May 6 is International No Diet Day. With all the body judging and shaming that goes on in modern culture, this is a day when people can choose to make a conscious effort to accept that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. With that acceptance comes the truth that with good communication with your body and a little understanding of how your body uses its food, you can be healthy at any size.
You Don’t Have to Be Perfect
I talk about the body’s natural ability to rebalance in my Completement Now Health Program:
If you eat a little too much for dinner once in a while, you’ll naturally feel like eating less the next morning. Your body will give you the signs and symptoms to define what is the best amount of food for you. If you listen to your body, it does a good job of balancing itself out.
So, the key here is to listen to your body.
Listen to Your Body
Your body has intelligence, and its drive is for wellness. So, you can take cues from your body as to whether a food is feeding you or not. So, how do you know if a food is feeding you? Ask yourself some of these questions:
- Do I feel energized when I eat this?
- Do I feel good when I eat this? 15 minutes after I eat this? 30 minutes after I eat this? and so on…
- Do I have brain fog when I eat this food?
- Am I easily digesting the food or is my stomach gurgling and grinding?
- Do I get gas when I eat this food?
- Do I get diarrhea or constipation when I eat this food?
- Do I get congested or a rash when I eat this food?
The foods that feed your body will feel good to your body over long periods of time. They will give you energy and encourage clarity and mobility. These are the foods your body can use to build more wellness. When you identify these foods, eat more of them. Conversely, when you identify foods that fog your brain or cause low energy or digestive issues, don’t eat them.
A Good Food Plan
Most food plan looks like:
- moderate to high complex carbs, moderate protein, low fat OR
- low carbs, moderate protein, high fat
An excellent rule of thumb when you think about putting together your overall menus for creating more health is that your body will get energy from carbs if you are eating carbs. If you are eating carbs, then your body will not use stored fat for generating energy. So, if you want to burn fat, then eat as few carbs as you can.
The two eating plans I like that feed your body and create health are:
Both of these nutritional programs severely limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat which gives the organs of digestion a rest and reduces inflammation.
Keep a Food Diary
In order to understand your body’s communications better, keeping a food diary for a week or two can be quite helpful. You can log what you eat and drink and how you feel over the day. When you see a pattern, like “I crave salty foods at 6:00 p.m. every night,” then you can highlight that pattern for future consideration. Once you understand your patterns, you can do more research and build better menus that meet your body’s needs.
Dr. Carolyn Dean