Is Mother Nature Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals?
It’s a New Year and a new decade...the desire to make meaningful changes in your life might be stronger than ever. GAME ON, right? You’re eager to press the reset button and rid your body of all the sugar, alcohol, and processed foods you’ve indulged in over the holidays. Great! There’s never a bad time to pause and refocus but with some added framework around resetting, your chances of success go up dramatically!
Today’s topic is a key focal point as you often sabotage your success by going against this one great teacher and guide…Mother Nature. If in this early January, you’ve switched to salads or multiple days of juice cleansing or a heavy workout routine that’s combined with getting up early, your body may be rebelling right about now. Why? - Your body seeks to live in harmony with nature and its seasons.
“We often forget that we are nature. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we have lost our connection to ourselves.” - Andy Goldsworthy
Remember that from an evolutionary standpoint each season brings a shift in temperature and hours of daylight and therefore a shift in how we move, sleep, and eat.
So, why eat for the seasons?
How Does Eating for the Seasons Work?
Let’s break down the basics of the four seasons and offer suggestions to go with the flow of Mother Nature instead of working against her. Eating seasonally is exactly what nature intended. It is an eating pattern that balances weight, energy, and wellness.
1. Winter – a time when it’s cold, windy and cloudy. We try to stay warm. Things slow down as we go into a hibernation mode. Our ancestors tried to conserve energy as there wasn’t much food around except the foods that remained from the fall harvest (root vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, and cured meats). This is the perfect time for warm cooked foods such as hearty soups.
2. Spring - the days are getting warmer and longer. Everything starts to bloom and rejuvenate. With more sunlight, our energy levels pick up. Leafy greens and veggies sprout. Load up on all those fresh green veggies! This is the perfect time to do a juice cleanse to detox from the winter.
3. Summer – The temperatures are rising and we’ve daylight from early morning into the late evening. Cooling foods such as fresh fruits and steamed vegetables, and salads are perfect for this time of year. Caffeinated and spicy foods such as coffee and salsa will agitate some people. It adds extra heat within the body as it goes against the warmth of the season.
4. Fall - things start to slow down again. We enjoy the fresh harvest such as apples, butternut squash, potatoes and all root vegetables. It used to be the time to ‘fatten up for the winter’ but with our abundance of food we don’t have to be concerned with that.
Tips and Tricks to “Eat in Flow” with the Winter Season:
Eat cooked warm foods: Rather than switching to cool foods such as salads or juices stick with warm, cooked foods – soups are a great way to stay hydrated and fill up your belly.
Reduce food portions of each meal rather than skipping meals completely. Some find their body enjoys intermittent fasting (no food for 12-16 hours)
Get plenty of sleep. Especially in our stress-filled world, sleep will help balance your hormones which greatly impacts your ability to lose unwanted fat and drastically reduces cravings for junk/processes foods.
Gradually increase your workout. Unless you have an established workout routine, consider gradually increasing your workout. Start with brisk walks, light strength training and lots of stretching.
Your journey to a lean, healthy body isn’t a sprint but much rather a marathon. You’ve likely done a few ‘diet sprints’ before and have found yourself back at square one as the changes didn’t stick. Thinking of your health journey as a marathon means that you make gradual changes that feel achievable and will give you the motivation to keep going to reach your goals.
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