So many people believe that in order to achieve healthy weight loss, they have completely give up the things they love, their guilty pleasures like wine and chocolate.
Well guess what:
I'm a transformational health coach, and I love dark chocolate, salty potato chips, and a good cabernet sauvignon.
Shocking, I know!
This "all or nothing" approach does nothing but creates impossible standards that set us up for guilt, shame, and disappointment.
Here are my top 3 secrets to a healthy, balanced lifestyle:
1. The 80/20 Rule
A lot of people think that in order to be healthy, you have to aim to eat perfectly 100% of the time.
But in my training and experience, it's more like an 80/20 rule.
80% of the time I try to eat seasonal, mostly plant-based whole food meals that nourish my body.
20% of the time I don't worry about what I'm eating and I just enjoy life.
80% of the time I try to eat home cooked food.
20% of the time I order whatever I want!
Limiting ourselves from the things we love 100% of the time is not only unrealistic— it's unhealthy!
The GUILT and SHAME we consume alongside our guilty pleasures is a huge component of holding onto weight. If you just aim for eating healthy 80% of the time and give yourself the 20% to do whatever you wish— you'll most likely feel more balanced, nourished, and HAPPY!
One easy way to do this is to take a look at your week on Sunday night, and PLAN for a "Cheat Day." It might be just a night out having some cocktails and appetizers with friends, or it could be a family BBQ. But, by having it in your calendar, you're giving yourself permission to enjoy this Cheat Day instead of overindulging and feeling guilty. Doesn't that feel so much better? When we allow ourselves to truly enjoy food then we don’t feel deprived and we don’t feel the urge to be perfect nor splurge over the entire weekend.
2. Upgrade Your Tastes
Many people think that sweets or snacks or alcohol has no place in a healthy diet.
This is simply not true! There are so many cleaner options out there now— it's just a matter of knowing where to look, and what to buy.
Here's the thing— it's time we UPGRADED our tastes.
Remember when you first turned 21 and you started drinking alcohol? Most likely, you drank cheap beer and wine coolers. (blegh!)
Or when you were a kid, you might have thought Hershey’s was the best chocolate in the world...
Well now that you are a “grown-up”, I suggest that you UPGRADE YOUR TASTES to the finer things in life that are FREE of ADDITIVES, CHEMICALS & TOXINS.
These food additives are not only harmful to your body, but they also get stored as visceral fat that is around your organs— which most commonly shows up as “belly fat”.
So if you want to start getting rid of the belly fat, start by getting rid of the toxic food that is in your shopping cart.
This does NOT mean that you can’t have treats— it just means you need to learn how to read the food labels so you know what you are putting into your body.
Here are a few of my favorites:
3. Fill Up Before You Go Out
You don't have to be "that" woman. You know, the one who brought the kale salad and refuses to touch the chips at the party.
(If that's you, and you're enjoying yourself— more power to you! Keep doing what you're doing.)
But for most of us, things like parties, potlucks and BBQ's can be STRESSFUL places when we're on a diet or trying to be healthy.
It doesn't have to be that way!
First and foremost, my #1 hack is to LOAD UP ON HEALTHY FOOD before you go to the party or BBQ.
If you can't do this, then when you get there, try to first load up on the healthier options— like cut-up vegetables, crackers, etc.
THEN, after you've given yourself a little bit of nourishment, you'll be able to actually LISTEN to your body for the rest of the evening— making it far less likely to overeat or overindulge.
You heard me confess that I do have indulgences and that I don’t eat perfectly. In fact, I really don’t deprive myself at all. I allow myself to participate in life by attending whatever parties, BBQ's family events & dinners that I want.
What I’ve trained myself to do is to TUNE INTO MY BODY to see what it's truly craving. I no longer go to potlucks and just load things onto my plate. I ask myself: Is this what I’m truly craving? How will I feel after I eat this food? It may initially taste good but is it truly worth it to eat it if I am going to feel bad? Will this food nourish my body or will it keep me in this stuck state of feeling bloated?
If I KNOW the 10 Cheese Mac n' Cheese will give me a stomach ache, but still kind of want to try it anyway, I'll put just a tiny bit on my plate. That way, I can taste it and enjoy it as a treat, rather than a meal that's going to make me feel super gassy and bloated afterward.
Often times we are in such a hurry that we don’t even think about what we are eating until it is gone and we have an upset stomach. So I invite you next time you are going to a special event or out to dinner ask yourself “What am I craving and will this nourish my body and make me feel amazing”.
Remember, this is not about being perfect. It is about slowing down and listening.
And there will be times when you are stressed and no matter how much you know you should eat something that will nourish your body, your mind will shout at you that it wants a CHEESEBURGER or whatever your go-to comfort food is!
So when this happens, don’t beat yourself up for eating the cheeseburger, in fact, SAVOR IT, and perhaps upgrade it to a grass-fed cheeseburger and avoid the fast food hamburgers with trans-fat.
TO RECAP, HERE'S 3 ACTION STEPS:
1. Print out the Healthy Shopping Guide. Use the guide to learn how to read the labels in your pantry and favorite grocery store.
2. The next time you go out to eat, fill up on vegetables first and then TUNE INTO YOUR BODY to see what it is truly craving and ask yourself if that food will nourish your body.
3. And finally, schedule a Cheat Day!
The last thing I would like to share with you is one of my favorite sayings:
CONSISTENCY - PERFECTION = RESULTS
So be kind to yourself. Put these 3 steps into action and remember to have fun on the journey!
Have you ever wanted to lose weight easily and eat healthy without spending hours in the kitchen prepping and cooking?
Have you tried so many weight-loss products and fad diets that you don't know who or what to believe anymore….. But you know you want to stop yo-yo dieting more than anything else?