Why Are We Fat? Is It Gluttony, or Is Your Fat Actually Hungry?

What if everything you ever learned about weight loss was wrong? What if losing weight has nothing to do with calories—counting them or cutting them out by sheer willpower? What if, in fact, most health professionals (including doctors and dietitians), our own government and especially the food industry are giving us weight loss advice guaranteed to make us fat?

Here’s their mantra: “Eat less and exercise more. The secret to weight loss is energy balance. There are no good or bad calories. It’s all about moderation.”

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Weight loss is tough. Add in certain factors sabotaging your valiant efforts and it becomes even tougher. Consciously or subconsciously weight loss efforts can be influenced by your actions, feelings, and your environmental surroundings.

If you feel like you keep sabotaging yourself for one reason or another, here’s a look at what might be limiting actual pounds lost and there are specific things can you do right now to get un-stuck and on track.

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Are you up or down? It’s not just your mood, but also your weight that can be affected by depression. These tips can help you regain balance.

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Which comes first, obesity or depression? Just like “the chicken or the egg” scenario, the underlying problem with depression and weight gain (or weight loss) can be hard to tell. Symptoms of depression and weight management issues are linked, and the relationship is a two-way street. In fact, a study done in the Netherlands found that obesity increases the risk for depression in initially non-depressed people by 55 percent, and depression increases the risk for obesity in initially normal-weight people by 58 percent.
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For youth and adults engaging in physical activity and sports, healthy eating is essential for optimizing performance. Combining good nutrition with physical activity can lead to a healthier lifestyle.
  1. Maximize with nutrient-packed foods
    Give your body the nutrients it needs by eating a variety of nutrient-packed food, including whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Eat less food high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).
  2. Energize with grains
    Your body’s quickest energy source comes from foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and tortillas. Be sure to make at least half of your grain food choices whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread or pasta and brown rice.
  3. Power up with protein
    Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. Choose lean or low-fat cuts of beef or pork, and skinless chicken or turkey. Get your protein from seafood twice a week. Quality protein sources come from plant based foods, too.
  4. Mix it up with plant protein foods
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What is Negative or Distorted Body Image?

Body image refers to how people see themselves. Distorted body image (also called negative body image) refers to an unrealistic view of how someone sees their body.  Like eating disorders, it is seen most commonly in women, but many men also suffer from the disorder. You begin forming your perceptions of your body’s attractiveness, health, acceptability and functionality in early childhood.  This body image continues to form as you age and receive feedback from peers, family member, coaches, etc.  Personality traits such as perfectionism and self criticism can also influence the development of a negative internalized image of your body.

Signs & Symptoms of Negative Body Image

Symptoms of unhealthy or negative body image may include:

  • obsessive self scrutiny in mirrors
  • thinking disparaging comments about your body and frequent comparison of your own shape and size to other people
  • envy or a friend’s body, or just as commonly: the body of a celebrity or someone else in the media.

Causes of Negative Body Image

Sometimes body image is negatively impacted by one or more significant events.  For example, a gymnast who is continually chided by her coach and fellow athletes to lose a little weight, may develop a deeply ingrained and long standing dissatisfaction with her body, no matter how thin she becomes.

If  you are concerned about your body image, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my perception of beauty distorted from years of media exposure that glorifies a very thin ideal that is unrealistic for most people to obtain in a health manner?
  • Do I find myself regularly criticizing my own appearance?

Relationship Between Weight & Body Image

A normally healthy weight range for an individual can be perceived as overweight by someone with a distorted body image.  An anorexic young woman may look at herself in a mirror and see a reflection that is greater than her actual size.  Conversely, it is not uncommon for obese individuals to report that they did not realize they were as large as they are and had perceived their body as much smaller until an occasion arises where they see a photograph, video or window reflection that strikes a nerve and causes them to come to terms with their actual image.

Relationship Between An Eating Disorder & Body Image

Body image concerns and eating disorders go hand in hand.  Often, it is the early dissatisfaction with a young person’s appearance that leads them to conclude that losing weight would enhance their appearance, and make them feel better about themselves and their bodies.  Thus, restrictive eating and over exercising are often next, frequently leading to patterns of disordered eating and weight obsession that can develop into anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder.

 

Treatment For Negative Body Image

Getting treatment for distorted body image is a critical step to recovery. The problem won’t just go away by itself.   Recognizing and acknowledging your feelings and accompanying body sensations will help you become more comfortable in your body and lessens the tendency to suppress feelings and revert to unhealthy, negative inner diatribes to escape uncomfortable feelings.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an approach where irrational thoughts are recognized, analyzed and restructured to more rational self talk, is frequently used. Additionally, dance and movement therapy are often employed to develop a greater trust and appreciation of  one’s body based upon creating internal experiences, rather than simply evaluated one’s body aesthetically.

Many centers for eating disorder treatment specialize in body image awareness. Click Here to Schedule your Free Consultation.

 

Article Source: Eating Disorder Hope


According to Dr. Kharrazian, in the immune system model, there are 4 main reasons for stubborn weight gain.

They are:

* The mix of bacteria in your gut

* Intestinal permeability (also known as leaky gut)

* Low grade inflammation

* Immune reactive dietary proteins

Let’s explore each one of these in more detail.

The Mixture of Bacteria in Your Gut Matters

An important thing to understand is that your body is an ecosystem, or really, a lot of interconnected ecosystems. And the digestive tract is one of the most complex and dynamic of them all.

Each one of us has their own unique mix of bacteria and other organisms that live in our guts. This mix is determined by our genetic profile, our diets, what medications we have taken and our environment.

There are an estimated 100 trillion different cells and over 1,000 different species of bacteria. 90% of these species belong to 2 families: Firmicutes and Bacteriodetes.

The Balance of Bacteria Can Make You Unable To Lose Weight

New research has shown that the balance of these 2 bacterial species matters for whether or not you are able to lose weight.

In obese and overweight people, there is more Firmicutes than Bacteriodetes. The balance between these 2 species of bacteria generates certain signals to specific genes in the intestines that produce more fat cells.

It is also interesting to note that, according to the research, Lactobacillus bacteria (the most common species sold in over the counter probiotics) actually increases body weight. Both dairy and non-dairy sources.

What that means is that while probiotics may be beneficial for the ecosystem of your gut they are not that helpful in helping you shed the pounds.

Increase Bacteriodetes and Lose Weight

Firmicutes really like junk food. To feed them and gain weight, eat like your average American. To starve them and lose weight, read on.

The more important question is: how do you increase the Bacteriodetes? It seems these little critters really like plants. And the best way to increase their number is to increase the amount of plant based foods and fiber in your diet.

Especially oligosaccharides (found in Jerulsalem artichokes, and onions, leeks, garlic asparagus and jicama, etc.) and monosaccharides (found in pears, grapes, peaches, apples, pineapples, apricots, bananas, yams, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes). And other plant based fibers that come from green leafy vegetables, green tea, etc.

These get fermented in the colon by the good guys and help you to become a mean, lean weight loss machine! But, just so you know, this is not something you can change in 5 minutes or 5 days. It may take a few months to alter this environment.

Leaky Gut Leads to a Bigger Gut

While it is true that people with Hashimoto’s often suffer from intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome, new research shows that this can also lead to fat around the organs.

In leaky gut, the intestines lose their ability to keep tiny particles of all sorts of stuff out of the bloodstream. It turns out that there may be a connection between a fatty liver and the breakdown of the gut barrier system.

In addition, zonulin, a protein that is used by the intestines to bind tight junctions, leaks into the blood stream when people have a breakdown of this barrier. It is also increased with obesity associated insulin resistance.

Finally, the toxins that are produced by bacteria known as lipopolysaccharides have also been linked to obesity and the onset of diabetes.

Bottom line: If you want a smaller gut, you need to heal your leaky gut.

Low Grade Inflammation: The Chicken or The Egg?

Autoimmune disease is a disease that is closely linked to inflammation. So is type 2 diabetes, so is eating a lousy diet and eating too much sugar, salt and fat.

What research is now showing us, is that obesity is also an inflammatory condition. It is becoming less clear which came first. One thing we now know is that adipose tissue (fat tissue) produces inflammation in the body all by itself.

So you have the creation of this destructive cycle of abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut leading to a process (insulin and leptin resistance) which makes glucose not able to enter cells. When glucose can’t enter cells it gets converted into fat in the liver (triglycerides). These fat cells start the whole process all over again.

Leptin and Insulin Resistance Are Similar

Leptin is one of the main hormones involved in hunger, metabolism and the control of how energy from carbs and fats get stored and used. It comes from the Greek word ‘leptos’ meaning thin.

The amount of leptin produced directly correlates with weight loss or weight gain. (Women have significantly higher circulating leptin than men).

Leptin resistance is very similar to insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, long term elevated levels of insulin make your muscle and fat cells more resistance to the action of insulin.

Chronic elevated levels of leptin end up making you eat way too much. And abnormal gut bacteria and leaky gut feed this process as well (pun intended ;)).

Its A Vicious Cycle That Makes It Harder to Lose Weight

This whole process creates more fat tissue which causes more inflammation, and on and on it goes, snow balling and making it harder and harder to lose weight.

So you can see, while this is kind of complicated, it is hugely important to do everything you can to reduce inflammation that is the root cause of everything that we have just examined.

Immune Reactive Dietary Proteins

Certain proteins can also add gasoline to the flames of inflammation.

Everything that is living in our world is made of proteins. With autoimmune disease the immune system confuses our own proteins with that of an invader like a virus or a food we are allergic to.

There are some proteins in our diet that can cause an immune response that can also lead to inflammation and add more insult to injury.

These proteins are found in gluten, dairy and soy and in some other foods called cross reactors.

These need to be eliminated from the diet if you want to lose weight because this will begin to unwind the vicious cycle of inflammation at the root of the immune system’s influence on weight gain.

 

Article Source: www.hashimotoshealing.com


“Diet buddies are just two people who share a common goal and know they can count on each other to help them achieve that goal in whatever way it takes to do that,” says Shafran.

For some, that may mean working out together or getting together to cook or swap recipes a couple times a week. For others, it can mean taking turns babysitting so that each of you can get to the gym separately.

Another consideration is mutual availability. Both partners should agree up front on how much time and energy they have to devote to the partnership, and discuss what they need from each other during that time.

Also important: The primary mode of contact and support. If you’re constantly monitoring your email and need a buddy who’s always there when you send out that Instant Message S.O.S., be sure you pick a buddy who is as computer-accessible as you. If what you really need is face-to-face contact, pick a buddy who has a similar need — and the time to share.

Why is accountability important?

We all need accountability for ANY goals we want to achieve. Whether it be to lose weight, to not spend so much money, to quit smoking, to read 1 book a month, to not drink so much caffeine, (the list could go on and on). The bottom line is, we NEED accountability…we NEED each other to get what we want out of life. And the really cool thing is, by helping others with their accountability, they can help us with our accountability. And that is a win/win situation…with everyone getting the accountability that they need! Making for a much happier life…and let’s be honest, isn’t that what we all want? I know I do!

Why having an accountability partner is key!

Teaming up is more fun, and it may even help you shed more pounds. So let’s break this down on how accountability is important to specifically achieving fitness goals. For starters, the key is consistency. And without accountability, it’s hard to be consistent. Let me give you an example: Let’s say you are super psyched about working out. You set a goal for yourself that you are going to get up and go to the gym every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5am. You do it for 2 weeks straight and then your alarm doesn’t go off one morning, and you kinda liked sleeping in, so you decide you just don’t “like” getting up and working out that early in the morning anymore. So you don’t…and you don’t achieve the goal you set for yourself. You had no accountability, therefore, you didn’t have any one to push you towards your goal.

BUT let’s say you were meeting a friend at the gym every morning…then that changes things. If your alarm happened to not go off one morning…guess who is going to be calling you and giving you a hard time? That’s right…your friend, your accountability partner, that had to do the workout solo. And guess what else…you will make sure that alarm goes off the next time your supposed to workout and then you (and your accountability partner) are well on your way to achieving the goal you set for yourselves.

Now let’s apply this to Fitness Camp. Not only is your Coach getting out of bed early to help YOU achieve YOUR goals, but your fellow Campers (aka accountability partners) are getting out of bed and counting on you to be there. You all workout together as a team, each pushing each other to your individual goals, and counting on each other to achieve them. We all need accountability partners and depend on each other…so let’s make sure we are holding each other accountable so we ALL get what we set out to get.

The importance of self-accountability

Another factor that comes into play with accountability, is lack of SELF-accountability. Even though we all need each other to ultimately achieve our goals…we need to have self-accountability! When it comes to fitness goals, it takes A LOT of hard work, commitment and dedication to get to where you are going. Most people really start out with good intentions, but then they quit and come up with a million excuses to justify why they aren’t going to do it anymore. And we have found that the #1 reason they quit is because there are no real consequences for their inaction, for their lack of self-accountability.

You and your accountability partner, or partners, need to set CLEAR goals for yourselves and reward yourselves accordingly. If you reach your goal…treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting. But on the flip side, if you DON’T achieve your goal…or just plain “quit”, there needs to be a consequence for that as well. Just like at your job, if you have an assignment due by a certain date you are going to do it because if you DON’T you could possibly lose your job. Treat your fitness goals with the same sense of urgency. It may be hard and take time, but it will be well worth your efforts!

 

Source: http://victoryfitnesscamp.com/


At Optimal Weight Control program your first goal is to lose 10% of your current body weight at an average of two to two and half pounds per week along with our one-on-one therapeutic consultation. Achievement and maintenance of a 5 to 10% weight loss improves risk factors and co-morbidities says The Champlain Primary Care Cardiovascular Disease Prevention & Management Guidelines.

When thinking about weight-loss, one often has an “ideal” body weight in mind or an ultimate weight-loss goal. It’s very common for people to think that unless they lose dozens of pounds, they will not be any healthier.
This is a misconception. Studies have shown that health benefits resulting from weight-loss are evident with a weight reduction as low as 5-10 percent. This means that an individual that weighs 200 pounds will benefit greatly from losing 10 to 20 pounds.

There’s scientific evidence that many obesity-related conditions improve with a 5-10 percent weight-loss. Let’s look at these related conditions and see how modest weight-loss may greatly improve them and your overall quality of health:

Cholesterol
Although we have good medications that decrease our “bad” cholesterol also called LDL cholesterol, doctors and patients alike know how hard it is to increase the “good” cholesterol otherwise known as “HDL cholesterol” even by a few points.

A 5-10 percent weight-loss can result in a five point increase in HDL cholesterol. This deserves applause as raising HDL by these few points can lower the risk of an individual developing heart disease. HDL cholesterol of more than 40 mg/dl for men and more than 50 mg/dl for women is protective against heart disease.

There are other fat-like particles in the blood that are harmful in elevated amounts. They are called triglycerides. People with high triglycerides are at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes among other problems. A normal level should be below 150 mg/dl, while anything above 200 mg/dl is considered high.

Losing 5-10 percent of body weight was shown to decrease triglycerides by an average of 40 mg/dl, which is a significant drop. This level can further improve with exercise, a diet low in concentrated sugars, carbohydrates and fats as well as with reduction of excessive alcohol intake.

Hypertension
Excess body weight accounts for about 25-30 percent of cases of hypertension. As body weight increases, it causes hemodynamic abnormalities and other changes that result in elevated blood pressure. By losing 5-10 percent of one’s weight, blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic, decrease by 5 mmHg on average. In conjunction with a salt restricted diet, rich in vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy, this weight-loss could be potentially even higher.

Diabetes
One of the laboratory markers used to screen for diabetes and to monitor its treatment is called Hemoglobin A1C. The normal level should be below 6.5. Research has shown that a 5-10 percent weight-loss can decrease this marker by half a point on average. This comes close to the effect that some anti-diabetic pills have on blood sugars.

Insulin Resistance
Another condition that is seen with weight gain is a phenomenon called insulin resistance. In this disorder, the pancreas produces larger than normal amounts of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is responsible for keeping blood sugar levels normal. In this condition, high levels of insulin are needed because tissues are resistant to its effects.

When someone has insulin resistance, the resulting high levels of insulin in the blood cause an increase in fat tissue especially in the waist area, abnormal cholesterol, and sometimes a change in certain hormone levels in women that causes male pattern hair growth and infertility. Modest weight-loss was found to significantly decrease insulin levels and thus to help with reversing these conditions.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder commonly diagnosed in patients affected by excess weight that snore or gasp for air during sleep. It’s caused by pauses and gaps in breathing during sleep and results in insufficient oxygenation. This causes fatigue and sleepiness during the day. It also is responsible for making certain diseases less responsive to treatment, like hypertension for example.

When sleep apnea is significant, oxygen levels in the blood are too low during sleep and the use of a breathing machine called CPAP is necessary. It has been shown that a 5-10 percent weight-loss may improve sleep apnea and sometimes if the apnea was not very severe, one can be weaned from the CPAP breathing machine. This is a big achievement for some, as having to use a CPAP is life-saving but often perceived as cumbersome by those who need to use it.

Inflammation
In studies looking at the effect of excess weight on cells of the human body, it was found that fat cells and especially abdominal fat cells produce a large number of substances that result in inflammation in blood vessels. This inflammation then can result in plaques and clots and turn into strokes and heart attacks. When weight-loss achieves a level of 10 percent, the levels of inflammatory substances circulating in the blood drop significantly and therefore the risk of vascular damage is reduced as well.

Conclusion

All these improvements caused by weight-loss as low as 5-10 percent ultimately lead to very significant benefits including a lesser chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Now, the next question that comes to mind is since we know that a 5-10 percent weight-loss is very beneficial, how can it
be achieved?

First and foremost, weight-loss starts with lifestyle changes: diet and exercise. The first step is to talk to your healthcare provider. They will help choose the diet that is most appropriate. The diet choices are usually determined by the existing medical problems among other factors and should be discussed with your healthcare provider. On this note, it is worth mentioning that scientists have recently shown that a “Mediterranean diet,” which is rich in fish, vegetables, olive oil or nuts will protect you from heart disease even more when compared to other commonly used diets.

To attain and maintain any amount of weight-loss, exercise is mandatory. Generally, an average of at least one hour, five days a week is needed. But this again should be monitored by your healthcare provider to assure safe exercise practices.

Scientists have shown over and over again that lifestyle changes that include an appropriate healthy diet and the right exercise regimen will help attain a 5-10 percent weight-loss. In addition, any legitimate weight-loss program should promote these lifestyle changes as the first step in attaining weight-loss. They are absolutely indispensable. They work on their own when the planned weight-loss is 5-10 percent of body weight and are always used in conjunction with other measures (weight-loss medications or bariatric surgery) if a more significant weight-loss is needed or when lifestyle changes by themselves did not achieve the medically required weight-loss goal.

Thus, when contemplating weight-loss, the initial goal may be set as low as 5-10 percent of body weight. As discussed in this article, this seemingly modest weight change already results in tremendous health benefits.

 

Article by: Nadia B. Pietrzykowska, MD, FACP

About the Author:
Nadia B. Pietrzykowska, MD, FACP, is a Board Certified Physician Nutrition Specialist with Residency training in Internal medicine and subspecialty training in Bariatric Medicine and Nutrition.


We all know there is no substitute for good whole food nutrition. But regardless of how consistent and how prepared we are, there will always be those times when life just happens! Whether its because we are traveling, get caught up with work or just run out of time to prepare every meal in advance, sometimes we just need a quick, satisfying and convenient option. This is when a protein bar can help you out. Although at first introduction, protein bars were not the most healthy option when it came to your nutritional needs, innovation and new food technology has improved flavor, texture and ingredients in these fast food options! In a pinch and need something quick? Use these five steps to make your next protein bar selection!

STEP 1: Examine The Calorie Count

When it comes to calories, choose protein bars that do not exceed 250 to 300 calories to replace meals or 150 to 200 calories for a snack. A good rule of thumb…don’t choose a bar that contains more than a ¼ of your daily calories or ones that contain more calories than you would normally consume in a meal! High calories may indicate high calorie ingredients such as saturated fats. These types of protein bars are usually targeted for muscle building or aimed at the hard gainer who can easily eat more calories in one serving than someone who is following a diet aimed at weight loss or weight maintenance.

STEP 2: Assess The Protein Content

Select a protein bar with a high protein content. Remember, if you were going to eat a meal, you would probably get in at least 20 g of protein. Make sure that the protein bar you choose offers at least 20 g from a high quality protein source such as whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate or caseinate. Stay clear from protein bars that are very low in protein or very high in protein from low quality sources. Low protein bars are usually not much better than a fortified granola bar, usually offering around 10 g of protein per serving and a whole lot of carbs!

STEP 3: Identify The Carb Sources

You wouldn’t eat anything that is high in sugar normally, so don’t make your protein bar the exception! Choose a protein bar that is low in sugar, provides whole grains and contains a high amount of fiber from soluble and/or insoluble sources. Some protein bars come packed with good ingredients such as oatmeal or plant sources such as inulin from chicory root. Some even use natural sweeteners to replace the sugar such as Lo Han Guo from the gourd plant family, Agave Nectar, Honey or Stevia. Avoid choices that are high in sugar from ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, fructose, brown rice syrup or contain a lot of hard-to-digest carbohydrates from sugar alcohols such as maltitol, glycerol or sorbitol. Sugar alcohols can ferment in the intestines and cause unpleasant digestive effects including cramps, gas and bloating.

STEP 4: Get Some Healthy Fats

Seek protein bars that deliver heart healthy fats including monounsaturated or polyunsaturated sources from ingredients such as natural peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed or flax seed. Aim for a bar that provides less than 10 g of fat per serving. Avoid any protein bar that is high in saturated fat sources such as hydrogenated oils, including fractionated palm kernel oil or palm oils. Although some saturated fat is good for balancing hormones, natural sources of saturated fat should be the only way you get these in your diet.

STEP 5: Investigate The Other Ingredients

If you can’t easily identify the ingredients in a protein bar as being from natural sources, then they probably are not! Ingredients are listed by volume, so protein should be the number one ingredient in the bar, followed by carbs and then fats. Additionally, you may find ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and a few age-fighting antioxidants for good measure. Look for food grade sources that provide a boost to your daily requirements. Protein bars that offer a high % of your daily value of vitamins and minerals can impact taste and overload your daily needs!

 

Source: www.fitnessrxwomen.com


How do you learn to accept, respect, and love your current body 100%, right now, extra weight and all? To learn how to do just that, I’d like you to try a very special two-step exercise that will quickly show you how to better accept, respect, and love your body and thus make weight loss a walk in the park!

 

Step 1: Get Aware

Stop believing the old lies you have been consciously or subconsciously telling yourself about how your body is not special enough, amazing enough, or precious enough to warrant your utmost attention and care right now. For example, if you are telling yourself, “Perhaps someday when it looks better (or younger or thinner), I will take better care of my body,” you’re telling yourself a lie.

 

I’d like you to uncover all of the damaging lies that you may be telling yourself, lies that will prevent you from fully accepting and respecting your body. To help you do that, I’ve listed 21 of the most common lies, ones that my clients have found limited their ability to succeed at any weight loss plan:

 

  1. “Losing weight is expensive.” In reality, weight loss costs nothing. You don’t need to buy expensive equipment or premade meals for weight loss. And think about this: The costs of not getting fit—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis—are much higher than the costs of starting a weight loss program.

 

  1. “I don’t have enough time to exercise.” You don’t need a lot of time to get fit. You need only 8 minutes. That’s right, just 8 minutes. Set your alarm 8 minutes earlier than usual and get up and just do it.

 

  1. “I can overeat now and make up for these excess calories by eating less tomorrow.” This is a form of procrastination, and it always results in disaster. Few people make up for the excess “tomorrow.” And those who do eat less end up starving themselves and slowing their metabolisms. When you truly respect your body, you’ll stick to healthful food portions all the time and never punish your body with starvation.

 

  1. “I need to take care of others first. Once I meet their needs, then I can focus on myself.” This is perhaps one of the most prevalent and most vicious lies out there. In reality, you can’t take care of others until you have first taken care of yourself. When you neglect your mind and body, you eventually have nothing left to give. And if you suffer a heart attack from neglecting your body, eventually others will have to take care of you.

 

  1. “Weight loss is not worth the effort. I’m just going to gain it all back anyway.” I understand why you may feel this way, particularly if you have already lost and regained weight numerous times before. You must understand, however, that you’re not to blame for those past failed attempts—the programs are at fault. For permanent weight loss, you must address the source of your problem. You must accept your body and heal your hungry heart. Once you do that, you will effortlessly lose the weight.

 

  1. “My work is more important than my body.” To quote a fairly well-known phrase: “ No man ever said on his deathbed, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.’ Yet, I would bet that plenty of people on their deathbeds had wished they had taken better care of their bodies.

 

  1. “Weight doesn’t matter. I am ugly at any size.” Your body is an extraordinary machine that does extraordinary tasks every day. Once you learn to recognize that simple fact, you will realize that ugliness is a matter of perspective. If you focus on the amazing nature of your body–on your heart’s ability to beat, on your muscles’ ability to move, on your skin’s ability to heal—then you will understand the inherent beauty of your body.

 

  1. “Nobody loves me or cares about me, so why should I care about myself?” Perhaps one of the most perverse laws of human nature is that you must first love yourself before you can earn and receive love from others. Quite often, lack of self-love is what drives others from you. Think about it. Would you rather be around a depressed, sad, negative person or a confident, cheerful person? Once you become more confident, you’ll find friends suddenly appearing in your life.

 

  1. “I have already blown it today, so I might as well give up.” You’ve never blown it until you’ve given up altogether. Just one overeating episode will not ruin your chance for success. For the same reason fat is so hard to lose, it is also hard to gain. It takes 3,500 excess calories in order to gain one pound of fat. That’s a lot of food. Believe me, you’ve never eaten that much in one sitting!

 

  1. “I work hard. I deserve to eat as much as I want.” If you work hard, you deserve to pamper yourself, that’s true. But overeating is a form of body punishment, not a form of pampering. I suggest you treat yourself to a massage, a warm bath, or a long talk with an old friend instead of treating yourself to food. (Check out these other ways to treat youself.)

 

  1. “I am fine on the inside. That’s all that matters.” Both the inside and the outside of your body matter. Excess weight—on the outside—weakens and sickens the inside of your body. Take care of the outside of your body with weight loss, and the inside-your heart, lungs, and blood vessels—will become healthier and stronger.

 

  1. “One day of not caring is not going to matter.” The problem with this thinking is that 1 day turns into 2 days which turns into 3 days, then 4, and so on. Start caring about your body today.

 

  1. “My partner loves me no matter what my size.” I’m sure your spouse loves you, but this isn’t about your spouse. This is about you. You should lose weight to make your life better, to improve your body, to feel more energetic and healthy, and to make your life easier. Of course, those around you will benefit, but you are the one that counts the most.

 

  1. “Food is the only friend that can lift my spirits or remove the ache of loneliness.” Plenty of things—besides food—can help you heal your hungry heart.

 

  1. “I don’t want to offend my friends by not indulging with them.” My mother used to say, “If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” Overeating hurts you just as much as using recreational drugs. If your friends are offended that you want to take better care of your body, they are not really your friends.

 

  1. “I’m old. All old people are fat.” It’s true that many people gain weight as they age as a result of a slower metabolism. If you strength train, however, you can keep your metabolism from slowing down in the first place.

 

  1. “I’m still young. I can lose the weight later.” The statistics are stacked against you on this one. Most people tend to gain weight as they get older, not lose it. The best time for weight loss is right now!

 

  1. “I can eat as much as my 6-foot-2-inch husband.” You probably know that this isn’t true—as much as you want it to be so. Many women tell me that they gained weight when they were first married and began eating the same food portions as their husbands. Your husband has more muscle mass and is probably taller, and he therefore burns more calories each day than you do. You must stick to smaller food portions in order to lose weight.

 

  1. “My metabolism is terrible.” This may be true. After many years of dieting, your metabolism may be much slower than it used to be. You can rev it up, however, with strength training. (Check out how to get a metabolism that soars.)

 

  1. “I’m genetically meant to be overweight.” This is only a half-truth. Some people do carry what scientists call a “thrifty gene,” which makes their bodies resist burning fat. It only means, however, that you’ll have to work a little harder than someone without this gene in order to lose weight and keep it off.

 

  1. “I’m too fat to exercise.” This lie is what led me to develop this book. Certain types of exercise may not be best suited for your body. But I know that you’ll be able to comfortably perform the exercises in my program. I tested them on full-figured women. They work.

 

Working With Negative Beliefs

Did any of those lies resonate with you? Have you found yourself using them to make excuses for not exercising or eating healthful food portions? Do you have even more lies buried deep inside? Take a moment right now to think about what you’ve told yourself in the past that led to overeating or not exercising. Were you lying to yourself?

 

To get fully aware of your damaging, negative, and false beliefs, I want you write down your top three limiting beliefs that you have consciously or subconsciously told yourself, lies that resulted in your not believing that your body was special enough, amazing enough, or precious enough to warrant your highest attention and care. Feel free to borrow a few from those I mentioned earlier.

 

After you write down your top three limiting beliefs, write down the consequence of believing these old dis-empowering beliefs. And know that dissatisfaction can be a powerful spark that gets you to take action and change your behaviors forever.

 

Once you’ve completed the limiting-beliefs exercise, you’re ready to take another step on your journey to body respect. To fully acknowledge that your three negative beliefs are no longer a part of you, I want you to do something symbolic. Take a thick, black marker and ink out those three old beliefs with your pen. Yes, draw on top of them. Cover them up. Put a big XXX over them. This may seem like a simple, and maybe even silly, exercise, but believe me, it will symbolically help you to delete those same lies from your brain’s hard drive.

 

By doing this, you will be signaling to your brain and subconscious that you are no longer willing to be ruled by these lies. As the words disappear, so will those damaging beliefs! You will feel empowered and invigorated. You will be free. Don’t continue to read this until you have done this exercise. This physical act of destroying those old beliefs will impact your future success for the better. You will almost feel reborn.

 

Step 2: Replace the Junk with a Gem

Now that you have cleared out your emotional closet of the junk, it is now time to replace that junk with a true gem: empowering beliefs that will change your life and how you treat your body forever. Ready? Simply replace those three old limiting beliefs with the following power pledge: “My current body is the most precious gift I have ever been given.”

 

To fully commit that pledge to memory, write down the positive consequences of believing this. For example, you might write:

 

“I will treat my body as a top priority.”

“I will make sure to exercise my body on a regular basis.”

“I will feed my body properly.”

“I will finally lose the extra weight.”

To strengthen your pledge, I want you to support it with 10 ultimate references. These are 10 ideas that make the power pledge completely real for you. To create your ultimate references, ask yourself this simple question: “Why is this true?” In other words, “Why is my current body truly the most precious gift I have ever been given?” Write your answers down.

 

Now that you’ve listed your 10 ultimate references, make three copies and place them in three spots in your house. I highly recommend posting it on your nightstand and in the bathroom, so you can see it when you first get up, and in the kitchen, so you can see it whenever you feel tempted to overeat or skip your workout.

 

Your poster will serve as a powerful reminder to put your body first. Remember that it is essential for you to realize that the first secret to real weight loss is to unconditionally accept and thus respect your body 100%, right now, no matter what your current size. If you don’t fully respect your current body, I can assure you that you will never truly treat it as the most precious gift that has ever been given to you.

 

Source: Article by Jorge Cruise (www.prevention.com)