The Hard Reality of Weight Management

Managing Your Body Weight in a Toxic Food World: The Hard Reality

“Very few things have happened in the history of humans as quickly as the growing prevalence of overweight and obesity.”

Dr. Michael Pollak, McGill University

The dominant cause of our current obesity epidemic is the environment.  We live in a world where eating too much and moving too little is almost inevitable.   Food companies spend billions developing and marketing rapidly digested, ultra-processed foods rich in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats.  These foods – available on every street corner – literally short-circuit our innate biology and train our bodies and brains to want more.  Once we gain weight, however, trying to lose it, generally becomes a losing game.  That’s because our bodies – evolutionarily programmed to survive food scarcity or famine – work overtime to prevent the loss of body fat.  Following the latest diet craze, while tempting, is not the solution.  Most diets succeed only in the short-term, are harmful to health, and set us up for disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food.  This doesn’t mean all hope is lost.  Understanding the science of weight management, however, is critical.  Research tells us that certain foods help prevent long-term weight gain.  The timing of meals can make a difference.  Engineering your work and home food environment for success also matters.  Perhaps, most important, learning to treat yourself with kindness and compassion, while focusing your efforts primarily on your health (not your appearance!), is critical to overall well-being.

Bottom line:  This research-based, insightful, and inspiring presentation is about the challenges of managing your weight in a toxic food world, with an emphasis on health, and treating yourself with kindness and respect.

What you’ll learn:

  • How profoundly the food environment affects our food intake (we have a shockingly limited capacity to make thoughtful, mindful decisions about what we eat)
  • How food corporations manipulate our food intake with marketing and products designed to powerfully light up the reward centers in our brain
  • How “ultra-processed” foods disrupt gut-brain signals that normally tell us we’ve had enough, and we should stop eating
  • How the body fights our attempts at weight loss, including powerful changes in brain chemistry, hormones, appetite, and metabolism
  • What the science really says about various weight loss plans, including keto, paleo, intermittent fasting, low carb, low fat, weight watchers, and more
  • How dieting promotes disordered eating and an unhealthy relationship with food
  • How overly strict rules – about what you can and cannot eat – lead to binge eating
  • How focusing too much on your appearance, interferes with your ability to respond to your body’s satiety signals or fullness cues
  • How eating more mindfully helps transform your relationship with food and breaks the link between food cravings and behaviour
  • How greatly we underestimate unplanned and unhealthy eating decisions in the workplace
  • How powerfully food location, portion size, and extent of food processing impact food intake
  • Why late-night eating is especially harmful to your health and waistline
  • Why coordinating meals with your circadian rhythm – your body’s internal clock – is a wise, weight control strategy
  • Why getting a full night’s sleep is one of the most under-appreciated factors contributing to a healthy body weight
  • What people who have lost weight (and actually kept it off!) have in common, including: types of foods they consume and limit, amount of time they spend being physically active, how often they dine out, and how they set up their food environment
  • Why a “whole foods” eating plan, with an emphasis on plant foods, is highly recommended for health, happiness, and weight management
  • Why we should never lose sight of the joy that comes from sharing and savouring good food with family and friends
  • Why shifting the focus of weight management from appearance to health, and putting far greater emphasis on kindness and self-compassion, is so critical

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