There are many good weight loss over 50 programs that delve deeply into science backed strategies to balance hormones, reduce menopause belly fat and create lasting strength and energy.
Yet, while the science is a powerful must know to provide knowledge and choice, there’s another piece of the puzzle that is so important in order to lose weight without feeling hungry or deprived.
This includes the psychological and emotional side of weight loss that can create freedom within any managed meal plan.
When it comes to the science you are often given a clear list of foods to avoid and foods to enjoy that have science backed research to help you achieve a smaller pant size and an abundance of energy.
The problem is you probably already know what foods are considered healthy versus “bad” for weight loss over 50, yet, you don’t want to follow through due to the restrictive rules.
After all, it may get you results faster if you avoid the glass of wine or the delicious honey glazed donut, but who wants a life where they can never indulge?
Simply put, you know restriction and deprivation are not going to help you create lasting weight loss over 50.
They’re not going to give you the tools you need to create trust within yourself, create confidence in your own food choices or to show you how to listen to what you and your body need.
Instead, feeling deprived just leads into that on and off again weight loss cycle you’re done putting yourself through.
So, while understanding the science behind weight loss over 50 is important,
The next step is to bring mindfulness and self awareness into your healthy weight loss plan, and that’s the real secret to eliminate deprivation and restriction from any food plan.
Before we get started, I want to make it clear that I don’t want you to go out and all of a sudden eat all the bags of chips and eat all the cakes in the snacks aisle. You already know that won’t get you results either.
Yet, whether a food is deemed a “good” food or a “bad” food, understand that the real way to eliminate restriction is to open up your freedom to choose it.
Give yourself permission to eat all foods, even if they don’t match the best profile, and work these 4 steps to make choices on your terms:
Use these 4 mindfulness steps that we’re going to go through to Eliminate Deprivation and Make Choices on Your Terms:
- Is it worth it?
- Why it’s worth It?
- Sit with it for five minutes
- Then enjoy it (if you want to and within proper portion sizes)
Let’s go through these 4 steps
#1 Is it worth it?
No matter what food you choose (whether a donut or a whole wheat slice of bread) ask yourself is it worth it?
Go deeper than simply asking yourself this yes or no question:
How will it make you feel after you’ve eaten the food? Will you feel energized? Tired? The food won’t affect you?
As an example, when someone offers me a glass of red wine, the answer is usually a simple “no”.
Right away I know that I get headaches from red wine. If I’ve had a glass of wine I feel horrible. So when I ask myself “Is it worth it?” the answer is no.
But, when I pass my favourite donut at the grocery store, it may be worth it because one donut doesn’t affect me. (If I were to eat six or the whole package that’s where the issue comes in). The donut doesn’t affect how I feel, so it may still be worth eating.
Assess whether the food you choose will affect how you feel afterwards. Is it worth it still?
Is it worth it for your overall goal?
Ask yourself is it worth eating this food for your overall goal. Sometimes in that moment it is worth it, and sometimes after you assess it isn’t. The choice is up to you.
For example, If your goal is to lose 50 pounds and knowing that this is the only indulgence that you’ll eat today, then overall, over the course of your weight loss time frame, it may be worth it.
You’ll have that one glass of wine, or the one donut and after you’ve eaten it, you’ll feel satisfied, and you won’t need any more.
Long term it’s actually going to help you get to you goal because you’ll be able to sustain a plan where you enjoy foods that may be “unhealthy” every once in a while and that keeps you on track.
How will your food choice affect your overall goal? Will it help you get there and stay there or will it stop you from achieving results?
#2 Why it’s worth It?
Once you’ve asked yourself if it’s worth it, if you’ve answered “yes” it’s time to to dig deeper and ask yourself why.
Is it worth it because it just tastes really good?
You need to enjoy food. Otherwise you will feel deprived and eventually give up the plan.
This is about long term weight loss over 50, and that means enjoying life, and enjoying food.
You might love chocolate just as much as I love my donut.
It might be worth it because it just tastes really good and it’s going to hold you over on your healthy eating for the rest of the week.
If it’s a food you genuinely adore, then you’ve made your decision. It’s worth it, so skip over to step #4.
Is it worth it because you’d feel rude if you say no?
Maybe you’re at your your friend’s house for dinner, and saying “I’m just going to have the broccoli and not this amazing meal you made”, can feel rude.
You can decide it’s worth it, and bounce back on track tomorrow.
Is it worth it to fill an emotion?
When it gets into emotional reasons for your “why”, this is where there tends to be an issue.
If you find yourself saying:
- I had a long day at work, I’m feeling really stressed out, so it is worth it
- I feel anxious, sad or depressed so this food is worth it
- I’m bored so it’s worth it
This is where you’ll need to start to analyze what’s going on inside. It’s time to sit with those emotions and move on to step #3.
Step #3 Sit with it for 5 minutes
If your reason the food is “worth it” stems from an emotion, it’s time to sit with these emotions for 5 minutes and dig deeper into the reason behind your food choice.
Is this food really going to make you feel better overall?
Why are you feeling the way you’re feeling?
Take your time and dig deep:
We never sit with our emotions anymore.
In this “go, go, go “society we often forget to sit with ourselves and ask ourselves how we’re feeling.
Sometimes bringing mindfulness into our emotions is a powerful tool to create healthy decisions.
Instead of being controlled by your emotions, you take your power of choice.
The best way to do this it to write down how you’re feeling, yet if you’re in a grocery store or out for an evening dinner, you may simply need to wait 5 minutes before making your food choice.
If you still decide you want the food after 5 minutes move on to step # 4.
#4 Enjoy anyways (if you want to and within proper portion sizes)
If you choose the food is worth it, then enjoy, but choose a healthy portion size.
Then, after you’ve eaten the food, reassess and ask yourself how you feel again.
Do you feel better after you’ve eaten it?
Does it make you feel worse?
This brings self-awareness back into your food choices.
It opens up the doors to bring control and freedom into the foods that you eat.
What do you have to lose…. Except the weight!
Some are going to feel afraid that they won’t achieve weight loss over 50 if they do this technique.
Especially if they’ve been following the science behind weight loss over 50, and how certain foods need to be avoided to see results.
But the only way to create lasting results is to eliminate that deprivation and the feelings of hunger, and to connect with a food plan they can stick with on their terms.
It really is a winning combination of the science and the mindfulness together.
Give this a try for one week and see what it can do for you. After all, you have nothing to lose, except the weight.
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