Clearly, through our company name alone, we know that the amazing people who walk through our door, would like to, amongst other things, lose weight. Wanting to lose weight and improve your physical and mental health to a place where you feel comfortable is great, and the team at Weight Loss Surgery pride ourselves on giving you a holistic support system to help you meet your goals.
However, sometimes when people get so caught up in the numbers on the scale, once they stop moving downwards, overwhelming fear can creep back in. When fear returns, so does self-doubt, and subsequently self-sabotage.
So, let’s talk about the weight loss mindset. As weight loss can be exciting and scary – weight stabilisation can be even scarier and confusing. Here are 5 ‘tips’ on how to get yourself out of the ‘weight loss’ mindset and into the ‘health’ mindset. You’ll find focusing on living a healthy lifestyle can still result in weight loss – but it will give you some tools to succeed long term.
1. Eat food in the way it was intended by nature – eat nude. Eat food that comes from the ground, the sea and uses nature to grow. It’s food that can perish when not refrigerated and has a limited shelf life – such as fresh meats, produce, eggs, etc. These types of ‘whole’ foods haven’t been processed and are nutrient rich. This food gives you the most bang for your buck in terms of nutrients and goodness, and often contains a much healthier calorie profile than the processed counter options (e.g. fresh potatoes vs potato chips). When you eat food the way it was intended by nature you don’t have to decipher food labels, and clever marketing. It makes eating simple.
2. Be ready, prepared and organised. Planning your meals in advance and having everything you need in the fridge/pantry ‘ready to go’ can be underestimated. Being organised means there is less chance you’ll end up with a nutrient poor option at the end of the crazy day. Use Sunday’s to create a healthy meal plan for the week (including breakfast, lunch and dinners), and if you can, include the exercise you want to do as well. Having a plan can help keep you on track, even when you get busy. Utilise online shopping, or meal delivery services such as My Foodbag/Woop if you need to – make it as easy for yourself as you can. Also, be ready for setbacks. These will happen – it’s life! And its okay! It’s what you do most of the time that makes an impact, not what happens once in a while. Therefore, don’t these setbacks actually set you back. Get back on track the next day and use your plan to help you. Do the next wise thing!
3. Change your mindset to optimistic rather than pessimistic. Rather than focusing on the glass half empty approach and the food you subtract, think about the foods you add for health – that way the glass is half full. When you take a positive approach, you are adding in nutrient dense foods the body needs to feel nourished and give you energy. This is particularly important after surgery, because of the limited space in your stomach. We want to maximise the room you do have for the food that will give you most benefits. Therefore, when you go to eat, it is important to ask yourself ‘what is this food giving me and what will I get out of it?’ When you take on board this way of thinking, you’ll find the desire for processed foods begins to decrease and nutrient rich foods increase.
4.Trust and listen to your body. You need to work with your body; it knows what you need and when. Trust in the signals it is giving you. If you are physically hungry - eat, if you are head hungry – explore why and how to alter it without food (i.e. relaxation and breathing techniques), sleep when you are tired, and stop exercising if it is giving you physical pain. It is good to test yourself and set challenges physically and mentally, but only in ways that are kind to your body and aren’t giving you pain, injury or making you grumpy and defeated. Utilise mindful eating techniques such as the 20/20/20 rule - chew your food 20 times, wait 20 seconds between mouthfuls, and make your meal last 20 minutes. This will give you time to think if you need all the food on your plate, and give you the chance to thoroughly enjoy your food. Another important reason for eating slowly is that it takes approximately 20 minutes for the satiety hormone leptin to signal to the brain that you are full – therefore slowing down gives you the ability to stop when comfortable and reduced the chance of over eating.
5. Count nutrients, not calories. Measure your health and success by the healthy eating and exercise habits you are creating. Look at what nutrients you are giving yourself each day – your food choices should be based on whether they provide useful nutrition (i.e. protein and vegetables), not by the number of calories they contain. Even healthy foods such as proteins, healthy fats in foods such as avocado’s and salmon contain calories – and we certainly don’t want to restrict them! When people eat and fixate on the calories, the “diet” mentality and restrictions can start. Health is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change – weight loss is a by-product of the healthy habits you have created. Make a commitment to your body to give it nutrient rich foods, trust in your body and the results will come.