Written by Katie Papo
Why do holistic, or natural weight loss solutions work better than mainstream diet fads? First, let’s look at the word, ‘holistic.’ This approach acknowledges the person as a whole being and addresses the root of a problem, rather than just treating the symptoms. (Spoiler alert: Treating the symptoms never works long-term for weight loss success.) Where other weight-loss efforts fail, a holistic program helps you get to the root of the cause, so you can achieve meaningful, long-term weight loss.
Weight loss is largely a function of two components: diet and exercise. Many people take holistic weight loss supplements (or artificial weight loss supplements, which can be very dangerous), and expect miracles. Holistic weight loss supplements are often beneficial, but will not show results on their own without your effort of a diet and exercise regimen. That is why they are called supplements! If they were the complete solution, then we would never have to exercise or eat healthy again.
A holistic weight loss program helps us work with the underlying components of diet and exercise, rather than just stating the obvious which is that we need to diet and exercise to lose weight. The real solution lies in our awareness of WHY we don’t feel motivated to exercise, or what makes us overeat.
So just for a moment, let’s forget about the food itself, and focus on some other elements that holistic weight loss often incorporates in order to create a more well-rounded perspective toward long-term weight loss. Of course the diet (not a temporary or fad diet, but a lifestyle change diet), has tremendous effects on potential weight loss success, but a balanced diet properly supplemented with other holistic practices can skyrocket your weight loss to new heights, giving you boundless energy and true happiness.
Here are three amazingly simple yet effective holistic weight loss exercises to try, in addition to your diet regimen:
1.) Self monitoring.
This is one of the most effective tactics for reducing or managing weight. This means you are systematically observing and recording what you eat. Please do not confuse this with becoming obsessive! Counting calories for the rest of your life could definitely be an obsessive practice, but this is not what self-monitoring is. It is a tool to help you realize what your behaviors are—to figure out what your cravings are, what they are linked to, and how much mindless eating you actually do (sometimes we don’t realize how much it accumulates until we track it in writing!)
So even if you are eating healthy meals, snacking mindlessly throughout the day can cause those calories to add up. Or perhaps you notice you want to eat more at night, or when you feel a certain emotion. This is the real purpose of self-monitoring—not just to see WHAT you’re eating, but also HOW you’re eating, WHEN you’re eating, and WHY you’re eating.
Using a journal is one of the best tactics for self-monitoring, and this approach works. Several studies have found that consistent self-monitoring contributes significant weight management success.
Meditation is more than just a stress-reliever. It may also help you lose weight, especially if you tend to binge. Now that meditation has been brought to the forefront of science, researchers can actually detect and measure physical changes in the brain that are created by a meditation practice. Meditation can also help you become aware of how you use food to take care of emotional needs, according to the American Psychological Association.
And perhaps most importantly, meditation can help make you a more mindful eater. Research has shown that individuals with eating problems generally aren’t paying attention to whether they’re actually hungry or full—they’re just eating! “Mindfulness” exercises can help heighten your awareness of your wants and actual needs, and keep your mind focused on the experience of eating, rather than eating while distracted. If you don’t know how to start meditating, there are plenty of centers that teach it, along with guided recordings that you can get online, often for free.
3.) Exercise with intention.
It’s no longer just about sweating profusely and making yourself as tired as you can. This is the old “boot camp” model that people are realizing is not as effective as originally thought. Excessive exercise may help you lose weight in the beginning, but from a weight loss maintenance as well as longevity standpoint, this is not an ideal habit. Your exercise regimen should GIVE you energy, not deplete you.
Moreover, pay attention to the specific benefits of your preferred exercise. For example, certain exercises also benefit your internal organs and glands, which will ultimately help your digestion and hormonal balance, which are two important elements in holistic weight loss. Many yoga postures, for example, target certain glands or organs, and are practiced in a calm and focused manner so the body can properly integrate all the tremendous benefits.
And though it may not be common sense to most people, exercise should be FUN! It should never feel like a chore or a burden. If you push yourself to the point where your routine makes you miserable, how do you expect to keep up a regimen for life? There are so many types of exercise—from dance to swimming, to hiking in nature that are so readily available, so take advantage and find something you love!
Along with a proper diet that you also love (and yes, it easy to find healthy food favorites—and we can help!), these three holistic weight loss techniques will bring you well on your way to weight loss, leaving you happy, healthy, and inspired.
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts is a weight loss and fitness resort program focused on helping guests achieve a long term healthy lifestyle. The program runs during summer months in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts was recognized by SpaFinder as the “Best in Weight Loss” and “Best Nutrition Program” by SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards.
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