Have you ever wondered how you could lose weight without eating healthier or working out? Have you ever thought about trying to lose weight and decided it wasn’t worth it because of all you would have to give up and how uncomfortable it would be? Well, good news. If you want to lose weight and you are serious about keeping it off, your food should taste good and you should never be hungry! A successful nutrition strategy should enable you to eat more and exercise less.

If you haven’t heard, the days of lean cuisine, nutri-system, fat-free this or that are long gone. The real magic happens when you start with the intention to enjoy the process, learn what truly makes you feel good and focus your energy there. Forget about the guilt, the frustrations and the negative self talk. Forget about counting calories and stop worrying about what you ‘can’t’ have. Forget about the scale and focus on how you feel.

I’ve been there. I struggled with my weight for years. Initially, I had 10 or 15 pounds to lose. After years of worrying about it and making myself miserable by centering my life around the food I couldn’t have or told myself ‘I didn’t want’ while those around me indulged, I had over 40 pounds to lose. It wasn’t until I gave up and started focusing on the things that really matter in life that I was able to truly take care of myself, enjoy food that I like, consume it until I was full and do so without feeling guilty. I started treating myself kindly, paying closer attention to how the food I ate made me feel, and started moving more because it made me feel alive.

Food is Not the Enemy
Feeling good feels good, it motivates you to do more of whatever it is that you are doing that made you feel that way. Lucky for us, the human body and mind are complex enough to have multiple pleasure centers – challenge yourself to stimulate different ones, not just the ones that respond to food. Look at food as fuel and think of yourself as a high performance vehicle – give it what it needs and make it as high quality as possible because you deserve it. Food is NOT the enemy; overindulgence, or in some cases underindulgence, is typically the culprit. Thinking about exercise as a chore or penance for having eaten something ‘you shouldn’t have’ is not fun; thinking about exercise as a power plant that’s going to give you and an infusion of positive energy sounds better, doesn’t it? Exercise because you want to feel good.

“Begin with the end in mind…Envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. This is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint.” – Stephen Covey

Bring the Joy
Start focusing on why you want to lose weight. How will your life be different when you do? Be honest, what will really be different? How different will you feel once you have? What will you be able to do once you have successfully lost weight that you cannot do today? With these questions in mind, consider the choices you are making. There may come a time where you have to make some significant changes but to start, keep the end in mind, change the rhetoric about how unpleasant you think this process will be and bring the joy because your life will be different in all the ways you just came up with and you deserve it.