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Simple Eating: Out of the Dieting Cycle 
by Anna Silversten June 07, 2005

Are you always trying out different trendy diets? Do you regularly find yourself lapsing from your diet by eating "bad" food? If you're trapped inside the cycle of stuffing and starving, here's a solution for you. No more yo-yo dieting or falling for weightloss fads. Just simple eating principles.

Simple Eating: Out of the Dieting Cycle

If you are anywhere close to the average American consumer, odds are that you have sometimes tried to lose weight one way or another. You may have followed a food plan, eaten only certain foods, or gone for two weeks eating only pineapples and tuna. In other words, you have dieted.Take a look at yourself in the mirror. Have you reached that dream body by following all those trend diets? Again, the average odds are that you haven’t. Why not, when physiologically eating only pineapples and tuna would make the weight drop? The answer is: because in the long run that is not the kind of eating our bodies were made for. Following one trendy diet to another will not only mess up your body, it will also drain your energy and well-being. Here are a few easy steps to normalizing your eating, and eventually losing the extra.

Change your attitude

The first step out of the destructive dieting cycle is to change the way you think about weight loss. The major change needs to come regarding speed. Among all the “two week” -diets we have become so accustomed to the “fast results” –thinking, that we tend to forget our bodies’ natural way of functioning. Your body is an extremely intricate and well-designed organism, programmed to handle almost any situation. If you want to keep it functioning that way, you need to listen to it instead of trying to feed it ready-chewed solutions. Your body will not drop the excess weight and keep it off in just a few months, assuming you have more than ten pounds to drop. It will take time, but the good news is that when you accept this and slowly shake the extra pounds, they will stay away.

All food is good food

Yes, you read that right. Fat and sugars are okay, as well as wheat bread. It is not what you eat, but how much you eat. If you eat one candy bar, you will not gain two pounds. If you eat a whole box of candy bars, you might gain those pounds. Most binges (that ruin your diet) come as direct results from restricting yourself from certain foods, labeling them as “bad”. When you then face a temptation or turmoil, your protective walls tumble down and you go for the “banned & bad” food to make yourself feel better.

Afterwards comes the guilt, and a new, strict diet. Until the next lapse occurs. This cycle can go on for years, and it is not healthy for your body. The good news for sufferers inside this cycle is that when you manage to work your mind not to label foods “good” and “bad”, and instead focus on the amount eaten, you will be freed and can forget the guilt about eating.There is nothing bad in eating a candy bar. Let this concept sink into your brain.

How much is enough?

We have already established that all food is good food, and you can eat pretty much whatever you please, even when you want to lose your extra weight. But how much should you eat? We will step away from scales and cups; those aren’t needed for natural eating. Your tummy is all you need to estimate how much food you need. The rule of thumb is to eat so much that you’re not hungry anymore. That translates to having a good feeling in your tummy.

We have often been led to believe that our tummies need to absolutely bulge after a good meal, so that we need to loosen the belt. This isn’t the way, so if you feel heavy and stuffy, you’ve eaten too much. Don’t despair; try again with the next meal. You will be surprised seeing the amounts you eat this way. Easier said than done, you may say. Granted, it will take some getting used to, but so do diets. You’re used to volume eating, so naturally going the other way around will feel strange at first.

Take your time, and eat slowly. Savor the taste. Ask yourself if you would rather eat a mountain of tasteless low calorie food than a small plate of real food made with real cream and butter? Remember to be gentle with yourself; it will take time to learn to listen to your body and your tummy.

How often and what should I eat?

The rule of thumb here, as in everything, is to listen to your body. Do you feel hungry? If so, eat. Do you not feel hungry? Then don’t eat. This is the way that our forefathers ate, and this is the normal way of eating for our bodies. There was no obesity problem in the olden days, and there were even no dieting foods available back then. We’ve lost sight of this simple way of eating in the current jungle of diets and weight loss programs.

What to eat then? It is advisable to try to keep a balance of protein, vegetables, fruit, fats, dairy and grain in your daily intake of food, but don’t fret it first. If you come from the dieting cycle background, take it easy and go for the foods you really like. Remember, don’t stuff yourself, the food won’t go anywhere. Eat only until the hunger is no longer there. When you reach the stage where you are comfortable with the concept of eating anything, begin paying more attention to that you get enough vitamins and minerals and that you eat varied enough food. You can eat vitamin pills until that to ensure that you get the required nutrients. Trying to move to a perfect, balanced diet right away will very likely not work if you have a dieting cycle -background, so be gentle with yourself.

How can my weight drop this way?

Your weight will drop because your body will use all the food you eat. By eating only when you are hungry, you ensure that. The hungry groan of your tummy is your body’s way of telling you that fuel is getting low, and refueling is needed soon.Remember also that when you learn to eat in this simple way, you won’t be overeating or stuffing yourself even if you were eating fats and sugars. Also, fats and sugars both are natural substances that our bodies can use, unlike artificial sweeteners and additives that you find in most low-calorie foods. Because you now eat normally, the extra weight from overeating won’t last in your body. It will slowly slip away.

Step out of the dieting torture

You don’t need to be a slave to diets any more. Diets never work, because nobody can eat that way for the rest of their lives. Trend diets prey on the initial enthusiasm of people wanting to lose weight, but the long-term effect is what should be on the focus. If you go back to the simple eating of those old days of fresh butter and pastries, you can wave goodbye to being captive of yo-yo dieting and guilt-ridden binge trips. And of course, you can eat chocolate again.


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