In this episode, I explore the mindset behind dieting and why it doesn't provide long term success. I also discuss emotional eating and how to make the change to intuitive eating if you want lasting results.
You can learn more about my Finally Free ™ Program here: https://brigittefactor.com/finally-free/
You can take the emotional eating survey here: http://bit.ly/39KtnAp
Episode 9 Transcript
Brigitte Factor 0:13 Hello, and welcome to the hungry for truth podcast. I'm your host, Brigitte Factor, a truth seeker, researcher, scientist, nutritionist, teacher and truth teller, an awakening is coming. Get ready for it.
Brigitte Factor 0:46 Welcome back to the hungry for truth podcast. I'm so glad you're here. This is going to be another informative and fun episode, we're going to be talking about diets. Yes, that ugly word diets. And we're going to be looking at why diets don't work. And what we can do instead. And it's the beginning of the year, and a lot of people are considering going on a diet or some type of health change, whether it's going to the gym or changing the way we eat. Oftentimes, those changes don't last very long, because the motivation to make those doesn't last very long, or we haven't set up the environment to make it successful for us. So I want to dive into that today. Talk about why dieting doesn't work. And there are lots of reasons why diets don't work. Some reasons involve the physiology or the metabolism changes that happen when we restrict the amount of food that we're eating.
Brigitte Factor 1:51 You know, the biggest loser is a classic example of this, when we go on crash diets, and we lose a lot of weight. Really quickly, we alter our metabolic rate in such a way that when we go back to the environment that we were in, our metabolism has changed that it can't keep up with a weight loss, and it makes it easier for us to gain the weight back. And so this is why we see in, you know, cases, like the biggest loser participants, where most of them gain the weight back. It's not because they failed, it's because their metabolism had changed in a way their metabolism had shifted in a way to basically downregulate to match the low level of energy intake. And I'm not going to go into the science of that in this lesson. Because really, what I wanted to talk about was the other side of why diets don't work. And that is our mindset, or the psychology, of dieting. And if we eat food with the wrong mindset, we won't get the results that we want if we are tapping into willpower, and just trying to muscle our way through, or we approach it from a place of feeling deprived or feeling that we're not good enough or that we can't do things or feeling like we're going to reward ourselves with our favorite foods. As soon as this diet is over, then we've already approached this with the wrong mindset. And really, what we need to do is to reframe our thinking about why we're dieting what is the reason we're on a diet, if it's to lose weight? Why do we want to lose weight? What is the importance of that? Is it to look better? Or is it to be healthier, and really going into the underlying motivations because if it's just superficial, the motivation isn't going to last that long. If it's, you know, a deeper understanding, like you're facing a sickness that's due to being overweight or an illness, or you want to have more energy because you're fatigued, then that has a deeper motivation to it. But we still have to be careful in how we're approaching our food and looking at our food and really removing the guilt and shame about food choices and not moralizing food choices. This is something that I have had to get away from looking at different foods as good versus bad, when in reality, there's not good or bad food. There's just a biological consequence to the types of food that you eat. And not everybody has the same consequence when they eat the same foods.
Brigitte Factor 4:58 So how is each food individually affecting you, at an energetic level at a nutritional level? At the gut level, like how well are you digesting it? Is it causing inflammation? Is it causing digestive stress? And also at the emotional level? Like what? What kind of impact is that food having on your emotions and your brain health and your thinking and your cognition. So there's a variety of different ways to look at that. Really, what I wanted to dive into was another way to approach eating instead of this food, or that those foods or bad type of way or approach. And this approach is called intuitive eating. Now, when I first heard of intuitive eating, I thought it was dumb. I thought, how can you tell someone to follow their intuition and eat the foods that they feel like they should be eating? How are people going to have any type of self-regulation around that because honestly, we live in a processed food ocean, an ocean of processed food. And even though we have proper hunger and satiety signals built into us where if we're eating real food, those things should work like they're supposed to, we don't live in an environment that supports that it doesn't support our ability to tap into those natural signals that we're designed to have. And because processed food is specifically formulated to override those satiety signals, there's a reason why you can't just eat one Oreo. It's because it's designed to be addictive. It's designed to tap into that reward center of your brain that makes you want more. And so when we're surrounded by these types of food, it makes it harder and harder to self regulate.
Brigitte Factor 7:11 When we are eating, nutrient-dense Whole Foods or unprocessed foods, foods closest to their natural form, we are sending signals, or positive information or good information through the body to help tap into those signals that are sent from the brain. So we have designed in our brain, the hunger and satiety signals that are built-in and they just like, in previous episodes, when I've talked about Captain H or the hypothalamus is responsible for scanning our body and keeping things in homeostasis. The hypothalamus is also responsible for regulating our energy intake in scanning the body and seeing how much energy we're using, and seeing how much energy we need to take. And so when we make the transition to eating, nutrient-dense whole foods diet, we can start to tap into that innate intelligence that's built into us to help us regulate our energy intake. That is part of why I'm a huge advocate of a nutrient-dense whole food diet approach, as opposed to eating whatever you want, but just making sure it's within your calorie level, because different foods send different signals throughout the body. And I can talk more about how that is, especially with our gut bacteria and in future episodes. But I've had that experience too, when I first switched to a paleo-ish type of diet where I was removing the refined foods from my diet and removing certain foods that were irritating me and causing inflammation that I wasn't aware of or fully aware of, and that I was eating a larger volume of food. But I was also losing weight at the same time initially, because of the different types of signals it was sending to my body. And that was part of the reason that launched me into wanting to study nutrition more was trying to, you know, figure these things out as I was exploring them and experiencing them that was different than what conventional wisdom was telling me. So I want to come back to this concept of intuitive eating and what it means and that it's not really stupid. It's actually very powerful. And intuitive eating is what happens when you decide you will no longer look outside of yourself for guidance, and that you throw away the different diets that you're following you throw away whether it's the Paleo diet or the keto diet. And instead of following these external guidelines, you turn inward to figure out what it is that your body needs. And that doesn't mean that these diets aren't helpful in certain situations or not. And it also doesn't mean that there's not a time and place for them. Because there can be, you know, I don't this a diet that gets somebody moving in the right direction, even though it might not be the absolute best diet for them at the time. If it's starting the ball rolling, to help them make the changes that they need to make, then I'm for progress. I'm, that's what I'm for I'm for progress and not perfection. And the thing with intuitive eating is when you come to that place where you're ready to tap into your own internal motivation, instead of just using willpower to force through or just saying, just tell me what to do. And I'll follow this plan, or that plan, which doesn't have a lot of stick-to-it-iveness to it. With intuitive eating, you're tapping into that internal power really comes down to asking the question of why do we eat, what drives us to eat is it our hunger that drives us to eat is it to nourish us that drives to us to eat Who? Well, for some of us, it could be our emotions that drive us to eat. And there's a lot of different reasons of why we eat. Sometimes we eat out of boredom, you know, we've been locked down, or some of us have been at home a lot more working from home a lot more this past year. And we have more opportunities to visit our kitchen or to get bored or to get stir crazy or cabin fever, whatever you want to call it. And in so what is there to do well to go look in the cabinet to go look in the fridge. And so we eat just to out of boredom to find something to do. Sometimes we eat for celebration. And food is meant to be used in celebration. It's that's just part of our history, foods meant to be used to bring us together and to gather as family and as friends to celebrate and commemorate over food and drink. So that's part of food. But sometimes we use food. beyond that. And we use food as a reward. And or as a reward motivation. And I really get frustrated about using food as a reward, especially when it comes to like school or church. Because I don't think that's teaching a good lesson to our children. But oftentimes, we do it as adults, too. We say I've had a hard day at work, I'm going to go reward myself with this restaurant meal or this beverage or, you know, I've accomplished this great goal, I'm going to go reward myself with a big meal or a party.
Brigitte Factor 12:58 So, again, we have to kind of walk that line of what is appropriate. And what is leaning more towards tapping into that addictive part of food. And what message Are we really telling ourselves? Sometimes we eat just for comfort, where we eat comfort food, right? We're feeling sad or blue or depressed. And we want to intentionally tap into those rewards that are so we find the sugar, fatty, salty food that tastes great like salted caramel ice cream, definitely a comfort food definitely gets those dopamine centers going. And it's okay to have that every now and then. I'm not saying it's not okay. But you know, really understanding why we're eating. Sometimes we eat food just to be accepted to go along, along with the crowd. You know, have you ever not been able to say no to somebody that offers you a food item? Like if your mom makes you cookies and you're not wanting to eat cookies or you don't need cookies? Is it hard to say no? Sometimes we eat to avoid things you know, it can be used as one of our stress coping mechanisms are defense mechanisms we eat for avoidance, and a lot of times we eat just out of habit, you know that it's time for breakfast or time for lunch, or this is what I always eat, or this is what I always do. Or every time I walk by the bag of m&ms or the bowl of m&ms. I always grab a handful I don't even think about it. It's just what I do. So how do we begin to interrupt that programming that programming that may have been laid down for many, many years out of habit or out of customs or family tradition or whatever it is? How do we interrupt that programming and really start to examine why we eat awareness is the first step in making those changes. And Denise talked about this in her episode, talking about awareness being that first step, anytime anyone wants to make a change, if you're not aware of it, you can't change it. And part of why I'm doing a podcast is to help raise awareness about certain issues regarding our health, so that those that want to make change can start to begin thinking about it and going down that path of making change. Once you're aware, then you can start researching and contemplating making the steps or making the changes that you need to make or to take the steps that you need to take. To start with that, you know, it really comes back to tapping into our innate intelligence tapping into the intuition of our body that's built in to help us self regulate, around food. And this is where we can tap into our personal power, versus relying on willpower or external motivation. And so to do that, though, we may be able to practice or try things, some of these eating habits are programmed in our nervous system. And it takes more than just trying it to get past it, it we have to be able to identify and remove the blocks that are keeping us stuck. And part of what keeps us stuck is not recognizing the emotional triggers that cause us to eat. Like the various reasons I've mentioned before. And once we become aware of those emotional triggers, really exploring those being able to explore that from a place of nonjudgment, but from a place of being open and curious. And how can we sit with those emotions? How can we allow those emotions to happen instead of stuffing our face with food to avoid them, or to get rid of them, right? emotions are there for a reason they're signals, they're messengers telling us something they will, it's our way of getting our body or getting us to listen to what our body and brain is trying to say. And once we start listening, we can begin to examine the stories that we tell ourselves about things, are we judging ourselves, are we feeling ashamed for certain things, and we use food to try to cope with that. And then we just feed the shame cycle by realizing we're using food to cope with it.
Brigitte Factor 17:46 So I like to use the phrase don't should on yourself, because should and shame start the same, they feed this cycle that isn't helping us to make positive change, they keep us stuck. And really, with our defensive behaviors, whether it's you know, emotional eating or something else, it really takes time to be able to sit with those emotions to and to explore what's really going on. And tapping into those stories that we're telling ourselves. And this is really, really hard work to do. And this is important work for us to do to help us get out of the sugar addiction, emotional eating cycles that keep us stuck and make it harder for us to stick to a diet plan or to stick to a lifestyle change. We have to let go of that and realize that eating certain foods isn't good or bad. It just might have consequences if you eat them. What are those consequences. So can we take a step back and remove that story that we're placing around it? I just want to mention that if you're exploring your emotions and examining these stories that you have and you have strong emotions, or trauma come to the surface, then I want to encourage you to reach out to a professional counselor or psychologist that can help you work through those because sometimes that deeper stuff does come up and you'll need help. Another resource for you could be your church or pastor. One thing I love about my church is that they offer and addiction ministry called living free. I've been a facilitator with the living free program at our church for many years. And I love this program, because it is a transformational program. And it really helps people that are struggling with any type of life controlling problem or addiction to examine what going on and and do it from a place of safety and do it from the basis of the knowledge of who they are in Christ. And so with the living free ministries, they use three tools to help people who are struggling with the life controlling problem and want to break that cycle. And those three tools are the Word of God. The second tool is the Spirit of God. And the other tool is the people of God. So surrounding yourself with like minded people, other believers that can encourage you and speak to you and share stories with you know, like the verse goes iron sharpens iron. When you surround yourself with other believers, you creating an environment that helps everyone grow. I love being a part of that ministry. I love how the timing of things work, because I recently came across another program for nutritionists, called the finally free program, when I started looking into it. And this particular program uses our relationship with food as a tool for self discovery and transformation. And I just knew when I came across, it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Because right now, with the environment that we're in, a lot of us are stuck in that cycle, where we're wanting to get out, we're wanting to make change. And it's just really hard. And we need that deeper support system to do that. And so I'm proud to say that I'm finally free instructor and offering this program now. And what's really cool about this program is it's using our relationship with food as a as a tool, to help us make those changes and to help us explore those deeper why's that we have. But it also is done in an in a fashion that helps you set up your environment for success so that you're surrounding yourself with the right food and the right people within, it's also teaching you how to tap into that inner guidance system and your personal power. So you're not just relying on the rules of the program, that you're learning how to self govern around food for yourself. And then also exploring how to reframe negative thinking, and the type of thinking that keeps us stuck. When we see a certain event happen, and we wrap a story around it, and we start that negative thinking about it, it can be really hard to deprogram that and so you know, this program helps provide some tools to help start down that path. So that when you're thinking about changing your diet, or going to the gym or making these lifestyle changes, so you can be healthier, and more resilient, you're not telling yourself that you can't you're instead you're telling yourself that you can and you're surrounding yourself with the tools and the people to help you do that. So I am launching my first round of finally free program. It's a seven week workshop series, where we go through these steps. And that's starting soon. And you can find that on my website, the information for that at Brigittefactor.com/finally-free, and I'll put a link in the show notes for that, too. So you can take a look at that and see if that's something that you're interested in.
Brigitte Factor 23:26 The finally free program is not a diet program. It's a mindset program. Although we will be making changes to our diet, and it does start with a 30 day no sugar challenge. But it goes beyond that in exploring our relationship with food, and learning how we can self govern around food and make good decisions most of the time. It's also not a counseling program. So I just wanted to clarify that. in future episodes, I'm going to talk more about the metabolism of different foods and how different foods can affect our body in different ways. But I hope that you've enjoyed this exploration of the reason why we eat from the emotional perspective. And, again, check out the finally free program, see if that's something that looks like something that would interest you. Also, I have a survey that if you would like to take it's an emotional eating survey just to see you know how much emotional eating does motivate our decisions around food. And so that survey is going to be linked in the show notes as well. Well, thank you so much for listening, and until next time, Grace and peace to you.