Posts

I’m Dieting But I’m Still Gaining Weight

You’re standing in front of the mirror having changed your clothes three times already this morning.  Nothing seems to fit right.  You are discouraged and start with the negative self-talk you are all too familiar with.  “Why can’t I just stick to my diet”, you say to yourself.  “I am such a failure; I will never succeed at weight loss”.  “Tomorrow I will start my diet again”.

 

Does this sound familiar to you?  If you have been battling your weight for some time, then likely you have been on countless diets that have not worked long term and you have gotten very good at berating yourself for your failures.  The commercials all sound so promising!  The radio ads promise fat burning powers of the miracle pills you just bought at the health food store.  Why aren’t you able to lose weight?

 

The answer lies in the fact that you are dieting. 

 

Let me repeat that!

 

The answer lies in the fact that you are dieting. 

 

You see, nobody lives on a diet.  One goes on a diet but eventually goes off the diet.

 

The Stats You Know

 

Forty to 50% of American women are trying to lose weight and are on a diet at any point in time.  Half of pre-teen and teenage girls are on diets. However, 95% -97% of all dieters regain their lost weight and more within 1 to 5 years.

 

These are very alarming statistics because dieting clearly doesn’t work and repeated “yo-yo” dieting has been shown to have negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease and long-lasting effects on the metabolism.

 

The Side Effects of Dieting

 

Dieting makes you preoccupied with food; what you ate yesterday, this morning, 1 hour ago, and what you will eat later and tomorrow.  Dieting makes food the enemy and causes guilty feelings when you don’t eat diet-type foods.

 

When you go on a diet, you are in essence putting your body into a short-term starvation state.  When given the first opportunity to really eat what you desire, you will often experience a feeling of such intensity that any initial thoughts of wanting to be thin fly out the window.  You feel out of control, guilty, and view yourself as having no willpower.

 

However, listen up!

 

This type of eating in response to semi-starvation is actually normal.  It has nothing to do with willpower!  When you are underfed, you will obsess about food.  Period!

 

The best solution to achieving peace with food and your body is to embrace an intuitive eating approach to food.  Intuitive eating is eating based on your physiological hunger and satiety cues not based on situations or emotional cues.  So, that means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied or comfortably full.

 

Now, I recognize that for the chronic yo-yo dieter, this is not necessarily easy.  It requires you to explore how you got to where you are today in your eating habits and understand deeply what it means to become an intuitive eater.  During this process, it is important for you to begin to get rid of the diet mentality that you have, and to truly believe that you will never diet again.  If you continue to think there is “just one more diet, this time I’ll be good”, then you won’t be able to move forward to becoming an intuitive eater.   You will continue to have foods that are “good” and “bad” and you will continue to think of yourself as being “on” or “off”.

 

To help you get started on the path of intuitive eating, commit to the following 3 steps:

 

  1. Throw out all the diet books and pre-printed menus from magazines that you have tried over the years. Make a commitment to yourself that you will no longer be tempted by new diets that come out because you are committed to learning to listen to your body.

 

  1. Get rid of the bathroom scale. Do you weigh yourself every morning or even several times per day?  Does the number on the scale influence your mood for the day?  Most likely it does, even if you don’t consciously realize it.  Your weight fluctuates day to day and is a measure of more than just fat.  It includes your bones, organs, muscle and substances such as water, food and waste that pass through your system.  Begin to measure your success by other factors other than the scale such as improved blood work, blood pressure, mood, energy level and overall satisfaction with your progress toward becoming an intuitive eater.

 

  1. Seek out caring support to help you on your journey. Becoming an intuitive eater is a process and the amount of time it takes will depend on how long you have been dieting, how strong your diet mentality is, how long you have been using food to cope with your emotions and how willing you are to trust yourself.  It is very important for you to surround yourself with like-minded people who can provide positive feedback and support.

 

You were born with the natural instinct to eat when hungry and stop when full.  Chances are you lost this ability due to all the diets you tried and the media exposure to quick-fixes.  You can reclaim what you were born with and achieve guilt-free eating, a body you love and a life free of dieting.   Intuitive eating is the answer you have been looking for.

 

Reach out to me if you are interested in going from Dieter to Intuitive Eater! There’s no shame in asking for help!

 

3 Steps to Stop Emotional Eating NOW

“Why do you eat?”

 

It seems like a simple enough question. But is it?

 

This is a question I ask all my clients in our first session. As I am learning about their weight history, diet history, challenges and struggles, I stop and ask them “why do you eat?”

 

They pause, look at me and say, “that’s a great question”.

 

There is a myriad of reasons why you eat. Yes, it might be from hunger, true biological hunger. But then again, it may not be. Do you know what true biological hunger feels and sounds like? Probably not if you’ve been a dieter and you’ve been eating based on food rules that have been dictated to you, including when and what to eat.

 

Stop and think about it. Are there reasons other than hunger that you eat?

 

Perhaps when you are bored? Lying around the house on a rainy day with nothing to do so you find yourself in the kitchen?

 

Or maybe you had a disagreement with your partner and you feel sad, hurt or lonely?

You remember the last time you were sad and hurt you ate the double chocolate fudge Haagen Daz ice cream and felt so much better.

 

Or so you thought…

 

But then, suddenly you felt worse. You now feel guilty, ashamed and disheartened with yourself. “Why did I do that again?” And, you feel physically uncomfortable, bloated, heavy, sluggish, with acid buildup! Oh, and let’s not forget the original feelings of hurt and sadness which is not multiplied by 100!

 

How long do you want to ride this emotional eating vicious cycle? It’s not fun. There is a way off, but you have to commit to taking action, because it won’t happen by itself.

 

Here are 3 steps to get your started:

 

  1. Identify your emotional eating type and trigger Take a long hard look at your eating habits and discover what type of emotional eater you really are. And, what are your particular triggers that lead you to the cookie jar over and over again!

 

  1. Create customized strategies to manage your emotional triggers. If you don’t tailor your strategies to your specific triggers, you will constantly jump from one strategy to the next, getting nowhere. In addition to customizing your strategies, it is imperative to learn how to actually feel your feelings, and to be okay with that. This is a tough thing to do, yes it is. But you can do it with the right direction and support!

 

  1. Use food as your ally. Instead of viewing food as your enemy like most chronic dieters and emotional eaters do, take a step back and realize that the right nutrition can actually help you balance your brain chemicals and regulate your blood sugars to best manage your moods, emotions and stop your cravings.

 

So, how do you implement these 3 steps and get results?

 

Join me in Total Food Freedom™, a program to help you end emotional eating and enjoy a new relationship with food. Learn what your emotional eating archetype is, what your emotional eating triggers are, and how to customize and tailor the strategies for each trigger. And, learn how proper nutrition can be your secret weapon to ending emotional eating for good.

 

Enrollment closes Sunday May 21 at midnight Eastern.

 

Class starts on Monday May 22nd!

 

Learn more and register here > www.TotalFoodFreedom.com

 

 

 

I Feel Full But I Still Want to Eat More

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question is:

 

“How do I stop eating when I know I’m full? I just want to keep eating what’s on my plate until it’s finished. And I do, and then I feel bad, guilty and ashamed that I’ve done it again!”

 

Do you ever have this conversation in your head?

 

I hear this question a lot from my clients, which is why I want to address it with you.

 

As a dieter, you are used to eating on autopilot, and finishing what’s on your plate or in the bag. Part of the journey I take my clients on is learning how to move out of autopilot eating……ahhhh, not always so easy, is it?

 

If you are eating a meal and you know you are full, but you are just loving the food you are eating and don’t want to stop, it may very well be you testing the intuitive eating process. You just don’t fully believe you could actually give yourself permission to eat what you love. If you did, then you’d know that you can put this food away and have it at another time.

This is often tied to emotions.

 

Download your Emotional Eating Inventory Worksheet here.

 

You are feeding an emotional hunger when you continue to eat even after you have recognized you are full. It’s not WHAT you are eating, it’s WHY you are continuing to eat.

 

So the first step is learning the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. This is key. And understanding what emotions you are feeding is the second step that will help you take action to stop.

 

To break the pattern around emotional eating, you need to increase your awareness around this pattern. You then give yourself the choice to respond differently and to find another way to meet your emotional needs without food.

 

Grab this freebie to help you take stock of your emotional eating: Emotional Eating Inventory Worksheet.

 

 

How to Stay Mindful this Halloween

Halloween Pumpkins 2The month of October is synonymous with Halloween and spooky fall festivities. But along with trick-or-treating comes massive amounts of sugar.

 

Whether you’re out and about tricking or home dishing out the treats, these tips will help you stay an intuitive eater amidst all of the chaos.

 

Eat Before You Treat

 

Just before the trick or treating traffic is about to commence, have a late lunch or early dinner. A full stomach will prevent you from overindulging on candy to the point of sickness. If you are a chaperone for kids who are going trick or treating, it’s a good idea to have a little holiday meal before heading off on your trick-or-treating journey. Eating too much sugar will cause you and your kids to crash and become cranky before the festivities are over. Don’t unleash the monsters!

 

Fun Size It

 

Portion control is key. Cravings are natural and shouldn’t be ignored. If you are craving a chocolate bar, choose the fun sized option. Fun sized candies have a fraction of the fat and calories per package. The object is to savor each bite. The more you focus on the taste and texture of the candy, the more you’ll be happy with a smaller portion. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a fun size bar without missing out on the fun.

 

The Dark Side

 

Dark chocolate might be an acquired taste but it is certainly the way to go. Dark chocolate contains 70% or more of cocoa. Cocoa has been shown to contain antioxidants and has cholesterol lowering properties. The fat in cocoa is comprised of monounsaturated fatty acids as well as stearic acid which appears to have no effect on cholesterol levels. So if you need a little chocolate pick-me-up, dark chocolate is the way to go.

 

Healthy Homemade

 

Making homemade treats is a great alternative to buying prepackaged candies. If you have the time, make fun treats at home so you know what you’re eating. They can be fun and healthy for everyone. Let your creativity run wild.

  • Dip your apples in peanut butter and dark chocolate for a dark twist to candied apples.
  • Make some Petrifying Popcorn- air popped, drizzled in honey and sprinkled with cayenne pepper and salt for a kick.
  • Go ahead and decorate your fruit for an easy alternative! Tangerines can be turned into little jack o’lanterns or put mint chocolate chips on a banana to make boo-nanas.

 

Be an Intuitive Eater

 

There’s no need to call the food police while you’re out having fun. Celebrate the holiday by letting yourself have a little bit of candy here and there. Listen to your body- if you need that sweet vice, eat it. But if you’re past the point of fullness, that extra candy isn’t going to make you feel any better. Using your brain and stomach instead of your eyes will help guide you through this holiday season without a problem.

 

Halloween is the perfect opportunity to go out and get a good walk. Walking around the neighborhood even for just half an hour will boost your immune system and decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease. Not to mention, it feels good to get some fresh air.

 

Have some fun this Halloween by being the best intuitive eater you can be!!

 

Your Turn to Take Action: What creative homemade treats will you make for your little monsters?

 

Is it Possible to Eat without Food Worry?

Woman eating fruit saladIf I told you, a chronic dieter, that you can recapture the pleasure in your eating and look forward to your meals with excitement and not fear, dread or worry, what would you say?

“No way, impossible.”

“I wish!”

“I doubt it!”

 

I know that this might seem unachievable to you, having battled with your weight for years, being on and off diets without long-term success. All these diets have caused food to be your enemy, which is quite unfortunate because food is meant to nourish your body.

 

How many times have you accepted a lunch date with your girlfriends, or dinner date with your partner only to worry for hours beforehand what you will order and if you are going to overeat? The worry about how many points the salad dressing is, how many calories are in the creamed spinach and concerned that you will leave the restaurant feeling bloated, heavy and miserable.

 

All this fear and worry leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. You DO overeat, you DO feel guilty and ashamed and you DO leave the date feeling bloated, heavy and miserable.

 

In my work with my clients, I help them to understand that through the process of learning to be an intuitive eater, you actually lose this food fear and food worry and instead leave the restaurant or dinner table feeling utmost pleasure in what you have just eaten (and you were able to focus on your wonderful dinnertime companion instead of thinking about eating too much food).

 

The secret is in SAVORING YOUR FOOD! This means slowing down and taking the time to enjoy all the qualities of the food you are eating including taste, texture, temperature, aroma and appearance. This sounds a lot like mindful eating, doesn’t it? Yes, it is and it is exactly what I teach my clients as they move along their intuitive eating journey.

 

This month is National Nutrition Month. The theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. This theme meshes wonderfully with the message of mindful eating. Take the time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasure, great flavors and social experience that food can bring to your life.

 

Would you like to participate in a free 7 day challenge where you can learn how to “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”?

 

This challenge is happening in my private Facebook group. It’s called:

 

Challenge - Savor Flavor-When-Where

Savor the Flavor of Eating

7 Day Free Challenge

 

Discover:

– What’s behind the “HOW”, “WHEN”, “WHY” and “WHERE” you eat.

– Begin your journey towards a more mindful and pleasurable eating style.

 

Join us for Free by clicking here. There is no opt-in required to join our group. This takes you to my private Facebook group. All you have to do is request access to join and Walla! I’ll accept you and welcome you in.

 

The challenge starts on March 7. You can only participate if you are part of the private Facebook group, so click here now and request access to join.

 

 

Food and Celebrations: Lessons Learned

thanksgiving table with foodWhat is it about holidays and food? It seems that the word “holiday” is synonymous with the word “food” or should I say “TOO MUCH FOOD”!

 

I’ve just finished celebrating a month full of holidays. It’s been fun spending time with family…my parents, my children, my grandson. Have I mentioned my grandson lately? He is just so scrumptious! He’s able to call me grandma now…I just can’t get enough.

 

But I divert. Back to topic.

 

I told my kids that I wasn’t going to overcook this holiday. I was going to make a basic meal, ensuring that there was protein, whole grains and lots of vegetables. And I did. But the problem was…I made too much! Meaning, too many choices. I was so worried “what if she doesn’t like that, what if he doesn’t like this…I must have all these choices.

 

Well, I was wrong. After each meal ended (and there were many), I looked at the leftovers and said, “It looks like I’m putting away more than I took out”. Now, of course that’s not possible, but what I mean is people ate and then stopped. And, I was left with a lot of leftovers.

 

So, my lessons learned are as follows:
1) My family knows what it means to listen to their inner satiety (fullness signals) and they stopped eating when they were just full (okay, to be totally honest, some did eat a little past comfortable satiety, but even this happens now and then in an intuitive eater.)

 

2) Listen to my “gut” instinct. The next time I plan to make a basic meal, I need to stick to my plan and not worry that I won’t have enough food, because I always do!

 

3) Immediately freeze my leftovers, in small containers, so I have ready-to-go meals for during the week. I often work late hours, and it’s great to pull out already cooked food from my freezer so my family has a balanced meal every night.

 

4) Remember the reason we are celebrating, whether it be a holiday, a birthday, anniversary or job promotion. Food does NOT have to be the center of the celebration. Yes, it’s an important part, I won’t deny that. But, focus on the people you will be partying with, the conversations you will have, and perhaps new people you will meet.

 

What are the lessons you’ve learned from food-abundant celebrations?

 

 

Intuitive Eating: Make it a Family Affair

Family meals 2Many of the eating behaviors that you are trying to change have likely been behaviors and habits you learned while growing up through your childhood. Statements such as “you can’t leave the table until you clean your plate” or “clean your room and we will go for ice cream” puts food in the category of either punishment or reward.  It is so important to think about how these statements mold your children’s thoughts and beliefs about food.

It’s very important to me, as a mom of 4 children and 1 grandchild, to help my family respect their individual food preferences and inner signals of hunger and satiety. They need not eat what they don’t like, nor should they eat when they are not hungry or continue eating when they reach satiety. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that I don’t ask them to be open minded and taste a food that they “think” they won’t like, or that they didn’t like years ago. Tastes change, especially in growing children.

Let me share a story with you. Last week we were eating a family dinner. My youngest daughter (11 years old) stopped eating and put her fork down. There was a little food left on her plate (I think it was potatoes) and my husband asked her why she didn’t finish.  She said that she’s no longer hungry and that she had enough. She looked at me when she said it, as if to say “mom, aren’t you proud?!” Yes, indeed, I was beaming. I quickly said that I will put away what she left over and she can eat it tomorrow. This was important as my husband doesn’t like to waste food and as long as he realizes I wasn’t going to throw her food in the garbage, he didn’t say a word other than, “oh, okay”.

Practicing intuitive eating should be a family affair. In this way, your kids will grow up with a healthy attitude towards food, their mind and their body.

Your turn to take action: Please share in the comments below one of your dinner table stories depicting intuitive eating.