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Let’s ditch the diet and learn how to nourish our bodies from a place of love, not restriction, judgment, or overwhelm. In this video, I’m sharing 3 tips to help you break free from dieting so you can learn how to listen to your body + heal your relationship with food.
As a nutrition coach, I help women heal their relationship with food and discover a stress-free way to nourish their bodies. And with this video I want to help you do the same.
Here are 3 nutrition tips that will help you ditch the diet and discover food freedom this year.
Instead of seeing food as “good” vs “bad” or as a “punishment” or “reward” let’s lean into this idea that food is nourishment, food is medicine, food is healing. Food gives us an opportunity to celebrate life with the people we love, to experience different cultures, and energize our bodies so we can show up feeling healthy, vibrant, and free. Labeling food as “good” vs “bad” can be really tricky. It’s kinda like the saying goes, “you are what you eat” so if I’ve decided that a cookie is bad, and I eat the cookie, I’m not going to feel too great about myself. Or I’m going to feel like I need to do something GOOD in order to earn that cookie as a reward. The reverse of that can feel overwhelming too. Like if I do something “bad” like missing a workout or eating cake on my birthday, I may feel like I need to do something good to counteract it by skipping my next meal or working out double time next time I’m in the gym. And friend, that is not food freedom!! There is nothing freeing about enjoying a piece of cake only to punish yourself in the gym later for it. So what can we do instead? Well first we toss the labels! Food isn’t as black and white as we were taught to believe. And I really believe that every food has a place. Which leads me to tip #2.
Typically, when we go on a diet we’re going to restrict or remove certain foods or food groups altogether and stick to the parameters of whatever diet it is we’re following. Diets can be beneficial in ways like they give us a clear focus, they help us know exactly what to eat, and they might even provide some community support with people who are in it with us and that can feel empowering. AND ALSO, diets can fail us.
Food isn’t always as black and white as we were taught to believe. And we all have a relationship with food and something there’s trauma or wounds within that relationship or beliefs about food that actually don’t benefit us anymore. I know for me, when I was in college, I developed a lot of fear and anxiety around food in an effort to be “healthy.” I was struggling with intense cystic acne, chronic pain, gut issues, burnout, and depression and was trying to be so perfect in the foods I ate and supplements I took because I thought if I could just cut out all the bad stuff and eat the good stuff, I would feel better. So I cut out dairy, gluten, soy, processed foods and sugar but honestly, I just felt worse because I was so stressed trying to do it all. I was hyper focusing on what I was eating but I wasn’t prioritizing things like my sleep – I was only getting about 4 hours of sleep a night, my thoughts were in a dark place – I was feeling a lot of guilt and shame around food and was beating myself up a lot for everything I did or didn’t do.
After 3 years of dieting like that in college I got to a place of burnout and just said okay screw this. I’m going to eat everything, I’m not going to eliminate anything but instead, I’m going to focus on eating the highest quality foods I can find & afford and that’s it. From there, I started focusing my energy on healing my relationship with food, getting good sleep at night, rewriting my thoughts, and learning how to like myself. And I just kinda started thinking, what if it’s NOT about restricting or removing certain food groups? What if instead of following every trendy new diet, I just ate real, whole foods and learned about the vitamins and minerals that are in our foods and started listening to my body and my body’s cravings.
That’s kinda the journey I want us to take together here on YouTube. I want you to feel so empowered and to really know how to listen to your body and trust your gut because you’re so capable of it and you’re so worthy of feeling good in your own skin. So we’re going to dive more into these Nourishing Food Freedom Tips each week!
Anyways, tip #2 is to prioritize quality before eliminating foods from your diet. Before you eliminate something like fat (because we were told, “fat makes you fat”), up the quality of the fats you’re eating. Swap seed oils like canola, corn, and sunflower oils for single-origin, organic, and cold pressed olive, avocado, and coconut oils and even real foods full of fats like fish, avocados, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts. I’m even a big fan of organic, grass-fed butter and other dairy products. So instead of eliminating foods, I swap them for the highest quality, organic, whole foods I can find!!! And that feels so abundant and freeing. Like, there’s so much you CAN eat and it CAN be so simple and fun!
Another example of this is sugar. I eat sugar. But instead of putting granulated sugar in my coffee, I use maple syrup! And it’s soooo good. It’s warm and cozy and actually adds more flavor to my coffee so chef’s kiss.
Last but not least:
With every bite you take, slow down and really taste your food. Savor it. Enjoy it! Take a few deep breaths as you eat. Because by doing so, you’re helping your body calm down – you’re calming your nervous system – so you can better digest and absorb the nutrients in your food. We are meant to enjoy food! Food tastes so good!!! And when you slow down at meals, you’ll feel grounded and at ease. Every meal can be this opportunity to slow down and take a few deep breaths. You’ll even be able to pick up on certain cues like when you feel full or when you’re eating something that doesn’t quite hit right and those are important cues to pick up on! So by slowing down and savoring every bite, we give ourselves the opportunity to check in, listen to our bodies, and enjoy everything on our plate.
So as we ditch the diet this year, we’re going to get rid of the “good” vs “bad” labels, we’re going to prioritize the quality of what we’re eating before eliminating foods from our diet, and lastly, we’re going to savor every bite as we celebrate food and use it as a tool to nourish our bodies with love.
And with that friend, I’m wrapping this video up. Make sure you hit subscribe because there are so many more food freedom tips and tools I want to share with you. But for now, I’m signing off and sending you so much love. You are enough and I hope you feel empowered to ditch the diet and discover food freedom. Bye friend.