- Are you always on the hunt for a weight-loss program that will help you control your eating once and for all?
- Have you joined and quit many diet programs in the past because they just didn't help you? Or because you felt ashamed for not losing the weight they promised?
- Does it seem like no one can understand your struggle with food?
Before you start another diet, hear me out. This advice could save you a lot of money and wasted energy thrown in the wrong direction and right into the deep pockets of the weight-loss industry.
The problem with weight-loss programs and diets is that they do not ask the right questions to truly help people feel in charge of their eating. They only bark orders and spill so-called secrets that don't actually help you lose weight for good.
So, the question I have for you is -- have you ever felt that your eating was out of control?
If you've answered yes, keep reading! There are ways to feel more in charge of your eating and stop feeling like food is controlling your life. And no, it has nothing to do with locking the fridge, going for a walk or drinking lots of water before meals.
Often diets fail because of unrealistic expectations of how little we can eat (or how easy it is to cut out certain foods). It is NEVER easy to avoid our favourite foods, it is never easy to bear with hunger and it is never easy to use thinness as a motivator to exercise or diet.
This is because we are human and not robots. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either a) lying, b) has only been on the diet for a little while or c) is a robot. Over time any diet will become hard to follow and what's worse, is that you will start to think the problem is you, rather than the crazy diet.
Feeling like your eating is out of control is more common than you think. It can be due to following diets for what feels like a lifetime. It can also be due to eating too little early in the day which fuels over eating or feeling out of control with food later in the day.
Some of my clients don't even realize they are eating so little and so restrictively. Understanding what is a reasonable and a normal-sized meal can help you understand if under eating early in the day is leading to over eating or binging later on.
A normal, healthy breakfast would be a combination of three or four of these four food groups:
One serving of milk or alternative
One serving of fruit
Two servings of grain products
One serving of meat and alternative.
Here are some breakfast examples:
A balanced, healthy lunch or supper that is satisfying both physically and mentally is usually two grain products, one meat and alternative and two servings of vegetables. A fruit or milk and alternative serving on the side. For example:
So, if you want to feel more in charge of your eating -- aim to eat three balanced meals a day. Eating more often during the day and eating meals that are physically and mentally satisfying will help keep your energy levels high and hunger at bay. Use these examples to help guide you towards normal eating.
If you think "well, I am certainly not restricting myself -- look at how I stuff my face at night!" Consider this -- believing that you are not allowed to eat your favourite foods or even normal foods like bread, can lead to feeling restricted. You don't have to physically be deprived of foods to feel compelled to binge on them. This can stem from the "I want what I can't have" phenomenon as well as feeling ashamed for eating foods labelled as bad or fattening.
So, truly avoiding certain foods as well as feeling like you cannot/should not eat certain foods can have the same effect = feeling out of control with food.
If you feel that your eating is out of control, don't run into the arms of another diet, it will only make things worse. Instead, try eating three normal meals every day (maybe even a few snacks in between), consider how labelling foods as "bad" is affecting you and reach out to a local dietitian who practices mindful eating.
To read more about why the diet industry has lied to you about avoiding "bad" foods to help you lose weight, mindful eating and feeling more in charge of eating, check out these links:
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