I remember all too clearly my very Italian grandmother always encouraging me to eat every time we were over at her house. For those that don’t know, food in the Italian culture is what brings families together. As a child growing up in an Italian household, there was never a time where I went without as far as food was concerned.
Going back to my comment about my grandmother; even though she encouraged me to eat, she would also ask me “why can’t you be skinny like your sister?” To a young girl growing up, who always struggled with her weight, this was quite hurtful. Although I know my grandmother did not mean it in a harmful way at all, that is just part of the culture. Or so I thought…..
If you tell someone who is overweight or obese to love their body or love their size no matter what, isn’t that the same as encouraging an alcoholic or a heroin addict to love their addiction? In my research, obesity related deaths are among the same numbers as those deaths related to alcoholism. Similar to alcohol, food can be an addiction as well and I think it’s time we start seeing that reality.
Can we really say that food addictions are not really addictions in the traditional sense of the word? It ultimately is a choice we make. Sometimes we make the choice to eat in order to numb painful feelings, or to cope with stress in our lives, or even to create a temporary high like gambling or shopping can.
It can be quite challenging to navigate the conflicting emotions that we go through when attempting to make better choices for our health. It’s almost impossible to keep our foot on the gas and on the brake at the same time. That is, we cannot decide that we are going to exercise for three or four days and eat only whole healthful foods and then binge for two or three days thereafter.
We do not need to choose between whole healthful foods and what we consider “fun” foods. That’s what flexible dieting is all about! All we need is a plan, a good calculator, and a little bit of know how. Once we have calculated what our macros are for the day, we can plug in whatever foods we wish to have that fit those macros. For example, if I am to consume 1600 calories for the day, split between protein (130 grams), carbohydrates (138 grams) and fats (53 grams) and we know that 1 gram of protein equals 4 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates equals 4 calories and 1 gram of fats equals 9 calories, we can plug in the foods we wish to have that day. Again, this does take some planning but after some time, you will become efficient at determining the macros in several foods without having to look it up.
Isn’t this a much better way of living rather than trying to please Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde separately? This is what truly saved me from yo-yo dieting and binge eating. Now I live a life full of energy, eating the foods I want to eat and I haven’t looked or felt better!
If you want to learn more about this strategy, please email me and we can get started on freeing you from the fight between your Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.