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Embarking Upon a Diet? Read this first.

If you want to change your body, that's your prerogative.

After all, women have been changing their appearance for millennia. People dye their hair, get Botox, buy new wardrobes and wear makeup every day, but.. before you embark upon a restrictive eating plan or intense exercise regimen, let's consider something.

Are the changes you plan to make sustainable?

Do you hope to create long-term habits?

Would you like to feel fitter, stronger, and healthier (or just slimmer)?

Do you truly know what that takes?

And if so, are you willing to do those things that strong, fit people do?

Or are you hoping for a quick fix?

If you fall off the wagon, how will you feel about yourself?

Changing your body shape requires a change in lifestyle and habits. Trust me, there are no shortcuts worth taking.

If you want to transform your body shape, consider doing it from a place of self-respect and self-care.

1. Listen to your hunger & fullness signals

With all the messages we receive around dieting and body shape, it's easy to skip meals and ignore hunger. The thing is, when we feed our body well and tune into our fullness cues, we're much more likely to have balanced health and a stable body weight. Skipping meals usually ends in rebound bingeing and overwhelming cravings for certain food groups we've removed, like carbohydrates.

2. Eat when you need it most

This means, if you have a busy day that calls for energy and brain power, why not have the majority of your food in the morning or early afternoon to ensure you're properly fuelling your activities? It's all too common for people to start their day with a coffee and muffin, skip lunch and then eat the bulk of their food in the evening when they have nothing to do but rest. This can interfere with how well you digest, heal and sleep throughout the night and in turn how you feel in the morning.

3. Get 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night

Quality sleep is incredibly important for your body. Various studies have shown that people who get less than seven hours of sleep a day are more likely to be 'over' weight, have poor glucose tolerance and suffer thyroid issues. Without sufficient restorative sleep, our brains and hormones don't work how they should. We become less sensitive to insulin, feel more stressed and less satiated after meals.

4. Deal with stress in healthy ways

If you're someone that finds yourself unwinding at the end of a long day with a bottle of wine or a pack of biscuits, you might want to start calming your stress response earlier in the day to feel less overwhelmed by the time you get home. A good quality herbal formula or magnesium are helpful, along with taking regular breaks and ensuring that every day you make time to do something joyful that relaxes you.

5. Know that you can still eat foods you love

If you don't believe this, and choose strict diets for fat loss you're going to end up feeling very deprived, very quickly. Restriction leads to over-eating and food obsession. Remember this - we don't gain weight because we eat the foods we love, we gain weight because we eat more food than we need. There is always space for all kinds of foods in our diet.

6. Fall in love with an exercise

If you don't love the exercise you're doing, the regimen you've started is never going to last. If you haven't found something you truly love yet, then keep trying new things until you do! The options are endless and it's non-negotiable if you want to age well and have a steady weight throughout your life. Try dance, CrossFit, muay thai, beach walks, hiking, surfing, swimming, soccer, football, zumba, gym, skipping, tennis, basketball, netball, cycling, etc.

If you've tried changing your body shape through healthy dietary choices and movement but aren't getting anywhere, you may have an imbalance that's blocking your efforts. Book a free 10 minute naturopathic call and we can explore whether your thyroid, blood sugars, digestion, metabolism or hormones are interfering and how to remove that block.


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