I apologize up front if I get a little scientific on you today. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a meeting where the creator of the Intuitive Eating method spoke for a group of professionals who work with people with eating disorders and or work in the realm of eating habits.
It really inspired me because the idea behind intuitive eating is to transform the mind, body and spirit. All of which are closely connected and interrelated. Unfortunately, not all health professionals, nutritionists, personal trainers realize that this is the case.
Many, not all, focus on one area such as food or exercise without taking into account the other areas and result in short term change (immediate weight loss only to gain it right back). Cleanses, detoxes, shake programs may help you to feel better in the moment (or in my case don't make me feel good at all), but they don't change your habits or last forever.
So unless you enjoy the process of being on a diet all of the time, I hate to say it you're out of luck. :(
Here are a few startling statistics:
Dieting (in this case calorie restriction) increases your risk of becoming fatter, reduces your metabolic rate, reduces your muscle mass, and increases your blood sugar levels. The most well known example of this was from the people who participated in the TV show the Biggest Loser. Follow up studies have actually shown that these people have poorer health after the show and most have gained their weight back plus some.
When children diets or their parents strictly monitor their food they are at higher risk for eating disorders and obesity beginning in young adulthood.
Lastly, food becomes more rewarding to our brain when we're overly hungry, restricting, and dieting. It literally builds a brain pattern similar to the Pavlov's dog experiment, when you see food, your brain lights up and desires it more.
Now if you say you're not a dieter, I'd like you to consider that dieting is now referred to as "gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, etc.". Does that mean you shouldn't be any of those things, no, it means that you need to listen to your body and notice what feels best for you WITHOUT RIGIDITY. Most importantly, expect it to shift and change throughout your life. What works for you now will likely shift and change. So be ready to listen to your body and when it doesn't feel quite the same start experimenting with other things.
This week, listen to your body instead of your mind and experiment with foods. Only you know what works for you! Experiment with one food at a time. Build the trust you have for your body and get in touch with it!
I know there's a lot of hype about sugar, and how everything with sugar is going to kill you. Truthfully, having a cupcake once a week isn't where the problem arises, it's when you can't stop eating them even though you're full, it's when you eat them because you're sad and not because you really want to, or when you need to have one every day just to relax. Be gentle with yourself this week! It works!