The holistic approach to weight management

The holistic approach to weight management

Liquid Fast Day     This article is for all of you who struggle to lose weight or have become eternal yo-yo dieters. 

In 2005 I conducted a small ‘diet trial’ in which I asked people to rotate their food intake and finish off with a ‘Liquid fast day’. At the time the 5:2 diet and intermittent fasting had not even entered the mainstream. But I had always thought it sensible to rotate food and add fasting to the mix. But such a program had to be easy to follow and take little time and no fuss.

After some research, I came up with a  food rotation program inspired by the Biodynamic calendar. I figured, so many civilizations had used this before and I wanted to find out if this method was still effective.

The trial run went well and afterwards I gave everybody a simple questionnaire and debriefed them by phone. All participants reported feeling more aware of the food they were eating, most of them slept better and everybody reported much better energy levels. Which you would of course expect when you eat healthily.

But what stood out the most was how easy many of my tester found it to keep to the varied diet. Many reported it eliminated the eternal question of  – what shall I eat/cook today and it was easy to plan ahead.

This step is really important as in order to keep a healthy weight you need to find a way to progressively change your dietary habits. A week of calorie counting will not work.

When you look up and down the internet the advice is simple: Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and count your calories. Yet we see obesity levels as never before.

At first glance it is not bad advice, but how come so few people can follow it. Because it comes from a completely false premise.

I always advised not to stress about calories or weight. Stay relaxed about this and concentrate on eating seasonal, good-quality produce that is organically grown. Food should be freshly prepared and eaten in good company.

Looking around me I noticed people who don’t care too much about their actual weight but do care a lot about eating good quality, preferably home-made food, are on average slimmer than people who fuss about calories and permanently seem to be on some kind of ‘diet’. Fortunately, science has very recently found a way to back up this observation.

Remember –  You are what you eat.  That is totally correct. But as we are all different,  it follows that we all also need to eat differently.

What makes us so different from each other? 

For a start, we all have different circadian rhythms, and most importantly, everyone’s gut’s microbiome varies. 

Inside us live millions of little microbes, mainly situated in the large intestine. They can weigh up to 2kg and are responsible for what kind of food we crave, how easy or hard we find it to lose weight, and even our mindset and mood swings.

An embryo develops in a largely sterile womb. But as soon as the baby is born,  microbes start to populate it and build up over time. So it is really important to expose your children to all kinds of foods and let them play in non-sterile environments. Children digging with bare hands in the vegetable garden don’t die. But children growing up in overly bleached homes who are given antibiotics for every little ailment end up with a largely compromised gut flora. This can eventually lead to all kinds of allergies and health problems. Add a sedentary lifestyle and a diet of overly processed food and you have the perfect storm. Once the microbiome has completely changed, it can be really hard to lose weight and a cycle of eternal fruitless diet attempts is the result.

The Biodynamic way of life always stressed the interconnectedness between the soil and the food we eat. Again many artificial fertilizers and pest control get rid of the microbes in our soil and leave our gut like a wasteland which is easily colonized by the sugar-craving ‘bad bacteria’ and so the vicious circle continues.

Next time you think about ‘going on a diet’, the first step is to sort out your cupboard and stock up with fresh, seasonal vegetables. But – and that is very important- don’t change your diet in one sweeping step. This will never work.  Your gut flora needs time to get used to your new diet. This can only happen very slowly and over time. So it is not a swooping step, rather a gentle nudge in the right direction and then a persistent plan to follow on.

If your current diet consists of mostly ready-made meals, please don’t stop eating them. Just introduce 1 freshly cooked, healthy meal per week. That’s all. Once this feels effortless, make it 2 and slowly 3. And over time you will have cleaned up your diet, but more importantly, you will have given your gut microbiome time to adapt and endorse your new way of eating.

Believe it or not, once you live with freshly cooked, healthy meals you will struggle to eat greasy ready-made meals as your gut flora has now changed and will now crave this ‘new diet’ (meaning here the food we eat and not a term for losing weight).

Finally, try to add in some fasting days. This can be very hard at first, but please do persevere. Again this habit needs to be built up slowly. If you have never done this before, please follow a good program.

Once you have listened to your body and have found your own individual food program, you will be able to keep your weight forever- with no stress and drama.

If you have never heard of ‘microbiome’ here are 2 useful videos from Kings College, London where Prof Tim Spector led much of its research program.

1.Discovery of the microbiome                                2. Microbes, diet and health  

For more information about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning pleas  download our freebies 

 

 An Introduction to LWTM

 

The Holistic Life

The Holistic Life

Holistic Lifestyle      I started LIVING  WITH   THE  MOON a few years ago with my basic Biodynamic calendar charts and a handful of tips. books and recipes from my grandmother.

This lifestyle system – what I now call  LIVING WITH THE MOON – has always been in my life. It is my little ‘magic carpet’. Invisible, but it gives me grounding and purpose and has been my foundation for as long as I can remember. 

In essence, Living With The Moon is based on my grandmother’s biodynamic lifestyle tips and recipes mixed with my own research. But more recently I added another dimension to it – Holistic Life Planning

The first person who coined the holistic approach was Aristotle. This Ancient Greek philosopher (born in 385 B.C.) wrote
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. A simple sentence with a complex sentiment and totally symbiotic with the Biodynamic view of the world. The idea that all living beings are interconnected and part of a large macro-organism and is nothing new. It is even more incomprehensible that we are so hell-bent on damaging/compromising nature and its ecosystems.  As the inevitable consequence is that by hurting the system as a whole we will hurt ourselves, too. It is basically self-harm.

It is hard for one individual to change the world. But there is one area you can have a total, direct influence on – and this is YOU. Now imagine everybody would strive and be ‘the best version of themselves’ – can you see what a big impact that would have?

When you are healthy, happy and in balance, you radiate. Bizarrely this is most often ‘a mental state of mind’ and can – with a bit of exercise – achieved by anyone who is willing to work on themselves. Regardless of income, sex, or where they live.

Some people seem to have ‘everything’ – seen from the outside, but inside they are far from happy, balanced, and of course, don’t radiate.

The LWTM Holistic Lifestyle concept’s aim is to help you dig deep and rekindle this ‘spark’.

Once you know who you really are, then you can add activities from various sections.  For example Health and Beauty, Home and Garden, Relationships, and other topics. On the calendar, we keep these topics separated – as it is easier to look up more specific information, tips, and recipes.   But of course, all of these areas  form part of the overall LWTM Holistic Lifestyle and you can find out more when you download our FREEBIES 

The essence of a great lifestyle design is the way we arrange these areas and how we balance them.

When I was little, I was told  ‘You can have everything, but not all at the same time’. As a child, you don’t pay much attention to sayings like this. Only once I grew older (and hopefully wiser) did I realize how true this statement is. Even though I am still grappling with the 100% perfect formula for my own personal life. But at least I consider myself lucky to have been given a head start from a very young age when I was introduced to the Biodynamic philosophy and lifestyle.

The holistic lifegoal planner – will help you find an answer to the question – what is my life all about. We all have vague ideas of what we want to do. But once you drill down – what really does matters – many people find it difficult to reach a definite answer.

But I think this old system’s most under-rated strength is its usefulness when it comes to balancing the areas of your life. Once you are familiar with its formula and you personalize it to your own individual circumstances, this system will throw out dates, symbols, and suggestions of what to do on each day and how to structure and plan your life ahead!

If you are all new to this site and concept and are interested in how all this applies to you, please start by downloading our free introduction package LWTM freebies download link 

This of course does not mean that you have to blindly follow these suggestions.  But if you use the tools correctly,  all areas of your life will pull together in the same direction.  Over time a wholesome, well-balanced picture will emerge. This is a great life strategy and will give you tools to fine-tune and evaluate your life month-by-month and year-by-year.

Applied consistently and over time it will give you great results.

Here is the link again to welcome you to our small and friendly community.

 An Introduction to LWTM

Please click this link to find out more about LWTM and holistic lifestyle planning and  download our freebies