I have recently returned to Spain, for a month’s vacation, after living abroad for the past ten years. I have noticed however, that numerous people keep saying to me that I’ve put on weight when I go to visit them. To be perfectly fair, they’ve not been nasty in any way, but they are genuinely surprised by what they now see before them, I guess.
I know I have put on a few extra kilograms, but I never could have envisioned that my physical appearance could have changed that much in the time that I’ve been away. It was only when one of my relatives literally looked at me ‘‘open-mouthed’’, did I realise that maybe I am larger than I think I am now.
I enjoy eating and it has always given me comfort, especially as I never felt settled, or in a stable environment growing up. What can I do about it now, so that next time I visit perhaps, people aren’t quite so shocked to see me?
“I’m fat, but I’m thin inside… there’s a thin man inside every fat man.”George Orwell
It is never easy to confront weight gain and it is fantastic that you feel ready to make healthier choices. It is important however, that you prioritise your current and future health for your own benefit and not with the focus of satisfying the opinion of others.
When faced with the dilemma of combatting weight gain, it is vital that you endeavor to be both kind and patient to yourself. There are easy steps to take in order to lose weight both gradually and healthily. They involve minor adjustments to your everyday habits and will ensure that your weight loss is sustainable.
What daily habits can kickstart your weight loss?
Drink plenty of water: Remember, water is your friend! By drinking water instead of fizzy or sugary drinks, you dramatically reduce your sugar and calorie intake. In addition, you also ensure that you are hydrated and supporting your digestion and muscle function, all factors that are incredibly important for weight loss.
Put your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and really really really chew each mouthful. Concentrate on the food and avoid distractions such as the television, or mobile phones, as once you focus on the food, you will savour it more and eat less, because essentially our bodies can register that it is getting full and you don’t need more of it. When we pile food down quickly and without thought, we bypass the bodies natural sated mechanisms and we eat to excess. It’s a really simple tip, but it can have dramatic results.
Avoid snacking in between meal times: Eating three healthy meals a day is the desired goal. If you must snack, try to steer clear of processed or unhealthy foods.
Move more: Exercise is a vital way to boost weight loss and it is a step in the right direction to forging a healthy lifestyle. Be it just twenty minutes of walking a day, it all helps!
Prioritise your sleep routine: Sleep is so very important when it comes to weight maintenance. Research indicates that most people need between 7-9 hours each night to be at their best.
Record what you consume in a food diary: It is easy to lose track of what we eat in any given day, particularly if we lead busy and stressful lives. Writing down what you have eaten at the end of each day will allow you to reflect on the choices that you have made, be they healthy or otherwise!
Get Informed: Research is constantly being undertaken and the understanding between weight and nutrition is constantly being understood and refined. The internet is your friend and I’d recommend the like of Max Lugavere on YouTube and being cautious when taking well meaning, but not scientifically backed advice, off friends and family.
What is your relationship with food?
As well as practical changes to your diet and lifestyle, it is key to consider why you are in this position. You mention that food is a comfort to you. It may well be Colin, that food has served as a coping mechanism for you since childhood. So very often our relationship with food can be impacted by anxiety, stress, depression, grief, low self-worth or even addiction.
If you find yourself struggling to implement changes to your diet or lifestyle or if you feel that you do carry a negative relationship with food, do not hesitate to seek therapeutic support. The therapy process will allow you a safe and confidential space with which to explore the roots of your eating habits and provide you with tools to better understand and overcome any difficulties moving forwards.
Wishing you great health and happiness,
Caroline Holbrook: Psychotherapist | Life Coach | Counsellor
If you are looking for professional and qualified advice in and around Sitges (Spain), then please call me directly at +34 603 63 29 24. If you are based remotely, then you can also email me at email@example.com Either way, more information about the services I offer can be found here at the Here to Help website.