One of the biggest concerns that people have when they get curious about dietless eating is this: What if dietless eating causes me to gain weight?
I totally understand. If you've been trying to control your weight through dieting or calorie counting, the idea of letting all that go and possibly gaining weight is scary.
But Dietless eating will likely help you find your optimal weight, the weight that is the healthiest for you.
You may already be at this weight, but you may also lose some or gain some when you stop dieting. The important thing is that when you eat intuitively and don't diet anymore, the weigh where you land at, is probably the healthiest weight for you. Your body will function properly, your metabolism will work nicely, and your weight stays pretty much the same without much effort (working out a ton and controlling every bite you eat).
But here's an important thing to know as well: What you may think should be your weight, may be very different from your natural, healthy weight.
There are basically three scenarios that can happen when you stop dieting and start trusting your body:
You Will Lose Weight
There are definitely people who lose weight when they start eating intuitively and stop following any diet rules. Why? There can be several reasons.
They may have used food as a distraction to escape their problems and difficult emotions. Their first reaction, when things didn't go well, was to reach for food, although they know that eating won't make the actual problem go away.
One of the things you learn when you become a Dietless Eater is how to cope with your problems without food. When you need to deal with something uncomfortable but your first reaction is to open up a bag of cookies, you'll need to take a minute and think: Do I really need that? Will eating this help to solve my problem? Or do I need something else — to talk to someone, ask for help? Maybe I need to cry and let my feelings out? Maybe I need a hug?
Maybe you really do need to eat these cookies. That's fine. But maybe you realize that there's another way to manage these emotions.
People who have frequently used food to deal with their problems, but then stop doing so, may lose weight when they go dietless and start eating intuitively.
Another group of people who may lose weight are those who have often eaten out of the fear of hunger. I like to call it a food FOMO.
This is what I dealt with for a long time too, and sometimes still do!
The root cause of my food FOMO goes back to years ago when I was under eating a lot and was often hungry. It wasn't a good feeling.
When I started my recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea, I went little bit to the other side. Instead of starving, I ate all of the things, and a lot of them! Which was okay — I had to eat a lot of food to recover, and food is the main medicine for this condition.
But once I was getting my periods monthly, eating a lot all the time became unnecessary. My weight was restored, my cycle was coming, so I no longer had to panically eat the first second I got hungry, or eat out of the fear that my cycle won't come if I don't eat right away. It took me some learning to start evaluating if I needed to eat right now, what I wanted to eat, and how much.
If you've been eating out of fear for a long time but now you're letting the fear go, there's a chance that you may lose some weight. Because you know that there will always be more food and you don't have to eat everything right this minute, you may sometimes find that smaller amount of food is actually satisfying.
You Will Gain Weight
It's totally possible that you gain weight when you start Dietless eating. That's fine and probably needed if that's what happens.
A person who has eaten less than was right for her body, maybe by limiting calories, minimizing fat or carb intake or manipulating her food intake in other ways, may find that she gains some weight when she goes Dietless.
The reason might be that her body really needed more food and a little bit more weight. The weight might be necessary for the body to feel its best and to be the healthiest version of it.
If you gain weight when you start eating intuitively and without dieting, focus on how you feel, rather than how your appearance changes. Usually having more energy, sleeping better, having better digestion etc, outweighs the weight gain.
But you can only notice these positive changes if you pay attention to them and want to experience them. If you constantly focus on the weight, you won't have that space to realize how much healthier your body is and how much better it feels.
Secondly, weight gain may happen at the beginning of this journey because we let go of the mentality that there are any bad foods, so we simply start eating all the things and a lot of them! We now have the freedom to eat what we want, and that's a huge mental relief. So we proceed to eat all the foods that were previously out of limits.
Doing so may really cause some weight gain. But it's likely just the beginning that we want to eat all of the things that were previously forbidden.
For example, I had this phase with peanut butter. When I started my recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea, I realized that I can finally eat as much peanut butter as I want. So I did, some days even three times a day! This phase lasted quite long until I finally started eating less of it. I still eat it probably about 3-4 times a week but not every day and not three times a day. The excitement just isn't there anymore.
There's absolutely a chance that you may gain some weight when you start Dietless eating. It may happen because your previous weight was too low for you or because at first, you can't stop eating the foods that used to be “forbidden”.
Your Weight Won't Change At All
There are people whose weight change is super minimal or whose weight doesn't change at all once they start trusting their intuition.
These are people who get used to the new way of eating really quickly. They lose their interest to previously forbidden foods quickly, as soon as they realize that there's actually noting so amazing about them.
They learn faster to separate their emotions from physical hunger and eat mostly when they feel physically hungry (it's fine to emotionally eat once in a while, but in general, we should eat because our bodies are actually hungry).
These people may find that their bodyweight stays the same now as they aren't dieting, compared to where it was when they were dieting. The difference is though that Dietless eating is effortless and dieting was a full time job. There's much more mental space and freedom now!
Get Started with Dietless Eating
If you want to know how to get started with Dietless eating, I have a step-by-step guide for you. It's simple, easy to remember 5D System that you can start practicing today. Fill out the form below to get it!