It’s magical. It’s revolutionary. It’s the diet that doesn’t make you want to cry.
Here it is: you must eat only that which gives you joy.
We eat food for one of two reasons; because we are hungry and wish to sustain ourselves, or because we need something to do.
The first reason is purely natural, most of us do a pretty good job being healthy at set meal times, it is the snacks between meals that get us. The times when food functions as a placeholder, when it becomes a stress ball for our mouths.
Trust me, we all know how tempting it is to come back from a really hard day and take it out on a bag of chips. The more sugar, salt, or fat, the better we think we feel. And then, like the high of a drug, we crash down into self-loathing, embarrassment and slug-itude.
Food Won't Make You Feel Better
Where is the magic in a dark chocolate bar if you feel guilty and gross while eating it, and for a long time afterwards? I believe that the key is to treat food like a visit to the spa. You would never consider getting a 10 minute spa treatment while emailing a client and trying to get your kid to shut up. It wouldn’t make you feel any better. Neither will food.
So these are the two rules:
- If you have to eat quickly, while multitasking, stressed, or because you are bored: choose healthy.
- If you are savoring a meal, cherishing the food as a wonderful piece of life: choose anything.
The interesting part of this lifestyle is that when you take the time to consider what exactly it is that you want to eat and how it will make you feel, you will mostly likely want the healthier options. Instead of jumping right onto your craving, picture that handful of Cheetos in your head for a bit and consider what your other options are. It will take willpower and patience but you are smarter than your stomach.
And if you have thought about that frosted red velvet cupcake at the bakery down the street for days, go buy it! That is the secret. Bliss comes from a perfect treat when it can be savored and when we feel as though it is earned.
Approach your new diet like a yoga session with patience and kindness and you will succeed.