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Whole foods, raw foods, vegan, paleo, keto, Mediterranean, and more. There are many diets that are discussed in the wellness world, such as whole foods, raw foods, vegan, paleo, keto, Mediterranean, and more. Paleo, keto, intermittent fasting, FODMAPs, GAPS, WAPF, and more.

How you nourish your body is up to you. There are many ways of eating that can lead to a healthy and balanced life. A diet or protocol that once benefitted you may no longer be doing so.

You might be ready to move on from your diet when:

  • You’ve hit a weight-loss plateau
  • You’re always thinking about food
  • You’re obsessing over calories
  • You’re skipping meals
  • You’re restricting yourself to only a few foods
  • You’re no longer seeing results from your diet

If you’re obsessing over food and calories to the point where it’s negatively impacting your life, it might be time to consider changing up your routine.

How do you eat if you do not have a set diet to follow? We will discuss when diets may not be optimal for you and how intuitive eating can help maintain your health.



You Don’t Have to Follow a Diet Forever

We often talk about diets at Wellness Mama that share commonalities. The benefits of probiotics include promoting gut health, reducing inflammation, and addressing root causes of autoimmunity.

These are all good things! Your nutritional needs can change over time as your body changes.

If you diet for a long enough period of time, it can become a habit. You may not realize when your body is ready for a different way of eating. If you are not working with a nutritionist, it may be difficult to tell when your diet is no longer effective.

Our genes are not one-size-fits-all. Your diet shouldn’t be either. Your cells are constantly replicating and changing over time. Your nutrient needs can change, too!

If you experience a change in your life such as becoming pregnant, starting to breastfeed, or going through menopause, your body might need to adjust its dietary needs. If you find yourself under more stress or you experience new health challenges, you should change your diet to support you.

If you find yourself eating the same foods and sticking to the same routine, it may be time to switch things up. A diet should be something that works for you, not against you. Let’s say you battle Hashimoto’s as I did. You find a way of eating that makes you healthy again. After time, you’re a lot better off.

You may be able to eat more types of food or even relax your dietary standards, but you may feel too loyal to the way of eating that got you to where you are.

Although you may feel comfortable with your current diet, you may be hesitant to try new foods. Although it may be understandable to sit all day, it can also have negative consequences on your health. Your food plan should serve your current physical needs. If those needs change, your diet should, too.

Could Your Diet Become an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are more common than people think. They don’t always look the same either. Approximately nine percent of the U.S. population suffer from eating disorders.

While anorexia and bulimia are commonly discussed, unhealthy relationships with food can transition into disordered eating.

Orthorexia is an eating disorder that focuses on eating healthy foods. While this may seem like a good thing, it can lead to long-term dieting and a restricted eating pattern.

If you’re on a diet, you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs.

If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, you may develop an distorted view of food and nutrition, and how they relate to your body.

Being constantly worried about what you eat and whether it is healthy can be a sign of an eating disorder.

Eating disorders can affect people of any weight, size, or shape. Even if you are normal weight or overweight, you can still have an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are often stigmatized, but part of having a healthy relationship with food is recognizing that this stigma is misplaced. Anyone can struggle with one. There is no shame in seeking professional help to develop a healthier relationship with food. Just as you would consult a medical professional for other health concerns, consulting a professional for guidance with your relationship to food can be very beneficial.

Professional help for eating disorders is important, too. They eventually result in malnutrition and other health concerns.

Finding a Balanced View on Diets

An unhealthy eating pattern is one in which most or all foods are thought to be bad.

I would definitely say that vegetable oil is a bad food. But for the most part? It is important to have a balanced view of food and nutrition.

Different people can have different reactions to food. For example, someone may be sensitive to oxalates and so need to avoid foods that contain them. You can eat foods that are not necessarily nutritious, but are still not harmful. Like ice cream! Although it’s not possible to live off ice cream, it’s also not accurate to label all sweet snacks as bad for you.

There are some diets that try to make a certain type of food seem bad. If you need to, it is fine to stick to more regimented eating patterns, especially when you are trying to improve your health.

We have to be careful not to think in terms of absolutes when it comes to food. Whether a food is good or bad for us depends on our current needs.

It is important to be aware of the reasons behind your diet or food plan. The Carnivore Diet is a curing diet used to heal a specific condition. Is it for weight loss? Do you do something because it is popular or because you have seen others doing it?

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t follow a diet or eating pattern just because someone else is. You know your body. Make sure you get balanced perspectives on food, even if you’re not working with a nutritionist.

It’s easy to see that many people on social media are promoting different types of diets. However, it is not usually necessary to make major changes to your diet. Do plenty of research from multiple sources.

You should regularly assess your diet to ensure it is meeting your needs. This is especially important if your health changes or if it is a new season. Don’t just eat the same things because you’ve always eaten them.

Intuitive Eating

If you’re ready to find a new way to define your relationship with food, consider intuitive eating. You’ve probably heard this term before. Here’s a basic definition:

  • Instead of following a set of diet foods, your own intuition, appetite, and experience.
  • You learn as you go.
  • You don’t have to follow any single diet’s “rules” but instead are ruled by your own body’s signals and cues.

The benefits of intuitive eating are many. You can still eat whatever you want within the framework of a larger food plan.

If you have celiac disease, you will not be able to eat gluten.

If you are sensitive to dairy, I would not recommend eating it without moderation.

Intuitive eating is all about you. You adjust your food intake to match how foods make your body feel. You should eat food that meets your physical, mental, and emotional needs.

This means that you could potentially change the foods you are eating or even relax your current food plan. It means eating foods that make you feel good. This could involve developing a healthier relationship with your body and setting food goals that are not focused solely on weight loss.

It’s great to want to improve your health, and food can play a big role in that. Health problems, both physical and mental, can often be brought on or made worse by what we eat.

A study published in 2020 in the medical journal Cureus.com found that diets may do more harm than good—even when there’s a medical benefit to losing weight. The research suggests that dieting may lead to increased levels of inflammation in the body, which can offset any positive effects of weight loss. A healthy diet should make your life easier, not harder.

Intuitive eating is an approach to food that is supportive of mental health, based on research from Eating and Weight Disorders in 2021.


Having a Healthy Relationship with Food 

1. Avoid the Good Food Bad Food Trap

We need to be aware of the difficulties we are trying to overcome before we can take the first step to fix them.
The more you pay attention to the way we tend to put food into separate categories and the way society uses language to judge our food choices, the more you’ll realize how often it comes up. At first, this may seem exhausting.
It is time to move away from starvation diets and improve your relationship with food.  Finding a healthy weight and maintaining it is important but the scale cannot be your only guide for if you are healthy.
A balanced approach to eating, exercise and stress reduction is important.Listening to your body, and tuning into how you feel can help you determine good choices.

If we are aware of the expectations and morality that society places on food, we can start to free ourselves from this system. By recognizing this pattern, we can be more aware of how it affects us and make better choices about what we eat. We can ban the ‘diet police’.

2. Learning to Cope with Your Emotions

A lot of us use food to help us deal with emotions. For example, we might eat something because we’re happy or because we’re sad. This is another way that our modern-day relationship with food has become unbalanced.
If someone appears to be very thin and malnourished, we assume that this is a mental health condition rather than starvation caused by physical factors. I often have to explain to people that when I was suffering with anorexia, I did not starve myself because I thought it would make me look good. I was actually really sad and I didn’t know how to express myself.
We often do not realize that emotional stress can lead people to overeat.
When we work on our emotional baggage, we can also work on our relationship with food. This means seeking help from a professional or telling your problems to someone you trust instead of keeping them to yourself.

3. Respect Your Body

Respecting our bodies by taking care of them and listening to them is key to intuiting what kind of food we need. We are all different shapes and sizes. I’m not saying anything new when I point out that the “body ideal” is constantly changing, and so are we!
If you can understand that your worth is not dependent on the size of your clothing, and you can respect your body no matter what size it is, you will be much better equipped to make logical decisions about food, rather than emotional ones.
We can start to listen to what our bodies need if we remove the guilt and shame around food. Our bodies are smart, so we should trust them.

4. Food and Fitness 

Food and fitness have become interlinked like never before. We figured that since so many of us are stuck at our desks all day, we needed to find a way to keep ourselves moving. There is a close relationship between eating intuitively and moving intuitively.
To make fitness and physical activity something you can stick with you must find some type of exercise that you enjoy.  Maybe you love to dance or garden.  These are activities that get you moving.  Stop thinking about exercise as a necessary chore and learn how to build activity into your everyday life.
Focus less on “burning off” what you did last night, and more on enjoying the type of exercise you picked. Fitness should not be a something you dread but something you enjoy! I find meditation in activities such as this. I’m able to forget about everything else that’s going on and focus only on the task at hand. I love working out in a way that is enjoyable for me.

You don’t have to do something that you hate passionately. Choose an activity that you think you will enjoy, such as a challenging reformer pilates class, dancing, or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that incorporates weights. Don’t punish yourself.

Enjoy What You are Doing and What You are Eating

Tune into what you actually enjoy. Your body knows what it needs, so listen to it and make the appropriate exercise and food choices. When we focus on what we enjoy, it helps us to pay attention to our body’s cues. Therefore honor them in both movement and food choices.
In Japanese culture, the pursuit of pleasure is considered to be a contributing factor to good health. One of the things I learned while intuitively eating is that it’s okay to eat what you want.
When we enjoy the process of eating and find pleasure in food, we are more likely to be able to listen to our body’s needs.


READ MORE:  13 Mindful Living Tips In 2022




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