How to make your home diet free
It can be difficult to let go of the dieting tools we have accumulated over the years. When we are trying to make a transition to intuitive eating, it feels like we are saying goodbye to all of our hard work, not to mention the money we’ve spent.
But these tools can actually be harmful when we try to stop dieting and start eating more intuitively. Let’s have a look at how to find these tools and how to make your home diet free!
Bathroom scales are one of the most common dieting tools. Most households have them. They become a part of the daily routine, but they can actually be very harmful. Scales trigger dieting thoughts, like “I need to lose weight” or “What did I eat yesterday that made me gain weight?”. They make you miserable because your weight is always naturally fluctuating and yet the numbers seem so important to you. Whatever the number, it is never good enough.
Bathroom scales also don’t mean anything. You could be wearing different clothes, have a different amount of water in your body, have eaten different meals yesterday, or have even not been to the toilet.
As an intuitive eater you are not focussing on your weight so throw away those scales. If you’re struggling to let go of the scales, then put them in a cupboard or somewhere that is out of sight and not easily accessible until you’re fully ready to bin them!
Dieting diaries & apps
Another tool that can be harmful when trying to become an intuitive eater is your food diary or food logging app. As a dieter these become super useful, almost essential, in order to keep track of what you have eaten. However, they can lead to obsession and a lack of trust in your own body.
As you are learning to be more in tune with your hunger and fullness, and the food you want to eat, you will rely on your body and not calorie counting and food logging. Get rid of those journals and fitness apps.
diet based cookbooks
Along with your dieting journals and apps, it is time to say goodbye to those diet cookbooks. If they are filled with recipes that require you to cut out food groups or count calories then they are not going to help you on your intuitive eating journey. Replace them with lovely cookbooks full of recipes that inspire you to cook really pleasurable meals, and make your mouth water as you flick through the pages.
I understand that you have spent good money on those books but they are now more harmful than helpful now that you are trying to ditch the diets, so they’ve got to go!
Kitchen equipment like scales, measuring cups and spoons etc are often synonymous with dieting. You don’t have to throw them all away, but be aware that you are using them in the right way. They should not become a part of your daily routine, because that’s when they become harmful.
Instead, use them as occasional helpers when creating meals from recipes, for example. I always need a recipe to be precise so that I know it will turn out well, and perhaps you do too. Maybe once you’ve got the hang of intuitive eating, you’ll start to experiment more and won’t need them as much? (or not, if you’re anything like me!!)
Sort out your clothes
It’s time to let go of anything that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Dieting is often prompted by clothing. Maybe your clothes have got a little tight and uncomfortable. Maybe you don’t like how they look any more. Maybe you have a stash of clothes that are your ‘one day’ clothes – one day you’ll fit back into them.
To keep wearing these ill-fitting clothes is disrespectful to your body. Replace them with clothes that make you feel good, clothes that fit well and feel more comfortable. It’s time to start investing in yourself, rather than punishing yourself with tight clothes that don’t let your body breathe. I appreciate that you may not be able to throw out a whole wardrobe and buy a whole new wardrobe, but if you can just buy one or two pieces that you can mix and match then that’s a good start.
Movement in your life is really good for you. It’s good for physical health and good for mental health. As with food though, exercise can become an obsession. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in how many miles you ran, or the number of reps you completed, or the amount of calories you’ve burnt. This can lead to a negative relationship with your body and food, hindering your intuitive eating journey.
So my advice is to be mindful of your exercise equipment. If you believe you have a healthy relationship with exercise, that doesn’t cross over and determine the food that you eat, then continue to use your equipment. If you’re not so sure, or if you think that exercise might be becoming a bit of an issue for you, then it might be time to change things up, remove the equipment from your home (or put it away somewhere out of sight for a while), and find other more pleasurable ways to move your body.
There are plenty of exercises that don’t require any equipment at all! You could go swimming, take a walk, dance, play with the children. Get creative. Exercise doesn’t have to feel like grueling hard work.
Family can keep you dieting without you even realising. It’s very easy to get caught up in their concern around how much you are eating, what you’re eating, and your weight. It’s time to set some boundaries and protect yourself from their negative talk.
Ask your family members to stop talking about dieting around you, and to focus on healthier messages instead. Tell them about the principles of intuitive eating and how it can help you to be more at ease with food and your body, then set some rules around what is and is not acceptable talk in the house. For example, ask them not to comment on your weight or what you’re eating around the dinner table.
You deserve support from your family. It may be that they just need a little nudge in the right direction.
It’s important to remember that becoming an intuitive eater is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight. It may take some time for your mind and body to adjust, but you can give yourself the best chance by making your home a better environment for your success.
It can be really hard to let go of the tools we have used for so long, but it is essential if you want to make a successful change to intuitive eating. Make sure you take your time and don’t feel guilty if it takes a while to get rid of everything – Rome wasn’t built in a day.