I started the day browsing a few blogs this morning, when I came across a few articles attempting to put a label on the “perfect diet”. It got me thinking to my past and how I was on a true quest to find that “perfect diet” that would automatically make me into a happy person (false, a diet will not help you become happy).
There is a certain trap many of us fall into when eating healthy. No, I’m not talking about the dreaded comparison trap. I’m talking about a different trap, the diet trap. It’s when we start to label our food as “good or bad”.
There are so many different “rules” for the healthiest way to eat that we see everywhere. We hear them from all different resources as well, and when there is “scientific evidence” to back it up, it’s easy to fall into that trap.
I’m pretty sure we could all name many of the different “diet traps” out there. low carb diets, don’t eat after 7 PM, high protein diets, no carbs after noon, low fat diets, food combining diets. I could go on and on about the different diet types, and the pros and cons of each one.
There are numerous varieties of food I have neglected because of beliefs I adopted into my lifestyle. While recovering from my eating disorder, I developed these beliefs about certain food items and would insist there is not way in hell I will ever eat x food. There are certain diets that eliminate an entire food group because they “make you gain weight or are unhealthy”.
It scares me how many young woman and men fall across these diet types and become consumed by them, follow their rules and never deviate from them. In return they feel guilt, frustration, depression, and negative thoughts. Restriction becomes the norm and it is so easy to develop an unhealthy relationship with your food. This is certainly true for me and what I have experienced. Even now I still struggle with the “diet trap”.
When we get involved in such restrictive behaviour with our eating habits, it may start out with us thinking we have control over what we are eating; it turns out that eating now controls us. It controls the way we behave, our thoughts, and even our self talk.
When we restrict our diet and eliminate an entire food group, it is obvious our bodies will lose weight simply because we have removed a food group from our diet. If we begin to eat this again, our bodies will gain the weight back and that can cause a lot of stress within people.
Eating should be the most natural thing to us, but instead it becomes quite complicated.we make it quite complicated. There is so much conflict over what is “right and wrong” in what we “should” consume. However, we are all different. We all vary in our lifestyles. We differ in genetics, size, fitness, food likes and dislikes and that’s the way it is meant to be. Doesn’t it then make sense that we all require a different diet?
Restricting calories seems like an easy way to lose weight, but its not that healthiest. When we under nourish our bodies too much our bodies will fight back and leave us feeling stress, anxiety, fatigue, muscle weakness, and other negative consequences.
So, what can we do to undo this unhealthy “diet trap” mindset? Start developing new beliefs. Change your mindset. Give into the control and start to unlock negative beliefs by digging into them, understanding where they came from.
Some people thrive off lots of carbs, while others feel that protein works what is best for them. Its astonishing how many people are searching for that “perfect” diet and can’t accept the fact that no one can answer this question for them. No trainer, nutritionist, or therapist. Its your body that will tell you what is right. You may need to go through many trial and error periods, but if you rely on your body you will find the answer.
Start respecting your body. Enjoy the food you consume, it is nourishing your every cell, providing you energy for the day. Feel beautiful and fit. No matter what size you are. No matter what your fitness goals are, or how far you have to go in your journey. Be present, and realize you are a great person as you are now without “needing” to lose or gain weight”.
Let go and live a balanced lifestyle. Listen to your body and not what other people tell you to eat or not eat. Does your body need more rest, carbs, protein, etc? Once we start listening to our bodies and turn around the negative beliefs we have about certain foods, our minset will change with it and getting past the diet trap will follow. You won’t need to compare your food choices with others because you will know what works for you.
Now that I’ve been listening more to my body, instead of feeding it with minimal calories, intense exercise every day, and never giving it rest days, I’m finally starting to realize what worls for me! I’m clearly not there yet, but it is becoming more apparent each day. Whatever your lifestyle choices are, just make sure you are doing what is right for your body and not what is right for someone else’s. There is a correct way for you to eat…it’s just a matter of you finding it.
Have you been able to find what lifestyle choices best suit your body?
Do you believe that there is one diet for everyone or that we are all different?