Sustainable weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight can seem daunting and may feel like an elusive never-ending struggle for many of us, but in my personal experience and from observing my client’s own incredible weight transformations, it’s not only achievable, it’s also totally sustainable. So it’s time to stop endlessly beating yourself up about your weight and get off the dieting yoyo - and instead reclaim your life and find a healthy weight you can sustain for the long term - and feel good about!
Thankfully the narrative around attaining a healthy weight is changing. The age-old “calorie in, calorie out” notion is antiquated and really needs to be dropped. Reducing calories and starving yourself is not the answer, as all too often the body will regain the weight … and then some.
In this article, we are looking at howmaking long-term lifestyle changes that stimulate the metabolism and balance and flow of the fascial system can create enhanced flow in the tissues, organs, glands and stuck energy which can help flush excess physical and emotional weight effortlessly.
Weight management is about arriving at and attaining a weight that is right for your body and supports your optimal physical and energetic function.
Whether you’re wanting to lose or put on weight, getting to the root cause of any weight issue is so much more than burning calories. Let’s take a look at some factors that can cause weight management issues:
- Emotional trauma
- Fake foods
- Environmental toxins
- Poor posture
- Sleep hygiene
1. Emotional Trauma
Our brains can only process a certain amount of trauma at one time. If the mind is unable to fully deal with a painful or distressing situation, the energy from that experience will get stored in the body and subconscious creating stagnation, blocking flow and literally starts holding us back.
Our fascia is a multi-sensory organ that records all of our experiences, positive and negative. Not only is trauma stored in the tissues, but stress can cause the muscles to tense up and the fascial system to tighten and compress nerves which shuts off muscles or creates unhealthy compensations.. These fascial restrictions create an internal pressure that sends out a danger signal to the nervous system triggering a fight-flight response. Unprocessed trauma can fire the stress response prolonging cortisol secretions and slowing down the metabolism.
When you mindfully let go of that which no longer serves you and make a conscious effort to release stuck, deep seated emotions, combined with lower impact movements, you can free up the fascial matrix and release blockages.
This includes trauma that can be identified, as well as stuck energy and blockages that cannot be described with words. Movement allows the fascia to really get into the subconscious and create flow and detoxification. Our bodies are designed to release energy through movement and breath. Think of it as an emotional purge through breath. After all, ‘emotion’ is ‘energy in motion’.
Unblock trauma in the tissues and subconscious by moving the body with mindful intent.
Try the following fixes:
- Fascia flows
- Body rolling
- Somatic dance
- Sound healing
Follow this link for an introduction to breathwork exercise.
2. Fake and overly processed foods
There has been a substantial increase in body weight since the 1960s. In saying that, the nature of food has also radically changed since that time. Looking back, the type of food that was consumed by generations before us was cleaner, closer to its natural state and mostly seasonal.
Our grandparents grew their own food, and shopped at markets or their local grocer. Not only does food provide us with fuel, but it also contains information that the body needs to build its immune system and keep us healthy.
Most of today’s food-like products are convenient and highly processed. These fake foods are energy-dense and contain high amounts of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, additives, saturated fat, seed oils and salt, but are low in fiber. They overstimulate our taste buds to eat more and leave us feeling hungry.
Seed oils contain high amounts of omega-6 and trans fats that cause inflammation and trigger weight gain.
The following seed oils are worth avoiding due to their high omega-6 contents:
- sunflower oil
- corn oil
- cottonseed oil
- sesame oil
- soybean oil
- rice bran oil
- peanut oil
When possible, choose organic. I know it can be more expensive and harder to find - so if eating an all-organic diet is not feasible for you, the ‘Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen’ is a great way to do the best you can and avoid the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides. Mass-produced livestock are given antibiotics and injected with growth hormones (including estrogen and testosterone) to maximize growth. Cattle that are raised in factory farms are fed grains instead of their natural diet of grass. This affects the nutrient content of their meat. Grass-fed beef contains less fat than grain-fed beef and are higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and antioxidants than grain-fed beef.
Genetic predisposition to obesity cannot be the only reason that people are carrying much more weight than they were 50 years ago. Not only are people glued to technology, but they are also generally less active than previous generations while eating more energy-dense, highly processed, convenient foods.
Try the following fixes to optimize nutrition and digestion:
- Make small practical changes to your diet. Choose foods that are minimally processed and are as close to their natural state as possible.
- Reverse fasting: Allow your body to use the energy it would to digest to heal and repair instead. Enjoy an early evening meal and stop eating at 6pm. Fasting for 14 hours overnight allows the body to reverse age and repair the mind and body.
- Seek out food grown in a more natural way. Purchase from a local farm or market. When possible, go organic, the next best option is to buy spray-fee produce which also encourages eating seasonally.
Check out these Fascia Food recipes.
3. Environmental Toxins
Food packaging is full of toxic chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and play havoc on our hormones.
Glyphosate and other pesticides are widely used by the farming industry. Residues found in fresh fruit, vegetables and cereals are toxic and impact gut health, immunity and our nervous system.
We all know that drinking water is super important, and we should drink more of it. Up to 60-80% of an adult body is water, with the body’s chemical processes dependent on water. It penetrates our fascia and accesses all our cells. Among many functions, water plays a role in weight loss by increasing calorie burning, metabolizing stored fats and carbohydrates and removing waste.
But good hydration is two-fold. Drinking clean filtered water is not only better tasting but removes impurities and dangerous contaminants like chemicals, pesticides, disinfection by-products, bacteria, fluoride and heavy metals, to name a few.
Unfortunately, filtration can also remove important minerals and trace elements like calcium, magnesium and potassium needed for absorption. Upping your mineral intake will help the body actually absorb and utilize the water you drink.
You also need to be aware of the chemicals you use and are exposed to daily.
Many beauty, skin and personal care products contain chemicals that easily penetrate the skin, are absorbed into the bloodstream, disrupt hormones and are linked to organ system toxicity.
The same goes for commercial household cleaning products, which contain harsh toxic ingredients. Exposure to their chemicals and harmful fumes creates a toxic build-up and overloads our lymph system. The lymph system is important for weight loss. What can’t be flushed out is stored in the organs and adipose tissue, creating stagnation
Try the following fixes to safeguard you from environmental toxins:
- Avoid using plastic water bottles and food containers.
- Drink good quality filtered water and remineralise the body for adequate absorption.
- Remove toxic chemicals from your home: Only use non-toxic cleaning and body care products.
- Invest in some indoor plants, which are natural air filters that can remove airborne pollutants.
4. Poor Posture
We should sit less and move more.
According to the Washington Post, studies have shown that prolonged sitting is hard on the muscles and our metabolic health. Non-stop sitting can cancel out the health benefits of daily workouts. Not moving for long periods of time can reduce the muscle's ability to use and absorb amino acids (protein building blocks). The muscles need amino acids to build and repair themselves. Just five-minute exercise bursts spaced through your sitting day can be as effective as longer, more traditional workouts.
When we don’t move, the fascia tightens, glues down, dehydrates and gets stuck which restricts blood flow and nerve signaling to the muscles. Optimizing blood flow to the muscles is important for weight loss as it enhances muscle performance, as well as transporting nutrients and oxygen to the cells, which is important for breaking down glycogen to build muscle mass.
Oxygen is also needed to break down fat cells. Restricted blood flow means less oxygen to burn calories.
Try these easy fixes to stimulate blood flow and activate the fascia:
- 5 Minute fascia flows
- Get yourself a rebounder. It’s low impact on the body and great way to reduce inflammation and keep the fascia flexible while activating the lymphatic system to filter out impurities, eliminate toxins and aid weight loss.
Try this simple 5 Minute Fascia Flow to support your posture.
5. Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is important for maintaining your optimum weight as it affects metabolism and appetite hormones.
Not getting enough sleep increases levels of ghrelin and decreases leptin which increases appetite. When we are sleep-deprived, we tend to snack more often, choosing carbohydrate-rich or sweet-tasting foods compared to when we get enough sleep.
Sleep also influences glucose metabolism. When we eat, our bodies release insulin, a hormone that helps to process the glucose in our blood. However, sleep loss can reduce the body’s ability to uptake glucose. Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Be mindful of your night routine and try these fixes to optimize sleep:
- Try a pre-sleep flow.
- Go to bed earlier.
- Allow your body to wind down and properly prepare for sleep. Protect yourself from blue light exposure before bed. Blue light tricks the body into thinking it’s daytime. Avoid looking at a bright screen 2-3 hours before you sleep. Turn your phone onto airplane mode to reduce blue light.
- Use affirmations to overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. Perhaps there is something positive you would like to manifest. One of my favourites: “I effortlessly and gracefully live in the body of my dreams”
- Tongue scraping first thing in the morning is a great way to remove the layer of toxins and debris that forms on your tongue overnight, helping clear toxicity from your system.
- Before putting on your glasses and looking at your phone in the morning, walk outside and soak up the morning sunlight. This aids your sleep cycle by resetting your body’s circadian clock.
Try this 'Sleeping Beauty' flow to help you sleep more soundly
In conclusion, when it comes to managing your weight, remember to treat yourself with compassion and love. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip. I believe in the 80/20 rule as a guide. Making healthy lifestyle changes and eating wholesome foods should not cause stress, make you feel deprived or even exclude you from enjoying a meal out with your friends. If you are able to eat clean, nutritious foods and engage in healthy lifestyle practices 80% of the time, you will start to positively transform your body and notice significant improvements in your overall health, energy levels and weight.