The dieting cycle typically goes something like this: start diet A, restrict calories/foods, lose weight (usually from water or muscle), feel deprived/hungry, crave restricted foods or calories, give in to overeat said restricted foods or calories, feel guilty for “failing” at diet A, give up diet A and regain weight (sometimes plus more) so start diet B. Then the process continues!
This vicious diet cycle is getting us no where and is actually harmful to our health long term. So let’s give up the dieting mentality and start learning how to eat without the fad plans! But where do we start?
I want to start by first encouraging you to stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad”. Diets teach us that carbs, fats, bread, butter, meat, eggs, dairy, sugar, salt or other foods are “bad” and should be avoided 100% no matter what! I want you to forget those rules! No food is inherently good or bad and all foods can have a place in a healthy, balanced eating plan. It is shown that when people go on diets and are told that they may never eat food A or B, that they constantly crave foods A or B then end up binging on those restricted foods which leads to extreme guilt and ultimately giving up on the diet.
Say for example, you do not allow yourself to eat cookies EVER. But then you eat one, then two, then three, then figure since you’ve already blown your diet you may as well eat them all! You will just start over on the diet tomorrow and never have cookies again… of course only after you finish this whole plate today. This is a normal brain and body response to restrictive dieting. The body will want what it is deprived of! It is just how we are wired. If you have been in this situation and ended up binging on those restricted foods, I want you to know that it is perfectly normal, although it is not healthy or beneficial in the long run. So how do we combat this? By giving ourselves 100% unrestricted permission to enjoy ALL foods in our diets.
Its scary to tell yourself you are allowed to eat bread, cheese, chocolate or any other “diet” imposed restricted food. Won’t you just eat that food endlessly if you take away the restrictive rules? Maybe at first, but I promise it won’t last. When you allow yourself to eat ALL foods when you want them in moderate portion sizes (which I will address later in this blog), those foods will no longer possess the obsessive effects that they did when they were being restricted.
I want to challenge you today to stop labeling your foods as “good” or “bad”. Give yourself unconditional permission to eat that one cookie, or maybe two, but know that you don’t need to eat them all now because you are allowed to eat them anytime you would like. If you have any questions or would like to personally chat with me about the idea of unconditionally allowing all foods in your meal plan, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Happy Eating! Kristin-