Courses running throughout 2014 at Sydney University Continuing Education Center. http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/WLSS
I’ve been working in the field of weight management for a long time now and one thing that never ceases to amaze me is just how apparently simple and yet how incredibly complicated weight management is. I suppose if it were that simple it just wouldn’t be so hard.
As Dr Sharma, Professor of Medicine & Chair in Obesity Research & Management in Alberta Canada says: “It clearly takes a considerable degree of focus and dedication to overcome the intricate, complex, and highly redundant physiology that nature has put in place to defend our body weight (at whatever level it happens to be) – after all, you are trying to get your cortex to run your hypothalamus” http://www.drsharma.ca
The idea of my cortex trying to run my hypothalamus sounds very complicated let alone trying to pronounce hypothalamus.
With these extraordinarily complicated things at work deep within our brains it makes sense that a particular food, vitamin, tonic or supplement will never be a miracle solution for weight loss or even weight gain.
And yet most of us are still driven to search for an external solution that will help us lose weight. And as each one fails us we are left feeling disillusioned and frustrated and we blame ourselves for not achieving what we set out to do.
And even for those who manage to lose considerable weight, that tricky brain of ours can make keeping it off challenging.
But it is also a remarkably clever brain. If we work with it, not against it and respect the complexities that are involved in weight loss, it is possible to continue to lose weight. This means not following fad diets but listening to your own body’s signals. It is ok if you eat pizza and a few chocolates and skip a few days of exercise occasionally. As long as during the rest of the week you mostly stick to eating five serves of vegetables, two serves of fruit a day, plenty of wholesome foods and low GI carbohydrates, quality protein, do some exercise, and follow hunger and satiety signals, weight loss or weight maintenance is possible.
The “all or nothing” thinking gets us in to so much trouble when we are in the process of losing weight. An example of this type of thinking and inner dialogue might sound a bit like this : “Oh well I ate a slice of cake tonight, I’ve blown it now I may as well eat the whole cake. Oh I’ve really blown it now, I ate the whole cake I may as well just forget about healthy eating and eat cake every night. I’ll just start again next week on Monday”.
My big wish for those who are struggling with their weight is to be kinder to them selves, less extreme, less judgmental. I would love the inner dialogue to be more like this: “Oh I had a slice of cake tonight. It was delicious”.
End of story, It wasn’t bad, you didn’t blow anything, you don’t have to eat the whole cake or wait till Monday to eat healthy food. All you did was have a slice of cake. Remember there is a lot of work going on with that cortex and hypothalamus. Being unkind to your self just makes weight management that much harder.
Upcoming events for 2014
My colleague Dr Amanda Sainsbury Salis and I will be running weight loss courses called: “THE SCIENCE, STRATEGIES AND SUSTAINABILITY OF WEIGHT LOSS” at the Sydney University Continuing Education Centre throughout 2014. Please see this link for details. http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/WLSS
This course provides a special opportunity to listen to Dr Amanda present her research into weight loss and provides extraordinary insights into the science of weight loss, providing tips, ideas and the “how to” for managing weight loss for life. Dr Amanda Sainsbury Salis: www.dramandaonline.com is Australia’s leading eight loss scientist who leads a research team at the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and Eating Disorders.
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