Fixing my own relationship with food has been a very big journey
I now really enjoy helping other people find freedom to choose the foods they enjoy.
Step 1) Give yourself permission to eat anything you like!
This is the starting point.
A lot of people are very fearful of this idea,
they believe if they do this they will overeat.
This may happen at first, but let it happen.
Get it out of your system!
The bare truth is we will always want the forbidden fruit.
We will crave certain foods if we are always denying ourselves the things we really want to eat.
Put an end to over-restriction.
Step 2) Get rid of the ‘good food’ ‘bad food’ mindset.
No food at all is inherently ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
It is an accumulation of our choices of food, drink and exercise over a period of time that dictate our health.
If we stick to a rough 80/20 ratio with our food choices, coupled with plenty of moving and decent sleep we will be about right.
Around 80% lower calorie, less processed food and around 20% higher calorie, so called ‘junk’ type food.
Eating food you enjoy, having a pizza sometimes or some beers with your friends is not ‘bad’.
It is the decision that we have ‘blown it’ and to dive into sabotage mode that causes us to gain weight or to not make progress.
Giving ourselves permission to eat or drink what we want to and removing the restriction/guilt cycle is liberating.
Step 3) Have an iterative mindset.
I got this term from Sigma Nutrition Radio Episode 335 with Danny Lennon, there is a link to the podcasts here;
Basically, it is about adapting your mindset to your changing circumstances.
For example; you may track your calories, you have the time and the resources to do so and it is working for you.
Then life changes, you get a new, more demanding job, you have a baby, anything really,
you no longer have the time to track your calories.
The trick then is not to throw in the towel, but to find another approach you do have time for,
an approach that still allows you to move towards your goal and to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
The principles of food will never change but the methods may change based on your lifestyle.
Be prepared to adapt your methods based on your current situation whilst sticking to the principles you need to, to get the results you want.
Step 4) Have a continual awareness of food building up over time.
Start learning to be continually aware of your food choices over a day, over a week.
Do not be restrictive but be aware of your overall intake and how that aligns with your current goals.
As your awareness of your food intake increases you will be able to make better decisions.
If you have an event coming up you could adjust your food choices in preparation.
I had a friend’s 30th this weekend, we had cake, plenty of beer and all sorts of other delicious food.
I was not terribly restrictive last week but as I knew this weekend would be a big one,
I had lower calorie breakfasts and lunches, I was more alert and careful around my snacking.
As you become more and more aware, you will be able to better handle life events,
enjoy going out with friends and family without fear!