The Popular Diet That You’ve Never Heard Of, But That You’re Probably Doing Right Now

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Snacking and grazing between meals can get us into trouble.

Having a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit to help tide us over until our next full meal is one thing.

But mindlessly eating food just because it’s there is ruining your body composition efforts.

It’s easy to ignore how much we’ve eaten when we eat mindlessly. We may eat the equivalent of half of our meal or more just trying to decide what we want to eat, or even as we prepare our meals! Mentally, the foods we graze on don’t even “count” as eating — that is, the bite size candy bar we grab from the communal candy bowl at the office, the handful of Goldfish crackers off of our toddlers’ plates, the bunch of grapes we munch on with the refrigerator door open…those bites barely register in our brain as “satisfying,” or lead us to realize that “I’m actually not that hungry anymore.”

It's tasty for about 30 seconds, but is the energy equivalent of about 30 minutes of running. And you just ate three...

It’s tasty for about 30 seconds, but is the energy equivalent of 20-30 minutes of running. And you just ate three…

http://www.thediaryofacakemaker.com/food-blogger-connect-5/

But physiologically, those foods all COUNT towards your overall daily caloric consumption.

And if they reflect habits that you practice day in and day out…your body composition will reflect that additional input.

I call it the “See It Eat It” diet plan. And it’s one plan that you definitely want to give up on.

So how do we rein in mindless eating between meals, especially if we are on autopilot and don’t even realize when the hand-to-mouth-and-repeat pattern is in effect?

It’s time to wake up and pay attention.

If you’ve picked up your own copy of the EES Handbook (You haven’t!? What!? Check out the right side of this page, stat!), you already know that the first thing you need to do before making any changes to your current diet is to recognize what you are doing right now. And the best tool for that job is a food journal.

I usually get grumbles from my clients when I assign the homework of keeping a food journal. I get that it’s a little bit of an inconvenience. But it is such a powerful tool that if often gets results without my directly assigning any other behavior changes. Plus, most people don’t need to journal forever; they just need to learn to attend to what they are doing.

If you are on the “See It Eat It” plan, then recording your food intake for a week and showing it to a coach may be just the thing you need to get back on track, see results, and to start to take control of your diet and your life.

And if you don’t see immediate results from journaling alone, then you and your coach will easily be able to find the ONE THING that you can do to start moving in that direction!

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, definitely check out the email form to the right. You’ll get my EES Handbook full of action steps for FREE, and you’ll receive updates and tips from me in your inbox each week!

And don’t forget that I’m always thrilled to get questions on my Emotional Eating Solutions Facebook page. See you over there!

Always here to help,

Jamie

 

Why I Registered for a 12 Week Fat Loss Program

In this blog over the last few months, I have mused and introspected and theorized and outlined different ways to improve your relationship with food and your body. I have shared anecdotes both personal and professional, to serve as illustrative lessons. I’ve provided tricks and hints to help you keep you sane while you to overcome issues relating to emotional or stress related eating. In a way, I’ve been your coach.

And now it’s time to for share why I’ve just hired mine.

If it’s not evident from my posts, I still struggle with emotional eating at times. My “demons,” if you will, lay on the backburner, far more under my control than they once were, and yet still just bidding their time until their next attack.

I’ve come to learn that the trigger to my emotional eating is almost always a combination of stress with under-eating and/or over-exercising. For me, this combination invokes a learned response from years of periods of restrictive dieting and generally causes some level of overeating in response. I’ve learned to avoid the cycle for the most part: limiting the extremes behaviors from both ends of the spectrum, minimizing the damage and guilt, and being kind and compassionate towards myself despite my eating habits….

And yet my desire to improve the balance surrounding my health, habits, and physique remains a daily presence in my psyche.

So, after much thought, I’ve gone and signed up for Dr. Jade Teta’s 12 week Feed the Lean Contest.

 

Say whaaaaaat?

Didn’t this girl just write an article about short term diets?!

The program is run by Dr. Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect, a naturopathic doctor who I consider a tremendous resource on optimal health via hormone balance and fat loss. I have been following his work (and the work of his wife, mentor, Jill Coleman), for a few years now, and I have rarely been anything less than impressed with  the information those two share with the world.

Still, when I received the initial email announcing the contest and the opportunity to work with Jade directly, my initial reaction to the program was, “Sounds fun! But I don’t want to enter a 12 week fat loss contest. My goal is to obsess LESS about food, not MORE.”

But with more thought, I came to the conclusion to sign up for a few reasons:

1)      Being my own food coach is HARD, if not impossible. I overthink things, talk myself out of my commitments, make excuses, and ultimately am accountable to no one. Accountability is everything. My clients show me that every day, and I’ve seen that accountability has been a positive tool for me many times over in the past. So, world, now you know my plans and I can’t back down! 🙂

2)      Finding an effortless maintenance place is not effortless. For me, there is no “just stop thinking about food.” Everything relating to food, diet, exercise and behavior change is my profession and my passion, and I’m not likely to escape it anytime soon. Rather than trying to reduce the amount of thought and energy spent on my fitness and physique, I can actually relieve my burden by leaving the planning and protocols to a coach. My job is to focus on staying the course, staying positive and kind to myself, and playing the detective under someone else’s guidance.

3)      The right coach is key. As a fitness professional myself, I am very picky about who I want to advise me, especially within this field. I want someone who is equally passionate and obsessed with nutrition and health as me, and someone from whom I can learn a lot (about optimizing metabolism and fat loss, in addition to some coaching and business skills).  It wasn’t that I was seeking a fat loss contest; Dr. Teta is someone who can help me grow as an individual.

4)      I’ve been looking for a naturopathic doctor recently anyway, as I’ve been disappointed with the majority of my health care team in recent months. I was thisclose to setting a consultation with Dr. Teta anyway, and I love that I’ll be gaining access to him and his big beautiful brain throughout the 12 weeks.

5)      I have a vacation to Mexico planned in August, the week following the conclusion of the program, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to look good on the beach. 🙂 (Don’t we all just want to look good naked? Haha!)

your best is good enough

My stipulations:

1) My contest is with myself, not with anyone else in the “Feed the Lean” group. My goal for the next 12 weeks is to balance my hormones and metabolism, and find the diet protocol that serves me best for the rest of my life. My goal is NOT to lose as much weight as I can to 12 weeks….only to have it last for a week until I “reward” myself in brownie sundaes and daiquiris on the beach until the weight is regained.

2) As I wrote about last week, there is a way to correctly use a short term program as a jumping off point for the rest of your life. I plan on using this coaching program as exactly that: a beginning. One of the things I love best about Dr. Teta’s approach is the focus on self-assessment based on feedback from your body to fine tune your individual needs. In some respects, 12 weeks is “short term,” but it is also enough time to figure out what works and establish some really positive habits and routines to maintain that balance.

3) Comply or die DOES NOT APPLY. I trust Dr. Teta, and want to work hard to heed his advice to the best of my ability, but even more so I will need to work hard to remember that I am human. Achieving only 90-95% compliance with his program would not make me “bad” because I couldn’t follow it perfectly; it makes me human. This is a huge mindset shift away from any “diet” I have previously set out on. I’m giving myself permission to make mistakes and be okay with them, knowing that sometimes life is messy and things happen.

4) As part of my day job, I am coaching a fantastic group of people through several Spartan Races this summer. I plan to continue to do that to the best of my ability and within the context of this program. I will not lose sight of the commitments I made to my team in completing the races I promised to do (none of which are in the next 12 weeks, however).

SO:

For the next 12 weeks starting next Wednesday, expect to hear some updates on the blog and on Facebook on how this coaching program goes!

I’ll still be posting regular blogs each week with insights and advice, but I can’t help but draw inspiration from my life for content…I can’t wait to share my experience with you all!

I’m always here to help you guys….and I hope you know how much your support and following helps me too!

Sincerely,

Jamie

Short Term Diets without Long Term Crazy

Should you do a cleanse?

With summer around the corner, the pressure to be “fit,” “toned” and “in shape” for the warm weather grows with each rising degree.

And with the pressure to be in shape before beach season comes the bombardment of quick fixes for sale:

  • Claims for diet plans where you can lose 15 lbs in 6 weeks.
  • Juice cleanses for sale on Groupon.
  • Whole30’s being undertaken on left and right.
  • Questions from clients about which detoxes are worth the money.

I get the appeal for a promising 5-20lb drop, fast. I’ve been there. We all have those moments. It’s that place of mind where you are so sick of your current physique, that roll of flesh you can pinch between your fingers; you just can’t stand it being part of your body for another minute. You just want to get rid of the extra pounds NOW, so you can start living the rest of your life already!  You make a decision, a commitment in your head to just knock your fat loss of the park, get it done, and then finally move on from the obsession with your weight!

Sound familiar?

The biggest issue with any kind of short term detox or diet plan is the idea that you will be done with the diet at some point, when you can go back to your normal eating habits.

If you’re still pinching the extra pounds of fat on your body now, your “normal” is the problem. Your normal eating habits, daily movement expenditure, sleep patterns, and stress levels combined have brought you to this point. If you return to “normal” your body will return to its “normal” in response, and sometimes even faster than you believed possible.

The second biggest issue with your short term, hard core, get-in-and-get-it-done diet or detox is that the extreme rigidity and restriction will set you up for cravings, bingeing, and general rebound upon completion (if you even make it all the way through!). I love a challenge as much as anyone…but tackling the strictest, “healthiest” diet I could find got me good results and feelings of superiority, it completely drained my willpower and focus from other endeavors. I also had to rely on a second round of restrictive eating to handle the aftermath of the first round (which may or may not have involved an evening of THREE cookie sundaes…after all it had been a whopping FOUR WEEKS without ice cream, I deserved it). Thus the beginning of what we all recognize as yo-yo dieting.

I felt great after my first Whole30...until just 2 months later, I had to go back on it to lose the fat I had regained before my vacation!

I felt great after my first Whole30…until just 2 months later, I had to go back on it to lose the fat I had regained before my vacation!

 

If you DO decide to start some kind of detox, cleanse, or elimination diet without wanting to lose your mind or your results in the process, I would urge you to consider the following guidelines:

1) Weight loss during a cleanse is not always a good thing.

The goal of a cleanse, detox, or elimination diet should not be weight loss. If you are doing something extremely low calorie for just a few days, you probably will see the scale move, but it will be from a combination of mostly water, along with a bit of fat and muscle as well. (NOTE: the more muscle you lose as a result of calorie restriction, the higher the chance of slowing your metabolism to adjust to the new lower calorie intake, which increases the chance of regaining the weight all in FAT…not what we want!!)

2) The goal of elimination diets is improved health, not fat loss.

Elimination diets provide a method for self-experimentation, to test the effects of a single variable (i.e. type of food) by removing it from your diet entirely for 3-4 weeks and reintroducing it systematically. Elimination diets are not for fun or for proving how hardcore you are! The purpose is to identify food intolerances or allergies in your diet. Basically, remember this:  if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If you generally feel good throughout the day, despite the fact that you may have a few pounds to lose, you do NOT need to eliminate everything and reinvent the wheel. You can be perfectly healthy and hormonally balanced with a just a few extra pounds of fat, and just need to cut back on the extra indulgences or bad habits like mindless snacking. However, if you notice poor digestion or discomfort after certain meals, or regularly suffer from migraines, poor sleep, low energy, mood swings, breakouts, and other symptoms of systemic inflammation, you may want to try attending to the types of food that may be causing your distress.

(From my experience, this was my downfall. I was at a healthy weight and body fat percentage but desired to be the “best” at eating healthfully. I figured that a month of 100% “perfect” or “clean” eating without any potential allergens would help me tighten things up, but all it did was absolutely rewire my relationship with food for the worse and ultimately lead to extreme yo-yo dieting and a net gain of over 20 lbs!)

3) You don’t need any special products or kits.

For cleanses and detoxes specifically, focus on taking things out, not adding them in. For example, you don’t really need any special juice to flush your liver of toxins. Your body flushes toxins naturally! Try instead to eliminate as many toxins as possible to lessen the load, for example by opting for farm fresh or organic produce and animal products, or by ditching alcohol, added sugar, and processed foods.

Raw veggies with apple cider vinegar and some seasonings. You don't need a kit to nourish your body!

Raw veggies with apple cider vinegar and some seasonings. You don’t need a kit to nourish your body!

4) You can jump start your fat loss with a sane, short term program.

If you are really looking for a “jump start” to fat loss, then make sure it is one that is nutritionally balanced and is calorically sufficient for your daily needs. It’s fine to be a little stricter with food quality for a few days to help establish better food habits and avoid trigger foods. Sometimes it’s easier to know exactly what you are choosing avoid for a day or week or two, to take away the “should I or shouldn’t I” debate when facing every indulgence or off-plan food item. Your jump start should be comprised of 90-100% whole foods, and include mostly vegetables,  adequate sources of protein from animal products, beans, and/or nuts, as well as healthy fats from olive oil, avocado, etc. For lasting results, your “jump start” should be the way that you eat at least 80% of the time once you are done.

5) Have a plan for re-entry.

This is THE most important step of any short term plan: integrating it back into your normal everyday habits. The completion of a short term program should be a jumping off point for future good eating habits, not cause for celebration due to the end of deprivation. It’s time to work in a few indulgences throughout the week that weren’t a part of your jump start, not the time to undo your hard earned results. Plan out what your one indulgence will be at first, and commit to sticking to your plan. Remember that the jump start should be what you do most of the time to continue seeing results. The indulgences are there to help you keep your sanity and social life in tact!

So there you have it! I’d love to know what your experience has been with short term diet fixes…did you get sucked in? Did it work? How did your relationship with food change because of it?

 

Always here to help,

Jamie