Did you know that 67% of Australians are overweight or obese?
A 2017 Australian Bureau of Statistics study shared this figure and this was an increase from 63% in 2014, just four years before.
Men are more overweight than women (74.5% and 59.7% respectively) and one-quarter of children aged 5 to 17 years old in Australia are overweight or obese.
With the influence of COVID and lengthy lockdowns these past two years, it is likely these figures are now much greater.
Worldwide people are saying they have poorer eating habits and have made unhealthy lifestyle choices throughout these challenging times.
Most people have a good understanding of why excess body fat is damaging to your health with heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and infertility becoming irrefutably linked to obesity.
If you’re overweight and want to do something about it, where do you start?
We suggest starting small. Starting a focused weight loss program – that is designed specifically for you and where you have the support you need to succeed – is the best first step to losing weight.
In this article, you will learn about weight loss and how our team of practitioners at the Shift Clinic can help you.
Excess body fat not only contributes to health issues but also affects your self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
In fact, many people associate weight with happiness and put off feeling content and fulfilled until they reach an arbitrary number on the scales or a certain dress size.
In chasing any goal in life, we must understand that there is never a clear endpoint. Perfection is not something we can define with a number or control.
With weight loss, the real achievement lies in deriving satisfaction from the journey – otherwise, happiness will remain constantly out of reach!
How long should weight loss take?
Weight loss is an individual thing. Some will lose weight quickly just because they decided to, with minimal effort. Others will work hard, restrict calories and feel hungry and still see little or no change on the scales.
You cannot escape the fact that your body is different from the next person’s, and a large number of variables will influence how your body changes.
The key is to stop focusing on calories alone and take into account the rest of your metabolic and psychological story. For example, is the rest of your body chemistry in balance? Are your hormones doing what they are supposed to? Do you feed your emotions with food?
Do I have to go hungry?
If you begin with an attitude of willpower and deprivation being the key to weight loss, then the answer to this question is yes.
Instead, shift your focus towards nourishing your body, feeding it the nutrients it needs to heal and restore, loving it just a little more each day and thanking it for allowing you to experience life and you might just find you’re not missing out at all!
What can I eat?
It’s somewhat frustrating when you first realise that humans are the only living creatures that have lost the instinct to know what to eat!
Every other (non-domesticated) animal, has retained the innate knowledge of what to eat and what not to.
It’s time to ask yourself some questions to take you back to a better understanding of what is right for your body.
It is absolutely unique! No one diet is going to suit every person, no matter how clever it looks or how many celebrities have succeeded on it.
Ask yourself about your heritage and culture. What did your direct ancestors or great-grandparents eat? If your ancestors were Eskimos, then drinking kale smoothies is probably not going to suit your body type. This an extreme example, but you get the point, right?
Unprocessed, whole foods, seasonally prepared with love will trump low-calorie protein bars every time!
Yes, preparing meals from scratch takes more time, but just maybe our misinterpretation of time is one of the reasons for the excess weight in the first place.
Are there some changes you can make to prioritise your health and nourishment more?
Do weight loss pills help?
Weight loss pills are no magic solution. Whether they cost five dollars or five hundred dollars there are no pills that are going to help you achieve your weight goals without making some other changes in your eating habits, attitude and lifestyle.
Don’t be fooled! If you are looking for an easy way out, this usually means you are glossing over something important or challenging in your life that sooner or later you will have to address.
If you truly want to change your body – and your health – for the long haul, then you have to get your hands dirty.
You have to take a look at what isn’t working in your life and do things differently. You have to assess and reassess and never stop learning.
Are diet shakes bad for you?
Some quality, whole food-based shakes have some merit as a better alternative than a fast food meal in certain circumstances. However, at Shift, we truly believe Michael Pollan says it best!
“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
Using shakes to lose weight stops you from looking at the underlying causes of why you’ve gained weight, and doesn’t help to set healthy habits that will keep the weight off.
How do I keep the weight off?
Share your wins, and don’t be ashamed of your off days!
You may have gathered by now that long-term weight management is not about life-long calorie counting. It’s about holistic health and well-being.
Surround yourself with people who love and support you.
Eat at the table, without digital distractions.
Get a team together to help you fill in the knowledge gaps where you are lacking.
And…be open and honest with your naturopath or health practitioner about what you are eating, thinking and doing day to day, so they can direct you to the unique tools that are going to help you be your best self, and stay that way. You don’t need to do it alone!
Bodyweight is notorious for fluctuations throughout your life – we’ve all heard of yo-yo dieting at some stage.
The trick to long-term weight management (or simply, being healthy) is to address the multiple physiological and emotional factors and to change your life to be healthier, NOT to go on a diet!
Can naturopathy help with weight loss?
Yes, naturopathy is a very valuable part of a weight loss plan because it helps to address the underlying issues that are contributing to your weight gain – like thyroid disease, insulin resistance, inflammation and hormonal imbalance.
Our naturopaths at the Shift Clinic can also give you a diet that is right for you and help to motivate and inspire you to live a healthier lifestyle. It’s not a magic solution though, weight loss takes an integrated approach with you in the centre of it.
Can hypnotherapy help with weight loss?
Absolutely! This is a powerful treatment to assist you with losing weight. There is always an emotional aspect to weight loss so hypnotherapy or other emotional wellness technique can certainly help.
At the Shift Clinic, we believe in empowering you to live a healthy life, so we don’t advocate things like ‘virtual gastric banding’ – rather we use hypnosis to release any underlying emotional blocks that are stopping you from making healthy choices and reaching your desired weight.
Read more about our life-changing weight loss hypnotherapy program here.
What about acupuncture for weight loss?
Like naturopathy, acupuncture can help to address the underlying contributing factors to weight loss. Usually, naturopathy is a better place to start though, as we can then assess your diet and decide if naturopathy or acupuncture (or both) would suit you best.