Over 12 years ago, I ditched my diet and resigned myself to being fat for the rest of my life. Instead of extreme diets and starvation plans, I turned my attention to healing my body and getting healthy. In the process, much to my surprise and delight, I effortlessly lost over 60 pounds.
When I show people my before and after photo, they want to know exactly what I did to lose so much weight.
Here are my top three food secrets to help you achieve the same remarkable weight loss success that I experienced.
Secret #1. Create an enjoyable and sustainable relationship with food.
As I began to heal my body, I knew that I had to make some conscious decisions around food.
I spent time investigating different ways of eating, looking for a way that would be enjoyable and sustainable for me, based upon my food preferences and lifestyle.
Some eating approaches that you may choose to research are macrobiotic, ayurvedic, vegetarian, vegan, juicing feasts, breakfast green smoothies, low fat, high protein/low carbs or a customized diet plan from a naturopath.
Understand that there is not just ‘one diet.’ Everyone is different. You must find a diet that works for you.
Instead of following the latest diet, ask yourself these questions:
“Am I going to enjoy eating and living like this?”
“Is this going to be a sustainable approach to food for me and my lifestyle?”
“Can I see myself eating like this tomorrow, next week, next year, or even in the next 5 years?”
If no, then keep looking for a different approach to food.
When I found a style of eating that worked for me, I continued to refine it as my health journey progressed. With a few minor adjustments along the way, it is the same way that I eat today, many years later.
Primarily, as I lost weight, I ate a plant-based diet, with fresh fish, organic chicken and eggs, wholegrains, vegetables and fruits diet that were local, seasonal and organic where possible.
Today I don’t eat any meat, but before doing this, I spent time learning how to ensure that I still get all the nutrition that I need to be healthy. I recommend that you do the same.
Along with eating sustainably, another thing that worked for me was moving away from the idea of deprivation. Since, I loved food, I knew that I needed to change my focus from the rhetoric of dieting dogma and the idea of total elimination to something far bigger and more exciting.
Secret #2. My little-known but powerful ’80:20 Rule’
While I was searching for a way to eat that allowed me to truly enjoy my food and still be healthy I stumbled upon the concept of ‘the 80:20 Rule’ and I decided to apply it to what I was learning about food.
Simply put, I began to eat about 80% real, natural foods and 20% lightly processed foods.
This allowed me the flexibility to enjoy different but healthier versions of all of my favorite foods. I loved eating nutritious food that was good for me, tasted delicious and fulfilled and satiated me.
As you look through the many different approaches to eating, choose approaches that emphasise eating real foods. These are foods that are close to their natural state (with minimum intervention by man or machines with no yukky added chemicals).
Today I wouldn’t want to eat or live in any other way.
Secret #3. Detoxify your body –– gently.
Another key distinction was that I began paying attention to the quality of food and how that was affecting me on the inside.
I started to notice that some food was far more processed and higher in toxicity than others. The highly refined foods stressed my body and I was left suffering with IBS, exhaustion, energy spikes, asthma and eczema.
With time, I learnt how to favor food that was less processed and therefore was less toxic. As I reduced the toxic load I was ingesting, it allowed my body to begin its’ own natural process of detoxification and self healing. As I began the process of gentle detoxification, my energy levels surged and to my delight my waist line began to reduce.
Eventually, I stopped eating all fake foods. This included refined, processed and manufactured foods such as fast-foods, artificial flavorings, colorings, preservatives, additives, white flour, white sugar, high corn fructose syrup (HCFS) or glucose-fructose syrup and all dangerous trans-fats.
You don’t have to make radical changes overnight (in fact I recommend that you don’t). Instead, take your time to explore and find healthier ‘real food’ substitutes for your favorite ‘fake foods’ or junk foods.
Make your changes are done slowly but surely. Take baby steps to begin cleaning up your diet.
Getting started on losing weight naturally.
You do not have to be a medical doctor or a dietician to know how to lose weight naturally or get healthy.
Start taking positive steps in the direction of your health and wellbeing today.
There are so many easy small things, that anyone can do, to radically transform your body and life, just like it did mine.
Remember that losing weight naturally, like claiming back your health is journey. Just start slowly, taking one small step and then another. Eat a mixture of real foods and allow your body to function optimally, just as nature intended. Make the decision to learn what foods work for your body and your life.
Then enjoy the process of carving out your personal path to natural weight loss, vibrant health and wellbeing. I did it, and I know that you can too.
Editor: Lindsay Friedman