If you have ever done a "Whole 30" or follow Whole 30 founder Melissa Hartwig on social media, you are probably familiar with the term "food freedom".
The Whole 30 program is a very specific and for most people restricted nutrition plan. The way the Whole 30 is set up is that you participate in 30 day stints of "restriction" or reset, and then you add some food items back in and allow for some "food freedom".
While I don't normally prescribe a program like a Whole 30 for my clients, we do talk a lot about eating for quality and the importance of the food choices they are making. We also talk a lot about how to fit in foods that are "worth it" for them.
Here are 5 tips to make food freedom work for you AND your goals!
1) Choose Your Worth It
Food freedom is not a one size fits all approach. You can't look at how others are eating (or not eating) and place judgement on them or yourself. It is important to make choices for YOU and find peace in those choices. "Worth it" foods shouldn't make you feel like a bad person and shouldn't cause feelings of regret. They are meant to be enjoyed.
2) Try Not to Revert Back to "Diet Thinking"
It can be hard, but food shouldn't be a negotiation with yourself. Thoughts like "Monday I am going to start this diet" or "Tomorrow I am not going to eat carbs" or "Friday I get to eat chips and salsa if I am good all week" are counter productive. Going back to tip one, choose your worth it, add it in where it fits for you and enjoy it.
3) You Can Always Reset
Life is all about balance, and food is no different. If you feel lost, or out of control you can always tighten things up and pull back on some of the food freedom you have given yourself. Choose a set amount of time (7 days, 14 days, etc.) and get your mind right to continue moving forward.
4) Keep a Growth Mindset
Understanding that everyday is a new day and every meal is a new opportunity to make a good choices is so important. If you keep an open, growth mindset then you will always have the opportunity to grow, reflect and change.
5) Stop Focusing on the Scale
The number on the scale doesn't equate to your value as a person. Live with a purpose, do good and be happy. Focus on accepting the person you are and the choices you make, and make a change if you are unhappy about where you are.
Food freedom is not about just being free from the control that food has on you. It is about knowing yourself, making choices for yourself and being accepting of who you are and what you do.
Focus on these 5 things and see if you can successfully add in some "worth it" food freedom items this week that make you happy, make you proud and keep you on track towards your goals.