With the beginning of 2008, New Year’s resolutions come to mind. After indulging over the holidays, many people think ahead to the days when we will spend more time on the beach and they realize that they need to get in shape and lose weight. Weight loss is probably the number one resolution. Sadly, it is also the resolution only a few stick with. However, it will be a different story if it is healthy weight loss.

Any diet, be it Atkins, The Zone, South Beach, Low Carb, Low Fat and others have been around the block a few times in the past decades. What will it be this year? I wish people would wake up and realize that diets don’t work. They always cut something out of the menu plan and in the beginning it often works because it is simply a change for the body. The weight loss occurs becasue water and lean muscle is lost, but not fat. That is also why they don’t work in the long run. It is so difficult not to fall off the band wagon when you are deprived of something, not to mention that the body is missing out on important nutrients.

How about eating more naturally, in tune with our bodies and their needs? Our lifestyles are so go, go, go, that we don’t dare taking time for ourselves and listening to what our bodies are telling us. Low energy is remedied with a cup of coffee or a candy bar, the quick pick-me-ups, when often all that is needed is a big glass of water or two. The body expresses dehydration in many ways and a drop in energy is one of them. Sweet cravings are so common and almost everybody feels weak when it comes to resisting them. It is just another cry for help because we are not giving our body what it needs. We eat all day long: bagels, muffins, sandwiches, fried foods, burgers, macaroni and cheese, chips, candy bars, you name it. We are putting a lot of food in our body but not many nutrients. It is quantity not quality and our body is giving us cravings to let us know that we need to feed it correctly. The body is in sugar metabolism because it even doesn’t have to touch the fat stores.

Unfortunately, we have been somewhat brain washed by the food manufacturing industry. They are trying to tell us that all we need to do is opening a package, zap it and dinner is ready. They are not telling us that these foods are stripped of many nutrients our body needs in order to function properly. Sure, they are fortified and enriched, which means that some of the nutrients were replaced by synthetic vitamins and minerals. This doesn’t make up whole foods like nature provides them and our bodies are constantly lacking something. And preparing nutritious and delicious meals isn’t rocket science, neither does it take hours in the kitchen to do so.

The body is an amazing bio computer. It is never wrong. It is working very hard every day to maintain homeostasis. Can you imagine what you would get out of your body, how wonderful you would feel, if you took better care of it by eating more natural foods? The approach to healthy weight loss is to retrain the body to go into fat metabolism. It is not about diet, rigorous exercise or counting calories, but about learning what your body needs to function in an ideal way. It is a gentle process and takes time, as it has taken time to put on the weight in the first place. Healthy weight loss includes changing how and when you eat, incorporating self-care and learning about breathing techniques to maximize your metabolism and to let go of negative emotions, which are stored in fat cells.

Ditch that diet you were thinking about and be good to yourself. Feed your body what it needs and be amazed at the results you will see. It is okay to engage the help of a professional or to join a group. This will guarantee your immediate and much needed support and will keep you going for a long time.

Author's Bio: 

Birgit Witherspoon is a Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor. She decided to become a Health Counselor and Nutrition Consultant to fulfill her passion of working with individuals to improve their health and to help them build vibrant lives for themselves.

Birgit received her training at the Institute for Sacred Integrative Somatherapies, CA and at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP). She is a member of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Birgit offers individual health and nutrition counseling and is a group workshop presenter. She also leads interactive seminars at corporations in their employee wellness programs.