Losing weight is mostly associated with a lot of exercise and restricting your diet. Well, dieting and exercising is not the only sure solution to losing weight; in fact, you can shed off several pounds without dieting. Dieting is the surest way to Not lose weight, at least not weight that stays off, right? My mission is to help you learn how to be healthy and lose weight WITHOUT dieting.

Weight loss has several advantages to your general body health. It prevents and reduces the chances of you getting chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease and helps you be more physically fit and active. All that is well and good but is that the motivator for you wanting to lose weight? Or do you want to FEEL good in your body and show up in this world as a happy, healthy, and confident woman?

First, let’s talk about why diets don’t work

In my blog, Why Diets Don’t Work and 5 Tips for Mindfulness, I go into the many reasons diets don’t work. The main reasons are because:

1.     They are not sustainable over time and the weight comes back.

2.     Diets deplete your nutrition and slow your metabolism.

3.     You feel deprived and hungry.

4.     The underlying emotional reasons for weight gain are neglected.

Diets are not healthy at all. Sure, it’s great to eat more fruit and veggies. Please do! But deprivation and isolation isn’t healthy for anyone. But do not despair. You can learn how to be healthy and lose weight without dieting. In fact, please ditch the diet mentality as soon as you can.

Here are some helpful tips on how to be healthy and lose weight without dieting

Consume foods rich in fiber

Not only does this improve your health, but it also helps you in your weight loss venture. Consuming whole grain foods such as rice and wheat as well as fresh fruits will see you cut more weight without the need of starving.

Food rich in fiber help you lose weight by keeping you feeling full for longer periods, slowing down digestion, and preventing your body from storing fats that cause weight gain.

Get enough sleep

Lack of enough sleep has been linked with weight gain. Lack of enough sleep causes a surge in the production of ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger cues in your body.

When you don’t get enough sleep, your body triggers the secretion of the ghrelin hormone, which increases your appetite and feeling of hunger, causing you to crave fats and carbs for energy. Remember that your body’s metabolic rate is a bit slower at night; hence, most of the food consumed at night ends up being stored as fat in your body tissues.

Lack of sleep also means you’re probably more tired or fatigued during the day and working out becomes more of a chore. Poor sleep sets up a vicious cycle of poor eating.

Consume large quantities of protein

Proteins are important macromolecules that aid in the growth and development of your body’s tissues. These essential nutrients can help you lose weight tremendously, as they are low in calories, keeps you filling full for long hours, hence helping you cut down on the number of times you take your meals in between the day.

High protein has been associated with more feelings of satiety, therefore decreasing hunger. Be aware of your protein and see if there is room to increase this part of your daily eating.

Eating breakfast is a big part of being healthy to lose weight

Please don’t skip breakfast. And by the way, coffee does not count as a meal. I highly recommend, even for those non breakfast eaters to have a little something that has protein and carbs and fat. Even if it’s just a piece of toast with peanut butter, that at least will start your metabolism working in the morning, setting you up for success throughout the day.

Not only does breakfast help with sustained energy, but it will also kick start your metabolism since you have not eaten anything for several hours while you slept. I call it revving your engine and getting it going. What you fail to see is that skipping breakfast sets you up to have a slower metabolism. Your body could think you’re in starvation mode and then anything you give it will get stored in fat for later usage as energy.

Skipping breakfast occasionally may not be a big deal but if you’re a chronic breakfast skipper, eating breakfast could completely change your weight loss results.

Reducing and avoiding stress

I know, this could be an eye roll, but I’m serious. Keeping yourself relaxed and free from anxiety or any stressful situations helps you achieve milestones when it comes to weight loss. This is so because your body when under stressful conditions, releases hormones known as glucocorticoids which increase your appetite.

This makes you consume more food than what your body requires hence leading to an increase in body weight. You can avoid stress by talking to your friends, loved ones, or a professional therapist about the situations that are causing you to lead a stressful life. Learning mindfulness and relaxation techniques can be a life changer when it comes to managing your stress. In addition, making sure you have a good self-care routine in place is essential for keeping stress at bay.

Be healthy and lose the weight that no longer serves you

Weight can often serve a purpose. It can act as a shield or protector from other people or relationships. Excess weight can feed a cycle of not feeling good enough. It can also be an excuse to use food for comfort vs doing what is best for you and your health. There are usually deeper emotional issues or reasons for weight loss to be a struggle. Find someone who can help you dig into those deeper emotional wounds so that you can finally release all the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that no longer serve you.

The good news is that you don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. You also don’t need to kill yourself with exercise. Ironically, gentle exercise can lead to weight loss just as effectively as heavy exertion. The most important thing is to be healthy in your weight loss endeavor so that it can be sustainable and last a lifetime. You deserve to feel comfortable and confident in your body.

Lesley Goth, PsyD is a psychologist and sustainable weight loss coach. Lesley has created an online program that walks women through the necessary steps to attain sustainable weight loss. To get in touch and for more information on her free webinar that teaches you how to have a healthy relationship with food, click here.