Having spent decades bouncing back and forth between my strict diet du jour and the "I blew it, screw it, eat everything in sight and start again on Monday" program, I am honored to share with others the tips and tools that helped me crack the diet/binge code once and for all.
Those who want today's news to be that the Mediterranean diet has been proven superior to other truly good diets will need to wait until tomorrow, or longer. We had previously lacked any good head-to-head comparisons of "best diet" candidates, and we still do.
We, as a society, have got to change. This unhealthy focus on appearance has to stop. It's all pervasive -- every magazine, TV show, movie, video game seems to be just a disguise for a how-to guide on how we're supposed to look, feel, and act.
No matter what your most tempting foods are, you can still have them -- in moderation and in healthy portions. And with tools like measuring cups, we can eat well and not overdo it to the point of triggering a binge.
Losing weight is torture enough without having to deal with negotiations about forbidden food. And with weight loss saboteurs, if you can spot them, then you can stop their effect on your weight loss efforts.
Emotional eating only becomes a problem when it's overused to cope with or avoid feelings. If you feel that your emotional connections to food are causing problems for you, the following suggestions will help bring emotional eating back into balance.
The jig is up. There is no one specific eating plan or program that will work for everyone. There's no diet or exercise program that will save us all. We all look, feel and live differently, so what makes us think that we can get healthy using the same template?
The cycle of overeating and obesity can be broken. Those trapped in it know what it feels like, but putting our heads in the ground and wishing it would go away will not work -- anybody who has lost weight only to gain it all back and then some knows what I mean.
Once you realize that you can empower yourself to outfox your own limitations and you start to think of yourself as someone who can lose weight and be healthier, then you are emancipated from your own limiting self-beliefs.
Over the last eight years, I have traversed the clothes racks from the size 14 section to the size 6. And I bet you just had an emotional response to those numbers, thinking it was really big or really small or too much of a range or something else altogether.
Mindful eating is not a diet. There are no menus or recipes. It is about being more aware of how much and what you are eating. It is also breaking out of mindless habits. It's a way of eating that you can incorporate into your life for the long run.
It is a new year, and the cry to get back in shape is heard around the world. But there are many out there that don't believe it can happen for them. For one-third of my life, I thought that too. I was obese, weighing 50 more pounds than I do now.
Now that I've been a dad for several years, I am reinvigorated to lose weight and to make it stick. Sure, I'd like to live a longer life, but I'd also like to make sure I don't embarrass the kids now that they're getting to an age where it's obvious that they care about what their friends think.
External controls never work long term. Eventually, we get fed up and rebel. Only an internal change can become a way of life. So how do we achieve an internal shift that will help us obtain and maintain our ideal weight?
To my surprise, this smaller, quieter way of goal setting actually began to work. By keeping quiet, I didn't feel compelled to check in with people (or worse, explain to them why a goal hadn't yet been met). Without this cycle of shame, I found my goals actually had a chance to gain more traction.
This year we got a little closer to understanding why we turn to ice cream and chocolate whenever we get stressed out, crabby or overly emotional. Yes, we still have a lot to learn. Our emotions and eating behavior are incredibly complex.