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The Best Ways To Avoid Diet Culture

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “diet culture”, but what does it mean? Diet culture is a system of beliefs that praises thinness and values weight, shape, and size over health and well-being. This belief system also: 

  • Promotes weight loss as a means of attaining higher status, usually with  unrealistic standards
  • Labels certain foods as “good” and other foods as “bad”, linking food choices to moral virtue 
  • Perpetuates fatphobia and fuels eating disorders 

This can begin to show up in your personal world as:

  • Using exercise as punishment
  • Letting a food label give you permission to eat
  • Celebrating one’s weight loss, silence when weight is gained
  • Talking about diet and your body not in a positive way
  • Avoiding food groups for being “bad”
  • Associating worth with how you look
  • Equating thinness with health
  • Feeling guilt and shame around food
  • Letting the scale influence your behaviors
  • Worshiping thinness 
  • Avoiding socializing to avoid any eating challenges
  • Distrust between you and your body

How do you protect yourself from the $70 billion dollar diet industry that intentionally promotes weight loss at any cost, KNOWING that dieting doesn’t work yet blames YOU for its failure? Here are the best ways to avoid diet culture:

Get Educated About Diet Culture

Congrats, you are already checking this box by reading this blog! If you don’t have any concept of what diet culture is, you have no chance of avoiding it! 

Detox From Unsupportive Social Media Influencers

People that promote diet culture know that you’re susceptible to the messages and images that feed into the diet culture, and will try to sell you on it every second they get. Plus, since diet culture is heavily integrated in social media, you will find many individuals get sucked into the game without realizing it, and then promoting it with booty shots, heavy talk about how much weight they’ve lost, or the latest and greatest diet they’re on. No matter how popular they may be as a public figure, if you truly want to get out of your head about food, unfollow these types of influencers and programs. Only follow those that inspire you with positive messaging about food, body image, and life! 

Diet culture

Adopt An Intuitive Eating Approach

Intuitive Eating helps you move from body distrust to body trust, ultimately becoming your own nutrition expert surrounding why, when, what, and how much to eat without counting one more damn calorie. That means getting back in touch with what you want and need to eat, your hunger and fullness cues, and finding joy in eating again without the diet culture food police attacking you at every bite. 

Intuitive eating sounds like a unicorn for many, but you HAVE intuitive eating instincts already within you. In my professional experience, working with a professional to help you get more comfortable with intuitive eating will help you stay OUT of your head in the process which will speed up the rate to which you truly adopt intuitive eating. Our Diet Freedom™ Membership is designed to give you a clear success path to follow to master intuitive eating AND get to the root of your unwanted eating behaviors but without having to read 1000 books. You can learn more here.

Avoid Moralizing Food

Resist thinking about food in black and white terms of “good” or “bad”. Sure, are there foods that are more nutrient rich than others? Absolutely. But YOU are not morally bad by having foods on the lower end of the nutrient richness scale. Plus, one particular food or meal alone won’t cause you to gain weight or make you unhealthy! This also means being aware of any comments you make towards others about what they are choosing to eat. This can be just as harmful to them as it is to you, even when done in jest. My advice? No matter what you choose to eat, aim to feel better AFTER the meal than before you started. Make any food decisions from an empowering place, that means at times you say yes, and other times you say no, but on your terms and NOT in a rebellious way.

Dare To Enjoy Food

Wow, what a crazy concept! Well folks, eating SHOULD be pleasurable. If you are gagging at the thought of chicken and rice but yet continue to eat it because you’re trying to “be good” and “eat healthy”, please stop. Regardless of nutrient composition, if you do not like what you’re eating, DO NOT EAT IT. Choose foods instead that you will enjoy that also make your body and mind feel good. We are wired to enjoy our food, it is literally a psycho-physiological need. If we do not enjoy our food, the brain won’t get the full message we’ve eaten and will pump out craving signals to eat more. Plus your resentment and dissatisfaction towards healthy eating will only increase. Instead, you can ask yourself, will I feel nourished after eating this? To help you give yourself your own reality check with what you choose to eat.

Embrace Body Diversity

Recognize that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. The message is NOT that ALL bodies are healthy at every size. Yes, some larger bodies can be unhealthy, but smaller bodies can be unhealthy too. We all have a genetic blueprint. I have a women’s 8 shoe size. I would never try to shrink my feet size to fit into a size 6 shoe. Ouch. Our bodies are no different. We all come in different shapes and sizes. The best thing to do to discover your natural size and healthy weight set point is to focus on healthy emotional well being, physical fitness, and nourishing your body adequately via intuitive eating. After all, what makes us different IS what makes us authentic and unique!

Reframe Your Self-Talk

Now that you’re seeing what diet culture is and how to avoid it, you’ll need to be doing some reframing with the food and body police in your head. They will be there for a while because this has been your perception for a long time. As heavy food or body judgment thoughts come up, you’ll want to practice bringing awareness to them and reframing them from a non-diet culture frame of mind, here are some examples:

OMG these jeans make me look SO fatThese jeans aren’t comfortable, let me see about trying on a different pair…

How much weight have you lost so far?Your energy is fabulous today, I’m so proud of you for putting yourself first!

This food is bad, I shouldn’t be eating thisHow will this food make me feel after? Do I really want it? 

There you have it! Now you’re ready to stand guard against the demoralizing diet culture! Ready, set, go! 

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting: 8 Totally Doable Steps

If you’re looking for how to lose weight WITHOUT dieting, you’re in the right place. This is our speciality. People are waking up and seeing the collateral damage that dieting causes and are looking for more holistic approaches to lose weight so they can change how they think about food, which ultimately will change unwanted eating behaviors and help their body lose weight naturally as a bonus bi-product of finding peace around food.  

Here are recommended steps to lose weight but without counting or tracking one more damn point or calorie: 

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#1 Educate Yourself About Why Diets Don’t Work

This will create a paradigm shift you need to ensure you NEVER EVER get sucked into the dieting world that only keeps you stuck and makes your unwanted eating symptoms WORSE. If you don’t know the psychology and biology behind why diets don’t work, it’s hard to get on board with any other approach to lose weight naturally that doesn’t involve dieting, leaving you caught up in the on again off again dieting cycles. Get involved with anti-dieting resources and books as these will likely contain clinical facts about the negative impact dieting has on your mind, body, and spirit that the diet industry doesn’t want you to know. 

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#2 Enjoy Your Food

This might sound like a weird step, but it is one of the most important because dieting causes us to forget that we are wired to like food. If we didn’t like food, we wouldn’t eat, and our species would die off. It’s that simple. But today we get so caught up in numbers and the fast pace of the day we don’t even bother anymore to check in to even see if we are enjoying our food, leaving us feeling deprived, and our mind and body stressed (literally). When it comes to trying to lose weight without dieting…

How are you going to not feel deprived if you don’t even like what you’re choosing to eat daily?

How are you going to sustain your success if healthy eating feels like a chore? 

If you don’t enjoy what you eat day today, it’s going to make everything harder, trust me. Be honest about what you’re eating. Nutrient rich or not, if you don’t like it, replace it with something you do. 

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#3 Identify and Meet Your True Needs

Emotional eating and binge eating are our loudest symptoms that are trying to get our attention that we are not meeting our true emotional or spiritual needs. From the need to find other means of entertainment, ways to relax or destress, or act on what our soul and gut are asking of us, emotional eating and binge eating get our attention in a big way. When we don’t meet our emotional or spiritual needs, we often use food to substitute, but food can’t fix our feelings so therefore we keep eating, and the cycle repeats itself.

To lose weight without dieting, it’s time to stop and bring awareness to what it is that YOU need. Sometimes it’s not even anything deep, like if you’re eating because you’re bored, find another way to entertain yourself that has nothing to do with food. If you’re tired, how can you rest more? Other times it does go deeper, like maybe you don’t feel heard, need a new challenge, or feel a void because you don’t do anything pleasurable for yourself? This is the time to get curious, and honest. The more you can meet your true needs, eating symptoms will naturally dissolve (along with your waistline).

lose weight without dieting

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#4 Practice Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating is a gentle, specific framework that (re)teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, mind, and body–where you ultimately become the expert of your own body about why, when, what, how, and how much to eat. When you become your own nutrition expert, you won’t need to depend on any diet app, meal plan, or quick fix to lose weight EVER AGAIN! 

Ultimately, you are the expert of your body. You were actually born with all the wisdom you need to be able to eat with trust, but the problem is simply that you have become disconnected from this wisdom. The framework of intuitive eating (which we teach) helps you reconnect to this wisdom.

One of the first action steps I have my clients practice to reconnect with their body is this one: Shift your intention of eating to feel better AFTER the meal than before you started, no matter what you choose to eat. Can you imagine how things would shift for you if you were to truly explore this new eating intention? It changes eating from “being good” to “feeling good” with food, naturally helping you lose emotional weight around food, feel less reactive around food, which will only help you with your physical goals too. To capitalize on this intention, you’ll find you’ll feel best after eating when you eat when you’re hungry, so be willing to explore listening to your body and relearning its innate, gentle hunger cues that communicate with you when it needs fuel. 

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#5 Adopt a Growth Mindset

If you have zero compassion or support for yourself and are always waiting for the other shoe to drop, forget it…losing weight naturally without dieting is not going to happen for you. You must change your way of thinking to be that of a growth mindset instead of a fixed, negative, glass half full mindset. This is literally a non-negotiable MUST. 

Your thoughts trigger feelings and urges, which then trigger your behaviors, so shifting your thinking patterns HAS to happen if you want to see and do food differently. What you focus on, ultimately does become your reality, even if it is a false reality. Your brain therefore has the power to destroy you, or save you. You get to choose. But here’s a warning: if you don’t choose, your brain will choose for you, and by default it won’t choose the positive path as that takes more effort and consciousness. Your brain will always take the path of least resistance, the negative path. As in the movie the Matrix, do you want the red pill, or the blue pill? Choose wisely. Here are examples on how to reframe your unsupportive thinking into that of a growth mindset:

Fixed Mindset: I’m never going to be able to do this! –> Growth Mindset: I’m in the process of learning, I’ll get there.

Fixed Mindset: I overate again, see? I AM a failure! –> New Mindset: What can I learn from this that will help me move forward? 

Fixed Mindset: Avoiding a challenge –> New Mindset: Embrace an opportunity

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#6 Slow Down

It’s becoming more and more normal to function at a faster and faster pace in everyday living. Great if you love to cross off as many things possible your daily to-do list, NOT so great for feeling at ease around food and weight loss. When you have a biochemical warfare going on internally from being in the fight or flight, many things happen that are NOT in your favor when it comes to losing weight without all the crazy dieting: 

  • Increased cortisol
  • Lower metabolism
  • Decreased sensitivity to pleasure (which means more cravings)
  • Appetite deregulation
  • Reactive vs mindful mindset (especially around food)
  • And more…

Slowing down works with your body rather than against it. It doesn’t mean you stop being productive during the day or that you are lazy. Are you lazy or unproductive when you sleep? Absolutely not. If you didn’t sleep, you’d be a train wreck, proof that to be productive in your life doesn’t mean you always have to keep going like the energizer bunny. Slowing down can be just as productive and is one of the most overlooked ways to feel good around food and lose weight. Your body is NOT designed to get rid of protective body fat during times of crises and stress. So do your body a favor and work on your boundaries and slow down a few moments a day. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

can you lose weight without dieting

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#7 Remove Toxic Social Media Influencers

This one is pretty simple. Would you go sit into bars if you were trying to get sober from alcohol? Exactly. So stop following all the people or groups that trigger your wants to lose weight instantly using some ridiculous diet and replace them with only influencers that empower you to embrace and nurture your physical and emotional needs without having anything to do with restrictive dieting. This may also include removing the scale for the time being. It’s my number one rule at the beginning of my coaching with clients. Get rid of it until further notice. Doing so puts them in a better mental position to stay focused and tuned into their inner GPS and body. It’s amazing what you can learn when you just give yourself this permission and opportunity to check in. 

How To Lose Weight Without Dieting:

#8 Hire An Eating Psychology Coach

The steps above might seem straight forward, but each step has some layers, and what might sound simple isn’t always easy. That’s why my final recommendation to help you lose weight without dieting is to hire a competent, experienced coach that has experience and eating psychology expertise helping others with their relationship with food, NOT a dieting coach. Why try to figure this all out on your own when someone else has already been there and can help you reach your goals 10x faster?? 

A good coach provides a clear path to success with timely and authentic support along the way to help you unlearn unhealthy habits and food rules faster and more efficiently than you ever could do on your own. It’s not uncommon with our private coaching that we can provide an 80% improvement in one’s relationship with food in only 8-10 weeks, and that’s after DECADES of trying and failing diet after diet! 

And can we be honest? We are not the nicest and most supportive of ourselves and don’t do the best job of cheering ourselves on, therefore a mentor plays a crucial role in emotionally supporting you until you build the strength and skills to better support and love yourself, unconditionally. 

This is what we live and breathe for, help you get your head straight around food and lose the weight for good, but without all the tracking, weighing, and annoying unsustainable dieting tactics. We naturally combine ALL of these steps mentioned above into easy to follow road maps for you! Here is more information about how our amazing coaches can help you reach your goals and show you EXACTLY how to lose the weight without dieting, literally step by step. 

In Closing…

Don’t panic about having to do ALL the steps above at once. Just start with ONE that feels right for you. Just one of these steps is a HUGE step forward to helping you lose weight – without dieting! 

Do I Have Body Dysmorphia? Signs to Look Out For

What is Body Dysmorphia?

Most of us have something we don’t like about our appearance — a crooked nose, some wrinkles in our face, a roll over our jeans, or “wings” under our arms. And though we may fret about our imperfections, they don’t interfere with our daily lives. Body dysmorphia, more specifically body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), is defined as “A relatively common and disabling psychiatric disorder characterized by excessive and persistent preoccupation with perceived defects or flaws in one’s appearance, which are unnoticeable to others, and associated repetitive behaviors (e.g., mirror checking).”[1] It is excessive to the point where their thoughts may cause such severe emotional distress it interferes with their daily functioning. They may miss work or school, avoid social situations and isolate themselves, even from family and friends, because they fear others will notice their flaws.

How Do I Know If I have Body Dysmorphia?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder impacts approximately 1 out of every 50 people in the general population [2], both in males and females. The signs and symptoms that one with BDD might exhibit can vary based on factors such as individual history and personality. Most people with BDD are mostly convinced or completely convinced that they look ugly or abnormal, even though other people don’t see them this way. Common symptoms of BDD include: [3]

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Noticable change in eating patterns and behaviors (overly obsessed)
  • Constant comparison to others in efforts to receive reassurance about their body
  • Extreme exercise or weight lifting routines
  • Repetitive behaviors such as picking at one’s skin, excessive grooming, frequent mirror checking, and hygiene behaviors often for at least 1 hour a day, typically more (up to 8 hours)
  • Excessive spending on beauty products
  • Disguising certain body parts with clothing

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Poor relationships
  • Avoidance of social situations due to fear of ridicule
  • Poor self-esteem [3]
  • Obsessive-compulsive tendencies or diagnosis 
body image disorder

Can You Self Diagnose Body Dysmorphia?

It is important that you recognize and not ignore any potential signs and symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, however like any mental or physical health condition, you should NEVER self diagnose and always consult the opinion and official diagnosis of a mental health professional.

What Triggers Body Dysmorphia?

It is believed that BDD can develop due to a combination of genetic predisposition (nature) and environmental factors such as traumatic life experiences (nurture).

  • There may be a genetic predisposition or vulnerability to the disorder, which would make a person more likely to develop BDD in certain situations. Thus some people with BDD may have a relative with BDD, OCD or depression. In fact, in the DSM-5, BDD is now classified under the Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders chapter. This is due to BDD and OCD commonly being diagnosed together.
  • Poor attachment to a career and certain stresses during adolescence such as teasing, bullying or abuse may make the person more vulnerable.
  • For some, perfectionism may be a factor but it is not generally true of people with BDD. They may however appreciate aesthetics more in themselves or others and have had training or interest in art or design. [4]

Does Body Dysmorphia Mean You Have An Eating Disorder?

People with body dysmorphic disorder may have other disorders. Some have eating disorders, anxiety disorders, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Body dysmorphic disorder has some similarities to eating disorders. People with body dysmorphic disorder and those with an eating disorder worry about their body image. The difference is that a person with an eating disorder focuses on their weight and body shape. A person with body dysmorphic disorder is anxious about a specific body part.[5]

body dysmorphia

What Do I Do Now?

Hopefully you can now see that there’s an important difference between having body insecurities and having BDD. It’s not uncommon to be unhappy about a certain physical feature and to feel self-conscious from time to time. Our coaches and programs are designed to help those who have general body insecurities. Even though they may not be as intense as BDD, they can still impact one’s quality of life and should never be put on the back burner.

Since BDD is a mental health condition that can be all-consuming and dangerous to your health, it requires a separate set of tools and possible medical treatment to manage safely and responsibly. Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life and is important to seek professional help. BDD is a treatable condition, but without treatment, it can have a lasting impact on a person’s life. Here is a test you can take to help you observe whether you have the signs that point to your need to seek BDD treatment: https://bddfoundation.org/information/do-i-have-bdd-test/

Sources: 

[1] Krebs, Georgina, et al. “Recent Advances in Understanding and Managing Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” Evidence-Based Mental Health, BMJ Publishing Group, Aug. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5566091/. 

[2] “Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA.” Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/body-dysmorphic-disorder. 

[3] “Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms & Effects: Montecatini Treatment Center.” Montecatini Eating Disorder Treatment Center, 25 May 2018, https://www.montecatinieatingdisorder.com/eating-disorders/bdd/symptoms-signs/. 

[4] “What Causes Bdd?” BDDF, https://bddfoundation.org/information/frequently-asked-questions/what-causes-bdd/. 

[5] “Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatments.” Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9888-body-dysmorphic-disorder.

How To Lose 100 Pounds (or more)

Wondering how to lose  100 pounds or more? You’ve come to the right place. I’ll be frank, I’m not going to bore you with superfood, macronutrient, or calorie education. Although these elements are important to your success, believe it or not, they are more secondary when it comes to LONG-TERM success. I’m also not going to sell you some nonsensical way to lose 100 pounds fast. Anyone that is encouraging you to do so – RUN. Dieting (voluntary self-imposed famine) will NEVER work!

Anyone can “eat better” and lose a bunch of weight, but what KEEPS the weight off comes from an internal, deeper place. If you can learn to master these inner shifts up front, there is NOTHING that can stop you from not only reaching your weight loss goal but from changing how you see yourself and how you show up in this world every single day. 

How To Lose a 100 Pounds

#1 Identify Your WHY

One of the MOST IMPORTANT factors in your success to transform your relationship with food and lifestyle is your WHY.

Meaning, WHY do you want to transform?

Your why must be more than just weight loss. The weight loss is just what I call a “surface level” why. It’s got to go DEEPER. For most, when clients hit their WHY – they cry. That’s when you know you’ve hit the bullseye.

To go deep, you ask “WHY?” or “WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT TO ME?” 5-7 times to help peel the layers down to the WHY that makes you cry.

I’ll give you an example:

Initial Why: “I want to lose weight!”

#1 Why do you want to lose weight?

“Because I feel tired all the time, my body aches, my clothes don’t fit, and I don’t feel confident”

#2 Why is this important to you?

“Because honestly I want to date again but I feel who I am right now no one will love me”

#3 Why is dating and finding a significant other important to you?”

You get the point. This isn’t always an easy exercise, but if you really want to lose the weight and keep it off and begin to make the non-negotiable inner shifts, you MUST do this exercise. Once you get it, put your WHY everywhere you can so you are constantly reminded why you must NEVER give up. 

#2 Master Your Mindset

The mind is a tool and You MUST learn to use it effectively otherwise by nature it  runs on autopilot and thoughts will overrun you and drive your urges to quit, binge, overeat, and self sabotage. 

Common thought patterns such as “I don’t deserve to be happy”, “I can’t do this”, “Screw this I’ll start on Monday”, “Nobody will love me until I lose the weight” are just a few of  millions of examples I could give you about how powerful the mind can be when it comes to our behaviors and actions.

Science shows us our thoughts create a neurological trigger and chain reaction to your feelings and the actions or habits that follow. Unhealthy, unproductive thinking patterns get created because neurons in your brain that fire together wire together. 

To start breaking thinking patterns that don’t serve you, you must constantly bring awareness to them. Pay attention to the conversations coming out of your head and EVERY time you catch what I call an “Old thinking pattern” that doesn’t serve you,, you must practice reframing it into a “New thinking pattern”. What would the best version of yourself do or say in that situation? Step into that, again and again and again. When you dis-engage in destructive circuits of thinking using mindfulness shift you biologically weaken them, helping you to naturally break the unhealthy allegiance to how you think, feel, and act around food. 

This isn’t a quick fix but it’s one if not THE most important step to your transformation. Lean into self development books and audibles on the subject of your brain and mindset and you’ll be blown away by how much that will help you not only in your mission to lose 100 pounds (or whatever the goal is for you) but in all aspects of your life.

how to lose a 100 pounds

#3 Raise Your Standards

Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is raise your standards. Guru Tony Robbins states that you raise your standards when your “shoulds” turn into “musts”. What change are you demanding of yourself? Write down all the things you will no longer accept in your life, all the things you will no longer tolerate, and all the things you aspire to become.

Most people, if they really look at how they’re living their life today, it’s based on a set of standards, a set of beliefs they made choices about 10, 20, 30, or more years ago. Very often we make decisions in our youth or very young about what to believe about what we were capable of, about who we are as a person and with that comes a glass ceiling that controls us. 

If you’ve always been stuck in the identity of “ I’m overweight.” “I’ve always been overweight.” “I’m big boned.”, that’s the story and standards you’ve got, and you’re going to always find a way to get back there. That’s your settling point.  That’s your identity. 

Think about if you shifted your standards to be a champion, a survivor, or a healthy and fit person. How would your actions change? It all comes down to the inner game. Learn the dynamics of what shapes you. Identity is one of those simple, clear, fundamental basics that if you start to shift it, everything else will shift in your life as well. 

#4 Surround Yourself With The Right People

You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with. If your inner circle is compiled of people who are complacent, aren’t striving to better themselves, and habitually complain, you will naturally find yourself acting in a similar way. It doesn’t mean these individuals don’t care about you or that you shouldn’t have relationships with them, I simply mean that they aren’t going to be the people who will stretch you, pull you out of your comfort zone, and move you forward towards your transformation of losing 100 pounds. 

This is when you need to hire a coach or mentor. Hiring a coach or mentor will fast forward your success and ensure you stay on path. If that isn’t an option for you right now, start with personal development books, audibles, or podcasts. You cannot only rely on yourself because right now without ANY higher l level learning or intervention because you ARE your number one problem. The good news, you’re also your number one SOLUTION. To become the solution, you must constantly be engaged and learning from others that are on the level you are trying to achieve and can pave the way to your success. 

If you know there’s something personally deeper going on to which you’re using food such as anger, grief, or unhealed trauma, get a counselor or therapist added to your inner circle. There is no shame in getting a counselor. In fact, I feel EVERYONE would benefit greatly by keeping a counselor or therapist in their inner circle at all times!  

#5 Lean Into Intuitive Eating

If you’re looking to lose 100lbs or more, there’s a disconnect between you and your body. There’s an unhealthy relationship with food that needs to be attuned, repaired, or reconstructed. The good news is, your body and brain are gasping to reconnect again because our mind and body are wired to work as a team. 

There’s a reason why 50% of Americans struggle with their relationship with food and it is NOT due to lack of nutrition information available. It’s the lack of understanding how the psychophysiology of our cravings, metabolism, binge eating, overeating, and weight are literally and scientifically impacted NOT by lack of willpower, but by our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, stress, relaxation, pleasure, and nourishment. Not understanding how our challenges with our eating, weight, and health are intimately connected to other primary life dimensions – relationship, family, work, intimacy, stress, perhaps our search for meaning and fulfillment, and so much more.

Learning more about mindful eating and intuitive eating will be a great start for you to re-learn how to eat. Sounds weird, but food is playing a role outside of only nourishing and fueling your body so it’s easy to find it challenging to find our way back to the simplicity of eating. This is what we do best. We offer fantastic programs to help you with this and take pride in being part of many people’s inner circle supporting them in their transformation. 

Easy Ways To Break Sugar Addiction

Looking for how to stop sugar addiction? You’ve come to the right place. The good news is – you are NOT addicted to sugar! Food or sugar addiction is not the same as being addicted to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, sex, media, or other external stimulants.

You require food to survive. By that token, you cannot be a food or sugar addict. Classifying yourself in this way can create an addiction consciousness and set you up for a lifetime of battling food and diverting life energy to managing your addiction while also, in some ways, keeping you connected to it. 

Does your brain light up in excitement after having foods that contain sugar? Yes, however, feeling excitement and pleasure after eating is all part of your survival wiring so you eat and don’t starve to death. 

But what do you do if you can’t seem to shake the sugar addiction feel? Here are some quick tips: 

Enjoy ALL Your Meals

Finding pleasure in our eating experience is like oxygen to human beings. What happens when you finally get oxygen to breathe after two minutes of not having it? You gasp for it, you breathe intensely and uncontrollably. If we don’t get oxygen a.k.a pleasure from our food for a while because we’re dieting or just not paying attention to the eating experience, once we DO get oxygen, we too are gasping in the form of uncontrollable overeating. What’s that source of oxygen that tends to come along after we’ve deprived ourselves from pleasure from food? Sugar! Once you start eating it you can’t get enough of it. You think it’s sugar addiction but in reality your brain hasn’t gotten pleasure in a long time and it’s making sure you eat to secure your survival.

The best thing you can do is simply ensure that you’re paying attention and making honest choices about the level of enjoyable foods you are choosing for yourself to eat throughout the day. 

stop eating sugar

Eat Higher Quality Foods

Nutrient deficiencies can be a powerful driving force behind feeling addicted to sugar. Often our body can crave the opposite of what we feel we truly need. A mere lack of protein, healthy fats, or not eating enough real food in the first half of the day are enough to bring on those intense sugar cravings making you feel like a sugar-holic. By eating higher quality foods, you will increase your intake of proteins and healthy fats, naturally helping to curb the cravings.

Adding higher quality foods will also help DECREASE any excess of sugary foods you may or may not realize you’ve been consistently consuming such as real sugar in your coffee (3 times a day), highly added sugar cereals (regardless if organic), snacks, and treats. 

In our primitive hunting and gathering days, our ancestors learned that any foods in nature that were sweet, rather than bitter, were not poisonous. Therefore, the brain learned sweets = safe. Sweeter, high-calorie foods like fruits were essential for survival and were not usually available year-round, unlike today. The primitive response was a natural increase in cravings and drive to consume sugars and fruits to stock up on body fat, which was an essential means of survival for the upcoming scarce winter months. And that drive is still within us today, millions of years later!

Unfortunately the food industry knows this too. Researchers know excess sugar will stimulate the brain in a “feed-forward loop” to want more food. Therefore many processed foods today are manipulated and engineered to “hook” you, so your primitive brain will tell you to eat more (and buy more). There’s a tremendous amount of science, research, expense, and brainpower that (sadly) goes into figuring this all out. You just learned how our drive for sugar dates back to our ancestors millions of years ago as a means for survival, and unfortunately, the food industry takes very, very good advantage of this. This does NOT mean you are a sugar or food addict.

Add MORE Higher Quality Carbohydrates

Depriving yourself of carbohydrates can easily make your brain and body crave them more, making you feel addicted to carbs or sugar. Carbohydrates are your body’s number one energy source and yes, they ARE good for you!  So what happens when you don’t give yourself ANY or such a  little amount for your body to work with? You CRAVE them – naturally! 

Carbohydrates to the chronic dieter, even “healthy” carbs, are usually still on the forbidden avoid-as-much-as-possible list because they believe the myth carbs = automatic weight gain. If this is you, the BEST thing you can do is start by giving yourself high quality carbohydrates that you ENJOY in some of your earlier meals throughout the day. Reassess how that changes the intensity around carbohydrate rich foods in the evenings when overeating sugary foods tends to happen. My clients are always shocked when I gently suggest they actually HAVE carbohydrates for breakfast, but then they quickly realize the positive impact that has on their constant cravings for sugar. 

Watch Your Negative Self Talk

Telling yourself “I can’t have X because I’m addicted to carbs” psychologically is enough to cause your brain to crave them and have a “last supper” dynamic when you actually do give in to consuming them because you “won’t be able to have them” later. You have every right to eat the carbohydrate rich food you desire, but so often we legalize food rules like “avoid carbs because carbs are bad” or “don’t eat past 7pm or your metabolism shuts off”. 

When you give yourself the right to choose or not choose to have something and equal the playing field, you’ll find those sugary foods aren’t all that fabulous and your thinking and cravings for them will dramatically reduce almost instantly. Relax and tune into whatever sugary food you do wish to choose to have for yourself. Enjoy it, mindfully, and move on. No guilt. If you want it again tomorrow when you’re hungry, tell yourself that you’ll give yourself permission to do so if that is what you really want. And if you do, you will eat it mindfully

As you give yourself mindful permission you’ll find yourself actually choosing NOT to have these foods very quickly, not because you “shouldn’t”, but because your brain will have settled down about these foods and your body will naturally begin to crave different things too, and usually that is higher nutrient dense food. I know that sounds crazy but you MUST give yourself permission to go through a short period of time where you allow yourself to rediscover what foods you actually like again and how those foods make your body feel without ANY other agenda. Pay attention to the details of the thoughts in your head about what you tell yourself about sugar and food addiction like you would on an intense diet. 

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Weight Watchers Is Just Another Diet (Sorry)

If you are counting calories, macros, or points, it’s a diet – Weight Watchers included. Surprised? What do you do if you’re hungry and your points are used up? Are you “on” and “off” the program? How do you feel when you go over your points? Exactly. 

Diet culture is sneaky. The weight loss industry knows you’re catching on to their misbehaving and are trying to move away from overt dieting terms. Weight Watchers even changed its name in 2018, but it’s still a dieting program in every aspect. Here are seven examples why: 

1. Focusing on points pulls you away from being your own nutrition expert surrounding internal signals of hunger and fullness. “Saving” your points for an upcoming birthday bash, denying yourself more food even if your body calls for more, keeping food central to your every day being is NOT good. 

2. Points (like carb counting or macro counting) can become obsessional. Once you are “off” or not doing the WW program, you don’t forget those total points you were “allowed” to have. They follow you and are embedded in your brain, constantly comparing how you are eating now to how you were eating “on weight watchers”, keeping you pseudo dieting even when you’re “not dieting”.

3. WW encourages overeating with their “free” points. Although the intention (I believe) is well intended by encouraging the consumption of as many fruits and veggies as you want, it can also promote eating these foods to numb our feelings, eating these foods to prevent feeling ANY signal of hunger between meals, and keep individuals from actually HAVING what they feel they want and need to feel more satisfied. 

weight watchers

4. It promotes (like all other diets) the concept of “good” and “bad” foods – because we need more of this, right? Low points = “good” for you foods. High points = “bad” for you foods. This only adds more to feeling morally good or bad based on what we eat or don’t eat. 

5. Got points leftover? You can eat beyond your needs because we certainly don’t want to “waste” points. 

6. If a person is hungrier a day beyond what their points allow, they have to suck it up and try to suppress their physical needs, creating a stronger biological and psychological pull towards food which can easily lead to overeating or binge eating. If they do eat beyond their points because they were hungry, it promotes a feeling of guilt or failure – which is just ridiculous! This may lead to cutting points off the next day’s allowance, creating more starvation and stress on the body, further deepening the weakening relationship with food and unhealthy thoughts surrounding food and eating performance. 

7. Before and after pictures are constantly flaunted. The “smaller” after photos of bodies that these photos focus on only feeds into the diet culture and the Dieter’s Dilemma which starts with the desire to be thin. 

weight watchers

I’ve worked with a lot of “Lifetime Weight Watchers” in my time. It’s incredible the diet mentality that gets burned into their minds after years of dieting. So often I am trying to ADD in healthy fats and high quality carbohydrates back into an individual’s diet to help them resolve their unwanted eating behaviors, and for those that have been on the WW program repeatedly, that just is mind boggling, and sometimes frightening because of all the years they were trained to AVOID such foods and food groups. 

Know that you can choose to leave the “Lifetime WW” club. Although that might feel scary, it’s the only way you’ll actually learn when, what, and how much to eat according to YOUR body and needs. Let’s not forget that 95% of all dieters gain the weight back within 1-5 years, and 66% of these dieters regain MORE back than what they lost. The body is smart and doesn’t want you to starve. Don’t fall for another diet, that’s why we are here! Let us help you unlearn some of the dieting mindset and introduce you back to your body who’s had the answers ALL along about when, what, and how much to eat! Check out our various coaching programs here

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Tribole & Resch (2020). Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Dietary Approach. (pg 82-83).