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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why focusing on food is the worst thing that you can do

So, you want to lose weight and follow an eating plan that helps you to feel more energized. You want to get things right, say on track and do everything you possibly can to get this weight off, as quickly as possible. While our natural instinct is to focus solely on our food intake during such desperate dieting times; diarizing everything, counting calories and fat and measuring and weighing every piece of food that crosses your path, there is evidence to suggest that this may be the worst thing we can do.

While being more aware of your food choices, balancing your carbs and proteins and making sure that you are eating mindfully is important, becoming obsessed with every morsel that goes into your mouth may be doing more harm than good. When we are focusing on one small aspect of life, it actually results in the brain becoming limited in its ability to see the bigger picture (think buying a new car and then seeming to only seeing the car you are thinking of buying constantly). In turn, we over-analyse, think about food more and as a result are much more likely to eat more, go off track and think the dietary changes we have made are not working and then give ourselves permission psychologically to go off track.

If you have been trying to make dietary changes and find that the more you concentrate on your food intake, the worst it gets it may be time to make sure that you are also balancing your dietary changes with other lifestyle shifts that will help support your new healthy eating regime.

Are you dedicating enough time to exercise and to your relationships? Are you keeping yourself busy at times when you are more likely to overeat? Are you putting your dietary changes in the context of your life? Surprisingly enough, in more cases than not, weight loss comes into place once we work towards being happy in all areas of our lives, not just within the health and fitness domain.

So, if you are avoiding social and family eating situations, cutting back more and more and yet still not getting results, it may be time to relax a little. Once we let go of our need to control every situation and live a little, things tend to fall into line pretty quickly once we keep the basic diet and exercise principles on track.