5 Ways to Become a Dietary Detective
Before I finally stopped chronically dieting, I had one last attempt at weight loss, 3 years ago. The “diet”consisted of 800 calories a day comprised of whey based shakes that were artificially sweetened, plus some pre-packaged shelf-stable meals (TV dinners?). The experience was soul-crushing as I had no pleasure and the sweeteners gave me a headache and the shakes made me super bloated. Not to mention that I was ravenous all the time and all I could think about was eating real food. I would hop on the elliptical for an hour and a half and watch Food network shows just to see people cooking and eating real food. I ignored my body cues and kept going at all costs. At the end of 8 weeks, I was down 20 pounds and should have been happy right? Wrong. I was miserable and had no idea what came next? How could I possibly maintain this weight loss? What should I eat going forward? How much? I was left feeling completely scared of food and no plan.
Flash forward to today and things are much different and I’m much happier. Yes, I do have the 20 pounds back with me but my body feels healthy, fit and amazing. I eat foods that give me pleasure and are not mutually exclusive from them also being nutrient dense as well. I feel peaceful around food again and have abandoned food fear and shame in replace of awareness and pleasure, which gives me the ability to truly be curious and learn about what actually is, versus what I have believed or worse, giving over that wisdom by listening to others truths or beliefs.
Here are 5 ways that you can become a dietary detective and take those first important steps to feeling empowered around food as well.
1. Notice which foods make you feel energetic and which ones weigh you down or make you feel bloated. You may find that there are surprises here. We are the only one who know how food affected us because we all have unique micro-biomes and physiology. Don’t let an expert or someone who has never met you or treated you create a cookie-cutter meal plan for you.
2.Eat in a slow, deliberate and mindful way so that your body has a chance to process and integrate information vital to knowing if you enjoy that food and if it works for your body both in the short term and long term. Join my free mindful eating course to learn how to do this.
3.Experiment with different methods of cooking a certain food. Some foods may be intolerable or unpalatable in its raw form but delicious and digestible cooked or vice versa.
4. Follow the clues your body gives you – does this food give you pleasure? Is it fairly easy to make? Does it have fat, fiber and protein? Does it make you bloated? Does it comfort you and keep you full for hours? Does it satisfy a sensory craving? Be the detective and follow the clues accordingly.
5. Divorce yourself of food morality and the “good food, bad food” mentality which keeps us from really exploring which foods are truly best for our bodies rather than relying on research that can often be confusing and conflicting.
Which one of these resonates with you the most? Be sure to sign up for my free mindful eating course to get a jump start on mindful and intuitive eating techniques.