Fitting All Your Favorites into a Healthy Eating Plan

Tell me if this sounds familiar.  You are about to embark on the latest diet plan of the moment.  This diet requires you to avoid eating certain food that you love most; maybe that’s pasta, chocolate cake, or in some cases, even fruit is forbidden.  You assign a date for which you are going to “start” this plan and in the days leading up to the “start” you overindulge in all the foods you love that you will have to give up while you are on this diet.  Why do you put yourself through this torture?

Intuitive eating restricts no foods.  It encourages learning to make a place for all your favorites by exercising your right to honor your hunger, while still respecting your fullness.  Eat healthfully but allow yourself to enjoy food without punishing yourself or feeling guilty.  If you truly want a bagel for breakfast, then by all means, have a bagel; but tune in.  You may find that once you take the label off that bagel, half will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Food should not make you feel bad.  Diet plans foster this mentality if you decide to eat something that is not on “the diet,” conjuring up words like “cheating” and “falling off”—both negative terms that take away from the joy that those foods can and should bring you.  Yet when you are eating intuitively and giving yourself permission to eat any food, how much and how often you eat that food completely changes.  You are mentally more clear and less stressed about what you eat, which usually leads to better eating habits in the long run.

So don’t forbid your favorite foods.  Everything can be part of a healthy eating plan as long as you are listening to your hunger and fullness signals.

Your turn to take action: What food do you love that you have given up in the past?

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10 replies
    • Bonnie R. Giller
      Bonnie R. Giller says:

      Ouch, Jessica. You gave up all solid food! Girl, we need to talk!:) No one should have to do that to get the body and health they want!

      Reply
  1. Anna Jeanine @ Mystic Comfort
    Anna Jeanine @ Mystic Comfort says:

    My chiropractor/health practitioner has me on an elimination diet right now to try to improve my digestion. Gluten-free and dairy-free, but also very low-carb! When I indulge, it’s usually in one of those forbidden areas. But actually, I think I could make it work if I could remove the low-carb part of it. That’s the hardest part. Eating meat by itself when I would rather make a sandwich. Not eating toast at breakfast, when I would like a piece. OTOH, it seems to be helping me, digestion-wise, so I am trying to put up with it! 🙂

    Reply
    • Bonnie R. Giller
      Bonnie R. Giller says:

      Interesting Anna. But can you live like this forever? Depending on what GI issue you are dealing with, an low FODMAP diet short term might be a great idea to determine your particular food triggers. If you are interested, you can learn more about it on my website at http://www.brghealth.com . From the homepage, you can click on FODMAPs.

      Reply
  2. Kina Diaz DeLeon
    Kina Diaz DeLeon says:

    I try to eat intuitively, however, because of mental health issues including a binge eating disorder, so there are some foods that I should avoid, especially during times of emotional disturbance and disruption. That being said, I agree with everything you said

    Reply
    • Bonnie R. Giller
      Bonnie R. Giller says:

      I’m glad to hear that you eat intuitively. It is challenging with a history of binge eating disorder. But drilling down to the emotional triggers of why you are bingeing is crucial and learning to cope with your emotions without food takes time but can be done. Good luck! Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
  3. Michelle Spear
    Michelle Spear says:

    Thanks for the reminder Bonnie. As in all things, moderation is the key. We don’t have to give anything up, we just have to choose where and when. Diets just set us up for a fall. If I can’t pronounce the ingredients, I don’t eat or buy it. If there are more than 3 syllables in the ingredient, it doesn’t pass these lips. Unfortunately, I overdo it on the healthier foods and that’s not good either!

    Reply
    • Bonnie R. Giller
      Bonnie R. Giller says:

      Michelle, you are right on. So happy when people understand that they don’t have to give foods up or label them as bad. Focus should be on eating healthfully and enjoying your favorites without guilt at the right time in the right way. But yep, gotta watch how much of the healthy foods too. Listen to your body…it really does talk to us.

      Reply
  4. Kevin Smith
    Kevin Smith says:

    I recently took a food sensitivity test and found I was extremely sensitive to dairy products, which may be the cause of my headaches. I have cut out most of the dairy in my diet, but I too believe that anything in moderation won’t kill you. Thanks for the article!

    Reply
    • Bonnie R. Giller
      Bonnie R. Giller says:

      Sometimes one needs to eliminate certain foods if proper testing does show a sensitivity. I hope your headaches have dissipated with the elimination of dairy. Don’t forget to get your calcium and vitamin D from other sources. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

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