Chronic Diet or Simple Eating Plan, you decide below!
Case study 1 – Lisa has been bringing the exact same lunch every day for 8 months. She always has her little kitchen scale (she calls him The Warden) to double-check that she isn’t over the grams she’s allowed of grapes per lunch. Honestly, she doesn’t seem that happy or like she is enjoying her food but because her weight is still all over the place, she’s staying the course.
Case study 2 – Nancy brings a fresh salad with protein to work every day. The evening before work she takes a look in her fridge to see what colorful veggies she’s got. On days she has a hard time choosing, she has a little color spinner she can flick, and she picks her salad toppings according to the winning colors. Nancy is always excited to show her lunch to her coworkers because it’s fun! Nancy has also been able to include exercise in her daily routine. She’s feeling less anxious overall, and she’s down nearly 10 lbs!
Nancy and Lisa both have struggled with their weight since perimenopause started changing their bodies. Nancy has managed to keep her sanity and her gastro health by adding new healthier habits and is trying to make them fun and enjoyable. She has noticed a big change in her energy levels. She’s sleeping better, her brain doesn’t feel like scrambled eggs, and her ability to communicate has improved.
Lisa has been struggling a bit longer since perimenopause graced her a bit earlier in life, we all know how unpredictable the big menopause can be. Since starting her journey, Lisa has tried 4 different diets, multiple times each. She successfully got back down to her pre-peri weight, but she gained it back (and then some!) just as fast.
She’s sleeping like shit, gets all her energy from drinking coffee all day, and hasn’t had sex with her husband in months.
What Lisa doesn’t know is that every time she shocks her body into a new diet, her body is already one step ahead. Her body is doing something called Adapting.
Adaptation is the body’s way of keeping you going by any means possible, and that doesn’t mean it’s going to do it in a healthy way. It’s doing it for survival only.
**Human physiology has many safeguards in place to keep our body processes functioning. Many of these safeguards also make it difficult for an individual to maintain lost weight. **
What Lisa is engaging in is called chronic dieting. Nearly 50% of all women in North America are dieting right now! If someone has been a chronic dieter or has spent an extended amount of time in a calorie deficit, their body has slowed their metabolism. And THAT is called adaptation, and you must start eating to fuel your body.
Nancy, on the other hand, has a plan to keep her lunches healthy AND fun. She has a plan to eat good, healthy, enriching food without the focus being portion control (not that I don’t think that’s helpful… it is.)
Nancy eats her salad until she’s 80% full and doesn’t feel the need to weigh it out because she knows that if she eats all her lunch, she won’t be ‘hangry’ and over snack later. It’s really a win-win!
So, if you’re looking to make a change, try making yourself a Simple Eating Plan. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much weight you lose, or how fast it’s lost; a good eating plan is a sustainable eating plan. With a shopping list, a plan, and a little community support, we can all get ahead of the chronic diet fad by enjoying the foods we love and that fill us in the right ways.
For more information on healthy eating vs diet culture and adaptation, feel free to reach out!
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