I was speaking to a client last night who is in the middle of my 30-Day Detox Feast. She said – as does every person on the 3rd week of eliminating sugar and wheat – “I’m just not hungry anymore. Where did my constant desire to nosh go?”
I explained that she is not experiencing that constant need to eat because she has eliminated her trigger foods and without them, there isn’t anything really very tempting.
What that means, dear people, is that we are not addicted to the act of eating itself, as many of us think! We are merely addicted to certain foods. Take them out of the equation, or develop some strategies for how to control them, and ta da, you are now one of those people who just eats when hungry and stops when full! In other words, peace with food. yay!
Back in early March, I wrote a post about Moderation versus Elimination, where I argued that if you cannot control yourself with a certain food or food group, it is better to just eliminate it completely from your diet. But as mentioned above, there are some shades of gray and ways to work AROUND your trigger foods without total elimination in some cases.
One commentor to the last post said she has trouble controlling all breads and pastas but because those are “healthy” foods and mainstays of many diets, wondered how she could possibly eliminate “an entire food group.” That’s a common question, so let’s tackle that first:
1. Bread and Pasta
While bread and pasta are in fact food items, unlike say sugar and potato chips, if you cannot eat them in moderation – and you have honestly given it a good try! – and your weight or your health are suffering, then eliminate them from your diet. There are PLENTY of other starches to eat, such as:
Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Quinoa, Amaranth, Millet, Rice, Barley, Buckwheat, Couscous, Kamut (wheat kernels), White Potatoes…
Participants in the 30-Day Detox spend 3 weeks not eating breads and pastas and it forces them to use other grains and starches. Only when they do, do they realize that they were WAY over-relying on bread and pasta! Variety is the spice of life and health, so don’t get stuck in the bread/pasta rut.
Your next question may be: Well, what about bread and noodles made out of the things you listed above? Ie, quinoa flour bread or crackers, rice pasta, Soba noodles, etc. My answer is that you will need to check those out for yourself. If you can eat rice pasta and not over-eat it, then by all means, enjoy. But if you binge on any sort of pasta, noodle, bread or cracker, regardless of what it is made out of, then pull up out of that nose dive and eliminate!
2. Know your triggers and box them in
Sometimes we are triggered not by food, but by situations, or even food packaging! For example, I will overeat pretty much anything in an open package. Pretzels in an open bag? I’ll plow through them all. Ditto nuts, chips, crackers, cookies. And I know I am not alone in this. Food manufacturers know as well! So my solution for this one has been a “No Food in Open Packages in the House” policy. Or if it arrives in an open package, I will quickly re-package into smaller, portioned packages.
I also discovered that I could share a dessert in a public place with friends or family and NOT binge afterwards. As long as the dessert stayed out of my house! We do our best then to avoid having desserts brought back home and just enjoy the occasional sweet outside at restaurants or cafes.
Both of my strategies with portion sizes and eating out, are called “Boxing it In”, a term coined by Dr Stephen Gullo in his excellent book Thin Tastes Better.
Can you think of any situation or packaging triggers you might have that you could learn to “Box In” safely?
You may have habit triggers as well. A lot of my clients overeat at restaurants because they were raised with an anything-goes-when-we-eat-out kind of attitude. Others report binging at movie theaters, weddings and bar mitzvahs, book clubs, or while sitting in front of the TV at night. Still others have certain eating buddies that they are always “naughty” with. In order to get control of this issue, we first need to get clear and then develop a strategy to change things or see if there is a way to Box anything In.
The point of these two posts on Moderation and Elimination has been to give the power back to YOU. Many of us feel so powerless in the face of food and eating. Once you understand WHY and HOW you are using certain foods, you can take responsibility and make changes. It really is not ALL food you are having problems with. But the few you are struggling with are pretty much ruining your peace, your health, and often your entire life.
If you need help sorting all of this out for yourself, book a session and let me help!Pin It