First, let me start by saying this is not for people who have allergies or medical conditions that cause you have to cut food out. That is different than what I’m addressing now.
A lot of times we equate getting healthy with cutting things out. And thats not the case. Should you be eating nutrient dense foods? ( apples, broccoli) yes. But a lot of times we end up cutting foods out which can cause 1 of 2 things. 1. It could cause you to not eat enough. 2. You could put yourself in a binge and restrict cycle.
I actually had both of these things happen to me. i explain further why these things happened and my experience in my latest blog
When I was in my senior year of high school and a year or two after I dove into the Fitness and diet in the world. I didn’t do a lot of research I looked at what other people were doing and hopped on that wagon. When it didn’t work for me I would hop on another wagon that’s created a dieting cycle for me. I did the Apple cider vinegar, weight loss teas, carb restricting and a few more in between. I did it all.
. I can remember the cycles that brought me to binging. I would be so strict during the week not allowing myself anything that I craved or listening to my body at all. There was no rhyme or reason I cut everything I thought I had to out.
I wouldn’t have sugar I wouldn’t have carbs. I would limit a lot. I would be tired, super irritable, all the things. But I thought that was the price I had to pay.
But, then on the weekends when I would have a “cheat meal". Which would usually turn into a cheat weekend, I could not control myself. I could remember going into my parents cabinets and eating handfuls of granola. Or scooping out as much ice cream as I could in the 30 seconds I had a container open. I remember crying to my parents about it and at the time my fiancé (now husband). The time I cried to Peter is when I knew I had to make a change.
It was not a quick change but a slow progression in the right direction each day. That’s when I came across macros. I figured out my body actually was needing and craving carbs for the amount of exercise I was doing. I actually needed the carbs, no wonder I was tired and irritable. And with all my restriction I found I wasn’t eating enough but I’ll get to that. So, because I was restricting so much during the week my body was lacking and thats why I was craving so much.
A few things I had to change to get out of the binge and restrict cycle was:
1. Not label food as good or bad but instead recognize how it made me feel. We know that apples are a more nutritious choice than a donut but it doesn't mean its bad and we cant have it.
2. Educate myself on what was actually beneficial. I did that by listening to people I trusted. And being okay with trying it there way because I wanted that freedom
3 I paid attention to how I felt, that has helped me even now. It did take some time though.
4. I reached out for help, I didn't keep it to myself.
5. Tracking my macros helped me work in foods I loved all the time. I didn't limit myself to a day or meal that I could eat certain things. All foods were ok at all times. I'm not saying its a free for all. Like I said I pay attention to how I feel. But also with tracking macros you cant eat crap all day because you'll effect other numbers by that. So tracking helped me create a beautiful freeing balance.
6. I ignored the scale and its fluctuations. Too much of me was controlled by that. I stopped weighing myself all together except for the annual doctors appointments.
So why don't I restrict? Because it can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and cause this viscous cycle.
Also, as I mentioned above, you restricting could actually be harming your progress.
A lot of times we see a plateau or no change in the scale because we are either over eating or under eating for too long.
By not calculating anything and focusing on staying away from certain things it could actually be causing you to under eat. Which if you've been doing that for a long time could cause your fat loss to stop.
Your body could be going into a starvation mode and holding onto the fat you have. I'm not saying that if you're not losing weight that thats why but it could be the case.
A way you can change that is by calculating your TDEE. Thats your total daily energy expenditure. I have an Eguide for this : Calculate your TDEE eguide. This will help you see how many calories you should actually be consuming. And with that knowledge you can go from there.
I hope this helps you see why cutting food out is not the best way.