Diet culture today has made a moral issue out of ‘clean eating’ and created a misleading perception for us that foods must be either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This is called food shaming. It leads many towards restrictive eating patterns, rigid diet rules, and an avoidance of physical hunger to seek or maintain an ultra thin ideal
Working as a nutritionist for over a decade, I have witnessed and experienced how balance with food is NEVER healthfully sustained through restriction. Nor is it ever sustained through mindless overeating, ignoring your physical fullness, or sabotaging the nutritional quality and diversity of your diet
Restrictive and rigid eating can make you feel IN CONTROL and may even produce some results, for a period of time. In the long term, restrictive eating often ends with feelings of deprivation and repressed physical urges followed by binging episodes (often later at night when control starts waning). For others, they are actually too successful, creating physical malnutrition paired with a polarized, unbalanced relationship with food
Just remember this: It is only the psychological part of you that wants to restrict or control. Your biological self appreciates the taste of food, can appropriately regulate its consumption, and only seeks to maintain its health
Balance comes when you mindfully choose foods which synergize with your body’s current needs. Using physical hunger to guide your eating decisions helps to reduce the urge to restrict for a sense of artificial control. Practicing self compassion allows you to meet yourself where you currently are without all the shame, judgement, and self loathing we put ourselves through. It also gets you closer to your goal over time with grace and ease.