Know Thyself

Nosce te ipsum, “know thyself” is a saying as old as the world.

Building your new lifestyle, you have to pay attention and learn your body signals.
Some call this “mindful eating” or “attuned eating”  and even propose this as a strategy for weight control, opposed to any diet.
Mindful eating “eating teaches you to reconnect with your internal, physical cues for hunger and satiation. Attuned eating guides you in deciding when, what and how much to eat, and helps you build a reliable, consistent structure for feeding yourself. Attuned eating is flexible, allowing you to meet your nutritional needs.”
You might like this blog article “Attuned Eating: The Antidote to Dieting” by Judith Matz, LCSW.

Well, nicely said but this didn’ t quite work for me. After several months of trying this, I’ve put on.
Sorry, but I need my diet rules, I need a bit of fear that if I break one rule or another, I’ll lose control. However, I’ve learned some valuable lessons and actually, my diet doesn’t exclude mindful eating, it is a part of my new lifestyle.

First lesson is that if the rules are not “mine”, I might be so stressed that I won’t be able to follow them. I have to understand very well any rule, to accept it before making it mine.
If I don’t believe something will work for me, than it’s no use to adopt it.

A good lesson is not to eat if I’m not hungry. Yes, I know, breakfast is important but if I don’t feel like eating anything, just having my nice cup of coffee with a biscuit maybe, I won’t have anything else. And I’m not feeling guilty about this, because it’s done nothing bad to my weight. And, yes, I have to pay attention to “nervous” eating, eating only because I’m too stressed to do anything else.

Another lesson is about cravings.

If I crave daily for more and more sugar and fat, this is nasty, I’ll have to deal with it.
I’ve seen an excellent BBC documentary (“Trust me, I’m a doctor”, I guess) telling of the addiction power of doughnuts, of the 50% sugar – 50% fat proportion that creates a powerful addiction, as it tickles the pleasure center of our brain.
One efficient way to get rid of such a craving is a diet like Montignac or South Beach, Phase I or Atkins diet or a Ketogenic diet,  for two weeks.
That is, you have to eat only low glycemic food for 2 weeks or even no carbs at all and get back slowly, over a month,  to normal. It’s not easy to do it but I’ve got rid of commercial sweets cravings for ever. I simply won’t eat a doughnut, I can’t.

But, don’t discard all cravings as bad. If you crave a fruit, then go for it. Your body tells you something, like you need more vitamins. Learn to understand your body signals, don’t ignore them.

And if you want your diet to work, eat your favorite healthy meals, not what is mandatory or considered by others “healthy”.

 

 

Published on Jan 16, 2015

 

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