I am embarrassed to admit how many different commercial weight loss programs I've tried. I don't know about you, but after a while I grow tired of talking heads touting empty promises. None of them helped me look the way I think I should and most of them left me agonizing over eating the same foods over and over.
What's a body to do?
In this article I've outline a few different ideas that I've found to really work. Ideas I continue to come back to again and again. Whether you need to lose a few pounds or are looking for a healthy lifestyle change, these 4 solutions will help get you started.
Solution #1: Use Creative Visualization
Creative visualization a great way to bring about lifestyle change. "Seeing" yourself thinner is one of the most successful ways to decrease your body size and improve body image. Guided imagery works by training your mind to stimulate changes within your body.
This can be accomplished using a few of my favorite tools:
Affirmations: Using affirmations will train your mind by stating or affirming your intentions. It will retrain your thinking toward positive thoughts.
When I use affirmations, I like to use positive statements such as these:
MY BODY IS BEAUTIFUL! I LOVE MY BODY!
To increase their effectiveness, I write these messages to myself on an index card or piece of paper and carry them with me. I review them several times throughout the day.
Tapes: If you are an auditory person, you will love the guided imagery and weight loss tapes available from Health Journeys ( http://www.healthjourneys.com ). Their positive learning tapes will walk you through the thought process of building a stronger, leaner body.
Books: One of my favorite positive affirmation books is Love Your Body! By Louise L. Hay. Inside this book, Louise has created affirmations for you. If you read through them each day you are sure to reap the rewards of loving your body.
Solution #2 Try An Herbal Wrap
If you need to lose a few extra pounds, you may want to try an herbal wrap. Herbal wraps help the body lose water and inches. You can get a wrap from your favorite salon however, they tend to be expensive. It's just as easy to give yourself a spa treatment at home. Herbal wrap products are everywhere. If you'd like to get a wrap but prefer the privacy of your own home, check out: http://www.slenderwrap.com
Some of the benefits of herbal wraps include:
Solution #3 Stop When You Are Full
In her book Appetites, Geneen Roth gives us a simple outline to manage portion control. Her two major mantras are: take time to eat and stop when you are full. These are both shape-shifting ideas. To some people, including myself, food is a friend. Therefore the tendency to overeat stems out of emotion; food provides comfort and security. Others are in a hurry. Food and the need to eat are just obstacles that get in the way.
In effort to break free from these unhealthy behaviors, ask yourself several questions:
Am I enjoying what I am eating? Do I eat standing up or on the run? Do I continue to eat even after I know I am full?
Next, begin to carve out time to eat and enjoy food with friends or family. Or to take time to enjoy a nourishing meal even if you are alone. Eat to the point of being full, then stop. Most of the time, weight loss can be easily stimulated through portion control.
Solution #4 Keep a Food Journal
In addition to the aforementioned, it may be wise for you to keep a food journal. By tracking what you eat every day, you hold yourself accountable for everything you place in your mouth. It's simple to start. Record everything you eat for a week and document your weight each week.
At the end of the week take inventory of yourself. Have you gained weight? Lost? Remained the same? If you are gaining weight, simply cut back on your refined sugars (sweets) and heavy carbs like white rice or white potatoes. For these, substitute brown rice or sweet potatoes instead. Track your habits for a second week.
When you've reached the point in your eating program where your weight remains the same, you will need only consume a few less calories (or burn a few extra during exercise) each week to lose weight. Keep in mind: in order to lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes. First, find your melting point, then adjust your portion control and exercise program accordingly.
In Conclusion: With just a few adjustments and an enjoyment of food - recognizing its beauty for nourishing your body - you can shift your focus from frustration to enjoyment. Give these alternatives to weight loss a try. Your health and your waist line will thank you for it.
About The Author
Laura M. Turner is a Certified Personal Trainer and Sr. Editor of the The New Body News and Wellness Letter. Increase your healthy I.Q. Sign up for free: www.new-body-news.com
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