It was the same old story year after year.
A month or two after making my New Year’s resolutions, which almost always had something to do with losing weight and getting in shape, I would be right back where I had started, having gained back any weight I had lost.
No matter how hard I tried to adhere to my calorie restricted diet, avoid “off limits” foods, and stick to my calorie burning workouts, I always ended up breaking a rule and throwing in the towel and, of course, blaming myself for my lack of willpower and failing yet another healthy diet kick.
Every time I would fall off another restrictive plan, I would beat myself up for it, vow to “do better” next time, and start all over again. I continued to repeat this cycle throughout the entire year; and over the years, I ended up gaining more weight than I had ever lost.
While I know many people fall victim to this same vicious cycle, I didn’t think it should happen to me. I mean, I’m a registered dietitian! I have a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition and I’m supposed to have all the answers to long-term weight loss and good eating habits. It was shameful and embarrassing that I couldn’t even help myself.
I KNEW THERE HAD TO BE A WAY TO BREAK FREE FROM THE INSANE DIET CYCLE—AND TO LOSE THE WEIGHT FOR GOOD.
What”s Wrong with the Traditional Approach?
I started questioning the traditional approach to weight loss, which is all about calories in/calories out and restricting yourself to healthy, unprocessed foods. I began to comb through all the studies and research on diet and weight loss that I could get my hands on.
What I found was that WHAT we eat (carbs, protein, fat, sugar—what 99% of the diets out there concentrate on) is just a small part of what causes our long-term weight gain. And focusing too much on it just takes us away from what really matters—WHY and HOW we eat!
WHY and HOW We Eat
Once I came to this realization, I began to ditch the diet craziness. Instead of only allowing myself to eat when, what, and how much I thought I should consume to achieve weight loss, I began to clue into what my body actually needed.
I stopped engaging in exhaustive or militant exercise that I didn’t truly enjoy simply as a way to “burn off” calories and I stopped obsessing over WHAT I was eating.
I ate whatever I wanted when I was hungry and never forced myself to feel starved.
It Was Amazing What an Impact This Had on Me:
• No more swearing off foods I loved.
• No more feeling deprived.
• No more “cheating” and feeling like a failure.
• No more dreaded early mornings on the treadmill or elliptical.
I stopped going into meals with pre-determined restricted portions in mind and started listening to my body to guide me toward an amount of food that would satisfy me.
After a number of months of following this approach, I felt like a new person and was shocked to realize that I was losing weight—without any deprivation!
It was incredible!
One of the pivotal revelations that I had was as long as I believed that I had to follow the rules of some diet I would continue on the vicious cycle of restricting – cheating – overeating – and restricting again.
“But I Can’t Trust Myself”
If my story resonates with you, then I know what you’re probably thinking, because I have heard it all before, and I used to think it myself!
You’re saying, “I can’t trust myself, I would just eat chocolate and french fries and brownies and pizza and ice cream if I give myself total freedom to eat these off limits foods. They are all my diet would consist of. And if I eat whenever I’m hungry I will be eating all the time!”
These are all very common fears.
But you CAN learn how to reconnect with and trust your body again. I promise! I have now taught hundreds of my clients how to do this. And doing so is the only real answer for losing weight and keeping it off permanently.
To learn more on how to start changing your relationship with food and lose your excess weight for good, check out my Eating Reset program at eatingreset.com
Alyse Levine M.S., R.D. is the founder of Nutritionbite LLC , a top ranked nutrition consulting practice based in Los Angeles. Alyse teaches her clients to eat CLEAN: Choose real foods, Lose the diet mindset, Eat mindfully, Assess your hunger, No deprivation. She has appeared as an expert nutritionist on Good Morning America, Discovery Health and The Doctors, and is a nutrition advisor for livestrong.com, Giuliana Rancic’s FabFitFun website and The Golden Door Spa. Alyse has also been featured in print media outlets including USA Today, Shape, Health, Self and Fitness, among others. Alyse just launched an online version of her nutrition approach called Eating Reset.