Cutting Out vs Adding in

Cutting out vs Adding in


Whenever I began a diet the first thing I’d do is to cut out a whole bunch of foods.

No soft drinks, no bread, no potatoes, no corn, no chocolate, no chips – etc etc.

The list of ‘banned’ foods would vary depending on the diet.

I would start each diet with determination, and sometimes I could stick it out for months on end (and sometimes days, and other times mere hours!).

But whichever diet I’d try they all had the same thing in common – as soon as I was told I couldn’t have something, I dreamed of ways to ‘sneak’ it in.

Maybe I could have a cheat day, or maybe I could go to a friends house (I mean if they offered a banned food it would be rude to say no), or perhaps I could go to the movies (calories eaten in the dark don’t count right?).


The thing is for me cutting things out never worked.


So what did work?

Adding things in.

The more healthy things I added in, the more it crowded out all the ‘junk’ food. I found over time that I often didn’t feel like junk foods anymore.

Partly I believe it was because I was feeling so much better from all the nourishing foods I was eating (studies have shown that a lot of obese people are malnourished because although they may eat a large volume of food it’s often poor quality and so the body demands more and more to try and meet nutritional demands).

But mostly I think it’s because when nothing was ‘banned’, when I lifted the restriction, then all the excitement and drive to eat forbidden food fell away, because nothing was forbidden anymore.


Now I know a lot of you may be thinking. This is crazy talk! If I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted, I would be out of control!


I would live on chocolate or ice cream or (insert your favourite forbidden food here). But if you truly give up the ‘control’ and listen to your body, it knows what to do.

My favourite forbidden food is cookie dough. And I will be honest, in my first 2 weeks of letting go of control I ate a lot of cookie dough. But in all the time since, I’ve only had it once. The fact is I really don’t like cookie dough, it makes me feel tired and sluggish. When I really took ownership and listened to my body and realised that, then all the desire for it fell away.

Many of us have lost a connection with our body and what foods make us feel good. We tend to try and follow some diet or guidelines without tuning into what really works for us.

For me what has really worked is to let go of all the ‘rules’ (which face it, weren’t working for me anyway!) and begin adding things in, rather than cutting things out x


health without shame

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