Remove the labels. Remove the “shoulds”, “shouldn’ts”, “cheat foods”, “clean foods”, “diet foods”, “healthy foods” from your vocabulary. Give yourself permission to eat what you want, but also slow down and take notice of how food makes you feel. Do you enjoy the taste? Do you feel energized after eating it? Are you enjoying the experience? Remember, you are not ‘good’ because you drank a kale smoothie today and you’re not ‘bad’ because you ate cake. Becoming aware of how food is making you feel is more empowering than any label.
Slow down and savor your food. Engage your senses when eating and become present with meals. Make eating an experience you enjoy that brings pleasure by nourishing your body, mind, and soul.
Embrace spontaneity. Call a friend and grab a bite to eat. Avoid over-planning or over- thinking about details. Ask yourself, “What am I in the mood for?” Don’t order the salad just because you think you should…and don’t order the burger because others are ordering it. Ask yourself what do YOU want and what will feel good for your body. Maybe it is the salad….maybe it is the burger.
Remove diet clutter in your life. Go through your bookshelf and magazine stacks, ditch the ones that promise quick fix diet solutions. Purge your social media accounts and unfollow anyone promoting quick fix diets and weight loss solutions.
Participate in movement that feels fun and joyful. If you enjoy group exercise classes, pay attention to the environment. Is the instructor or trainer positive and uplifting or do they practice motivation through body shaming? Exercise should make you feel good both on the inside and out! What words are you filling your mind with as you move your body.
Write a breakup letter to your diet. Seriously. This might sound silly, but trust me—it’s empowering! Tell your diet why you won’t let it control your life. Thank it for what it’s taught you but let it know it’s no longer working. It likely stopped working long ago. Explain how you want to be your best and it’s not helping at all. Be bold. Tell your old dieting self you love and respect your body, mind, and health too much and it (or he or she) has got to go.
Lynda Binius Enright, MS, RD, CLT is certified as a Wellness Coach and LEAP Therapist who partners with women who want to look and feel amazing by helping them lose weight and reduce inflammation which can cause fatigue, bloating, acid reflux, congestion, brain fog or achy joints. For FREE meal planning ideas to help you eat well, lose weight and reduce inflammation – click here to get Ten Meals In A Bag.