Successfully slimming down is easy when you follow our 3 Biggest Questions to ask yourself before you eat, and our Top 5 Weight-Management Tips.
Joy Martina PhD, Psychologist and Best Selling Author of “Sleep Your Fat Away, debunks the myth that staying slim equals deprivation and shares her tips for healthy weight management.
Let me be honest with you: I love eating. I am a real foodie. We all have a list of favorite items that we would take with us to a deserted island, and being able to enjoy delicious meals is certainly at the top of my list – isn’t it at the top of yours? My idea of paradise is being locked up in a fancy deli for a weekend, and then add a few good books to get lost in, and I would be a very happy camper! One of my ultimate goals is to have a personal chef at my disposal to cook up yummy dishes whenever I fancy them.
Who wouldn’t want a personal chef?
As I am also of a slim build and still wear the same size pants as I did when I was 21, I am often asked:
“How do you do it? I see you eating and you certainly don’t just eat celery sticks… how do you manage to stay so slim?”
So, I’m here to answer that very question: I want to share what works for me and offer some solutions to healthy weight management that may seem quite unusual at first.
I have spent the last few years studying weight management in-depth and, along with my husband Dr. Roy Martina, MD, developed the revolutionary weight-loss and weight-management program: “Sleep Your Fat Away” that has helped hundreds of people around the world lose weight naturally and effortlessly without any fad diets, intense exercise regimens, or deprivation of favorite foods. It’s simple, really: by training your brain to work for you in an efficient way, you get it to automatically reach your weight-loss goals and achieve painless, effective, long-lasting, and healthy weight loss for life!
The 3 questions to ask yourself before you eat:
1. Am I really hungry?
Real hunger builds up slowly and our body will give us signals like a rumbling, empty stomach. If we don’t eat, we can start feeling nauseous and weak.
But very often, we are not actually hungry and, instead, we are thirsty (children, especially, often confuse hunger with thirst) and simply just drinking a big glass of water will fix the feeling of hunger. Plus, it is very wise to ensure that you drink the recommended 8 glasses (or 2 liters) of water daily as this not only helps with faux-hunger cravings, but supports a healthy immune, digestive, and nervous system.
The second biggest cause of an illusionary feeling of hunger has so much to do with your emotions. As we explain in depth in our program Sleep Your Fat Away, we very often use food as a way of coping with our emotions, whether we are experiencing happy, sad, or stressful times.
If you suspect the hunger you are feeling is emotional, instead of reaching for a snack, follow these two simple steps:
Step 1: Label the Emotion
The first step out of this unhealthy way of managing our emotions is to label the emotion that you are feeling. Do this by asking yourself how you feel: Are you sad, angry, bored, stressed?
Once you have identified what is really going on, you can deal with the real issue instead of suppressing the feeling with food.
Step 2: Take Action
Now you know just what you are feeling, think about what alternative measures you could take right now to balance your emotions. Some people find that a few deep breaths or doing a few minutes of exercise or stretching make the emotional hunger disappear quickly. If you do not try to manage the reason behind your emotional over-eating, then you will continue to suppress your feeling with food and you will not feel “full” until your emotion has been dealt with.
2. Is it worth the calories?
Is this food really what you want or is it just handy?
Some snacks seem very attractive at first but when you take the first bite, you often realize that they don’t taste as great as you thought they would. But due to our conditioning to never waste food, we tend to still eat the whole thing rather than dispose of it.
Don’t fall into that trap!
If you are not really enjoying the food you are eating (and are not about to starve, which is hardly the case for most of us), then don’t eat it. Give it to someone else or throw it away instead. And then remember that feeling of throwing away that food – you likely don’t want to do that again, do you? So, to avoid having to throw or give away your food, make the choice not to choose any kind of food that will need to be thrown, or given, away.
3. Is it natural?
Always check the ingredients and refuse to eat processed unnatural foods.
My rule is simple: If I can’t pronounce the ingredients in a food or the list contains artificial stuff, I won’t eat it.
Just by switching from artificial foods to all-natural foods you can already achieve a dramatic shift in your well-being and successful weight management. If you chose to completely switch to organic foods, you will not only benefit yourself with a healthier body but you are also making a valuable contribution to this planet.
Many people ask about the gluten-free and vegan lifestyles, and to this, I recommend going with what your body tells you: if you feel worse after switching to one of these options, then stop. However, you can usually find more all-natural, organic foods if you are following the gluten-free and vegan lifestyles.
Now that you know the three questions to ask yourself when you feel hungry, here are my 5 best tips to help you stay slim without feeling like you have to deprive yourself:
Tip 1 – Move and Stretch as Often as You Can
Make exercise part of your life and limit sitting around as much as you can.
You don’t have to be a marathon runner or gym fanatic to stay fit.
My role model is my 97-year-old grandmother, who has never in her life been to a gym but still managed to stay fit and healthy all her life. Instead of working out she was just a busy, active person who was constantly on the go. She loved her work as a physiotherapist and only reluctantly retired at the age of 70 to honor her husband’s wish to have her around more.
Her favorite pastimes were gardening, walking the dogs, and helping out at a senior citizen club, where she was doing charity work for people often younger than herself. Her only “sitting around times” were reading the newspaper after lunch and in the evenings, when she would play bridge, teach us kids games, and watch a comedy on television.
During the holidays, make sure to get up and move: check out the sights where you live, or even just walk down your street to check out your neighbor’s decorations. Get up, get out, and get moving!
I believe that if we honor our natural, inborn urge to move and not allow this to fall away due to our busy schedules, we would be a much healthier society. We have become so accustomed to driving everywhere, often have desk jobs, and generally don’t need to move much throughout the day… we have become lazy. A laziness fatigue sets in, because the less you move, the more tired you get and the more willpower it takes to leave the comfort of your armchair and go for a walk (or to the gym).
The general rule of thumb is to walk at least 10,000 steps per day. This may seem like many steps to take, but this can easily be achieved by walking in place, or even walking the halls of your office, walking up and down stairs several times, or even just by running errands. There are many apps that you can download on your mobile device that will automatically track your daily steps for you. You will be surprised at how quickly the steps can add up!
Tip 2 – Exercise Early and Smart
It’s much easier to exercise at the beginning of the day than when you are tired after a day’s work.
I find if I exercise before my day of working and managing my family starts, my whole day turns out better. I have more energy, am less hungry, and feel more positive. If I attempt to work-out later in the day, I find that life takes over and I can think up multiple excuses not to exercise. It’s also harder to coordinate with mealtimes. If you work out before breakfast, you burn more fat because you haven’t got much glucose/sugar left in your blood so your body is forced to attack the fat deposits. It’s also much easier to exercise on an empty stomach!
If you don’t enjoy working out in a gym, you can go for an early morning walk, run, or cycle instead. If you want to keep it super short, then do our travel work-out. It’ll only take you 4-5 minutes every day and you can do it from almost anywhere, without needing any equipment.
If you want to lose weight and strengthen your heart, then stop doing long, boring cardio. Research shows that this type of exercise actually makes you put on weight.
Instead, do interval training! This can be as simple as doing alternating cycles of walking (or running, cycling or stepping) as fast as you can (or up a hill) for 2 minutes and then slowing down again for a minute. Make exercise fun so that it is not a ‘chore’: incorporate what you LOVE. If you love to dance, then go dancing one evening with your significant other, friends, family, or join a weekly dance class. Or, if you love to cycle, try a cycling class, bike to the corner store, or simply power up on a stationary bike with a good book or some energizing music.
Think about what you’ve loved to do in the past; those activities that you looked forward to each week. Maybe you enjoyed playing tennis or badminton, or you’ve always enjoyed walking or hiking in nature. Maybe you’ve always loved skating on a frozen pond or indoor rink. Get creative! You will be able to get out, get motivated, and get moving when you enjoy what you are doing – it won’t even feel like you’re working out!
Tip 3 – Decide When to Indulge and When to Go Light
I don’t like depriving myself of my favorite foods.
I enjoy drinking a good glass of wine, have a soft spot for pizza, and dessert is the best part of a meal for me. But if I indulge in wine, pizza, and dessert every day, then obviously I will quickly expand to a much larger version of myself. So I have found a way to combine my indulgent nature with my wish to be slim and healthy:
The Weekend Only Regimen:
From Monday to Friday we have a no sugar, no junk food, no alcohol rule in our house. During the week, when
everybody is busy doing their best at work and in school, we make sure we are feeding our bodies healthy, energy-promoting foods. This helps us to focus and get our work and chores done. And with everybody keeping to the “light” regime, we keep each other accountable as nobody wants to be the one breaking the house rule.
But come Friday afternoon, we all look forward to our indulgent weekend. We usually order pizza one night, add a dessert, and possibly a glass of wine to our menu. This way we get to indulge without the bulge and we never feel deprived. And interestingly, after a time, you will find that you can’t eat as much pizza or dessert as you used to.
Even our teenagers tell us that they now prefer eating a healthy home-cooked meal before take-out.
This should also be true as you prepare to move into the holidays: you can still indulge, but make sure that you are at least following the fundamental 5-day rule. So, if you have a holiday party in the middle of the week where you know that there will be alcohol, sweets, and decadent food, plan around it and substitute a day during your weekend so that you are still following the rule to eat healthy, energy-promoting foods most of the time.
Tip 4: Try a Healthier Alternative
We are so lucky to live in a world where we can walk down the street to our favorite grocery store and find our favorite foods.
While you shouldn’t deprive yourself of enjoying your favorite foods, you may also want to try healthier alternatives. This could mean that, instead of white bread crumbs full of wheat and gluten in a veggie burger or your holiday stuffing, try gluten-free, low-glycemic bread or even something as simple as onion flakes.
It’s what you put into your food that matters.
Try to incorporate as many vegetables into your meals as possible. An easy way to do this is to process cauliflower florets as a substitution for white rice, or using such vegetables as eggplant, lentils, or beans to create meatless meals that still provide both protein and taste.
Get to know which spices you like! These add flavor to any healthy meal that you make during the Weekend Only Regimen that we have mentioned above. You’ll most likely soon find out that you enjoy the natural taste of your homemade meals to ordering in a pizza.
The seemingly small, healthy choices you make daily, add up quickly. Try substituting coconut or almond milk for heavy cream in your coffee, or drink water instead of soda or other sugary drinks.
Tip 5: Take Pride in Your Food
You may find that you will struggle with thinking of what to cook when you get home from a busy day, and possibly even struggle to find the energy to cook a meal for your family. This is easily remedied.
Make cooking your meal a family activity: Have your children help you. Get your spouse stirring a pot or watching the stove, and really make an effort to get your family involved with the entire process. You will be amazed at how this can energize you, strengthen your family bond, and help you all to enjoy and take pride in the food you have prepared together. Everything tastes better when it has been made with love.
Congratulate yourself! You’ve created something delicious and healthy. Now you can enjoy not only how it tastes, but also the great feeling of creating something that will support the health and wellness of your entire family. Plus, you will be passing along this pride and motivation to your children. The healthy choices you make for them now will only aid them later in life. Hopefully, they will even pass it along to their children.
Keep the cycle of health rolling!
The journey to staying naturally slim starts with you. You are the conduit for your own weight-loss and weight-management, and only you can create and foster the change you want to see in your life. This is especially true when it comes to losing and managing your weight: you have to be willing to remove yourself from the cycle of an unhealthy lifestyle.
You can learn to control and understand your cravings without having to deprive yourself of the foods that you love. You can naturally grow an aversion to everything that doesn’t serve you in the highest possible way so that you can achieve your goals…. in only 7 days!
The issue with almost all weight-loss, exercise, and nutrition programs is that you’re struggling against, and battling with, your subconscious mind. To achieve the results that we really want, we must work WITH the subconscious mind and we make this easy for you through our brain training audios. Discover exactly what I mean by this through my exclusive, 5-minute interview with Jack Canfield, and be sure to pick up the Aversion Audio to train your brain and be naturally slim.
Think about it: in just one week, you could be well on your way to achieving your weight-loss goals of being naturally slim. You do not need to suffer and deprive yourself to become slim. You can learn to support your effort and reach your goals quickly, easily and effortlessly.
It all starts with an open mind and a willingness to begin! If you want to experience significant change, the unconscious mind is where it happens.
The tips and tricks above will guide you on a path that helps you step out of unhealthy cycles by changing the way you look at your eating habits, your lifestyle choices, and the way that you exercise. You should aim to keep this awareness, not just during the holidays, but every day for the rest of your life.
Yours in health,
Dr. Joy Martina, PhD