Learning how to stop dieting requires courage. Dieting provides safety and the illusion of control. Learning to listen to your body in order to lose weight requires letting go of that control and THAT requires grace, lots of grace.
It involves trusting yourself, your body and the cues it gives you to reconnect with what your BODY WANTS. The hardest part about that is that listening to your body and allowing it to guide you is the only way this will work. If you are thinking “that is the most impossible task, I have been counting and tracking for years on end” that was my initial reaction as well! I felt the same way.
It is possible to ditch dieting and fully immerse yourself with intuitive habits! It is not an instant process, it takes time and quite a bit of focus. Intuitive eating often feels ore challenging then counting calories in the beginning of the process. Clinical studies have shown that diets don’t work time and again. In fact, most people gain the weight back — plus some! It may sound counter intuitive, but by allowing yourself to stop dieting and change your mindset around food, you will find FOOD FREEDOM.
Below are 4 steps to stop dieting and start eating intuitively:
- Give yourself permission to break the rules: In order to remove the feeling of obsession and control around food, you have to escape the “rules.” Eliminating the restrictions and inviting freedom is a really powerful act for your mindset. You are giving yourself permission to have anything you want, which psychologically actually helps you NOT want it. No more calorie counting, macro tracking, weighing, food label memorizing or anything else you’ve learned to do in order to control your body and how it looks. All foods are equal and allowed at all times. NOTHING is off limits to you! This where the grace comes in. This part can feel really scary, don’t be afraid. You got this.
- Honor your hunger and fullness: These are the two pillars of intuitive eating that require your full attention. To reconnect with them try asking yourself, “Do I like this food? Is that what I want to eat? Am I really hungry or am I bored, stressed or feeling emotional? Am I satisfied, or did I eat more than I needed?” Feel your feelings when you are not hungry. Food won’t address those, but you should.
- Be ok with “the feels”: Emotional eating and responding to triggers is one of the biggest reasons why we over eat as well as start diets to begin with. By sitting with your feelings and allowing space to coexist with them you are no longer masking the “uncomfortable feeling” in your stomach that suffocating with food never ends up helping. You will feel better AND lose weight (double win)!
- Ditch perfectionism: You will take several steps forward and one step back throughout this entire process. It is a process with stages, just like anything else that is new! You will teeter on the verge of success and at other times feel derailed and completely drained. This is not a linear process and it is OK to struggle. In fact, it is necessary. If you have moments where you want to throw in the towel, go back to your old ways and start another diet- you are doing it right. Don’t give up!
I’ll be the first to admit that traveling and / or participating in weekend festivities make the balance of health and living life more challenging. They create obstacles around staying focused on a plan, can completely throw off your progress or the routine you created that otherwise works really well.
I used to view weekends or trips as a “free for all” with food and beverages. I also came home feeling like absolute crap, not to mention my head space was less than positive. My body struggles with fatigue and the stress of traveling. My motivation was to figure out how to have the best of both worlds!
Learning to travel and participate in social events without sacrificing my health or balance was a big turning point in my nutrition journey. I felt empowered by options, solutions and how amazing I felt. Small changes led to big results that were no longer fleeting. My progress improved and became consistent with a few small changes.
Here are my favorite tips that helped me enjoy travel and living life without losing my balanced lifestyle, neglecting my needs or impacting the memories I make!
- Eat small, frequent meals: Travel in general can throw off eating habits. Eating small meals every few hours (3-4) will avoid getting overly hungry as well as not force your body to work too hard on digesting large meals while in flight or being mostly sedentary for the day. That constant flow of energy will make a difference!
- Eat a serving of fruits in veggies in every meal: Balancing the good stuff with the fun stuff is the best approach during travel and will naturally create more balance in your diet. Set a goal to have a little of each in your meals and enjoy feeling great AND the food all at once! Prioritizing your plate with bright colors and balanced food groups makes all the difference in how you look and feel.
- Drink plenty of water: This is the number one thing people neglect when traveling and it’s the most important! You can use an app to track water or get a Hydro flask and use the airport water stations to refill it as needed. 128 oz of water per day is the goal (more if your flight is a long one). Bottoms up!
- Go vegetarian for the day: Challenge yourself by forgoing meat for the day and exploring other options. It encourages plant-based choices, great variety and new recipes/ dishes that you might not have tried otherwise.
- Share meals and deserts rather than entertaining a “food free for all.” It can be tempting to overindulge on vacation, the local cuisine can truly be a once in a lifetime experience! Rather than eating to the point of discomfort or not partaking at all (BOO), share it and have a small portion of whatever you want to try. Your body will thank you by feeling amazing the next day. You won’t skip a beat!
For more information, tips and tricks visit www.carsonlainefitness.com
Volume foods are the secret weapon to any recipe. They are the nutrition choices that allow you to have generous amounts of food without blowing your macros. There is nothing worse than eating within your macros, and still feeling hungry after your meal is over.
One’s appreciation for volume foods grows exponentially because of the PERKS! My struggles with food were never coming from a place of deprivation, but rather, lack of portion control. I would over eat, consume far more than my body needed, and used food as a source of comfort. Honoring my hunger and fullness, learning to intuitively eat and creating balanced meals helped me understand how to have the best of both worlds!
Some refer to high volume foods when in a caloric deficit to increase satiety and fullness. I, however, use them all the time! I love feeling satisfied and enjoying healthy portions of food on my plate. Most people assume a satisfying meal needs to be large, heavy and full of calories but that is not the case. Incorporating high volume foods encourages the consumption of whole, nutrient dense foods that also conquer hunger, provide satiety that lasts and give you the best of both worlds regardless of your goals!
Examples of high volume foods include:
- Salads with as many veggies as possible instead of cheese, croutons and creamy ranch
- Riced cauliflower in place of or added to any rice, bread, pasta dish
- Zoodles, lentil pasta or black bean noodles have half the calories with a bigger serving size
- Rice cake snacks instead of bread or chips
- High fiber wraps, tortillas, or thin crust pizza or
- Swapping the bun for your burger for portobello mushrooms or a lettuce wrap
- Sparkling, calorie free drinks like water, la Croix, etc.
- Stevia, cocao nibs, popsicles
- Mustard, salsa, lemon and lime juice, almond milk and herbs/ spices
Volume foods don’t have to taste like air. Consuming hig volume foods will result in feeling more satisfied, larger portions and enjoying meals without compromising the taste! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your ingredients! These foods are extremely nutrient dense and easy to use for even those most challenged chefs.
For FREE recipes, meal ideas and more visit http://www.carsonlainefitness.com