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How to Stop Dieting – Dietitian Advice to Bend the Food Rules

How to Stop Dieting – Dietitian Advice to Bend the Food Rules

2. Become a left AND right brain eater

Eating fully = healthfully (left brain) + soulfully (right brain)

There are no bad foods, only bad diets. It’s all about choice. Nothing is off limits. Just like budgeting your finances, you need to develop the skill and awareness of spending and saving where it counts. Similar to our bank account, what we choose to spend on is highly individual. There will always be key basic needs we must spend on, and then there is discretionary room for fun.

Use your left brain that is logical, analytical and structured to build daily and weekly healthful foods and meals chosen for nutrition and good health and productivity.

To access your right brain be sure to spend some quiet time reflecting on what foods make you happy and which soulful foods chosen for taste, enjoyment and socializing you appreciate most. Allowing the creative and emotional right brain to flow is an important influence in becoming an intuitive eater to live your best life.


3. Reframe food rules to rewire the brain

Psychologists use the term cognitive flexibility (which I like to think of as reframing), to describe the ability to view a situation, event or thought from different perspectives. Reframing unconscious, automatic negative thoughts or food rules into more positive and realistic perspectives may seem initially hokey but the effects are profound when you work on this skill over time. Work on a handful of potential comebacks or reframe responses about negative thoughts or food rules. If you are stuck for answers, think about how you would respond to a friend as this may be easier to offer kind and compassionate words or insight. As you practice your food rules will become less intense and your automatic thoughts will move to those that are kinder.


Reframing a thought can rewire the brain.  

For example:

If you have struggled with your weight and bingeing on chocolate and sweets and then labelled them as forbidden foods here is the food rule or negative thought and some ideas for the reframe.


Food Rule:  “I can’t eat this chocolate because I am fat”

Potential Reframe Ideas:

  • There are no bad foods, only bad overall diets
  • I am worthy of enjoying ALL foods
  • No one food contributes to weight gain or weight loss
  • Permission to eat chocolate regularly and guilt-free leads to more satisfaction with smaller quantities
  • When I eat chocolate, I will do so mindfully to savour and enjoy each bite
  • I am learning that somewhere between eating no chocolate and bingeing on chocolate mindlessly, is an amount that provides true satisfaction