The Big Declutter: How Decluttering Helps You Lose Weight

Are you a busy mum who is juggling Monday meal preps, with a full time job, with school runs, with Date Night, the Sunday Football mornings, with Thursday night swimming, with Friday night Zumba classes when you can, with your full time job, with catching up with Sarah and Joe, with catching up with your mum, with getting that upper lip waxed, with keeping the house in check, with making sure that the kids don’t go to school in their PJs….? The list goes on! And if that all sounds all too familiar, then we are sure that all this juggling has got you feeling tired, run down and in much need of an exotic break, alone, on a desert island.

With all that stress going on, it’s not surprising that you might be looking for shortcuts wherever you can to break up your working week. But this may be effecting you more than you think, leaving you with a life-filled with clutter, unhealthy foods, unhappy relationships and more hopes and dreams that are on the back-burner, whilst you are nothing more than burnt out with no back-up.

For many of us, the clutter and ‘stuff’ around us can feel like a ’fortress’ that stays consistent and habitual, whilst the rest of out lives are up in the air and out of our control. The same is true with food. Are you comforting yourself and covering your daily stresses with one too many packets of crisp? It’s easily done.

Over the past few years, researchers have shown that there is a definite link between losing clutter and losing weight. This is because, at times of stress, everyone has different ways of dealing with life, “some people start smoking, some people exercise, some people move in and out of relationships, some people hoard, and some people turn to food”, but even the healthiest of coping mechanisms can become unhealthy when used in the wrong way.

So, if you are reading this and you feel like the above makes sense to you in one way or another, have no fear. Your solution may be one Spring Clean away.

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, R.D., says that ”A behavioural and physiological chain reaction is put into motion by having a streamlined space,” she says. Picture the domino effect of a messy closet: The chaos makes it harder to choose clothes. You’re late. No time for breakfast, which can slow your metabolism and release the fattening stress hormone cortisol.” Yes, that’s right, being stressed can make you hold on to fat! So imagine, how unstressed you would feel if your morning routine was streamlined, clean and unstressful. You may actually make it to 11am without having 3 coffees and another snack from the vending machine…

Now that you’ve got that visualisation, let’s look at how you get rid of all of that stuff, that emotional baggage and that unfinished business that’s standing in your way.

  1. De-Document: Get rid of the documents from past careers, love letters from long ago lovers, diary doodles, shopping lists.
  2. Finish or Forget the Unfinished business: if you don’t want to run a marathon one day, then don’t, otherwise guilt will run your world. You run your world. Doing a list every morning, of everything going on in your head can truly help you to clear the mind before the day begins. That way you can create a specific to-do list for the day. One little trick, is to always choose something on the list which is really not that important, and eliminate it!
  3. Unroll that inbox, don’t let you digital life swamp your real-world life
  4. Gifts for future self: GET RID! Too often we think ‘oh this toy will be great for my child’, and ‘this dress will look nice when I lose weight’, and ‘this toaster that my mum gave me will be perfect when I save up and my own house’, but actually these are all coping mechanisms, that are thought of through fear that you may not be able to get your own things. Most commonly women keep clothes for years and years, thinking they need them, but actually you don’t and you are just holding on to these things based on hope and fear. We hang onto far more objects than we need, and, instead of motivating us, they become talismans of guilt and shame. What if you don’t lose weight? Well that dress you kept will just be a reminder of your failure, but how many items do you need to hold on to before they start controlling you.
  5. Unloved items: When you are clearing out, ask yourself these questions, do you honestly need this item? Do you love it? Does it have some sort of significance in your life? Does it serve a purpose? If the answer to all of these questions is “no,” it’s time to get rid of that thing and move onto the next one.
  6. Let your goals shape your organising: If you want to become more consistent with your gym raining, then organise your training gear into a space near your front door where they are easily grab-able on your way out in the morning.

declutter lose weight

You can’t keep hiding the things you don’t use or need:

 

The truth is, physical or non-physical, whatever bits and bobs you are holding onto, you can’t hide them in the cupboard forever. All of those things will pile up and be carried with you and niggle at you. For example, just this weekend I felt this same stress come over me, because I realised that the 5 pairs of shoes that are gracing my living room floor, waiting for my partner to sell on eBay, have now been there for over a month.

 

These shoes have been subconsciously walking by my side since they were placed next to my TV, and although I hadn’t mentioned that to my partner sooner, in a moment of stress and frustration I realised that we just needed to get rid instead of waiting for a bid.

 

What do you want from your life?

It’s important that you pick one thing at at a time to declutter and don’t decide to say ‘I don’t want to deal with this today’, the more you can make organisation a way of living, the clearer your head will feel and the more mindful you will be. Some of you may hate the thought of putting cleaning up at the top of the list, before your full time job, catching up with Sarah and Joe, catching up with your mum, getting that upper lip waxed… but try it and see how cleaning up some actual space, can leave you with some breathing space to get through your busy life with easy, more lightly, physically and psychologically.

We hope this helps!

Guest Blog: Fitness_KaleoPaleo