I struggled with trying to lose 20 pounds for over 15 years. I strict dieted, avoided fat, carbs, tried to control my appetite and fought with cravings all day long.
I used misguided strategies to lose weight and of course I never achieved my goal. I was frustrated, and felt like a failure. I was unhappy in my body, and I know I could do better than that.
I didn’t know I was a restrictive eater, and that this was putting a damper on my weight loss efforts!
After all of the work, I went to holistic nutrition school, devoured every book on eating psychology I could find, listened to a wide variety of experts, and my life changed! I applied simple strategies and slowly but surely the 20 pounds melted away! And I know they will not come back, and that i will never have to try the next “best diet”.
More importantly, I feel better than ever in my body. I eat healthy 80-90% of the time, I indulge once in a while, and I no longer fight with food and my body. It’s a great feeling.
Take this Quiz to determine why you eat the way you do. Then find what easy steps you can take right now to start shifting your weight.
Whether or not you are able to meet your weight-loss goals, or maintain a healthy weight, depends largely on your eating habits and attitude towards food. For each question in this quiz, you will note the answer that most often depicts you. That will tell you what your eating style is. Then read the recommendations to slim down—or staying—on the right track.
#1 You’ve just had a lousy day. Do you:
a) Graze on whatever you find, without thinking about what you’re eating.
b) Find comfort in a tub of ice cream.
c) Grab a few low-carb snacks to ease your stress.
d) Cheer up by calling a friend or curling up with a movie.
#2 While preparing dinner for your family, do you:
a) Nibble on the ingredients for the meal as you cook.
b) Plan to eat just what’s on your plate, but often end up grabbing seconds.
c) Make your own special low-carb meal.
d) Hold off eating until you sit down at the table.
#3 At a restaurant with friends, do you:
a) Gobble up your meal and some of the breadbasket.
b) Order whatever your heart desires; you’re just happy to be with friends.
c) Stick to your low-carb regimen, even if your choice is higher in fat.
d) Skip the appetizer or share your dessert.
#4 You’re under the gun to meet a deadline at work. Do you:
a) Eat whatever you have time to grab and have it while sitting at your desk.
b) Munch on fast food and treats to combat the stress.
c) Eat your usual chicken breast and salad.
d) Keep up your energy with a healthy lunch and a short exercise break.
#5 At a cocktail party, do you:
a) Sample whatever passes your way and park yourself by the bowl of munchies.
b) Not worry about overindulging in food and alcohol; you’re having fun.
c) Eat only those foods allowed in your eating plan, such as nuts or shrimp.
d) Enjoy the hors d’oeuvres but avoid high-fat choices.
Which letter did you choose the most?
Mostly As: You munch mindlessly
Without realizing it, you’re nibbling extra calories all day, perhaps having a few candies at work, picking at food while you’re cooking or having a bowl of popcorn while watching TV. In one study, people underestimated more than 200 decisions they made about food in a day. When you eat when you are distracted, your brain doesn’t register that you are actually eating, so it screams hungry because it hasn’t got it’s fix. When you eat when you’re distracted, you have no idea how much you’re actually eating, and it will take a lot of food to feel satisfied.
- Slow down with meals, pay attention to the taste, texture, smell.
- Listen to how the food is feeling in your body. Are you getting any reactions? Is your stomach expanding?
- Feel nourished and allow to feel pleasured with the food you’re eating.
- Wear snug-fitting pants or a belt to the table; when they start to feel tight, you’ve had your fill.
- Chew your food thoroughly.
- When you eat, chose to eat, and avoid working on the computer, reading or watching TV while eating. This is the time to nourish your body.
- Breathe deeply as you eat to incorporate more oxygen and burn calories more efficiently.
Mostly Bs: You’re an emotional eater
Like many people, you eat to take your mind off of sadness or stress, or as a reward when you are happy. But when people eat in response to emotions, they are less likely to lose weight and more likely to regain it than when they ate in response to external factors.
From birth, food is a source of comfort. Emotional eating is normal for many people, it makes us feel good, but if you want to be healthy, you have to take responsibility and learn to handle your emotions in a more efficient way by becoming aware of your triggers.
- Tune in to the emotions that make you overeat by writing down what you have through the day. Note your mood and location, you can then, identify your triggers. Download a Free journal here
- Instead of a celebratory dinner, treat yourself to a massage.
- Weight-loss plans that are too ambitious can lead to emotional overeating. Instead, opt for small, baby steps, and build from there.
Mostly Cs: You restrict healthy carbs
You view carbs as the enemy, so you’re missing out on foods that are important for energy and health. A lot of women are opting for a low carb- high fat diet, because it’s the new thing that promised weight loss and healthy hormones. From my experience doing this type of diet, it only works temporarily and if you have a history of restricting fat in your diet. I see a lot of women forcing themselves into a diet like this, only to put their health and weight at a bigger risk. “People on low-carb diets showed no significant weight-loss difference after a year than those watching their calories,” says Donald Hensrud, a nutrition specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Carbs are not the enemy! Neither is fat, let’s get rid of all this fads, and get back to some simple logic. Eating Whole foods, in the most natural unprocessed form and grown with care and dignity, should be your only concern.
- Restricting refined carbs is wise; most people eat too many.But carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables are loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals, and more importantly disease fighting chemicals, and are key for digestion and helping you feel full.
- The higher fat content in low-carb diets unless is healthy fat, can put you at risk for other health issues. Also, a lot of people have difficulty digesting fat because their liver and gallbladder are congested.
- Restricting carbs may lead to overeating at night because you’ve under-eaten all day, so you should shift more of your calorie intake to breakfast and lunch. The peak of your digestive and calorie burning power is from noon to 2pm, so try to eat your bigger meals during this time.
Mostly Ds: You have healthy eating habits
You’ve got a good attitude, choosing mostly nutritious foods and occasionally indulging without guilt. You eat with awareness, enjoying food and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness signals. However if you are struggling to lose weight, it might be time to relax a little.
- Consider if you are restricting certain foods in your diet because you are afraid of gaining weight. If you feel restricted, your body can sense stress and prevent weight loss.
- Are you exercising too much? Watch if you are having trouble recovering from workouts, and if so, slow down and take more rest in between workouts.
- Make sure to feel pleasured by the food you eat, eat slow and be sure to get out of the routine and try new foods.
Now, share your results with us below.