There is nothing wrong with you if you feel guilty over eating “unhealthy” foods.
I have been in the health and fitness industry for quite a, but there’s a crucial piece missing…reality.
The fitness industry is overwhelmed by messages of “lose weight,” “get skinny,” “ditch the flabby belly,” and many more. We love to highlight every aspect of the human body that has flaws, put people on blast for possessing these flaws and continue to tell them how these “wrongs” might be made right.
We demonize humanity and tell you how to fix it.
Personally, I’m sick of it! I am tired of my own industry. The sermon that I have lived, eaten and breathed…is fallacy. Body peace cannot be reached with a simple meal plan and exercise routine. Acyaully, the opposite is true. The harder you try to live up to this standard of rules, the harder will you fall. Believe me, I fall all the time and it hurts worse with each subsequent fall.
Why dieting fails:
When you’ve had a distorted relationship with food for a long time; dieting disconnects you from how food makes your body feel.
Do you remember what it felt like to let your body get hungry, to eat what you wanted and stop once you were full…because you knew that food would be there and you could eat it again when you wanted? Or do you eat when your supposed to, eat the right foods and stop once you’ve eaten all the food you’re allowed.
If this is you, you are a dieter. Even if you’re not on a “diet”.
If you stop focusing so much on eating less, you’ll actually eat less. It’s a radical notion, but desperate times call for desperate measures. “For most people, dieting doesn’t lead to weight loss that lasts,” says Traci Mann, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota.
Say hello to the Anti-Diet life.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality
Diets give you rules about when and what you should eat. Intuitive eating says that you are the person best able to tell you that information — unlike diets, no foods are off limits when you eat intuitively. It empowers you to be the expert of your body — but in exchange, you have to get rid of the idea that there’s a perfect diet that will be the one that finally works for you.
2. Honor Your Hunger
Hunger is your body’s way of telling you to eat — nourish your body by tuning in to mild hunger cues and eating before you get ravenous (waiting until then may lead you to overeat). When I spoke to Tribole, she told me that while people are generally good at identifying extreme hunger, gentle hunger can be harder for people to identify. Start to cue in to your hunger — and fullness — by taking time throughout the day (and especially before, while or after you eat) to check in with your body, and by asking yourself how hungry or full you feel. By doing this you’ll be able to identify those different levels of hunger and fullness.
3. Make Peace with Food
Are there foods that you consider off-limits? Or do you feel guilty about what or how much you eat? According to Tribole, restricting certain foods can lead to uncontrollable urges and overeating. So make peace with food by giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. That’s right — if it’s ice cream or doughnuts you want, go ahead and have it without the guilt. Tribole mentioned that studies have shown that people who diet often end up gaining weight in the long term, but intuitive eating can lead to stable, healthy weights.
4. Challenge the Food Police
On a related note, Tribole says you should stop categorizing food as good or bad (and labeling yourself good or bad for what and how you eat). Getting rid of rules and the judgment calls that accompany them are an important step in eating intuitively.
Are you a dieter or an intuitive eater? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Personally, I’m still learning to break the diet mindset and be a true intuitive eater.