Here's Why You Should Change Your Perception Of Diet Restriction For A Healthier Relationship With Food
Diet restriction sounds bad.
The mere mention of the word restriction might fill you with fear and dread. Conjuring up flashbacks to those fad diets you've tried in the past.
All the foods you love thrown in the trash and replaced with chicken, broccoli, and rice 4 times a day. Enjoyment and pleasure are set to be replaced with dietary misery. And in your heart of hearts, you know lasting more than a few weeks will be a miracle.
But diet restriction isn't always bad. In fact, if you change your perception of restriction, you could create a better relationship with food, as well as achieve your weight loss goals.
So in this article, you'll discover how to think about diet restriction in a more positive way. I've taken 3 of the most common diet restrictions and shown you how to transform your way of thinking. If you're ready to change your perceptions, read on.
The Over-Arching Concept
"Give yourself permission to eat anything"
This is the most important thing for you to take away from this article. Diet restriction isn't about good and bad, or can and can't. You can apply restrictions to your diet in a positive way, without creating a fear of food.
For example, a calorie deficit is a form of diet restriction. And done in a positive way, with the right tools and techniques for the individual, it can be used to great success.
So a restriction doesn't automatically signal the dieting clouds of doom to descend.
As you'll discover, there's links to be drawn to intuitive eating by developing habits you can utilise in the future, and improving your relationship with food.
Diet Restriction: Good And Bad Foods
"I Can't Have This Food Because I'm On A Diet"
Donuts, pizza, cookies, and ice cream might all be considered "bad" foods. But giving certain foods these negative labels, creates an unnecessary fear.
Bad foods become the forbidden fruit you always yearn for.
And when you do eventually succumb to the temptation, you become awash with guilt. In the worst case, it can lead to a period of self-sabotage. You feel there's no point bringing things back on track for the rest of the day. So you might as well go all-in on those calorific treats.
And this cycle gets repeated time after time.
Here's a different way to think.
"I'm making a conscious choice not to have this food for a period of time."
A considered and informed choice to not eat a particular food can be positive. It might help maintain a calorie deficit, keep you feeling full, or curb uncontrollable cravings.
But the important distinction is you've not applied this diet restriction because certain foods are bad. Your restriction is a conscious and positive decision. Plus, setting a time period, creates the notion this is not forever. So, importantly, you avoid the forbidden fruit mentality.
Conscious and considered food restrictions for a defined time period can have a positive impact on diet progress, motivation, and your future relationship with food.
Diet Restriction: Fast Vs Slow Dieting
"I Can't Diet Quickly Because A Low Calorie Diet Is Bad"
Firstly, rapid fat loss diets certainly aren't for everyone. So, whether you do or don't follow a low calorie diet, needs to be an appropriate decision based on your circumstances.
If you've had an eating disorder in the past, are already very lean, or lead a very sedentary lifestyle, rapid fat loss might be something to avoid.
But losing weight quickly doesn't automatically have to be associated with negativity. In fact, in could lead to better adherence and more motivation. However, you need to approach this type of diet restriction with the right mindset.
Because it's not about setting calories so low that your life feels like a punishment. A diet restriction shouldn't have to feel like you're punching yourself in the face multiple times per day. And you don't have to feel you're locked into this way of dieting, with no degree of flexibility.
Here's a different way to think.
"I'm choosing to diet aggressively, but I know I can have a day at maintenance, anytime. And no foods are off limits."
The aggressive calorie deficit comes from an informed point of view. You're not being forced into it by a crazy fad diet. It becomes a considered decision.
The other important distinction is the diet restriction is not within rigid, strict, unmovable parameters. If you feel like you need a day or two at maintenance, then take it. And remember, no foods are off limits.
Your decision to diet aggressively needs to come from a positive mindset, not one of being forced. It's also important to give yourself the freedom to increase calories when you feel like it and have no imposed restrictions on food choice.
Diet Restriction: Eating A Bland Diet
"I Don't Want To Restrict The Foods I Eat Because People Tell Me That's Bad"
The common narrative of modern-day approaches to dieting is to tell you that no foods are off limits.
You can eat pop tarts, pizza, brownies, and muffins all day as long as you hit your calories. Because, a calorie is a calorie, right?
And this is technically true. A calorie is a calorie. And you could eat anything you want and lose weight, IF you maintained a calorie deficit. But just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD.
Because food variety can stimulate appetite and delay feelings of fullness. A combination you need to be aware of if maintaining your calorie deficit is proving an issue.
So a diet restriction in this context could be an incredibly positive decision.
Think about it this way...
"I'm choosing to reduce the variety of my foods, because it will help avoid hunger, keep cravings under control, and help me achieve my goals."
Certain diet restrictions may be positive for you (but not for others). Reducing variety could help improve your ability to diet successfully. But it's important to understand restrictions aren't permanent.
Reducing the palatability of food not only helps with feelings of hunger, but also helps control cravings long-term. This allows you to adopt a more intuitive eating approach in the future.
The Bottom Line On Why You Should Change Your View On Diet Restriction
Any diet restriction should be a conscious, positive choice, not a negative, forced restriction.
Diet restriction don't have to be about misery and pain. Fad diets and overly restrictive eating approaches rarely work as they're not supported by education and a positive way of thinking.
But with the right mentality, a diet restriction can be positive. And can actually lead to a more healthy relationship with food, and a more intuitive eating approach.
So don't fear diet restrictions. Make conscious, considered, and correct decisions for you and your situation.
Here's How To Calculate How Many Calories You Need To Achieve Your Fitness Goals (And A Free Training Programme)
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But for now, all I’ll say is… Keep living the Lean Life and I’ll see you soon.