Interested in learning more from the Exercise Scientist and Nutritionist Amelia Phillips on sustainable weight loss? We asked everything, from following diets, self-sabotage to the impact of hormones and genetics on weight
A: Definitely not! Our eating patterns are unique to us, based on our culture, lifestyle, stage of life, genetics and hormones. Adopt a long-term sustainable eating pattern that addresses your lifestyle and emotional connection to food.
TIP: Prioritise whole foods and Pick 1-3 elements of your diet you would like to change, and focus on those (eg over snacking, too much takeout etc.).The goal is to be healthier, not thinner (that comes anyway).
A: Absolutely. I see this happen for two main reasons; 1) practical barriers, 2) psychological barriers
Practical barriers: Your day-to-day life makes the healthier choice hard to do (e.g. going to bed late then expecting to be motivated to train at 6 am). If it feels hard to do, and your motivation is low, your chances of doing it are low. This is the easiest sabotage to fix!
Psychological barriers: two main barriers 1) values barrier, 2) Worthiness barrier values barrier: If getting healthier is not truly values aligned, you may struggle to feel motivated. EG, you've been the carefree party person, and now you're meant to get organised, disciplined and embrace pain - no way! Doing values exercise to tap into your true value around health helps (and that looks very different for each person).
TIP: Here is a great podcast episode I did on finding your true values. https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/healthy-her/id1477160157?i=1000556363667
Worthiness barrier: If you don't feel worthy of self-love and compassion, getting healthy will feel like an ongoing internal battle. Someone who lacks self-esteem or worthiness will not prioritise looking after themselves. They may diet or exercise as a form of punishment, not nourishment.
TIP: I suggest following Vanessa Haldane from Journey to Worthy https://www.instagram.com/journeytoworthyofficial for inspiration on boosting your worthiness, which in turn will boost your health (and happiness!).
A: Absolutely, they play a role, but in my experience, it all comes down to energy balance. When you can balance the energy from the food you eat with the amount you move, your weight stabilises in a healthy way. A simple way to test this is for one month to commit to 10k steps per day whilst following a calorie-controlled meal replacement food delivery service. If after one month you haven't lost weight, then go and speak to an endocrinologist who can test you. For every 10 people I've done this with, 9 have lost weight.
Mary Cray: Excuses - will finding new habits help eliminate my excuses? Excuses tend to come around when things feel too hard, and your motivation levels are low. Focussing on 1-3 small habit changes, rather than a complete overhaul, is a great way to reduce excuses. Break the habit changes into more manageable portions. EG, if early morning exercising is a habit change, how can you make this easier?
1. Plan an easier/more enjoyable workout
2. Set a reminder to go to bed earlier
3. Lay your clothes out
4. Load up your playlist/podcast
5. Book with a friend
6. Move your alarm, so you have to get out of bed
In summary, raise your motivation levels and make it easier to do. That's how you eliminate excuses.
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