My clients often resist weighing and measuring food: they find it embarrassing, shameful, and annoying. “I have been doing diets my whole life, they say” I know how much I am supposed to eat!” “I am not going to humiliate myself by taking a scale into a fancy restaurant!” “And to my mother-in- law’s at Christmas? NOOOOOOOOO no no no! No one measures food today!”
OK, I say, let’s calm down and look at this rationally. Nearly every item bought or sold in the United States is weighed, measured, or counted.
The meat you buy at the grocery store is weighed when you buy it, or when it is packaged for sale.
The chips are in little packages, weighed, and the bag tells the individual weights and the total weight.
Your cereal says how much is a serving and how much that weighs in ounces and grams.
The yogurt is weighed in the container. If you buy cheese or turkey at the deli, they weigh it.
All the boxes, from cookies to dish detergent, have weights on them.
And if you leave the grocery, the gas station measures the gas it puts in your car.
The pharmacist counts your pills.
The shoe salesman measures your foot.
And think about the doctor and his heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol measurements.
You measure the amount of coffee you put in the pot, the amount of water in the rice, the amount of broth you need for soup, and how much chicken is needed for dinner.
If you go to a restaurant, I guarantee there is someone there who can tell you the weights and measures of all the foods they serve. IF not, the restaurant will close quickly.
NOW REMEMBER, THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT! YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!
But you have been struggling with food and eating and diets and weight for a long time. And your eyeballs probably need re-calibration.
And if you have had an individual food plan made by me, did you notice that AFTER you told me all the things going on with you, I got out my calculator? And at that time, I calculated out the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and yes, calories and nutrients your body is supposed to need. And if you were in my office, you got a food plan written in PENCIL ON PAPER. And if I had to send it to you it was individually typed just for you. And maybe we talked about some supplements you might need.
I was calculating the calories and nutrients YOUR body needs. And often that balance of protein and fat and carbohydrate needs to be adjusted in your food, to decrease your cravings and provide for the recovering body’s needs. You deserve to have YOUR body’s needs met.
And often people tell me this is “too much food”. Maybe that is because you have been starving the body of calories and nutrients for so many diets that the right amount of healthy food seems like too much; maybe the balance has been so far off that enough for the body seems like too much for the mind.
And we are so afraid of fat that we refuse to use any! That isn’t good; first because all your brain cells, nerve cells and hormones contain fat, but second because if there is no fat in your food plan, the body will think you are starving and stop losing weight!
Everyone needs their own food plan and meal pattern that works for them. Everyone needs to eliminate those foods that cause them problems, either by not being able to stop eating, not being able to think clearly, not being able to maintain normal body weight.
But it is the proportion of nutrients related to each other that is the critical issue and must be yours alone.
You weigh and measure your food to get the amounts right to meet your body’s needs.
You will never again have to worry and obsess about having eaten too much or too little food.
You will never again have to struggle so others do not see what you are eating.
You will never again have to feel sick because you ate the wrong foods and/or the wrong amounts.
Your mind will be clear and sharp, your cravings and obsessions will fade, and your body will go to its normal weight with full, shining hair, smooth skin, strong nails and lots of energy.
If anyone tells you that weighing food is really weird, just ignore it. Tell them you are working with a crazy dietitian who thinks you have food allergies. Or ask them why it is important to them. Or tell them thank you for caring and you do not wish to discuss it. We will talk more about food boundaries in the next weeks.
And, next week we will talk about how to pick the perfect scale for you and how to use it properly. Till then, please comment. Let me know what you love and what concerns you.
Blessings to you,