It breaks my heart to see how stressed we women are about losing weight. The amount of time we spend thinking, obsessing and critiquing our own bodies for not being thin enough, beautiful enough or simply not perfect like all photoshopped pictures in magazines and Instagram is simply crazy. Think about all the good you could do by spending that energy on solving other problems in the world?
The reason I bring that up now - is that we recently conducted a superfood quiz with over 10.000 participants and asked them for their health goals: 80% of the women were looking to lose weight! I used to be one of these girls and knowing that still so many are struggling inspired me to share my own experience.
I always used to be a super sporty lean person as I grew up playing tennis professionally in my teenage years. Then during my puberty, I slowly started to get a bit curvier, and like many of the women out there I went on my first diet at age 14. And with a diet, I simply mean restricting food… I made all kind of crazy rules for myself that I have read somewhere about from not eating sweets, not eating bread, skipping breakfast, only drinking lemon maple water for a week and the list goes on...
This was the beginning of a very destructive way of eating and thinking. Before I knew it I was stuck in the famous vicious cycle: next Monday I start… And yes, I started until I got these crazy cravings, sometimes 2 weeks and sometimes 2 hours later. I binged on everything I could find before starting again next Monday. Can anyone relate?
I hit rock bottom at age 22 when my boyfriend was diagnosed with cancer at age 24 - at the same time, I was finishing my master's. With extreme cycles of not eating, feeling depressed and overeating until feeling sick and throwing everything up… I decided enough is enough. The recovery road was long with many ups and downs on the way, but the lessons learned are too valuable not to share. Believe me, it's so worth it! Life is too beautiful to waste it obsessing over your weight and what you are eating.
What if I told you the secret is listening to your own body. Sounds crazy right!? Let me explain…
#1 EAT NATURAL WHOLE FOOD INGREDIENTS & STOP COUNTING CALORIES
Everyone is still always checking and talking about calories. Yes, I admit it, I was obsessed with them too and very determined to minimize them. Shocker: your body needs calories to function and thrive. Not all calories are created equal - just think about 50 calories apple compared to 0 calories of a diet coke - which do you think is healthier? So I decided to skip calories and crazy restrictive diets altogether and instead…
I started focusing on maximising the amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants I was eating and minimising the amount of artificial ingredients such as sweeteners, flavourings, colourings, thickeners, etc. You are what we eat. Just think about it: every 3 months you have a completely new liver and brain cells are being built from the food you decided to eat. I'm convinced that whatever our bodies need is provided by nature in the most perfect way.
So at age 22, I adopted a plant-based lifestyle with a focus on natural whole food ingredients and superfoods. Like everyone else I do live a busy life and don’t always have the time to eat enough fruit and veggies every day, so superfoods are a great and easy way to ensure I eat enough natural micronutrients every single day. Instead of counting calories, I am listening to my body, only eat when I am hungry and eat what my body is craving for.
#2 LISTEN TO YOUR BODY & STOP BEING OBSESSIVE
It’s all about balance. Did you know that many females don’t lose weight simply because their cortisol hormone levels are too high? Stress caused by weighing yourself every day (throw out that scale), stress of counting calories, stress of looking good enough, stress of eating a perfect diet, stress of working out every single day (I used to run every single day!), stress of comparing yourself to others - you get the point. Ever noticed that on holidays where you relax and take time for yourself you not only feel healthier but also look better?
When you are tired - sleep. When you have energy - go do a workout you love to do. When you are hungry - eat delicious whole foods. When it’s your birthday -indulge… live life to the fullest. That’s what it's about, having these amazing joyful experiences and not stressing about being perfect all the time. I know you are hesitant to believe me, but the weight loss will happen naturally…
#3 LOVE YOURSELF & STOP THE PUNISHMENT
Your health is not only dependent on food and exercise. The foundation of your weight loss journey is the relationship with yourself. Love yourself, accept yourself, stand in your own power, trust yourself - and yes its a process. This can’t be changed overnight, but its the foundation of everything. If you love yourself, you will eat healthy foods that make you feel amazing and not punish yourself by food restriction or over-exercising. And during times I don’t feel that good… I try to get a good night sleep, meditate, meet with a friend, do some yoga and I know that feeling this way is normal and temporary.
WHERE I AM TODAY
Today I am 27, have been eating vegan for 5 years, lost all the excess weight I collected in my teenage years, healed lifelong eczema through my diet and feel happier/more conscious than ever before. I am not perfect. I have days where I am exhausted and will eat a whole dark chocolate bar or overeat at an amazing restaurant just because the food tastes that good. The huge difference is that now I don’t stress about it, I don’t feel guilty, I know that I gave my body for what it was craving and I know that everything will be ok.
My daily food routine might look something like this…
- Breakfast: Green Smoothie and/or Plant-based Protein Oatmeal
- Snack: Matcha Latte and/or piece of fruit
- Lunch: Quinoa Salad with fresh veggies & hummus
- Snack: Energy Balls and/or Kombucha
- Dinner: Oven-roasted veggies with brown rice, salad & tahini
- Snack: Turmeric Latte and/or herb tea
This is just to give you an idea, however, every day is different… I eat intuitively and I might change things up based on for example the weather, my activity level, my mood and the season.
HOW SUPERFOODS SUPPORT WEIGHT LOSS
As you can see superfoods make up a big part of my diet. Why you might wonder? It was all about maximizing the amount micronutrients I eat and when one of my friends in London introduced me to superfoods… I was amazed! An all natural super easy way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals - even when travelling or with a busy lifestyle!
I started adding super greens to smoothies, chia seeds to my breakfast, berry powders to my water (yes, I had about 1 million superfood bags in my kitchen cabinet - it was a mess)… I was hooked!
And a funny thing happens when you start feeding your body the nutrients it's longing for - your cravings start to disappear and energy levels go up! Suddenly you really crave that fresh salad for lunch or want to go to this sweaty yoga class after work and all these small little changes add up in the long run (as you read in my story!).
After my boyfriend had chemo, I started blending him personalized superfood mixes to boost his immunity levels and he loved how easy it was and the effect it was having on his health. We were both so amazed by the power of these natural foods that we created 7 functional superfood mixes together with holistic nutritionists to make it easier for everyone to eat healthier. You can simply add them to water, almond milk, smoothies, breakfast…
People always ask me which of the 7 mixes I like most (which is the hardest question!). Well, I use the Super Green daily in my breakfast in combination with either the Skinny Protein or Muscle Power to start the day with my daily portion of greens and plant protein. My favorite way of using the Forever Beautiful mix is simply popping it into water or a smoothie during the day for that extra portion of beauty vitamins and delicious berry taste. You see where this is going - I love them all and use them on a daily basis!
Also if you are looking for one-on-one help to lose weight, become happier and feel healthier with the power of plants, I currently have only 3 spots left in my exclusive 6-month personal coaching program. Email me if you want to hear more at firstname.lastname@example.org!
P.S. Please email me at email@example.com if you have any questions. Would love to hear from you!