Over the last 10 years, my weight has stayed consistent despite not following any type of special diet. The reasons I was able to achieve this are not complicated, even though it seems to be a big issue judging by the sheer amount of weight loss books.
First of all, I don’t eat or drink anything that can have an unfavourable affect on my hormones, which means I don’t consume things that I know will hurt my digestive system, liver, adrenals, and thyroid. This means things like heavily processed and factory farmed foods, alcohol, soda, and coffee never touch my lips.
Also, I’ve never taken a medication, prescribed or over the counter, in 15 years. An accumulating toxic burden will typically cause weight gain, and is a big reason people become overweight.
I also haven’t counted calories, measured my macros, or intermittent fasted (intentionally) during the last 10 years. I eat whole foods that are easily metabolized and send appropriate signals to my brain when to stop, unlike processed foods which are severely delayed in sending that memo to the noggin.
I manage my stress well by not binge eating or drinking when stress comes up, and instead I incorporating relaxing foods and herbs while enjoying nature and grounding activities as much as possible.
I also have a well functioning thyroid, which ensures my metabolism stays high. A sluggish or “hypo” condition with the thyroid can make weight gain easy and weight loss difficult, so if that seems to be the case for you and you follow a healthy lifestyle, you may want to consider your thyroid health.
Interestingly enough, I don’t do a ton of formal exercise. I walk regularly, play with my kids, and do weight resistance training a few times a week. I don’t jog every day, run on the treadmill, or hit the gym 5x a week. Yet, I remain in as good or better physical shape as many who are doing the same.
Now if you want to get into a healthy weight range and stay there for decades, here is my advice:
1. Work on your digestion until you can say you move 12 inches or more of well-formed fecal matter through your body on a daily basis.
2. Don’t do or largely eliminate things that knowingly hurt your liver or alter your hormones, like alcohol and coffee.
3. Know your best stress management techniques, and master them so they can be put into use in the moment. Work on releasing guilt, shame, or bitterness, all which can cause weight to become a problem.
4. Figure out a way to reduce or come off medications. This is done by removing the source of the issue that creates the symptoms that the medications are intended to resolve. If you need help with this, look into my THRIVE Academy.
5. Remove heavily processed foods from your pantry, and if you “can’t” because of family habits, make sure to stock your favourite healthy whole food snacks so you have a better option when the bag of chips or pretzels break out.
6. Stay at least moderately active, whether it is walking, working in the garden, or other activities that keep your body moving.
7. Keep a reasonable sleep schedule, getting to bed before 11 pm and getting at least 7 hours of sleep. If you’re waking up at night between the hours of 1 am and 3 am, re-read point #2.
Of course, some people stay thin despite violating the principles above. Keep in mind that this does NOT make them healthy, and can actually be a curse because they believe being thin is healthy no matter what, which doesn’t lead to course corrections and ultimately results in premature disease and death.
In the end, healthy weight loss is most easily and effectively achieved through what you put in your mouth. This is why the THRIVE Academy works so well, because it helps you get a plan in place to put weight loss in your favour, in a completely natural way through nutrition and lifestyle.