Eat like your grandparents “Your grandma probably told you to eat three meals a day and not snack in between,” says John Douillard, D.C., an Ayurvedic physician in Boulder, Colo., and author of The 3-Season Diet (Three Rivers Press). “That is how we’ve historically eaten.” Douillard notes with despair the trend toward eating smaller and more frequent meals. “Now we’re all being told to eat six times a day,” he says. “This never gives the body time to dip into its fat stores.”
“Eat before you are going to use the energy you get from food,” Douillard advises. That means having a good breakfast (to jump-start metabolism), a large lunch (to fuel your day’s activities) and a small dinner (to help your body naturally wind down at the end of the day).
Treat yourself like a good kid Beating yourself up over food is another knowledge-behavior gap many women fall into. Calling yourself “greedy” or a “fat pig” or “weakwilled” only makes you feel bad about yourself, which often leads to eating more in an attempt to give yourself a boost. It’s important to stop the negative self-talk, says Freida B. Herron, M.S.S.W., L.C.S.W., a weightmanagement coach for Women’s Way Coaching in Knoxville, Tenn. “I often suggest imagining that your desire to overeat is a lovable 5-year-old child,” she says. “You don’t want to berate or shame your appetite—that only leads to more dysfunctional eating.” Instead, treat yourself with understanding, respect and affection.
Uncover hidden causes of weight gain If you’re doing all the right things and you still can’t lose weight, there may be an underlying health reason. Here are some likely suspects:
TOXINS New studies indicate that toxins in the body suppress thyroid function, slowing metabolism. “Scientists now believe that the obesity epidemic is going hand in hand with an increase in environmental toxins,” says Gaetano Morello, N.D., the British Columbia, Canadabased author of Whole Body Cleansing: Transform Your Health Through Gentle Purification and Effective Detoxification (Active Interest Media).
To help your body eliminate them, take a tablespoon of psyllium fiber mixed with water every day (fiber binds to toxins so they can be excreted) and consider doing a detox. Morello recommends Enzymatic Therapy’s Whole Body Cleanse ($30 for the two-week program, enzymatictherapy.com). Don’t fast, however: “Fasting can slow your metabolism and cause more toxins to be released from fat stores,” Morello says.