I try not to dwell on things but part of me will forever live in fear of hitting publish and losing most of my post again.
I am damaged for blogging life I tell you.
The worst part about technological mishaps is that there is rarely an explanation.
Oh, you lost your post? It happens. Your system shut down without warning? It happens. Your phone deleted its contacts? We don’t know why but it happens.
To make it even worse, technology just stares at you. No response as I slam my coffee mug (not smart by the way), shout obscenities and consider crying.
Anyway, I had a totally different post in mind for today (which included an awesome easy recipe) but something happened that we need to discuss immediately because the words are just boiling up and I need to release them.
Someone I know (who is very much in crazy good shape) posted a picture on facebook of her meal along with a phrase like,
“I sometimes wish this was pizza”.
The picture was of a precisely measured portion of grilled chicken, an exact serving of quinoa and a measured serving of a plain, steamed vegetable.
My immediate reaction was sadness followed closely by rage. My rage wasn’t so much against her, more so against the trend I keep seeing towards dieting, restricting and measuring of food.
Please put down your measuring cup for a moment and hear me out….
If you truly want a slice of pizza, have a slice of pizza. Incorporating the things you enjoy and crave into your lifestyle will not undo all of your hard work.
It is your overall lifestyle that matters, not one meal or one food craving you allow yourself to eat.
Notice I say lifestyle and not diet. Diet to me is another one of those negative words.
Diet is often associated with limiting your food choices, restrictive behaviors, giving up the foods you love for measured out plates of bland food that never satisfy the appetite.
It is my opinion that most diet plans are not maintainable long-term and so many of them are not even good for you.
I realize that it may sound easy for me to say all of these things since I do not need to lose weight but I was once a chubby child who liked to eat. I still like to eat. I am a volume eater and want to be full and not feel restricted or forever limited to small servings of food on my plate.
At some point I realized that my plate can be full and satisfying. I don’t need to feel restricted if I learn the nutrient-rich foods to eat on a regular basis all balanced out with my cravings, activity level and mood. Yes, my mood has a say in what I eat.
I never followed Weight Watchers but there is a reason vegetables (and most fruits) are unlimited and point-less.
Produce is not the detrimental part of your plate keeping your pants from fitting. The extra serving of broccoli is not what is packing on your extra pounds or causing you to remain four sizes bigger than you want to be.
I get wild when I hear of people measuring out vegetables. Unless you are protecting yourself from the stomach pains and bloating associated with too much fiber (I hear that!) or have a medical issue (I don’t want to interfere with that!) put away your measuring cup.
Measuring out your spinach along side a small portion of protein and a barely-there portion of a carbohydrate most likely isn’t satisfying your appetite which leaves you with cravings and eventually an uncontrollable binge, or worse, the tendency to keep reverting back to old habits of repeated unhealthy stops at McDonald’s for the value meal deal plus a side of chicken nuggets and a shake.
The diet plans that tell you how to limit your portion sizes or restrict certain food groups are limiting your caloric intake. And maybe you do need to cut back if you are trying to lose weight but cutting back too much is not healthy either.
When you take in too few calories, you can actually slow your metabolism which makes your body hold on to each morsel of food rather than use it as fuel that becomes burned off through your activities and organ functions (it requires calories to make your liver and kidneys and heart do what they need to do).
By not eating enough, you can actually gain weight rather than lose.
Not to mention, consuming too few calories only leaves you hungry and moody and mean.
Eating too little, giving up food groups (for caloric reasons) or the foregoing of occasional indulgences that you love and crave send you straight into a restrict and then binge which becomes very hard to cycle break.
You know the whole saying you want what you can’t have? It doesn’t just apply to the guy who won’t text you back.
When you suddenly make certain foods off-limits and combine that with not eating enough to fuel your body, your cravings are going to kick in and your ability to eat a balanced diet goes out the window.
You get down on yourself for being unable to adhere to your plan and begin to think something is wrong with you when in fact, it isn’t you at all, it is the diet plan, the food restrictions and those darn measuring cups.
I have said this before and will say it again because I think about it every day –
I would rather be a few pounds more (not that I know what I weigh) than live a life restricting my appetite, giving up a good dessert or avoiding a glass of wine when out for dinner all just to wear a smaller size or see crazy muscle definition in my abs or my arms or even my legs.
I don’t believe Jewish thighs are allowed to have definition anyway. It might be against our religion or just not kosher or something.
If I want to be really honest here, I actually love the way I look.
I had a baby and watched my body revert back to a small size with a stomach that may not be rock solid but certainly does not look like a baby was once inside.
But, even if I had baby signs on my abs, so what? I am a proud mother. I am going to be 36 soon and can wear jean shorts just fine. I know, I need to get mom shorts, I am working on finding what mom shorts are.
Am I perfect? Perfection is not possible… but happiness is.
Speaking of happiness, today is Friday which means it is the weekend which means I will use the Cold Stone Creamery Gift Card I received for Mother’s Day.
Have a great weekend!
Talk to me about your thoughts on measuring all of your food all of the time.
Which fad diet have you tried? Which have worked?
What routine of eating/exercise works for you the best?
And, who is running a race this weekend?!
20 thoughts on “Put Away Your Measuring Cup”
Yes, I measure servings but I first and foremost I listen to my body. I eat to feel great and perform my best. I will always love to learn but I have finally realized that I am the expert of my nutrition.
So true- we are all so different that it is important for people to realize and understand what their body requires versus someone else’s.
You said it! I’ve learned that veggies are key for me and then I can have a bit if what I want once in awhile too. I’m running the Broooklyn half tomorrow! Last minute decision 🙂
Oh! Good luck tomorrow! I actually looked into running it last week but it was sold out. Maybe next year.
Totally agree…. eat all the Brussels! Enjoy that gift card, I know I would!
Love Brussels sprouts. My inner child doesn’t understand but my goodness, they are the best! And yeah, I love Cold Stone sundaes!
Amen sista! What’s the point in working so hard to be as fit as you can be if you don’t enjoy your life?! I think that’s a realization that a lot of people come to (and some people don’t). There’s so much more to life than flat abs and the perfect butt. In fact in less you’re genetically blessed, it probably won’t happen. Unless you straight up put your body through hell, a concept which I can’t comprehend!
I loved this post! People are always commenting on the volume of the salads that I eat or the amount of fruit I am able to consume, saying I have to eat only 3 meals a day, I have to eat smaller portions, I need to have the perfect balance bla bla bla..
It came as far as I thought eating a cup of brown rice wasn’t allowed because “normal” people would only eat half. Or eating a whole pack of tofu or a whole avocado was nuts, because “normal” people only ate a quarter per meal. It makes me sick every single time someone says to me: you are constantly eating, shouldn’t you try and be more normal? Yes I eat a lot, but it’s mainly whole foods (and perhaps too many fruits… like a whole bag of grapes.. oh the stomach pains 🙂 )… I have tried to restrict but that just made me binge on extremely unhealthy things (just like you mentioned) and found out eating when my body tells me to and sticking to whole foods makes me happy and I don’t gain weight… the only problem is though, that I have thus never learned portion control so if I have a pot of mac and cheese or a bar of chocolate, I might actually end up eating the whole thing (which is why I live by one restriction only, which is if I am going to eat “not so healthy” things I try to keep it of highest quality and not too often). As you said, it is a lifestyle, and not everyone is the same.. I hope the world will open up to different needs one day and let go of this terrible diet trend!
Ohhh the stomach pains from too much fruit (or vegetables)…the worst!
I could not agree more. I honestly feel so free from any and all food restrictions which is something I’d never say. I eat the pizza without a second thought (even three nights in a row sometimes… oops) but it allows me to actually listen to what my body is craving rather than feeling like I did something wrong and therefore throwing in the towel. I eat salads some nights because I love vegetables, and I don’t wish I had eaten a burger or a steak. When I want those, I eat those. It’s awesome to be able to finally have a (mostly) normal relationship with food- I wish everyone could. Enjoy that Coldstone. I haven’t had ice cream in far too long.
Totally agreeing here – when I eat the salads and vegetables or sweet potatoes etc., I am not wishing I was eating something else. Sometimes I go through craving phases where I want pizza/Italian flavors for days on end so I just go with it. Then I can go months where I don’t want it.
Such great points. I will admit that there are things that I do in fact measure but I do so more to make sure that I don’t cut myself short (sometimes I have to eat past hunger) or just simply out of my own curiosity. And for baking. But weighing out vegetables is nonsense. And rarely does the number on the scale change what I was going to do initially. It’s more of a check than a measuring tool.
I agree with you. I do measure the oats and quinoa when I cook them (because I like to see how fluffy I can get them by adding a ton more water than suggested Lol) and baking can certainly require measurements. But my vegetables? No. No way. I couldn’t live measuring out every item and every meal.
As I coach more and more people, it’s amazing how many of them fear failure, because they’ve been told their whole lives that they didn’t lose weight because they ‘failed’ on some diet. When in fact, like you said, the diet’s flawed. I do love getting to explain this part to people and see the lightbulb go off. Dieting’s such a scary, slippery slope, and I’m 100% behind all you said here.
Thank you. Isn’t it amazing when we can finally get someone to see the lightbulb? I wish more people would realize what we have come to know.
You know I totally agree with everything that you so wonderfully said here. Restriction leads to binging, which leads to more restriction, which leads to more binging. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break out of once you find yourself stuck in it, and the worst part is that becoming “unstuck” usually requires gaining a little bit of temporary weight in the process, which freaks people out and only starts the cycle over again. I used to live for the perfect body, and the amount of happiness I sacrificed in my attempt to get it was unreal. I’ll take a larger size of jeans and an chocolate dipped ice cream cone, please.
Oh, you know that now I would love an ice cream cone. Maybe a vanilla with chocolate sprinkles or just a scoop (make it a double scoop) of chocolate chip ice cream. Add this to my to-do list when the sun is back out. Seems like a springy thing to do lol.
Great post…I can’t even imagine doing the measuring thing all the time…how exhausting! I definitely do feel like I get more strict with what I eat when I am not working out as much as I want to. Being out of running these last two months totally messes with my sanity around food, but at least I am aware of it now.
I was suppose to relay a marathon this weekend in Denver, but I will just be cheering Joe on instead…hopefully I will be back out there soon! Have a great weekend!
I don’t like to measure anything – part of why I don’t like to bake!!!
Truly, I’ve never followed a diet, fad or otherwise – it works for me to just eat relatively healthy most of the time and enjoy the things that I love (wine and Cheetos!!).