Make less of your­self

Each and ev­ery year we make the ef­fort to slim down. Here’s how to make it per­ma­nent.

Element - - Nutrition - By Lani Lopez Lani Lopez BHSC, Adv.dip.nat, is a clin­i­cal nutri­tion­ist, au­thor and a spe­cial­ist for­mu­la­tor of natur­o­pathic sup­ple­ments. Find out more at Lanilopez.com or con­tact her at: natur­opath@lanilopez.com

In a sur­vey I ran of health and well­be­ing goals for 2012, weight loss was num­ber one. Just as it has been in New Year wish lists for decades. To achieve weight loss, don’t just diet. It won’t work. Di­et­ing has a place, to as­sist the short term goal, but keep­ing a healthy weight is a life­long is­sue The real goal is bal­ance. Body Bal­ance Your body has a nat­u­ral bal­ance: the ‘food in, en­ergy out’ equa­tion. I am not a fan of ‘ideal’ or ‘op­ti­mal’ body­weight mea­sures. In my opin­ion, this is a mat­ter of per­sonal choice and may change many times in a life­time.

A woman in her fourth preg­nancy may have a very dif­fer­ent ideal weight to a woman pre­par­ing for IVF. Two Iron­man com­peti­tors who re­sponded to the sur­vey have ideal body weights as dif­fer­ent as their tar­get race times. De­cide the body­weight you want then you can find your bal­ance and eat ap­pro­pri­ately. A Healthy Ap­petite There is such a thing as a healthy ap­petite, but it is a rare ap­petite to own. Weight loss would be easy with­out crav­ings for fat, sweet and salty snacks.

You can de­velop a healthy ap­petite in just two weeks. How? Eat no bad and fat­ten­ing foods and in­tro­duce only fresh, healthy, food and drink. Two weeks later, no un­healthy food crav­ings. It is a tough task, but if you are up for it, ‘Go Raw’ (see panel). In my view a raw food diet is peer­less for rapid, healthy weight loss.

But that needs an iron­man will and if, like most of us, you lack that, fol­low this guide. Per­ma­nently. Eat less - pro­cessed food, salt, re­fined white sugar, white flour, dairy, starch, pro­cessed car­bo­hy­drates and sat­u­rated fat. Drink less - flavoured bev­er­ages and al­co­hol. Drink more - water, green and herbal teas. Eat more - fruits, veg­eta­bles, whole grains, brown bread, fi­bre, nuts, seeds, plant oils, fish and lean meats. The Se­cret One se­cret in­gre­di­ent to weight loss suc­cess: a part­ner. We are so­cial an­i­mals and re­search shows that com­pany helps to suc­ceed at weight loss, es­pe­cially those you most of­ten eat with, to share your healthy choice. The old cliche re­ally ought to be ad­justed to read - ‘We are who we eat with.’

En­ergy out is the last part of the equa­tion and it’s so­cial too. Ex­er­cis­ing alone can be tough, so phone a friend.

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