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3 Steps to Stop Overeating on Vacation

Summer is in full swing, it’s my favorite season! There’s less stress, no school carpools or tutors to schedule and it’s a time when my husband and I take some much needed time off.

 

In the days when I was dieting, I would often be apprehensive about an upcoming vacation. It would start with the thought of trying on all the summer clothes in my closet to see what “looked good” and have them piled high on my bed until I narrowed it down to what would make it into my suitcase.

 

Then of course it was the thought of what I would eat on vacation. Would the restaurants have food that was “on my diet”? What would happen to my weight if I ate out at a restaurant each evening? And what about the drinks? I don’t mean water, that I have no problem drinking. I mean the cocktails that I may want to enjoy at the pool or at dinner. How many calories and how much sugar will it have and how will it affect the number on the scale?

 

Oh my, this is just so exhausting, so forget it! I’ll just enjoy my vacation and start my diet again when I get home.

 

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you done this, or thought these same things? (Please comment below the blog in the comment section….)

 

The above scenario depicts what I call the “Vacation Diet Mindset”. Yep, there’s a name for this. You are so good on your diet all week/month/year long, but vacation comes and all that “goodness” gets tossed out the window. Why?

 

Well, since you’ve been depriving yourself of the food you love while dieting, you figure that when you are away on vacation and enjoying yourself, you might as well enjoy yourself with food too. But the problem is it leads you to overeating and overindulging and quite honestly, not respecting your body.

 

Here’s the thing. If you were not restricting all week/month/year before your vacation, you’d be enjoying all the food you love all the time and you wouldn’t have to go into “Vacation Diet Mindset” when you went away.

 

So how do you shift out of this mindset? Here’s 3 steps to get started:

  1. Commit to no longer dieting. And by dieting, I also mean your own self-designed diets and food rules you put into affect for yourself. I know that’s a tall order, but until you are able to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire, you will restrict and deprive and fall into the Vacation Diet Mindset on your next vacation.

 

  1. Take the Mindful Eating Pledge. Basically, this means promising yourself that you will be mindful of the food choices you make and you will maintain an awareness so you can fully savor and enjoy the food you are eating. When you do this, you will find that it will be easier to recognize fullness and stop before you get overfull.

 

  1. Ask for Support. The journey towards returning to being an intuitive eater and achieving WholeBody Trust™ of your mind, your hunger and your food takes time and requires support. There is no reason you need to do this alone. Seek support from your loved ones, a registered dietitian nutritionist-certified intuitive eating counselor and a community of like-minded women on the same journey as you. It’s powerful!

 

Are you struggling with your intuitive eating journey and want to take it to the next level? Join us in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. Learn more here.

 

How to Stop Labeling Food as Good and Bad

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question and Struggle comes from 2 women in my Diet Free Radiant Me private Facebook group:

Question:

I know choosing certain foods makes me feel healthy and vibrant. I also know there are certain foods that make me feel the opposite, drain my energy and leave me feeling sluggish. How do I approach health in this way without viewing food as good and bad?

Struggle:

Bonnie, I can’t appreciate the body I have now because it isn’t healthy. I know losing the extra fat will help those issues. But I can’t stop labeling food as healthy or unhealthy. I keep reading not to label foods but we all know broccoli is healthier for you than a Hershey bar. I feel like the extra fat will not go away along with all the health problems until I start feeding myself healthier foods, which feels like a diet. I try to eat mostly healthy but it seems once I eat the unhealthier foods that’s all I crave because they do taste better to me. Help!

 

Both the question and struggle you have just read above have something in common, which is why I am addressing both in the same blog today on Intuitive Eating Wednesday.

The commonality is…

 

Food is being labeled. In the first question it’s being classified as “good and bad”, and in the second struggle it’s being labeled “healthy and unhealthy”. This is due to your years of dieting and following rules of foods to eat and those to avoid. The foods to eat are ‘good/healthy for you foods’, meaning they will help you lose weight (or at least not gain weight) and be healthy. The foods to avoid/are unhealthy are ‘bad for you’ foods, meaning they will cause you to gain weight and be unhealthy.

 

As long as you continue to think of food in these terms, you continue to harbor a diet mindset. And as long as you continue to harbor a diet mindset, you will continue to struggle.

 

Download Your Fleshing Our Your ‘Good Foods/Bad Foods’ Worksheet here.

 

Even though intellectually you know you feel more vibrant when you eat food A over food B, if you associate food A as a good/healthy food and food B as a bad/unhealthy food, you will continue to crave food B, depriving yourself of it until you have an emotional trigger and you fall into the “what the heck” mode. You then overeat food B, perhaps even to the point of bingeing, followed by guilt, shame, and hopelessness.

 

It IS possible to shift your mindset away from labeling foods and out of a dieter’s mindset. However, this must be done without consideration of the nutritional value of the foods otherwise you are still thinking in terms of good/bad, healthy/unhealthy which will keep you stuck in the diet food rule trap.

 

This is the very reason that I don’t teach nutrition to my intuitive eating clients until Step 5 of my 5 Step Intuitive Eating Program. If we start the process of learning how to nourish your body, yet you have a diet mentality, all the nutrition conversation we have about foods that make you feel healthy and vibrant is heard by you as more diet rules (good/bad, healthy/unhealthy).

 

Make sense?

 

Let’s discuss this further on today’s Facebook LIVE at 5:30 pm EST (note the time change!)

 

In the meantime, grab this freebie to help you understand your good food/bad food mindset: Fleshing Our Your ‘Good Foods/Bad Foods’ Worksheet.

 

 

Intuitive Eating…No Willpower Required

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday’s Question is:

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

I just LOVE this question. But before I get to the answer, let’s get clear on your dieting history. It probably goes something like this:

 

You’ve tried them all. Weight Watchers, Atkins, Weight Watchers, the Blood Type Diet, Weight Watchers. the Scarsdale Diet, Weight Watchers, the HCG Diet, Weight Watchers. Oh, did I mention Weight Watchers?!

 

It is SO easy to get sucked into sensational claims that come with each of these diets. But what you are finding is that they don’t work. Well, they do “work” if by working you mean losing weight, only to gain it back.

 

Yes, I won’t disagree. All diets can work in helping you lose weight. But can we agree that they ultimately don’t work, seeing you are here looking for another way?

 

Throughout all the diets you’ve been on, you’ve tried SO hard to have SO much willpower so you can resist your favorite food that the diets deem bad for you. And, the reason you’ve been sucked into many fad diets is because you only have to endure them for a short period of time and therefore only need to have a little willpower until the diet is over.  

 

Many diets proudly state “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days”, or “6 weeks to flat abs”. I know this is very tempting. And you think to yourself “ok, I need to have willpower for 30 days (or 6 weeks) and that’s it…I’ll reach my goal and the diet and misery will be over.”

 

But we know that you can only resist your favorite food for so long. Maybe you can last the 30 days or 6 weeks. Or maybe you can’t. Either way, what happens? When your willpower weakens and you have an emotional trigger, you cave and have the very food you’ve been longing yet been restricting. And now you don’t just have a serving, you have several servings, and it eventually turns into a binge.

 

Next thing that happens >>> feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, failure and the negative self-talk and body bashing.

 

Well, the good news is this.

 

In the practice of intuitive eating, there is no willpower required. Yay! You learn to take all the conditions off your food and when you do, the power those foods hold over you are no more. Even better, once you learn to trust in your inner signals as your guide to eating, you will no longer need to rebel against the diets that are telling you what to eat and not to eat.

 

Because YOU are in charge!

So, back to the original question that came in from one of my readers:

 

“I’ve been trying intuitive eating, but I just don’t have the willpower to stick with it. How can I strengthen my willpower backbone?”

 

There is no willpower in intuitive eating. What I want you to recognize is if you are still relying on willpower, then you are still harboring a diet mentality. And this will cause you to continue to stumble on your intuitive eating journey.

 

Give thought to how many times a day or week you think to yourself that you need to have willpower to resist a food.

 

How many times do you call up your willpower before heading out to a party or dinner with friends?

 

Call yourself out on it. Recognize it. The more you do and the more you remind yourself that you don’t need willpower in intuitive eating, the more you will see the diet mentality dissipate.

 

Grab this freebie that I have for you and you’ll be well on your way to never falling into the willpower trap again: Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap.

 

Come join me on Facebook Live today, Wednesday at 1:30 pm EST for a free training on this very topic! We will be LIVE on my business page right at this link >

https://www.facebook.com/BRGDieteticsandNutritionPC/

 

Did You Have a Vacation Mindset Around Food this Summer?

Pool 2015I’m sorry to say that the summer is almost over! Someone asked me today when my daughter starts school, and I had to admit I didn’t know. I just love the summer. The warm weather, the relaxed attitude and vacation time.

 

This month I actually went on vacation TWICE! This is not like me. But, it’s all part of MY Self-Care Plan. It’s important to stop and take a break and re-energize.

 

My first vacation was with my husband for 5 days…no kids, just us. It was wonderful. One thing we did that we never have time to do at home is to eat out at restaurants. We actually ate out every evening! The second vacation was a short 2 days with another two couples.

 

My clients often worry when they are preparing to go away on vacation. They worry about the food they will eat, how much weight they will gain and they often go into “vacation mindset”.

 

What is “vacation mindset” you ask?

 

“Oh, I’m on vacation, I’ll enjoy myself and start my diet (or start over) when I get home.”

 

Yikes. Have you ever said this to yourself? Well, it’s okay if you have, but make a commitment from the moment you read this blog that you won’t fall prey to the “vacation mindset” again.

 

You see, when you say this to yourself, you are giving yourself permission to eat beyond your point of satisfaction, to eat and snack mindlessly because you are on vacation. And then when you return home, you are upset with yourself and start the negative self-talk and body bashing and probably promise never to do that again. But, you do.

 

Moving away from this mindset means you are respecting your body each and every day, no matter if you are on vacation or not. Staying tuned in and aware while choosing the foods you love will enable you to have pleasure in your meals and feel strong in your body.

 

This is the power of being an intuitive eater.

 

I enjoyed my vacations, and I enjoyed every meal that I ate. I didn’t worry about my food choices, I stayed tuned in and aware. You can too! I’m here to help you if you need me.

 

Want some extra support? Join my free private Facebook online community by clicking here.

 

 

 

Abolishing the “Eat This, Don’t Eat That” Rule

Portion control is something that is always stressed when discussing weight loss and healthy eating.  It is undeniable that the portions of food people eat are much larger than they were years ago, which is a direct contributor to the obesity epidemic this country is facing.

 

Several experiments have recently been conducted at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.  It was discovered that people have a “taste-health balance point” – a proportion of unhealthy and healthy foods in each meal – which they find satisfactory.  Thus, eating a smaller portion of a food you love (that might not be deemed the healthiest), rather than eliminating it completely, and pairing it with a healthy food choice allows the person to be satisfied with a smaller amount without feeling deprived.

 

Yet, in most commercial diet plans, along with portion control, there are “eat this, don’t eat that” rules.  Inevitably, the dieter can only stand not eating a favorite food on the “don’t eat” list for so long.  Cravings then lead to overeating and the diet is foregone.

 

Is this sounding familiar to you?

 

This is one of the reasons that I stress to my clients the importance of really understanding the concept of providing yourself with the unconditional permission to eat when hungry what food you desire. It takes the “taboo” label off foods that you would otherwise deem as “bad”.  It eliminates the desire to overeat on these foods and creates room for healthier food options.

 

So, if you are stuck in the diet mindset, try balancing your next meal with healthy wholesome foods plus those that you might deem “not as healthy” but are your favorite. See if you are satisfied with less and let me know in the comment section below.

 

To learn more about becoming an intuitive eater and How to Break Free from the Pain of Dieting and Get the Body You Love Without Feeling Deprived, join me for a Free Webinar on Tuesday September 16,2014 at 8 pm EST. Click here to register for FREE.