Holiday season is upon us *food stress has entered the chat* — from the culture of guilt and shame to controlling and restrictive eating behaviors, having a healthy relationship with food and how we eat has become nearly impossible.
This is diet culture — the narrative that food is either good or bad, clean or sinful. And that restriction is the holy grail of aesthetics. The reality is, extreme rules are unsustainable and deprive your body.
Society idealizes thinness; the thinner, the better. When the reality is: strong is beautiful, curves are beautiful, and bodies just are beautiful. Period.
And, ultimately, restricting your food intake to an extreme is not doing you any favors in getting the body you want. Why? Let’s get into the science:
Our bodies are highly adaptable — the fewer calories you eat, the more your body will slow you down. Your body will excrete, sweat, digest, and burn LESS.
This cycle can cultivate a disordered way of eating. Not only is the physical body in a yo-yo cycle, but the mental process becomes just as grueling.
Just as your body adapts as you eat less, you can train yourself to be able to eat more without your body fluctuating.
First, mindset. Suggestions below for battling obsessive thoughts.
Second, retraining your metabolism by telling your body it’s not in starvation mode. So, when you do eat, it burns the food as fuel, rather than storing it. This process can sound intimidating, but it is attainable. We just have to start slow.
The end goal is eating nutritious meals that focus on 30g of protein, healthy fats and leafy greens. Your first step could be adding in one thing, like protein with every meal, or a protein smoothie each day (find the Babe Berry Smoothie in the Body Type Programs). Give yourself a few weeks with this new change and notice how your brain and body start to have more energy.
You may even feel hungrier - which is GOOD. It’s a sign your metabolism is increasing.
The trick is to add quality food into your diet and worry less about what to take out. As you begin to feel more and more satisfied, cravings for the foods you’ve strictly controlled will diminish.
The Power of Food
Cocoa powder is another antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation.
MCT oil helps increase ketones and trains your body to burn fat as fuel.
Eating 30g of protein in one sitting creates a thermic effect and increases your metabolism.
L-Glutamine strengthens your stomach lining to decrease inflammation, leaky gut symptoms, acne and more problematic symptoms.
Fibrous vegetables such as The Daily Salad help improve digestion and gut bacteria.
Quick Tips for Shifting Your Mindset
Read/listen/absorb constructive content, like Brené Brown’s book “The Gifts of Imperfection” and Dr. John Berardi Show Podcast, hosted by the founder of the highly reputable Precision Nutrition Certification program.
If you follow any accounts on social media that make you feel bad about yourself, mute or unfollow them. Replace these with accounts whose content makes you feel seen and good about yourself.
Avoid scales and other ways of measuring progress that can be scary to see change and don’t really tell you anything specific. For example, gaining weight doesn’t mean gaining fat. People can weigh more as they build muscle and still be a smaller size (if that’s the goal) than when they just restricted their food and maybe did some cardio.
Find ways of giving yourself positive reinforcement. You could journal about changes in your mood, keep track of when you are lifting heavier weights, track your sleep and energy levels in an app — whatever works for you.
Remind yourself that food will always be there — adding more in doesn’t mean adding it all in all of the time. It’s still okay to have treats, the idea is to first make sure you’re fueling your body with what it needs to be healthy and for you to feel happy.
Some people need more structure than others, and that’s where the Body Type Programs’ Nutrition plans can be your MVP. Plus, the MoMoMuscle community is always there to be your support system! We’re all about food freedom, getting enough calories, and building the body you want through strategic body recomposition. Lift right, eat well, look good.