Change your mind, change your body- why weight is so stubborn
“Losing weight is a mind game. Change your mind, change your body”
“Consistency is key.” “Just keep doing what you're doing.” “Stay the course.” “You’ll get there!” This can be really frustrating, especially when you want to see results yesterday! We know we didn’t just gain weight in one day, and so losing weight in one day is not realistic, but it doesn’t stop us from having those moments of wanting a quick fix. Or some sort of sign that we’re doing things right, or maybe if we have a cheat day (or cheat week), that we can trust our body and our own habits to where we’re not going to feel like a bloated mess. What makes weight loss and especially those last few pounds so difficult is that we’re asking ourselves to change our habits, alter our life, step out of our comfort zone, and turn inwards (aka the opposite of googling everything for a single answer).
Those frustrations listed in the beginning of the first paragraph, however, is true. Consistency, small implementable changes that give us wins (or challenge us to eventually find a solution that works), helps our brain adapt to something new. Too much too soon and our brain completely freaks out and old habits get brought up. Then we may beat ourselves up because we know those old habits are probably self sabotage that we thought we got rid of a long time ago so why the F are they appearing now?! The biochemistry in your body, even if it’s not always the healthiest, is comfortable staying where it is. Any sort of change means change to millions of pathways that the body has to adapt to again. Side note- your brain isn’t the only organ that’s not crazy about change. It’s your fat cells. Fat cells hoard stuff (it’s a nice safe place to keep it away from organs)- hormones, toxins, fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), and they actually have their own set of signals so they don’t like to change either!
That initial loss of weight is usually water weight as people start cutting out most crap/carbs in their diet as water follows glycogen (storage form of glucose - aka from sugar & carbs). That plateau is your body saying ok cool, you need to change again. Yet maybe now you’re at a point you really like, and you feel like you’ve changed so much- what else is there?? Of course this is where those seemingly minor concerns that maybe we’ve ignored or figured weren’t that bad like waking up here and there in the middle of the night, afternoon energy crashes, needing coffee to function, cravings certain times of the month (or all month), not being able to eat certain foods, that super low dose of medication, etc. We know when to go to to the ER, urgent care, or our primary care, but what about all the signs leading up to that? These are just as vague as weight! And if they’re there, those are the missing clues we need to continue to lose weight!! You have your answers!! Except I didn’t say the solution was going to be a quick fix or easy :)
However, here’s some strategies that will actually give you the biggest bang for your buck- clearing some of these concerns, while keeping your weight loss goals in check:
Sleep before 10:30pm- This helps cortisol (our stress hormone) lower to a place where melatonin (our sleep hormone and potent antioxidant) can appropriately rise to help us sleep through the night, feel well rested, detox out all the crap we’ve built up during day, and regenerate hormones like thyroid and testosterone that boost metabolism. Further, when we do lose weight, we release all the toxins and create some inflammation, so sleep is the body’s time to get rid of everything efficiently.
Wake up with 16-20 oz water + apple cider vinegar (ACV) &/or lemon- As much as our body is clearing stuff out at night, it’s dehydrated, and needs some help with additional clearance. ACV and lemon are also great detoxifiers for the liver, give water a nice flavor, and really good for the gut (healthy gut bacteria are super important to weight loss, cravings, etc.). Some even report a boost of energy! You can prep this the night before and have it on your night stand. Remember, it’s all about fitting it into your lifestyle to avoid overwhelm and freak out.
Log your food and water- These are basic. Estimate the portion size, but write down the food- everything. Meals, snacks, drinks (i.e. alcohol, water, soda, coffee, tea). Then write down a sentence or two about how you felt that day. Do this for about 3-4 days. It’s an abbreviated diet diary, but sometimes we think we’re eating enough vegetables, or not eating that many carbs, or drinking that much coffee/soda/juice. Yeh.. except the memory is as bad as the fat cells holding on and the brain not wanting to change. Great system we have here! haha. On the positive side, it’s one less thing to think about when we try to recall weeks of eating- we’ve already written it down!
In fact, if you do the last step, I’d love to hear what you discovered! I always tell patients that their diet diary is more for them than it is me. Many times they have revelations before I even say anything, and being able to turn inward to trust our intuition is imperative for our health. It’s when we know something is right or wrong, yet so much of how we view health today is listening to everyone but ourself. It’s not like we can type our health history into google and get a perfect plan, but it is why two people can have issues losing weight (or any other concern) and reasons may or may not be similar, and not weighed equally (pun intended!). Did you have an aha moment? What came up for you? Let’s chat about it HERE!