Is your relationship with food causing you to gain weight? 4 ways to lose weight without going on a diet

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Is your relationship with food causing you to gain weight? 4 ways to lose weight without going on a diet

We have all once or many times tried to lose or gain weight, joined a gym to gain muscle, or followed a morning diet ritual for glowing skin, bloating, or acid reflux. There must be a few who achieved what they hoped for, but there are many of us who keep trying and failing. Ultimately you become the ones who keep hopping from one diet or a hack to another. In the interim, we do not realize how this experimentation affects our relationship with food and our bodies.

Let’s understand this a bit more. Every person is unique in his or her skills and so are their bodies and environment. No one diet or food item can work universally for everybody- except water!

In nutrition science, food contains macronutrients and micronutrients. Carbohydrates, protein, fats, and water macros, are needed in larger quantities while vitamins and minerals are required in smaller amounts by the body; these are micronutrients. Each of these components is extremely important for good physical and mental health. When we go on a diet, say for weight loss, we restrict certain foods without keeping these factors in mind. We cut out bread, cheese, butter, mango, rice, go off carbs for dinner, to name a few. Now for how long can we avoid these delicious foods? It is something that we cannot follow for long and, this is the reason most diet plans fail. Nutrition and diet should be empowering that help us develop a good relationship with food. Shame, guilt, and stress-related to food suggest an unhealthy food relationship

Here is what defines a bad food relationship.

  • Feel guilty about eating out. Instead of enjoying the moment, you keep thinking about the wrong eating.
  • Label certain foods as bad for you.
  • Check your weight many times in the day. Even a 100gm weight gain bothers you.
  • Ignoring the body’s hunger signals
  • Try various diets or hacks.
  • Restrict or binging on food.
  • Punish yourself by criticizing yourself after a binge.
  • Body shaming yourself
  • Overeating and restricting cycle

If you associate with even one, then you have a rocky relationship with food. So how do we correct this? We need to heal this and make peace with food; this goes a long way for our physical and mental well-being. It is one relationship that makes us who we are. Our food choices, culture, tastes, likes, and dislikes make us unique. So let’s honour this and make amends between our bodies and food.

  1. Eat what you like– Eating rice, potatoes or mangoes does only good and not harm. Choose foods that you associate with you, that are sustainable and easy for you to cook and procure. Of course, keep the portion size in mind, but let your body know you honour it by giving it the taste it likes.
  2. No good or bad food– Labeling foods such as white rice as bad will only create negativity. Even the so-called “good foods” like quinoa eaten in excess can cause weight gain or gastric issues. Eat-in moderation, but include a variety of foods in your diet so that you do not miss out on any flavors. Only when we miss, the taste of our favorite foods, we binge and overeat.
  3. No rewards or punishments– Weekend bingeing or starving after an outing are both toxic. Food should not be something that should be restricted or overdosed on. If we follow a daily balanced diet, with cereals, proteins, fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and even a little sweet; we would never put ourselves through such torture.
  4. Practice flexibility – Permit yourself to go with the flow sometimes. It is not so bad, as it gives us a feeling of living a satisfying life. So if you are eating out and you want a dessert, permit your body. You will be pleasantly surprised when you stick to eating just a bite or two instead of the whole ice cream. How does that happen? Well, magic happens when you let go of control. This act of letting go gives the body confidence that it can eat without guilt or shame; the cravings come down.

Nurture your body and welcome all food groups in your life and see miraculous changes in your stress levels and body. Each body is uniquely endowed, with special abilities such as tolerance, speed, and strength. Celebrate your uniqueness with food and nourish it even more. Happy eating!

My name is Richa Bhatnagar and I am a dietician by profession. I have my own practice in India. I consult all those eager to get healthy and fit. The Chinese call it Zen, the soul, where you belong. I would say for me it's helping others to get healthy. Dedication and knowledge are the two tools I go by. I hope my blog clears out doubts, raises questions, and gives out helpful information.

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