You are perfect right now!
Let's just start with that! Where ever you are in your journey to better health and a healthier body - let's stop with the self-criticism today. Get a white board marker, or an old lip liner and look at yourself in the mirror and write this down: I am perfect just the way I am. I am the perfect age. I am the perfect weight. I am the perfect friend. Whatever resonates for you, write it down, and if you feel like a fraud, you're going to write it down anyway, so that every time you look in the mirror you will be reminded.
Most of you are going to really struggle with this. We are so used to beating ourselves up, it becomes a habit, almost self-indulgent in how we hang onto it. Would you ever say to your friend - OMG I can't believe what a fat, lazy pig you are? Or - you are disgusting, why on earth did you eat that entire bag of chips by yourself?. Or - your stomach is revolting pouring over the waistband of your jeans, how can you even go out like that!??? No you never would, so stop speaking to yourself like that, today. Just stop! Stop holding onto the pain. Stop indulging yourself in your self-pity. Stop being your own worst enemy - just stop. Let go of it.
Our first scientifically proven weight loss tip is going to be a combination of two things. Let's try for a reduced window of when we actually eat each day. I would aim for somewhere between 12 and 15 hours. This would mean if you stop eating at 7pm each day the next time you eat would be between 7am and 10am. Again, don't be hard on yourself - perfection is an illusion. Try for 15 hours but if you know you are going to be in meetings all day and the only time you can eat is before work, then do it. Some days it will be easy to stop at 7pm, when you are home and have been organised enough to plan your dinner in advance. Other days not so easy. Sometimes you will be meeting friends for dinner and will inhale a giant fat bomb of a meal at 8.30pm or later. Oh well, just enjoy it and get back on the plan the very next day. Getting away from the diet mentality means you break from the old habits of using a one night feast as a reason to binge for the next few days since "you've broken your diet anyway". Getting away from the diet mentality means you accept yourself as a human being who sometimes just eats something that is not optimal but just resets the next day with a healthy oatmeal and fruit breakfast.
The other part of this tip is to try to eat more in the morning and less in the evening. There is an old saying "Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper (poor person). Now we have a study that verifies the evidence for doing this. An Israeli study divided people into two groups. The first group ate 50% of their calories for breakfast, 30% for lunch and only 20% at dinner. The other group reversed these, eating the most of their calories at dinner. Both groups had the identical amount of calories and eating window. Breakfast was defined as eating before 11am. Amazingly, the heavy breakfast group lost 19 pounds in 12 weeks compared with the heavy dinner group who lost only 8 pounds eating exactly the same amount of calories.
If you start making excuses such as, I never eat breakfast cos I'm not hungry then - or, if I eat breadfast I am hungrier at lunch time, just stop. No more excuses. Without counting calories, I have been trying to eat a bit more breakfast (or even just eat something instead of just coffee), and trying to eat less at dinner, and stop by 7pm. It was interesting how soon I started waking up hungry and ready for breakfast! Just try it. Trust the process, the science does not lie. Good luck this week!
Saltwater wishes xoxo