Trust me: losing the weight without losing your mind is easier than you think! I lost a ton of weight (like, 30 pounds on my five foot frame) and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought.
Here’s what you need to know about losing weight without losing your mind…
“If I had my druthers, I would appeal to most seriously overweight chronic and yo yo dieters to get some behavioral therapy in addition to working a ‘diet plan,'” says Amy Hendel, author of Fat Families, Thin Families: How to Save Your Family from the Obesity Trap. “Most clients who seriously struggle with chronic weight issues usually have better success, long term, when they get help from a therapist who specifically works with patients struggling with obesity.”
My friends, losing weight isn’t just about “calories in, calories, out.” Nor is it about how many calories you burn jogging, cycling or swimming! I believe losing weight is about figuring out who you are and what you’re meant to do with your life — because weight gain is about being deeply unhappy with your life.
The best way to lose the weight without losing your mind is to find the exercise DVD or workout you love. The Zumba Fitness Exhilarate: The Ultimate Experience DVD Set is a bestseller on Amazon.
I’m more into the 10 Minute Solution – Kickbox Bootcamp and 10 Minute Solution: Slim & Sculpt Pilates DVDs. But, everyone needs to find his or her own way to lose weight without going crazy! And the only way to do that is to keep trying different exercise programs and eating plans until you find what works for you.
How to Lose the Weight Without Losing Your Mind
Follow the Mediterranean eating plan
Amy Hendel, author of Fat Families, Thin Families: How to Save Your Family from the Obesity Trap, says that when dietitians and nutritionists describe the ‘Mediterranean diet’, they mean a diet that consists of:
- High consumption of fruits and vegetables, including 100% orange juice (which she highly recommends because a glass naturally provides vitamin C, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, thiamin and so many other essential nutrients), cereals, potatoes, nuts, beans and seeds
- Olive oil
- Dairy products, fish, chicken are included but in “counted, small” amounts
- Little red meat, if at all
- Eggs, up to about 4 times a week
- Wine consumed in low to moderate amounts
If you want to lose the weight, you need to know why certain foods and amounts work. That is, don’t just eat bananas because some diet recommends it. Rather, find out why bananas are healthy and how they lead to weight loss. (Actually, bananas aren’t the best examples of losing the weight without losing your mind because they’re high in sugar and carbs).
Find the diet or healthy eating plan that works for you
“We nutritionists believe the most effective tip for losing weight is to find the diet that works for you,” says Hendel. “You’ll never find an eating plan that is right for everyone because people differ with regards to their time demands, meaning how much or how little time they can give to a program. People also differ on financial means, so for some, even if a prepared diet plan that delivers food would be a perfect fit, it’s beyond their wallet.”
If you can’t afford a Jenny Craig-like diet, you need to figure out the best ways to lose weight that don’t cost money.
Set goals for losing the weight that work for you
People differ tremendously on how much weight they need to lose, says Hendel. To determine how best to lose the weight without losing your mind, sit down with a nutritionist or doctor and figure out how much you need to lose in order lead a healthy lifestyle. “Someone who is morbidly obese and finally understands that their weight is killing them – or someone who has had his or her first heart attack – may finally have a tremendously strong motivation to embrace a disciplined lifestyle change.”
Figure out your emotional connection to food
If you’re eating for emotional reasons, you may be less likely to lose weight without going crazy — unless you figure out your triggers. Do you eat when you’re angry, sad, depressed, or stressed? Find ways to express your emotions, without using food as comfort. “Creating new habits with a new dietary approach is one thing,” says Hendel, “but it won’t be sustainable unless you get to the core reason of why you always turn to food when the stress/anxiety/depression sets in.”
Make sure your diet goals suit your lifestyle
“When we look at diets, we also want people to have the ability to follow the program when they travel, at work, even when pressed for time,” says Hendel. “The elements of the Mediterranean diet allow for variety. A salad with beans, an omelet with veggies, pasta with olive oil and chicken or vegetables, and a fruit snack are all relatively easy and accessible choices.”
Read Dr Oz’s weight loss shortcuts for more tips.
Include your family in your “losing the weight for good” plans
Hendel suggests losing the weight by focusing on a healthy eating plan that the whole family can do. “We need all family members eating the same choices – perhaps with different portion sizes or with more or less frequency, depending on age, size, activity levels,” she says. “Everyone benefits from eating the healthiest choices from all the major food groups.”
What else do you need to know about losing the weight? Read Why You’re Not Losing Weight on the Weight Watchers Diet.
Are you worried you can’t lose the weight without losing your mind? Comments welcome below…