The Simple Secret To Weight Loss (That I Discovered When I Was 12)

The Simple Secret To Weight Loss (That I Discovered When I Was 12)
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Weight loss is often made out to be a really complicated process, with new scientific research being discovered to give us a new diet plan every year or so.

The truth behind weight loss is actually really simple – not necessarily easy, but simple. If you know this one simple truth, you can quit worrying about it and move on to the things that are really getting in the way of your weight loss goals.

I’ve never weighed 200 pounds, so I don’t have a really dramatic weight loss story. I was a pretty chubby child though. I really liked eating, and would snack constantly.

Not only that, but I had these enormous pink glasses. They didn’t have any kids’ styles that I liked, and I was really into pink, so I chose an adult frame that was way too big for my round little face. I had no sense of style and I wasn’t overly concerned with personal hygiene.

Needless to say, I was not the most attractive little girl. I was teased mercilessly by my older brother. He used to sing a song about me that he called Pigletta-otta-butta. Boys can be very creative, can’t they? Particularly the ones who want to be musicians. (Sorry Ken, I love you anyway!!!).

One day, when I was somewhere around 12 years old, I thought to myself, “This is silly. I could easily be skinny if I just ate less.” Luckily I did not delve into anorexia or bulimia, and instead cut back my portion sizes at meals and only had fruit or vegetables for snacks.

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I don’t quite know how I came up with this ridiculously wise healthy eating plan at 12, but I managed to stick to it and achieved my goal of losing the chub.

Now that I’m a holistic nutritionist, and have spent a lot of time learning about weight loss and diet plans, I look back on my 12-year-old self and wish I could send her out in the world to do seminars and motivational speeches. I would probably have to drug her though, because I was petrified of public speaking.

The common thread running through all successful weight loss diet plans – Atkins, South Beach, raw food, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers – is so simple that they have to dress is up with all kinds of rules to get you to pay money for it. To lose weight you need to eat less calories than you use in a day.

That’s it. You can call it a calorie deficit for weight loss, or turn it into a certain number of points, but whatever name you put on it that is the secret to weight loss. With low-fat or low-carb diet plans, their premise doesn’t sound like calorie reduction on the surface. But the people who are successful with those diet plans are the ones who cut the carbs or the fat and don’t replace all of those calories.

Another thing that all diet plans have in common is that eating lots of fresh vegetables is a good thing. People usually focus on their differences – no meat for one plan, no starch for another – and forget about the vegetables, but they are so important. Vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, protein, antioxidants – it’s hard to argue that vegetables aren’t healthy. Fruits have a lot of natural sugars, but have just as many benefits as vegetables.

Where people run into difficulty with weight loss is when they are dealing with emotional eating, cravings and hunger. It’s not as simple as it is sometimes for a 12 year old – and there are definitely kids who don’t find it simple either! I put together a free series of 7 secrets to shape up your healthy eating habits, including a section on weight loss, that will give you some ways to deal with emotional eating.

So now that you know the key to losing weight, you need to look at the blocks that are keeping you from getting to your goal. Your habits, stress, activity level, even your attitude – they all play a part. I’ll talk more about these soon.

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