The Fuck It Diet is all about reclaiming your personal power. It's about listening to yourself, being a body rebel, and not letting any body else dictate your life. The Fuck It Diet is for you if you've been dieting, bingeing, and now feel like a food addict.
Can you teach a control freak to become more chill?
Food and body issues are a manifestation of the underlying fear that everything is falling apart. It’s a way we try to mitigate the panic of being alive. If we don’t control and micromanage this, we’re all screwed. We can’t trust anything to work if we aren’t actively controlling it and tending to it. Disaster. Chaos. Destruction.
The idea is that by controlling the way you eat, and therefore (we hope) our looks and health and mortality, we can save ourselves from being powerless and/or mortified and/or judged or… fill in the blank.
We’re not usually fully aware of this panic, it’s still the thing running the show. We are afraid of being alive. We are afraid of dying. We are afraid we have to be the ones to fix and control and heal everything.
We are making the stakes for everything so extremely, unnecessarily high. And if we don’t ____________ then _____________ will happen and it will be all our fault. And we will live or die in misery, wishing we tried harder.
Taking action is great, but the panic, control, and worry is just not a sustainable way to live.
So the biggest advice I can give anyone who identifies with being a perfectionist or a control freak is to lower the stakes.
Unless you are performing brain surgery, or conducting a military coup, or … well, doing anything with legitimately high stakes… you are making the stakes too damn high.
Catching that train, looking amazing in your pants, making sure your children finish their yogurt, making sure you buy the right yogurt, getting the best seat in the restaurant, making them like you… all are things with low stakes.
Most of the things we do throughout our days and our lives are very low stakes, but still, we hype it up to feel like if this doesn’t go the-way-I-arbitrarily-think-it-should, everything is going to fall apart.
The underlying belief that things are supposed to go a certain way, and we are supposed to single handedly make them go that way, is crazy making. And so many of us are operating under that programming.
The (il)logic of it tends to go something like this: I have to make things go a certain way and make them think I’m doing so well, or else I am failing, and if I fail, I will become ugly and poor and nobody will love me and then I’ll die and people will roll their eyes at my funeral.
You can’t live your life to try and eliminate eye-rolling at your funeral.
And that leads us to another side of this: the illusion of control.
We have some control over what is right in front of us. And we can take action. And that… is about it.
Everything else is out of our control. The results? Other people’s actions? Other people’s opinions? We can’t do anything about it. Nothing.
So we can walk around with the stakes unnecessarily high, feeling like we have control over everything that is happening, worrying that we are letting it all fall apart, and failing, and letting everyone down. But we are just making ourselves miserable, stressed, and sick.
You can let go. You can lower the stakes. And you can let go of your control. You don’t much control anyway.
This totally depends on your definition of ‘normal.’
Here’s the truth: most people are a little disordered with their eating these days. Obsessive or disordered eating is common, so you could call it normal.
But it’s not normal – it shouldn’t be normal. And it’s definitely not healthy.
So instead of calling it normal eating, I call it ease with food.
This is how a person who has ease with food eats:
-They can go through their day and pretty much only think about food when they are actually hungry.
-They have a strong, healthy appetite for lots of food, and yet their weight stays stable in their weight set range, because their metabolism isn’t compromised and stressed from dieting.
-They eat what they crave, and crave what they need. Sometimes salads, sometimes cookies, sometimes fruit, sometimes steak, etc.
-They can eat a meal and stop in the ballpark of satiation and fullness without overthinking it.
-They can eat distracted, or tired, or stressed, or sad and still stop once they get full, because when food is neutral, and the body is fed, food intuition is easy.
-They will have a strong sense of what food they want, when, and how much, but it won’t be that important that they follow it perfectly, because life is too short to obsess about food, hunger, and satiation levels.
How do we get there? How do we find ease with food? How to feel neutral and even joyful with all foods, not just your “safe” diet foods?
BELIEVE ME, back before the F*** It Diet, I was so far from normal and so fixated on food and weight, that I wasn’t even sure what the other alternative was. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like.
I would look at people who didn’t overthink food and think, “Well — I guess they are just lucky to not have a food addiction.” I didn’t realize that my “food addiction” was biologically driven, and constantly being made worse by every diet I went on.
I didn’t realize that, in a way, we are meant to be fixated on food. Because food is a fundamentally important part of staying alive, so when the body senses that food access is scarce, our food fixation increases. Thankfully the reverse is also true. Hallelujah. Once the body knows it will be fed, it can calm down.
(**Bleeped words are just for iTunes rules. Blerg. I know.)
Over the weekend I did this weird dancing video to Jesus Christ Superstar when I was reunited with my weird sister, and I shared it on TFID instagram. As I shared it I thought maybe it was a mistake, because watching it back I noticed I looked so thin.
I don’t show my full body often in my work with TFID – when I do, it raises lots of questions that I think are ultimately unhelpful distractions.
Like this comment from a follower:
First of all, think about what it means when you say, “you are thin and you look great.” What are you implying? That if I wasn’t I wouldn’t look great? That people who don’t look thin don’t look great? Think about the implications of the way we choose to compliment people, women especially. This is why we are dysfunctional with food. This is why we are at odds with ourselves. I understand that this was a lead-in to her questions about what happens with weight on the fuck it diet, but still.
I am not trying to be aggressive or difficult… this just happens all the time and it’s tiring.
I have a fat mirror
A year ago I moved into a house that had put up a flimsy full length mirror on the bedroom wall to cover the water damage to the exposed brick. This also means that the mirror puffs out and turns into a WIDENING or “fat mirror”. I know this and I accept it because I am currently too overwhelmed to deal with the brick water damage in the house I bought.
What this also means is that every morning I look wider in the mirror than I actually am. In my laziness I figured this maybe was also a sort of interesting TFID experiment. Because, no it’s not fully accurate, but like, ultimately so what?
This is not something that I would have ever been ok with say… 5 or 6 years ago? Back then all I did was check out how wide I looked in windows, mirrors, everything- just always so so so afraid of being wide.
Everyone who comes over to my house and looks in that mirror says, “CAROLINE THIS IS A HORRIBLE MIRROR!?!?!? WHY DO YOU HAVE THIS?! I LOOK HORRIBLE?!?!?”
What they mean is they look SLIGHTLY wider than they do IRL.
They say, “CAROLINE, YOU NEED TO GET A NEW MIRROR!” And I say, like ok, eventually. But it’s not like a fucking emergency. Calm down.
Anyway, what this means is that when I see a rare video of myself, even I am shocked that I look so thin. Woa, I have some extra padding in my warped bedroom mirror.
I am steeped in thin privilege. Because yes, I yo-yoed hardcore, 20-30 lbs, all the time, many times a year, for 10 years. And I’d gain weight in my face and boobs and I would vacillate so much that clothes, bras, dresses wouldn’t fit and acting teachers didn’t know what kind of scenes to give me because like, was I mainstream pretty or not? Who knew. It changed month to month.
In college, a freaking creep of a headshot photographer told me at my creepy headshot photoshoot that when we had our consult he thought I was the chubby friend, but now I looked liked the hot, thin ingenue. (Screw him and his epic creepiness.) But yea, there was always a microscope on my weight, thanks to acting, and even though I was like “ingenue chubby”, I was probably always real-world thin, and that is also why media beauty standards are extra fucked up.
But all of this to say: Yes, I have yo-yoed. Also, yes I am sometimes a bra size G. Yes I also have always had a naturally lower weight set range and have lots of thin privilege. With this out of the way, let’s talk about the questions people ask me about my weight.
BUT CAROLINE WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN WITH MY WEIGHT THO?!
When I show my full body on TFID these are some of the questions I get:
Can I/Will I become thin by not dieting?
Can I NOT trust you because you are thin and I am not?
How much weight did you gain?
How much weight did you lose?
Are you thinner now than you were before?
And I’m positive that the answer to those questions isn’t necessarily helpful, because it won’t necessarily be the same for you.
This is what I can tell you: We all have genetic weight set ranges, fully governed by the hypothalamus.
It is actually difficult to go below or above your healthy weight set range.
When you go below, your body freaks out and slows your metabolism way down in order to help you gain back. And going above is hard because your body will adjust your metabolism in order to keep you in your healthy range.
One of the only things that can actually mess with this homeostasis, and make you go above, besides endocrine or other health issues, is restriction. Dieting.
Dieting can raise your set point, because your body wants to make sure you have enough stores if the diet famine comes back. This is a crisis mode that also has other implications for health and stress levels.
So, what happened with my weight? And this is an answer that, remember, is still prioritizing the reason we are so dysfunctional with food in the first place…
I would say right now I am near the lower end of my weight set range. In my past, I would sometimes diet down to this weight, temporarily. One time in high school I went way below but in retrospect I was pretty much anorexic that year. I was also so anemic I almost needed a blood transfusion. It was not a good time.
I would also yo-yo up to the top of my weight set range all of the time.
When I went on The F It Diet, all I knew was that I had to let my body do whatever it needed to do. I bought bigger clothes and left acting, so no headshot photographer could ever say that to me again. And I gained weight to somewhere around the top of the range. Then I slowly lost some of it. And my weight is generally here no matter what I eat and what I do. And I still fluctuate hormonally, seasonally, and depending on, like, whatever man. I fluctuate, and I always will, and you always will too. I make sure I have clothes that fit. I have an underwear drawer filled with different bra sizes, and I have one romper that I can only wear when my boobs are small. And I should get rid of it.
Do not compare your own weight journey to mine, maybe compare your weight set range journey to my weight set range journey, maybe. Maybe.
But here is the truth:
I’m lucky to be so thin that people don’t give me push back with my anti-diet stance and writing and business. I am lucky. I know this. Strangers and acquaintances and distant relatives tell me, “Oh wow, well it WORKS for you! You’re so thin! You look great!” Shut up Brenda, you sound like my grandmother and you have no idea what you are talking about.
It’s comments like that that make people obsessed with becoming and staying thin.
Diet companies are thrilled that diets seem like they work. Diet companies are also thrilled that diets, ultimately, almost always fail. And diet companies are thrilled that everyone seems to think that it’s their own personal fault that it failed.
Weight loss studies last long enough to take note of the weight that’s lost, they don’t go on long enough to see what happens after the weight is lost.
That’s very convenient for the companies funding the studies, who are almost always the companies who are selling the drug or diet in question.
Weight loss is not confusing. Well… at least that’s what we are told over and over again. It is a simple equation of calories in versus calories out. Or it’s a simple balance of macronutrients. Or it’s a simple avoidance of certain food groups. Or it’s a simple rotation of different food groups. Or it’s a simple amount of hours during the day you’re supposed to eat and not eat. Or it’s a simple supplement that ancient cultures used to induce euphoria and perfect health. Or… Or…
Truth is, all of those things can cause initial weight loss. In my diet heyday I tried lots of them. And most of them worked. For a time.
What none of these studies account for is the inevitable regain. They never stick around long enough to see what happens to your body biologically and mentally as you try to stay on the diet.
We are also now all living under the assumption that eating less, restriction, and constant micromanagement of our intake is a healthy, normal activity. It’s so common that we assume it is normal. And it’s so ingrained and ‘normal’, that we assume it’s healthy.
But your body does not want you to restrict your food, and it does not want you to lose weight, especially when it feels like food is scarce.
So it will sabotage your efforts almost every time and make it harder and harder to lose weight in the future, the more ‘famines’ you put it on.
How does the body sabotage your efforts? It makes you exhausted and slows down your metabolism so you expend less energy and burn less calories. It makes you fixated on food. It makes your hungrier. It makes you binge. It forces you to gain weight back. Sometimes in one fell swoop, sometimes over the course of a year.
Your body does all of this on purpose. It does all of that to get more calories in, and expend less calories. After all, your body has no idea you are trying to fit into an arbitrarily small bikini. Your body thinks there is a motherFing famine.
But if you have ever ended up at the same weight (or higher) after a diet, it’s not because you just needed to try harder. It’s because your body is baller at keeping you safe from famine.
And diet companies are lucky their clients “fail,” because it means they keep coming back for more, determined to try harder and “be good this time”.
They remember back to that one time they lost a lot of weight, and give all the credit to the diet but fail to see that the yo-yo is all part of it. It’s incredibly rare to have the initial weight loss and not have the following regain.
And the people who seemso good at staying on diets, are either people who are not actually dieting at all and are truly listening to themselves, or they are people who have disordered eating and can only focus on their diet and little else.
So what’s the answer?
Your best bet at being a stable and healthy weight (which might not be as tiny as you’ve been hoping for…) is to learn to truly feed yourself what you want and how much you want.
That’s the only scenario where your body won’t fight you back.
The answer is to stop fighting your weight, and you’ll find your weight stops fighting you back.
I have really exciting news, for me at least… Harper Collins / HarperWave is going to publish The Fuck It Diet book in early 2019.
This same week I found my old blogspot blog that I started back in junior year of college. It was called Non-Quick Oatmeal because I believed in slow food. This was back when I knew I loved to write and was also trying to legitimize my obsession with food.
So the site started as a terrible, terrible food blog, with dark pictures taken on my flip phone.If you read any of the 2009 and 2010 posts (don’t), you will regret it and be bored to tears. However, it is some pretty solid support for the concept of just starting, even when you have no fucking idea what you are doing.
The more I wrote, the more I found out that my talent and passion was NOT writing about “how crispy nachos were”, but instead, the stories before and after the nachos. And luckily for the 4 friends who read my blog, it started becoming more of a weird essay situation, and not a food blog anymore.
I remember thinking, “ugh I really love writing. I wonder how I could become a real book writer where I just write funny essays and never have to leave my house again. In the very least I wonder how I can have like, 40 readers instead of 3 and a half.”But I didn’t know how.
So I just kept writing and having to leave the house.
Starting The Fuck It Diet site was a totally different situation. I wasn’t trying to do anything except share some REALLY IMPORTANT SHIT I WAS LEARNING. I wasn’t trying to be funny or entertaining. The Fuck It Diet wasn’t supposed to be funny. I was so serious. FUCK IT. FUCK THIS. WHY ARE WE COUNTING ALMONDS.
I was anonymous. I didn’t want anyone who I knew in my real life to know I was writing about this. My name was Caroline Haagen, (as in Haagen Dasz). It was beyond me. I just had SHIT TO SHARE AND IT FELT VERY IMPORTANT AND SERIOUS.
This whole thing was also decidedly NOT THE ORIGINAL PLAN. I didn’t want to be a warm and fuzzy self-love body-image teacher. I wanted to be a BEAUTIFUL BROADWAY ACTRESS. BUT NO, LIFE HAD OTHER PLANS, AND THERE I WAS NAMING MYSELF AFTER ICE CREAM TRYING TO LEARN HOW TO EAT RICE AGAIN.
For a long time I thought that my regular facebook/nonquickoatmeal/email writing voice was the opposite from my “teaching you to not be so fucking miserable” voice of TFID. Maybe it was. I don’t know. All that matters is that now they are not separate. They have been joined. They are two that have become one. And I now spend my social media energy and time on instagram trying to perfect this union with varying degrees of success.
So I would just like to take a moment to revel in the mysteries of the universe, to honor the deep jankiness I started from, and to be amazed that now I get to have a book deal writing a funny book about pseudo-eating disorders.
Judging your appetite is one of the things that will keep you very stuck.
We are trying to heal the body and mind of all restriction, not just physical under eating, but the guilt and overthinking that comes along with restriction, too — mental restriction.
If you feel guilt over your eating, you are experiencing mental restriction. It’s the kind of guilt that makes you feel like you should or shouldn’t be eating a certain way. It is very common to make major improvements with actual physical restriction and finally be eating what you’re hungry for, but still be completely plagued by mental restriction.
Guilt and overthinking about food affects the body, metabolism, hormones, stress, and appetite, and will keep you stuck in the yo-yo just like physical restriction.
Mental restriction will also take the form of anxiety, panic, and constant cycling thoughts about what you should or shouldn’t be doing, or what should or shouldn’t be happening. Without mental restriction, this whole thing would be pretty easy. The body would fix itself in a few months, and eating would normalize. But thanks to our brain. Our brains freaking get in the way.
Mental restriction often sounds something like this:
I shouldn’t be this hungry…
Maybe I’ll just do this for another week and then go on another diet if I keep eating like this.
Ok, I’m allowed to eat whatever I want, but if it doesn’t prove to me that it’s working soon, I’m quitting.
I can eat this brownie, but I’d better only eat half.
I shouldn’t be craving so much.
I’ll eat this piece of pizza and then have a salad later.
Oh I shouldn’t be eating all of this bread. I’m ruining everything.
Oh if I were really being intuitive I’d probably be eating more vegetables!
If I were really being intuitive I’d be eating less by now!
Mental restriction is constant bargaining, judging, guilt, and is normally run by old diet rules and subconscious beliefs.
A lot of this mental restriction is so habitual, and feels so normal, that we barely notice it’s happening. What we notice more, is just the general anxiety and mistrust of the process.
It also doesn’t help that everywhere you look, every person you talk to, and every magazine you’ve ever read seems to confirm, add to, and applaud your ‘responsible’ mental restriction. Our collective and cultural disordered eating just makes it harder to identify that the way we are thinking about food and weight is really weird and messed up.
Most of us have always believed that this constant judgment and worry about food was ‘responsible’. It’s not. It is actually the reason you may still be bingeing, and the reason why your relationship with food became so dysfunctional in the first place.
Without mental restriction, bingeing would just be eating a lot and it would do exactly what it was supposed to do: re-feed the body. Once we start judging the food we are eating and subconsciously deciding there will be a diet (famine) the next day, it spirals out of control.
So if you are bingeing, but haven’t been restricting physically, the cause is mental restriction, and the answer is awareness of the beliefs that are perpetuating the anxiety.
So many of us try to stick to diets, only to find ourselves bingeing, then restricting even more, then bingeing again, then restricting more, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo. Our eating is all over the place, our weight is all over the place, our sanity is all over the place, and we feel totally out of control with food.
So why does that happen? Why do so many of us seem to have such terrible will-power when it comes to what we put in our mouths?
It comes down to a very fundamental biological mechanism: Your body does not want you to restrict food. At all. In fact, when you restrict even just a small amount, your body responds with more fixation on food, irritability, higher stress hormones, slower metabolism and digestion, less energy, holding onto more weight… and bingeing.
That binge is your body is purposely forcing you off your diet. But because we still assume that our diet is the best thing for us, we turn around and try to restrict even harder, and then we fail even harder.
That’s the Yo Yo.
Here is the thing people never really realize: chronic yo-yo dieting is disordered.
And since eating disorders are a spectrum, the yo-yo diet is on the that spectrum. No it’s not necessarily anorexia or bulimia. (Though since yo-yos often include bingeing, there are yo-yo dieters who think they have Binge Eating Disorder. But what the bingeing really is, is a biological response to physical restriction).
Instead of letting ourselves eat, re-feed, and heal, we keep dieting harder, and that continued mental fixation on food and weight loss is where we perpetuate the disordered eating.
This means that there are wayyyyyyyy more eating disorders and disordered eaters than we think there are. And they go undiagnosed because we’ve been taught how normal it is to obsess over food and “losing a few”. We think it is normal to live in a chronic binge/repent cycle for the rest of our lives, blaming ourselves endlessly for our lack of willpower, and having the topic dominate our conversations with other women.
“Well I gained weight”, “Oh me too”, “No you look tiny!”, “Oh! Well thanks.” “I would do anything to not be obsessed with crackers.” “Tomorrow I’m gonna be good”. And on and on.
What is important to remember is that this cultural obsession with a tiny body is relatively new, and our cultural relationship to food is also new. Never did we treat food with such judgment and obsession. Never before did we try to abstain from arbitrary foods based on ever changing fads. Never before did we pray to be able to walk away from the table hungry. Never before would this kind of feeding and eating have made any sense.
And even though this way of eating is now extremely common, it is still disordered.
And our bodies are not having it.
We also believe that the only way to have an eating disorder is to be emaciated. NOT SO. You can be thin, middle ground, or very fat, and be suffering from a restrictive eating disorder. The difference here, is that the disorder will be praised.
I really, really hope that in the coming years we can start to have a different dialogue about health and food that is not so black and white. I hope we can move into a place that’s a lot more supportive of different body types, understanding weight science even more, and that a nourishing and intuitive version of eating can replace this restrictive madness.
(If you are suffering from an eating disorder, please seek treatment. The Fuck It Diet is geared towards yo-yo and chronic dieters, not extremely restrictive eating disorders. TFID will never stand in place of treatment, this is simply a supplement and not specifically geared towards anorexia. Check out The Eating Disorder Institute which is more geared towards EDs.)
We’ve been told that calories in versus calories out is how-weight-works.
“Eat less than you expend and you’ll lose weight”.
But this is what really happens:
“Eat less that you expend and you’ll lose weight at first, but then you’ll gain it all back and think it’s your fault- but it is actually because your body will compensate your metabolism in order to keep your weight stably around the same place, because biologically that is how we have survived as a species during all those years when food wasn’t as easy to ensure or come by.”
I understand that it’s a mind trip after the simplicity of calories in vs calories out.
Because first few times you dieted, I bet you really did lose weight easily. Then, when you gained it back, you were sure it was your fault. But it wasn’t. Your body made sure that that happened. And it even wanted you to go a bit ABOVE where you started, just for good measure.
But now you’re convinced that if you can just do it like you did the first time, you’ll lose weight again, but THIS time you’ll keep it off. This time you’ll do it right. This time you’ll succeed and be beautiful and happy foreverrrrrrrrrrrrr.
But it’s harder to do now because your body isn’t having any of this shit. You’ve already pressed your luck, and now your body is fighting back harder.
And even if you happen to muster the willpower to override your body’s efforts to make you eat and keep on weight, and even if you actually do lose weight again, your body will immediately lower your metabolism and make you expend less in order to eventually bring your weight back up. It will also wire you to crave more food than you ever would have wanted under normal eating and metabolic conditions.
It should be noted that increasing exercise will have the same effect. The body will encourage rest to make up for your exertion. And if you force more exertion, it’ll just slow down your system altogether.
There’s a good reason why Michael Phelps ate 12,000 calories a day. That’s what extreme exercise requires. (And it’s also around the amount that men rehabilitating from semi-starvation ate after the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.)
So, for any of you who thinks that weight is just a matter of decreasing your consumption, and are confused and frustrated that it’s not working anymore… it’s just because your body wants you to chill the eff out and start eating normally again.
It also wants you to put on weight.
You know why? Weight is actually healthy. Letting yourself gain weight actually is the only way to heal your metabolism.
Paradoxically, once you stop trying to control your appetite, and finally eat whatever it wants (even if that’s a LOT), it’ll heal. It’ll speed up. It’ll trust that there is food. And that is the surest way to have a healthy stable weight for you.
Ever since I started this site, I have been writing posts defending sugar. Fear of sugar is one of the most deeply ingrained diet beliefs, from people saying it causes disease and inflammation, to saying it’s as addictive as cocaine or herion. Sugar fear mongering is everywhere, it’s bullshit, and with the aid of actual science, I am going to defend it.
We think that restricting carbs and sugarwill help us burn fat, become healthy, and maybe even become immortal.
What is actually happening when we restrict carbs, is a crisis mode run by stress hormones that creates inflammation and a slow metabolism, and essentially adds to the likelihood of developing or worsening metabolic disorder, and every other inflammation-caused disease (every disease).
When you restrict carbs, you will burn fat in the beginning, but not sustainably, and it won’t last.
Chronic stress leads to inflammation and lowered immunity which often leads to disease.
Dieting leads to chronic stress, which leads to inflammation and lowered immunity which often leads to disease.
This is just one of the reasons why dieting is bad for your health. Not to mention malnutrition, etc.
Yes this is the opposite of what you have been told. This is the opposite of what I believed about sugar and my health (pcos/insulin resistance for years).
If you want it broken down even more, this is the most specific I have ever gotten with the science of restriction…
This is why restricting calories or restricting carbs, will backfire, raise stress-hormones, and hurt your health in the long-run:
Whenever our output exceeds our input – meaning you aren’t eating enough, resting enough, or aren’t eating enough carbs, the body releases adrenaline and cortisol, the two major stress hormones that help the body to create fast fuel for your cells.
Without fuel for our cells, we die. It’s that simple.
Sugar (glucose) is the most efficient fuel source for our cells, because it uses the least oxygen, makes the most usable energy, and creates the most carbon dioxide. And carbon dioxide removes calcium and sodium from cells, keeping them stable (and not inflamed).
The first stress hormone, adrenaline, finds glycogen in the muscles and liver to burn for fuel. After that, adrenaline will burn fat – which is not good for your health or metabolism, because adrenaline uses three times as much oxygen to burn fat for fuel, creates less carbon dioxide and less energy – which creates inflammation.
Adrenaline burns fat fast (and temporarily) but uses up oxygen, and leads to inflammation.
The second stress hormone, cortisol, will pull amino acids from the skin, thymus, and muscle, which are taken to the liver to be used for energy. This lowers thyroid function, digestive juices, body temperature, and pulse…
Cortisol impairs metabolism, digestion, assimilation, and nutrition.
So again: Restriction of calories, or restriction of carbs, lowers your metabolism and creates inflammation, and has you running on stress hormones.
In addition, any time you are in fight-or-flight (read: STRESS), a similar dynamic is taking place in your body which is why stress creates inflammation and an impaired system and metabolism.
This means that the stress of hating your body leads to inflammation and lowered immunity which can lead to disease.
… Being scared of what you just ate, feeling guilty that you’re full, or having general overwhelm when you eat leads to inflammation and lowered immunity which can lead to disease.
Sugar is an unfairly demonized macronutrient.
Sugar is really just pure fuel that keeps us alive minute to minute, actually can lower stress hormones, and is required in the blood at all times (blood sugar).
Denying the body easily accessible sugar requires the body to create glucose in a complicated process that raises stress hormones, creates inflammation, and impairs the metabolism.
The less you eat carbs, the more likely you will become chronically hypoglycemic. Your body perceives low blood sugar as a stressor which kicks adrenal glands into overdrive and pumps out stress hormones.
It also assumes you’re in starvation mode which will make it counteract with ghrelin, the hunger hormone, which keeps you hungry and slows down your metabolism.
Meaning, the less you eat carbs, the slower your body will burn fuel and the slower your metabolism becomes. And the worse your health will become – in the long run. And I promise you, that’s not what you’re looking for.
In this state, you are more likely to then binge and yo-yo, and stay perpetually in a whacked out glycemic roller coaster for all of your days.
You can also think about it this way: Sugar is meant to feel addictive when we aren’t eating enough of it — because we need it. And unlike other substances, when you actually let yourself eat it, it has a restorative and calming effect on the body and metabolism, and your body won’t feel addicted to it anymore.
Like oxygen and sleep. Eating carbs allows the appetite and body to calm down, and is the only way to experience easy, normal eating.
Or: What to Expect When You Are Expecting to Heal Your Eating Real Fast And Become Skinny
(For podcast listeners: You can join in on podcast Q&As and other fun rewards over on patreon. Also… if you’re curious why I am editing the F word, it’s because of itunes’ new rules. SMGDH)
Your personal journey will be different from mine, or your friend’s, or the people you connect with on the internet. That being said, there will mostly likely be overlap and similar experiences as well, so I am going to list some things many people experience, just so you’re prepared.
Hunger is the body’s way of repairing the body and metabolism. Lots of hunger is the natural healing response to the famine survival state. You will need to honor this hunger by eating.
Expect to be afraid of this hunger
You will be scared that you are never going to stop eating. You are going to be afraid that you will be this hungry forever. You are going to be afraid that without tight control, your eating will just keep going and going and going until you pop.
These fears are understandable but untrue, and ultimately, unhelpful. The more you can trust that eating is the only path to food normalcy, and a normalized appetite and metabolism, the quicker and easier it’ll be.
Whenever you’re panicking and doubting this whole process, just remember the famine. What would happen after a famine (or even a decade long semi-famine)? You’d be starving, you’d need to eat a lot more for a little bit, and then, naturally, things would go back to normal. And even if you have never experienced what normal appetite is, you will get there naturally, and eating is the only way. And fighting it is futile.
Expect to gain weight.
Trying to control your weight is the reason why you are now so messed up with food, and the reason weight becomes erratic and harder and harder to “control”. To heal the damaging starvation mode, you must gain weight. It is the only way to stop the cycle. This applies to you whether you are on the lower or higher end of the weight spectrum.
I know you want me to tell you that you are going to be ‘fighting the man’ and ‘rebelling against beauty ideals’ and eating a shit-ton and repairing your metabolism all while looking like an adorable, hairless, lithe fairy, but that’s not how this goes.
You are almost certainly going to gain weight. And it is actually an essential rite of passage on this journey.
It is also pretty much the only way to heal your metabolism. Remember the famine. What would happen after a famine? You’d gain weight. And then, only then, would the body be able to calm down and stabilize again and not hold onto every pound for dear life. No matter where you are, you can count on gaining some weight, and the more you resist it, the longer this whole process will take.
Expect to resist gaining weight
Your fear of gaining weight is one of the big root causes of your messed-up-eating, and always will be. So you need to face that fear — gaining some weight and learning to like yourself anyway is arguably the big rite of passage here, and will be a huge shift in your quality of life. If you attempt to skip this part, there is a part of this journey that will remain incomplete. You will remain petrified of what your life would be, and who you would be, at a higher weight.
Facing the fear of gaining weight will make all the difference ongoing, and make you able to continue eating normally as you go forward, understanding that your “worst fear has happened” and your life is still continuing to get better than before.
Expect to slowly stop fixating on food
This will take months, but the more you eat, and the more you allow the things that you used to be petrified of, the less you will find yourself fixating on food. This is both biological – as the body becomes more and more fed, but also just mental, you take away the power a food when you truly let yourself eat it.
Expect your weight will stop yo-yo-ing
Once you become normal and neutral with food, and once your body knows there is food, your weight will stabilize, easily, right around where it is supposed to be.
You will always fluctuate, that is human, but the dramatic weight gain and loss will stabilize. Weight stabilization looks different on everyone, but it will be healthy for you. And if you can surrender to that, the rest of this will be a breeze.
Expect to start having energy and brain space to focus on other things
The whole point of The F It Diet is to have food lose its power over you so you can focus on more soul fulfilling, life-enhancing things. The goal is to free up the energy that you’ve been spending on how perfect your protein bar collection is, and start focusing on doing things that actually enhance your life, things that make you feel good and alive and creatively fulfilled. And maybe even enjoying yourself while you do it. Wouldn’t that be amAZing?