You can develop your own plan. It takes a lot more work that reading one in a magazine or buying one from a blog. I work with my clients to develop a plan that works for each of them.
Believe it or not, you already know exactly what will work for you. It’s just been buried beneath all the ‘shoulds’ and rules and guilt. Below all those rules and restrictions, beneath all of the body hatred and lack of trust, is a quiet voice, a still small voice of calm. This voice, the one that we bury with food, the one we don’t listen to, knows things about us that we couldn’t imagine.
It’s this voice that can help develop a way out of the maze of diets and restrictions, of overeating, feeling out of control and then trying to put the lid back on our appetites.
Any way forward, if it is to be successful, needs to be three things:
It needs to feel kind to ourselves – not punitive or restrictive, but loving and compassionate. Unless it is based on this, it’s destined for failure.
Enjoyable: when we enjoy things we do them, we stick to them. Think about what you enjoy eating, the foods that you love. Write a list of all of them and try to make it as long and comprehensive as possible. Then go through the list and think of how you feel when you eat those foods. If you don’t know, or can’t remember, then try them. Have the bowl of pasta and find out whether you feel energised and great afterwards, or tired and sleepy. It might be different on different days.
Sustainable means something that we can do every day. Rather than a diet, which is short term, this needs to be a plan that can last forever.
So, work out when it suits you to eat. When do you get hungry? Is your appetite highest in the morning or later in the day?
As you focus on your preferences for food and what, when and how you like to eat, start developing a plan around that. My clients do this, so that they nourish themselves in a way that works for them. For some, that means they aren’t that fussed about breakfast, whereas others wake up starving.
Make sure you include foods that you enjoy. If you really love chocolate, then banishing it is likely to result in a binge later. Give yourself permission to enjoy it when you really want it, as part of your plan.