After 20 years working as a dietitian in the weight loss business (as well as overcoming my own struggles), I can tell you with confidence that there is ONE thing that you must have for lasting success.
It is a supportive mindset.
In fact, shifting your mindset from self-sabotage, criticism and procrastination into inspired, consistent and joyful action is the ONLY way to create lasting change in your life.
And that’s why I’ve created this FREE Smaller Size Bigger Life Summer Session. To show you EXACTLY how you can do this.
The FREE Summer Session starts on August 1st, and I’d love to see you there! Grab your spot NOW by clicking HERE.
And here are 10 ways you can start shifting your mindset TODAY.
1. Take full responsibility for your life. Remember how capable and amazing you truly are.
2. Don’t dwell on the past. Forgive yourself and just let it go. You did the best you could at the time, period.
3. Refuse to criticize yourself. Become your own best friend, and recognize that you DO have the power to make positive changes in your life.
4. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Realize that your path to success will be unique.
5. Get curious about your emotional connections to food. Because if your food craving doesn’t come from physical hunger, then eating is not going to satisfy it.
6. Highlight and appreciate all that is already awesome in your life, and all that makes you so uniquely and wonderfully you. Recognize that you are so much more than your body.
7. Stop torturing yourself with exercises you despise. Find ways to move that feel good. Make it FUN.
8. Gently release your negative mental patterns. Nourishing your mind with compassionate and supportive thoughts is just as important as nourishing your body with nutrient-rich whole foods.
9. Wear clothes that make you happy. Stop waiting on the weight. Treat yourself with respect starting NOW.
10. Be easy with yourself as you discover new ways of thinking, eating and living. Support yourself, praise yourself, and ask for help when you need it.
Starting August 1st I’m offering a totally FREE 3-week Smaller Size Bigger Life Summer Session!
If you struggle with emotional eating, overeating, food or body image issues, this Summer Session is definitely for you : )
You’ll receive online training videos, downloadable action sheets and resource lists, live weekly Q & A chats with me, and access to the Summer Session Support Group, a private Facebook community—all for FREE.
Aaaaand you’ll also have a chance to win one of three full scholarships to my signature paid program, Smaller Size Bigger Life.
During the 3-week Summer Session you’ll discover…
* The hidden reasons you’re still struggling with weight or food and the one thing all women need to succeed.
* The exact three steps you need to take to break through the self-imposed barriers that are stopping you from reaching your wellness goals.
* The fastest way to end procrastination and stop sabotaging your success.
By now we all know that diets don’t work, right? Even so, with a 68 billion dollar weight loss industry constantly enticing us to jump on the diet-and-deprivation bandwagon, it’s hard to just say no. I get it.
But here’s the thing: Going on a diet is like putting a Band-Aid on a broken arm. They’re ineffective and exasperating at best, emotionally damaging and physically harmful at worst.
Diets don’t help you understand WHY you overeat in the first place, so they don’t get to the root of the issue. Diets also don’t show you HOW to eat, or teach you how to form a healthy relationship with food and your body.
And without those critical (and I mean CRITICAL) missing pieces of the weight-loss puzzle, you’re going to struggle. The allure of dieting is everywhere, but diets—most of which only focus on WHAT to eat—not only create an obsessive relationship with food and throw your metabolism out of whack, they also set you up for failure and frustration.
Please let go of the idea that there is a perfect diet or cleanse that will finally solve your weight problems. Realize that the answer lies within you. You have the power to transform your relationship with food, your hunger, and yourself.
Here’s how to lose weight without dieting in 4 (simple-ish) steps…
Step 1: Modify Your Mindset
Don’t start by changing what you eat; start by changing how you think. Do the mental work first.
First things first: Stop criticizing yourself…
Accept and love yourself exactly as you are, extra weight and all. You’re not giving up, you’re empowering yourself to feel good now, so that you can take positive actions towards your goals with confidence. Start now (yes, right now!) by forgiving yourself for the past. You did the best you could with the weight loss resources you had at that time, period. Release the past and begin again.
Next, start asking the hard questions…
What is the downside of losing the weight? For example, are you using weight as an excuse for failure? (“Because of my weight, I can’t be successful, I can’t get a boyfriend, I can’t be happy, etc. etc.”) Or does the weight make you feel safe or protected in some way? Are you terrified of being abused, abandoned or rejected once you’re thin? Once you understand your fears, you can gently work your way through them, and this will give you the psychological green light you need to lose the weight, for good.
Finally, shift your shadow beliefs…
We all have a set of memorized behaviors, emotional reactions, beliefs, and attitudes that run behind the scenes. This subconscious program determines how we live and make decisions on a moment-to-moment basis. And when you have limiting beliefs that don’t support your health goals, you end up constantly sabotaging yourself. Shift your beliefs and you’ll fast track your success.
“Hold up, Heather. I LOVE French fries, chocolate, burgers, and pasta. How can I possibly eat those foods and still lose weight!?”
Here’s the thing: You do not have to give up the foods you love to lose weight.
Try to stop seeing foods as “good” or “bad.” If you eat only when you’re physically hungry (see Step 4) and stop before you’re uncomfortably full (see Step 3), you can eat anything (yes, anything) you want… and still lose weight.
But you’ll reach your goal weight a lot faster, and you’ll feel a heck of a lot better, if you nourish yourself with whole and delicious REAL foods more often than not. Here’s what I do…
Most of the time (maybe about 85% or so) I eat nutrient-dense, clean foods I love (I shop at farmers’ markets, I drink green smoothies, I cook delicious real-food recipes, and I search out healthy foods everywhere I go). And the rest of the time, well, I just don’t worry about it. And neither should you. It’s all about eating real food in the real world
I also incorporate movement into my daily life, I eat mindfully and I stay in tune with my body…
Step 3: Tune Into Your Body
Remember when you were a kid and you instinctively knew when and how much to eat? It’s 100% possible for you to find that kind of freedom with food again.
Your (perfect and beautifully designed) body instinctively knows exactly what it needs to thrive and naturally reach its ideal weight—you just have listen to it.
Think of your hunger as a scale…
Once you reach a 1, 2, or 3 on the scale (the Danger Zone), you’ll trigger your primal drive to overeat. And then you can kiss moderation, mindfulness, and conscious eating (not to mention weight loss) goodbye. And H-ANGRY is never pretty!
As often as possible, eat in the Fuel Zone. Start eating at around a 4 or 5. Eat mindfully and stop when you get to a 6 or 7. Also, eat only foods you love (see step 2 above), and, as often as possible, eat REAL food, not food-like products that your body can’t process or identify.
Honoring your hunger and respecting your fullness will help you build trust with yourself and food. And it will help you reconnect with your body’s natural cues which, I’m guessing, have become pretty blurry from years of controlling and binging.
A balanced meal plan can help you get a feel for portions and nutrient combos while you start tuning in. But remember, your body knows better than any expert (including me!) how much to eat, when to eat, and when it’s time to stop eating.
Step 4: Deal With Your Emotions Directly
If you find yourself heading (OK, sometimes running) for the fridge when you’re at a 7 or above on the Hunger Scale, most likely you’re using food for emotional relief—to comfort, to reduce anxiety, or to reward. And it’s no wonder…
Eating is a seductive distraction that immediately soothes negative feelings. And certain foods (sugar and carbs, I’m looking at you!) trigger a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain.
But, as you know, the relief found in food is temporary. In fact, it lasts all of five seconds—then you go back to feeling sad or stressed… and now you also feel guilty, stuffed, and disgusted.
There’s a big difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. And the truth is this: If your food craving doesn’t come from physical hunger, then you can be sure that eating is not going to satisfy it.
The next time you have an intense emotional food craving, try this: First take a few deep breaths and really acknowledge any accompanying feelings of fear, anxiety, or whatever. Once you make yourself aware of your feelings, simply say to yourself, “OK this is how I’m feeling right now, and that’s OK, I have a right to my feelings.”
Next dig into the feelings. Write out exactly what you are feeling (and why), or what you are trying NOT to feel (and why). And then for ninety seconds (set a timer) just sit with the feelings. Honor and allow the feelings and let them just pass through you.
Then take a few more deep breathes and say, “I choose to see this differently” or “All is well. Out of this situation only good can come, and I am safe.” or “I choose to see peace instead of this.” Concentrate on your breathing and just repeat a mantra until you feel a little calmer.
This begins a powerful new habit of accepting and releasing your fears instead of stuffing them down with food, ignoring them, or resisting them. We often think our emotions are too big or too scary or just too much. We think they are unacceptable in some way.
But here’s what you need to know… ALL of your emotions are absolutely valid (even the guilt or shame after a binge!) they are a part of being a human being, and ALL your emotions deserve to be acknowledged, welcomed, and felt. And once you train yourself to do that (and you CAN do that), you will stop emotional eating.
(For more help with emotional eating, please sign up for my FREE Summer Session starting August 1st.)