Restricting Vs. Moderation

I spent 2 years of my life obsessing over eating. What a waste of time. Food is meant to be enjoyed and to energize your body, but not rule your life. And too many people out there are restricting their calorie intake to the point of slowing down their metabolism because they want to lose weight or think if they up their calories that they will gain a lot of weight. It is just not worth it.

For the first 2/3 of my life, I did not think about what I was eating or if it were healthy. I just ate what I wanted or what was available when I was hungry. That was normal eating. I was slightly overweight, since there was not a lot of variety in the food available to me when I was younger (because we often ate the same things biweekly) and I did not understand how it was unhealthy. There were things that seemed unappealing that I associated with being healthy, but a salad covered in ranch… not it.

In graduate school I began disordered eating habits due to stress. I did not think I have an eating disorder because I thought that meant having bulimia or anorexia. So I thought I was still just a normal eater. Then I realized my weight just was yoyoing and thought it was because of my reduced physical activity. So I became a runner, which helped me maintain my weight around the overweight mark.

When I lost weight in 2015, I partially did so by restricting my calorie intake for a few months until I dropped down to a weight I was nervous to see on the scale (I do not know why, but seeing a weight below 130 lbs made me feel like I had gone too far). That happened when I was restricting far too much for my activity level at the time. I was walking 3-10 miles a day around the city, I ran every other day, followed by some workout and did yoga the days in between.

Now that I feel like a normal eater again, I am focusing on buying the nutrient dense foods that are around the parameter of the grocery store or provided at the farmer’s market. I see that my digestive issues are better off not causing myself a bunch of stress. I think it is because I am eating a varied diet.

I have heard that gluten is the problem or dairy or meat or soy… First of all, we are being given the media’s interpretation of the researcher’s interpretation of their study results. These researchers are often funded by the competing industry. If you look for the   research papers yourself, you will see that the studies are of a very small group of people or the people have very eating that way before or that it is a correlation and not a definitive result or the results look completely different to you.

I have found that eating all these things in moderation and not restricting myself works great for me. I think choosing to be vegetarian or vegan or paleo are not bad things, but restricting your calories, self-diagnosing a problem, saying an entire food group will give you cancer without understanding the research fully or restricting your mindset to what is healthy is the problem.

Lets look at the areas of the world who do not experience diseases like cancer or dementia, they eat all these things (soy, meat, dairy, gluten, etc.) in moderation by having a varied diet focused on naturally nutrient dense foods. If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, then by all means avoid gluten. But if you are saying that gluten is the devil because it made you constipated after eating it at every meal for a day or week or month or year then maybe cut back. Maybe have it during a meal and then not again the rest of the day. Do not worry, you can have it again another time.

I think we cause more problems eating the same things all the time and not providing our body with the nutrients we might only be getting from a multivitamin. The only reason there are multivitamins is because most people do not eat a varied diet that allows them to get all the nutrients they need. Think of the money we could be saving!!! Vitamins are expensive! Not to mention, if there is research showing that eating too much of a single type of food will cause you health problems and disease. More expenses!

Just a thought I have been having lately. I am off to eat tofu, cheese, bacon and whole wheat bread, but not all at once and not for every meal.

 

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