When we consider managing our weight, there are four different components that must be addressed so we can successfully and permanently lose weight and keep it off:
Movement | Micronutrients | Managing our Emotions | Macronutrients
MOVEMENT – We must move and be active, and “doing things around the house” does not count as being active. Movement that helps us manage our weight and improve our health is the type of movement that builds functional muscle. Squatting and pressing movements also help to strengthen bones in the hips and shoulders which can be susceptible to the development of osteoporosis as we age. Maintaining our mobility (being able to stand up from a seated position on the floor, for example) is another aspect of movement that becomes increasingly more important as we get older. If we lose our mobility, we cannot do the movements required to strengthen our muscles, including our heart, which has a direct impact on our weight and health.
Kettlebell training covers all aspects of movement, which is one of the reasons why it is my preferred form of exercise. Kettlebell training plus additional cardio exercise combined with stretching and specific exercises to improve mobility is what I believe is the best movement combination for both weight management and health.
MICRONUTRIENT BALANCE – Excess weight is a sign of a body that is lacking nutrients, therefore, correcting nutrient deficiencies is imperative to losing weight and keeping it off. To correct nutritional deficiencies, we may need to avoid consuming certain foods/drinks, eat certain foods specifically for their nutrient content, take digest enzymes to help our body use the nutrients that is in the food we are eating, and take supplements to supply the body with the appropriate level of nutrients needed for the body to function efficiently. There are three different nutrient levels we can seek to attain:
- RDA levels of vitamins – This is the amount we need to survive.
- Maintenance levels – This is the amount required to thrive, which is usually considerably higher than the RDA.
- Therapeutic levels – This is the amount required to correct deficiency and move us towards a maintenance state.
Initially, we may need to take therapeutic levels of supplements to correct nutritional deficiencies, however, the goal is to work towards maintenance levels.
MANAGING OUR EMOTIONS – An often-overlooked aspect of weight loss is managing our emotions. Learning to understand our emotions and how they help us live our best lives enables us to use our emotions to work for our benefit rather than to our disadvantage. Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is one of the ways I have learned to keep things in perspective so I can manage my emotions in a way that supports my health. The Four Agreements are as follows:
“Be impeccable with your word – Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t take anything personally – Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Don’t make assumptions – Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always do your best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.”
Text from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Copyright ©1997 Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D. Published by Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc.
MACRONUTRIENT BALANCE – This means achieving the correct balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat combined with proper hydration. This balance provides you with the correct amount of carbs for energy without too much which is simply converted to fat, the correct amount of protein to maintain muscle mass and repair the body, and the correct amount of fat for lubrication and protection. This balance is imperative because it is your foundation. It impacts the other three key aspects of weight loss.
What we eat helps to improve or hinders our ability to move.
What we eat helps or hinders the absorption of micronutrients and our ability to digest efficiently.
What we eat (or don’t eat) affects our blood sugar levels and mental clarity. Balanced blood sugar levels can provide us with a clarity to see the world and our emotions as they truly are, which allows us to make the best decisions. Blood sugar levels that are out of balance and/or food sensitivities can scatter our emotions and cloud our mental clarity. Without clear vision and mental clarity, we cannot assess situations properly and, therefore, cannot make the best decisions.
Get moving and take your vitamins, but above all, make a clean, balanced diet your top priority. This will increase your energy and start you on the path to feeling lighter, leaner and happier. Then consider how your emotions impact your food choices.
Putting food in its place – being in control of your food choices rather than allowing your food choices to control you – is what enables you to maintain a healthy body weight and get on with the business of living your life rather than living to control your weight.