The Center for Disease Control states that more than one-third of Americans are clinically obese. We know that obesity causes many health problems, including premature death, but many people continue to struggle with losing weight. If you’re struggling to lose weight, approaching your goals in a holistic fashion is the best way to ensure success.
Here are five holistic tips that will help you make the changes you need to lose weight – and keep it from coming back.
1. Make the decision to change Our hectic culture is the antithesis of calm reflection. Many of us are too busy reacting to external stimuli to look inside ourselves to find the will to change. We are driven to distraction by everything from the constant ringing of our cell phones to serving as the chauffeur for our children’s social activities. All these distractions and the pace of our lives have made it difficult to take the first step toward lasting weight loss - self awareness and the decision to change.
The first step is simple but very complex: Making the decision to change your life. Taking the time to reflect on your relationship with food and what led you to the shape you’re in today is a profound first step on the road to recovery from what is, for some, a real addiction to food.
2. Exercise No significant weight loss will occur without getting out of your chair. Exercise is the most difficult and important step you can take toward a holistic weight loss plan. Working out, no matter what form it takes, will improve your mood, help you deal with the daily stress of work, and most importantly, take off that weight.
The truth is that dieting doesn’t work for long-term weight reduction. As far back as 1991, researchers were documenting that dieting doesn’t work. If you diet, the weight will likely come back, plus another five pounds or more. Exercise is part of a real, long-term plan to change your life and the behavior patterns that are destroying you, one cookie at a time.
3. Be Positive The power of your own mind is your best tool in losing weight and keeping it off. Start your day with a pep talk. Tell yourself that you are doing a great job at meeting your goals, and praise yourself for each success. The beauty of positive self talk is that you get to define what success is for you. Make it a point to write down your triumphs, either in a journal or somewhere visible like your bathroom mirror.
You also need to surround yourself with positive people that support your weight loss goals and share in your lifestyle choices. Building a healthier lifestyle with your significant other or a friend group is not only fun, it can also lead to higher success rates.
4. Improve your self-esteem Sometimes the key to weight loss is to stop thinking that taking care of your body is selfish. Women are often at risk for this dangerous thinking pattern because women are still the nurturers in our society. Women often have trouble balancing thing obligations of self and family. But realize this: In order to be best possible wife, mother, student or whatever, there are times when you need to make yourself your first choice!
5. De-stress Our culture doesn’t lend itself to stress relief. We are always on and always connected, but sometimes we must disconnect. This is an important part of the “me” time you will need to stay focused on your goals and take care of yourself. Taking a meditation or yoga class will help you learn stress elimination techniques. Or taking a solo walk during the second half of your lunch hour will allow you some private, quiet time to tone down stress. If you can get the space at home, you can try a bubble bath. Even journaling is a great way to process things and lower stress levels.
Let's Get Started You can do anything you set your mind to. The tools to succeed are right in front of you. Have you decided to make a change?