Whether you are trying to lose a few pounds or are just determined to eat in a healthier manner, it is easy to get fixated on supposed rules for eating. Although certain foods pack more nutrition into a small package, and others are lacking nutrient-wise, it is important not to become boxed in by rules.
“Don’t Think About a Pink Elephant”
Almost everyone has heard this phrase, which states that what you are instructed not to think about is what you will think about most. Although it is common, it is a powerful principle to remember. This principle is as true when it comes to foods as in any other arena.
When you label a food as “bad”, it becomes elevated in your mind. Then, when your stomach starts to growl, and your thoughts go to what you might choose to eat… they will immediately turn to the foods you have deemed “bad.” Hearing the mantra “Must not eat chocolate chips, must not eat chocolate chips” is going to make you want exactly one thing: chocolate chips.
Eating In Moderation
There are foods that nourish our body, and foods that don’t pack the punch when it comes to nutrients. But if you are making a point to eat a variety of foods and not binging on one thing, your body is likely to get a variety of vitamins and minerals, and prevent you from falling short in any area.
Although some people may need to steer clear of certain foods because of allergies and intolerance’s, it is prudent for the average person not to limit foods without a medical reason.
When you thoroughly enjoy a certain food, yet feel it is bad, you will often go through cycles of avoiding it and then binging. This is much harder on your body than simply having a small piece or taste of the food you are wanting right away and being able to satisfy the craving and move on.
All or Nothing Mentality
Eating right is about making many small choices every day. When you put yourself into a box and don’t allow yourself to eat particular foods, it can be very limiting. Then when you have even one bite those foods, or a taste when pressured into it in a social situation, it’s easy to forget about all your progress and begin to loathe yourself. More often than not, this leads to thoughts of “I can’t do this anyway so why bother trying”, and completely falling out of the good patterns you’ve maintained up to that point.
The Guilt Factor
Eating right can be a challenge, and when a person is facing a challenge, they need to be able to maintain a positive attitude. When a person believes in “good foods” and “bad foods” and then indulges in one of those “bad foods”, feelings of guilt will often envelope them.
Although one might think that guilt could motivate a person, it is a negative emotion and can lead to more negative feelings in the person who is already struggling with making changes. Nobody needs to deal with self induced stress.
One might think that eating right requires a lot of “do’s” and “don’ts”, but amazingly it is simple changes, moderation, and positive thinking that will do more for you than any restrictions. Instead of falling into the “good food, bad food” trap, embrace freedom in your eating habits and see how much easier the process becomes!
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