Are you making these diet and health mistakes too?
I talk a lot about how to lose the weight successfully and permanently and live a healthier lifestyle. But I don’t always talk about the diet and health mistakes I made that lead to my digestive problems, the weight gain and other health issues.
Honestly, I didn’t think in a million years I would deal with that.
I mean after all, I had been eaten a plant based diet for 30 years. Also, I was a yoga teacher and I had a regular meditation practice. Finally, I taught healthy eating for 7 years as a Holistic Health Counselor!
So what did I do wrong?
It wasn’t until I started studying Ayurveda and worked with an Ayurvedic Clinical Specialist that I realized when it all started.
Here’s a key lesson I learned, as I worked on restoring my health.
You see, my symptoms didn’t just start the day I felt them. In truth they started over 30 years ago.
I was 16 years old when I was approached by a modeling scout. I guess I had the right height and an interesting face. But I wasn’t the right weight.
That’s the age I started my first diet. As I moved to the States and my modeling career took off, I would diet regularly to fit in the clothes of Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Escada and many more. Around that time I discovered juicing, fasting and aerobic. I juiced, fasted and exercised my way to 119 lbs and a size 4. But that wasn’t sustainable so when fashion shows season was done, I gained the weight back and more.
I continued to regularly fast or go on a diet (2 to 3 times a year) even after I stopped modeling to keep my weight in check.
One of the dangers of dieting is how it affects our self-perception and self-esteem. Our vision of our bodies is distorted and we feel guilt, shame and self-hatred.
For over 30 years I was making 3 diet and health mistakes that led to the debilitating digestive issues I experienced. It also led to 25 lbs of weight gain, the most I had ever gained which I just couldn’t seem to lose anymore. And I was so sick of fasting!
# 1: Weight Cycling
Dieting is the worse thing we can do for our bodies. To be more precise yo-yo dieting or weight cycling. The health consequences of weight cycling can be devastating on our heart!
“Researchers believe that the link between weight cycling and heart disease involves the cells that line the blood vessels called endothelial cells. When people gain and lose weight repeatedly, these cells become damaged so blood can’t flow freely. When blood flow to the heart becomes restricted, the stage is set for heart attack and stroke.”
And it also wreaks havoc on our metabolism. Making it more and more difficult to lose or maintain a healthy weight as we get older.
# 2: Categorizing Foods as “Good” and “Bad”
Have you ever seen the cartoon where you have a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the over? That’s how I was about food. The problem was I LOVED the “bad” food. I loved anything rich, creamy, sweet and fatty. When I was dieting, I eliminated these types of foods completely. And for a brief moment (the amount of time I dieted) it felt like I had conquered the little devil. Until the diet was over and my cravings were even stronger. I felt like the cookie monster!
# 3: Sneak Eating
What happens when we categorize some foods as bad? We crave them. Yet because we have made them bad, we can’t just eat them in plain sight, we have to sneak eat them. Which is often late at night. I mean think about it. When do you usually eat the ice-cream, the piece of cake or the delicious peanut butter cookies?
Of course, I think one of the best ways to stop making those mistakes (and start taking the right actions instead) is by creating a sustainable weight loss plan based on healthy digestion and a balanced lifestyle.
From the point of view of Ayurveda, everyone is different and food and lifestyle choices are very individual.
Some of us need to eat a heavier breakfast at 7 am. While others need some time in the morning and like to have a lighter breakfast later.
It wasn’t until I worked with Ayurveda that I realized I needed the foods I craved to feel satisfied and satiated. And I learned how to eat the foods I loved and have these foods love me back!
Wondering if weight gain is inevitable for women over 40? Read my article here.