There was a time when food was just food. Humans lived off the land, eating some plants, the animals in the area and fruit, seeds and nuts when they were available. Today, the vast majority of “food” found in the grocery store are highly processed products created through modifying starch, or carbohydrate, in ways we’ve not seen in most of the history of the human race. Because these foods are the dominant foods in the places we buy our groceries, it takes a little thought before selecting an item. If meats, fish, poultry, produce, dairy, nuts and seeds were all the store sold, it would be easy to make your choices.
Let’s think about this in a more typical, real-life situation. We’ll use a fictitious woman named Julie. Julie needs to lose 100 pounds of extra body fat. She can attack this goal a couple different ways. One would be what’s still most common today. She could go on a 1200-1400 low-calorie diet often recommended to overweight women (men are often told to eat 1600-1800 in cases like this).
Congrats on your transformation! You should feel very proud of yourself to have come so far and to have gotten to the point where you can listen to your stomach. Surprisingly, that simple communication with our body is something that so many of us have trained ourselves to not pay any attention to. After suffering with an eating disorder for about 15 years, I got to the point where I didn’t even know what it felt like to be hungry anymore! I had to really work to “hear” that signal. And you’re right, counting calories can be an obsession that can take over your life and your thoughts, so I think it’s awesome that you have cut back from that and are just listening to your wants and needs and not freaking out over a piece of cake.
Nicole Morrissey is a registered dietitian who works specifically with diabetes and weight management. What sets her apart from many other dietitians is that she’s struggled with her own weight since a young age. She was 14 when she went to her first Weight Watchers meeting, and the years that followed brought many ups and downs. Today, she accepts that she “may forever be a work in progress,” so she focuses on balance. That means healthy, good-for-her foods, and doing the active things she loves, like running and hockey. Visit the blog.