Today I bring you a guest post from Registered Dietitian Kait, who works in Private Practice in the DC Metro Area. She uses the non-dieting approach to intuitive eating. Check out her blog Rebel Dietitian for meal planning tips and recipes, self-care ideas, and ways to embrace the rebel mentality!
I am so happy to be sharing a post on one of my favorite blogs with one of my favorite RDs. You see, as a Dietitian in private practice I often have clients coming in thinking we are going to put them on a strict calorie-counting plan and take away all of their favorite foods. While this may work temporarily, it is nearly impossible to sustain and you often end up right back where you started.
The minute you restrict certain foods or start looking at foods as good or bad, you are at risk for overeating at a later time. Rather than focus on calorie counting and the number on the scale I encourage you to eat what you love while striving for balance and eating mindfully.
I encourage you to REBEL against the diet mentality and embrace your love for food. Instead of tracking calories, track your hunger level and mood before and after all meals. Identify trends and ask yourself why am I eating? Am I really hungry? Am I stressed, bored, happy? What do I really want to eat right now?
Here are some various scenarios that can detail the difference between dieting and rebelling.
A Typical Meal
Diet: You are really in the mood for a hot meal, but instead make the same salad with grilled chicken. Perhaps you overeat later in the day because you are not satisfied or rewarding yourself for “having a good day”.
Rebel: You take the time to determine what you are really in the mood for. You sit down at the table, turn off the TV and really savor the meal you just prepared.
Eating at A Restaurant
Diet: You haven’t eaten all day in preparation for your big meal. You are starving when it comes time to order and end up eating 3 pieces of bread before your meal even comes. Another boring salad shows up and you are savoring over your husband’s dinner special.
Rebel: You sit down to dinner excited to try something new. You enjoy a piece of bread out of the basket and are impressed when your seasonal entrée shows up at the table. You check in with yourself halfway through and realize you are actually full, great leftovers for tomorrow!
Diet: You feel like you cannot skip a day of exercise or you feel really guilty. Maybe you can convince yourself to work out if you promise yourself dessert later on.
Rebel: You look forward to a fun exercise class and you enjoy the feeling when you are done. Maybe it is a way for you to be social as well, taking a run with friends. Your eating is not affected by exercise.
Diet: You are in the mood for something sweet but could not even fathom the thought of enjoying dessert. Instead you have your sugar free pudding or chocolate candy, perhaps going back for a second one because it was unsatisfying. Not to mention your stomach is now hurting from that artificial sweetener.
Diet: You may put your life on hold until you achieve a certain weight or compare yourself to others. Perhaps it is hard to go out to eat with friends or enjoy meal times with your spouse or family.
Rebel: You learn to start your day with positive affirmations and appreciate what your body can do for you. Your success is not measured by the number on the scale.
Diet: Snacks are forbidden since added calories cause weight gain right? You are starving at your next meal and have a hard time watching your portions. Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.
Rebel: You learn to fit in snacks in between meals if you are hungry. It is OK to fit in fun foods and you learn how to balance them accordingly. This really helps with portion control at your next meal.
Please remember that food is not the enemy. Life is too short to be counting calories. Fuel your body with foods that you enjoy.