A Fresh Approach
by Kerstin Martin
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the information out there when it comes to dieting, fat shaming, obesity epidemic and everything in between?
From the dieting proponents (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig etc) to the HAES (Healthy At Every Size) and Intuitive Eating supporters, everyone has an opinion and mission when it comes to how we see and treat our bodies. And I get it, I've read the books and followed the blogs, always in the hope that what they offered was the answer to my problems. Alas, after four decades of absorbing a lot of information and trying to make changes I realized that I felt lost and defeated, and I had gained a lot of weight in the process which was beginning to seriously impact my health. I can of course only ever speak for myself but I knew that I needed to find my own truth. I am looking for the connection between all of it: I do want to learn to eat more intuitively and listen to my body, but I also want to lose a significant amount of weight to alleviate related health issues.
At its core Intuitive Dieting™ means using dieting methods to control how much I eat and following the Intuitive Eating principles to determine what I eat and when.
I keep asking myself: Are you hungry, what do you want? There are many types of hunger! The principles of Intuitive Eating help me understand the difference between my mind’s and my body’s hunger and I am learning to create more alignment between the two.
My body is infinitely wise. An overweight body does not, for instance, want a lot of food but I've been ignoring those messages for a long time. With Intuitive Dieting we use dieting methods to eat less and to reconnect with our bodies' natural hunger signals.
I am not just putting any food on the table that is within my plan but I am actively working with my body to give it what it needs.
There is a very basic mechanism to weight loss: you need to create a calorie deficit. Eat less than you use and you will lose weight.
Most people do this by counting things, such as calories, carbs or Weight Watchers points. I know many people who have successfully lost and kept off weight using these methods but it's probably fair to say that for most people this is not a sustainable way of living. Personally I've had some success with calorie counting, too, but I never managed to keep it up for longer than six months, nor to transition away from it without falling back into old eating habits. For me it comes down to finding a method that works with my personality which means my plan needs to be flexible with just a little structure. It took some trial and error until I arrived at a plan that feels doable and effective:
My simple 3-Step Plan
1. Minimum 10,000 steps a day
2. Fasting days on Mondays and Thursdays
3. Only one meal per day with bread, pasta or rice