Phase 4 Re-introducing carbs and sugars into your diet. This can be a very tricky and dangerous game when it comes to maintaining your new weight. We will discuss portion control and carb shifting to make living with your new body easy! Afterall, it’s important that we learn the importance of eating in a way that is healthy for us emotionally and physically.
Personally, I had an incredible experience with the HCG diet. I was so successful, that I knew I had to share it with others. One thing I’ve learned in working with others throughout the years is that everyone really enjoys their success during Phase 2 and 3, but something about Phase 4 that really concerns people most.
There is something about going back to a normal life, reintroducing normal foods, that scares people into thinking their weight gain will return. But what is so important to remember is why you gained it in the first place. There are emotional factors that play a huge role in your success and long term transformation.
In my personal life, I lost the weight – a tremendous amount in an unprecedented amount of time. But even I struggled with regaining some of the weight after the initial HCG phase I did. It all boiled down to Phase 4 – when you learn the importance of eating to live, not living to eat.
Having a balanced and pleasurable relationship with food is a challenge for the majority of clients I work with. It’s a challenge that most have come to believe is “just how it is” when it comes to food but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As a culture, we have a bit of an extreme relationship with food, our expectations, and behaviors bouncing between two ends of the eating spectrum.
One end of the spectrum represents what I call “Eating to Live” which is the regimented, strict adherence to only eating healthy at the exclusion of whether or not the food brings pleasure, enjoyment, or satisfaction outside of the nutritional composition of the food. I see this a lot of people who have a perfectionist mindset around their body size and fear gaining even a pound or two.
The other end of the spectrum I call “Living to Eat.” It is composed of people we categorize as emotional eaters, or people who also have one or more of these excuses: “I don’t have time/energy/budget to eat what will feel best or do good for my body, so I just reach for what my compulsion wants and or my time/budget allows. People who are “emotional eaters” often feel that the time to eat good food isn’t available to them because they are so busy. When we drill down a few layers, it isn’t that they are any busier than the rest of us, they just don’t have themselves and their well-being prioritized.
What we see in these two extremes is that many of us eat in a way that reflects how we feel about ourselves deep down. We use food to cover up feelings, to numb out, to feel better about ourselves, to get thin, to stay thin, to unwind, to lessen our guilt or any number of other ways we’ve come to distort our relationship to our most basic nourishment.
The majority of us fall somewhere in between the two extremes, but regardless of where you are on the spectrum, the diet culture we’ve gotten so used to creates a mindset, often unconsciously, that our appetite is something to control and manage instead of regarding it as the wise inner guidance that it is.
Food then becomes something of the enemy, something that we believe we should always be doing better and are very often feeling guilty about this most basic, innate desire for pleasure and satisfaction with food. We have come to believe that food really only serves to provide nutrients to our physical body, but a truly balanced, nourishing and pleasurable relationship with food satiates us on many levels.
When we’ve changed our mindset around food and eating to one that mirrors these three areas, we create a new relationship with food.
We then surpass the mindset of counting calories and rise above the impulsive nature of emotional eating. Soulful Eating engages all of our senses and leaves us feeling satisfied, nourished and having the simple, easy contentment and pleasure that food is meant to bring.
The solution is simple in form:
• Start taking more time for food.
• Start listening at the level of your body and soul, not the level of your mind.
• Stop doing less than nourishing behaviors like eating in the car, at your desk, skipping meals or binging late at night.
• Start slowing down, asking yourself what it is that would nourish you body, mind and spirit.
I have a friend who was a vegetarian for decades. And then one day she decided to try a little bit of fish. She felt so energized, alive and healthy after eating that fish, that she began to eat a little bit more animal protein. People close to her began to ask what she was doing differently to make her look so alive, with such color in her face. Much to her vegetarian, nonanimal eating values, she had to admit that her body was craving animal protein. Despite all the rules and ideas she had about what she should and should eat, what her body wanted was very different than what her mind thought she should be eating.