The most unsatisfied people are not those who are overweight. The most disappointed people are those who have realized the need to lose the excess weight; those who make the effort to train and eat healthy on a daily basis, but their appearance never expresses even a hint about the efforts they made. These are a huge group of people, who follow diets, train and still, they either do not have any progress or they even gain weight. Thus, in their mind exists the idea that they are depriving, yet the results are absent – pretty discouraging.
One of the paradoxes of a healthy lifestyle and diets is that people gain more weight and get sicker, as a consequence of their efforts to be healthy and fit.
What are the reasons behind this?
1.Strictly following a diet and eating when you are actually not hungry
There isn’t a better expert about what we should eat, than our own body. It is constantly sending us signals and it is constantly communicating with us. It is constantly telling us what we need or what we do not need.
Life is a constant fight between the needs of the body and the desires of the mind.
Often times, when we are on a diet, we have a particular method that we follow – a particular number of meals, particular quantities of food and ratios between macronutrients.
Thus, we fanatically start following the diet and two weeks later, we are eating our forth meal, not because we are hungry, but because this is what is written in the diet. We eat half an avocado with our lunch, not because we feel like eating it, but because we are trying to reach the daily intake of fats, recommended in the diet.
We start eating out of habit, not out of a need.
The mind is easily attached to “I must”. The mind obeys pretty well and if we are not conscious in every single moment, we are just becoming preprogrammed robots who act out of duty.
Even if the best coach, makes you a nutrition plan, he/she will never be in your body. You are the once who should make the small adjustments. Your mentor will draw a frame, where you could freely move, but it will be flexible and it can broaden or get narrower in order to fit you. Your mentor can track what you are doing and the way you feel and give you advices how to adjust things, in order to improve your results and the way you feel.
But nobody, besides you knows how you feel, exactly how much you move on a daily basis, how much you have slept and which is the food that your body craves today.
Suppressing these signals, leads to eating according to a strict schedule and often times we eat more, without even needing that food.
It is exactly this that leads to the fact that often times, we eat foods that we don’t crave and our body doesn’t get satiety and then it urges us to indulge in all kind of foods. Because it is no coincidence that we crave a particular food – food is information and every food, besides macronutrients, contains micronutrients. The hunger for a particular food is showing us that our body needs exactly this information – the micro and macro nutrients of that food.
Before every meal, ask yourself if you are hungry and if this is exactly what you feel like eating today. There is nothing wrong with skipping a meal every now and then, if you are not hungry, and then eating some more food on the days that follow, if you feel the need to.
There is no need to make all your days alike – neither as activities, tasks, nor as meals and feelings.
2.Strictly following a diet and depriving yourself of food, even though you are hungry
The coin has two sides. Depending on who made your nutrition plan, you will often stumble upon diets, that are not made to match the daily needs of the human body. Thus, they are too restrictive, thus depriving the body not just from calories, but also from micronutrients and variety of foods.
This is often the case, when women try to get in shape and start following the diets of fitness models and bodybuilders. There is nothing wrong with their diets, but if we take into account the fact that this is a sport and it is their job and that most of them have a different diet in different periods of their preparation and that extremely restrictive daily menu is saved for the last 6-10 weeks and not all year round.
You need to realize that to be fit, doesn’t mean that you need to have the dehydrated appearance, that most competitors have on the stage. They are beautiful, but this is just on the surface. There isn’t a person that could feel good, healthy and strong, when his body is in such state. Make the difference between looking good and feeling good.
How do we gain weight in this case?
We eat too little and even though we are hungry, we don’t allow ourselves to eat some more. We are strictly following the grams in the diet. As you know, biology always takes toll on will and we come to the state of emotional breakdown and food binge, when we eat huge amounts of food. Thus, we overcompensate for the deficit in the days before that and we are both depriving ourselves and then overeating. This leads to guilt, plus some additional weight gain.
3.We do not count the snacks in between meals as calories
This is a common thing – the diet dictates that we should eat four times a day. We strictly follow everything. We put in our plate, just as much as we are supposed to. We have lunch and we are proud that we are doing great.
An hour later, during a walk in the park, we buy a pack of raw nuts and we eat it unconsciously – sometimes all at once, sometimes in “small” portions, throughout the day.
Other times, we meet out with friends and we order the new latte with autumn flavors and with some cream and caramel.
On other days, we take a fresh of oranges or a smoothie with super foods and coconut milk. Sounds really cooling.
And of course, we don’t count those snacks as a meal. But just because we didn’t eat it on the table, doesn’t mean that the calories do not count. As it is said: “what you eat in private, is what you wear in public”.
Women have the habit to indulge in raw nuts and fruit juices in between meals. Check out how many calories, fats and carbs a pack of raw nuts contains. I am sure that if you eat these calories from eggs, meat, fish, avocado, rice, sweet potatoes and so forth, you will feel pretty full, even as if you have overeaten and probably you won’t need that much food – but it is pretty easy to indulge in nuts.
When we are on a diet, it is exactly these healthy, unconscious meals that pack the pounds on and lead to plateau.
Often times we gain weight, not from what we eat 3-4 times a day, but from everything we eat in between the meals.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Great article Ines. It covers the most common pitfalls and things that people blindly follow as prescribed. Unique approach is needed to each individual. Another one I can add to the list is drinking alcohol. Really adds up calories and people tend to neglect it. Greetings, Simeon 🙂
Thank you :))) I have a whole article about alcohol coming up :))) Happy Holidays 🙂 Ines