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Balanced Life = True Weight Loss

I recently wrote this article for Everything Brevard Magazine (January 2018):

Balanced Life = True Weight Loss

Our American society is filled with busy schedules and high demands.  Along with work and family stressors, does your health and weight stress you out too?  Learn how to balance your hectic routine with a healthy and whole lifestyle that leads to positive long-term results.  

The Expert Dieter Example

Amy has dieted most of her life with diminishing results as she gets older.  She goes through spurts of eating healthy and exercise but gets discouraged when the scale doesn’t move. Now Amy is heavier than ever and she thinks and speaks negatively about herself.

Betsy’s Action Plan:

  • Amy is in dire need of balance. No more yoyo dieting – Amy needs to optimize her metabolism with balanced nutrition. This means small frequent meals balanced with healthy whole foods. Healing her metabolism and seeing significant results may take some time but she will never need to diet again.
  • Amy’s negative thinking will sabotage her efforts so she has to work on her mindset. She needs to avoid the scale and diet mentality. Since these habits are ingrained in her, daily affirmations or meditation may help to quiet the constant negative chatter in her mind.
  • With better nutrition and mental balance, Amy is ready for a realistic fitness plan. Instead of working out to lose weight, Amy needs to maintain an exercise regimen that she enjoys.
  • Creating a balanced daily routine, keeping a positive attitude, and focusing on consistency are Amy’s keys for long-term success.

Overworked + Exhausted Example

Sam is a busy business woman and mom of two. Literally, she cannot squeeze in one more thing into her calendar.  Her diet is sporadic – lots of coffee in the morning with mindless grazing, a heavy dinner, and wine at night. Sam’s weight has been creeping up slowly as her health is declining.

Betsy’s Action Plan:

  • Sam’s stress hormones are activated all the time which is causing weight gain around the midsection. If Sam does not simplify her life, her health will deteriorate.  Sam can start by assessing her schedule. What is taking up too much time? What tasks are draining her energy? Small changes can make a big impact.
  • Sleep is a big deal for Sam. She needs every second of sleep to recharge her metabolism.  Sam needs to go to bed earlier to get more rejuvenating REM sleep.
  • Sam needs to regulate the rhythm of her day. Instead of energizing her body with coffee, she needs real fuel.  This mean a balanced breakfast and packing healthy snacks for work with less coffee intake. If Sam plans ahead and eats well through the day, she will crave less unhealthy meals and wine at night.
  • Surprisingly, I would not focus on exercise for Sam. High intensity exercise may further damage her metabolism by elevating more stress hormones.  Instead Sam would benefit from yoga and daily walks.
  • Most people emphasize exercise and dieting, but the real long-term answer for Sam is stress management and life balance.
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