By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (LowFatLowCarb.com)
Coaching many clients, week after week for many years, has given be a good perspective on many different emotions that play into a client’s ability to succeed or not on their weight loss journey. One of the main reactions that I hear, that can be a huge detriment to the success, is the “all or none” attitude.
People will say, “well, I already ate one bad meal, so I just figured I might as well continue since I messed up.” Or they do the protocol so perfectly, lose a bunch of weight and then go off the chain after and proceed to gain all the weight back. That is the worse one to me.
When I coach these “all or none” clients, which are by far the most difficult, I talk to them about creating a “dimmer switch”. Instead of going all on and then all OFF, I teach them to find a dimmer switch. Once they lose the weight by following the plan, they need to find life habits that they continue with daily, and then allow some fun foods, or pleasure foods a couple of meals per week without guilt. That is the trick. NO GUILT. I have come to believe it is the guilt that drives people to shame, which leads them to making bad choices over and over again.
If you allow yourself to enjoy the foods that you enjoy, in moderation, you will maintain your new weight zone within about 5-7 pounds for about a year (that is variable person to person, but a good gauge) and without the guilt that leads to over eating. Once a year, you do a little re-boot and lose the 5-7 pounds you gained, and you stay in all the clothes you are wearing and you have good self-control. It makes life so much easier when you feel like you can enjoy some vacations, special occasions and holidays and not carry the burden of fear that you will gain your weight back. More importantly, when you are choosing to enjoy those events without the guilt, you will not feel the need to be gluttonous because you have made a decision to enjoy it then zip it up and move on.
When you binge, your problems don’t go away and you just added to them by feeling bad about yourself. That feeling is what leads to the weight gain, that leads to becoming susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes or worse. Overeating is not worth all of that. Savor the foods you enjoy, don’t label them as “good or bad”. When you eat a “not so good for you food” don’t let that decision unravel you. Move on. It is okay. You are okay. Truly, it is what you do most of the time that matters, not the occasional fun foods, that will keep you in your clothes.