Here’s the thing about dieting…most “diets” out there make food into an enemy.
We’re taught that we can’t trust it. That we should hide it. Shrink it. Fight it.
We have come to believe that it will sneak up on us when we least expect it and so we must remain ever vigilant.
But the truth is that we can’t escape from food, and shouldn’t want to.
It sustains us, it can keep us healthy, and it can be one of life’s simple pleasures.
Here are a few suggestions for giving up the food fight:
Balance is Key:
There must be balance. This is true in all parts of life, and in our eating habits. There are very few people who can quit everything cold turkey and succeed. And honestly, if you switch from your normal routine to some super strict, reductive eating program, chances are you will eventually feel deprived and give up. This is why so many diets fail. Just the mindset of being on a “diet” is restrictive.
Try a different view. Opt for healthy. It is possible to make small changes, to learn, and to try new things. So, learn recipes, read books (not diet books), try new healthy foods, find the exercise that makes you feel good. Try to eat as well as you can without completely depriving yourself and enjoy how much better it makes you feel.
Give up Guilt:
How much weight has guilt helped you lose? How much has it really ever benefitted you at all? Guilt is just a way of punishing ourselves, but it doesn’t actually accomplish anything.
If you make a mistake, overindulge, or if you are too tired to exercise one day – acknowledge it and then move on. Or decide that you will do better tomorrow. Beating yourself up about it can’t undo anything and will only make you feel worse. Try to be positive, and use mistakes to motivate yourself.
Let’s face it; a big part of our relationship with food is an emotional one. Some of us were rewarded with it; some of us were punished with it. Many of us still equate food with love. These are patterns that are not always easy to break.
It can take time, but the first step is really listening to yourself. Are you really hungry right now? Could it be stress, boredom, or just a need for comfort? If you are hungry, will a bag of chips really make you feel better than a bowl of fresh fruit?
Get to know what your triggers are and you can begin to change them. Listen to what your body tells you and it may just lead you to answers.