Weight Loss Practices

People struggle with weight loss and weight maintenance for varied reasons. At a physiological level, in a sense “all roads lead to Rome” in that the core processes promoting weight gain on the cellular level are likely driven by core mechanisms involving mitochondria. Whether it’s a microbiome disruption, insulin resistance, obesogens, inflammation, stress, poor sleep, etc, I think these can all be fundamentally reduced to negatively impacting mitochondria which then promotes weight gain and physiological weight loss resistance. That’s why different interventions may work for different people: because what’s negatively affecting one person’s mitochondria may not be what’s negatively affecting someone else’s. The biology of all of this is beyond the scope of this blog post. My main point in mentioning this, is that most people think diet in and of itself is the key to losing weight. And while diet is certainly important, other factors like stress, poor sleep, movement, relationships, the microbiome, and obesogens/toxins all affect weight regulation.

With the complexity of and individuality inherent to weight loss and weight maintenance in mind, I developed a deck of 50 practices to supper wellbeing in body, mind, and spirit. I initially conceived of this approach specifically to address weight issues in a kind of ‘choose your own adventure’ allowing people to choose and focus on practices most relevant to them.

One of those practices that may be of benefit to people struggling with their weight is Education, in the ‘Nourishment’ domain. This practice encourages you to explore different ways of eating grounded in sound nutrition. This may include listening to or watching lectures, listening to podcasts, or reviewing books. If it’s helpful, plan ahead and schedule when you will do this practice. Due to the overabundance of advice and opinion on diet, health, and weight loss, I encourage you to seek out sources who are qualified in terms of education and professional training, and/or who present scientific evidence for their claims. As I noted above, while diet is not the only factor to affect weight, it’s something we have a lot of control over. And certain foods, particularly ultra processed foods, refined sugar, & refined carbs, exacerbate weight loss difficulties on many levels. Beginning with some dietary changes can have positive weight management effects on a physiological level, supporting psychological change in a ‘bottom up’ approach. For example, rather than try to think your way out of cravings you might be able to either eliminate or greatly reduce them by shifting the food you eat.

If you’re working with your partner, you might want to discuss different dietary approaches together to see what appeals to both of you. Maybe you each spend a week or so researching a few different healthy nutritional patterns and take turns listening to each other share findings. This could also help you practice communication and listening skills.

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