I can just hear the gym after a holiday like Easter:
“I ate too much of my kids candy”
“I ate like crap ALL weekend!”
“I can’t believe I ate so much yesterday. I’m back on track today!”
Second to Halloween, I think more candy gets exchanged on Easter than any other day of the year. I certainly got my fair share (thanks Mom) 🙂 On top of some candy, I had some Lucky Charms for breakfast, French Toast at brunch and macaroni and cheese with wine the night before. There were so many years where I would leave a holiday like Easter feeling awful about myself because I was eating foods that were “off-limits” according to whatever diet I was on. I would eat all my candy as fast as possible on Easter so it wouldn’t be laying around to eat later, then I could start over on Monday.
Well, it always backfired. I never held to my diet because it was always about deprivation. There was no wiggle room for candy let carbs smothered in cheese paired with alcohol! I’ve very luckily become more relaxed about the way I eat so this weekend was NBD but it took a while to get to this point, and while I’m not a huge fan of my people going on strict diets to lose weight, I do think there is a lot we can learn from them.
Constant dieting has a way of making us feel like failures if we don’t stick to them 100%. Considering ourselves a failure when we fall off our diet is a pretty good way to keep us in a restrict/binge cycle. Once we fall off track, we almost automatically begin belittling ourselves and the name-calling starts because you’ve “failed” at yet another diet. But what if instead of harping on the failure, you could find something useful from the experience to carry over into making a lifestyle choice?
My hope is that after this article you can be free from diets once and for all. I’ve found a super easy way to formulate your very own, personalized eating lifestyle.
Here are my personal lessons from my past life as a dieter:
- South Beach Diet: Lost weight but I was in a serious brain fog most of the time and cravings were out of control (#carblover) and never made it past phase 1
- Special K: No weight lost because I was having a bowl of cereal at breakfast and lunch then the entire cafeteria at school for dinner.
- SlimFast: No weight lost and those bars…they came out the same way they went in. (TMI?)
- Figure Competition Diet: Lost weight at first but I wouldn’t sustain it. This diet was too restrictive and involved too much planning for me. I was allotted one cheat meal per week and therefore cravings went through the roof.
- Isagenix: No weight lost, super pricey and I like eating food. I didn’t like having a shake for a meal.
- IIFYM: Math?! No thanks.
Looking at all of this info gives me a lot of feedback on what works for me, so below are all my diet must-haves:
- I prefer a higher carb diet because I’m very active and need my brain to be clear when I’m training and teaching all day.
- Cereal/bars/shakes aren’t a satisfying meal for me, I need more substance.
- I need to have some way to incorporate treats into my diet to avoid feeling deprived.
- I don’t want to do math to figure out what I can eat because math is hard and it’s too much work for me.
Now that I know all this info, I can begin to put together my very own eating lifestyle. Some specifics: I almost never eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Not because I think it’s “bad” but because I know it won’t hold me over as long as I need it to. Perfect example was this morning. I had Lucky Charms, which were delicious, but they held me over for about an hour whereas my usual breakfast, greek yogurt and some trail mix or a couple hard boiled eggs and a piece of fruit, keeps me satisfied for at least three. I also have some kind of treat almost every day. I have either a glass of wine, some chocolate or some of my favorite candy. This helps me stay away from feeling restricted and deprived. I also don’t count or track anything I eat. Lots of lessons learned then implimented 🙂
Lastly, consider this, if you keep failing on diets over and over again…maybe you shouldn’t be on one. Remember that the people writing those diets know nothing about YOU. So take control here and do the work to formulate your own list of must-haves and develop your own way of eating. I’ve played around with enough diets to know how to eat for the body I want and it’s possible for anyone. Look to yourself for all the info you need to get the body you want instead of looking for the latest diet. Become the expert on YOU.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to sign up for my newsletter where I share a lot more insights, tips and tricks on all things nutrition, fitness and mindset! Click here to join —> http://bit.ly/1PJnYe4 🙂