I’ve tried every diet in my time, from low-carb, to paleo, to the lemon detox diet. I’ve counted calories and cut out sugar. And the biggest thing I learned throughout all these supposedly “healthy” diets: how unhealthy and unhappy dieting really makes you.
After becoming a chronic fad dieter when I was just 13, I have only truly learned how to live a healthy, balanced life in the last few years. Now, my philosophy on health couldn’t be more different.
The diet culture instils a lot of fear.
We’re constantly told to try a new diet, or cut out a certain food group. This makes it easy to become obsessed with food, or the “healthy life”.
We are inundated with mixed messages about health, many of which are confusing and contradictory – so we need to learn to block out the noise.
Diets make you fixate on every morsel of food you put into your body. And this has such a detrimental effect on the body, and the mind, too. These diets work for a little while – until they don’t. Because ultimately, they’re unsustainable.
My turning point
Carbs and fats terrified me for a whole decade. I restricted what I ate, losing my love of food and my connection to my body. And each time I tried a new diet, I cut out yet another food group – by the end of it, I was left eating basically nothing!
I realised how much damage I was doing to my body (and mind) by adopting this restriction and deprivation mentality, while I was studying nutrition.
After that, I decided to ditch the fad diets, and adopt a new approach: ‘nourish, not punish’.
How anti-dieting changed my approach to health
Letting go of the fad diets allowed me to achieve balance in my own life. I started eating more whole foods, my love and joy surrounding food returned, and I gave myself permission to enjoy food, approaching my health from a place of kindness.
I began sleeping for longer, exercising with kindness and in ways that I loved, eating more greens and less ‘diet’ foods. My energy improved, my sleep was deeper and my cortisol levels (stress hormone) came down.
Bringing freedom to my community
When you give yourself permission to indulge, and give up “diets” and restriction, you can learn how to indulge moderately. In other words, you start to feel free with food!
This approach has brought relief to so many women – it just shows you don’t have to torture yourself to live the healthy life! By being kind to yourself you’re going to achieve the best results possible! We need to remove the guilt we’ve created around food, and build a positive relationship with eating and our bodies. So strip it all back, keep it simple and be gentle with yourself.