I’ve seen it time and time again.
The most common mistake moms make when it comes to trying to lose the baby weight is rapid RESTRICTION. She decides to cut out full food groups. No more dairy, grains, carbs, sugar, etc.
Now this strategy might lead to weight loss AT FIRST. And that’s why you come back for more.
Some people say “I lost 10 lbs when I cut out sugar.”
But they forget that the weight came right back… and then some, when they re-introduced it into their diet.
The people who get STUCK in the yo-yo cycle are the ones who are constantly trying new ways to restrict. … As if ONE food group is the entire reason for any weight gain.
Unfortunately, this strategy can lead to BINGEING or an unhealthy relationship with food… or simply, the weight comes back after the food is reintroduced.
Because let’s be honest. Unless you are TRULY allergic to a food (or you have a STRONG ethical reason, like going veganism, vegetarian, etc.) it’s highly unlikely you will NEVER eat something again.
You may have great success cutting the food out at first. You get it out of the house. You stop buying it altogether. You get used to ordering special things on restauraunt menus.
But then it’s your best friend's birthday party with a cake from your favorite bakery. Or you go on vacation. Or your mom makes her famous pie for Christmas. Or your neighbor drops off a meal after you have a baby. Or it’s your anniversary, and your husband makes reservations at your favorite Italian restaurant.
And then it’s “oh just this time”. “Not too much”. And sometimes its….
I haven’t had cake in FOREVER and now I want the WHOLE thing!!!***
It’s the same thing that happens when you restrict your kids from sugar or chips. WHen they get it… they binge.
So what’s a better solution?
First of all… food is meant to be ENJOYED. It’s a great part of life. We have traditions and lots of emotions and memories tied to food. Cutting out a whole food group is a great way to make yourself MISERABLE.
Further, the way our brain doesn’t work in “negatives”. If I tell you NO more cake… you want cake. If I say whatever you do, don’t think about soda- you want soda.
By focusing on RESTRICTION… we end up becoming obsessed with food.
If cutting food groups out isn’t the answer, then what is?
Enter: MINDFUL eating
The practice of mindful eating means eating what you enjoy, and stopping when you’re satisfied. Not when your plate is empty. Not when allll the food is gone. When you are satisfied… like 80% full.
The people who are able to maintain a healthy weight for years (decades) have one thing in common… they have a healthy relationship with food.
They aren’t obsessing over what they are eating. They eat what they enjoy, but NOT because they are emotional. They don’t make a habit of stress eating, or using food to manage their emotions or cope with stress.
What’s so great about mindful eating??
When you stop when you’re full… you don’t over eat, which means you aren’t taking in too many calories (aka no more weight gain)
No foods are off limits!! Enjoy your favorite foods with NO guilt
You can go on vacation, go to parties, ENJOY life… without stressing about food or worrying about weight gain.
You see… our bodies are actually GREAT at telling us how much food we need. We have hunger and fullness hormones for that reason. But when we get used to stress eating, binge eating, bored eating etc… our hunger and fullness cues get blury.
So HOW in the world can you practice mindful eating?? Here are 3 tips:
SLOW down. As moms, we tend to eat FAST to take care of our little ones. Put your fork down between bites, and try to TASTE your food.
On that note… SAVOR your food. Notice the textures, the colors, the taste, the flavors, etc. It makes the eating experience more enjoyable, and you end up feeling more satisfied
Put your phone down. Close your laptop. Turn off the tv. Distracted eating = not satisfied after eating, and also usually means OVER eating.
For more tips for how to EAT MINDFULLY so you can STOP dieting (and still lose weight), hop into my facebook group right here!