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Food guilt: how to find food freedom when eating out

Finding food freedom is a journey you will go on alone. It’s different for everyone as we all come from different pasts and have adopted different behaviours along the way. However, I hope my insight can give you some tips and tricks on how to get through it and come out of diet culture with a healthy and sustainable way of thinking about food. Food guilt is not normal (well, it shouldn’t be at least) and it’s most present when we go out to eat, perhaps not making healthy choices when eating out and thus punishing ourselves for it.

Let me be the first to remind you, going out to eat and choosing the burger is not a crime. Making healthy choices when eating out can be difficult when faced with temptation but when you are finding food freedom, food guilt is not welcome.

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Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!

Where did our unhealthy relationship begin anyway?

As women, especially millennial women and old lady Gen-z’s we were raised by a lot of almond moms. An almond mom is a type that would have a few almonds and be “Full” or comment things like “a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips” Which is so not true by the way. We learn these things as young ladies and take them with us into adulthood not really knowing if they are true or not.

I grew up in a very active household and I’m forever grateful for that. A lot of my good habits were learned when I was young BUT I also suffered for years with an eating disorder because I’m that Type A kind of person. I went on a diet too young and it spiralled into something bigger than I anticipated. I restricted myself to 1200 calories and then binged on chips, cookies, and anything else I could get my hands on.

Diet culture is all around us. Some of us fall victim to it and that’s ok. We can only do our best with the knowledge we have at that time. Now that you are older, wiser, and can take control of your emotions. You have a choice to find food freedom and live a happy life without food guilt. Are you ready for it?

food freedom means not having food guilt after eating bad foods and making healthy choices when eating out when you feel called to do so.

Dropping out of diet culture

Diet culture tells us that burgers are “bad”, cookies are “bad”, and anything deep-fried is “bad”. While this may be true to some extent in terms of nutrient quality. No food has morals you do not need to attach your worth to the foods you eat or don’t eat.

You are not a good person for eating lettuce and you are not a bad person for eating a cookie. There are simply foods with more nutrients, fibre, protein, and things our body needs to function optimally and foods that do not.

Food guilt occurs when we attach our self-worth to our choices when what we really need to do is honour our craving, make a conscious choice to eat the food we crave, and move on.

Making healthy choices out of free will

Free will and free won’t are two superpowers you don’t want to sleep on. Being in control of your food choices gives you the power to progress towards the goal you want to accomplish or feed your cravings. Neither option is right or wrong but necessary depending on the situation.

If you are on a weight loss journey or need to cut out certain foods for health reasons, some discipline is necessary. A lot of people who fall off their goals frequently often lack a reason why they are even doing what they are doing. When we don’t have a deep “why” our healthy habits are not going to last. They may last 2 weeks tops but that’s it. This is why knowing the reason behind your choices is so important! Download my free worksheet to define your WHY

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    How to avoid overeating on delicious food

    Let me guess, you restrict yourself all day because you are planning to go out for a nice dinner. By the time you get to dinner, you’ve eaten a salad and a granola bar so you are STARVING! Then, you get to dinner and eat all the things, can’t control yourself, and overeat on foods that do not support your goals.

    Sound familiar? Here are some things I want you to do to avoid overeating during large meals or higher-calorie meals:

    • Eat throughout the day (trust me)
    • Have a small meal or snack before you go
    • Eat mindfully, focus on the social aspect of the meal
    • Have a drink OR dessert
    • Enjoy your time and carry on as normal the next day

    These tips will allow you to feel more in control around “bad” foods (which aren’t actually bad) and you will reach your goals while also enjoying non-diet activities! Making healthy choices when eating out doesn’t have to come from a place of lack but a place of love.

    what to choose when ordering out (it’s not what you think)

    Order. What. You. Want.

    Let me tell you what happens when you force yourself to order the lower-calorie option rather than the thing you really wanted.

    You won’t be satisfied and may even go home to eat even more because that craving has not been satisfied. Satisfaction after a meal is a very underrated part of weight loss. Everyone preaches “high volume” foods which have a place as well BUT you can also overeat on those. Sometimes trying to avoid your craving will lead you to eating more than if you were to just have that cookie you wanted after dinner.

    wrapping this burrito up!

    Food guilt is not something you need to feel. If you do have a fear of foods and categorise foods into “good and bad” food, you may need to work on your relationship towards food. Finding food freedom is not as complicated as we make it out to be. Making healthy choices when eating out is necessary when you have goals you want to achieve but losing up the reigns every now and again should not impose food guilt.

    You are not a bad person for choosing a burger over a salad. You are not a good person for choosing a salad over a burger. You are just your beautiful self xx

    Until next time xx

    P.S. – accepting applications for coaching! Stop waiting for the perfect moment and start your journey to food freedom TODAY! Apply below:)

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