I’m a huge planner, with literally everything in my life so when meal plans were in my thoughts of how to find a better balance with food I thought that it would be perfect. Little did I realize that this type of recover was completely negative for me.
This being said I have never been forced into changing my lifestyle and am not under any medical care, therefore I have had the ability to experiment with what works for me. It has been a long process and i’m sure that if I had of had more force and guidance earlier on than I would have made progress at a much faster and maybe more efficient rate.
I tried a lot of different ways to change my negative habits, from macro counting to meal plans and food exchange plans. Nothing worked. They all felt too much like another diet, as I found myself still restricting from what my body truly wanted. I have a hard time putting effort into something that I know isn’t going to last forever, in this case that thing was a meal plan.
It didn’t allow me to intuitive eat and when I would “break” what was put in front of me the guilt was too much. I felt restricted with eating a certain amount of food at a specific time.
Growing up food was never restricted nor was there ever a set diet that I was forced to eat. This is what I’m striving to get back to and by using a meal plan I felt like I was taking a step backwards.
My goal was to be able to eat intuitively, no calorie counting, no macros, and no fear foods which is finally what i’m seeing is possible with a lot of trier and error.
So what did work?
The first step after admitting that I had a negative relationship towards food in general was to write down exactly what thoughts I knew I needed to change. Even though I would think over and over about what I knew that I could change in my mind, it wasn’t until I saw it on paper that I realized almost how silly and unrealistic my thoughts were.
The list wasn’t filled with just feared foods, to be honest the majority of the changes were related to either meal timing or rules that I had made up in my mind.
No eating more than one carb at a time
Morning snacks are a big NO-NO
and the best one… Fat will make you fat
Come to find out ALL of those rules were wrong, and needless to say have now been consistently broken.
I took it slow and made changes as I felt comfortable sticking to them. Once I would accomplish one I would move onto the next and so forth.
How did I know that I was eating enough for my body?
This is a tough one considering I don’t count calories daily and don’t religiously step on the scale BUT it has been possible. In the beginning I would count my calories (underestimating) every few days to make sure I was staying on track. This was easy because I was eating a lot of the same foods so at least I knew that I was eating on average what I figured my body needed. For me, I went with the “over 3000” calorie approach. I don’t want to label it as being minnie maud because i haven’t religiously followed all of the rules, but in the sense of calories that was my goal.
In the past 5 months of no calorie counting, no meal plans, no medical team and no restricting I have gained 17 pounds.
This isn’t to say that meal plans don’t work, they just didn’t for me. Like a lot of things in life, we don’t know what works and what doesn’t until we try them out first hand.
What have you found has worked for you?