If you’re like the majority of Australians you’ve probably been on a diet of some kind in order to lose weight.
You might have tried meal replacements, shakes, counting calories, home-delivered meals, or just cutting back your calories and increasing your exercise.
But if you’re like most people who’ve been on a diet, you’ve probably gained back any weight that you did lose. Right?
So now, you want to know what you should eat, if you want to lose weight and keep it off.
FOCUS ON NUTRITION
The truth is, that dieting might help you lose weight in the short-term, but long-term you’ll put it back on again.
When trying to lose weight, most people focus on calories — in particular reducing the amount they consume, and increasing the amount they burn. But this actually slows down your metabolism which means when you come off the diet, you end up gaining back everything you’ve lost, and usually more.
In order to lose weight and keep it off, we need to create the right environment for your body to want to burn fat and keep it off. In essence, we need to build a metabolism that is going to work for you, rather than against you.
This means feeding it correct nutrition. Our body requires many different vitamins, minerals and nutrients for it to function properly, so it can lose fat for the long-term. The best meals for weight loss consist of the following:
- Carbohydrates — in particular plant food, such as vegetables, fruits — yes, plant foods contain carbohydrate!
- Protein — which help keep you fuller for longer, and will also help promote muscle growth and repair, if you’re exercising.
- Omega-3 fats.
While it’s true we need to limit the amount of fat in our diet if we want to lose weight, there are some fats we need to include. These are the Omega-3 fats and they are most commonly found in oily fish, green leafy vegetables, walnuts, flaxseeds and flax oil.
Omega-3 plays a number of important roles in our health. One of these is that it helps reduce inflammation which can lead to unwanted weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and even mental illness. Unfortunately, most people don’t consume enough Omega-3s. But adequate amounts of Omega-3 actually helps the body function better, which can help you lose weight.
SO HEALTHY EATING IS THE ANSWER?
See, most of us know what healthy eating is. We know that eating vegetables and lean protein is a better choice than buying fast food. Yet we still go for the fast food.
We also know that snacking on biscuits, chips, chocolate and other highly-processed foods, which are high in sugar, fat and salt won’t help us lose weight, but we still continue to do it.
Why is that?
Nutrition always comes back to a little thing called habits.
YOUR HABITS…CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR WEIGHT LOSS
Habits are basically things we do without thinking. A bit like brushing your teeth in the morning, or putting on your seatbelt before you drive your car. It’s automatic and we ‘just do it’.
Habits around food are like that too. And while they can be as simple as having a biscuit with your cup of tea, they can also be at the root of binge-eating, excessive alcohol consumption, and crash dieting. Habits are a result of the way we think and they can hold you back from losing weight.
For example, if you were brought up to believe that you had to finish everything on your plate, whether you’re full or not, then you might find it hard to stop eating when you feel full.
If you believe that you can’t offend people when they offer you a piece of cake, you’ll accept that piece of cake (and eat it) just to keep them happy.
You might be afraid of conflict, and so you agree to a night of drinking and pigging out on pizza, when you really want to have a quiet night at home.
See what we mean? Habits — our thoughts and beliefs drive our actions. And often these actions don’t support us, when it comes to losing weight.
REPLACE ONE HABIT WITH ANOTHER
You might be wondering how to break these habits. Well, the secret is — you can’t!
Wait! What? Does that mean you’re stuck with these habits for life?
Not at all. Many people believe that you need to break a habit. The truth is that you have to replace your habits. Habits are almost involuntary responses, so it will involve some hard work to replace them.
In order to do this, you need to start thinking about what you are doing and why you are doing it.
The key to replacing habits that are not supporting your lifestyle goals, is to identify what triggers your habits in the first place, what your routine is (what you normally do when this trigger occurs), and what reward you get at the end. If you can replace the routine with a healthier behaviour, then you are well on your way to replacing your habit — and changing your body.
THE MISSING LINK – ACCOUNTABILITY
However, there are people who understand how to replace a habit, yet they still don’t do it. This is because they lack accountability. What’s accountability? It’s having someone hold you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do.
It’s a bit like having a boss. If you didn’t have someone to report in to, or be accountable to, there’s every chance you wouldn’t go to work and do the job you’re employed to do, especially on the days when you don’t feel like going to work.
At Imani Fitness, we provide the accountability you need, in order to lose weight and change your body shape. We also help our clients replace their habits first and foremost, so it’s easier for them to build a firing metabolism and get the body they want. Because without good habits, you’ll continue to go around in circles, moving from one diet to the next.