When most people decide to lose weight, they follow all the usual weight-loss tips.
Weight-loss tips like counting calories, buying a gym membership, adopting a strict meal-plan, avoiding cake at all costs, and setting lofty goals that they hope to reach in as little time as possible.
But they’re neglecting the one weight-loss tip that will make or break their ability to reach their goals.
So what’s the hidden factor?
Because while all of these weight-loss tips sound great on paper, most people aren’t actually able to keep up with them when they become too stressful.
If you legitimately want to lose weight, and want to keep it off, then adding more stress into your life isn’t going to get you there.
Trying to figure out how many calories are in your dinner takes the fun right out of date-night.
As for exercise, not many of us actually feel good when we wake up at 4 a.m. to do workouts that we don’t actually enjoy.
(I don’t know about you, but sleep wins out for me every time).
And the additional stress you get when you fall short of your intentions?
It makes it even harder to reach your goals.
The vast majority of weight-loss tips actually set you up for failure because of added stress.
They’re so strict, and so not fun, that you inevitably “fall off the wagon.”
And once that happens, all hell breaks loose inside of you.
It’s like you’re a rubber band that’s been pulled too tight.
Once you finally let go you zoom straight into a batch of cookie-dough ice-cream, followed by an entire pizza, half a bottle of pinot, and a mindless binge session of old Sex & the City episodes.
Before you know it, you’ve gained back all the weight you lost, and then some.
Until you get so sick of hating what you see in the mirror that you try another diet, sign up for another gym membership, and swear that this time will be different.
But it won’t.
It’ll happen all over again.
Until you finally realize that these restrictive diets and exaggerated workouts will never work for you, no matter how many promises the people selling them make.
And it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure.
And it doesn’t mean that other people have more willpower than you, or are better at this kind of thing than you are.
All it means is that the approach is backwards.
So how are you supposed to lose weight without a strict and ambitious plan?
The one, crucial weight-loss tip that you’ve got to follow to be successful is prioritizing feeling good above all else.
This will reduce the impact of stress on your body, so you’ll have an easier time getting where you want to be.
Because stress makes it much harder to reach your weight-loss goals.
And there are a few reasons for this.
When you’re stressed out, your body releases hormones that send all of your blood out of your digestive organs and into your muscles.
This reaction serves you well when you’re about to miss the bus and need a little extra oomph in your stride to catch it on time.
But it’s not so useful when you need to digest your food.
That’s one of the reasons why people who are chronically stressed tend to have a messed-up metabolism.
And to make matters worse, when you’re stressed you have a much harder time making healthy choices.
Not only is your body processing food at a slower pace, but it has more to deal with when you eat less-than-nutritious foods, eat too much, and don’t move your body enough throughout the day.
Sustainable weight-loss doesn’t start in the body.
It starts in the mind.
The whole reason you want to lose weight is because you think you’ll feel better when you do.
So why do you think that you’ve got to do things that don’t feel good to you in order to get there?
Here’s a weight-loss tip most “experts” won’t tell you.
Instead of waiting for your dress size to go down before you let yourself indulge in life, you’ve got to start indulging in the things that light you up, right now.
You read that right.
If you want to lose weight, you’ve got to eat the cake when you want the cake.
Because indulging in the things that you love feels good, and feeling good relieves stress.
Trust me, you won’t gain 100 pounds when you start allowing yourself have the things you love.
Instead, after just a few weeks of prioritizing feeling good, you’ll start to notice that eating too much of certain foods makes you feel more sluggish, more anxious, or just plain uncomfortable when you have too much, and you’ll naturally start wanting less of those.
You’ll notice that some foods make you feel better, more energized, and more satisfied, and you’ll start eating more of those just because they feel good.
Sometimes pie will make you feel good.
Sometimes a carrot will.
It’s all just food. None of it is good or bad.
But sometimes one type of food will make you feel better than another.
And sometimes you’ll legitimately want to go to that rigorous yoga class, or go for a jog, because you’ll feel your body craving it.
Learning to honor what your body is telling you by figuring out what makes you feel good is the only thing that matters when it comes to weight loss.
When you prioritize feeling good above all else, and pay attention to the way your body feels instead of how it looks, it will naturally regulate itself and whatever weight you need to lose will be lost, stress-free.
But if you don’t prioritize feeling good and instead keep putting restrictions on yourself, you’ll never feel free.
Even when you do lose the weight, you’ll be so scared that you’re going to gain it back that you won’t feel any better than you did when you were heavier.
So if you want to feel good in your body and live a life that you enjoy, take a hint from the tortoise and pace yourself.
Rushing to the end line is stressful and will make it much harder for you to win at the weight-loss game.
Small changes might not seem very effective or satisfying, but sometimes its the smallest changes that make the biggest impact when it comes to long-term weight-loss.
Can you start going to the gym 5 days a week even though you see it as a chore?
No, realistically that probably won’t last.
Can you set a timer to go for a brisk 10 minute walk every 2 hours?
Can you stop eating cake forever?
Maybe, but I wouldn’t recommend it!
Can you replace soda with sparkling lemon water or tea?
At least some of the time, sure.
Can you start including more vegetables in your meals?
See, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach to be successful.
In fact, that attitude will most often lead to failure because it causes so much stress.
Long-term weight-loss success comes from making a series of small and manageable feel-good changes in your everyday life, and allowing yourself to go with the flow just as often as you follow your plan.
Because you’re doing this to feel better about yourself and your body.
So drop all the “shoulds” and just focus on doing the things that make you feel good.
Start paying attention to the way different foods make you feel, and start choosing the ones that legitimately make you feel better.
Start paying attention to how you feel when you move your body in different ways, and honor your body by doing the physical activities that it’s craving.
Start noticing the thoughts that you’re thinking, examine whether or not they’re true, and find alternative, better-feeling thoughts to focus on instead of the stressful ones.
When you do this, you won’t just change your body.
You’ll change your life.
Want to learn proven methods to reduce the impact of stress on your body so you can lose weight the fun way?
I can help.
And now I’d love to hear from you.
What do you do to manage stress?
Leave a comment below, because your experience might be just the things someone else needs to see to change their life.
‘Til next time,
Love, Hugs, and Long Walks on the Beach,