Renee Little, R.D.
A Guide to Peace, Joy & Balance with Food
If you've read the previous article on "Want to set a weight loss goal? Here's what you need to know first" you might be thinking a bit differently about weight loss and need some direction on where to go from here!!! I am here for you!
Now that you've had your eyes opened to the deception that exists in the weight loss industry let's celebrate!!!! You can finally live a life without dieting!!!! This is seriously amazing!
The key to peace, joy and balance with food IS about letting a weight loss goal sit on the sidelines instead of making it the "main show."
So if you want to leave dieting & weight loss as the "main show" behind, what do you need do first? First let's discover where your drive to lose weight originated. Why did you want to lose weight?
Think about what you wanted to accomplish by losing weight........give this a few minutes and it might help to journal your thoughts.
Did you want to lose weight to:
improve your health?
improve your confidence?
so your clothes fit better?
so you feel sexy/more desirable?
so you feel better about your body?
These are the reasons I hear most often from my clients. Is there anything else that might be coming up for you?
My clients have pursued weight loss because they thought it would help to attain these things in their life. But when they lost weight they still didn't feel confident, sexy OR better about their body. They still remember feeling like they needed to lose MORE weight and were never satisfied at any weight .
After being on a diet for 2, 3, 6 months they all regained the weight again. Once they regained the weight they report feeling sad and angry about their body and worried about their health. My clients found me because they new there MUST be another method to achieve good health, more confidence, have clothes that fit better, feel more desirable and better about your body.
And they were right.....there is!
Here are a few ideas for you on how you can get started on these goals:
1. Improve your health
If we know weight loss/regain is actually WAY worse for your health and only 10% of diets work.....would you still be able to say that dieting improves your health?
If dieting doesn't improve health what does? These key elements are all involved in what makes us healthy individuals:
Getting enough sleep - making a sleep routine as a goal can help to improve your quality and quantity of sleep! Here is a great article on sleep tips.
Having regular meals and snacks - if you've been dieting chronically you may not be able to fully trust your body to tell you when/what/how to eat. You might need to learn how to reconnect with your body. Learn more about intuitive eating here.
Getting connected with your hunger and fullness cues - if you need to reconnect to your hunger cues this is a big part of mindful and intuitive eating. You can read these articles and also listen to my recording on YouTube about a mindful eating meditation.
Reducing stress and coping with your emotions without using food - this is also part of the learning of the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating.
Take part in FUN activity! If you have only been using activity for weight loss you may not enjoy it AT ALL. Finding ways to enjoy activity is important to sticking with it long term. Learn more about mindful movement here!
Finding JOY with food again instead of feeling as though it's the "enemy." Food freedom and making peace with food is also a key part of intuitive eating! Learn more by reading the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. blog post.
2. Improve your confidence, body image and self worth
Weight loss itself will not improve your confidence......so what will? I do feel as though this journey is quite different for each person but we can probably find some common threads. Filling your Instagram, bookshelf and podcast list up with body positive messages INSTEAD of messages that keep endorsing the "thin ideal" will help you to make a shift!!
Here are some suggestions for you:
Listen to body positive podcasts
Body Love Project - Jessi Haggerty, RD
Body Kindness - Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN and Exercise Physiologist
The Love Food Podcast - Julie Duffy Dillon, RDN
Food Psych - Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN
Nourished Circle - Kori and Lor, HAES Non-diet Dietitians
The Mindful Dietitian - Fiona Sutherland, RD
Create a social media environment that jumps for joy and celebrates all bodies. Follow body positive Instagram accounts such as: @livitnutrition, @bodyposipanda, @themindfuldietitian, @drcolleenreichmann, @i_weigh, @roseybeeme, @vinccird, @mollykatewellness, @chr1styharrison this is just a start! Start exploring hashtags like bodypositive, intuitiveeating, mindfuleating and nondiet.
Hire a coach - an intuitive eating coach has the specialized knowledge to be able to help you understand the nuances in each area and in your own eating habits.
Read books on how to improve your confidence and self esteem:
3. Improve how your clothes fit
How your clothes fit and look have nothing to do with your body. It's ALL about the clothes. Finding clothes that fit all body types and sizes can absolutely be challenging but is IS possible.
Be patient in your journey, finding clothes that look great and fit well can be difficult.
Talk to your fiends about their shopping experience
I recommend that you have a minimum of 4-5 work outfits that make you FEEL amazing and pick items you can mix and match into multiple outfits
For weekends I recommend 2-3 casual outfits that feel comfortable and relaxed
Whether you are going to a yoga class OR a formal gala you need to feel good in your outfit. Try the outfit on before the class/event to be sure you like how it looks on your body.
If you have clothes that are too tight, too big/baggy donate them. Then once you clear out your closet of all clothes that do not fit well you can see where you will need to fill in your wardrobe.
Don't wait until you FIT the clothes, buy clothes that fit your body
~You can LOVE your body & find peace, joy and balance with food~
It doesn't take weight loss, it takes a shift in perspective. You can absolutely adore your body. It takes work but over time with practice, you can change your thoughts about your body. Once this shifts....your relationship with food also shifts! This is so key.
Dieting and weight cycling as risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases: who is really at risk? J.-P. Montani, Y. Schutz and A. G. Dulloo
How dieting makes some fatter: from a perspective of human body composition autoregulation Abdul G. Dulloo*, Jean Jacquet and Jean-Pierre Montani Proceedings of the Nutrition Society (2012), 71, 379–38
Persistent Metabolic Adaptation 6 Years After “The Biggest Loser” Competition Erin Fothergill et al. Obesity (2016) 00, 00-00. doi:10.1002/oby.21538