A lot of people come to me completely overwhelmed by “uncontrollable” weight gain. I know what it’s like, it feels like an ugly monster that’s impossible to tackle.
One thing that I have seen work over and over again is to first move the focus away from how you’re going to lose the weight, and instead work on putting a cap on the actual weight gain itself. There is a difference between the two, a subtle one, but a good enough difference that can very well influence one’s success or defeat.
If you find yourself overwhelmed, frazzled by the stress of losing weight, and paralyzed by a feeling of pressure – then start first with stopping the weight gain. Put the weight loss strategy aside (you’ll get to that later, I promise), and just focus on not putting on any more weight. I’m always amazed how my coaching clients’ body language or tone of voice changes when I tell them this, they go from utter stress and exasperation to a place of calm and certainty, instantaneously!
This doesn’t mean you’ll never lose the weight, or that it will take forever, in fact this is what will set you up to successfully, easily, and confidently lose weight. I think most people would agree that the best way to embark on anything is through calm and deliberate action, and not from a place of pressure, guilt, and feeling out of control.
Need personalized help with your diet? Natasha offers personalized diet, health, and lifestyle coaching! To make an appointment or get more information on the Health & Lifestyle Coaching Programs, CLICK HERE!
In the last blog post/video, I talked about all the things that didn’t work for me from the various diets and cleanses I have tried. Today, I want to talk about all the things that do work for me, and I continue to do.
Over the years I have tried many diets including vegetarian diet, macrobiotic diet, raw vegan diet, paleo, high carb, low carb, etc., and even though I currently don’t follow any diet except for a whole food diet, there are many things that I continue to do, that I love and enjoy, and have learned from during my past diet experiments.
Past Diet Experiments – What I Continue Doing:
1. Green juice
I ‘ve been drinking green juices for over 15 years. This is one thing that I have naturally committed myself to doing because I feel so good when I am drinking them, especially daily! I drink about 500mL – 1L a day (2-4 Cups).
2. Juice fasting
I love juice fasting! The last time I did a juice fast was over 2 years ago, right before I got pregnant with my daughter Luna Ray, and because I am still breastfeeding, I haven’t been able to do a juice fast since. I miss it a lot, even my husband asks all the time when we’ll be doing another juice fast! It’s one of those things that over the years I’ve always enjoyed doing, I love the benefits, how it makes me feel, and the opportunity to slow things down.
I usually do one or two juice fasts a year, can’t wait until the next one!
3. Green salads
Love Love Love green salads! As everyone knows I was on a raw vegan diet for close to 4 years, and one of the things I am most grateful for during that time was learning how to make delicious green salads, and learning how to make them substantial enough that they not only taste good, but filling, and can be eaten as a meal.
Since moving on from the raw vegan diet, I still eat at least one large green salad daily, sometimes two, sometimes even three!
4. Bone broths
After I got off the raw vegan diet, for a short period of time, I experimented with the Paleo diet and some of the dietary guidelines from the Weston A. Price Foundation. The one thing I took away from those diets was making homemade bone broths. Along with green vegetables juices, I find bone broths to be extremely nourishing.
I like to make a homemade bone broth once every week or two, I don’t really like drinking it plain, but prefer to use it as a base for a soup.
5. Fats & Proteins
Based on all my diet experiments over the years, the one thing I have learned over and over again is how much better I feel eating good amounts of proteins and fats. I definitely still eat carbohydrates, I’m not on a low carb diet, but I’m also not on a high carb diet either (I prefer to be somewhere in the middle). Personally, I find it easy to eat carbohydrates, and I have to make more of a conscious effort to eat more protein and healthy fats – when I do, and I’m consistent, I definitely feel it in my energy levels, mood, strength, and even a big difference in my skin, hair and nails.
6. A remedy that surprised me…
I always find this one thing to be kind of funny and surprising all at the same time! So, when I was pregnant, I didn’t have many cravings, in fact I had more food aversions than cravings, but for some reason I craved the Master Cleanse lemonade!! Especially when I was having brutal morning sickness. At that point I couldn’t stomach coconut water, and I found the lemon juice sweetened with maple syrup to hit the spot of helping me with nausea, rehydrating me, and giving me a little extra lift.
7. Non-toxic skin care
It’s been over a decade that I’ve started experimenting with different eating plans and exploring natural health, and the one thing that I really appreciate and find myself very passionate about is non-toxic skin care. For me, eating a wholesome diet came hand in hand with learning how to take better care of myself, including incorporating natural skin care into my routine. I find like exercise, taking care of my skin motivates me to eat healthier. One thing inspires the next!
8. What I’d like to eat more of: Fermented Food
I’ve talked about all the things I’ve taken away from diets and cleanses I’ve tried, and I thought it would be nice to include what I’d like to continue doing but perhaps haven’t been so disciplined about doing lately. I have to say what comes to mind is eating fermented and cultured food like kefirs, sauerkrauts, kimchi, etc. I always feel good when I am eating fermented foods regularly – my digestion, my skin, and even immunity feels stronger. Perhaps now that I’ve said it, I’ll start doing it!
Want to do a cleanse??!!!! Join the next 7 Day Raw Food Challenge! 7 full days on a 100% raw food diet will definitely kick start a healthy diet, get the weight loss going, and make you feel and look great!! Once you sign-up, you’ll receive an ebook with Recipes, a full Menu Planner and Shopping List. Once the Challenge begins, you’ll have access to the Private Online Forum and Daily Videos specifically made for the 7 Day Raw Food Challenge. Click Here to join now!– The next 7 Day Raw Food Challenge starts Monday, March 16, 2015!!!
In the last video/blog post I talked about extreme diets and the importance of taking away what works for you, and letting go of what doesn’t.
Today I want to talk about my own experience. Over the years I’ve tried so many extreme diets and cleanses, and each and every time I’ve learned so much about myself, specifically what makes me feel good and healthy, and what doesn’t.
In today’s video/blog post I go over all the things I’ve learned so far from my diet experiments that doesn’t work for me at all, and in the next video/blog post I’ll talk about all the things that do work for me, and what I continue to do, and implement in my daily life.
Past Diets & Cleanses: What Doesn’t Work For Me
Before I get into what doesn’t work for me, I just want to first say: this post is based on my experience and my body. As we all know, everyone is different, everyone has different bodies, food tolerances, metabolisms, etc. I’m just sharing my own experience and observations. I have to say the more I know what works for me and what doesn’t, the easier my food and diet choices are, the better I feel, the clearer I am as to what supports my health, and what I want to continue doing.
Here’s What Doesn’t Work For Me:
1. I Get Hyperpigmentation From Eating Too Much Fruit
I eat fruit every day. I love fruit! But, if I eat too much fruit, like doing a fruitarian diet or a high fruit cleanse/diet for more than a few consecutive days, I am prone to hyperpigmentation on my face (only in the summer months or in a hot climate). I am sure the same thing would happen if I had a lot of sugar from other sources in my diet as well. For me, high fruit diet + strong sun = hyperpigmentation. I get the dark patches always in the same places (my upper lip and around my temples on the sides of my forehead). To avoid it, I am mindful of how much fruit I eat. I don’t cut fruit completely out of my diet, I just don’t eat too much, definitely no fruitarian diet for me (especially while living near the equator!). I also find shielding my face from the sun helps a lot, but it doesn’t seem to protect me 100%. In order for me to avoid any form of hyperpigmentation, I’ve got to minimize the fruit and the sun.
2. Too Much Avocado & Nuts Causes Me Serious Sinus Pain & Congestion
I love avocados and I love nuts. Eating healthy fats is great for my skin, my appetite, my mood, and overall well-being, but unfortunately if I eat too much avocados and/or nuts, I get painful congestion and sinus issues. When I used to be on a raw food diet, I really craved the healthy fats, but the moment I ate more than 1/2- 1 avocado, or more than 1/2 cup of nuts, I would immediately get severely congested, so bad that it would be difficult to sleep at night and to breath through my nose. I have to say, I don’t have such an issue with seeds (tahini/sesame seed butter would be the exception). I still eat nuts and avocado all the time, but I have to really watch the quantities.
3. Raw Cacao Over Stimulates Me & Makes Me Depressed When I Stop Eating It
I love chocolate! Raw or cooked, I love chocolate. Unfortunately if I eat raw cacao too many days in a row, I find it very hard to stop. It kind of feels like I’m stopping a drug. I get quite down and depressed when I stop, and it feels like something is missing. It almost feels like withdrawal! I only get this from raw cacao, not cooked or roasted chocolate. I also find if I eat too much, I get over stimulated from the theobromine, kind of like I’m jumping out of my skin, or like I drank way too much coffee. Because of this, as a treat once in a while it’s fine, but I can’t eat it regularly.
4. Healthy Food Or Not, If I Overeat It, I Get Fat!
Whoever said “As long as it’s healthy, you can eat as much as you want, you won’t gain weight!” either lied or doesn’t know what they’re talking about! Based on my own experience, if I overeat anything, healthy or not, I will gain weight.
5. Exercising Too Much Makes Me Eat Much More Than I Burn Off.
There have definitely been times where I’ve gotten a little over zealous with exercising. I love to exercise. I love the energy, stamina, and strength I get from it, plus it’s definitely boosts my confidence and self esteem, and clears my mind of stress and worry. But, if I exercise for more than an hour a day, especially high intensity exercise, I always end up really hungry after, and if I exercise intensely for a few days in a row, my appetite builds and I end up eating way more than I’m burning off, which isn’t what I am aiming for!
In recent years I’ve done a lot of experiments with exercise – different durations, different forms of exercise and movement, and different intensities. I find what actually works best for me is exercising no more than an hour a day (even as little as 20-30 minutes of intense exercise a day is awesome), AND making sure I’m not sitting down all day, but instead moving around doing housework, playing with my daughter Luna Ray, cleaning the garden, going for a walk, etc. I find the two combined helps me stay in much better shape, keeps my weight down, and doesn’t stimulate my appetite in the slightest – all of which gives me much better results than doubling-up my gym classes or spending hours working out a day. It seems the less I do, the better results I get.
6. Even The Most Well-Intentioned Health Bloggers, Gurus, & Experts Don’t Always Verify Their “Facts”.
There was once a health blog that I loved and followed many years ago. One day she/he did a demo on making your own tooth paste, and of course I had to try it. Unfortunately after a few days of using my new DIY toothpaste, it totally messed up my mouth, teeth, and gums. I’ve never had such sensitivity and pain in my mouth in my life! I ended up contacting the blogger about what happened and the blogger responded by admitting she/he never tried the recipe out!!! OMG! I have to admit, from that incident on, my trusting innocent bubble was burst, and from then on let’s just say I exercise extreme caution over anything I try or listen to over the internet! Not to be crazy paranoid or anything, but be careful!
I get asked a lot about what I think about certain extreme diets floating around the internet. I have to say, as long as somene is objective, listening more to their body than the diet guru, and learning from what is working, and what is not, these crazy extreme diets don’t neccessarily have to be the worst things on earth.
Most people can’t stick to these exreme diets over the longterm anyway, and what they can gain is an incredible amount insight as to what works for them, and what doesn’t.
Now adays I have a much more moderate and balanced approach to my own personal diet, and this works for me, but I have to say I learned so much from all my past experiments with different diets, cleanses, and eating plans. I might not ever want to do those types of diets again, but I sure did learn a lot!!!
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One of the easiest ways to lose 3 – 5 pounds is to eat your last meal of the day as early as possible, but one detail most people overlook which is as important, is also to go to bed early. The two go hand in hand.
Aim to have your last meal of the day no later than 6pm or 7pm (and no snack after), and go to sleep 2 – 3 hours after that last meal. By going to bed early, you eliminate any chance of late night snacking which can interfere with weight loss success, or worse, any chance of having a second dinner!
Many people already know that if they eat dinner early, and not snack after dinner, this is the easiest way to lose weight, but many people’s attempts end in failure because they go to sleep too late, and by the time they go to sleep they’ve already had some sort of snack, or can’t fall asleep because they are too hungry.
This is the easiest way to start losing weight
So if you want to lose weight while you sleep (how cool is that??!!), then eat your dinner early, AND go to sleep early! Try this for a week, you’ll be amazed not only how easy it is to lose weight, but how refreshed and rejuvenated you’ll feel in the morning.
Want to do a Juice Fast? Join the next 10 Day Juice Fasting Programstarting Tuesday, March 3, 2015!!! The program includes menu planners to transition on and off the fast, fasting outline, daily videos specifically made to guide you through the fast (20-40 minutes long each) and an online forum to connect with everyone from around the world doing the juice fast with you! Natasha is on the private Juice Fasting Forum daily answering questions and offering additional support! CLICK HERE to sign-up!