Do or do not, there is no try.

~Yoda

Are You Chasing Yet Another Diet?

If you find yourself on yet another diet, perhaps it’s time to ask yourself what’s really going on. What’s the obsession about?

Is it the food, the weight, getting on yet another diet? Are you spiritually empty?

Get specific.

What is this obsession with food all about? Could it be you’re on yet another diet because you are food sensitive? Could it be a food addiction? Perhaps you’re addicted to certain foods?

If so, it’s possible to release your obsession with food addiction when you let go of the diet mentality if someone will lead you on the journey or point you in the right direction.

Many people I talk to throughout the week announce they’re going on a diet. Some look at Keto while others are going to Weight Watchers, and still others look at Golo or some type of packaged foods. All fine, but know there is no one way to correct weight. And sorry to tell you, but the magical diet that does it all for you doesn’t exist. Not even bariatric surgeries, the newest diet pills, or weight loss shots like Ozempic are foolproof.

And there’s no scientific breakthrough that’s touted that you don’t already know. Yes, you know. You know what to do. It’s the bombardment of messages that makes you doubt yourself.

 Change Your Relationship with Food

The only way to correct weight, whether it’s too high or too low, is to change your relationship with food. Working as a certified eating disorder specialist, I see many patients looking to correct their weight. And with that, I hear many convinced the newest plan will get them to their accomplished goals.

One patient says, “But Dr. Lisa, if only someone would cook for me, then I’d be thin.” Another says, “I’m going to lose through Factor by having all my foods prepared for me.” Another who needs to restore weight might say, “If everyone would leave me alone, I’ll be fine.” And still another convinced a program they saw on a commercial is the right way.

And I’m sure these programs and suggestions have ideas worth looking into, but without a healthy relationship with food, no program will produce long-term results. Understanding basic nutrition, quality foods, and portion control is a starting place.

 What’s the Secret?

I’m often asked how I went from overweight to normal weight after years of bouncing up and down. Let’s be clear, I was the Yo-Yo dieter of the decade from early adolescence through my thirties. My weight and my relationship with eating were constant struggles for me until I understood my chemical reaction to certain foods.

After years of trial and error, research, clinical knowledge, weight loss, and then stability of weight, I recognized that eating whole, natural foods free of sugar, flour, and wheat restored a balanced mood for me. Eating in this simple way, I instantly became calm and centered, clearing my mind with chatter. I had a committee in my head arguing about what I needed to eat. Once I swatted the devil-angel, I was on my way. This opened my awareness of how my metabolism works, and I began breaking free from Yo-Yo dieting and building a health-positive lifestyle regarding food.

I listened to my body, noticing when I was hungry, tired, irritable, and stressed. Soon, from the whispered messages I received, I developed a trust in my body’s inner wisdom. This ability to tune in to what my body had to say didn’t appear like poof announcing a magic genie. I cultivated this knowing through mindfulness—that is, by removing the mental clutter of everyday life and paying attention.

Of course, being able to reap the harvest of inherent wisdom because of paying attention to my body’s messages rose from my first planting the seeds of consciousness by way of spiritual work—described at length in Release Your Obsession with Food: Heal from the Inside Out.

Our first step in being able to listen to our bodies is to learn to listen to our inner spirit—and that’s something everyone can do with practice.

 Eat Three Meals Plus One Half-Meal Daily

The best way to begin your food recovery journey is to follow a simple formula of having four meals a day and breaking down each meal according to an easy structure of specific foods: fruit, protein, fat, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. I’ve found, too, that at the beginning, the most workable way to do this is to commit to your food plan prior to the start of your day, rather than merely hoping you’ll arrive at this optimal arrangement by random eating.

The process of preparation doesn’t have to be taxing or time-consuming. You can email yourself the next day’s menu in 30 seconds. Often you won’t have to even re-read your commitment or plan, as writing it down often seals the deal. In my early days of recovery, I sent my food list to a trusted mentor, who never judged or commented negatively but simply received my food plan, anchoring my undertaking.

 Progress Not Perfection

I’m not perfect, my life isn’t a continuous happiness. I get mad, frustrated, and irritable, just like anybody else.

The difference is I don’t turn to my drug foods of the past because I realize the consequences aren’t worth the indulgence.

I get mad at life when my computer crashes and I lose valuable data, or when I have to turn down a fun-filled event due to work obligations, or I’m getting audited and need to produce years’ worth of notes for several patients. YIKES!!!

The old me whispers, “Let’s wolf down a delectable block of dark chocolate and make the world disappear.”

But, no matter what life struggles present themselves, I recognize that binge eating simply isn’t an option for me anymore. Nor is sugar, flour, or wheat on my food list, because I know that the devil of addiction, if stirred, will surface, and chaos will return with a vengeance if I ingest any of these. I compare my situation to that of an alcoholic who can’t have just a smidgeon of scotch; he must abstain completely to stay sober.

 Make Room—A Higher Source Is Present

When I followed these specific guidelines—even when I didn’t want to—my negative mind chatter quieted, and for the first time I could become still and hear God’s whispers. I connected to my inner strengths, and a spiritual understanding emerged in me. I found inner peace, God, and love. Love for myself, others, and the universe strengthened inside me.

Not only was I calmer, kinder, and less self-centered, but I perceived a bigger picture. I saw food as real and not real: God’s food and man’s food. Food from the earth, sea, and air was what I chose. I turned to God, and the “noise” in my head ceased, and the addiction flattened. These days, I eat to live rather than live to eat. Healthful foods and a refreshed faith are now my fuel to keep optimal health and weight.

 Last Thoughts

At the start of this discussion, I suggested it’s possible to release your obsession from food addiction when you let go of the diet mentality if someone will lead you on the journey or point you in the right direction. Follow me…

Here’s a little piece of hope: If your immediate thought was ‘I can’t live with obsessive eating any longer,’ then you’re a great deal closer to making peace with your food addiction than you might think, and the battle is much more one of finding a better chemical balance than you might think.

Those who can’t be dissuaded from a healthful, clean-eating lifestyle are a lot more likely to reach their goals, regardless of the path they originally chose.

 Let’s Begin…

Okay, here’s the part you’ve been patiently waiting for—the food! Addictive-free eating isn’t about dieting but about spiritual recovery from food addiction and binge eating disorder. It’s about changing your relationship with food from dysfunctional to functional. It’s a lifestyle choice, not a diet.

Taking a daily prescription of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a half-meal, free of sugar, flour, and wheat, sends the proper signal to your body and ignites your ability to operate your thinking and emotions at an optimal level.

Think of your body as if it were a machine that requires “real” foods to work as fuel to burn through calories and rev up your metabolism. You wouldn’t put cheap gas diluted with water into the gas tank of your car, would you? Unless you wanted your car to sputter, shake, and conk out, I don’t believe you would. Well, for this same reason, you want “quality” foods going into your body—your temple.

By combining protein, fruit, “whole” complex carbohydrates, fats, and vegetables in balanced portions, you will create a harmony that’ll satisfy your needs and fill your belly. Staying away from processed foods such as sugar and man-made carbohydrates, you’ll feel better—allowing a calm to come over you.

Your body will recognize and respond with higher energy than you could ever have imagined because it’s now fueled with the proper nutrients — actual foods, made by Mother Earth, who doesn’t make junk!

Drink at least eight glasses of water a day so your body will flush out the toxins, hydrate you, quench your thirst, improve your skin, and satisfy any false sense of hunger. Often we think we’re hungry when we’re really thirsty.

Recovery is about getting out of the prison of dieting and quieting the lion within. The trick is to stay as close to natural foods as possible.

Make every food you eat count!

 Menu Ideas

 Breakfast

 Example: Half a melon, one cup cooked steel-cut oats, two poached eggs, one cup skim milk, and one teaspoon butter.

 Lunch

 Example: Two cups of steamed broccoli and mushrooms, four ounces of baked chicken breast topped with lemon, and one teaspoon of olive oil.

 Snack (Half-Meal)

 Example: One cup of Greek yogurt mixed with one cup of frozen blueberries and mangoes, adding cinnamon and ginger to taste. If you’re dairy sensitive, replace the dairy with two ounces of lean protein.

 Dinner

 Example: One cup of whole grain brown rice, four ounces of sirloin steak, two cups of romaine lettuce with tomatoes and cucumbers, and one teaspoon of olive oil and vinegar.

 Examples of Specific Foods

  • Protein: Fish, chicken, steak, lamb, eggs, tofu, black beans.
  • Fruit: Medium apple, pear, orange, half a melon, one cup of grapes, one cup of strawberries, one large peach, one cup of fresh blueberries.
  • Dairy: One cup of plain nonfat yogurt, one cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, one cup of low-fat buttermilk, one cup of skim milk, one cup of fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese (ensure it’s free of sugar).
  • Fats: One teaspoon of butter, one teaspoon of olive oil, one teaspoon of Newman’s oil and vinegar, one teaspoon of coconut oil, one teaspoon of Dukes mayonnaise.
  • Starchy “Whole” Carbohydrates: Six ounces of potato, six ounces of sweet potato, one cup millet, one cup peas, one cup brown rice, one cup corn, one cup cooked oatmeal, one cup cooked polenta.

Additional Guidelines

  • Men should increase their protein portion for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by two ounces.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
  • Dairy and protein can be interchanged.
  • Take one multiple vitamin per day.

Some foods known as “gray” foods may trigger you to eat out of control. These foods include nuts, peanut butter, chocolate, caffeine, sugar substitutes, olives, wine, cheese, alcohol, baked chips, banana, sugar-free cocoa powder, and popcorn. If you experience cravings because of eating these foods, they should be avoided, as you may be sensitive to them.

What are your thoughts about dieting? Can you imagine having a healthy relationship with food without dieting? Do you think it’s possible to maintain a healthy weight that’s right for you?

Please share your thoughts—you are in good company. Simply scroll to the comments box below. I’d love to hear from you, what you have to say is important.

Thank you for being a part of the reading blog forum and spending time with me and my thoughts throughout these pages. I hope my words lit your excitement to become your best self for you. I look forward to sharing my newest book with you on how to release your obsession with your Phone. God bless you… and your journey through this life and all that awaits beyond…

To learn more about recovery from food addiction, eating disorders, weight issues, dieting, aging,  money, and your phone, please check out my Release Your Obsession Series.

Stay tuned… you never know where my mind will wander…

Hugs to you, I care!
Dr. Lisa

The newest release: Release Your Obsession with Your Phone

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