Restrictions often lead to rebellion – in any context.
I would say this is the biggest reason diets fail. Cleanses and diets have a tendency to give people a sense of empowerment. It feels good to take such control. For some people, strict eating habits work great periodically, but for others it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
If you cringe at the thought of fasting or feel yourself stop breathing a bit when you think about your future diet plan, it’s a red flag. I want to give you different options to approach cleansing and changing your diet that won’t make you feel crazy around food! It’s time that somebody drilled into your head that a gentle version can be just as successful and powerful as a strict approach if not more so in the long run. There are a few things you should be aware of to keep food from becoming a treacherous journey!
Potential problems with cleansing and diets…
1. Restrictions trigger rebellion- aka binging.
2. Cleansing physically will cleanse you emotionally. When you’re emotions are highly charged it can trigger you to use food as comfort.
3. Eating in a strictly structured way can negatively morph your perspective of ‘good and bad foods.’ When you reintegrate foods after being on a certain plan it can then make you feel bad about foods that you never thought of as ‘bad’ before.
4. One ‘cheating’ moment can make you feel like you then need to indulge in anything and everything since you already screwed up.
5. If you have a history of eating disorders, restrictions can flare up old habits.
All of these things are red flags that your approach is not working anymore. You have not done anything wrong, it’s just time to reevaluate what your original intention was and how you can restructure your plan to be more supportive of this. Don’t get sucked into the black hole of defeat just recognize what’s happening and make a choice to readjust.
What to do when the red flags come out? Focus on adding the good stuff in and forget about the naughty list.
Guilt, shame and disappointment will do much more harm then a piece (or bar) of chocolate will ever do. In some way, having restrictions is a way is setting yourself up to fail. It’s creating a wagon to fall off of. Instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, focus on nourishing foods and activities that feel easy and exciting opposed to the ones that feel like a task.
– If you don’t want to get on the treadmill, go sit in a sauna.
– If you don’t want to cut out chocolate try a healthier, homemade version of raw chocolate.
– Don’t feel like a juice fast? Massages are must more detoxifying than most realize.
– Talking with a close friend is emotionally cleansing and so if laughing!
– Can’t bare to think about food…clean house and switch to all natural hygienic and household cleaning products.
Another way is to start by focusing on making one meal idea that is under the guidelines you are going for. This way you get comfortable grocery shopping and cooking without having to think too hard and stress yourself out. Once it begins to feel like second nature then you can start doing two meals and then three. This method works if you want to try a whole new way of eating or cut something out like sugar or dairy.
If you need a little extra support, I’m always here! Nutrition is about nourishing you body, mind and soul. It’s beyond food. Don’t waste your time beating yourself and your body up. Make peace with yourself and peace with your food!