Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Have you ever just wanted to go to a professional dietician, nutritionist, or even a doctor, tell them all your issues around food and weight loss, and then magically learn the answers to eating right, losing weight, and still having fun? I have, I’m sure you have too, at some point.
But along my journey towards better nutrition I came to understand that it’s not that easy (sorry!). BUT DON’T WORRY, I’m here to give you some quick tips to help you understand your entire system better.
THE GOLDEN TICKET
At the end of the day, there is a simple fact about food: many of us have an unhealthy relationship with it. We tie so many emotions to food that it feels impossible to find a balance between eating what we want and feeling fulfilled yet healthy.
Personally, I have struggled with my weight all my life and it wasn’t until recently that I found the “Golden Ticket.” Now, I’m a straight-shooter, so I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it’s a quick fix. It’s an adventure. And like all adventures, there will be some pit stops, some roadblocks, and some traffic (booo). But with this Golden Ticket, I don’t have to count calories or starve myself or workout insanely. I have found a healthy balance where I can eat, drink, be active, and - best of all - BE CONFIDENT. Because the answer isn’t This Diet or That Diet.
It’s NO diet.
BODY AND DIETS
Here’s the hard truth no one tells us: All these popular fad diets will eventually make you gain weight. The reason being, our bodies are smart. Our body likes to work as little as possible. In relation to food that means if you eat similarly for a long time your body will figure that out and find a way to make it easier. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, less effort equals less energy spent digesting which means your metabolism slows down. Not great for our goals or weight loss.
So, if diets aren’t the solution, how do you lose weight? The solution involves changing your relationship with food. You might be thinking, That’s silly, I don’t have a relationship with food. But have you ever heard of comfort food? Have you ever gone out to eat to celebrate something? Do you notice cravings when you are happy or sad or angry? That’s a relationship.
So, in order to change the way you feel in a relationship, what steps do you usually have to take? First, you have to identify the problem. You might think that food itself is the problem, or the “enemy”, standing in the way of your weight loss goals. But really the enemies are pop culture and the food industry.
FOOD AS YOUR FRENEMY
Ads that promote being a size two (meaning - never having a carb - boooo!), create so many unrealistic ideas of what we are supposed to look like, and the food industry doesn’t make it easy to choose healthy options to help us get there. The food industry has a bottom line, and typically it has something to do with money. See, the truth is, with all food, if you take something out, you have to put something else in to make it taste good. So that means an item labeled “fat free” might seem like the healthier option, but it actually contains more sugar or other unhealthy ingredients to improve the taste.
See, way back when people thought eating fat was bad, the food industry made lots of products marketed as “low fat” or “half the fat”. Now, the labels didn’t lie, there was less fat, but manufacturers also added more sugar.because if you take something like fat out, it won’t taste good and won’t sell.
So now that you understand the food industry and their motivations a little bit better, you’ll start to realize that you can’t trust just what you read on the labels.You can now start to adjust your relationship with food and the adventure can truly begin.
PLAN TO FAIL
Before we start on this life-changing journey, there is one thing you need to plan for, and that is FAILURE.
Yes, you read that right. It is crucial to understand that you will “fail” on your adventure. However, I challenge you to name any great success that didn’t have a single failure along the way. You can’t, because they work together. The key is to understand that failures will happen regardless but you can control your reaction to them and unlock the opportunities they offer you.
Think about that in terms of your adventure. What do you think a “failure” would look like on an adventure? I translate “failure” on a journey like this to mean you got lost. So, if you get lost on an adventure, do you just keep driving in circles (aka spiraling with guilt), or do you problem-solve and find your way back in the right direction.?
Along your nutrition adventure, another “failure” might feel like Guilt. But let me ask you this, when you’ve guilted yourself, have you ever made that decision again? (My guess is, Yes). Guilt doesn’t support change. It is useless and just makes us feel bad, and when you guilt yourself for breaking your “diet”, you’re just contributing to the poor food relationship.
When you make a decision that is not in line with your healthy lifestyle DO NOT guilt yourself for it. Look at it as an opportunity to problem-solve and understand what happened to get you “off track” and why you made that decision. Then you can take proactive steps to get yourself going in the right direction. The harder you work to understand the Why behind your decisions, the easier it’ll be for the right decision to feel natural.
If you choose to follow the eating tips below, it is important you treat it like an adventure. Keep an open mind, otherwise, it won’t work.
Eat a balance of carbs, fat and protein.
They each play their role. Carbs are our main energy source, but they do digest as sugar. However, if you add a balance of protein and fat, that will slow the digestion of the carb as well. This allows the body more time to absorb the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Choose carbs that are high in fiber.
Fiber helps food move through the system and it can’t be digested
Consume ½ your body weight in ounces of water.
We get about 1 gallon of water from the food we eat. Often our hunger cravings are actually thirst cravings.
Count chemicals, not calories.
Our body understands how to digest natural foods.; it’s when the food has been tampered with that the body gets confused. Choose foods with less chemicals.
Aim for ingredients you can understand.
If the label has ingredients like oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc., know what that is without looking. If labels say dextrose, panocha, treacle….I don’t know what those are without help from the handy-dandy Google machine.
Avoid simple sugars.
Anything that has a lot of sugar is going to send you on a roller coaster. You will spike and crash, but as adults, instead of throwing temper tantrums, we just get some more sugar. The bad news is, then you restart the roller coaster. Please note the words simple sugars. I don’t mean avoid all sugar.
When it comes to sugar, we know it’s not good for us. We also know when we eat more of it we crave more of it. It’s also unrealistic to never eat sugar. So instead, eat natural sugar. Natural sugar has elements our body already knows how to digest.
FOOD IS FUEL
Along your adventure, the pit stops are when you choose what to eat to fuel your body. So grow your awareness and understanding of what you are currently eating. Pay attention to your energy right after you eat, and then again three hours later. If you feel lethargic after three hours, chances are that wasn’t a balanced meal. A good sign you’re eating balanced is if your body hunger signals come every three hours, so if your body sends you signals an hour after you eat, that meal wasn’t balanced.
When you think about a balanced meal, imagine a seesaw. If one side is too heavy, than the other side doesn’t balance. Let that be your guide. If you aren’t sure the content of what you are eating that is a fantastic place to start.
The first step to fixing the relationship you have with food is understanding your current habits and how they affect you.Most of us have a screwed-up relationship with ourselves and our bodies. We tend to be harsher on ourselves than others, speak to ourselves in a way that we would never allow anyone else to, and guilt ourselves for indulging or not working out. The first step to fixing that perception is to remember that food is our nourishment. If we consume healthy, nourishing foods we’ll begin to heal and strengthen the mind-body connection.
Now, let’s get started! Time to enjoy the adventure!!