I love food. My family tells me I’m a “good eater.”
But when I was in the dieting, I didn’t like eating. It was stressful and I didn’t feel in control. I felt like my friends were judging me when I would binge or eat unhealthy foods (even though they probably didn’t even notice).
It was awful.
Does this sound familiar? Is this something you’re struggling with?
Well, you don’t have to. And you shouldn’t.
What is a diet mindset?
If you have a diet mindset, you:
- See foods as “good” or “bad”
- Tell yourself you can’t have certain foods
- Feel guilty when you eat the “bad” foods
- Are constantly saying that you need to eat healthier
When you have a healthy relationship with food, you:
- Are in control of your food choices
- Stop eating when you’re satisfied
- Include all foods in moderation
- Don’t feel guilty when you overeat or eat unhealthier foods
You can have a diet mindset or have a healthy relationship with food, but you can’t have both.
Why you need to break the diet mindset
You won’t successfully lose weight with dieting.
The diet mindset will throw you into (or keep you in) the yo-yo dieting trap, where you go on a diet, lose weight, get fed up with the diet, and gain all the weight (and more) back.
I’ve been there before; the dieting trap sucks.
And I wasn’t able to be happy and keep weight off until I switched my mindset; until I was finally able to give up dieting.
Related: Dieting Sucks
Now it’s time for you to break the diet mindset
- ADD foods to your diet, don’t RESTRICT them.
Put your focus on including more healthy foods into your diet. Don’t have foods that you’re not allowed to eat.
Here are a few examples:
- Drink more water, rather than restricting soda
- Include a vegetable with dinner, rather than not eating carbs
- Choose whole grains rather than restricting bread
- Add a fruit or veggie to your snack, rather than saying no chips
This means that you CAN have soda and breads and carbs and chips. Those foods are not restricted. Your focus is on adding water, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
- Remember that all foods, in moderation, can be included in a healthy diet.
A healthy diet doesn’t mean that all you eat are fruits, vegetables, 100% whole grains, and skinless chicken breasts.
Eating a variety of foods is way healthier in my mind. You’ll be more satisfied, you’ll be happier, and you’ll get different micronutrients and phytonutrients.
- Listen to your body.
Eat until you’re satisfied. Learn what that means for you.
Understand why you’re eating. It may not always be hunger. It could be boredom, stress, sadness, or simply because there is food available.
Focus on how you feel after eating different foods. And fall in love fueling yourself with foods that make you feel good, mentally and physically.
Related: Mindful Eating Series
Developing a healthy relationship with food is something that will stick. It won’t be a battle or a struggle or a frustration.
You can be happy and healthy and love food. But not with a diet mindset.