FIT Talk With Tania  

Carbs, fat and cake—why you need them all

Let them eat cake

The other day I spoke to yet another woman desperate for answers as to why, “...just looking at food makes me gain weight.”

She is a woman who's been working out, eating a ton of salads and hasn't had sugar or any other “bad” food in months.

If any part of this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Most of the women I work with have similar stories and most admit to constantly thinking about food and classifying every morsel as either “good” or “bad.” That, of course, means every forbidden forkful comes with a huge helping of guilt.

These women have spent most of their lives on one diet or another, often as a result of a well-meaning mom trying to make sure her daughter wouldn't ever have to worry about weight like she did. In reality, all it does is launch a cycle of disordered eating, creating an unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies.

Their stories break my heart. Some have lived for decades with shame and guilt over having that piece of birthday cake, believing something was inherently wrong with them because they didn't have the willpower to just say no.

For the record, no one should ever feel guilty about enjoying a piece of birthday cake, or any other food for that matter.

Read that last sentence again. If that's a new concept for you, you also need to know the struggles you've been dealing with are not your fault. There's nothing wrong with you. Willpower is not a strategy that can ever work in the long-term. You've been lied to about all of these by the diet industry.

Counting calories, cutting carbs, depriving yourself, exercising like a maniac or taking a magic pill or shot will not allow you to achieve your health and weight goals and keep them for life. Sure, anyone can lose weight on a diet, at first. That's why so many women have tried so many, hoping they would stumble across the one that “works”. If you have to keep trying something new, did it really work? It’s food for thought.

Rather than using food to just lose weight, start focusing on using food to create health in your body. Food is not “good” or “bad,” it's simply a protein, a fat or a carbohydrate. When you know how to eat the foods you love in a way that creates hormonal balance and stabilizes blood sugar, your body naturally releases stored fat, metabolism is turned on, energy is increased, inflammation is decreased and cravings disappear.

Contrary to what the diet industry would have you believe, food fuels your body and also fuels your soul—like the birthday cake—and you need both in order to optimize physical and mental health to achieve your weight goals and live with food freedom.

Eating protein, fats and carbs (PFC) in the right portions and the right frequency throughout the day puts your body in balance. It was literally the way we were born into eating. Yes, even carbs and fat. Mind blowing, I know, but stick with me.

Protein, fat and carbs are our macro nutrients and we need all of them. Protein helps regulate your leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that signals your body that you're full, or to keep eating. Diets disrupt hormones, causing mixed signals to keep eating.

Fat helps your body slow down digestion and keep blood sugar in check. That whole “fat free” or “low fat” movement back in the 1990s was an absolute disaster and sent metabolic disease skyrocketing. And that controversial macro, carbs, give us energy. It's no wonder Starbucks and Tim Hortons are so busy in the mid-afternoon.

Do you have a birthday or special occasion coming up that you've been dreading? Stop. Leave the diet mentality because it's not serving you.

Skipping meals to “save” those calories will make your blood sugar and hormones take a nose dive, adding extra workouts to burn off that cake or gritting your teeth in sheer willpower to just not it just brings on the guilt.

Just eat the cake, enjoy it and get back to more nutrient dense foods for your next meal.

Throughout the day leading up to the celebration, fuel your body with good clean, balanced PFC meals. You'll arrive feeling satisfied, not starving so you'll be able to make decisions you'll be happy with later, rather than being hijacked by out-of-control hormones that cause you to take root beside the chip bowl, mindlessly munching.

Cake, and desserts in general, are carbs and fat. Staying balanced by making sure to have some good protein in your meal prior to the eating the cake will help keep your blood sugar from spiking. Every time blood sugar spikes, your body stores fat and that’s why the diet mentality of skipping meals and saving up calories really doesn't work.

Now you know what does.

For more information and Tania's free video on blood sugar stabilization, watch here.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Nutritionist Tania Gustafson, owner of FIT Nutrition, has been active in the health and fitness industry since 1986 when she entered as a fitness instructor and trainer.

In 2011, Tania partnered with internationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Mark Macdonald, and in 2017 officially earned the title of Master Nutrition Coach in conjunction with Venice Nutrition and the International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaches (IBNFC).

Tania is one of only five health professionals licensed and certified in Canada to deliver this proven, three-phase program of blood sugar stabilization, not dieting.Tania is committed to ending the dieting madness both locally and globally and educates her clients on how to increase health with age.

Tania is able to work with clients across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. to restore health and achieve their weight loss goals.Tania is a wife, mother of three adult children, global entrepreneur, speaker, workshop facilitator, writer, blogger, podcast host, travel junkie and self-proclaimed gym rat.

For more information and to book your complimentary health assessment go to www.fuelignitethrive.com. Check https://www.facebook.com/fuelignitethrive/  and https://www.facebook.com/groups/8weeksisallittakes/

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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