I just ate a cinnamon scroll, and loved it. I feel no guilt. None. Zilch. All I feel is a sense of pure satisfaction. In fact, I was so excited and satisfied that I emailed my hubby to rub in what I’d eaten (and didn’t have to share with him). Like a lot of women, it took me years to get to this point… where I don’t judge myself for what I’ve eaten or beat myself up about it. I don’t think rightio, for the rest of the week I’ve got to make up for my indulgence.
A lot of us call it ‘good food’ or ‘good days’ and ‘bad food’ or ‘bad days’. There’s no such thing as ‘bad food’. Food is food… it is there to nourish you. Sometimes a big ass green juice will nourish you and other times it’s a cinnamon scroll that hits the spot. Sometimes you don’t make the healthiest choice when you could have, and some days you’re too damn busy or tired to care and that’s ok. It’s about recognising where you’re at and listening to what you want and need to nourish you.
That’s not a license to gorge on daily scrolls. Healthy living and healthy weight management is bigger that calories in and calories out. It’s bigger than labelling yourself as a devote follower of a specific diet. Above all, it’s bigger than being perfect.
It’s about your thought process and how we talk to ourselves. If we can change the way we think of food and what it does to nourish us, we’ll change what we choose to eat.
The secret to maintaining a healthy weight is to love yourself. Don’t count calories. Count nutrients. Don’t reflect on having a ‘good day’ or ‘bad day’ based on what you ate. Consider your food choices and at the end of the day ask yourself if they served you. Don’t do anything extreme. Practice mindfulness. And certainly don’t deprive yourself for a period of time to make up for a time when you ate more than you needed to. That can cause a cycle of deprivation, self-hate and binge eating; all that leads to a negative relationship with food and your body.
The game-changer for me and for most of my clients is the 80/20 approach. 80% of the time try to make healthy and nutritious decisions and 20% of the time you can relax and enjoy yourself, where you might have a few pieces of chocolate, a glass of wine, a slab of sourdough with some butter, you might ditch the gym or watch the next episode of Madam Secretary when you know you should be getting your butt off to bed.
7 Tips For Healthy Weight Management
- Try to stick to the 80/20 approach for healthy weight management
- Practice mindfulness – each time you eat a snack or meal, stop, sit down and enjoy every mouthful. Acknowledge what you’re doing.
- Ditch the calorie counting, the daily weigh in on the scales and the labeling of food as “good” or “bad”
- Start asking “are you still hungry” after a meal, rather than “are you full?”
- Listen to your body… eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re not
- Try to not to go for more than 4 to 5 hours between meals, as it can cause irregular blood sugar levels, sugar cravings and mood swings (hence the term “hangry”)
- Look in the mirror each morning and say “Damn, I’m beautiful. Here’s to an awesome and nourishing day”. Lame? A little. But empowering?... For sure!
Olivia McFadyen, based in Lane Cove on Sydney's North Shore, is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist and Homoeopath. Whilst Olivia is a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist, she is also a realist and understands the demands of modern day life, offering nutrition, herbal medicine and homoeopathic consultations and support without compromising on the enjoyment food can bring. She is passionate about supporting patients to reach their lifestyle goals, optimise their health & develop a healthy yet balanced way of life through naturopathy and homoeopathy. She services her clients by consultations and offering consultations, corporate workshops and natural health programs from her clinic in Lane Cove on Sydney's Lower North Shore.