From a functional perspective, weight loss is about the individual. A one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss (and wellness as a whole) ignores the unique needs for you, your body and your personal goals.
If you’re ready to start your journey of self study and empowerment in health and wellness through weight loss, here are some healthy, functional first steps:
Don’t be distraught, this isn’t the type of research you had to do back in school! In functional medicine we start every program with research to better understand all of the factors regarding your health goals.
If your goal is weight loss, you’ll want to start observing all of the things that are at play. Specifically, start to research and reflect on the following:
- Why do you want to lose weight?
- Have you tried losing weight in the past? If so, what were your results, obstacles and how was the overall experience?
- What is your current diet?
- What is your current exercise routine?
- What is the quality of your life at home, socially and with work?
- What toxins are you exposed to?
- How do you perceive yourself? Positively? Negatively?
- How would you rate your overall mood, day-to-day?
- Do you have any knowledge of hormonal imbalances in your body?
The above questions aren’t intended to be a one-time interview. Perhaps start to consider your health and wellness as a relationship you have with yourself that is rooted in consistent observation and self study. As you research and reflect on the above questions, record them down in a journal.
We recommend doing this regularly—whether that be daily, weekly or monthly. It’s important to remember that you (and your body) are constantly evolving and changing. An answer on Monday may be incredibly different on Sunday, so be kind and just record what you authentically observe in that moment.
Once you get in a good routine with your journaling, review your entries. This practice of self study and wellness tracking can really shed light on repeat habits, behaviors, thought patterns and more that are impacting your weight loss goals.
Now that you are an active listener to your body, you will want to prepare it for change by creating a fresh, clean “canvas” through detoxification. A comprehensive detox program will rid yourself of any lingering toxins of your past (both physical and mental).
For more information or to join our detox program, click here.
After healthily detoxifying the body, it is time to eliminate the things that brought the toxins into the body in the first place. By avoiding (or fully eliminating) these triggers, foods or behaviors you will better support your overall health and weight loss goals. Below are a few ideas of things that you will want to avoid or eliminate from your environment.
- Processed foods: processed foods often carry toxins, genetically-modified organisms and chemicals that throw your body out of its natural rhythm.
- Heavy metals: similar to processed foods, heavy metals can disrupt your body and its natural processes, causing weight gain and other health issues.
- Stress triggers: removing yourself from stressful environments, or avoiding stress triggers will greatly impact your overall wellness. Repeat exposure to stress or overstimulation often causes weight gain and other health issues.
- Other toxins: be wary of your consumption of other toxins like alcohol, tobacco, medicines, drugs, etc.
5. Make a plan
Once you have observed the body, recorded your findings, cleansed yourself of toxins and toxic environments/foods/items, it is time to create your weight loss plan. Take into account all that you have learned thus far in steps 1-4.
Set realistic goals that work with your schedule, your responsibilities and your body. As mentioned before, the most successful of weight loss plans are rooted in consistency and self study. Be sure to listen to your body and make adjustments as you need that will support you. For example, if you notice that you are having trouble avoiding particular foods that you know to avoid—dig deeper and interpret why. Are you stressed or uninspired? Are you no longer enjoying the healthier food alternatives? Make adjustments to help keep yourself happy and on track with your goals.
For more information on healthy, functional first steps toward weight loss or our weight loss programs, contact us today!