Calling all rebels and rule breakers! It’s time to sucker-punch some of the most popular and misconstrued diet rules doing the rounds. If you’ve been struggling to master some of the messaging surrounding leading a healthy lifestyle, it’s because you’ve been mislead by a bunch of unachievable and misinformed diet myths.
Break these five common diet rules, and be prepared to feel #ah #mazing.
Rule #1: Eliminate all of the ‘bad’ foods
The scariest connotation made when people use the word diet, is deprivation. In fact, improving your healthy eating habits should be quite the opposite. As soon as we feel deprived, we’re setting ourselves up for failure and we will inevitably binge. Can you relate? I always encourage clients to add nutritious and nutrient-dense foods in before even considering removing anything. This way there is no sense of lack and the focus is on abundance and filling up on ‘good’ foods rather than removing the ‘bad’ ones.
Rule #2: Eat six small meals a day
‘But what about my metabolism?’ I hear you roar! Trust me, not eating for five hours between lunch and dinner is not going to send your body into fat storage mode. If your three main meals are nutritionally balanced you shouldn’t feel hungry until your next meal. When we’re constantly grazing on food we lose touch with our bodies natural intuition.
Rule # 3: The Vegan/Paleo/Low Carb/High Protein/Unicorn diet is the best
‘I am a part time vegetarian, part time Paleo who will sometimes eat grains, but no dairy, unless it’s yoghurt which I can tolerate if I eat it with savoury or starchy dishes, and some fruit but just a little, because SUGAR, and I quit sugar, but I still eat honey if it’s raw, but only on porridge or toast, that’s sprouted and gluten free, oh, except rye’.
That sentence wasn’t just to make you laugh, I am actually that person, and the only reason it sounds so ridiculous is because I attempted to use labels throughout to categorise myself. The only category I fall into is the human category and I think we can safely say we can all abide by the human diet. Which brings me to my next rebellious rule breaking move…
Rule #4: Find what works for someone else and do that:
Bollocks! There isn’t one diet for everyone and what works for me, isn’t necessarily going to work for you, and what works today may not suit you tomorrow. So what the hell do we know what to eat? Well, listen to your body it won’t lead you astray. Deep down we know what foods make us feel like crap and what foods make us feel vibrant and full of energy and this is going to change with the seasons, the lunar cycle, your stress levels and your hormones. And because we are all individuals we will all respond differently. Focus on yourself and your body and you have the best chance at being the healthiest version of you.
Rule #5: Schedule in “cheat meals”
I actually agree with this rule, but quit calling it a cheat meal. You’re not cheating! Treating yourself should not be a guilty activity it should be an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s called balance, and as soon as we start telling ourselves we can’t have something or feel immensely guilty when we do, we set ourselves up for failure. My number one tip for all my clients is to make sure they include occasional indulgences in their diet and be 100% present during the experience, enjoying every satisfying guilt-free mouthful. Bliss!
Jordanna Levin, creator of The Inspired Table, is a holistic lifestyle coach whose focus is to heal people’s ‘complicated’ relationship with food. She believes food should inspire and nourish, not be a source of stress and anxiety. Through her coaching programs, cooking workshops, inspiring speaking gigs and popular food blog she’s rewriting decades worth of misleading messaging and creating a new movement of mindful and inspired eating.