” And that was after a million different attempts at getting on the healthy bandwagon. So no matter how many times you’ve tried before, no matter what’s transpired this month — today is a new day. And you, my friend, can accomplish anything you set out to accomplish.
Ready? Set? Go!
Photo Source: Pinterest
Fun fact: When I weighed over 450 pounds, I was drinking 6-12 cans of diet soda a day. Today, I weigh around 175 pounds (and have for well over a decade) and I don’t drink any soda — ever. Still think soda can’t harm you? Check out these statistics on soft drinks and disease from the Harvard School of Public Health (click here), which includes findings such as “People who consume sugary drinks regularly—1 to 2 cans a day or more—have a 26% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely have such drinks.” Giving up soda and replacing it with water is one simple thing you can do to have a lasting effect on your physical (and even mental) wellness — even without drastically changing your eating or exercise habits. What are you waiting for?