What do you know, intuitive eating, mixed with the Flexitarian notion highlighted in VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…for Good by Mark Bittman, works! I generally don’t like to highlight any weight loss after only a week because sometimes it can be explained away as a water weight shift or general fluctuations our bodies are known to go through, so I won’t say how much weight I’ve lost, but I’ve lost weight. 😀
So what am I doing? Just as the book suggests, I’m eating fruits, vegetables and grains before 6pm and then eating a regular dinner. Why is this working for me? As I’ve mentioned in the past from my research into intuitive eating, diets have wreaked havoc on my body and mind. Before I hit college and became diet obsessed (only because everyone around me was), I could go most of my day only eating cereal, fruit, or a candy bar here and there. The meals were in no shape regimented and it was based on a take it or leave it attitude, not filled with “musts”. Even though I was always bigger (taller/fuller) than most of the girls in my class, which I didn’t like at the time, I now realize that I was at least in range of the height and weight chart for my frame.
Ever since diets became a way of life for me however, I not only went past my suggest weight range, but I started to believe that my body and mind were all of a sudden playing tricks on me because all the diets I was looking at said you had to eat at least 6 small meals a day; breakfast is the one meal you should never skip; lunch should be your biggest meal; dinner should be something light...So what did I do, I completely abandoned my intuitive eating habits which had kept my weight in check through high school and started to eat more meals than I was used to. Since dinner had always been my biggest meal and portions weren’t generally measured because it was my one and only “true” meal, I never truly understood the small meal concepts or portion control diets push. As a college student on the go, I didn’t have time to measure my food, keep track of calorie intake, etc. Instead, I used what I knew to determine meal sizes, which backfired on me because that is not how I had been conditioned growing up.
This Flexitarian way of life however, has been able to remind me that I don’t need to have 3-6 full blown “balanced” meals a day. Also, it’s focus on having a regular meal for dinner has helped in taking me back to that time when intuitive eating was second nature to me and it’s been a comforting return. It’s because of these things that this diet shift has been working wonders for me. While I’m not following it to the letter, i.e. eating a true vegan diet, just by it suggesting that it’s ok for me to follow my personal intuitive eating guide, where on some days a piece fruit can get me through the morning and a salad or grain to get me through the afternoon, peace has come to me when dealing with/thinking about food.
Does this mean you should become a Flexitarian?…not necessarily. What I would like to encourage you to do is to think back to a time when you too were in your height and weight chart range and try to remember and mimic those eating habits again. So far that’s what’s working for me, this Flexitarian shift was just the catalyst to get me there. 😉
What period of your life will you be reflecting on to get back to your natural intuitive eating habits? What diet induced habits do you think you could do without?