Breaking Free from Restrictive Eating

I completed the Whole30 back in January, and loved it. It honestly changed the way I saw food (eating only whole foods for a month will do that to a person 😉) and it jump-started a new way of eating. At the end of the program, I was feeling SO GOOD that I never wanted to stop.

But the reality is, it wasn’t a sustainable way for ME to nourish my body for life. Even the Whole30 creators discourage making the program a lifelong diet, and for good reason.

Removing inflammatory foods (dairy, soy, grains, & sugar) during the program allowed gut-healing that my body needed. This was the most beneficial part of Whole30 that I experienced. And the slow detox was a huge added benefit.

I’m so glad I completed the program. But, for anyone who has also completed it or is considering it, I encourage you to be mindful of your thoughts towards “approved” and “unapproved” foods.

What do I mean by this?

Healthy eating isn’t about following a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”.

Yes, there are healthy and unhealthy foods, but the mentality of approved and unapproved foods is a restricting way of food’s value, and can create a lot of emotional tension (i.e. guilt) from not making perfect choices every day. This mentality leads to seeing food as good or bad, which shouldn’t be the case at all.

I found that it is easy to go down the road of binge eating and other unhealthy emotional eating patterns when there are so many restrictions around food. So for myself, I no longer think of food as being approved by any program or diet, but rather try to see food for it’s nutritional value and what benefit it can offer my body.

Previously, I would create meals from any combination of whole foods. As long as they were free of sugar, soy, gluten, and dairy, I thought it was the perfect meal. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Sure, avocados, bananas, eggs, and walnuts are all healthful whole foods; but if this is what I’m primarily living on, my body will be lacking some serious nutrients.

So where am I now?

I’m still a whole foodie, but my focus is on what macro- & micronutrients my body needs (based on body type, energy output, and fitness goals). For more information on the basics of nutrition, check out Natural Balance Foods post, “What Are Macronutrients and Micronutrients“. Here is a reference to calculate your own macros:

I am still eating primarily whole-foods. If I had to put a label on it, I would classify my way of eating as Paleo. But our eating habits are more than a diet; its a way of a life, a mentality. And no one size fits all. This is where I suggest intuitive eating! It’s all about listening to what your body needs.

So what does this look like?

Personally, I’m very active and my focus is on the proportion of fats, protein, and carbs my body needs to fuel each day. My meals look a bit different every day, but I prioritize fruit, vegetables, greens, high-quality meats, and fermented foods. And I even freely eat foods like peanut butter, certain grains, french fries, and sugar at times (not whole30 approved). 😱 Balance, friends.

I’m stronger than I’ve ever been before, have more energy, my autoimmunity still in remission, skin glowing, gut healing, and I feel pretty amazing.

So here I am, just trying to live my healthiest life, giving my body what it needs, and indulging in the occasional dessert without the guilt. It’s such a freeing way to live!

I encourage you to break free from restrictive eating if you find yourself there. It’s not a healthy or happy place to be mentally, spiritually, or emotionally.

If you’re on a journey towards intuitive eating as well, I’d love for you to comment with your own story. ❤️

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shaun Jones says:

    I had a restrictive eating plan when I did 80 Day Obsession through Beachbody. I also felt the same way when you said you see food differently. I really started to and it made me feel guilty even if I was near it or thought about it. Now I’m finally off the program and being more mindful of what I’m eating but also not shaming myself for eating something bad. It really is a lifestyle and it takes a lot to maintain. Thanks for sharing your story. If your interested. I share my experience in my blog on my 80 Day Obsession page and my post called Indulgence Guilt.

    Like

    1. I’m so happy to hear about your progress! The intention of these programs is great for sure and lead to positive changes, but I agree it’s easy to feel guilty for not eating “correctly” when the program is over. I can’t wait to check out your page, thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Shaun Jones says:

        No! Thank you for sharing! For so long, I thought it was just me having these thoughts. It’s nice to so others are struggling too.

        Liked by 1 person

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