Time and again I’ve seen it happen—a client works out, goes on the perfect eating plan for their body type, loses weight—then gains it all back again, and then some.
Failure to address the emotional issues that have led to excess pounds in the past often leads to long-term frustration. That’s why I recommend a transformative approach that addresses mind, body and spirit.
Like myself, Dr. Edward Bach, a British physician in the 1930s, was a great believer in self healing. He was a bacteriologist, homeopath and researcher who recognized that negative moods often were the underlying cause of his patients’ ill health. He spent 20 years developing a series of Bach Flower essences that are now used worldwide.
Bach Flowers are completely safe, do not interfere with any medication and are approved by the U.S. F.D.A. Using specialized kinesiology, a qualified practitioner can select which of 38 flower essences can be of best assistance to you. For dieters, I frequently recommend:
Agrimony: For those who are “emotional eaters,” turning to food for comfort. These people stuff their feelings with food. To lose weight, they need to learn to feel their emotions, especially their anger. Using a combination of Bach flowers, yoga and specialized kinesiology, these people can allow themselves to feel the full range of their humanity without turning to food, drugs or alcohol to anesthetize their experience.
Cherry Plum: For feelings of being out of control with eating. Helps stop binges. This remedy restores calm and allows an individual to recognize their ability to impose self discipline.
Crab Apple: For those who have a poor body image. Their feelings range from self disgust to self hate stemming from their appearance. Crab Apple allows a person to accept themselves and have pride in their appearance, regardless of their size. I find this remedy especially helpful for women who hate certain parts of their bodies—I.e., their thighs or abdomen.
Genetian: For feelings of discouragement and wanting to give up on dieting. The reality is that improving the health of the body is a long-term and hopefully even a life-long process. This remedy is good for those who have reached a plateau, or who have failed in the past and don’t think their efforts will succeed.
Walnut: For breaking the habit of overeating. Also used to buffer the individual who is being bombarded by other stimuli that cause overeating. Walnut acts as a protector to all of the influences that could defeat the dieter. It is known to break the link to old habits.
Bach Flower remedies can be purchased at most health food stores. Set up an appointment to discover which remedies would be most helpful for you!
Use Nutrition to Alleviate the Symptoms of Menopause
Without a doubt, the most frustrated group of dieters in my practice has to be women in their 40’s and 50’s who are entering premenopause and menopause.
According to Joseph Collins, a naturopath and author of What’s Your Menopause Type?, there is no menopausal or premenopausal symptom that can not be alleviated with nutrition.
At a recent lecture here in Atlanta, Dr. Collins recommended Estrobalance, a protein drink for women made by Metagenics, one of the companies whose excellent products we carry here at Total Fitness.
If you are taking hormones and have been unable to lose weight, ask me about the questionnaire from his book to determine which of 12 types fits your profile.
Dr. Collins says that many women with blood sugar problems are unable to lose weight if they are taking progesterone. Balance your blood sugar with nutrition and learn how adequate protein in your diet, eliminating pesticides from your foods and improving your body’s ability to detoxify may make a huge difference.
Whether you make your own hormones or take artificial hormones prescribed by your doctor, you had better be able to eliminate what you no longer need on a daily basis or they will be stored in your fat cells. That’s why chronic dehydration from not drinking enough water and chronic constipation from inadequate intake of dietary fiber can add up to extra pounds.
Adrenal Health: The Key to Life-Long Ability to Exercise and Lose Weight
I have yet to see a client in total exhaustion whose body was able to shed excess fat. It takes energy to exercise, it takes energy to burn fat and it takes a lot of mental, physical and emotional energy to lose weight The key to energy is the health of the adrenals, small glands that sit on top of your kidneys.
In my book, Healing Depression: A Holistic Guide, I discuss how chronic high levels of cortisol excreted by the adrenals often accompany depression and exhaustion.
Whether you are a man or a woman, as we go into our 40s and 50s, our adrenal glands take over the production of many of our sex hormones.
That’s why stress-reducing exercise like yoga often enables people to lose weight where they have failed with gung-ho, boot camp-style fitness programs.
Restore the health of your adrenals by meditating daily, resting regularly, balancing your blood sugar and allowing yourself to breathe.
I have come to believe that daily rest is as important for dieters as daily exercise. If the only time you take a break is for a meal, guess what? You will reward yourself with food.