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By Alyssa St-Jean (
Restrictive diets, excessive exercise regimes, food deprivation, you name it… You have probably tried it all in hopes of one day reaching your dream body. That picture perfect self-image that is always beach ready. But, nothing has yet to stick… 
“There has got to be a simpler way.” Well, there is… And, it is much easier than you think…
It’s time to give up that all or nothing attitude when it comes to losing weight. There is going to be slip ups, it’s ok! We are all human and it is going to happen!  But, you have got to stop taking on too much so fast. This will only set yourself up for failure sending you down a long road of self-abuse and a damaged self-confidence. Life is a beautiful gift and the last thing you want is to throw it all away by going through it as an unhappy person due to your negative self-image.
The trick is to stop thinking about weight loss as a temporary diet modification. If that is constantly in the back of your mind than the weight is just going to keep coming back. You must first learn to heal your body naturally as a lifestyle and not as a “diet”. 
Here are some super simple rules to live by to break the cycle and feel fabulous! Forever…


Be aware of what you are eating and when you are eating it! Stop eating on the run and when you are stressed out. This is so unhealthy and when you do this you allow yourself to get easily distracted and end up eating more than you really should. Slow down and appreciate your meal at a table with cutlery. Chew your food slowly and savor every bite. And, lastly, look at your plate and focus on the food that you are about to fuel your body with. See the colors and acknowledge the nourishment. 


In order to lose the weight for good the right way and naturally, you must stick to real foods. Real foods are the ones that have not yet been processed or tampered with, foods that are in their most natural state. By preparing all of your meals from scratch, your body will begin to self heal, detoxify and feel nourished the way god intended it to be. Lean towards fresh fruits, fresh veggies, leafy greens, legumes, spices and herbs and steer clear of foods that are high in trans fat and basically any products that have been processed (diet foods, sweets, fast foods, deep fried foods and refined breads). 
There are some foods that are lightly processed that ok though. These items are packaged goods that contain real ingredients but that are not harmful to your health. Be careful though and be selective. Read the nutritional facts and list of ingredients. Think of it this way, if you do not know what an ingredient is, cannot pronounce it and/or cannot picture the ingredient in nature, than don’t buy it… 


Once you have learned how to distinguish processed ingredients from real ones, you can then start focusing on upgrading your favorite meals with real foods where possible. 
Ingredients are very versatile and it is up to you to choose how you want to cook and prepare those ingredients. The way you make a meal can make a big difference on your daily calorie intake thus impacting your weight gain/loss. Take your favorite “junk foods” and swap out ingredients to make a healthier version instead of completely depriving yourself of it. 


I cannot emphasize on this point enough. Nobody is perfect! Throughout your journey, there is going to ups and downs. There is going to be mistakes as well. And well, truth be told, you are going to continue to grow everyday even after the weight is gone so take it one step at a time and learn as you go. Be open-minded and soak up all the knowledge that you can because in the long run it will result it a better and healthier you. Small, gradual changes will result in big long-term success and eventually permanent changes.  It is not going to happen over night so you most certainly do not have to change all of your habits all at once. It’s all about baby steps! Every change you make becomes an opportunity to improve yourself and develop a deeper passion for healthier living. 
You got this! Like I always say: The world is your runway, work it! And always remember, you are in control of your body, choose to fuel it right! 

What are your thoughts? How do you stick to a healthy regime? What would you suggest to someone who is just starting out his or her journey? 

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