Analyzing every bite, healthifying family recipes and worrying about how will the one sugar-filled cookie damage your health is as bad as eating anything regardless of how it makes you feel.
If you live by a set of eating rules that dictate how much you can eat when you can eat and what you must omit, you are well aware of the pressure this puts on you. When you start a new diet or a new attempt to make your life healthier, you often accept new rules that may seem easy and very promising at the beginning. It’s the excitement, the clear boundaries and the promise of quick results.
With these rules also comes the pressure of getting it right. The problem starts when you aren’t able to follow them, leaving you feeling like you failed and you have to make up for it. Or start over gain. Hello, Monday Diet Starts.
Food rules make your everyday life uncomfortable. All of a sudden they interact with your social life; no brunch or breakfast dates if you are on an intermittent fasting journey, they may be time-consuming; everything has to be cooked from scratch, and no processed foods; unless it is the processed powder or snack bar they are selling to you.
They also come with the “rebel” card - if I already messed it up, it doesn’t matter what I eat now, so I’ll eat anything that I am not normally allowed to eat.
Leaving you going from restriction to binge and back and forth.
So why is it important to nurture a positive relationship with food and what it is? When no foods are off the limits they lose their attractiveness and you will be able to make decisions based on what feels good and what’s the best you can do right now.
Why right now? Because you might be put in situations where you cannot choose what to eat - like hospital stays, vacations or festivities. Here you can choose to feel guilty for not meeting your standards and letting yourself down or to listen to your body and eat only as much as it feels good. Because when you know no food is off limits, that chocolate cake won’t be as desirable when you are already feeling full and you know you can have it whenever you wish.
Every new item will lose its shine after a while. A new car will be just a car after a while. Hearing I Love You after 10 years of marriage won’t be as exciting as the first time. Same as eating your favourite chocolate cake 3 days in a row, just because you can eat as much as you like doesn’t mean that you will desire to do so.
The less you limit, the less you binge, and the more you can listen to your body, the healthier you’ll be.