It’s a question worth asking. It’s worth asking because over the years I have seen far too many women who wish they could have the time, the money, and the confidence back that was wasted on fad diets and depriving themselves of precious nutrients.
Our culture has conditioned us to believe that thin is beautiful. The irony is that as professional models got thinner in the 20th century (http://www.diet-blog.com/07/female_body_shape_in_the_20th_century.php) American women continued to get larger. Why? Because in their quest to be thin, they counted calories, not nutrients. Counting calories, not nutrients, makes a person hungry and triggers more eating because they are starved for the nutrients the body craves.
When I started my nutrition practice 10 years ago, the average overweight woman I saw weighed 180 pounds. Today it is not unusual to see women weighing 225 pounds.
My suggestion is that you stop dieting. Forget paleo, low carb, Atkins, LA Weight Loss, Dukan and all the rest of them. Start paying attention to who you are as a human being and what foods you need to feel nourished. When you do this, you will feel energized and satisfied in a way that dieting can never do.
If you don’t know what healthy foods are, you need to find out. When I coach someone, we begin by identifying foods as either healthy or unhealthy in very broad categories. Then we whittle that down into putting the healthy foods into balanced meals that are satisfying. Then we dig deeper. The next part requires detective work. Even when you are eating all heathy foods, you may experience indigestion, itchy skin, congestion or other conditions. Why is that?
Nutrition That's Right for You
It’s because while we can identify a food as quality food, all foods may not be right for you. You may have a sensitivity to a nightshade like tomato - it doesn’t mean tomatoes aren’t good foods - it means it’s a food that doesn’t agree with your unique biochemistry.
With this simple example, you can see that matching the right foods to your unique needs can be quite complex. With careful attention, however, you can uncover a way of eating that is both satisfying and healthy. It will naturally balance your appetite and your weight because you will be getting the nutrients your body needs and will eliminate the need to overeat.
Thin or Happy?
Does it have to be one or the other? Not necessarily. You may naturally have a thin physique, and with good nutrition, you will have the energy and health to be happy and upbeat.
If you were born with a physique that simply is not meant to be thin, learn to love the body you have. Give your body the precious nutrients it needs to be vital and happy. Honor your unique self and use your time and energy on things that develop your special talents and gifts. And by all means, abandon dieting for good and learn to eat in a way that maximizes your health, your beauty and your happiness.