You have probably been told that losing weight is a simple case of eating less and exercising more. But in fact there are many different things that contribute to your inability to lose weight. One of these is your relationship with food.
Stress Effectively Hinders Weight Loss
When you put your body in a stress state, you have sympathetic nervous system dominance, increased insulin, increased cortisol, and increased stress hormones. Not only will this deregulate your appetite, you're also going to eat more, because when your brain doesn't have enough time to sense the taste, aroma, and pleasure from the food, it keeps signaling that hunger has not been satisfied. You've undoubtedly experienced this at some point: You quickly gorge on a huge meal, but when you're finished, your belly is distended yet you still feel the urge to eat more. At the heart of this problem is eating too quickly, which causes stress. As Marc David explains: "Be present. Feel good about what you're doing. Get pleasure from that meal. Taste it. Stress is arguably one of the most common causative or contributing factors to just about any disease, condition, or symptom we know of. When you slow down with your meal and get in a relationship with your food, first and foremost, what's happening is you’re stepping into parasympathetic nervous system dominance. If you take five to 10 long, slow deep breaths before a meal, or five to 10 long, slow deep breaths before anything you do, you are training your system to drop into the physiologic relaxation response. Being present and mindful can actually affect your physiology in a very direct and profound way. So if you typically reserve five minutes for breakfast, make that 15 or 20 minutes. If you're taking 10 minutes for lunch, take 30, 40, or better yet, as much as an hour or an hour and a half, which is common practice in many European countries.
Are you eating a SUMO diet?
In a nutshell, late-night eating tends to generate excess free radicals, which promotes DNA damage that contributes to chronic degenerative diseases and promotes accelerated aging. To avoid this, stop eating at least three hours before bedtime. Marc David notes that, according to the concept of bio-circadian nutrition, your ability to metabolize food is related to your body temperature. Your body temperature is highest right around solar noon, and that's when your body is metabolically operating at peak efficiency, burning the most calories. Moreover, he says that: "Historically, the one place I could find that this was being put to use was in the traditional sumo wrestler community. You ask yourself, 'How did all those Japanese guys get so big?' As it turns out, back in the 1400s and 1500s when they didn't have cookies and ice cream, they were eating more food than their average countrymen, and they would wake themselves up in the middle of the night and eat the bulk of their food when everybody else was sleeping. The sumo community, the sumo wrestlers, discovered that if we want to gain massive amounts of weight, just eat it all in the middle of the night! So if you're eating the bulk of your calories late at night, you're on the sumo diet. This is a very simple piece of nutrition information, which is so crucial and so key."
Exercise, but Choose Something You Love
Yoga is great especially for people who have been eating right and exercising yet still fail to lose weight. Part of the problem again goes back to stress — in this case, engaging in exercise you hate, or feeling that exercise is a form of punishment for eating or punishment for being overweight. By doing something you can't stand, you enter into sympathetic nervous system dominance, which cancels out many of the benefits of exercise. Simply by switching to a form of exercise you find enjoyable is enough to provoke a shift, allowing you to start losing weight. "When you put people on exercise that they love, or movement that they love, something happens. They get happy. They get more in love with their body. They get more present. People who are weight loss-resistant will start to lose weight finally. So that's an observation. I believe that it has to do with, once again, the person's kind of metabolic posture, the state that their nervous system is in. If you're doing exercise you can't stand, you're probably going to be locked in sympathetic nervous system dominance," he says.
Minding Your Posture While Eating
When it comes to addressing overeating, binge eating, emotional eating, and endless dieting, your posture can play a role. Are you sitting up straight when eating, or are you slouched over your plate? People who slouch while eating tend to eat more quickly, but it also affects how you relate to your food.
Sitting sloughed =
More energetically collapsed.
Emotional kind of texture that tends to be one more of subservience, defeat, or I'm making myself small.
Breathe more as if you're in sympathetic nervous system dominance. You're going to be breathing shallower and less frequent!
Benefits of eating whilst sitting upright =
More of a sense of dignity.
A sense of authority.
Feel more empowered about your own self, body, and relationship with food.
Makes breathing easier. It will make the breath more full. The breathing pattern of relaxation is regular, rhythmic, and deeper.
Breathing pattern of parasympathetic nervous system dominance = optimum state of digestion and assimilation.
Optimally aware of your own appetite.
Changing our personality and stepping into our own personal growth program where we're claiming a sense of empowerment.
Self-reflect to reach your goals
Besides a healthy diet and physical activity that you enjoy, the ability to self-reflect and grow may also play a more important role than most people suspect. There's a subset of people who, until they do work on themself, they don't get the body to shift where it naturally needs to go. There's a connection, oftentimes, between personal growth and metabolic potential. Personal power equals metabolic power. Meaning, as you become the person that you're meant to be; as you do work on self; as you become better in your character, and as you look at what life is trying to teach you, how do you learn your lessons? How do you become a better person? How do I fulfill my mission in the world? How do I deliver my gifts? As you do that, you will notice that your body has the best chance to step into its metabolic potential. Do you need to eat all the right foods? Of course you do. But as you are stepping into your personal potential, you naturally gravitate towards the information, the kinds of foods, or the kinds of practices that serve you. That, is a missing piece in the conversation around weight, or even the conversation around health in general.
Where should you start?
Weight loss is about more than just eating the right foods, or following an exercise plan. We need to take a look at the whole self to determine the root cause. If you are looking for help getting started, book a free nutrition assessment here.