For years, I struggled with emotional eating and didn’t know how to get out of it. You can read my full experience here. One of the things that helped me was to research through meal plans to create my own, which I made flexible enough so I wouldn’t starve (this is one of my biggest fears in this lifetime).
Most of the time, the reason we go on diets is about looks, our first goal being to lose weight. Then, we end up traumatizing some part of our beings, which perceive the experience of dieting as a punishment. This happens because the core intention behind our actions is rooted in non-acceptance and self-judgement. We are sending a message to ourselves that we are not good enough and that we must change because we are not loveable as we are. We are basically telling our body: “I don’t like you”.
So, concretely, after many failed attempts, I felt that it was much better to set this initial intention: to simply feel well in my body, mind and spirit. I chose to adopt a more holistic approach where I’d communicate with my emotions, my inner child and insecurities.
Because, as we tend to forget, food is deeply linked to emotions. Therefore, setting a constructive core intention is a must. It automatically makes other aspects of our existence fall into place because everything is interconnected. If we really want to make some changes in our lives, the intention needs to come from a space of brightness and motivation.
In this context, after researching many ways to get out of my food addiction, I finally created a meal plan that was flexible enough and that helped me build a more harmonious relationship to food. Weight loss came as the cherry on top, a positive side effect of the lifestyle I started designing for myself.
THE MEAL PLAN
This meal plan is voluntarily very loose. This is to avoid traumas that could result in making things worse at some point. I also adopted three simple guidelines to help me put a bit of structure without being too harsh on myself.
1. Wait AT LEAST 2 hours and MAXIMUM 4 hours between your meals
This first tip is the one who helped me the most in my binge eating recovery. Thanks to this, you won’t experience the traumatic experience of being hungry and feeling punished; since you never allow yourself to starve, you get to reduce the snacking. This way, you’ll slowly start gaining trust in the fact that you won’t be hungry.
2. The possibility of 5 meals a day
This is also a way to help both the snacking and starvation problems. 5 meals is a possibility, and it isn’t mandatory – it is comforting for the mind and emotions, especially in the beginning, to know that you have the right to eat. Very often some of the meals merge and you will eat less than 5 times a day.
3. Not eating in the evening
Intermittent fasting is a method that has loads of proven benefits. Be flexible with yourself! Start by setting your personal deadline at 8 pm, then a bit earlier when you’re getting used to it.
I first told myself, in order to avoid trauma, that I can have something lighter at night if I am really hungry – this never happened though, but my mind needed to know that it had the choice.
Between 10-12 AM.
Can be a smoothie, oatmeal, buckwheat, cold-pressed juice,…
Between 12 – 2 PM.
More consistent Breakfast/Lunch/Brunch.
If the light breakfast was a juice or smoothie, the lunch can be oatmeal/buckwheat,…
If this is the first meal of the day, it is more like brunch and usually, it can be more consistent, i.e. avocado/hummus toast combined with sweet potatoes, a salad or a juice, etc.
“People who eat earlier lunches drop pounds more easily”
Around 4 PM.
fruit, cake, biscuit,…
Between 5-6 PM.
consistent meal – dinner. This is usually the biggest meal of the day.
Soup, baked potatoes, veggie burger, rice, pasta, etc.
Between 6-8 PM.
light snack – salad, raw banana ice cream; fruit cake (some kind of dessert)
Very often the 3 last meals merge into the last meal of the day, ideally around 5 or 6 PM. Of course, you adapt to the situation and sometimes it might happen that for example you wake up early and have breakfast at 10, Lunch at 2, then you can have a snack at 4 and dinner at 6 or 7.
If your first meal is around 12 or 1 (it will probably tend to be more like brunch), you might have a snack around 3 or 4 and dinner around 6.
You might also notice that, when you’re life is fulfilled with purposeful and selfless actions, you’ll feel less hungry. This is because love if the only real food for our soul.
The most important is to remember there is no strict rule to follow here – What I am sharing are just guidelines and you can adapt this plan to your own needs and personality.
If you need any inspiration for recipes, but also specific meal plans according to your special needs, I would like to mention a website that really helped me and where you can find various meal plans and vegan recipes. I was very much inspired by them! https://www.onegreenplanet.org/
Let’s finish this month’s article on some wise words: « Eat moderately. Eat with respect. Eat just to fulfil hunger. Eat for one time each time. Eat with awareness, listen to your body while you eat. Stop eating when the body says: ”NO!”. Eat consciously. » - Mohanji on Healthy Eating.
Author: Tea Klincov, Mohanji Acharya
Her philosophy is to live one day at a time, second per second, feeling per feeling, breath by breath. She loves everything that has something to do with making the world a better place. She is an advocate of a conscious and low impact lifestyle, more in tune with nature and our true inner nature. https://www.facebook.com/good.vibes.sharing
Disclaimer : I am not a nutritionist and am sharing tips based on my personal experience. If you suffer from any ailment, you should visit a professional.