“No matter what I do, I can’t lose weight.”
“When I work out I’m starving. Then I overeat. It’s a vicious cycle.”
“Swear to &@^*#!* &*#, if I look at a piece of cheesecake I gain five pounds.”
“It’s official; I’m allergic to eating.”
As we age, these phrases can become as common as “Good morning,” “Good night,” and “Let’s Google it.”
When I hit the big 4-0 a few years back, my system put on the brakes. I wasn’t as hungry, unless I worked out intensely, then I was ravished. But no matter how much I worked out, my weight didn’t change. Then something even worse happened—if you can imagine a thing worse than exercising with no results to show for it. I started feeling full/bloated every day. First I cut out carbs. Then gluten altogether. That didn’t do much. Then I went meatless for three months (vegetarians have a special name for that, I believe). I felt better on the inside, evolved if you will, but my gut felt exactly the same—bloated. After that, I gave up alcohol. No, really, I did. Not getting up to pee at three a.m. was an immediate perk, but I soon replaced the wind-down glass of red wine with herbal tea, which ultimately created the same effect. Or maybe I just enjoy getting up at three…?
My breaking point was when I ate an apple on an empty stomach one afternoon while on break…and it took me down. To the floor. Into the fetal. It was official; I was allergic to eating. But, was I?
No. As it turns out, I’m not allergic to food. What I needed to do was quit relying on what everyone else was doing. I needed to stop trying all these fad diets—The Zone, The Eat Right for Your Blood Type Diet, The Caveman Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Mediterranean Diet, Atkins, Oprah (yes, even her; I bet she has a diet that I’ve tried at least twice!).
I finally said to myself, “Lis, why don’t you try listening to your body?” We are our best doctors, after all. I starting mapping out foods that “worked” and foods that didn’t, like a pros and cons list. Potatoes—pro. Pasta—con. Apples—con. Bananas—pro. Garlic—con, big con. Every other spice on the planet—pro. I realized that my body was picky. It didn’t like the natural sugars in certain foods like garlic and apples, and I gained weight from pasta instantaneously, but not from potatoes. And then I started eating precisely what worked for me. The bloating—that had even taken over my face for two solid years—went away. And I lost the last five pounds (eight in my case). This increased my energy level and confidence. This increased the amount of time I exercised weekly, as feeling good puts a snap in your speed walking/jogging/biking/weight training. This got me to go to more classes, like yoga and small group personal training. Suddenly exercise fit into my schedule again. Exercise—that thing that makes us all feel like rock stars. Oh happy day.
Know this: No one knows your body better than you. What are you waiting for? Make your list! Then live it.
Joe, back to you for an MFG QUICK TIP. (I love saying that. Makes me feel like a sexy newscaster.) Joe, back to you! What do you tell your clients when they ask about diet? Do you have a secret you’d like to share?
That’s great insight, Lisa. You do truly have to tune in to how food makes you feel. I love pizza (who doesn’t?), but I don’t eat it because I feel like shit after I do. I love almond butter, but I need to be careful about how much I eat because I can overeat it real quick.
I recommend that anyone eat real, unprocessed food. Perishable food. Included as many vegetables as you can. Don’t worry about how much you’re eating other than the 3-4 hours before bed. Don’t go to bed too full is my only portion control guidance. Wake up and have an awesome, huge breakfast. Don’t ever skip breakfast- even if it’s a couple bites of fruit or a handful of almonds. You need to reignite the fire that is your metabolism after a long night where your metabolism is slowing down because you don’t have access to food. Your body goes into survival mode and tells your metabolism to slow down in order to preserve your life when you don’t have access to food for a while. This happens during sleep. You need to tell your body that you have access to food upon waking.
Contact us anytime and we can go much more in depth specific to you and your lifestyle. I find that life habits are the key to good nutrition.