Have you ever obsessed about what you should and shouldn’t be eating? Like who hasn’t right?! Generally speaking women are concerned with fat loss as their main goal when looking to make some changes to their diet. The first thing we typically do is make some cutbacks. Maybe one piece of toast instead of two, a side of pasta instead of a plate full, portioned out low cal yogurts, half servings of everything. And perhaps this will work for some in the beginning. Minus the hunger pangs, and longing looks at the full plates of others, we get by, we “manage”. But the problem with this approach is two fold. First, we are only focused on subtracting from the diet, not adding. This is a reductionist point of view. And second, we are not taking into consideration other factors in our lives that contribute to the loss or gain of fat. We fail to see the big picture.
Taking a reductionist view point is ineffective and flat out depressing. Who wants to constantly take things away and always feel as though they can’t have anything? Eventually you’re gonna crack, that’s a given. Plus, if you’re simply eating smaller amounts of unhealthy foods, you’re still eating unhealthy foods! Instead, if we focus on increasing nutrient dense foods in our diet, we can more easily reduce the unhealthy foods without much effort. Adding is a much more positive focus than taking away. And interestingly, when you increase your nutrient intake, cravings for less healthy foods start to dissipate because the body is getting what it needs. We feel more satisfied, we feel nourished. Hunger is not a necessary state to be in when you’re looking to lose fat. If you’re eating whole foods, you can eat a much higher quantity than if you’re eating processed foods. It’s so common to hear someone say “But I hardly eat anything! Why am I still struggling with my weight?” It’s because eating LESS is not the issue, it’s about eating the RIGHT foods!
The other problem is our tendency to have a narrow point of view. It is so common for women to latch on to an idea and convince themselves that it is THE answer! When you start obsessing about a small detail like the sugar in fruit, yet you’re not addressing the elephant in the room (aka the midweek wine, the large bagel and cream cheese, the daily mocha frappuccino, 6 hours or less of sleep every night), you’re focusing on the wrong thing! It’s like mowing the lawn when your house is on fire. We need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s time to let go of the tiny details and look at the whole. If you continuously address the small things without considering the big stuff, success will elude you. If you haven’t nailed the basics, then no amount of fruit avoidance, carb cycling, meal replacements, or intermittent fasting will save you. That’s not to say these approaches can’t work, but you absolutely must have a solid foundation FIRST.
The bottom line here is that unless you have all the basics down, you shouldn’t be concerning yourself with simply reducing portion sizes or calculating the exact amount of fructose in a piece of fruit. Eat real food, get 8 hours or more of sleep, move your body everyday, and just eat the whole damn banana!