This summer, our office book club read 'The F*CK It Diet' by Caroline Dooner. It's radical self-help book for people who want to get off the dieting bandwagon and be normal around food. Caroline spent much of her young adult life dieting, bingeing and totally obsessed with food and weight. Relatable? Read on.
The F*CK It Diet does a great job convincing even the most skeptical dieter that restricting foods (ANY food) leads to psychological and nutritional deprivation. She teaches readers that food restriction shields us from our emotions, which build up and overwhelm us later. She makes the case
that if we eat without restriction AND feel our feelings (this second part is important!) you're eating will, with time, settle down to a comfortable normal. You might gain some weight. Keep reading...
Every day we receive false messages from the billion dollar diet and wellness industry about food and nutrition. But the truth is... eating SHOULD be easy (this is the book's tag line), which means, we don't need to overthink this. The dieting industry proliferates because diets are addictive [b] in the short run. Caroline writes, "Dieting is one of the big ways we try to avoid feeling our bodies. It's a perfect storm of distraction, control, perfectionism, and the chemical high we get from adrenaline and other stress hormones when we restrict our food." The adrenaline Caroline refers to feels amazing, which is why our clients remember feeling GREAT on their last diet, despite only eating 40% of their total energy needs. Food preoccupation ensues.
"But if I eat whatever I want I'll blow up like a balloon!" We hear this from clients on a daily basis. But it's actually not true. Eating without restriction does not equal 'free-for-all'. You will not feel out-of-control with food so long as you're doing the emotional work (coincidentally, Caroline's method for emotional regulation is very similar to the exercises Dr. Daisy created to use with clients of the practice).
This is hard work and dieting is much easier. But once we get good at the listening and feeling part, the eating settles down. And then, a cookie is just a cookie and eating DOES get easy.