You hear of all those crazy diets like the Cookie Diet and Cabbage Soup Diet but I never jumped on the bandwagon. I was too busy jumping on the scale. Every morning at the gym, I would weigh in for the verdict on how I was going to feel about myself that day. That one number — and it fluctuated daily — determined whether I felt “fat” or “thin” for a day.
After the Holidays passed this year, I wanted to do a gentle cleanse to return my system to normal so I decided to give an elimination and cleanse diet a try. It was pretty straightforward. One week of clean eating, no sugar, refined carbohydrates or alcohol, a special broth and some supplements. Easy, right? For the most part. I stayed on it for a week and followed the instructions word for word.
But day by day I began to realize what I must have always known about diets. They can be restrictive and isolating and that’s exactly how I felt. What I confirmed for myself and for my health and wellness practice is that I do not recommend any one diet. I encourage my clients to experiment and find what works for them as individuals.
There are so many diets out there from Atkins to Paleo to South Beach and more. I won’t get into the scientific reasons why they don’t work more often than they do, but the beauty of them all is that we can sample from various diets and create a way of eating customized to our own bodies, tastes and preferences.
Somewhere between moving in with my boyfriend and switching gyms, my daily weigh-in rituals fell by the wayside and I found myself on a different kind of diet: The No Scale Diet. Now, this is a “diet” that worked for me! I noticed that my mornings felt a lot less stressful and I stopped basing my mood, sex appeal and self-worth on an arbitrary number. Aside from my sugar addiction, my weighing habit has been the hardest to break but also the most liberating.
During the month of February when we celebrate love, set an intention to love yourself completely, celebrate healthy food and create connection with others.
Here are just a few of my basic guidelines for eating with love and intention:
Eat organic, locally and seasonally
Chew, chew and chew some more
Keep meals clean and simple
Eat lots and lots of veggies
Cut back on sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine
Ditch the scale
If you can do the above 90 percent of the time, the other 10 percent of the time … break the rules!