Chances are, you’ve followed a diet before. Maybe, you’re a chronic dieter and have been trying different diets for years. Well, how’s that working out for you? If you’ve struggled with yo-yo dieting, binge eating, emotional eating or any type of food challenge, then I want to encourage you to try something new – eating for nourishment.
When you stop trusting your body’s hunger signals and depend on someone else’s guidelines for eating – dieting – a strange thing happens. You start to obsess over food, your weight, calories, carbs – it may be all you think about! And this results in developing an unhealthy relationship with food. This type of eating comes from a place of fear and is based on deprivation.
But there’s a better way!
Nourishing your body comes from a place of love and self acceptance, and a focus on enriching your body and mind. Its aim is to develop a positive and compassionate relationship between food, body and mind.
Dieting vs. Nourishment
If you want to determine where your relationship with food is right now, and if you tend to follow a dieting approach or a nourishing approach, take a look at this chart and compare the two:
You can see that the main difference between dieting and eating for nourishment is really about your relationship with yourself – do you treat your body with love, compassion and acceptance? Or do you try to restrict, guilt and punish your way to a better body?
Eating for nourishment goes beyond the physical act of eating with an aim of restriction or weight loss. Instead, it involves acknowledging that we deserve to love ourselves while catering to our physical and psychological needs. It values the fact that food is nourishment, and is to be used in a way that fuels us for living our lives and enjoying our time on this planet!
So if you’re ready to quit dieting and start eating for nourishment, here are 3 simple steps to follow:
Eating for Nourishment
1. Make a list of foods you find nourishing and nurturing
What food makes you feel energized? What meal really satisfies you?
Make a list of your favourite whole grains, fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds and proteins.
If you're feeling stuck, check out my blog post on Healthy Eating for Emotional Eaters
2. Eat these foods to fuel and energize you approximately 80% of the time
Focus on what’s going to give you the most energy to get you through the day.
Don’t skip meals and eat enough to keep you mentally alert.
3. Allow yourself to eat non-nourishing food (junk food) 20% of the time
Let go of the “perfect diet” – because perfection doesn’t exist!
When you allow yourself to eat yummy food that you really enjoy, you won’t develop intense cravings caused by deprivation.
Ultimately, following these steps can help you overcome your eating challenges and heal your relationship with food! The key is to find the balance between eating mostly nourishing, energizing food while still allowing yourself to incorporate and enjoy tasty, less-nourishing food into your eating.