Dawna Ara, L.Ac.

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Magic Pill For Weight Loss Just Discovered

Now that I got your attention I am going to tell you that there is no magic pill for weight loss. Believe me, I would have found it by now if there was one. There is no magic diet, no magic exercise routine, nor a magic surgery. I wish I could tell you that acupuncture is the magical missing link but alas, it is not the answer either.

I have heard many experts preach what they have read in a text book or the latest research that proves their beliefs around weight loss. Eat less exercise more, or calories in must not exceed calories burned. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong!

You are an awesome complex organism made up of billions of cells, and a mind boggling number of chemical reactions going on every second. You can not be simplified into an equation of less food = less weight.

Think of your metabolism as a pendulum. It likes to slowly sway in the middle. Swing it up too far one way and it will swing back full force to the opposite end. So the harder you try to lose weight the harder your body will try to hold onto it. Before you know it, you will weigh more then you did before you went on a diet. Your will, desire, or mind can not outsmart your body. Why not?

Your body has a set point that it likes to be at. It will do whatever it takes to get you to stay at this weight. It does not care what you think it should be at, or what magazines or modern pop culture say it should be at, or even what the body mass index (BMI) says it should be at. Some of us have higher set point then others. Some of us have more flexible set points that allow us to easily gain or lose a few pounds, while some of us have rigid set points that make it much harder to do so.

I am not saying it’s impossible to lose weight, I am saying it would be better if you changed your perception of what a healthy body looks like. Health does not equal skinny. Health equals a constant state of harmony unique to you, within your own body.

If you are still reading then I want to give you some advice on how you can live a healthy and happy life and possibly lose a few pounds in the process.

1. Accept yourself

Learn to love yourself for who you are, as you are. My dad used to say this to me all the time as a kid but I was too stubborn to listen to him. I should have, the little old wise man who is wise even for his years has always been right.

2. Do not compare yourself to others

Everyone has a unique physical makeup that deserves to be celebrated. You are beautiful the way you are, I promise. Someone with a stocky body can be just as healthy and beautiful as someone with lean and slender body. Every morning when you get up, look at yourself in the mirror and say with a smile, “Hello Gorgeous! Don’t you look good today!” Then nod yes and brush your teeth.

3. Surround yourself with happy people

Sometimes its hard to recognize that others are bringing you down. If you feel depressed around certain people then stop hanging out with them. You deserve better. Find the people that make you laugh and smile. Be nice back and keep them close.

4. Move your body

Exercise makes us feel good. Ever notice how a morning stroll around the block makes your day seem sunnier? That’s because exercising causes your body to release endorphins better known as the “happy hormones.”

My favorite exercise is yoga because it feels good, can be done anywhere anytime, and it is one of the best ways to change the body. Why? Because you are stretching and compressing your fascia and connective tissue, squeezing blood and oxygen in and out of organs which in turns detoxifies your entire body leaving a leaner happier you! Find an exercise you enjoy and stick to it.

5. Eat clean and healthy foods

I am not saying you can’t indulge yourself every once in awhile but for the most part you should be eating organic whole foods. The more you avoid packaged and processed foods the better off you will be. Gluten in particular aggravates the endocrine and immune systems which can suppress thyroid function. The thyroid controls metabolism so having a slow thyroid will make it nearly impossible to lose weight and more likely cause you to gain weight.

6. Stay hydrated

Dehydration could be the number one reason you are not losing weight. How do you stay hydrated? You stay hydrated by drinking water. Not by drinking coke, or pepsi, or apple juice, or tea, or coffee but by drinking good old fashioned water. Water flushes the system and washes away toxic debris. You will feel better and it may even curb your appetite!

7. Sleep

Getting adequate sleep will help your body function better. How do you know if you are sleeping well? The average adult needs 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. You should be able to fall asleep within ½ hour and stay asleep until morning. If you are having trouble sleeping try taking magnesium ½ hour before bed.

8. Turn off the news!

I know Anderson Cooper is a hottie but watching the news keeps us in a constant state of stress and anxiety. Stress keeps us in fight or flight mode compromising optimal hormone and metabolic functioning and before you know it WHAM! BAM! You weigh more then you did before you sat down to watch the news. So turn that tv off!

Now that I have given you some tools for health, go be happy with yourself and while you are at it, go tell those nice people that make you laugh and smile to do the same. They will thank you for it later, I promise! :)

About Dawna Ara
Dawna is an acupuncturist, herbalist, functional medicine practitioner, a mom, wife, writer, nature lover, chef and whole foods advocate. She teaches how to live a healthy lifestyle through her website Eat Play Work Sleep.