Want to Be Able to Eat Whatever You Want and Still Lose Weight? Read This Now…
Posted Jan 10 2013 10:08pm
I used to struggled a lot with my weight. I knew I had some pounds to lose, so I was always putting myself on these restrictive eating programs, vowing that no carbs shall pass my lips and so and and so forth.
I’d start losing some weight, but dieting really put a damper on my social life. I felt completely left out at parties and going out to dinner with friends was a nightmare.
I just wanted to be normal and eat whatever like everyone else seemed to do. So, eventually, I’d cave and eat the chocolate or the (gluten free) brownie or the rice noodle pho.
And then I’d beat myself up because I’d blown my diet. I’d decide there really was no point to trying to eat healthy since clearly I was never, ever going to lose weight.
For every one step forward toward better habits, I felt like I took three steps backward because I’d forced myself to gulp down food that I didn’t enjoy. It felt like a punishment.
This crazy cycle never works. Let’s face it, restrictive diets – eating no carbs, fasting two days a week, eating nothing but raw vegetables – can be great to reset your body and you’ll lose weight in the short term, but who can sustain that kind of thing for years?
It all comes down to control. You just simply do not always have control over your food. Sometimes you’re snowed in at an airport where the only available calories come from Snickers and Peanut M&Ms. Sometimes you’re on a date and the cheese plate appetizer is too good to pass up. Holidays happen. So do birthdays, parties, and dinners out with friends. And if you can’t enjoy these, what’s the point of being alive, really?
I certainly don’t want to be thinking as the wheels of a bus bear down upon me to crush my last breath out of me, “I should have had the ice cream sundae” (morbid thought, I know, but it’s true).
BUT, I also don’t want to go through life averting my eyes from the mirror and dreading my warm weather wardrobe.
So, I’ve developed a way of eating that ensures I’m getting healthy foods while still, basically, allowing me to eat whatever I want.
Here’s the deal: there are only three rules, and they’re entirely flexible. They are:
1. Eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full.
2. Lean protein and veggies (especially green veggies) are premium fuel for my body. Everything else counts as junk.
3. 80% of my food needs to be premium fuel. The other 20% can be whatever strikes my fancy.
I find that most of the time, I eat the same thing over and over (if you think you don’t, consider a typical grocery shopping trip…bet most of the foods you buy are the same from week to week). So, I make my staples really healthy. In the summer, I make big salads and throw in some good quality protein (for me, grass fed lamb or free range chicken, organic eggs, etc. but if you’re veggie you can eat nuts, seeds and small amounts of fermented soy like tempeh).
And I never follow a clock. Sometimes I eat breakfast, sometimes I’m not hungry until 11:00. Sometimes lunch is at 4:30 pm. Sometimes I eat five meals in a day, and other days I eat one or two. Your body is designed to tell you when to eat. Let it.
This is truly food freedom, leaving me free to enjoy date nights, dinner with friends, parties and, most especially, holidays, completely guilt free. And it’s not a struggle. Once you get the hang of the three rules above, you’ll find that you feel best when you eat premium fuel foods and naturally gravitate towards them.
At this point, I would say I eat whatever I want whenever I want to. I never feel deprived. In fact, I lost weight over the dreaded holiday season, and I had my fair share of peppermint mochas, eggnog and cookies. Before putting anything in my mouth, I just consider how it will make me feel and if I’m okay with that result. That guides my food decisions and nothing more.
When you realize that you can eat whatever you want (truly want, not crave or think you want or are binging on out of emotional need), it’s no longer necessary to have all kinds of crazy rules.
Your turn – what’s your strategy for eating healthy while still having a life? Leave me a comment below and share what works.