1. Eat For Pleasure
Food is an intrinsic part of life and eating should be simple and pleasurable, not a source of stress, confusion or anxiety. With new fad diets, cleanses and “magic” elixirs emerging in the media every day, it’s no wonder we are overwhelmed with all the mixed messages about what constitutes healthy eating.
In desperation, we tend to gravitate towards quick fixes and extreme measures. One of the biggest lessons I learned from my years struggling with body image issues is that such measures are neither fun nor sustainable. Don’t deprive yourself, just pick your treats well and enjoy a little of everything. Or as the French say, “manger bien et juste” (eat well and eat right).
2. Keep It Real
Chances are that you’ve fallen prey more than once in your life to the food industry’s claims that “sugar-free”, “fat-free”, and “diet” food products are healthy and effective allies in weight loss– diet soda, sugar-free jello, fat-free string cheese anyone? However, these so called “health foods” are not real foods. They are addictive, chemical and preservative-laden products engineered to make us eat more and buy more. Healthy, pleasurable, sustainable weight-loss is best achieved by eating real foods– ones made from fresh, whole, minimally processed ingredients —instead of fake, overly processed “diet” food products.
3. Be Present With Your Emotions
It’s easy to overlook all of the things that contribute to our sense of healthfulness and wellbeing. It’s not just the food we eat, but all of the other factors present in our daily lives– relationships, career, physical activity… When one or more of these areas is out of balance, it elicits emotional distress, and our bodies and overall health take a toll. It’s crucial to learn how to be fully present with your emotions without getting consumed by them and thrown off keel. Start your wellness journey by exploring how all areas of your life affect your emotional health and body as a whole. What’s getting in the way of your weight loss, self-confidence, and overall equilibrium?
4. Celebrate And Move Your Body
Exercising solely for the purpose of losing weight is not much different from fad dieting. We engage in it as a form of punishment. While this may work for some time, just like a teenager grounded by her parents, we end up rebelling against that punishment. And so it’s not long before we see that luxe gym membership, brand new pair of running shoes and cute Lulu gear all go to waste. No matter how and when you choose to move, it should be enjoyable and for the purpose of celebrating your body, not chastising it. This year, resolve to move your body toward wellness in a balanced and fun way.
5. Embrace Your Uniqueness
Everyone is unique. Our bodies and metabolism are all different, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. That is why fad diets tend to fail in the long run. Take the time to explore the food and lifestyle choices that work best for YOU and create a simple and sustainable system tailored specifically to YOUR needs and preferences.