Eat From Cause


One of the most common questions I am asked in my work as a Health and Wellness Coach is “What should I eat to lose weight?” Most health and nutrition professionals agree that eating lots of high nutrient, whole foods such as fruit and vegetables is not only really good for you but will also help you achieve your optimal weight. Beyond that, there is much room for debate. Some experts will argue that the Ketogenic Diet (low-carb/high fat) is your best bet. Some experts will go to bat for the Paleo Diet. The list goes on and on. It can be frustrating to those who desire weight loss but do not know how to get there.

Recently, I was reading a yoga book titled “Journey Into Power” by Baron Baptise; his words resonated with me and answered so eloquently the question that my clients long to have the answer to: What should I eat to lose weight? This is one man’s answer to that question…

“Eat from cause…What does this mean? It means that before you put anything into your body, stop and ask yourself a simple question. What will this food cause in me? Will it produce guilt, regret, bloating, stomach discomfort, fat? Or will it produce sustenance, energy, and overall good feelings about your power of choice? Will it deplete you or invigorate you? Will it create temporary satisfaction or long-term remorse? By pausing to ask this key question, you put space between the stimulus and response, which in turn allows you to make more conscious choices. You don’t zoom directly from craving to indulgence, you pause and ask, what will this food cause in me? Then choose whether to indulge based on that answer. That is the first step to learning to eat consciously, from intuition.”

I encourage my clients to take this mindfulness approach to eating because it is not diet focused but rather it looks at our eating habits from a holistic lens (i.e., mind, body, thoughts, feelings). A whopping 95 percent of all dieters regain the weight they lose and gain more within one to five years (Grodstein et al., 1996). The diet rollercoaster of weight loss and weight gain is not only unhealthy but often wreaks havoc on one’s self-esteem.

The good news is that long-term weight loss is possible and no matter where you are today you can become comfortable in your own skin again. I myself am a recovering diet junkie and have achieved lasting weight loss, weighing over 40 pounds less in 2019 than I did in 1990. The road to health is paved with self-acceptance and self-compassion rather than impossibly strict diets and self-criticism. Mindful eating is not about what you eat; rather it is more about the way you eat. The road to freedom is never found in the next fad diet. The road is different for everyone but is always about embarking on a personal journey of discovery. What is standing in your way of doing what you know is best for your body and soul? What is preventing you from being comfortable in the one body you have for this life journey?


{Photo courtesy of Pablo Merchán Montes}