Why I Binged on Food for 10 Years

Not unlike many people, I decided I wanted to lose weight when I was in college.  I had gained the average 15 pounds (maybe more, OK, it was 30) and felt defeated that none of my clothes were fitting anymore.  I purchased a fitness magazine and starting tracking my calories online.

I followed a calorie-restricted diet and lost alot of weight.  I lost too much, but that is a topic for another post. While losing weight, I had extreme urges to binge on food, and I would binge.

During a binge I felt uncontrollable, not like myself, and powerless to resist my intense desires for huge amounts of food.  This was frustrating, to say the least.

I didn’t realize that I was not eating enough for my body to feel satiated.  I was starving.  Consequently, I would experience urges to eat uncontrollably at random times.  I always gave in, felt relief to finally eat and then, of course regretted it.  But I always obeyed the urge and repeated the cycle.

I did this for ten years.

My bingeing was followed by fasting.  I have never purged in the form of self-induced vomiting and I’m too lazy to work out for hours on end to burn off the extra calories.  I would rather just skip a meal (or two, or three).

I thought that once I started eating normal portions of food again and weighed a healthy amount,  the binge urges would go away and no longer disrupt my sanity. But they didn’t. The urges continued after I resumed eating more food.  This was confusing.

It made no sense that I would desire to binge eat when I was eating enough.

So I read alot on the topic.  I became obsessed at learning everything about this weird and embarrassing way to eat.  The best books I have read explaining binge urges are Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen, and Taming the Feast Beast by Jack and Lois Trimpey.  If you binge eat, read these books.  If you have any habit you feel you cannot kick, read these books.

It turns out that bingeing is habitual.  It starts out as a survival mechanism the body uses to get enough food but then it seems to just be a learned behavior.  A habit.  A normal way to eat.

People often think bingeing is associated with a traumatic past or feeling insecure, or an inability to cope with stress.  I thought these things, too. But I examined my past and I could not find trauma that required harming my body with absurd amounts of food (actually, I couldn’t find trauma at all, I really enjoyed my childhood).  I took a look at my confidence level and didn’t find it low enough to demand binge eating, and I could think of alot of other coping mechanisms for my stress that did not involve eating food.

It perplexed me that I was bingeing. I would binge in many different emotional states.  It was not limited to stress.  It could be when I was happy or tired or apathetic or excited or afraid.  There was really no dominant pattern.

It became obvious to me that I was not bingeing to improve my life, I was doing it because I was doing it.  I did not like that I did it, but it was easy to do and became my normal.

It did not matter that I was a healthy weight and that I ate enough.  I had learned to binge and my brain would signal to do it and I would.  Every time this happened, I strengthened the habit making it more likely that I would do it again.

After I learned that my bingeing was a result of habit, I was able to separate my morality and sense of self from the urges I continued to feel.  They became less threatening and I learned that they were tolerable, resistible and even meaningless.

I did not resist my binge urges right away.  It took experimenting with resisting a binge urge, actually resisting it, and giving in to them for me to really grasp how they were influencing me.  I started to change my beliefs about binge urges.  I decided I no longer had to obey them and that I would be physically fine, and better off, if I didn’t.

Other people have had different experiences with this.  This is just my own.

It was exciting to resist urges to binge.  I didn’t die.  I didn’t feel very much discomfort, to my surprise.  I actually felt happy that I could decide to take better care of my body.  It was rewarding. I noticed that my binge urges were the strongest if I had not eaten enough throughout any given week.  They were stronger if I had overeaten at any one meal and they were strong when I would have foods high in sugar.  They were less when I ate more protein and fat.

Today I use my experiences with resisting urges to binge to my advantage.  I aim to eat protein, fat, and vegetables.  I avoid sugar (mostly) and processed foods.  I know these things help minimize and even remove binge urges so it’s worth it to me to be mindful of what I eat.

I realize that if I don’t eat foods that minimize binge urges, and I indeed experience the desire to binge, that I do not have to.  I never have to.  No one has to.

Knowing this, and because I believe it, my life has changed.  My thoughts have changed, too.  Bingeing no longer gets the best of me and I’m able to see it for what it is–a habit that can be changed.  My binge urges have lessoned tremendously and I’m able to enjoy life so much more.

When I do have an urge to binge, I notice it and allow it to pass.  It always passes.

What do you think about binge eating being a habit?  Have you had an experience with binge urges?  Do you tend to obey them or resist them?

Share your experiences by leaving a comment!

You can also email me at myrightmindblog@gmail.com.

 

Image from Under the Root.

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PRACTICE: Believe You Will Succeed

How do you feel about success?

Do you feel like it is something you have achieved?  Maybe you feel it is something you aspire to achieve, and you are working toward it, but you’re not there yet.  Or perhaps it is something that you have tried to achieve, but haven’t, and you are not sure that you ever will.

Maybe you are afraid of it?

I live in Los Angeles and I am around many people who are in the entertainment industry.  They are actors and musicians and writers and directors.  They do hair and make-up, costumes and set-design.

They moved here from all over the world to pursue their dreams, to do what they feel called to do.

I often find myself curious about this group of people.  The artists.  The creatives.  The people who are convinced and determined to passionately pursue something on such a grand level.

I find most of them incredibly inspiring.  They are bold and fearless to show up to auditions.  They are vulnerable to share their work with the world.  They are resilient and unapologetic to press on when it doesn’t seem they will “make it”.

I wonder what gives them the confidence and bravery to be here, and to constantly put themselves out into the world despite any of their fears or hesitations.  Despite the rejection, the criticism, the disapproval or doubt they may encounter, maybe even on a daily basis.

What separates them from the people that do not follow their dreams?  That do not show up to share their passions, talents and strengths?  That don’t even consider themselves able to fantasize about their goals?

I have to suspect the separation is found within how people believe and think about what they are capable of achieving.

If you believe you can do something, you will find a way to do it.  It might take your whole life, and it might look different than how others are doing it, but it is OK because life is better when you do something that you believe has meaning and value and that demands your dedication.

If you believe you have purpose, you will show up despite rejection.  You will press on no matter what others think or say.

If you believe you don’t have to be perfect as you pursue your passion, that you have the freedom to mess up, to change your mind, or to completely move in a new direction at any point, doing something special to you will not be so risky.  It will be exciting and it will reward you in ways you never imagined.  Bumps in the road, though inevitable, will not define you, and what others only perceive as failure or steps backward will not devastate you, but serve as moments to refine your goals and position yourself to go and get them.

Anyone will have a more fulfilling experience in life when they decide to replace beliefs that keep them from stepping out to do what they love and find meaningful with beliefs that cultivate confidence and bravery and determination to always press on.

This applies to everyone and to every goal.

However you feel about success, it is important to remember that your feelings are rooted in your beliefs and that you can decide to believe that you will succeed.

It doesn’t matter what happened in your past.

It doesn’t matter that anyone else does it differently.

It doesn’t matter if you decide you want something new tomorrow.

But it does matter that you believe you can do it.  And it does matter that you do it.

The next time you feel like you cannot succeed in an area of your life, practice changing your beliefs.  One by one, replace the negative and untrue statements you tell yourself with truth–that you are capable of success (on your own terms) and it is always worth pursuing.

This is not wishful thinking and is not a waste of time.

This is your life and you only have one.

Don’t let your past or other people or fear keep you from what you already know you can do.

Decide to do it.  Decide to believe.  Decide to succeed.

 

Image from The Zoe Report.

Thinking About Making a Change?

When I was young my family had a pool and we went swimming all of the time.  A typical Summer vacation day included a jump into the pool as soon as the day was warm enough (and as soon as our last meal had digested a bit).

I loved the build-up of our swims.  We quickly changed into our suits and would pace the wood deck my Dad built, just itching to jump in and make a big splash.  Sometimes we would count backwards from ten and jump when we got to zero, other times we might do a silly twist or dance before plunging into the water.

Jumping into the pool was always met with anticipation and fear.  We anticipated the refreshing time in the water.  We feared the initial shock of cold we knew we were headed right toward.

But we always jumped in.

We knew we had to feel the cold water on our entire body, let it shock our sensations, and kick around for a little while, before we felt warm again and at one with the water.

On days when we didn’t just dive right in, days we felt more suspicious of the water, more skeptic of it providing a good time, we would slowly walk down the pool steps into the icy abyss.  We sucked in our stomachs and clenched our teeth and fists in hopes it might alleviate the temperature shock.

But in the end, we knew we had to embrace the change, accept the cool feeling, and move our bodies.  We would inch down into the water, finally relaxing, ready to swim and have fun.

Making changes in our lives is often likened to jumping into water.  Most of us remember the anticipation and fear we felt just before having a fun and carefree time swimming.  We remember that at first we would feel cold, but then we would warm up and couldn’t fathom not jumping in.

If you are thinking about making a change in your life, remember a few things:

It feels exciting and scary to do something new.

It feels awkward or uncomfortable to start doing it.

And then it feels amazing, natural, and rewarding, and you cannot believe you waited so long to just do it.

If you are thinking about making a change in your life, no matter what it is, embrace the process.  Accept all of the anticipation and fear.  Accept all of the new, pleasant, and weird feelings.  Keep moving your body until the change feels amazing, natural and rewarding.

Jump right into it.  Walk slowly into it.  Either approach works.  Either is OK.  Either gets you where you want to be.

Just make sure you do it.

Awkward at first, amazing at last.  You likely won’t fathom not doing it.

Have you made a change in your life that initially felt funny just because it was different?  How did you start it?  How is it going?

Leave a comment to share your experience!

 

Image from Media Cache.

SATURDAY VINTAGE AD: Nut Shelf King Size!

I like to go back in time on Saturdays and admire (and completely pick apart) old vintage ads.

Here is one from Nut Shelf (by The Kelling Nut Co. of Chicago), and it’s for canned party nuts with big and bold the following statements:

King Size Value!  King Size Goodness!  King Size Pleasure!

Wow!  Get me some, and fast!

Actually.  Don’t.  Nuts give me a bit of a stomach ache and I find them extremely hard to moderate, so I try to not get my “king size pleasure” from a can of nuts.

However, it is worth noting how we have been trained to believe that the more food there is around, either at a party, or even at a somber event, the better.  We think, “Of course this event will be a hit, look at all this food!

I suppose that for people who do not have  an abundant access to every kind of food imaginable (like most do in the U.S.), seeing and being around alot of food might be exciting.  It may be worth celebrating the opportunity to be in the same room with lots and lots of things to eat and, of course, that is OK.

But the reality is most of us are getting together to celebrate birthdays, or reunions, graduations, or weddings, new jobs, retirements, anniversaries or babies and even though food is usually around, it is the above things (specifically, the people we share them with) that provide us real and lasting, value, goodness and pleasure.

Of course food offers goodness and pleasure, and of course it is perfectly acceptable to celebrate food simply because it’s amazing, but food is only the confetti at a great party (or when you are simply eating alone).  It complements and tastes great and keeps us full until the next meal, but it is not all we need to have a good time and even if there was only a little to go around, we can still have a king-sized, valuable, good,  and pleasurable experience.

Does that feel unfortunate or does it open the doors to enjoy more of the social events you attend?

Leave a comment to share your thoughts on this issue!

 

Special Note: I searched the Internet for more information on Nut Shelf, by The Kelling Nut Co. of Chicago, and didn’t find much.  I found some old advertisements (for sale), but not too much on the actual business.  If you are familiar with the brand, please let me know!

 

Image from Flickr.

Weekend Eating

It’s the weekend!

For anyone who is caught up in the habit of keeping a strict diet during the week, and then “blowing it” over the weekend only to start again on Monday, weekends tend to be highly anticipated and then highly regretted (at least in the food department).

This is common but it doesn’t mean it’s the only way to live.

Here are a few thoughts that may be contributing to this approach followed by statements that contribute to more rational and positive mindsets:

THOUGHT: “I’ve been good all week!  I’m having anything I want and as much as I want today!”

STATEMENT: So, I think I’ve been good this week?  Why is that?  Is it because I ate specific foods and limited my portions?  Do I really believe that makes me “good”?  Would not eating how I ate this week make me “bad”?  While it’s true that there are foods that are better or worse for my body, they never contribute to me being a good or bad person, only to the quality of my health.  Keeping that in mind, it doesn’t seem rational to make poor choices this weekend because I made good choices the rest of the week.  I think I will notice how hungry I am and see what foods are available and base my decisions on those things, instead.

THOUGHT: “It’s been a tough week, I deserve to let loose and eat without restraint!”

STATEMENT: Yes, it has been a tough week.  Things happened that I didn’t prefer and I hope life is not so difficult moving forward, but I am not a wild animal and do not need to “eat without restraint” to calm down.  If I choose to eat recklessly or too much, it might be a distraction for a little while, but it is not an act that I deserve for surviving a difficult week because I don’t use food as a reward or punishment.  Eating wildly would simply be a choice to eat like an animal.  I would rather not behave like an animal around food.

THOUGHT: “It’s so hard to eat healthy during the weekends!  There is so much delicious food around and other people eat it, so why cannot I?”

STATEMENT: It is not hard to eat healthy over the weekends.  It’s hard to dig trenches or to run marathons but choosing to eat in a way that nourishes and respects my body is not hard.  In fact, it gets easier and easier the more I do it.  Yes, there seems to be more access to palatable foods during the weekend, but it is always my choice to eat them or not and I always have that choice.  Since I choose foods that support my health during the week, I am capable of choosing them during the weekend.  What anyone else eats is none of my concern.

This weekend, remember that you are not defined by the foods you eat.  They do not make you a better or worse human being.  Sure, foods impact your energy, mood, attractiveness and body size, but they do not remove your responsibility to think (rationally) for yourself.

You always have the choice to eat enough and to eat nourishing foods.  Likewise, you always have the choice to eat foods that do not positively contribute to your health without them miraculously making you a worse person in need of punishment come Monday.

So, be kind to yourself!

Enjoy the weekend, enjoy eating and enjoy your life!

How do you think about the weekends and food?  Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!

 

Image from Remarkably Retro.

Eating for Right Now

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of asking, “how can I be kind to myself right now?” when you are choosing something to eat.

This question is different than, “What should I eat?” or “What am I supposed to eat?”.  There are enough diets in the world to answer these questions.  All you need to do is look any of them up and you can find rules and menus to last a lifetime, you might never need to think for yourself again!

Asking yourself how you can be kind when choosing what you will eat right now is different because it requires you to be in tune with your body’s needs in this very moment.  Not yesterday or tomorrow or last week or next week, but now.

Now might reveal that your body would do well with protein.  Now might inspire you to choose vegetables as part of or even your whole meal or maybe none at all.  It might lead you to more carbohydrates or more fat or maybe less of everything, because right now, you are not that hungry.

Now will unlikely lead to to eat in a manner that is poor for your health.  It’s unlikely that it will tell you to binge or starve or choose foods that make you feel sick.  Now has your best interest in mind and can be used as a compassionate tool to guide your eating.

Staying present and honest in this very moment will help you make the best choices for your body right now.  Your choices might look different than a diet menu or what the next person is choosing, but that is OK because those things never need to be of your concern, anyway.  Let others also choose their “right now” and everyone wins.

If you find that you have a difficult time deciding on how or what to eat, try offering yourself a bit of kindness and ask what would be best for you right now.

 

Image from Super College Chef.

Do You Want a Treat?

My little dog, Murphy, needs to get outside every few hours to relieve himself and get some fresh air.  We live in the city, but we try to make sure he gets time to play in the grass, and to keep up his canine dignity, do his business in nature.

Murphy loves to go outside because he knows that not only will he get a break from his throne (the living room couch) to spy on what’s happening in the neighborhood, but that he will get his T-R-E-A-T when he comes back inside.

Here is how it goes:

Murphy stands by the door and we make eye contact and I sense it’s about that time.  I ask him if he wants to go outside, he jumps off the couch and spins in circles as if to say, “Yes!  Let’s go now!” and we head outside for him to do his deeds.

While we’re out, Murphy takes note of all of the other dogs being walked by their masters.  He sniffs those that allow him and hides from the dogs that would obviously eat him alive if they were not on a leash.  Murphy’s only 6.5 pounds so he tends to hide from most other dogs.

We go back inside, Murphy does more spins (to show his excitement) and then he finally gets it–his treat.  I say, “Good boy, Murphy!  Do you want a treat?” and he sits up like a meerkat and practically inhales his treat.

Every.  Time.

This is Murphy’s habit:

QUE: He stands by the door and we lock eyes (followed by me giving Murphy a nod as if to say, “All right, let’s go!”).

ROUTINE: We go outside.  He does his work and does his dog-socializing.

REWARD: We come back in.  I tell him he is a good boy and asks if he wants a treat.  Of course he does.  He gets a treat.

Most of the time Murphy really needs to go outside but sometimes I think he only wants to go outside so that he can come back in and get a treat.  Actually, I know this happens and it seems to be happening more and more.  Lately, I have spotted Murphy acting as if he needs to go outside, but when he gets out he doesn’t do anything.  He still comes back in expecting a treat.

I’m not very disciplined with Murphy.  I usually give in to his scheme.  But I’m always aware of what is happening.

I don’t think we are much different than Murphy when it comes to how we eat.  If we pay attention, there are almost always queues and routines that occur before we give ourselves the reward of eating (for further research on this idea read Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit).

Most days I shower before breakfast.  I have usually just come home from a walk or bike ride and I get tidy before my coffee and morning meal.  I’ve noticed that if I take an extra shower later in the day, I almost always want to eat after I get out–even if I am not hungry.

The que is feeling like I need to take a shower, the routine is actually showering and the reward is a meal, but unlike Murphy’s approach, I simply cannot take showers and eat all day.

This is not the only routine-reward combo I have noticed that occurs when I feel like doing some non-hunger eating.  When I pay attention, I find there are many queues that leave me wondering into the kitchen, no matter what time of day it is or if I actually need food.

It’s funny how quickly we can become “trained” to eat based on habit and not real hunger.  For Murphy, it’s something as simple as strutting down the sidewalk, and for me it’s taking a shower.

Sometimes, these queues serve to keep us on schedule and help make decision-making quick and effortless.  Others times, like Murphy, when he goes outside with nothing to do so that he can come back in and get a Milkbone, I think I’m showering too much.

What about you? Do you notice queues throughout your day that stimulate the routine and reward effect with food?

Do you eat from hunger or habit?

 

Image from Flickr.

When You Feel Great But Have Not Lost Weight

Maybe you have experienced something like this:

You are eating great, really staying on track with nutritious foods and serving sizes that are enough for your body.  Your meals support your health, make you feel your best and allow you to think, move and sleep better than ever.  You’re taking time to be kind to your body and you feel like it’s paying off.  Your jeans are fitting looser and you’re performance time in the gym (or out in the neighborhood, if you prefer nature) is improving.

This is working!“, you think, and you’re feeling pretty darn good.

So, you step on the scale and are sure that you will be down some weight.

But you are not.

Immediately you furrow your brow and feel perplexed about the last week you had.  You know, the week where you were eating the best foods for your body and thinking clearly and getting enough sleep and moving and simply enjoying life?  The week that you thought these lifestyle changes were working?

And, now, here you are, standing on a scale that reads the same number as when you weren’t doing any of these positive things.  What gives?

It can be tempting to use a scale that measures your body’s gravitational force to the earth as the measure of your healthy eating and living success.  When the scale reads up, your body feels a quick shudder as you remember last week’s indulgences and time on the couch and when it reads down, you celebrate (maybe do a little dance) and think you are on the right path.

But what does it mean when the scale doesn’t budge at all?

Were your efforts in vain?  Were the positive feelings about the new habits you committed to a silly joke?  Are you wasting your time?  Maybe you did not try hard enough and you need to eat even less and work out even more?  Worse and least helpful, maybe throw in the towel?  You’ll never get the results you want so why even try at all?

Don’t give into this thinking!  Replace it immediately with thoughts that are actually true and positive.

The scale measures your weight–in pounds, ounces, kilograms, whatever measurement method you prefer.  That is it.  That is all it does.  We could finish here.

But let’s dig deeper.

Yes, the scale measures weight, but it does not measure your worth, your ability to improve your health, your determination, your credibility and, very importantly, it does not measure your progress.

Really.  It doesn’t.

Of course, weighing less is a natural occurrence after your body sheds unwanted fat (or muscle).  And of course, weighing more is a natural occurrence after your body gains fat (or muscle), but weighing less, more, or even the same is not always directly related to the progress you are making as it relates to your diet and lifestyle.

You are probably familiar with different reasons you weigh more or less throughout any given day.  You lose weight because you drank less the day before (and you’re thirsty for it today).  You gain weight because you drank more the day before.  You retain water because it’s that time of the month.  You retain water because you ate salt (or any food, for that matter).  We could go on and on about why the scale reads higher or lower or stays the same but that is not the important idea, here.

The idea is that the scale will change from time to time.  It will go up and down, then up, then down, then down, then maybe up and it will stay the same.

And this will keep happening.

This is OK and to be expected so remember that when you weigh yourself, you’re only seeing a number that may have very little to do with the healthy, positive changes you are making.  It will go up and down and stay the same but it does not reveal how healthy you are.

It doesn’t remind you that you are replacing negative and untrue thoughts about your body with thoughts that are positive and true.  It doesn’t remind you that you are worthwhile to take care of simply because you are a human being and it doesn’t offer you any information about yourself besides a number that doesn’t matter to anyone else, anyway.

You are your own person and you can choose to weigh yourself (or not) as often as you like.  But if you are tired of measuring your progress according to what a scale says, know that you don’t have to and you are better off if you don’t.

Track your progress by how your body feels.  How it moves and sleeps and digests and fits into your clothing.  Track it by how your willingness to explore more positive approaches to life is expanding and how your peace of mind is fueling the capability to keep growing into an amazing individual.

When you feel great but have not lost any weight, well, then, so be it.

 

Image from Guitar Town.

Tomorrow’s Health Starts Today

This old photograph and its witty saying got me thinking.

Something about today makes me want to be hungover tomorrow.

At first it’s funny (if you like dark comedy) but then it seems so sad that someone would purposely sabotage their health for tomorrow over something that is happening (and likely to be over with) today.

This statement is referring to drinking too much but it can easily be applied to eating too much.

Eating too much food (overeating or binge eating), like drinking too much alcohol, has serious consequences on your body.  It causes an overproduction of insulin in your bloodstream giving you a “food buzz” (which might feel good, or at least provide physical relief from anxiety or depression or general intense feelings) but then it is followed by a “crash”, and it is not any fun.  Food crashes cause you to feel tired and foggy and maybe even confused, depressed or hopeless.  At best you will become very sleepy and take a long nap, but similar to healing from being drunk, food crashes may be followed by a “food hangover” the next day.  Food hangovers feel awful.  Headaches, stomach aches, digestion issues, bloating, inflammation, sore teeth, sore joints and skin blemishes are all results of food hangovers (in the context of overeating or bingeing.  Many things may cause these ailments as well, but this blog post is not addressing any causes other than excess food consumption).

Which is why it’s difficult to reconcile wanting a hangover, of any kind for that matter.  Sure, many things in life are hard to anticipate or experience, but adding the problems that excess drinking and eating provides will only make them harder.  After the initial emotional discomfort of not wanting to experience something is over, you are left with physical discomfort, which does not always heal very quickly (and possibly the additional emotional discomfort of shame, guilt or regret from overdoing it).  In this perspective, hangovers don’t seem like such a good idea.

What do you think?  Is it ever a good idea, because you are resenting or looking forward to something, to purposely cause your body to hang-over?

Leave a comment to start the conversation!

 

Image from Amazon News.

What Diet Should You Follow?

http://www.gefrituurdekakkerlak.nl/

It can be overwhelming to know which diet to follow when you decide to eat healthy.

Raw?  Vegan?  Vegetarian?  Flexitarian?  Pescartarian?  Paleo?  Low carb?  Low calorie?  Gluten free?  Dairy free?  Sugar free?

There is an enormous amount of information on all of the diets that are being advertised today.  You can read a book on about them, or ask a friend how they eat, or do a quick Google search, and you are bound to find yourself with facts, evidence, promises and proof that each diet is superior to the next and you should be following it right this minute.

If diet information overload is something that has ever kept you from making food-related decisions, you are not alone.  Many people say that it is hard to know the truth about healthy eating and some people even put off improving their diet because they are not sure if what they are being told is actually good advice.

I’m a believer in finding the right diet for you and I know this takes time.  You need time to read about foods and to investigate health claims, but the biggest amount of time you need is to simply listen to your body as you eat and accept how foods either help or hurt you.

Every body is unique and will thrive eating in its own unique way.  Some people feel amazing when they eat less carbohydrates and others don’t.  That’s OK!  Some people choose to eat a little protein and others make it their main serving.  Again, that is OK!  There are people who eat lots of fruit and some that eat little and there are those that like more fat and those that prefer less.  It’s all OK!

Take time exploring different ways of eating and find a way that works great for you.  Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day, especially after a meal.  Notice your energy levels, your ability to concentrate, your mood, your digestion, your skin, your sleep and how your clothing fits (the same, tighter, looser?).  All of these things are effected by what and how much you eat.

Keep a journal if it is helpful and make notes such as, “my egg scramble kept me full all morning” or “one scoop of ice cream was great but two gave me a stomach ache” or “after a very large dinner, I woke up in the middle of the night and could not fall back asleep“.  I’m a huge fan of writing things out because it helps you gather information which provides you evidence to support your curiosity and goals.

After you have spent some time noting how foods make you feel, you will be equipped with experience to make the best choices for your body.  At this point all that matters is that the food you are eating works for you (that is makes you feel great!), no matter how it is praised or despised in a book, magazine, or blog or by your best friend, and that you enjoy its taste and texture.

It’s pretty simple (and can be quite fun!) once you get started.  Eat foods that help you feel amazing and avoid those that don’t and never worry about what anyone else thinks.

So, what diet should you follow?  Well, that is entirely up to you!  Do enough research (if you prefer) and listen to you body.  You will get the information you are after.

I hope this is helpful if you have ever felt “diet information overload”.  With more technology and ways to communicate it can feel difficult to decide on how to eat healthy, but you are fully capable of exploring and creating the perfect diet for you.

Enjoy the freedom and enjoy your new healthy life and leave a comment if you have tried this approach!

 

Image from De Gefrituurde Kakkerlak.