Hi! Welcome to Fit, Food, and Fun Fridays! Today we’ll discuss how to follow a unique approach to weight loss. In the very beginning, you already have an idea on what foods to eat to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Nevertheless, there’s something that’s telling you that you will be judged along the way. This is especially true if you do not go along with others for the usual after-work drink or dessert. Maybe you consider yourself an emotional eater. You reach for foods when you feel underappreciated or empty in a relationship.
Whatever the reason you have in your mind that you will be judged, remember that it is ALL in your mind. It is the mind that is tripping you up and that is reacting on instinct to your surroundings and emotions. Always remember that your mind can be your worst enemy on your journey towards a healthy eating lifestyle and holistic approach to losing weight.
Meditation will help you to reach the stage of being centered. This is the same as engaging in weight training that results in sculpted muscles. It is through meditation that the brain is trained to move from an active learning state to a listening and intuitive state. It also trains the brain to avoid being fully reactive. It is through consistent practice that you switch to these calmer and lower frequencies, especially when life feels so frantic and chaotic.
The goal of meditation in weight loss is less unplanned eating. This will result in more sustainable weight loss because you are changing the way you use, view, and experience food.
Research studies have explored the idea that meditation can affect weight loss. Researchers found that participants who meditated consistently decreased their emotional eating and binge eating. In one study, those who meditated were able to lose weight and were overall less reactive as compared to those who did not try it.
In another study that lasted about 20 weeks, those who meditated were able to lose more weight than those who did not even try to meditate. They also experienced a decrease in hunger pangs and increase in the confidence they had in their bodies. Weight loss was even sustained for about six months.
Even if you are new to meditation, it can become just like breathing. It can, and should, become as important as choosing the foods that you eat. If you love your body and you want to cherish it deeply, meditation can be your great ally and can be your approach to holistic weight loss!
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I really wanted to talk about this topic today because the overweight and obesity epidemic is at an all-time high! We are a fat society and it’s killing us prematurely. Not only do I truly believe that you have the power to lose weight to improve your health, but the science also agrees! You can adopt healthy lifestyle practices that improve your health and enrich your life, which can in turn improve the lives of those close to you. You have the power to break the cycle of obesity so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you lose weight, and maybe reverse some of your chronic diseases. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy. But I always tell my patients that conventional medications may be appropriate at this time to prevent catastrophic illness, but over time, you can work to make the necessary lifestyle changes to possibly reduce and/or eliminate medications. Please remember to always consult your physician for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any decisions whatsoever.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices).
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Check out some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Another alternative for dumbbells/free weights are resistance bands. They are great for physical therapy, yoga, strength training, and excellent for traveling.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet, regular physical activity, and reducing stress are the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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