3 Tips for Weight Loss

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Reviewed April 2017

Today’s topic is tips on weight loss.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, you’ve heard them all, and I’ve been on every diet known to humanity since the age of 12.  I think all of this started when I was five and my parents referred to my body as, she’s built like a little M-a-c-k truck.  It took a while before I could spell and read, but the first time I saw an M-a-c-k truck I was horrified.  And that sort of went in as my body image.  And so you can imagine, when you get that little weight that you put on before your growth spurt when you get your period, it sets the tone, doesn’t it, for a lifetime of weight concerns.

I still have weight concerns, but I want to give you the tips that have led to keeping my weight stable and these have worked, of course, for hundreds and hundreds of women that I’ve worked with. The first thing is this. You need to know where you’re starting. So if you don’t know your weight, step on the scale and get your weight recorded and then be done with it.

I don’t know if you’re one of those people who need to weigh daily just so you know what’s going on. I did that for years and years. Right now, I’m on a not-weighing-at-all place because I found that the obsession with the scale was decreasing my quality of life. You’ve got to have a mindset where you’re no longer on a diet, where you are following a sustainable way of life. Diets do not work because they are not sustainable. Of course, diets work while you’re on them, but then you have to come off them.

So it would be much better if you would shoot for something that was really doable. I have a friend who did something amazing with weight loss.  She decided that she was going to lose two pounds a year and keep it off until she was down to her target weight. Which she did, through exercise and eating sensibly. That’s a sustainable plan that’s not a diet.

So here’s what you do. If you’re really serious about staying at a normal size, getting to a healthy size, you need to have regular exercise. I have never met anybody who kept weight off and got to a healthy size who did not do regular exercise. That’s tip number one.

Tip number two, drink water. You need to drink half your body weight in ounces every day and you will be amazed at how much the consumption of water decreases appetite. Because many times we think we’re hungry when in fact we’re just thirsty.

Number three, make sure that you have something to do in the evening besides watching television. I have been amazed at the hidden cues in television commercials and television shows that prompt one to eat. I have watched some television myself at home alone in the evenings and found that the hidden cues to eat were almost beyond the ability of my willpower to resist. So do something besides watching television in the evening if you possibly can.

So that’s water, that’s exercise, that’s not watching television. And then you also need to do some work with self-esteem. This is where you say to yourself, I love myself right now. Right now.

Now the other thing you want to do, and this is a very important tip, eat for pleasure. That means the plate should be beautiful. You should eat slowly. A friend of mind went to the Duke diet center and did something that I considered extraordinary. At this Duke diet center, where they have good success, the people who go have to sit for one hour at the meal. They’re on 1200-calorie-a-day diets, but they have to have dinner over the course of an hour. If they gulp their food, they’re stuck sitting there at the table.

Now we all know that it takes about 20 minutes for the all-full sign to reach the brain from the stomach. So give yourself time to eat. Sit down, go slowly, savor every bite as though you were in Italy, where the food is truly exquisite. And if you do those things, then weight loss is assured. But mostly I’d like you to think not so much about weight loss as ideal healthy size. I’m a big fan of Queen Latifah and those ads that she’s doing. I’m a size healthier. That’s a beautiful, beautiful way to go about it.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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