People are overweight either because they eat too much food or they eat the wrong food (too many processed foods, too many sweets). But it is not for lack of knowledge of what to eat, and this is a crucial point. Most overweight people could write a book about nutrition and what they "should" be eating. They know what to do, but they don’t do it. Why?
It’s not that fat people are weak or morally deficient. It’s that there is a compulsive aspect to overeating. Part of it is the physical effect of processed food – sugar, salt, and fat. But this isn’t the whole story, and it’s not even the biggest part of the story because people can and do learn to eat moderate amounts of these types of foods.
The main reason for overeating is emotional eating – stress eating. And here’s the thing: dieting can’t fix that.
Continue reading How to Lose Weight for Good and for Real
The end of the year is a time to review and take stock. The news media recounts the major events of the last 12 months, and makes lists of the public figures who have died. And we, as individuals, think about our own lives. What happened to us over the last year? What went right? What went wrong? What can we do to make next year better?
Even after good years there is always a little sadness because the passage of time reminds us we are mortal. So resolutions for the new year inevitably involve renewed commitment to healthy habits: quit smoking, exercise more, lose weight. Unsurprisingly, given that the new year comes after a month of heavy holiday eating, a commitment to lose weight is the most common new year resolution of all.
For most people, the commitment doesn’t last. Good intentions translate into a burst of short-term effort followed by discouragement, self-recrimination, and finally giving up. You stop even trying, for a while, anyway.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
Continue reading 5 Secrets to Turning Resolutions Into Reality
The beginning of a new year is a time for fresh starts. We assess where we’ve been, and where we want to go. We make course changes and adjustments. We resolve to do better.
But too often, new year resolutions are a form of self-flagellation. You’ve put on a few pounds with holiday eating, so you resolve to stick to a diet, go to the gym three times a week, etc. If you tend to soothe emotional pain with food, self-flagellation about weight does not get you where you want to go! Kindness and compassion towards yourself work much better.
When new year resolutions are about "shoulds" – all the things you haven’t been doing but "should" be doing – they just make you feel guilty and bad about yourself. And moreover, they don’t work! Try this instead: resolve to do a better job of taking care of yourself and getting your needs met so you don’t need food Band-Aids in the first place.
You will be amazed at how self-care can reduce emotional eating. Even small improvements can have a big impact.
Continue reading A New Year, A New Start
Some people say that New Year’s Resolutions are of no use at all because no one keeps them. But I think they are useful in that they make people think about their lives in broad terms – the long view. New Year’s Resolutions are to-do lists for the year, versus the daily to-do lists that so many of us make. When we think about New Year’s Resolutions, we’re thinking about where we want our lives to be a year from now.
New Year’s Resolutions can be useful, but that doesn’t mean they are always useful. Today’s post is about how to make New Year’s Resolutions that work – resolutions that will continue to inspire and guide you for the rest of the year.
Continue reading New Year Resolutions that Work