5 Tips to Lose Weight Without Dieting
Written by: Shannon Lagasse
Every weight loss story is unique, because we all gain and lose weight for different reasons.
When I embarked on my weight loss journey, I was recovering from anorexia, bulimia and a binge eating disorder. It’s safe to say that I had a more than dysfunctional relationship with food and in order to get my body back into the shape it was meant to be in, I’d have to put in some serious internal – as well as external – effort.
Thus commenced my exploration to discover a way to lose weight, that not only worked, but that honored my body, mind and spirit as well.
I wanted to find a way to lose weight that wasn’t about counting calories or spending countless hours at the gym. That just wouldn’t work for me, because those behaviors so strongly triggered the eating disorder mindset that I’d worked so hard to heal from.
I threw my scale out the window (checking first that there was no one walking by), I gave away my tape measure and I stopped tracking every morsel that passed my lips in my trusty food journal. For the first time since the start of my eating disorder, I wasn’t keeping track of food or weight at all. Instead, I focused on my life. I started building a business as a health coach, investing in my relationships and creating a life that I actually enjoyed living. And I won’t lie – it wasn’t easy and it took time.
But one day, food stopped being an issue. My day didn’t revolve around what I was going to eat and when I was going to eat it. I stopped worrying about whether I was eating too much, or if I’d give in to cravings. I stopped labeling foods as “good” and “bad” and I started eating what I wanted, when I wanted. And surprisingly enough, I lost weight.
Without obsessing over calories, “bad” foods and the number on the scale, my body found its way to a healthy, natural, sustainable weight, which I have been able to maintain for almost 2 years now.
Here’s what I learned through the process about weight loss without dieting and how YOU can do the same!
1. Dieting doesn’t work. You will never be happy when your days center around tracking your food, counting calories and depriving yourself of foods you love. Focus on healthy, whole foods and allow yourself some indulgences every once in a while, totally guilt-free.
2. Everything in moderation. As a former binge eater, this was really hard for me because I thought that if I allowed myself a treat, I would eat and eat and eat until I couldn’t move anymore. Eventually, I realized I only wanted these foods because I wasn’t allowing myself to eat them. Let the guilt (and deprivation) go.
3. Weight loss is an inner game. If you’re not willing to address the underlying reasons of why you gained weight in the first place, the weight won’t budge and you’ll be stuck in old patterns. Get honest with yourself and be okay with being uncomfortable for a while. This is where change happens.
4. Your body really does know what’s best. There are millions of diet books out there. Obviously we haven’t found something that works for everyone, or we would’ve stopped writing them by now. The best expert on what works for your unique body is YOU. Listen and honor its signals and learn to understand what they really mean.
5. Your mind’s ideal weight may be different from your body’s ideal weight. No matter how much or how little effort I put into my meals or working out, my body stays at the same weight, give or take a few pounds. It’s not the weight that I thought I’d be at in my head, or that magazines, or doctor’s charts told me would be best for me, but it’s the weight I can maintain effortlessly while feeling happy and free.
When you toss all the rules and guidelines out the window, you create a space to really listen to your body. So much of the reason why we overeat and don’t do what we know we “should” do is because we’re unaware; because we’re not tapped into how we’re really feeling, or the messages that our body is sending us 24/7.
Next time you feel compelled to pick up a diet book in a last-ditch effort to lose weight, remember that losing weight is a journey and it’s personal. Whether we want to admit it or not, it’s not something that happens overnight. The reason why 95% of people who diet gain back the weight within a year of losing it, is because they took unsustainable measures to drop the weight as quick as possible. So many people don’t take the time to learn the lifelong skills necessary to make weight loss simple, attainable and sustainable. I know because I used to be one of them. Sure, it takes more time to do it this way, but what’s the rush? The sooner you slow down, the closer you’ll be to reaching your weight loss goals – and maintaining them – for good.
What have you done to safely and successfully lose weight? Share your experience in the comments!
Shannon Lagasse is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Emotional Eating Expert. She helps women struggling with emotional eating and yo-yo dieting to ditch the diet, love their body and lose weight in a healthy way. With a focus on pleasure and getting to the heart of their issues, Shannon's clients are empowered to find freedom from food fears and live a fantastically awesome life.
To learn more about working with Shannon and to receive her free weekly coaching on healthy and happy ways to get the body and life you want, visit her website.
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