With most people struggling with some sort of food sensitivity or digestive issue (like me!), it can certainly feel like an impossible battle to win.
So today I’d like to talk about how to navigate dietary restrictions when you’re trying to give up dieting and achieve your natural weight.
And first, I’d like to clarify how not dieting helps with weight loss for my new readers out there.
Giving Up Dieting = Achieving Your Natural Weight… Eventually
Psycho-spiritual weight loss is about discovering the psychological causes for overeating and suggest spiritual practices to overcome them.
I believe that dieting is what causes weight gain, and giving up dieting is the first step towards your natural weight.
Yeah, I know. It sounds counterintuitive, but since dieting never works (and studies have proven this), it’s something to seriously consider.
The best way to give up dieting is to, well, stop letting your mind inform you what to eat and listen to your body instead. I summarized these points in the Eating Guidelines:
- Eat exactly what appeals to you when you’re hungry (just like intuitive eating)
- Stop when you’re full
- Feel your feelings when you want to eat when you’re not hungry (this is the spiritual part)
The idea here is that restricting your diet always leads binges. Always. By giving yourself permission to have whatever you want, you get rid of the restriction and also eradicate the binges, allowing you to slowly move toward your natural weight.
However, things get really tricky when you can’t give yourself 100% permission to eat exactly what appeals to you because of dietary restrictions, so I’m going to dig into that today.
When Dietary Restrictions Feel Like Dieting
This whole post got started because my acid reflux flared up, and I read that a low-carb diet is great for reversing acid reflux.
I thought to myself, “Uh oh. Low-carb is definitely a diet. Does this count though, since it’s for my health, not for weight loss? Will this make me binge? Am I screwed no matter what?”
I believe manipulating your dieting in order to manipulate the size of your body is a diet.
But what if the manipulation is for the sake of health instead of weight loss? Then we enter a gray area…
Honestly, I haven’t started the low-carb thing because low-carb has always made me binge in the past. Instead, what I have started is something called “gentle nutrition.”
What Is Gentle Nutrition?
Gentle nutrition is the last pillar of intuitive eating, and it’s a pillar that I really like because it’s takes the “diet-y-ness” out of food restrictions. Gentle nutrition goes like this:
“Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel well. Remember that you do not have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters – progress not perfection is what counts.” –Intuitive Eating
Gentle nutrition means I can listen to my body while staying smart and non-self-sabotaging with my decisions.
For example, if I’m listening to my body, and my body wants pizza – but I can’t have pizza because of the dairy/gluten/goodness it has – then I can choose to have something else that will satisfy my craving.
That could be vegan pizza, or it could be something completely different. But as long as I’m doing it to honor my body instead of to cut weight, it works pretty smoothly.
That’s the golden nugget: As long as your food choices are best on wellness instead of weight loss, it’s pretty smooth sailing.
Permission vs. Restriction
This all comes down to a delicate dance between permission and restriction.
Since dietary restriction lead to binges, it’s critical to maintain 100% permission to eat whatever foods you want.
This doesn’t mean eating foods you’re allergic to, but it means satisfying that craving without trying to be “good” or “low calorie” while you’re at it.
If you struggle with dietary restrictions too, then learning how to eat intuitivelyand stop dieting will come with this extra speed bump. Don’t let it stop you from trying.
You may find yourself having mini binges on forbidden foods that make you feel like poo for a while. But if you stick to the mindset of gentle nutrition and total permission, you will slowly notice that your cravings begin to shift.
Summary: Eat Intuitively with Dietary Restrictions by Focusing on Wellness
I think that “gentle nutrition” is a great way to eat intuitively even when you have dietary restrictions.
It’s all about finding balance between listening to your body and your mind while letting go of calorie content.
Make dietary decisions based on wellness instead of weight loss, and you’ll be on your way to feeling normal around food in no time.
If you’re struggling with this right now, I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below and let’s explore this thing together!