Lately I’ve been posting my favorite lunch and dinner meals on social media. I received a comment recently that someone was inspired by my meal ideas and wanted to eat the way I do, which is amazing! But then I got to thinking, that I might be sending out the wrong message because, a picture doesn’t tell the WHOLE story…
What you don’t see when I post a plate filled with colorful veggies, is the peanut butter toast I had on the side…or the ice cream bar I had one hour later. Because, it’s what I wanted in the moment and since I don’t follow a strict plan or have rules around food, I can listen to what my body wants and needs to feel satisfied.
I choose to eat the way I do because it feels the best for MY body.
If you are using social media or scrolling through recipes online to get motivation to eat healthier, then great! But, if you are desperately looking to find your next diet, or thinking you should follow someone else’s meal plan, because it’s working for them, then it might be time to re-evaluate where your motivation is coming from. Remember that a set meal plan that works for one person, might not be meant for you.
I followed many different diets through the years, tried shakes, cleanses, counted macros, tracked my food meticulously and created certain food rules, but the restrictive mentality left me constantly feeling anxious around food, leading me to binge eat.
Today, I have a whole different relationship with food. Food no longer consumes my mind and I have no urges to overeat, mostly because I no longer restrict, have food rules, or follow a particular diet. Letting go of dieting, allowed me to gain my POWER back over food. I eat a lot of whole foods, like the meals you might see me posting on social media, because I crave them! My body feels nourished, satisfied and energetic when I eat this way, but I also incorporate foods I love that used to be “off-limits” like granola, ice cream and french fries (homemade, using my air fryer of course!). These foods used to be triggers for me, because I restricted them, but now that I allow them to be a part of my day if I want them, they lost their power.
If you’re looking to gain your power back over food, with a healthier mindset, instead of jumping onto the next diet, looking for a quick fix or following a plan that worked for someone else, try taking a step back and eat foods that feel good for YOU in the present moment.
If you feel like you need a plan to follow, because it makes you feel better, then write your own plan based on foods that satisfy you. If you have a weakness for potato chips, then have a serving with your sandwich or salad at lunch, so that eventually the chips will lose their power. After a while, you might find that you no longer crave them. Make sure you are adding a variety of foods so you are meeting your nutrient requirements, but more importantly, so that you STOP thinking about food! When you are restricting and dieting, food will consume your mind, as you constantly think about what you can and can’t eat. But when you let dieting go and you’re eating adequately, food won’t be at the forefront of your mind.
Even if you have weight to lose, let the dieter’s mentality go. Trust that once you take your focus off restriction, the easier it will become to listen to what your body truly NEEDS.