How to Lose Weight Naturally and for the Long Haul

When most people attempt weight loss, they usually want it to happen quickly and easily. You know, the promise of a "quick-fix," "lose x amount of pounds in x amount of days," or "lose weight fast," draws us in and makes us feel like we have finally found the answer to our weight loss woes.

I'm wondering, how many gimmicks do you see out there making false promises of fast weight loss, or having the  body of your dreams in x amount of days, BUT ONLY if you stick to their highly-restrictive diet? I'm guessing your news feed is loaded with them.

What the diet industry doesn't tell you, is that it will be impossible to stay on that diet long-term. You WILL eventually gain the weight back, because statistically over 95% of people gain weight back that they lost from a restrictive diet within 1-3 years.

One thing I know for sure: Dieting is NOT Sustainable. #truthbomb

And I'm pretty sure you know it too. Yet we can easily get so stuck in the vicious cycle of it because of the BIG. FAT. LIES. that are fed to us. Did you know a recent study in the UK showed that an average woman will spend roughly 30 years of her life on a diet? What the.....??? It's culturally ingrained in us; it's become the norm. And it eats away at our life, our self-esteem and confidence.

You may think because I am a Transformational Eating Coach and Nutritionist that I have my shit (excuse my Jersey potty mouth) together when it comes to food and my body. But, I am by no means perfect, nor do I want to be. 

I have learned that my many years of struggles with food went deep....much deeper than the food itself.  In fact, my biggest learning was that my struggles really had nothing to do with the food at all.

All the quick fixes, wanting to be perfect with my eating, restricting myself, living by tons of food rules, trying out the next miracle pill or hottest new diet fad all left me feeling like a HUGE failure, and kept me locked up in my own food prison. None of these things helped me lose the weight I was trying to lose, or gave me relief from my food obsession.

In fact, if I did lose weight (usually very little) I would gain it, back plus some.  I had to keep fighting with myself and my body. It felt like a never-ending that I would never win. I thought my body was fighting against me, but once I gave up dieting everything changed.

Back in those days, I couldn't fathom ever feeling freedom and ease with food, or being able to maintain a weight that felt good for me. I was obsessed, and I spent all of my energy and mental capacity controlling everything I put into my body. It left me depleted, angry and feeling miserable about myself.

Have you been trying to solve your food and weight issues by going on another diet, doing a cleanse, intermittent fasting, giving up your favorite food, exercising more, restricting/depriving, and looking for the next "fix?" Well, you're not alone.

Some of these things may help you make better choices for your overall lifestyle, but none of them will work for the long-term results you want. Most likely you will have to keep starting over, again and's exhausting.

I know how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle, but the things I mentioned above (which by the way make my stomach turn when I think about them) will not set you up for sustainable weight loss, or healthy habits. They will only set you up for disappointment, and eventually hopelessness...

Aren't you sick of that yet? I hope so....

Below I share strategies that WILL help set you up for natural and sustainable weight loss. Now mind you, this is NOT a quick fix. You will need to dig deeper than you ever have before, you will have to practice the change, and you will need to let go of a whole lot of thoughts and beliefs around what you think you know.

When I first start working with my private clients, they always want me to give them a plan, and I won't....

That is the reason they came to me in the first place, because they are SICK of following a restrictive plan and missing out on life. They know that ultimately it doesn't work, but it also feels scary not to have one...there is a lot of fear of getting out of control.

But the truth is, they already ARE out of read on, to learn how you can get off the crazy diet roller-coaster and lose weight naturally, so you can keep it off and start living a saner life with food.

First Key on How to Lose Weight Naturally - Slow Down

I know this may sound crazy to you, but slowing down when you eat will actually support your weight loss efforts.

Too often people eat on the go, sitting in front of computers, standing over the kitchen sink, or shoveling a meal in quickly before their next appointment. It's a surefire way to eat more than your body needs, and it doesn't allow your body to digest properly or assimilate the nutrients from your food in a beneficial way.

Eating on the run, or eating quickly causes a lot of stress in the body, and we all know stress causes weight gain.

So, practice one meal a day sitting at a table without distraction and eat slowly. Taste your food, savor it, enjoy the experience.  Breathe. Look around. Take in the sights and sounds. Put your fork down and chew. This will help your body to get the nourishment it needs, and it will help you attune more to your fullness signals as well. I guarantee you will feel fuller much quicker than you have in the past, and there just might be some food left on your plate too.

Second Key on How to Lose Weight Naturally - Eat When you Feel Physical Hunger

Do your best to eat only when you feel physical hunger. This is a big one because most of us eat quite often when we are not physically hungry, or we eat because we are afraid to feel hunger or feel empty.

What this does is gives our body food when it doesn't need it, and you know what that results in? WEIGHT GAIN! Anytime you ingest calories when you don't have physical hunger, your body will most likely store it as extra weight. The body doesn't understand what to do with all this extra food that it doesn't need.

The quality of the food comes into play too. You CAN gain weight overeating what you deem to be "healthy" food. Believe me, I was a health food, binge eater and I put on 25 extra pounds doing it.

So, take time to attune to your physical hunger. Before you eat, ask yourself if you are physically hungry. Wait for an answer. If you are craving something, and you think you need to eat, most of the time that is due to an emotional need. If that's the case, see if there is something else you can give to yourself other than food that will feel nourishing to you.

On the other hand, if you are truly physically hungry, than make a nourishing and honoring choice that you will feel good about and sit down and eat it slowly.

Third Key on How to Lose Weight Naturally - Drop the Rules + Restrictions

Lose the restriction and rules. WHAT? You're probably thinking I am crazy right now. But the truth is, all the rules and restriction are what keep you stuck in this crazy-ass cycle with food in the first place.

I know, you're afraid if you don't have rules and restriction you will go hog-wild. Well, it's possible, but my guess is, you might for a little bit (maybe once or twice,) but then those foods that you told yourself you couldn't eat, and that you white-knuckle through to not give in to, will lose all their allure.

Once we give ourselves FULL permission to enjoy a food without the judgement, it loses it's pull on us. I go way more in-depth about this in my Empowered Eating Experience 5-day Mini Course.

So for now, see about giving up ONE of your food rules. Maybe the one about not eating carbs because they are "bad," or the one about having a cheat meal on the weekends. Those rules DO NOT serve you.  Run an experiment and try it on for a week and see what you notice.

The bottom line is that you want to be able to build trust in yourself and your body. These 3 steps will help you do that. Once you can trust yourself and KNOW you have a choice about when, why and what you eat, then you will be able to lose weight sustain-ably and naturally.

If you want to learn more about sustainable weight loss, click here to get my most popular video, 3 Keys to Sustainable Weight Loss for FREE!

Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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