This is me a few years ago. As I have said in my previous diets don't work blogs, I have stayed the same weight and shape (apart from while I was pregnant) for 20 years.
My secret is not a diet, it's a way of life. A life free from obsessing about what I have or what I have not eaten.
So far today (it's 5pm) I have eaten...
A giant marsh mallow
A quorn, fake ham sandwich
An Marks and Spencer's Iced Spiced Bun
Some cookie dough (I attempted to make cookies and couldn't resist a spoonful)
5-10 Pringles (I did not count them)
A hand full of nuts
Later I will probably eat some quorn chicken pieces and a salad, cheese and dressing, followed by some snacks of more nuts and some chocolate
But.... only if I'm hungry and that is the crucial thing here! Eating when we are hungry and stopping when we are full!
Before we start on the exercises to get you going with this way of eating that has helode me stay slim for 20 years without dieting, I want to go through some more of reasons why DIETS DO NOT WORK!
If you read my last blog you will have read reason number one... (but just in case you missed it you can click on the picture above to link you to that blog) so here are more reasons why diets just make you fatter.
WHY DIETS DON'T WORK
2. DIETS MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT
I expect, if you've yo-yo dieted for years, that each time you go back on a diet it gets a little bit harder to lose weight. You try the same diet that you last went on. When you did it first time around, you lost weight easily, but third or fourth time of using it, the weight just doesn't seem to fall off so easily and you find yourself having to eat even less than you did on your previous diet. You think, it's probably because you are getting older, that your metabolism has slowed down, that your stupid. Your friends who have never been on a diet seem to be able to eat so much more than you do, life is so unfair, you have been genetically given a body that will always be fat, you might as well give in.
Well it's not your age or that you have a slower metabolism than your friends, it's not even genetics. Both my grandparents were morbidly obese and I am the same build and height as my grandmother. No, the reason you can't lose weight this time around, is because you went on that first diet.
Our bodies are pre-designed for survival. We haven't really evolved physically as a species since the beginning of man. We are taller and fatter.
In ancient times there were no fridges and freezers and of course there was no air travel carrying us luscious foods from around the world every season. So in ancient times, every Winter, food was very scarce. Human beings, clever creatures that we are, evolved so that we could work around these lean Winter times. It was a simple and effective workaround, instead of using technology, we used our bodies and we stored energy as fat.
In the seasons when food was plentiful, we would feast as much as we could, building up an extra layer of fat. That fat was then used as energy over the long cold Winter months. Our ability to get fat, kept us alive.
Now a days this happens in poorer countries or places that suffer terrible droughts or in war torn countries but in our very lucky, abundant societies there is never a shortage of food.
Every time we go on a diet though, our subconscious minds and our brilliant bodies, start to believe that there must be a shortage of food and we go in to survival mode. Your body doesn't care that you want to fit in to your size 10 jeans again, it goes in to a prehistorical panic mode and tries to conserve energy by slowing down your metabolism. So once you have reached your ideal weight and starting eating 'normally' again, your body thinks it must be feast time and that it had better start storing the fat for when there's no food around again.
It is a viscous cycle that you get yourself in to and the longer the diet continues the more effective the body becomes at storing food. It doesn't care if you are dieting or not. So if you have stopped dieting, you pile on the pounds more quickly than the last time you lost weight and if you are back on yet another diet you have to eat even less this time around to lose any weight.
Eventually the same amount of food that you used to eat to lose weight is amount of food you now eat to maintain your weight. The best way to put weight on if you are too thin, is actually to just go on a diet.
Don't worry though. This can all be rectified, if you start listening to your body and stop giving food all the control.
The ways to start mending your broken metabolism are simple.
Never allow yourself to be ravenously hungry again. (We will look at gauging your hunger soon). With a steady supply of food your bodies will soon start to trust you again and relax that there is no immediate threat to your survival..
Try to listen to your body and no matter how delicious the food is that you are eating, when you are full up stop eating. You can always finish the cake, soup or whatever it is you are hungry again later (don't panic you will get hungry again). You are no longer on a diet so you don't need to think... Well if I eat it all whether I'm full or not at least the temptation to eat it later will be gone. Those days are over. You can now eat what you want, providing you are hungry and you stop eating when you are full.
Take regular exercise. This can be walking or cleaning the house even. Basically you don't even have to do much. Just do something.
3. DIETING MAKES YOU OBSESSED WITH FOOD
I have friends, both male and female, who are constantly on some diet or other.
The male friends, refuse to admit they are on diets and insist, when they go to the gym, they like to eat healthily. Still though, if they don't go to the gym they stuff their faces until they feel sick. They don't think they have a problem but to me any binging on or lack of control around food, signifies an eating disorder of some kind, especially if it effects your mood.
The women are quite different to the men on diets, they all happily admit they are dieting and obsess and obsess about it.
Let me tell you that my friends on a diet are no fun to be around at all. They deprive themselves of natural pleasures, like having a cosy hot chocolate and a cake on a cold Winters Day and they constantly talk about what they have or have not eaten that day. Worrying about if they have been to the gym or not. Are they losing weight? How long they have been living on salad. They tell you all about it and forget talking about anything that's real.
So emotive are their diets though, that they literally cannot handle their diets when anything goes wrong in their lives. Food then becomes their self harming comfort. They will reach for that packet of biscuits and supersize pizza whether they are hungry or not. They will gorge themselves to make life feel better and they will hate themselves and obsess about dieting all over again. It's insane behaviour!.
Dieting changes you. Suddenly that cake looks like the answer to your credit cards being paid off. Because you are hungry, food seems to have this magical hold over you and it's all you can think about. The diet makes you actually want to eat more than you normally would do.
Let me tell you, writing this blog is the most I've thought about food in 20 years. I can look at the clock some days and it will be 5pm and I'll realise I haven't eaten yet. People say to me, 'How can you forget to eat?' Believe me, when I used to diet constantly, I wouldn't forget to eat ever - because all I thought about was food. Now however, I know I can have food whenever I want it and there are no restrictions, so I'm not obsessed about it and until my stomach tells me it's hungry, I don't think about food or eating at all.
We humans are funny creatures. The more we think that we can't have something, the more we want it. I am no different, if I see a nice jumper that I can't justifiably afford, I want it even more than I would have done if were only £10.
Doesn't that bakery smell oh so good when you are on a diet. My mum is always saying, no I won't buy that lovely cake because I'll only eat it! Well you can eat it. My house is stocked full of cakes and chocolate and everything I love because actually and weirdly, you want it less when you know you can have it. I have whole cakes that go off. I have chocolate bars that have been in my fridge since before Christmas! I know they are there, I will eat them when I am hungry for them.
Dieting and restricting food makes food all the more desirable to us. We obsess about it because having something that we think we can't have, makes us feel better about our lives... but not for long. 10 seconds later and we realise that we didn't want it all, our inner child just wanted to know that we cared about us and probably just wanted to stop feeling hungry. More on the inner child later.
4. YOUR DIET BECOMES YOUR MOOD.
How are you today? Fat thanks for asking.
How I lived this nightmare over and over. Before I found the naturally slim persons way of eating, this was me every day. My weight determined my mood and exactly what sort of a day I was going to have. How utterly stupid and what a waste of years and years of my life.
Now it's a well-known fact (as I don't hide it) that I do have and will always have body dis-morphia, which makes it even more of a miracle that I am not constantly on a diet. The over hang I do still have though, is that I must weigh myself every day. If I don't, I have no idea what I look like. I don't weigh myself to see whether I'm fat though, I have to weigh myself to make sure I haven't got too thin!
That's because it's so easy to lose weight by eating this naturally thin way. I can easily go down to 6 and a half stone and I don't even realise it. So I weigh myself to make sure I'm eating enough, as these days weight just falls off me if I'm not careful. It does not affect my mood though and that's what this section is all about.
How much you weigh or what you have eaten on any particular day, should not determine how you feel about your day or yourself! Life is so very very short and it gets shorter by the day. Life is also so full of wonderful, magical things to see and celebrate. If you spend the whole day with your head down, obsessing about the fact that you've gained two pounds, you are losing so much. You miss the wounder of life. Fuck the scales, how dare they affect your mood.
You know, because I do weigh myself, I know for a fact that I can weigh myself at 10am and be 6 stone 10 and then I can weigh myself at 8 o' clock at night and I'm 6 stone 13. When I'm mid cycle I am always heavier and after I had given birth to Phoenix for that whole first year, I could lose 5lbs in a day!
Please, I beg you unless you have a condition like me or you think you might be losing too much weight, step away from the scales and if you can't, then at least make a promise to yourself that you don't lose anymore of your precious life by being in a bad mood because of what the scales say.
This is a typical scenario of letting the scales affect your mood....You wake up and decide to go to the swimming pool with your partner. It's an outdoor pool and for once it's a beautiful Summer's day. On waking you feel perfectly lovely and you are convinced you've lost weight as you 'feel' thinner. Then you weigh yourself and you've gained two pounds. Suddenly, you feel a lot fatter than you did when you first woke up. You no longer feel lovely nor do you want to go swimming. Now you're obsessing about the fact that everyone will see how hideous you are. From out of nowhere you are vile to your partner, causing a row so you don't have to go anywhere. Hating yourself you have a Mars Bar followed by a cooked breakfast and stay home sobbing and eating, feeling like it's gonna be one of those days where nothing goes right.... All because you have put on two pounds!
What a waste. All because of the stupid scales. Let me tell you, fat or thin you are still lovely. With this way of eating you have to love your body whatever size you are or you won't be able to make it work, so start living your life and loving yourself right now please.
That's it for now. If you enjoy these DIETS DON'T WORK blogs please do share them. I will soon create a page so you can dip in and out of each blog like a book.
There will be 8 more reasons why diet's don't work, done in two more blogs and then the tips and exercises will begin. It's important you understand the reasons DIETS DON'T WORK though, it will help you break the spell of insanity that diet's have created over the years. Read these and join me and become naturally thin.
Expect more parenting blogs soon too and a few more celebrity interviews.
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