You’ve heard of an elimination diet, right? No, I’m not talking about giving up gluten, dairy, soy, or sugar (although this can be a great idea, especially if you’re suffering from food allergies or intolerances).
I’m talking about a new kind of elimination diet; one that has little to do with healthy eating or eliminating food groups. Of course eating healthy is important for losing weight, but often the weight comes back if you only focus on food.
10 essentials of the new elimination diet:
What you really need to give up for long term weight loss
1. Perfectionism. Stop looking for the perfect diet. Listen to your body; you don’t need Dr. Oz to tell you what to eat.
2. Guilt and shame. If these emotions are long-lasting, your physical and emotional well-being will certainly be threatened. Prolonged negative emotions can lead to weight gain and poor body image. If you eat the entire bag of cookies, don’t beat yourself up about it; let it go. Your stressful negative reaction to eating the cookies can be more of a metabolism blocker than the cookies themselves.
3. Deprivation and restriction. Fall in love with food again. Healthy eating should be delicious and enjoyable. If food wasn’t tasty enough to entice us, we’d all die; we need food to live. It’s time to let go of the typical weight loss credo – deprivation of calories, fat, carbs, nutrients, pleasure, quality, and variety.
4. Making food the enemy. Labeling certain foods as bad can lead to unwanted behaviors such as excessive restriction and stress, which hinders digestion and metabolism.
5. Making numbers more important than they should be – the scale, calories, points, fat grams, BMI, miles on the treadmill. A healthy body isn’t measured by numbers, but by how you feel.
6. Outsourcing your food to profit-hungry corporations. If these companies cared about your health, their products wouldn’t be full of GMOs, low quality ingredients, preservatives, and chemicals. Start cooking so you know exactly what’s in the food you eat.
7. Becoming an information junkie. Are you making yourself nuts by signing up for every webinar, workshop, program, blog, and book that promises to change your life? Do you really need to be “fixed”? Too much information can cause overwhelm and confusion, especially since there’s so much conflicting advice from the experts and gurus.
8. Having an all or nothing mindset. You don’t have to eat clean 100% of the time. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods forever. Your all or nothing view of the the world is a stress magnet.
9. Giving your power to someone else. Are you giving your power to the body-size obsessed media, soulless corporations providing sub-par food, your judgmental relatives, or anyone else? No one can make you feel bad about your body or weight without your permission. PERMISSION DENIED should be your new motto.
And the most important thing to give up on your elimination diet is
10. Give up dieting. You’ve been on dozens of them, right? Have you ever had sustainable success following these diets? Give up counting calories, points, or fat grams. And give up the scale. The scale has been a fair weather friend to you at best. Let it go. If weighing yourself worked as a long term tool for weight management, we’d all be at our perfect weights.Don’t let the scale dictate how you feel about yourself.
So, how do you measure success if you don’t weigh yourself?
- Unwanted symptoms disappear (heartburn, bloating, headaches, gas, brain fog, dry skin and hair, constipation, diarrhea, inability to lose weight)
- Better quality sleep
- Clearer skin
- No more binge eating or overeating
- Clothes fit better or are too big
- Improved mood
- You feel stronger and more vibrant
- Healthier immune system
- More connection with the people in your life
- Increased confidence
- You feel more sexy, sensual and flirty
- You’re thriving; not just getting by
Who needs a scale if you feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
Natural weight loss comes about when we nourish our minds, body, and spirit. Healthy eating and exercise is only part of the story. Your beliefs, lifestyle, environment, relationships, and life choices make up the rest of the story. You can start creating this story by going on this new kind of elimination diet.
Action: Journal about any of the above. Do you practice any of these metabolism blockers? What could you do to change your habits, thoughts, and behaviors?