When Do We Get to Eat What We Want Again?

“You obviously don’t have a weight issue anymore, so why don’t you just eat what you want?”

I get some version of this question a lot, and there are multiple answers.

Perhaps most important – a nutritional plan, a diet, will fail when we go back to eating whatever we want.  When we do what we always did – you know the rest.  The “eat what you want” plan propelled my 40-year diet yo-yo.  Diets fail because we look at them as short-term fixes.  Consider them training.  Sensible diets (not fads) teach us how to eat to fuel our bodies efficiently and leave us feeling good.  Who would want to live on cabbage soup or protein bars forever?  Yet from a sensible nutrition plan, we can learn what satiates us, what patterns work to maintain our emotional and physical well-being.  Learn from that meal delivery service, learn what points work for you, learn what protein, fat, and vegetable combinations keep you satisfied from breakfast to lunch to dinner and through the evening.  This is training for your body’s needs.

What I wanted changed.  Once I slowed down to taste foods rather than swallowing them whole in an emotional binge, I realized I no longer liked them.  I learned that this one-time sugar addict didn’t like the feeling of a sugar-coated tongue.  I learned what foods left me feeling sluggish and bloated—and who needs that if we can avoid it?

There are only so many calories this body can process in a day.  I’m only five foot three with a medium frame.  When I exercise, I may need a little more, but exercise doesn’t burn as many  calories as we imagine.  Unlimited calories will only make me feel sluggish and fuse to my hips.

I feel sooooo much better.  I’m giving my body the type of fuel it needs to work efficiently and effectively and to keep me satisfied.  When I stray from my plan (I’m looking at you, sugar), I don’t feel as good – and I want more.  It’s that addictive thing.  Yes, holidays are special, and I’ll go off plan now and again, but I always feel much better when I’m eating within my personal guidelines.

Whether you’re starting out, nearing your goal, or are maintain your weight, the drill is the same:  Eat what is truly good for your body.  Allow yourself some grace when things happen – and they will – and then get back to your guidelines.  When you are set free, why would you go back to that yoke of slavery?

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