Diets Suck. Here’s How To Make Your Own Good-For-You Food Rules Instead
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Don’t look now…you might just get caught.
If you’re not too careful, the diet police might come after you.
The what police now, you say?
You know…the well-meaning friend who gives you the judgy side-eye every time you order a burger (extra cheese, please) and fries.
The self-righteous co-worker who derives pleasure from invalidating your food choices whenever lunchtime rolls around simply because it’s not ‘clean’ enough.
And then there’s that workout buddy who gets really passive-aggressive whenever you order the salad because it makes you feel good but makes him feel bad for wanting pasta.
However, just because these people come across as mean and judgmental, it doesn’t mean that they intentionally are.
In fact, they’re probably reacting this way because they’re scared, insecure or just unsure about themselves and their own food choices in some way.
But let’s leave that discussion for another day because today’s message isn’t about them.
It’s about YOU.
Specifically, it’s about you eating in a way that feels good and is good for you while giving zero fudges about what other people think.
YOUR BODY, YOUR RULES.
Whatever your goal is, eating well shouldn’t have to involve you playing by someone else’s one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter rule book.
Instead of forcing yourself to follow a diet that’s not right for you, you could (and should) be designing your own.
FOOD RULE #1: Eat what you like.
No matter how healthy something is, if you dread eating it or end up feeling deprived, it’s not going to stick, so it’s crucial that you build your meals around foods that you can, are willing and able to eat.
FOOD RULE #2: Eat foods make you feel good.
Pay attention to how certain foods make you feel. Do you feel bloated after a meal?
Do you feel fuller for longer? Do you feel satisfied minus the bloat? Are you more energized or drowsy after lunch?
How can you add more of the feel-good foods to your meals?
FOOD RULE #3: Merge the feel-good and good-for-you.
Embarking on a mission to eat what you like is no license to eat fried chicken and waffles every single day.
It’s more about striking a balance between textures, flavors and nutrients that you look forward to eating and are good for you.
FOOD RULE #4: Make sure they’re easy to get.
Is the organically-grown kale you want easily available from the nearby farmer’s market or will you have to drive an hour out of town to get it?
The less convenient it is to get something from the store and onto your plate, you’ve guessed it: It’s not going to stick, so be sure to take accessibility into consideration.
FOOD RULE #5: Pay attention to your eating style.
Do you prefer to sit down to enjoy a meal while taking a breather or scarf down your (very portable) burrito in-between meetings?
The foods you choose will also depend on how, where and when you like eat.
There’s no point prepping meals that call for having your butt in a chair and utensils in your hands when you’d much rather grab and go.
FOOD RULE #6: Figure out your food goals.
Fat loss. Muscle gain. Running a marathon. Becoming a powerlifter. Getting a leaner waistline.
Recovering from an eating disorder. Eating for pleasure. Reducing painful, chronic inflammation in your body.
All of us eat the foods we do, the way we do for different, deeply personal reasons.
Once you know yours, it’ll make eating better a whole lot easier.
Maybe you’re drawing up a new eating plan from scratch. Maybe you’re into keto, paleo or veganism.
Maybe you’re a foodie who just wants to be able to eat everything without going overboard and gaining a ton of weight.
Or maybe you’ve been struggling with your weight for a really long time and are looking for a way of eating that will help you get leaner without restrictive dieting.
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet that will work for everyone, but there is one daily practice that can help you figure out your next steps: Learning how to listen to your body.
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START HEALING YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD
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Featured image: Outcast India / Unsplash