How DO you lose weight without dieting?
How does dieting make you feel? Perhaps it makes you feel good to be in control, to know what you are doing, and to have a plan. But what happens if you don’t get results, and it gets a bit tough? What happens when the diet finishes? Do you feel like you’re ‘on it’ or you’re ‘off it’? Do you feel like you’ve tried lots of different things that don’t work? Or perhaps you’ve found something that does work but sticking to it is the hard bit. Have you had complete success with a diet, getting what you needed from it and then experiencing freedom when you’ve reached your goal and beyond?
I don’t believe dieting is the way to find real freedom in the area of food. There is a better way, but it takes time and is not necessarily the easiest road. The video and blog below explain a bit more and give you 5 practical tips if you want or need to lose some weight while you are on that journey.
In my experience with the hundreds of people that I work with, dieting is a bit like putting a sticking plaster over what’s really going on. Of course, I could give you an off-the-shelf diet and exercise plan that would work, in that you would lose some pounds if you stuck to it. But I don’t believe that approach addresses what’s really going on. We need to look at getting our foundations right, to break free from any kind of dieting mentality that we had in the past, to learn about our eating behaviours, habits and patterns and to work out why we eat things we really don’t want to be eating, or why we over-eat at times, and then have the tools to move forward.
This is a long process; it’s a bit of a slow road. But if you take the easy road by taking a diet ‘off the shelf’, it’s likely you will keep getting stuck in the same cycle. And that easy road starts to get a bit harder and more challenging; the cycle can go on for years and yet you feel the same. But, if you put in a the effort to work out what’s really going on, then you will be able to break the cycle and experience freedom.
But what happens, if, on that journey to freedom, you need or want to lose some body fat? I think the distinction between body fat and weight is helpful here. Weight, or the gravitational pull onto the earth, is somewhat irrelevant, and what we are really interested in is our body fat and how we look and feel in our clothes. So, what can we do to lose a bit of body fat while we are on a journey to experience freedom in this area? what can we do practically to lose a few pounds to lose a bit of body fat? Here are 5 really practical things I recommend you try!
1. Try ‘cinching’! And by that, I mean making small changes to what you are already doing. However you are eating at the moment, assuming you are not ‘on a diet’, keep that going, because while that may not be exactly where you want to get to, it’s probably close to being free. And then take that and ‘cinch’ it in: make it a tiny bit smaller. Perhaps that’s using a smaller dinner plate or serving a smaller portion. Perhaps it’s having a smaller snack, a smaller bag of crisps; sharing a bag or crisps or sharing a dessert. The key is not to think about it too much; don’t set yourself lots of rules and regulations but just cinch everything in, just a little bit.
2. Change your body composition. The way that your body is made up with fat, with water, and with muscle, has an impact on how your body burns energy. And you can change that a little bit by doing some more muscle and resistance exercise than you are doing at the moment, to make your muscles a little bigger. You won’t necessarily look like Popeye but with just a bit of work, your muscles will make up more of your body composition than they do at the moment. If you can notch it up just a little you will burn a bit more body fat. You don’t have to be a body builder, or even a gym-goer to make small but meaningful changes.
3. Consider giving your body a break from food overnight. This isn’t for everyone, because it might make you think about food a little bit too much. But if you’re able to do it, when you’ve had your dinner have a break from food until breakfast time. That might be 10, 12, 14 or even 16 hours – and any of those times will do your body good. food. There’s lots of different things that happen in your body when you have a short break from food, and they’re all good. The key is not to let the fast become a rule. So, if you will sit through the evening dreaming of food, or panicking about the time left until you can eat, this may not be for you, but if you can do that in freedom, it’s worth giving it a try.
4. Become a fidget. Fidgeting, becoming restless, decreasing your sitting-still time and staying more active will make a difference! Actively fidget, stand up and move around more.
5. Make at least half of your meal vegetables or salad. Have what you would normally have, but if that’s not already veg or salad, make sure your lunch and dinner are composed of at least half a plate full of veg.
We’d love to know which of these you might try in your journey to freedom – let us know in the comments!
This Saturday morning, 7th May at 10am, we are hosting our next Reflection Coffee and Conversation. It’s a free event and we’d love to see you there. You can register here.