After we have turned 40, we have all noticed that getting rid of that belly fat is getting harder and harder every year. Saying no to deserts is no longer helping. Not even asking for smaller portions. Those jeans just seem to keep getting smaller every year.
No wonder. After we have turned 40 our bodies underwent some changes that affect metabolism rate, digestion and other functions of the body. There is nothing wrong with us, but we have to learn to accept the new realities of our body.
Why Lose Weight Holistically?
Holistic approach sees the person as a whole. In Western civilization we have learned that whenever something is wrong with us, we immediately jump at the symptoms, not the cause of the disease. Like when you have a pounding headache every couple of weeks, you never ask yourself why you have the headache. You simply take another aspirin and consider the problem solved.
Being overweight is no disease of course, but that additional weight might start causing problems in the long run, that is where it helps to think about the holistic approach to treating your body to a slimmer and fitter version of yourself.
Keeping your weight as close as possible to the ideal weight is the key to staying fit and healthy, as obesity might lead to serious diseases like heart disease, cancer or type II diabetes.
How Does the Holistic Approach Help?
If we look at maintaining an ideal weight from a very structured point of view it is easy to see that there are two key components of keeping our bodies fit.
The first component is the way we eat. Nothing new there, really. Whenever we eat more and especially if we eat more foods that contain lots of calories, we quickly gain a few pounds. In fact it is ridiculously easy to gain weight. Just think of the dread you experience every after getting on the scales for the first time after Christmas, birthday parties, weddings, etc.
A holistic weight-loss program will not only address the fact that we eat too much, but try to find the root cause of why we like to eat too much. More importantly how to be happier with less. And how to be happier with more healthy food.
The other key component of losing weight is burning up more calories. We all know that exercising helps, but it so easy to find dozens of excuses why we can’t exercise today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after tomorrow.
Again a holistic weight-loss program will not only focus on how to exercise, but how to motivate you to exercise. How to make you want to get off that couch and do some serious exercise that will keep you full of energy and help you burn calories.
What Are Holistic Weight-Loss Methods?
Did we get you interested in a holistic weight-loss program by now? Surely you are beginning to wonder what all these wonderful methods that can help you so much actually are. There are a number of holistic methods, so we will try to name the most common and helpful ones.
The following list is by no means meant to be a comprehensive list, but meant to give you a general idea on how and where to start looking for the right balance of holistic methods that might best suit you and your personality.
Meditation is one of the most helpful holistic methods you could have decided on. It helps you become more aware of your body and your feelings. The body’s ability to heal is scientifically proven to be increased by meditation. Meditation also helps to move away from feelings of depression and anxiety, increasing the tendency to feel happy, relaxed and emotionally balanced.
Reading this you have probably quickly realized how invaluable this could be in losing weight. Many of us tend to find consolation in overeating when we are depressed.
Even the movie stereotypes teach us that in order to help yourself if you are sad about a break-up or work problems you should eat lots of chocolate, ice cream or other sweets that will make you feel better. Eating loads of sugar will help for a while, but all those calories will leave a lasting mark on our bodies and make us feel unhappier in the long run. Meditation might have prevented such an unhappy event altogether, by keeping you emotionally balanced.
It gets better. Meditation will make you more aware of the feelings in your body, making you realize faster that you are actually full and don’t need that chocolate cake on top of what you’ve already had.
It might sound like a load of mumbo jumbo, but losing weight holistically might start with merely giving yourself some positive affirmation. Some people call it programming your mind, giving your body positive messages or something else. But whatever you call it, it does actually work.
We’ve all heard numerous stories what a power our mind has over our body. If you don’t believe any of it, try to Google a video of Shaolin monks doing their stunts. They achieve things that seem impossible for any human body by working out regularly and exerting an enormous amount of mind control over their body.
What we are trying to achieve is a lot less dangerous and far more likely to succeed quickly. We are giving our body signals all the time one way or another. A lot of this is quite unconscious. So instead of looking yourself in the mirror and thinking how ugly those love handles are starting to look, why not just tell your body: “I am healthy. I am slim. I am losing my weight.”
Make a list of positive phrases. Repeat them every day on your way to work. Then repeat them again on your way home. You don’t have to do it all the way. Just skip 5 minutes of your favorite radio show. Instead of listening to their commercials, you could do a daily mantra that might put you on your way to a fitter and healthier you.
Visualization can be seen as closely connected to positive affirmation. The point you are making with visualization is practically the same. It means giving your mind a positive focus to convey a positive message to your body.
Visualizing yourself as a fit and healthy person will help you stay motivated. It will also help you thinking of new ways to help you achieve your goal.
Self-monitoring can have two distinct approaches. On the one hand, you could start keeping a journal of everything you eat. For many people just seeing a list of everything they have eaten is a good way of reducing trips to the fridge.You can do it by pen and paper or find an app that will help you keep those records in your smartphone.
The second very popular method is keeping track of your exercises. This could be as simple as getting a pedometer to make sure that you are doing 10,000 steps every day.
Another very popular method is to use your smart phone to log your exercises. Today’s smartphones all have GPS devices that will track your walks, runs or hikes and calculate the calories you have burned by doing any outdoors exercise that involves moving around outdoors where your mobile phone can track your movement.
Recent developments in self-monitoring technology also feature a number of fitness tracking devices (like Fitbit, Nike FuelBand, Garmin Vivofit, etc.) that might help you track you activities throughout the day. The popularity of these gadgets speaks volumes about how much we actually like to self-monitor all sorts of exercises. With a self-monitoring helper around your wrist it is also very easy to track your progress on a daily basis, making every bit of your efforts so much more quantifiable.
If you got the impression that holistic weight-loss is all about gain and no pain, you were mistaken. Exercise doesn’t have to be painful or exhausting (in fact it should be everything but!), but it is an essential part of any weight-loss regime. We don’t want you to go starving. But without regular exercise, this is the only possible way to lose that belly fat.
Remember that exercise is so much more than burn calories. It helps you feel better, more energetic, and more positive about yourself. Exercise also has all sorts of benefits for your health.
Don’t overdo it though. People tend to think that sore muscles the day after are a sign that they finally did something good for their body. Nothing is further from the truth. Sore muscles are damaged muscles. If you are sore for a few days after your exercise it keeps you from getting back for another exercise. So keep your exercise at a moderate level. It’s best if you are left wanting more. It will keep you motivated to get off that couch the next time.