5 Steps to Normal Eating

CoachMel Healthy Eating 5 Comments

Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes, and cannot tell the difference between reality, and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives.

~ Sidney Madwed

If you’ve been on a diet-binge-diet roller coaster for as long as you can remember, perhaps you can’t even imagine what a healthy relationship with food would look like

The idea of eating “normally” may feel so totally foreign to you that it makes you feel depressed.

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Being obsessed with food is an overwhelming place to be.

Whether you are an overeater, bulimic, an under-eater, or a chronic dieter, from my experience, here is one tip that can help you — that is, the idea of setting simple rules for yourself.

This can mean the difference between lifelong issues with food, and getting back to eating normally again.

So, what are these rules?

Here Are 5 Steps to Becoming a Healthy Eater Once Again

1. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full

Eating too much makes you feel bloated and sick, and getting too hungry makes you irritable and lethargic.

So, you need to tune-in to your body, and eat just enough food to give you the energy and nourishment you need to maintain good health, and so that you are able to enjoy life to its fullest.

How do you do that? Well, it’s all about re-educating yourself on what a “comfortable” amount of foods feels like in your stomach. The hunger scale will be helpful with this.

2. Eat three meals per day

A lot of the time when people overeat it’s because they are depriving themselves so much during the day. Then, when dinner comes around they feel absolutely starved, and could eat everything in sight.

But, when you eat food regularly throughout the day it will help you control this overeating habit, to feel more satisfied, and it can help you to stop obsessing over food, which naturally happens when you are hungry all of the time.

If you are worried about what to eat, or putting on too much weight, focus on eating a fresh, healthy, colorful, whole food diet — think food close to its natural form, rather than processed beyond recognition.

It’s difficult to overeat on a diet like that.

3. Eat what you really want

This may feel frightening if you are used to only eating a certain number of “safe” foods over and over again. But, if you really want to learn how to eat normally again, you need to begin trusting yourself to make choices that are good and healthy for your body.

What you eat should change from day to day. In fact, it is totally normal to eat differently today as you will tomorrow, and also to crave certain foods in winter that you may not want in summer.

Like I said above, it’s difficult to overeat when your diet is full of fresh, healthy, colorful foods. And, you know what? Even if you do overeat once in a while, it’s not a huge deal.

It’s what you do consistently that matters. So, eat well most of the time, and don’t allow guilt, or thoughts of calories to evade your thoughts.

4. Enjoy your food

God has given us food to be enjoyed. I am so thankful for all of the different flavors, textures, smells and variety we have available to us.

But, I understand it can be frightening to allow yourself to eat a range of foods, after those years of restriction. However, giving yourself that choice is what will help you overcome the unhealthy food obsession.

You can do it by learning to eat intuitively, but keeping in mind that there is no “perfect” way to eat. You must stop striving for that perfection.

Remember, no foods are off limits, but there are certainly some foods that are better for you than others. So, make it your aim to eat a mostly balanced diet. I like the 80/20 rule, where 80 percent of the time you eat well, and 20 percent of the time you allow some treats.

Be aware that just because you choose to have some dessert one day, it doesn’t mean you’ve ruined your diet… it just means you had some dessert. This is no big deal.

5. Don’t over-think food

This is so important. When you battle with a food obsession you probably find yourself thinking about food, reading about food, looking at recipes, etc. all of the time.

To overcome this you need to make a new rule, that you will only allow yourself to think about food when it is time to eat. Then, once that meal is over, you don’t think about it again.

The truth is, this will be made so much easier when you begin eating enough to feel satisfied.

Think about it, if you haven’t been eating enough to satisfy your hunger, it is completely understandable that all you can think about is food. All. Of. The. Time.

What I like about these 5 steps is that they are so flexible.

No one is going to tell you off for not following them to a T… feel liberated by that fact. You still have control over what you eat, but the rules allow for a little to-ing and fro-ing. That is a good thing.

I challenge you to make a start on changing your eating habits… what will you begin working on today?

Best wishes!

You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.

~ David Viscott

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Comments 5

  1. Paul

    Hi Melanie, that’s an excellent set of healthy eating principles. Everyone has their own particular (and sometimes peculiar) rules they know they need to follow in order to stay off the overeat/diet cycle but I agree these apply across the board. Too bad many people overcomplicate things (often by following advice from magazines or celebrities it seems).

    Personally I would attribute your last rule in particular to helping me stick to a better diet. I’m busier than ever at the moment, which means when I’m done eating I usually dive straight into my tasks leaving little time to dwell on what I’ve just eaten or would like to eat. This makes me think ‘not having enough time’ to stick to a healthy diet is a very poor excuse!

    Cheers
    Paul

    1. Melanie

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your response. I agree with you about overcomplicating things. It seems, though, that people almost want a diet plan to be complicated… otherwise it’s of no “value” to them.

  2. Suzannah

    Great article, Melanie! I’m definitely printing this one off and putting it on my fridge. Not over-thinking food is one of my biggest hurdles. When I decide I’m going to start eating healthily, it seems I can’t stop thinking about all the things I can’t have. Thanks for your advice, as usual!

    1. Melanie

      You are welcome, Suzannah. Over-thinking food is as problem for so many people. Allowing a few treats here and there can help too, rather than totally depriving yourself of those things you enjoy.

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