The Big Fat Problem: Adjusting Food Attitude

Dear Miranda:

I’m 35 and I’ve have been on five different diets over the past five years. I have great intentions and commit myself to a program and actually lose weight. But, I have always gained it back. I try to reach for products that are healthy, but I find myself dealing with my weight every day of my life it seems. I’m obsessed with it and I want to change this pattern once and for all!

– Angie

Dear Angie,

I wish I could banish the word DIET from the dictionary. It implies that you eat a certain way for a period of time and then go back to the way you used to eat…which is how you got there in the first place. Ugh!

The common thread that exists throughout every diet program is the one-size-fits-all approach. Eat this, at this time, in this amount, and you will lose weight. 

Here’s the BIG FAT problem. You are physically, emotionally and mentally different than every other person. You are biochemically unique. You have developed certain food comforts, food phobias, likes and dislikes. We all do. It often starts from 0-5, the formative years, so you may have little recollection of this programming. 

I like to call this your food-attitude.

Most diets never take this into consideration. They want you to pay your fee, eat how they say is best and, once you lose some weight, send you on your way to figure it all out yourself because their work is done.

So if you really want to lose the weight once and for all, here’s how to change your food attitude from Flab to Fab:

1) Food is Fuel. Start thinking about what you need to eat in your day to fuel up your body so it can do what it needs to do. Stop eating just for taste. Challenge yourself daily to eat for health 80% of the time and taste 20% of the time. This is called the 80/20 rule. 

2) Food is NOT a burden in your busy day. Demands are great for all young professionals; deadlines are looming, functions are happening and before you know it you haven’t eaten for 8 hours. Stop that. You have to accept that you will have to eat the rest of your life for health if you want to be healthy and fit. If you don’t slot eating in your busy schedule, you will end up with some angry organs that will only tell you when they are diseased. Be a day ahead of yourself or spend one evening a week cooking some meals. Always have a good snack with you.

3) Really, you haven’t liked (enter food) since you were a kid? 90% of my clients tell me that they haven’t liked certain foods since he or she was a child. I always ask, “have you tried it since you were a child?” Stop limiting yourself with food. Try something new every week. While at the grocery store, go down a new aisle. I suggest the health food aisle. Pick up a new green, leafy vegetable or an old one that you think you don’t like and find a kick-ass recipe. Your taste buds change every week so if you keep on trying new items you will have brand new appreciation for a variety of foods. 

4) Your Gut Instinct. When you were a child, you knew when you were hungry, and when you were full. I see this so clearly with my two-year old. The body has an amazing ability to instinctively know what it needs and you didn’t have any inner-self talk saying don’t eat that because you’re fat. We lose this awareness as we grow older and most diet programs do not teach how to hone in on this. Start listening to your body. 

5) Weight-Loss is Effortless. I bet you’ve never said that before! You are probably thinking this girl is nuts! But maybe you are so used to thinking it’s difficult, and that you will always be overweight because you’ve always been overweight that your food-attitude sticks in that negative place because it’s become comfortable. Make sense? You might also feel the weight is protecting you from something deeper that you haven’t been able to address. Maybe ask yourself if are you holding on to something emotional that is making you hold on to the weight?

Changing your lifestyle is a daily practice. It’s not something that you go on for six weeks and then stop. When you shift your food attitude, the weight will come off effortlessly and stay off.