The Whole Foods Solution: Natural Weight Loss Without Dieting - Part I
Natural weight loss - what is this beast? Why are you suggesting I lose weight naturally? What the heck are whole foods? If I can lose weight without dieting why are you telling me about a diet?
Okay, okay, don't get your panties in a knot. Hold back your questions for now. I will answer all these and more, just give me a chance :)
I've split this article into two parts. Part I addresses the what. I'll tell you exactly what "The Whole Foods Solution" is. Part II addresses the how, "How to implement The Whole Foods Solution."
So lets delve into the what.
I define weight loss into two categories:
Natural Weight Loss vs. Forced Weight Loss
Both methods help you lose weight, but generally speaking I've only seen one category easily provide lasting results, and of course that's Natural Weight Loss.
Forced Weight Loss
These are weight loss techniques, like:
- calorie counting
- abstaining from/overeating certain foods
- diet trends like: gluten free, paleo, cabbage soup, Atkins, low carb, low fat...
- supplement use
- "extreme" fitness/work out routines
- you get the point ;)
These techniques do work; they help you lose weight. Some of you may even keep the weight off. But these methods are tough; they require a lot of work and concentration. Many are hard on you, throwing your body systems out of balance, or outright starving your body for nutrients.
But I'm not telling you anything new, you've tried many of the forced weight loss techniques. You lost weight, but I'm willing to bet you've gained it all back. Why?
All of these neglect one of the most important aspects of weight loss, the one thing that will determine if you keep the weight off or gain it all back.
The Mind Body Connection
(I'll talk about this a little more later on)
Natural Weight Loss
This method simply put is a:
Meaning, rather than "force" your body to lose weight through blood, sweat, and tears, you gradually change the way you live. You change over time, slowly, but you see monumental results.
Changing your lifestyle requires you focus on three areas of your life:
Addressing all three areas is integral to your success. Be wary of any program that looks at just one or two of these lifestyle areas, to succeed you need three.
"The Whole Foods Solution", um ya, it address all three lifestyle areas. It's a really big deal don't ya know!
The Whole Foods Solution Overview
Us experts in the field of nutrition, everyone from scientists to nutritionists, we've made eating overly complicated. Am I right? I bet you're confused as hell. You've got one expert telling you raw chocolate will help you lose weight, another saying juicing is the way to go, and none of us tend to agree on much.
I suggest you walk away from it all. Toss it all from mind and memory. Eating is not complicated. It wasn't complicated 400 years ago and it hasn't changed much since. Well, besides the fact that we don't have to run down Woolly Mammoths while being chased by Saber Toothed Tigers. That part's changed a little.
There is only one rule to remember:
Choose Whole Foods
Whole Foods are:
- Live - still contain live enzymes, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and sprouts
- Natural - unprocessed, unrefined foods, such as whole grains and legumes
- Good quality - grown in soil rich in essential nutrients, preferably free from pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. Or raised naturally (wild, free range, grass fed...), healthily, and free from excessive antibiotic use
List of whole foods:
- Animal Proteins
Can you picture the options you have with this type of eating? Think of the millions of meals and recipes you can create from the simple ingredients above. You can make whole foods eating as easy or hard as you want. Maybe you want quick few ingredient but yummy recipes - they exist. Maybe you are hosting a high class dinner party, ya, there's gourmet recipes for that.
The world is your oyster when you choose to eat whole foods.
What is NOT a whole food
- Coffee (eek I know - I tend to ignore this one, coffee is like everything to me lol)
- Caffeinated teas
- White Sugar/Corn Syrup
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Table salt (that white iodized stuff)
- Genetically Modified Foods
When you cut out the non-foods list, you pretty much stop eating every single GMO corn infested boxed packaged piece of garbage littering the grocery store aisles. Trust me, it can be difficult at first, but you will feel amazing.
I will delve more into the "How" during part II of this article, so please don't be overwhelmed. Keep reading, you're going to love this program, I know it.
Every pound gained has an emotional reason. Binge eating and other eating disorders all have emotional roots. If you don't face your fears, figure out your stresses, find your clarity, and set reasonable achievable goals, it is going impossible to achieve lasting weight loss.
This part of "The Whole Foods Solution" is very personalized. I cannot via a blog article tell you exactly what is going to work for you. I will however do my best to guide you. For now, we will discuss each area of the emotional/psychospiritual part of your life and in Part II of this posting I will do my best to guide you through how to change these areas of your life, and I will provide you with options for extra help.
In regards to weight loss, this is about accepting why you gained the weight, and why you haven't been able to lose it. This is about being honest with yourself, digging deep, and facing those deep dark fears that you could never voice aloud.
Clarity also requires you figure out what you want from your life and where you are now. Are you happy, why or why not? What would make you happy? This requires you look at your relationships, your job, home life, financial situation, and spirituality. Are you happy with these areas of your life? What could improve them?
While working on clarity for weight loss, it will be essential to face your body image. Do you love yourself? How do you really feel about your body? How do you want to look? Addressing these questions and learning to love and accept yourself is a big step in any weight loss program.
You are probably thinking I'm going to discuss your life's purpose, as is the trend right now. But, I simply don't believe we must think about and discover some divine purpose. I believe our purpose comes to us through action, and only through action can we see we've found purpose. So, my opinion is to forget all this nonsense about purpose. Focus on enjoying what you have now, living in the moment, and the tasks that bring you joy. You will look back at your life and see your purpose and how it changed when the time is right.
You're also thinking what a bunch of mumbo jumbo BS. I'm telling you, without work in the clarity department, your efforts will be for nothing. You will constantly struggle with your body image and weight, it will always be a fight. Find clarity and you will see the pounds start to melt away and your happiness grow fatter. It's a win-win.
It is a well known scientific fact that stress contributes to stubborn weight gain. Stress not only causes weight gain, but prevents you from losing the weight.
Not only does stress affect weight, it is continually being linked to many acute and chronic symptoms and diseases.
Getting a handle on your stress is essential to happiness, a healthy lifestyle, and losing the weight.
Reasonable Achievable Goals
After finding clarity and brainstorming ways to reduce the stresses in your life, setting goals will be natural.
Goals help keep us on track, remind us of our mission, give us motivation to push on.
The problem with goals is most of us don't know how to set them. We say something like, "I want to lose 100 pounds by my sister's wedding in 3 months." This goal is not achievable nor is it reasonable. Yes we want this result, but we've set restraints on the result that hinder us and make us fail.
When you are setting your goals it's important to be reasonable. Ask yourself, can I achieve this goal? Does it push me out of my comfort zone, will it motivate me? or Is it such a monumental challenge that I will quit after not seeing results as fast as I want?
In Part II of this series we will go through some goal setting exercises.
Working on improving our physical lifestyle is more than just exercise. This is about sleep habits and hygiene as well. When we add movement to our day and take care of ourselves, we become energized, more positive, happier with ourselves, and people notice.
You've probably been working on this part of weight loss for some time. You start exercise plans, are excited about them, give them your all, then your drive peters out. Suddenly it's been 5 days since you hit the treadmill and, well, it can wait one more.
Our bodies are meant to move, built to work. That being said, there is no reason to "kill" ourselves running like hamsters on a wheel. (unless of course you enjoy this)
My exercise philosophy is simple:
Choose Activities You Enjoy
Make movement a welcome part of your life. If you don't enjoy going to the gym, stop, find another way. Gyms and fitness classes are the "in" way to keep in shape, they work, they are fine, but only if you enjoy doing these activities.
If you aren't enjoying your physical activity, you will not succeed. Your stubborn nature will only go so far.
If you are new physical fitness, my first recommendation is always walking, followed by stretching. Our bodies are built to walk. It's low impact. Walking outside keeps us in touch with nature, which nourishes our spirit. Pretty much anyone can walk without injuring themselves. Walking is also a very sociable activity, so grab a walking buddy to keep you moving.
The stretching portion is a little tougher and must be approached with caution, but if you take it easy, over time you will notice big benefits.
Addressing how much you sleep and quality of sleep is the basis of every lifestyle change. Poor sleep leads to lack of motivation, which makes it difficult to follow through on your goals.
Sleep is becoming a big issue in both Canada and the US. Government health organizations are recognizing the negative impacts lack of or improper sleep has. Like stress, sleep disorders are being linked with many symptoms and illnesses.
In part II of this series I will give you a plethora of ideas on how to improve your sleep and some great resources for extra help in this area.
You're probably thinking this is a weird one. I beg to differ though. When we take care of our physical appearance, we feel better about ourselves, which improves our mood, giving us the willpower and motivation to strive for our goals.
Oh ya - taking care of yourself is the bees knees.
This doesn't have to mean makeup and showering. These can be part of good hygiene, but so is dry brushing, massage, sauna, and other activities that help us physically.
In part II I'm going to get pretty with you. I will have a long list of ways to feel good about yourself physically. You're gonna love this part, it's all about pampering. What lady doesn't love a good spa day ;)
The Whole Foods Solution Wrap Up
So that's "The Whole Foods Solution" in it's entirety. I've left nothing out, divulged all my secrets. Are you ever one lucky lady.
Okay, yes, the first read through is probably a little daunting (unless you're part of the dauntless faction), but I promise, in part II I will walk you through it.
This article explains each area to work on for improvement. I do not expect you to work on every area at once, and I definitely don't expect you to implement every change tomorrow. "The Whole Foods Solution" is about small changes adding up to big results over time.
So, stay tuned for Part II - where you get to it, you do it, you start changing your life, and watching yourself melt away into a person full of joy, energy, vibrancy, and all those lovey dovey good things you want.
I want to hear from you!
Tell me below what you think of "The Whole Foods Solution", do you think it's going to be amazing, or a load of crap? I welcome all feedback and discussion.