Ditch Diet Words to Live Fearlessly
by Beth Rossen of Goodness Gracious Living
Diet culture has taken hold of our ability to self-regulate our food intake and has distorted our notion of what part food plays in our lives. If you have followed rules set by a diet – especially if you have followed more than one diet – you might experience confusion over what to eat, causing anxiety around meal times.
Diets label foods in order to distinguish what is allowed and what to avoid, according to the rules of that diet. A food that is labeled as “bad” on one diet plan might be labeled “good” on another. When we follow the diet and adhere to the rules, we can feel a sense of accomplishment, achievement, and even piousness. Conversely, when we break a diet rule, we suffer from failure, coupled with guilt and shame.
In order to avoid the pitfalls of “good” and “bad” foods, and lists of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” when it comes to eating. We need to ditch dieting altogether. But doing so may feel like a freefall without a structured “how-to” playbook of what to eat. But, if we reconsider why we eat, it will make choosing what we eat a simple task.
We eat for two reasons: One is for survival; basic nourishment. The other is for connection; we are social culture and we connect over food. When your goal is health rather than thinness, choosing what to eat will be based on what best serves your health – both physically and emotionally. Use these definitions of food to make fearless eating choices when you ditch dieting:
“Work” Food: These are the foods that contain lots of nutrients – unrefined carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Work foods do exactly what the word means; they do the work in your body that makes your body function most efficiently. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, unsaturated fats, and dairy. All foods from these groups are work foods and need only be avoided if you have an allergy or intolerance to them, otherwise, you can enjoy them all!
“Play” Food: These are the foods that don’t contain many nutrients – sweets, chips, birthday cake – but are foods we enjoy and use to connect with others while finding pleasure when eating. All Play foods have a place in your diet!
When you include foods from both the “Work” and “Play” categories, there will be no more broken diets…only fearless eating.