By: Alison Ross, LMFT, CEDS
In pursuit of better health, many of us have been lured into the trap of restrictive eating strategies endorsed by the diet industry. We might vow not to eat after 7 p.m. or swear off sugar or pizza. However, a mindset of food deprivation rarely serves our health in the long run. We may start strong, but soon the sense of deprivation consumes us, and all we can think about is breaking those rules and indulging in what we've forbidden. Too often, restrictive eating strategies become disordered eating patterns including yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, and binge eating.
If you think changing your eating habits could improve your health and well-being, consider adopting approaches that emphasize moderation and long-term sustainability. Instead of telling yourself what you can't have, generously feed yourself more of the nutrient-dense foods you need, while allowing for the enjoyment of all foods in moderation. The goal is to enhance your health slowly, but surely, by improving your nutritional status, all without activating the sense of deprivation and food cravings that can arise when we impose tight restrictions on our own food choices.
Keep in mind that if you have a history of an eating disorder, making changes in your diet can be a tricky matter. And you might require support to do it safely. Consider reaching out to learn about our unique form of eating therapy that helps create a sustainable, body-attuned relationship with food that protects you from restarting eating disorder cycles.