You’ve lost the weight, but now the hard part is maintaining it. Here are 6 tips for consistent weight management, to help you end the cycle of fluctuating weight levels.
Yo-yo dieting is such an 80’s term isn’t it? Yet, I know so many people who witness pretty major fluctuations in the number staring back at them from the scale.
I hear this as a common experience from many of my clients and many of the people who come to take part in our private raw foods retreats or our raw food detox retreats here in Hawaii. I know many people who jump into the raw food lifestyle with that same kind of “diet mentality” and they express that “it doesn’t work” for them.
Why does “yo-yo dieting” affect so many people?
Maybe it’s because when we want to make a change, we set super high and unrealistic expectations that we can’t meet. We put too much pressure on ourselves to make as many changes as fast as possible and we all know that this doesn’t work, in fact, it backfires. But we do it to ourselves anyways.
If you’ve read my book “Unhooked, A Holistic Approach to Ending Your Struggle with Food” then you know I’m all about the philosophy “slow and steady wins the race”. Finding balance and harmony with our body and weight is all about cultivating habits that feel in balance and not too extreme.
Here are 6 Tips I Personally Use on a Daily Basis for Consistent Weight Management
These 6 tips help me find balance and are apart of my own “slow and steady wins the race” approach to long-lasting healthy and consistent weight management. (If you’re looking for help with your own slow and steady approach to dietary changes, sign up here for my free 7-day Healthy Dinner Challenge, featuring 7 of my all-time favorite plant-based dinner recipes.)
Consistent Weight Management Tip #1: Raw till 4
Even though I run a brand called “Happy & Raw” I’m personally no longer 100% raw, 100% of the time. I embarked on the raw food path almost 10 years ago now, and at this point, I’ve seen all sides of it. After experiencing a lot of set backs with the higher fat “gourmet raw” style of raw food (which incorporates a lot more nuts and seeds), I transitioned to a lower fat, higher fruit way of living (what we call low fat raw vegan or LFRV for short) several years ago and haven’t turned back.
But after being fully raw for about 3 years during that journey, even though I loved it and experienced amazing results, I also found that there was a certain rigidity around it that was no longer serving me. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of raw foods, but I also notice that it can attract a lot of extreme mindsets and I found it was more beneficial to loosen my harder edges around raw vs cooked. This felt more realistic for me for my long-term commitment to this lifestyle and ultimately, felt more balanced for me.
Apparently I wasn’t the first person to think about staying “raw till 4” since there’s actually a whole movement around it. Have you heard of the raw ‘till 4 movement? If you’re new to raw foods, this can be a great way to get started out and this is the philosophy I follow in my 28-day High Raw, Plant-Based Make It Yourself Meal Plan. This “raw till 4” mentality allows me to have some overall guidelines in my dietary life that don’t feel too strict but keep some level of consistent normalcy around how I eat.
Consistent Weight Management Tip #2: Keep it Lower in Fat
As I mentioned above, I’ve experimented with a lot of different ways of eating raw food. When raw food diets were really starting to get popular, a lot of mainstream raw food diet philosophy was mostly geared towards “gourmet raw” which included a lot of dehydrated foods. Although I still use my dehydrator (my all-time favorite thing to make are my raw, gluten-free sun-dried tomato wraps) I now follow a lower-fat dietary approach.
I rarely eat much fat at all until dinner time and mostly stick with fruits and veggies during the day, mostly consisting of smoothies and just straight up fruit. This is also for food combining reasons which I also talk a lot about in my book Unhooked.
Now I know not everyone can eat fresh local fruits like we can here in Hawaii, but I know many people living a LFRV (which stands for low fat raw vegan) lifestyle all over the world.
I’ve been consistent on high-fruit for several years now and feel like it works really great for me. (If you’re wondering “but what about all that sugar” then read this article “If you’re afraid to eat fruit…
I also love the fruit community (yes there really is a massive “fruit community” check out the Woodstock Fruit Festival happening in August which I will be speaking at…) So just to recap: to help keep my weight consistent, I stick with lower fat during the day (raw till 4) which pretty much consists of fruits and veggies (lower fat).
Consistent Weight Management Tip #3: Eat Before 6pm
When I’m feeling unbalanced in the way I’m eating (which definitely happens from time to time, mostly as a result of too much stress and not enough sleep) then I start to notice myself snacking later in the evening.
Side note: If you feel like you’re unbalanced in the way you’re eating, check out this article, 15 tips to help you get back on track when you’ve fallen off the wagon.
I notice a pretty significant difference in the way I feel when I fall back into the habit of eating dessert-type snack foods (even if they’re made with “healthier” ingredients…) later into the evening. I notice this has a pretty significant effect on the way I feel, including the quality of my sleep and especially on my weight levels.
I ideally like to eat my last meal before 5:30pm but I understand that’s not always realistic for my schedule (and it might not be for yours either.) Depending on when you go to sleep, I recommend eating at least 3 hours before you go to bed in order to help maintain consistent weight levels.
Consistent Weight Management Tip #4: Start Off With Liquids
Another great tip for maintaining balanced, optimal weight levels is to start off your day with liquids. Most of the time, when we wake up in the morning, what our body needs is hydration, not food. I actually like to just drink coconut water, usually until about 10-11 am in the morning before I have my first meal, which is usually a smoothie. I also like to drink ginger, lemon honey teas on colder rainier mornings (yes those morning happen for us here too in Hawaii) or I make myself a green juice. My usual morning flow is that I wake up, drink a coconut and then go for a walk, and then drink another coconut or two when I get back. (Want to experience a week eating and living this way in Hawaii? Check out our Private Raw Food Hawaii Retreats as well as our Raw Food Detox Retreats) After that I move onto fruit or smoothies.
Consistent Weight Management Tip #5: Get Moving in the Morning
My favorite way to start my day is by going for my morning walk. For those of you who follow me on Instagram (@happyandraw) then you’ve probably seen me posting short videos of my morning walks. I call this my “Joy Juice” because walking in the mornings by the ocean just makes me feel so dang good! And guess what, when we feel good, everything flows better in our lives and we also naturally choose to eat better too. So if it’s not walking for you, like it is for me, then find your “joy juice” and make that a regular part of each and every day in your life. It’s hard to deny the actual scientific benefits of walking, so if you don’t know what your joy juice actually is, then give walking a try.
I often tell people walking literally saved my life because it helped pull me out of a pretty major depression, and it’s the first thing I turn to when I’m feeling like I’m in a funk (which is what directly influences the way I eat.) Need to get get out of a funk? Go for a walk.
Consistent Weight Management Tip #6: Avoid salt and oil
Drastically reducing my consumption of oil and salt was also a pretty major habit change that I implemented after reading Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 book, which is one of the books that I highly recommend everyone reads, and attribute it to helping me change my life for the better. After reading his book, I made a pretty massive change in my consumption of salt and oil, although I do sometimes use coconut oil when I’m cooking.
If you haven’t read my article on oils, read “Are Oils Really a Health Food?” here. It’s a good starting point for reading my general overall philosophy on oils. Basically, they are a refined food. Oils start with a whole plant, and then everything else is removed so you’re left with oil which is 100% fat. It’s also not something that naturally occurs in nature (meaning it’s a man-made food process). So instead of using oils, use whole-plant sources of fats instead, like hemp seeds instead of hemp oil, or try avocado, or coconut meat.
If you experience food addiction, then one of the first things you can start doing is pay closer attention to you consumption of salt, oil and sugar. If you struggle with overeating and your ready to shift that, then I recommend picking up a copy of my book “Unhooked, a Holistic Approach to Ending Your Struggle with Food.”
The combination of salt, oil and sugar is the way most people are hooked on overeating and don’t even know it. When it comes to salt, I’ve experienced drastic shifts in my body when I started eating whole plants for sodium and removed the use of added salt. (You might not believe it but I lost 13 pounds of excess water weight by removing salt from my diet.) Sodium is essential to the body, and you can get enough through whole plants. I’m so passionate about the whole salt topic, that I wrote an entire ebook on it. Click here to get your free download on the myths of salt, this information will seriously shock you. I’ll let you know how everything I thought I knew about salt was completely wrong and how I lost so much excess weight that I didn’t need to be carrying around by not adding salt to my food.
The key is to find a balance that works for you. I whole-heartedly endorse the slow and steady wins the race philosophy. Gradual changes lead to big results. That’s a fact backed by science. Try creating a list of 4 or 5 things you can do to stay consistent with and track your progress.
What do you do in your life to help implement consistent weight levels?
Live Free, Laura D saying a big Aloha from Hawaii!