This diet is something I’ve thought about writing for a very long time. The idea came to me one day when I told my husband that therapy is the best diet I’ve ever been on.
When I first sat down in the therapist chair, I told my therapist I had a problem with food. I said, “I have no willpower.” I think about food all the time. I am obsessed with dieting. I can’t lose weight. Can you help me? She told me I was an emotional eater. Whenever I had something going on in my life that sparked emotion, it showed itself as food. Either eating a lot of food or restricting a lot of food. Either being on a diet or being completely off the wagon. I was skeptical at first, but the more we met and the more we talked, the more my emotional eating became so clear. I slowly learned to connect everything I overate with an event that triggered emotion. I was also able to connect any obsessions with dieting as my way of numbing anxiety. It wasn’t always easy to find the trigger or realize that something so small could trigger me, but when I really looked or swallowed my pride and admitted that something upset me, I was able to make the connection. That was the beginning of me learning that when you let emotions out, you don’t eat them in. When you let yourself feel emotions, you don’t have to numb them with food.
Because of my experience and what I have learned I believe that understanding the emotional component of dieting has been the biggest influence in my life. It’s been the most effective diet I’ve ever been on. If losing weight was as easy as eating healthy and exercising more, we’d all be thin. And since I’ve never binged on broccoli, I know emotional eating is what causes my weight gain, weight fluctuations, body image issues and obsession with dieting. One handful of licorice (my go-to binge food) isn’t going to move the scale, but when I eat the whole bag…that’s when the problems start.
That’s why I decided to pen the first ever diet, that has nothing to do with food. This diet doesn’t tell you what to eat. It doesn’t tell you how much to exercise. This diet was built on the emotional component of dieting. And as we all work to make 2018 our year, I hope you consider giving this diet a try. I promise, it’s everything! For lack of creativity…we’ll call this: The Monday Diet.
FIRST WHAT TO ELIMINATE: Instead of eliminating high sugar and high fat foods, Eliminate (or limit):
- Toxic friends
- Time with family members who trigger us
- Feeling guilty
- The scale
- Comparing ourselves to others
Instead of tracking exactly what you eat, Track:
- When you eat
- When you choose to not eat healthy
- When you find yourself completely overeating
- When you find yourself unable to stop eating
Instead of eating certain foods based on a diet plan, organize your food choices into 2 groups
- Emotional Food
Food is everything healthy you eat. Fruits, vegetables, protein, healthy fats, grains, beans, yogurt, you name it.. it’s in this group. Also in this group is any “unhealthy food” you eat with intention. I eat dessert after every meal. It ends the meal for me. It may be 1 chocolate chip cookie or sometimes 4 mini peanut butter cups. I eat them. They are in the “food group.” When I reach for the second cookie and then the third that spills into the emotional food category. When I’ve eaten dinner and my dessert and I’m still opening up the cabinet and eating 12 handfuls of animal crackers before bed, that spills over into emotional food. The emotional foods are the foods that hinder us from losing weight. The emotional foods are the foods we eat beyond hunger.
These two food groups pertain to meals as well. I used to cut out foods like bagels, pizza and Chinese food because I had labeled them as “bad foods” or “non- diet foods.” Now if I eat a slice of pizza for dinner, it’s just a food. But when I eat 3 slices of pizza followed by 6 garlic knots and lasagna, it’s emotional food.
As someone who is studying to be a registered dietician, I know the importance of eating for our health. I am not saying eat pizza and pasta for all meals. I am saying that when we aren’t emotional eating, we naturally tend to pick foods, like fruits and vegetables, that promote health. After all, we like these foods. We like the taste and we like the way they make us feel. Our eating mimics how we feel. When we feel like crap, we eat like crap.
The hardest part about this diet is that its up to us to put the breaks on emotional eating. The only way that can happen is to address the emotional trigger. Bring awareness to the fact that something or someone is causing us to want to eat. That, I have found, will suppress my appetite more than anything else. Realizing WHY I am eating beyond normal amounts of food. Let your emotions out, don’t eat them in. This diet, my friends, is an absolute game changer.
For anyone who feels they’d like stricter instructions for this diet plan feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d be happy to talk more! Happy Monday!! xo