No-diet weight loss: Three simple steps to success

by wands on January 12, 2010

How to eat exactly what you want, never diet again, lose weight, and be slim, sensual and happy with yourself.

A couple of days before the New Year, I’m staying with a South African couple in Sonoma. “I had a terrible night. Felt ghastly. Couldn’t sleep. And my numbers are right out of the box.”

My friend, I’ll call him Mike, is looking pretty gruesome making his morning report. He has diabetes, hence the numbers comment. He’s been pricking his finger regularly, monitoring his count, as we’ve engaged in the whole holiday overindulgence bit.

I’ve also heard him say, at least a dozen times, “I shouldn’t really have (eat or drink) this, but I’m going to. My New Year’s resolution is to cut out all the shit and be good.”

Around the same time, I have a conversation with my Aunt Kate. Her story is about cream scones and all those delicious holiday desserts. How she’s overindulged.

Then, similar story: “My New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. I’m going to cut right back on all these things that I shouldn’t be eating.”

If these stories sound familiar, it’s not surprising.

The top New Year’s resolution, according to the website USA.gov, is to lose weight.

It’s a resolution people make over and over, year in and year out. And d’you know what?

Sure you do.

It’s not working better this year than it has before, and it’s still January.

Fact: Committing to a deprivation diet, as in cutting out things you enjoy eating and things you want to eat, does not work. And if you go “on diet,” sure as nelly, at some point you’re going to go “off diet.”

Trying to lost weight that way is all about exerting will-power. (Yuck!)

Will-power is hard.

Think of it this way, will-power is about you or me pushing against an accumulated mass of what we like to eat, want to eat, and what we’re in the habit of eating; plus all the emotions associated with what we like to eat, want to eat, and are in the habit of eating.

The good news is:

It’s possible to lose the weight without going “on diet” or setting ourselves up for the failure and hell that are core ingredients in the will-power recipe.

What Your Resist persists

Ponder this: When you’re thinking, “I am not going to eat sugar,” where is your focus? On the sugar you’re trying not to eat.

Now think of the Law of Attraction — namely, focus on what you want and you get more of it.

Ponder this: “I am fat and I’m going to lose weight.”

Where is your focus? On your fat and on the weight.

The term “what you resist persists” makes sense when we think of it like this, doesn’t it?

You’re focused on what you don’t want. On what you’re resisting.

If you’re focus is there — well, you get my drift.

Try this approach instead

Eat exactly what you want, never diet again, lose weight and be happy with yourself.

How?

Follow these three simple steps:

Step One: Visualization

Please click here to listen along to a full audio version of the No-diet Weight Loss visualization on podcast. Then return to this link for Step 2 and Step 3.

Sit upright, close your eyes (or look down if closing your eyes is uncomfortable for you) and after a brief relaxation exercise, we’re going to visit the future. You in the future.

Breathe in and out three times. Experience the breath in the body and the nose.
One, two, three.

Now, on a scale of zero to 10, with 10 being extremely relaxed, and zero being hyped and anxious, make a mental note of where you are. (If we had time, I would do a tension-releasing body scan with you to get you to an extremely relaxed state. I will record a visualization and put it on this website so come back soon for that.)

Now, project forward five years.

You’re walking on a beach or in a country area — let your mind choose somewhere you like. Somewhere you feel relaxed and safe and happy.

You’re walking with a spring in your step and feeling energetic and alive. Notice your surroundings. It’s a perfect day. You’re at exactly the right temperature. How does the sunshine feel on your body? What vegetation do you see around you? Notice the color of the sky. Notice if there are animals or people in the distance. Breath in the feeling of relaxed energy, enjoyment, happiness you’re experiencing.

And now, become aware that why you’re feeling so good and happy and energized is because your body is feeling so good and healthy and alive.
And you know that why you’re body is feeling so good, healthy and alive — your vibrancy and sense of well-being — is all due to how you’ve been nourishing yourself. It’s because you love to eat food that feeds you well.

Now, begin to think of the foods that you know are fresh, natural and delicious. Think of farmers market fare and hmmmm — think of how delicious the freshest of fruit can be. Think of aromatic coffee with a dash of cream. Think of a piece of delicious dark chocolate. Think of yourself feeling sensual around food. Think of sharing a big fresh salad or a picnic with good friends. Think of food that you can taste sunshine in, and rain, and the flavors of passion when something has been cooked with love and attention.

Know that you can add to this visualization, and you will. Know that the more powerful you make this visualization, with delicious foods you want to eat and know are health-filled, the more you’ll be attracted to eat these foods. The closer you’ll be to the health-filled energetic person striding out in your visualization.

OK. On the count of one, come back to the present.

Step Two: Focusing on Delicious

Indulge your love of food by immersing yourself in food.

You know how good you feel when you nourish yourself well (you experienced it in the visualization). And Step Two is about making these foods your focus.

This is the opposite approach to “What you resist, persists.”

This is about “Law of Attraction” eating. Here you do what it takes to focus on — to the point of obsessing on — the delicious, nutritious, energizing foods that emerged during your visualization. (You can refine and add more of them to your visualization as you continue to practice Step Two and Step Three during the coming weeks.)

How can you focus on delicious?

  • Make cook books and magazines featuring fresh and delicious foods a regular part of your life.
  • Start going to the farmer’s market to do your shopping.
  • Read food labels. “What am I buying if I purchase this Safeway muffin?” You can eat the Safeway muffin. Indeed. This is not about depriving yourself. This is about focusing on delicious. It’s about being aware.
  • Read books and articles on seasonal eating. Why would you eat seasonally? How does it support and farmers and the planet?
  • Read about Slow Food and how it sustains the environment.

For some people, this will be a totally new way of being. For others, this will be refocusing and reinforcing.

Many of us know about nutrition. We know how we’d like to eat and what nourishes us, even if we don’t always follow that route.

But some of us think we know, and we don’t really.

So, keep an eating journal to raise your awareness about what you eat.

And makes friends with these three sites:
1) The U.S. Government dietary guidelines site.
2) Clueless about calories? Check out the Calorie Control Council site. (It talks about “healthy eating and exercise for life” and does not get into the “weight loss” perspective. And we want food to be about nutritious, deliciousness and good health. Weight loss will happen as a by-product.)
3) The Mayo Clinic site on calories.

Step Three: Mindful eating

We have the visualization.

We have our focus on the ingredients of a delicious that are integral to the visualization.

And now we add mindful eating.

Know this: You can eat anything you want and as much of it as you want. So, for example, if you love Mars Bars, know that you can eat 20; or 30.

HOW you eat is the focus in Step Three.

For the sake of this exercise, here is the practice to follow when you’re eating alone.

Note well: Follow the guidelines when you’re alone, and when you’re in company, until it becomes your new habit. Some people say establishing a habit takes 28 days. Other say establishing a habit takes 60 days.

  • Whenever you eat and no matter what you eat, sit down to eat it and use a plate, knife and fork.
  • Ask yourself these three questions before you start eating:

On a scale of zero to 10, how hungry am I?
On a scale of zero to 10, how much to I want to eat this particular food now?
On a scale of zero to 10, how does this food align with my visualization?

  • Look at the food. Smell it. Spend a moment or two appreciating it. Note: If it’s something you bought that’s fresh, think of the earth it grew in (even if you don’t know exactly where); the rain and the sunshine that helped it grow; the food’s journey to the aisles of the grocery store or the farmers market. If it’s not fresh, this won’t be so clear. If you look on the label, maybe you won’t be able to identify some of the names. Notice this. Perhaps you want to look up some of the names if you don’t recognize them as foods you know so that you become aware of what it is you’re eating.
  • Then bite in and savor the flavor. Just eat. No talking. No reading. No TV. Just eat and relish. Enjoy. Immerse. Savor each bite. Eat whatever you want and as much as you want. Just keep your focus on the taste and your enjoyment. When your mind wanders and when you want to rush off and do something, stay with the food. Come back to the flavor. The sensations in the mouth. Chew. Enjoy. Swallow. Chew. Enjoy. Swallow.

Recap

You have the three simple steps. Do them every day.

  • Do the visualization at least once a day, in the morning. Perhaps while you’re lying in bed, before you get up. If it helps, do the visualization several times a day.
  • Focus each day on deliciousness and what you’re introduced in Step Two.
  • And eat according to Step Three.

Have fun practicing your new habits. Because yes, establishing these new habits is going to take a bit of practice. And — practice makes perfect.

I am willing to guarantee that if you integrate these behaviors into your life; if you do them daily, weekly and monthly; then by the time 2010 becomes 2011, you’ll have given up any thoughts of old-fashioned diets and time-wasting resolutions.

You will have given up on trying to exert will-power.

In place of these waste-of-time preoccupations, you’ll have a healthy, sensual relationship with food and you’ll be happy with your body, your weight and with yourself.

© Wanda Hennig, 2010

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No-diet weight loss visualization podcast | Delicious Life
February 14, 2010 at 11:59 am

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan January 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm

A sensational post.

The universe doesn’t understand no or don’t. It just takes whatever you focus on and expands it.

Susan "Backpack45" Alcorn January 12, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Excellent article; something we all need to focus on. Thank you.

David J. January 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

This makes a lot of sense. I will try it and let you know if I succeed. Weightwatchers didn’t work. Well, it did briefly. Then I put it all back.

Steffi January 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Since reading your article I have stopped gobbling,
THANKS for great suggestions.

annie January 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I am so happy to read this. Thanks for the feedback. It’s really easy if you can do it this way, isn’t it? The only challenge is to remember — and to build it into a habit, of course!

Marisa December 8, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Thank you for posting this 🙂
Slow Food is the greatest way to learn more about the planet, as well as your own self.
Although i disagree with the whole concept of “calorie counting,” everything else in this article is gold. I was actually smiling while reading it 🙂 Thank you!

Geoffrey Jimnez February 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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