The hardest part about any ‘diet’ is the psychological aspect.
Lets be honest, if you’re told you can’t have something you will invariably want it more.
Sever restriction in your food choices can lead to some serious mental disassociation with food and lead to eating disorders.
How can you avoid this?
Don’t restrict yourself… Pretty simple really.
However, there is something worth remembering, that people often forget and that is to make sensible choices.
What is a sensible choice? Is there such a thing?
Eating more Meat, Veg, Whole Grains (if your guts don’t suffer that is) & drinking plenty of Water, what as a child we would have seen our grandparents doing more often than not. Obviously that’s not to say they didn’t enjoy cakes, ice cream and other such delights a few days each week but the majority of the time they filled their plates with what could be call ‘foods found in nature’ as opposed to ‘foods made by man’ this often served to achieve the following:
– More Protein Consumed
– More Fiber Consumed
– More Water Consumed
All of those 3 help to improve your overall health and how you feel throughout the day. While we can indeed fill our bellies with various sweet treats and have minimal damage to our waistline (provided the necessary energy balance is achieved) it would more than likely leave us feeling pretty crap.
Personally I see nutrition as a battle of wills. If you don’t follow someones nutritional beliefs then you’re wrong and you’re going to die and forever burn in hell, nutrition sounds a lot like religion…
Back to the original point.
Overthinking what you ‘should or ‘shouldn’t’ eat can lead to some serious problems, there are lots of us who have been in this position. This is why IIFYM or Flexible Dieting has helped so many people, it has given them the freedom of choice once again, but as with anything the real concept has been lost in the shroud of media hyper and 1000’s of instgram pictures leading people to believe that the only things that are eaten by following this style of eating is Cakes, Chocolate, Ice Cream and Pop Tarts, but this is simply not true.
Why all the posts of these foods then?
Who wants to put up pictures of what they eat the majority of the time (meat & veg) when a sweet treat is far more pleasing to the eye.
If you speak to anyone who follows these approaches you will find that they eat lots of foods from various sources, but all of them eat a good amount of Protein, Fiber and drink plenty of Water. Nutrition isn’t hard for the average person, it’s just made hard.
If you’re ‘diet’ is causing you psychological issues because of a ridiculous list of foods you can/can’t eat then the best option is to walk away from it because it’s doing you no favors and you could end up in a very bad place.
Eating what would be considered as ‘children’s foods’ for the lack of a better term (sweets) as the majority staple of your diet will do you no favors in terms of your health, but not having them in your life for those times you fancy them can be much worse mentally in the end. If you find you’re craving something sweet then go and have a small amount of it, chances are the reason you’re looking for a food of that ilk is because you’re cortisol levels might be excessively elevated, or your serotonin is a bit low, or maybe it’s just another way of your body telling you it needs some more energy because it hasn’t had enough. Who really knows, just listen to your body on that one.
It’s always better to have a bit of what you want than to forgo it and end up binge eating another day which will lead to larger psychological issues down the road.
Use some common sense and you will find that you don’t go far wrong, or alternatively hire a nutrition coach to help you.