What I'm Consuming [Top Reads]

As I’ve shared before, I constantly have my nose in a book or my ears plugged into a podcast.

I especially have a big appetite for content regarding food and body liberation, like Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size.

Here are a few recent articles that really resonated with me (and many others!). Perhaps they will with you, too.

Smash the Wellness Industry
“The diet industry is a virus, and viruses are smart. It has survived all these decades by adapting, but it’s as dangerous as ever. In 2019, dieting presents itself as wellness and clean eating, duping modern feminists to participate under the guise of health.”

What Does Intuitive Eating Even Mean?
“If you find that you’re counting things, that’s not intuitive eating,” says [Evelyn Tribole, co-author of Intuitive Eating]. If there’s something called a cheat day, that’s not intuitive eating. If someone’s promising weight loss, that’s not intuitive eating.”

(To learn more about the basics of Intuitive Eating, head on over to here.)

What Happens When You Put a Kid on a Diet
This heartbreaking story is sadly one I’ve heard hundreds of times.

“If you are an adult putting kids on weight loss diets, restricting their eating, or telling them they can’t trust their body, you are an adult who is saying that the risk of a lifetime of struggle—a lifetime of self-hatred, a lifetime of disordered eating, a lifetime of not trusting oneself—is worth the possibility of a brief moment of thinness."

When Did "Fat" Become an Insult?
"For much of history...'excess body fat [was] a symbol of wealth and prosperity as the general population struggled with food shortages and famine, as we can see in Renaissance portraits celebrating full-figured women.”

I’ll be sharing more of my favorite content in the future, so stay tuned…

How to Make Up for Eating Too Much Halloween Candy

With bowls and bags of Halloween candy scattered around the office and home, it’s easy to eat way more sugar than you typically would.

For many of us, eating episodes like this are considered a food sin and often lead to a make-up mentality that sounds something like this:

To make up for being bad, I will…

  • skip breakfast and lunch tomorrow.

  • cut carbs and work out extra hard all week.

  • go on a 10-day detox diet.

  • not eat sugar for the next month.

This penance approach frequently results in a vicious cycle of restrict-binge-repent-repeat. It’s ineffective, physically and psychologically damaging, and causes a lot of unnecessary suffering.

The key to avoiding this painful cycle is to stop believing you have to make up for your eating decisions—and stop making a fix-it plan.

Instead, when you feel like you’ve committed a “food transgression,” remind yourself that it's normal to overeat sometimes—then move on with your life.

Rather than feeling guilty, beating yourself up, and shifting into make-up mentality, simply resume your daily self-care practices.

And listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs.

For example, you may wake up tomorrow and find your appetite is smaller than usual. So eat a smaller breakfast.

Or, you may find you’re hungry for your usual breakfast or something completely different. Go for whatever sounds the most nourishing and satisfying.

Don't deprive or punish yourself and your body because you feel you ate badly. Doing so always backfires.

By avoiding the make-up mentality, you’ll experience a greater sense of ease and peace with food and your body.

Are You a Pseudo-Dieter?

After years of jumping from one diet to the next and being a slave to the scale, Val hit rock-bottom.

Fed up with the weight-loss roller coaster and obsessing over every morsel she ate, she swore off dieting.

Yet, months after joining the "anti-diet" movement, she still shuns carbs, never eats after 7 p.m., and runs a few extra miles whenever she has dessert.

Val is a pseudo-dieter.

She genuinely believes she’s given up dieting, yet she continues to engage in dieting behaviors.

 As a result, she still experiences many of the side effects of dieting, including feeling anxious when eating in social situations, intense food cravings, feeling out of control with her “trigger foods” (ice cream and chips), and feeling guilt, shame and anger when she thinks she’s eaten badly.

Deeply Ingrained
As with Val, the diet mentality can be so deeply ingrained—or hidden under the guise of “health" or "wellness”—that many of us “non-dieters” don’t realize we’re actually pseudo-dieting and that our restrictive eating behaviors make us vulnerable to the physical and psychological damage dieting causes.

Here are some more examples of pseudo-dieting: 

  • Eating only “clean” or “whole” foods.

  • Limiting carb, protein or fat grams regardless of what your body desires or needs.

  • Compensating for eating “bad” foods by doing extra exercise, skipping your next meal, eating less tomorrow, or going on a detox.

  • Eating at only certain times of the day despite your hunger level.

  • Becoming vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc. for the sole (and often secret) purpose of losing weight.

  • Putting on a “false food face” in public by eating what you think you should rather than what you really want (e.g., ordering the healthiest item on the menu, forgoing the bread basket, skipping dessert).

  • Determining what you deserve to eat based on what you ate earlier in the day or if you exercised, rather than your hunger level.

Releasing the Diet Mentality
Just like an official diet program, pseudo-dieting disconnects you from your body inhibiting your ability to hear and honor the messages it’s sending you.

 And, as I mentioned earlier, all restrictive eating, no matter how it’s labeled, leaves you vulnerable to the pitfalls of dieting, from binge eating and weight cycling to social withdrawal and a preoccupation with food.

If you want to heal your relationship with food and your body, you need to truly let go of the diet mentality and relearn how to nourish your body based on internal cues versus external rules.

As pseudo-dieting behaviors can be quite subtle and disentangling from diet culture can be very difficult (but not impossible!), it can be helpful to receive support and guidance. I’m here for you if you need me.

Source: Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works.