The 13 Golden "Zenith Rules" for Weight Loss
1. Stop dieting.
2. Make sustainable
changes from week to week
3. Don't take drastic measures!
4. Keep it simple!
5. Keep your "levels of separation from nature" low
6. Create and keep positive images in your mind
7. Visualize your lifestyle changes, not just the end result
8. Start counting your steps
9. Find out what type of physical exercise you enjoy
10. Don't use artificial sweeteners
11. Put motion into your day
12. Apply the 80/20 rule
13. Have fun!
Seriously. Diet's don't work. They will make you lose weight temporarily, but as soon as you finished your diet, you'll gain it all back (possibly even more), unless you have implemented sustainable lifestyle changes in the meantime.
Instead of dieting, make positive lifestyle changes from week to week. You'll start losing weight, which will positively reinforce your intent. Each week, add some healthy food, cut some junk, introduce a new exercise - this way, you'll step by step come out of your comfort zone and get used to the changes. Little changes will amount to one huge change over time!
I have consulted many people, especially ladies, who say they were eating something like "a banana a day", yet complained that they "still" failed to lose weight. That, however, is no surprise. With so little calorie intake, the body thinks it's starving ("goes into starvation mode") and keep itself from losing any weight, "eat up" muscle mass (which you don't want: muscles increase your metabolism), even your heart muscle, which is dangerous to your health and weakens your immune system. Remember: If you can't sustain something on the long term, it's not going to be worth it.
We have so many weight loss tools these days, so many different diets, so many different theories on what is good and what is bad for you (which changes every decade or so: a while ago fat was the "ultimate evil", now it's carb )... if you try to follow it all up, you'll only get stressed out. And stress makes it harder to lose weight. Instead, use common sense and learn to listen to your own body and intuition.
When it comes to eating, your best choices are things which grow in nature. After all, those are the things you are intended to eat. The further your food gets from its natural state, the less you can know for sure whether it's good for you or not. Therefore, aim to eat many foods that have zero or very few levels of separation from nature, and eat only little as possible of the processed, high levels of separation foods (even if they claim to be "health food products").
The human mind works in a way that whatever images it holds, its strives to realize them. This means that out body follows the thoughts, sentiments and energies the mind holds. If, therefore, we think of our own body with frustration, seeing faults in it, we'll never be able to lose weight. The "Law of Attraction" says we should begin to visualise ourselves being our perfect body shape, enjoying healthy eating and exercise, with all our mind, all our heart, all our soul.
Chunk down your visualisation. Many people visualise outcomes which are very far from their present reality. If the difference between the present and the future picture is too big, your unconscious mind might reject it. The solution is: keep the future image, but create more images along the path of getting there. Don't just see yourself slim,, visualise yourself going for a walk or run, using your new juicer, taking up a new fitness class or personal training, inviting your friends for walks or tennis games... whatever you intend to bring into your new, healthy life.
Walking is the most natural and safest form of exercise, helping you stay slim and fit regardless of your age, fitness level or body size. The average person in the Western world only walks 2-3000 steps a day (you get to this number easily by just adding up walks to the bathroom, fridge and the car-park); but if you manage to double this number, you are already training your cardio-vascular fitness, and with 10.000 steps you keep yourself fit, even if you don't do any other exercise! It's worth getting a pedometer, which is a cheap and simple way of tracking your steps, and a magic motivator to increase the amount of exercise you are doing.
When people ask me what is the best type of physical exercise for them, I usually tell, it's the one they enjoy most. Every form of physical activity helps, but you are only going to stick with the ones you enjoy. Many people believe they are "unathletic," or "lazy" when they simply haven't found their preferred type of sport yet. (Oh, how I hated basketball in school!) So, forget the bad memories and find something you love... what about swimming... moonlit walks in nature, weekend cycling tours (or simply watching your favourite programme while cycling on your indoor bike!), yoga for the mind-body enthusiasts or chi-gong for those who really want to know what life is about...
Avoid anything artificial, really. You might think, you are not gaining weight from diet coke and things like that, but you do. Even if that bottle has 0 calories, it has a lot of toxic substances your body will have to deal with. That will slow down your metabolism and result in building "protective" fat deposits.
Not all of us have the time or means to go to the gym 6 days a week, but there's no need either. Do as much as you can, but make sure that moving more becomes part of the life you're already leading. Consider cycling or walking to the train station, take the stairs instead of the elevator (and call it "free fitness opportunity"), park as far as you can from the building, take 10 minute breaks during work for a walk or mini-jog (it's more effective in energising you than coffee!), ask your friends to go for a walk instead of a drink (you'd be surprised how many will like the idea!), do your own gardening and house-cleaning and so on. Use your imagination.
The 80/20 rule says that you need 20% effort to reach 80% of your goal, but 80% to reach the remaining 20%. You can apply this rule to your eating and exercising habits: eat healthy 80% of the time. But then don't be dogmatic, and if you fancy something like a cake, go for it. Exercise on 80% of the days, don't worry about the rest. You don't need to be a 100% fitness fanatic to be healthy, to look amazing and to enjoy life. Quite the contrary: eating something "bad" every once in a while will boost your metabolism; taking rest days from exercising will give your body a break, prevent injuries and allow time for building muscle.
Remember, if you don't enjoy it, you won't be doing it for very long. Learn to use your mind to associate positive feelings with the new life-style habits you are implementing. Tell yourself: "I'm losing weight NOW" while you run or work-out; be proud of yourself while you push yourself through a hard exercise; feel the freshness of all the natural, live food you are consuming, and most importantly: enjoy the new energy! Enjoy the new YOU!