I am tired of dieting, but I still want to drop about 30 pounds. I am a little confused about what you mean when you say to lose weight without dieting. Can you please explain? – Sharon T., Email
Congratulations on wanting to achieve your best body and improve your health without feeling deprived and restricted. I know how tough it can be when it comes to wanting something, but not sure on how to achieve it or which approach is best.
As difficult as it may be at first, I want you to set your focus on embracing a lifestyle that forever evolves in the areas of eating healthfully, being more active and thinking positively. The worst thing you could do is take an all-or-nothing approach to weight loss. The all-or-nothing approach works when everything is going well, but after awhile you are likely to grow bored, feel deprived and all of a sudden – you are back to the habits that placed you in the position that caused you to diet in the first place.
What I’d like to do with this blog is share with you what I believe are the three key elements for releasing fat, being healthy and not worrying about the weight coming back. Review the following to help you release fat without feeling like you are on a diet:
- Nutrition. Instead of putting yourself on a strict eating regimen, I want you to add to your food preferences. This doesn’t mean to replace, but to choose foods that nourish your body but don’t taste like cardboard. EXAMPLE: If you are currently drinking 2% milk, choose 1% because it is a tad healthier. When you are ready to upgrade your nutrition habits, again, the next step would be non-fat and who knows … maybe one day it will be non-GMO soy milk? Continue choosing foods that you know and feel are helpful, not hurtful.
- Physical Fitness. Instead of rushing to the gym when you prefer to exercise out doors, make it a priority to engage in activities you enjoy. There is no one exercise method that fits all. I have had clients release over 100 pounds working out at home, others walking out doors and those who love going to health clubs. Find an activity no matter the intensity and get started. If you choose to walk, keep track of your distance and time and every 30 days do what you can to break your “personal best” record. Changing the duration and/or intensity of your preferred activity is how you avoid plateaus and ensure continued progress.
- Habits of Thought. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale summed it up when he said, “If you think in negative terms, you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms, you will achieve positive results” and I totally agree with this. Most people are not successful at weight loss because of their thinking patterns. With nearly 50,000 thoughts entering our mind daily, it is to our benefit to be in control of these thoughts. If you don’t control your thoughts, unfortunately, your thoughts will control you.
I am a big believer that you get more out of this blog when I focus on the “dos” instead of the “don’ts”; however, I do want to encourage you to avoid conforming to the norm. Many people who want to lose weight get trapped in conforming (i.e., peer pressure, social influence) to what everyone else is doing, instead of what serves his or her best interest. This is easier said than done, however, when you are feeling great because of your increased activity, healthy eating and positive thinking, you are more apt to do for you what know one but you can do for yourself.
Also, even though it is normal to want results now, you don’t have to wait to begin a diet-free life. Like “wellness”, a diet-free lifestyle is something you can have immediately. Remember, it all begins in the mind. And as I have shared with you many times over the last two years, “Success is first experienced in the mind before it can ever be achieved in reality.”
Robert Ferguson is the CEO of Diet Free Life, nutritionist, fitness trainer, and one of America’s leading voices of wellness and weight loss. He serves on the Presidential Task Force on Obesity for the National Medical Association.
Ferguson also consults big companies and coaches individuals wanting to live their healthiest life without feeling like their restricted to a conventional diet.