Diets don't work. They are especially toxic for your relationship with food and your body. So what is left to do if you want to improve your eating or manage your weight? Try these tips to avoid falling back on dieting this year.
2. Recognize when you are eating without being hungry: hearing your hunger (and fullness) cues is important for pointing when you are eating without hunger. Most people have eaten without feeling hungry at least once in their life. However, when this happens often it can lead to unhappiness and not actually fix the problems or emotions that are occurring. If you are not hungry, eating food does not help to relieve any sadness or loneliness or anxiety you may be experiencing. Negative emotions and situations cannot be helped with food and most people feel even worse after comforting themselves with food (especially true with people who are not intuitive eaters). First step is to acknowledge when you are eating without being hungry. After that, you can decide if you want to eat anyway, distract yourself from the craving or deal with the emotions that may be influencing you to eat.
3. Start peeling off those food labels ("good" food or "bad"): the more a food is forbidden, the more it is tempting to eat. Labeling foods as bad often does not lead to eating less of it. In fact, it often leads to binges if they are after avoided for a long time and if they are some of your favourite foods. Whats the point of avoiding, say ice cream, if you are going to binge on a pint of it at the end of the month. Just like in life, foods and nutrition are rarely just black and white. There is a lot of gray area- which can be harder to navigate than good vs bad. Again, the payoff of learning to live in a world of grays is worth the hard work. Taking the labels of foods can be scary and difficult. Some people are worried they may binge or over eat if foods are no longer off limits. However, with time the "I want what I can't have" does wear off. Often these forbidden foods taste better with a "bad" label and when that label is removed, they aren't as tasty or tempting.
4. Include all foods into your diet. This tip goes hand in hand with #3. This may mean re-introducing forbidden foods- especially if you find yourself binging on them. At first you may feel vulnerable and tempted to overindulge on these foods. However the more you practice enjoying these foods without guilt the easier it will become to eat them in moderation. When the foods become less forbidden, the need or desire to eat more than we want to, slowly goes away. Trust me- everyone thinks that this is impossible- but it will happen if you give it a chance. If you binge eat on a regular basis, you may want to enlist the help of a dietitian who specializes in eating disorders to help you with this step.
Monday, 9 March 2015
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