Do you wonder if there are foods you are sensitive to that may be preventing you from losing weight?
Do you struggle with nagging cravings that sabotage your efforts to eat healthy?
Would you like to feel more energy throughout the day, so you can live your life with more passion and vibrancy?
Hi, I’m Danielle Omar, a Registered Dietitian and the founder of Danielle Omar Nutrition. And I know the secret to weight loss. It’s pretty bold to say that I have the secret to weight loss, but it’s true!
It’s not about calories in/calories out. It’s not about going high protein, low fat, or no-carb. And of course it’s not about dieting or deprivation. What it IS about is food confidence. Food confidence is one of those concepts that once you get it, you really get it. I have had food confidence for a long time. You might say I have mastered it.
How does it work? The quickest way to becoming a confident eater really has little to do with what you eat. It’s more about your mindset. It’s about knowing, and I mean really knowing, that you always have a choice. Food doesn’t just happen to you. You always have a choice when it comes to what you eat.
If you’re like many of my clients, you may struggle with this concept at first. I understand. I’ve been there, too. But until you can make this mental switch, you will continue to feel like a victim around food. This first part is critical, you must truly believe that you have a choice.
The truth is, most people want to eat healthy; they just don’t set up their lives to make it happen. Many also don’t ever learn which foods give them abundant energy, clarity and joy versus foods that cause fatigue, pain and lead to chronic disease. Discovering this is not only the secret to weight loss, but to lifelong good health and vitality.
Food confidence doesn’t happen by jumping onto the latest fad diet, going Paleo, or following someone else’s dogma. It’s not about eating high protein, low grain or high fat. It’s simply about eating clean, whole foods. It’s about learning how your body and your unique chemistry reacts to the food you eat.
Fortunately, there are a few things we already know. We know certain ingredients in food can be allergens. If you have food sensitivities, it can damage your digestive tract, keep you from absorbing nutrients, cause weight gain, and keep you from losing weight. Food sensitivities can also make you tired, depressed and unmotivated.
A crucial first step is determining whether the food you are eating is making you sick. The second step is to nourish yourself with the best that food has to offer, foods that naturally contain the nutrients your body needs to leave you feeling full and satisfied on less. You know what it feels like to stuff yourself on high-calorie, highly processed, nutrient poor food, and still crave something more. Nobody enjoys the feeling of being full, yet unsatisfied. This is your body’s adverse reaction to the imbalance between your calories and your nutrients.
Your body actually CRAVES the good stuff! It craves the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients in high quality food. And when you’re eating nutrient rich food, your body no longer relies on will power to limit your intake. Rather, it is the nutrients themselves that signal your brain to stop eating. Highly processed foods lack these signaling nutrients. You know this because you can eat serving after serving of it and never feel satisfied. This is a sign from a cellular level that is saying, “Feed me nutrient rich, high quality food.”
My program, Nourish: 21 Days of Clean Eating, can help you become a confident eater. At the core of the program is learning which foods make you feel energized and satisfied versus those you may be sensitive to. But even more than that, you will also:
Cultivate a reverence for healthy, nourishing foods.
Develop a new appreciation for vegetables and greens, how they are prepared, and how often you eat them.
Make food a vital partner in your journey for living a healthy lifestyle.
Ignite a passion for cooking and preparing new and interesting foods.
Gain an appreciation for the power of self-care and how important this daily practice is for replenishing you from the inside out.
The spring session starts April 13th. Will you join me?
Danielle Omar is a Registered Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant, and Founder of foodconfidence.com, where men and women find the path to confidently managing their own lifestyle transitions, reaching not only their weight and wellness goals, but also embracing a new way of looking at food and nutrition. Through her own lifestyle example and her inherent gift of teaching, Danielle guides her clients through a transformation from old eating patterns, to a renewed way of life. After working with Danielle, clients are left with a deeper understanding of the obstacles that led to unhealthy nutrition habits, and how to remove those obstacles, rather than work around them temporarily.
As a dietitian I help women form a healthy relationship with food. I show them how to listen to their hunger, to make self-care a priority, and to treat themselves with love and respect. But I’m also a human being, and that means I have bad days. Stressful days when I make not-so-healthy choices. Like last week when I ate an entire JUMBO bag of Twizzlers while driving in my car. Here’s what happened:
My fiancé Aaron had surgery a few weeks ago (nothing major, and he’s doing great), but with the pre-op appointments, the hospital surgery, the post-op appointments, and all the running around I’ve been doing to make sure he’s recovering comfortably, I’ve been super busy. Combine this with my work deadlines, and I was seriously overwhelmed.
Plus, my mom ended up in the hospital with a broken nose artery the same day as Aaron’s surgery. With so much going on I was skipping meals, skipping my workouts, and skipping my morning meditations.
So one day last week I made Aaron a healthy breakfast, but I was rushed to get to the pharmacy so I didn’t bother to sit down and eat myself. I had a few sips of Aaron’s green smoothie, and then I ran out to the store. I’m at the pharmacy and I realize that I am H-ANGRY (hungry and angry). So what do I do? I buy a jumbo size bag of Twizzlers (enough waxy red candy for a small village!) at the checkout counter, and I scarf down almost the entire bag while driving to my next errand. UGH. And then I started to get down on myself about it.
But after berating myself for a few minutes, I made a different choice, a better choice. I drove to a favorite park and took some time for myself. I let myself really FEEL my emotions, and I thought about how I made the choice the last few weeks to take care of everyone else, while flat-out ignoring my own needs. Then I listened to my favorite meditation app (check it out HERE) for 15 minutes, and I made of list of things I could do that day to feel better. And I actually started to laugh about the Twizzlers. I mean, I don’t even like Twizzlers! So, yes…
Sometimes I eat an entire jumbo-size bag of candy in under 10 minutes.
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and anxious and out of control.
Sometimes I skip dinner and have a giant plate of French fries instead.
Sometimes I ignore my hunger signals and end up overeating.
Sometimes I have really bad days and sometimes I make really bad choices.
And that’s OK! I’m sure this happens to you too. It’s just a part of life. But if your food life is really out of alignment, it’s usually a red flag that something else in your life is also out of alignment. Pay attention to that. And instead of letting a bad day or a bad situation totally derail you, you can choose to guide yourself back to a self-loving place. Here’s how…
Step One: Embrace Your Emotions
From bliss to despair, we’re meant to experience a full range of feelings. Emotional pain is a natural and normal part of life. But when you resist the pain (or deny it, or stuff it down with food), it not only sticks around a whole lot longer, it causes a ton of (totally unnecessary) suffering.
But when you acknowledge your feelings without judgement by simply saying to yourself, “OK this is how I’m feeling right now, and that’s OK, I have a right to my feelings,” you give yourself the mental green light to relax into your feelings. You stop resistance and you practice radical acceptance. It’s simple and profound.
Look, I’m all for positive thinking, but it can do more harm than good if you don’t also allow yourself to really feel and deal with your feelings. So instead of dishonoring your emotions, embrace and express them.
Step Two: Take Back Your Power
Once you honor your feelings it’s SO much easier to step back from the situation and ask yourself, “What are some simple changes I can make right now, right here to feel better?” You don’t have to stay stuck in the eat-repent-repeat cycle. You can choose to show up for yourself with patience and with care instead. Even if you’re feeling angry (or sad or overwhelmed or whatever), you can choose to make a small self-loving choice that will have a HUGE impact in your life. Here are a few ideas:
* Read or watch something inspirational, like the Phenomenal Woman poem and video from Maya Angelou HERE.
* Write down three things you’re thankful for right now – I love this simple and modern gratitude journal.
So what do you think is the most powerful thing you can do to improve your weight loss journey? Find fun ways to work out? Eat whole foods? Drink more water?
Those things are important (and as a dietitian I certainly recommend that you do all of them!), but the real key for lasting weight loss has absolutely nothing to do with diet or exercise.
The secret to body confidence and lasting weight loss is to treat yourself with respect and kindness—not 10, 20, 30 or 100 pounds from now, but right now.
You can’t solve your body image and weight issues with the same hateful mindset that got you here. It just doesn’t work. People always say change takes time—and yes, change does require commitment and time—but you can have a quantum shift, meaning you can alter your perception of a situation, immediately.
Seem impossible? Try this simple exercise I share with the women who join Smaller Size Bigger Life, my online weight loss program for women who struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, overeating or body image issues.
Close your eyes and think about someone you love deeply: A sister, your best friend, a favorite aunt, whoever. Now imagine this person has gained 20 pounds, 30 pounds, 100 pounds or even 200 pounds.
Then ask yourself this: Would you love that person any less because of the extra weight they gained? Of course not! You love that person because of WHO they are (you love their spirit or their inner being), not because of the size or shape of their body, right?
And now ask yourself this: Can you give yourself that same consideration? Can you separate yourself from your body and see that you are an awesome and beautiful being who is worthy of love and kindness no matter what?
Because you are enough, exactly the way you are. You are beautiful, worthy and lovable. We all are. And nourishing your mind with compassionate and supportive thoughts is just as important as nourishing your body with nutrient-rich leafy greens.
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and felt inadequate (and hello, who hasn’t!?), please watch this powerful 3-minute video…
How fantastic is THAT!? As women, we tend to tear ourselves apart and see the worst about ourselves. We notice the negative. But we need to do the opposite. We need to build ourselves up and notice all the good.
In fact, I believe it is our responsibility to do so. No one is going to treat you better than you treat yourself. And it is not up to anyone else to do it—it is up to YOU.
Start talking to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love, and just watch how your life (and your body) changes.
I’ve been practicing unconditional self-acceptance for many years now—and that is exactly what it is, a PRACTICE. Some days I fail (miserably) and some days I fly. But no matter what, I keep practicing. And so can you. Just try it and see what happens.
With love and acceptance,
P.S. If you know a woman (or ten) who could use some help shifting her inner voice, please send her this video—let’s share the love and remind each other that we are all ENOUGH.