I shared this tip about how to eat without dieting and got such great feedback! So I’m sharing it again here. It’s so easy to get lost in diet culture to the point where YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO EAT ANYMORE! I’ve been there and sometimes I still have to remind myself that it’s okay to be a little lost. A rocky history with dieting can make eating confusing, but doing this really helped me (and continues to!)
How to Eat Without Dieting
The biggest issue I see when people stop dieting is that they don’t know know what to eat/how much to eat/when to eat anymore! But eating is SO MUCH LESS COMPLICATED when we can learn from someone who has a healthy relationship with food. If you want to challenge yourself and make eating without dieting as simple as possible, this is a simple trick that I love and that WORKS.
Start with an Example:
Who do you know that has a healthy relationship with food? (Not someone who’s good at dieting, but someone whose relationship with food you admire because they can easily do what makes them happy.) Instead of trying to figure out what a healthy relationship with food looks like all on your own, see what they do! One of my favorite parts of seeing intuitive eating in real life is you see that healthy relationships with food are way further from being “perfect” than you originally thought 😉
Honestly, do you think that people who eat intuitively and have naturally positive relationships with food have better self-control around food than you? Do they restrict better than you? Do they diet better than you do? No way! Intuitive eaters trust their bodies AND minds enough to do what makes them happy AND healthy without dieting. One of my favorite podcast episodes on this topic is right here.
The Big Tip: Make Your Plate as if You’re Making it for Someone You Love
So back to that example Pick a person you know well and pretend the plate is for them, not you! THEN, eat it yourself. The big eye-opener here? You can easily see how much you restrict yourself vs. how you feed the people you love. I’ve spent so much time making delicious meals and treats for other people, but I never used to allow myself to eat them! (No wonder dieting made me so unhappy, am I right?)
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Ask Yourself These Questions:
When you don’t know how to feed yourself, what would you make for someone you love? Would you skip the delicious things because they’re “too scary”? Would you give them super tiny portions because they don’t deserve to eat more? OF COURSE NOT! You would want the best for them!
Think of someone you know well, who has a healthy relationship with food (or if you don’t know someone, imagine you’re eating with a friend who does). It makes the BIGGEST difference. It’s a simple way to flip the switch and turn the tables on YOU.
- Don’t know what you even like? What does someone you love really like? Start there.
- Don’t know how much to portion? How much does someone you love eat? Start there.
- Don’t know when to eat? How often does someone you love eat? Start there.
When Can You Use This Strategy?
- Use it when ordering at restaurants. (What would they order?)
- Use it when eating at parties. (What would they grab from the buffet?)
- Use it when making lunch or dinner or breakfast. (What would they make?)
- USE IT WHEN YOU NEED A WAY TO GET OUT OF YOUR OWN HEAD.
The person that I use in this strategy is my boyfriend, Mick, because he has the healthiest relationship with food of anyone I know and it has taken my food freedom to new levels!
What’s Next to Stop Dieting?
When you’ve used this trick to help you shift away from dieting, then you’ll want to put your attention on intuitive eating.
The Dos and Don’ts of Intuitive Eating:
Do: eat when you’re hungry.
Don’t: feel like you can only eat when you’re hungry.
Do: nourish your body with nutritious foods.
Don’t: feel like all of your meals have to be the most nutritious meals ever.
Do: eat the way that makes you feel good.
Don’t: feel like you have to eat in any specific, restrictive way.
A hugely important thing is to know that you can start off super simple! You can work your way up to bigger challenges later. Trust me, you don’t need to go from total restriction to total freedom all at once. Take baby steps (what’s the least scary of the scary things right now?) and then do that instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the things. Right now, we’re just trying to get started. Perfection is not important one bit.