Restriction is damaging - yes always.
Before we get started you can download a worksheet that goes along with this episode at www.thebodylovesociety.com/74
This episode was inspired by one of our clients that posted in the current group of The UnDiet Academy.
The topic was about restriction and if you could do it in a healthy way (for your mind, body, and soul)- someone out in the IG world was claiming that there is something called Restriction Love.
While we respect the opinions of others - we also like to fiercely protect our community from very misinformed and harmful perspectives.
We want to let you know our 2 cents on restriction and what it really means - which also doesn’t mean you have to eat endless amounts of sugar just because you allow all food and don’t restrict yourself.
Note: restriction doesnt just cover meal plans and counting calories. Even things like “Watching what you eat”, “just trying to eat healthier” … these ways of eating are restrictive. There is something that is trying to be avoided and limitations that you are trying to stay in.
As a dieter, when you deny yourself food that you want, it creates a very unhealthy relationship with food and your body. You are signaling to your body that it’s bad and wrong to eat certain food. Your body and mind is filled with guilt and shame. You feel confined, and there is no freedom of choice…
There are so many nuances when it comes to restriction but one of the biggest downfalls of restriction is almost inevitable bingeing …. No matter what you do, if you do not stop restricting, the bingeing cannot end.
What you resist persists. The more we restrict, the stronger the desire to eat all the food, the more obsession you feel, and the constant thoughts about food become louder and louder.
There is no way you can come from a good place when talking about restriction.
Restriction doesn’t give you a choice, it doesn’t allow you to tune into your body, and it sure as heck doesn’t come from a place of love- it comes from a place of shame, guilt, and obeying the diet rules.
You can’t trick yourself into restricting effectively - if you are restricting when you want something and there’s a hope of weight loss or some body change the cycle will never end.
We want to share with you how you can live a life as an UnDieter, have freedom and be able to make empowered choices, and never restrict yourself.
And no it doesn’t mean that you are going to be eating endless amounts of sugar (OH THE HORROR!!).
Just so you know, restricting sugar (or any food) isn’t actually going to make you eat less of it - it actually does the opposite and most likely will make you eat more than you wanted in the first place and an even better chance that you’ll binge on it.
So how the heck to feel good in your body, have wellness without the obsession, and not restrict food?
So to start, if you are restricting (physically or mentally) the first thing to do is to stop that. We know it can feel scary but that’s the first step - it’s giving yourself unconditional permission to eat. There may be a phase where you are eating things that you haven’t in a while more often and that’s okay!! Allow allow allow allow- we promise you will stop eating the thing- when you eat something with permission there’s an immediate shift in your brain and over time it gets easier and easier.
It’s about EMPOWERED CHOICE - instead of seeing anything as restriction- it’s seeing it as a powerful choice that comes from your truth. If you know eating a lot of dairy can upset your stomach - it’s okay to choose to pass or choose to eat a smaller amount because it’s what honors your body. It’s not restricting dairy - it’s making a choice from the signals in your body with some logic - it’s about what is best for you and maybe that means eating a bunch of cheesy pizza even if that may upset your stomach. You are not right or wrong for the choices that you make. It all comes down to you and what makes you feel good in your body.
Checking the intention behind the choices that you make - did you pass on the cookies even though you wanted them because you felt like they were bad or were going to make you gain weight? Or did you pass on the cookies because you just had a nice satisfying dinner and you just feel too full to eat the cookies even though they look and smell delicious? There’s a HUGE difference between passing on the cookies. The first example is restriction, the second example is honoring your body. Just calling restriction, honoring yourself doesn’t make it “loving”, the intention and internal thought process truly needs to change.
Sometimes a bite is all you need (or however much) - restriction leads us to not listening to our bodies and not using our intuition. When we constantly deny dessert because we think we shouldnt be eating it every night that only leads to more obsession and most likely eating more dessert than what we would have eaten if we just allowed ourselves to have it when we first wanted it -
Do you see how allowing gives you the opportunity to actually eat in a way that feels good and it doesn't come from a place of restriction?
Not that this is the point at ALL - but not restricting can lead to eating less, solely because you are allowing yourself and listening and now coming from a place of “the last supper” or fear of not knowing when the next time you’ll be eating the thing you want - why do you think most people eat the entire pint of ben and jerry’s in one sitting?
Because they don’t know when they’ll get it again- so might as well eat it all. When restriction doesn’t exist - you may just have a few bites, or half or the whole thing doesn’t really matter but the thing is, you know you can have it tomorrow if you want so it doesn’t seem as special, therefore allowing you to eat with your body signals and not the obsessive desire to binge.
It’s a mindset shift!!!
It’s making choices that honor you and your body without making one choice better or worse. It’s allowing yourself to live without the diet rules and have the freedom to choose and not be guilted or shamed for eating the ice cream and chips and not praised for eating the salad and Chicken and broccoli. It’s ALL okay because that’s what you chose- end of story.
So to close, restriction is what got you stuck in the diet cycle in the first place, so it absolutely won’t be the thing that sets you free.
There’s a life outside restriction and that’s called wellness without the obsession which still allows you to care about feeling good and making choices that honor your wellness (and that means sometimes eating the cookies and sometimes passing on the cookies- it’s being able to have it all and knowing your self worth at the same time.)
Don’t forget you can download the worksheet to help you process through this episode! www.thebodylovesociety.com/74
The UnDiet Academy begins in November - you can get on the waitlist at: www.thebodylovesociety.com/undiet
See you next week!