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One of the worst feelings, is possibly the feeling of being restricted around certain foods and food groups. Food restriction often leads to feelings of deprivation, and in turn, this can lead to vicious, unhealthy eating cycles of bingeing, purging, over-exercising, and more. If you want to live a happy, healthy, balanced life, working towards total food freedom is key. This might sound impossible to you if your relationship with food has always been fraught, but over time and with determination, you can do it. Let’s get started and take a look at how you can begin working towards this new attitude today:
- Forget Everything You Think You Know About Food
Start by forgetting everything you know about food. Carbs are not bad, and you can eat at any time of day – you definitely don’t have to stop after 6pm. Forget all of this toxic diet culture nonsense.
- Figure Out How To Put Balanced Meals Together
Now, figure out how to put balanced meals together. Have fun with herbs and spices. Include protein, carbs, and fats. Experient with new ideas, like this Mexican sopes recipe here. Get into cooking yourself more nutrient dense, filling meals.
- Allow A Few Snacks
Snacking is ok, but remember that if you feel the need to snack a lot of the time, then you’re probably not eating enough at meal times. When you’re getting enough with each meal, you will feel less tempted to fill up on snacks that will never leave you satiated. When you do snack, don’t judge yourself. Try to consider what will satisfy you in that moment. Carrots and hummus are a great snack and very nutrient dense, but if what you really want is a cookie, have the cookie. If you resist the cookie and feel deprived, this is where the issues start – many will end up eating the packet to make up for it.
- Consider Energy Balance
With everything you eat, consider energy balance. It’s not about labeling foods good or bad, it’s about carefully considering how they will fuel you and how good you will feel afterwards. This should help you to make better decisions.
- Don’t Label Yourself
Many people label themselves, whether that’s ‘vegan’, or something else. Avoiding meat products is a wonderful act for both the planet and the animals, but labels come with problems. They instantly force us to stick to a certain set of rules, which again, can make us feel restricted and like we need to break the rules. By not labelling yourself but not eating meat anyway, you will feel freer and able to make better choices.
- Focus Less On The Way Your Body Looks
Focus on how your body performs, rather than how it looks. Consume things that you know give you long term, slow release energy, rather than spikes and dips. Appreciate your body for how it performs. Don’t make decisions based on aesthetics alone.
- Try Allowing Any Food Without Conditions
Never say ‘I can have this cookie but I have to go for a run’. Allow food without conditions. You deserve to eat, even if you have barely moved all day. It’s all about getting into a healthier mindset, and from this place, you will be able to make the best choices for your health, rather than choices based on feeling deprived.