19. How to Keep Weight Loss Simple
Welcome to episode 19 of the Mindful Weight Loss podcast. Thank you so much for being here with me. I am your host and your coach, Emily Erukuff and today, I want to talk about how to keep weight loss simple because we like to make it complicated. And yes, I hate to say it, but it's what we humans do. We are really good at twisting our brain into knots and confusing ourselves so that we don't have to make a decision and thus don't have to take action. And probably that's some sort of energy conservation mechanism in our brains, but it sucks when that keeps us from what we actually want in life.
And thanks to the internet you can find opinion and evidence about the benefits or detriments to eating just about anything. Some people will tell you that beans are amazing for weight loss and others will tell you that you should never eat beans again, and I won't even get into the rest of it.
Because you really don't have to go there to lose weight. You don't need to track your macronutrients and you don't need to eliminate any particular kinds of foods. In fact eliminating or restricting anything sets you up to overindulge in it. Check out episode 10, why food restriction backfires, to learn more about that.
And so, if you are in this space of feeling like you don't know what to eat to lose weight, that's a signal that you are overcomplicating things. Because nobody gained weight by eating too many beans. And while I will grant that eating nothing but sugar and carbs isn't a great idea, that doesn't mean we need to eliminate or even restrict them. Because when it comes down to it, weight loss is less about what you eat and more about how you eat.
We don't gain weight because we eat carbs, we gain weight because we OVEReat carbs and that's a huge difference. If you spend a day eating nothing but sugar and carbs and you really pay attention to how your body feels about that you probably won't do it again. Your body is really good at letting you know what foods it feels good eating and it doesn't want only sugar and carbs.
Just as your body let's you know when it's had enough, it let's you know which foods feel good and which don't. You just need to pay attention. And you need to redevelop trust in your body.
When you approach weight loss by trying to figure it out or force it, or make it happen faster, you are showing a real lack of trust in your body. And that needs to stop because that is precisely what caused you to gain weight in the first place.
You let your mind drama overpower the signals from your body telling you that it was full or wasn't even hungry to begin with. And you probably did that because you weren't listening to your body in other ways - most likely by ignoring your feelings.
Trust really is key here and trusting the right thing is crucial. And that's not some diet you find on the internet, and it's not necessarily even the latest scientific study about weight loss. It's trusting you and your body. And when you think about it, it's crazy that we were ever brainwashed not to trust our bodies in the first place. These brilliant machines that science doesn't fully understand and they provide us with these amazing signals about when we are hungry, full, feeling icky because we at something that didn't agree with us, feeling good, feeling worried. Our bodies do an incredible job communicating us. We've just been taught not to listen.
And so again, it's really key to understand that when you are trying to force weight loss to happen, you aren't showing that trust in your body. You're trying to outsmart it and you're going to be the one to lose in the end.
And you can't compartmentalize and conceal your own motives from your body. Like if you are desperate to lose weight, you're body is going to get on board and say ok, we're in a desperate situation and it's going to act accordingly.
So the best thing you can do to lose weight is relax and know that your body's got this. You just have to listen to it and take care of it, and that means doing really basic things that we did when we were kids.
It's eating when you're hungry
and stopping when you're full.
It's indulging in treats or things that taste good, but not overdoing it.
It's feeling and working through your emotions instead of bottling them up.
It's crying when you feel bad and smiling and laughing when you feel good.
It's prioritizing joy and fun and silliness.
It's moving because moving feels good.
It's drinking when your'e thirsty.
And it's getting enough sleep.
And notice how all those things, are things that you don't have to micromanage. Your body takes care of all these things FOR you. And this amazing sophisticated machine that you get to inhabit, it doesn't need an instruction manual, it just needs you to pay attention and trust what it is telling you.
And I know, as well as anyone, that after years of not trusting your body and your mind, this is probably the hardest thing we do when it comes to weight loss. You're like yeah, except that my body wants to eat dessert 3 times a day. But you know what, if you've been depriving yourself of desserts for like years (and no binges and uncomfortable overeats wherein you don't enjoy the food, those don't count) then maybe you should be eating dessert 3 times a day at least for a little while. Maybe that's what your body needs in order to trust YOU. Because you are the one who went rogue, not your body.
So start paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you and just like with your emotions, don't wait until it's screaming at you to get your attention. Check in regularly and ask yourself what it needs. Try to even anticipate what it might need throughout the day, like certain foods, or a nap, or some connection or some fun.
And then act in good faith. Do your best and know that if you don't get it perfect that's ok. If you've been restricting you will probably overindulge. If you've been ignoring your body's signals you probably won't read them correctly right away and you'll probably completely miss them sometimes, but if you strive to trust your body and trust yourself and act in good faith, you will learn to dial it all in. And you will come to see your body as the true ally that it is.