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"Being a dieter means you can not enjoy food anymore because you always think about it as calories and fat and carbohydrates? "my friend asked as we just wanted to take our first spoonful of gelato.
"Yes," I said bitterly. I'll never forget her question and my gut reaction I knew it did not have to be like this. I knew that I had to submit to unnecessary suffering, but I had no idea how to stop eating.
All day thinking about food (or at least most of it) The day is my job, but there were times when I realized I needed a break. I wondered what I would spend my time thinking about if I did not analyze the food I ate, and if it was "good" or "bad."
I have to admit that when I get to the beginning This year I became a dietitian, I had so many eating rules and distorted beliefs:
"I'm addicted to sugar, and the only cure is total abstinence." [1
" Being lean is the most important way to show people that I am a nutrition expert. "
" Nutritionists should be in be able to store sugary foods in the house and have the willpower to resist them. "
I felt that I failed in all that. So that meant I was not good at my job?
I knew for some time that including "less healthy" foods as part of a healthy diet was the key to good health and happiness. When I first became a dietitian, I named my consulting and consulting company 80 Twenty Nutrition to emphasize that healthier foods are 80 percent of the time and less healthy "treats" 20 percent of the time (often called the 80/20 rule referred) lead in a healthy balance. Nevertheless, I struggled to find that balance myself.
Sugar detoxification, low carbohydrate diets, intermittent fasting … I've tried different diets and treatments to "fix" my eating problems. I would be the perfect rule for the first week or so, and then I rebel by tasting sugary foods, pizza, and fries – everything that was "off limits." This made me exhausted, confused and feeling guilty and shameless. If I was not strong enough to do that, how could I help others?
My Turning Point
Everything changed when I took a deliberate eating class and developed a program for cancer patients containing these concepts. So many people I met at the cancer center were afraid the wrong food had caused their cancer – and they lived in fear that incomplete food might bring them back.
While it is true that lifestyle habits can increase or decrease lifestyle habits, the risk of some cancers and their recurrence was very sad when I heard people talking about never having food that they once had , I agreed with their feelings and advised them to recognize when the desire to be healthy could actually be detrimental to their health and well-being.
For example, some of my clients said they would avoid celebration with friends and family to avoid foods that they consider unhealthy. They would feel an incredible amount of stress if they could not find the "right" kind of supplement or ingredient in the health food store. Many of them had a vicious cycle in which they tightly locked their food intake and then opened the floodgates and overeat unhealthy foods for a few days or weeks. They felt defeated and enormous amounts of guilt and shame. All this pain has caused them, even though they have undergone such sophisticated treatments and defeated cancer. Did not they go through enough?
I explained to them that social isolation and stress are also closely related to reduced longevity and cancer outcomes. I wanted every one of these people to experience as much joy and calm as possible. I wanted them to have a good time with family and friends instead of isolating themselves so they could eat the "right thing". The support of these clients forced me to take a look at my belief systems and priorities.
The principles of mindful food that I taught emphasize the choice of nutritious foods – but also of foods that you really like. The participants slowed down and paid attention to the five senses while eating. The participants were surprised to learn that food they had eaten mechanically was not even so pleasant. For example, if they ate biscuits and tried to eat some cookies wisely, many people found that they did not even like them . They found it was much more satisfying to go to a bakery and buy one of their freshly baked cookies than to eat a whole sack of bought biscuits.
This also applied to healthy foods. Some people learned that they hated kale, but really enjoyed spinach. This is not "good" or "bad". It's just information. Now they could focus on eating fresh, quality foods they loved. Sure, they could do their best to plan their meals for the healthier options – but the people who relaxed their eating habits and worked on some foods they considered "treats" found them happier overall and ate better overall including treats.
The Dessert Experiment
To integrate the same idea into my own life, I started with an experiment: what would happen if I planned my favorite foods into my week and took the time to truly enjoy them? My biggest "problem" and my source of guilt is my sweet tooth, so I focused on that. I tried to schedule a dessert that I was looking forward to every day. Less often, it can work for some people. However, when I realized my desire, I admitted that I needed that frequency to feel satisfied and not disadvantaged.
Scheduling may still seem fairly rule-based, but it was key to me. As someone who normally makes eating decisions based on my feelings, I wanted this to be more structured. Every Sunday I look at my week and plan the portion sizes in my daily dessert. I have also taken care not to bring home large quantities of desserts, but to buy individual portions or go out for dessert. That was important at first, so I would not be tempted to overdo it.
And the health factor of the desserts varied. Some days the dessert was a bowl of blueberries with dark chocolate on it. On other days it would be a small bag of candy or donut or ice cream or a dessert with my husband. If I had a longing for something that I did not incorporate in my plan for the day, I would say I could plan it and have it the next day – and I made sure that I kept that promise to myself.
How My Thoughts on Foods Have Been Forever Altered
An amazing thing happened after trying for just a week. Desserts lost their power over me. My "sugar addiction" almost seemed to disappear. I still love sweet food, but I'm very happy with smaller amounts of it. I often eat them and in the rest of the time I can make healthier choices. The beauty of it is that I never feel disadvantaged. I think much less about the food. I worry so much about the food. This is the food freedom that I have been seeking all my life.
I weighed myself every day. With my new approach, it was important for me to weigh less – at most once a month.
Three months later I stepped on the scales with my eyes closed. I finally opened it and was shocked that I had lost 10 pounds. I could not believe it Eating the foods I really wanted-even small amounts-helped each day to make me feel satisfied and to eat less. Now I can even keep very tempting food in the house that I would not have dared to do before. (See also: Women share their non-scale victories.)
So many people struggle to lose weight – but why must it be a fight? I feel that letting go of numbers is an integral part of the healing process. If you let go of the numbers, you can keep track: the diet (not the piece of cake you ate last night, or the salad you want to eat for lunch). This newly discovered reality check gave me a sense of peace that I want to share with everyone I meet. Appreciating health is wonderful, but being health obsessed is not likely. (See: Why ~ Balance ~ is the Key to a Healthy Diet and Fitness Routine)
The more I relax and eat what I want, the quieter I feel. Not only do I enjoy the food more, I'm also mentally and physically healthier. I feel like I came across a secret that everyone else should know.
What would happen if you ate dessert daily? The answer might surprise you.