How many of you made a New Year’s Resolution to go on a diet? Raise your hands high – you know who you are!
I am here to help you break your resolution.
No, seriously. I don’t believe in diets.
“What?!” I hear you ask incredulously. A healthy blogger who doesn’t believe in diets?! Uh huh.
I believe in Eating Intentionally, inspired by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resche, who wrote “Intuitive Eating”, a brilliant book that I read and reviewed back last year. Their concept of “intuitive eating” really struck a chord with me, and validated my own personal thoughts regarding food consumption and healthy eating.
I’m taking the concept a step further this year and making it a part of my life, from abstract idea to internalized principle. My personal guide word for 2012 is “Intentional” (inspired in part by my friend Leigh Ann, who blogs at Intentional by Grace), and my goal is to be intentional in every area of my life, including what and how I eat.
And I invite you to join me! Each month (from January to October), I’m going to highlight one of the 10 principles behind the concept of intuitive eating, and put it to practice in my life. I’m going to encourage you to do the same! On the first Sunday of every month, I’m going to write a post explaining the principle I’m going to work on throughout that month. Then, every Monday, as part of my Menu Plan Monday post, I’m going to have an Eating Intentionally Check-In, where I’ll keep you updated with my progress. In turn, if you decide to go on this journey with me this year, you can check-in with me, too! Leave a comment in each Meal Plan Monday post telling me how you’re doing with that month’s principle. If you’re a blogger, write a post about it, and leave a link in the comments section!
And now for January’s principle: Ditch the Diet Mentality.
Your mission this month, should you choose to accept it, is this: if one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to go on a diet, then cross it off your list. Scared to? I highly recommend you read Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works, as the authors go into great detail about the detriments of dieting. Talk about scary! To summarize, here are my thoughts from my original review of the book:
All the research - ALL the research, and they cite quite a bit of it – proves that forbidding foods (either specific foods or limiting amounts of it) always results in an almost “hoarding” mentality, wherein you binge either before or after dieting because you feel deprived. It’s ingrained in us as part of our survival to make sure we always have food available – we need it to live! So when we anticipate (or experience) a deprivation of food, our bodies naturally kick into preservation mode and begin hoarding food, fat and calories to keep us alive. This is partly a psychological function, but it has its roots in biology, which made the biggest impression on me. I won’t go into the science of it here (because I know I’ll mess it up, science not being my strong point), but the bottom line is that there is a biological reaction that occurs in your body whenever you expect to be deprived of food, or indeed are deprived of food. And that biological reaction goes against the whole idea of dieting, because it causes your body to lose muscle mass, store fat, and eat more food. So from a biological standpoint, there is no point in dieting; it is, in fact, counter-productive.
What does “ditching the diet mentality” mean practically? How exactly do you go about doing that? It means:
- Forget about the New Year’s diet resolution. It won’t last long anyway.
- Don’t read any books, magazine articles, blog posts, or any other written material about dieting or diet plans or losing weight. Just don’t.
- Don’t look at nutrition labels for calories and fat content. DON’T!!! And I mean it.
- Don’t mentally calculate calories.
- Don’t even worry about portion sizes.
Here’s to an Intentional New Year!
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