If I don't Diet, What do I do?

confidence mindful eating mindset Feb 15, 2019

So if I don’t diet, what do I do? As discussed in my article “Stop Dieting…” I have stopped dieting and adopted a more intuitive and moderation approach to food.  

Does this mean I don’t think at all about what I eat?  In short, the answer is no.  

There are certain habits I have introduced that help me to recognise what I want to eat – to listen to my body – and how I want to eat to feel satisfied, nourished and energised.  No food is forbidden but I have learnt which foods I need to form the majority of my diet in order to feel my best.   

The habits I’ve adopted make it simpler for me to eat in a consistent way to achieve this without having to overthink it – simplicity & consistency. 

Practice makes perfect

What are the habits?

The habits I have adopted are:

  • Slowing down my eating

  • Eating until I’m satisfied – around 80% full

  • Upping my veggie intake

  • Staying hydrated


Habit – slowing down & satisfaction

Slowing down my eating has enabled me to really pay attention to the food I am eating.  This in turn increases my enjoyment of it – I get to taste it properly now.  Slowing down also enables me to pay attention to when I have had enough to eat – I was talking to someone the other day who summed it up as leaving the table when you’ve had enough but could still eat more

This helps avoid that horrid feeling after a meal when you’ve completely overeaten – I’m sure we can all relate to the post-Christmas lunch feels.  Thus, I aim to eat until I’m satisfied but there is still some room. This was the habit I found the hardest to get used to – that’s why it’s all a matter of practice. There are times when we eat when we’re not hungry – and this is fine. Practicality often dictates what times meals are in our house – but it is still possible to recognise when I’ve had enough. 

Habit – increasing my veg

Increase your veg intake | Sarah J Snape | Life coach for women

I gradually increased my veggie intake to around 8-10 portions a day. As well as providing increased fibre (essential for the digestive system to work optimally) and other micro-nutrients veg are a versatile way to add flavours and texture to dishes (or hidden in them if you have a reluctant veg eater!)  Now if I haven’t been eating as many vegetables I can tell, and I will crave them.  After Christmas & Boxing Day, I was just craving a big salad – I wanted some fresh, crisp veg.  I hadn’t over-eaten as such, but the food was richer than we normally have, and I just wanted something simple and cleansing and that was going to leave me feeling energised.

Habit – Hydration

The final habit is to stay hydrated.  I worked on increasing my intake of water & substituted some of my coffee for herbal teas and have noticed that this has more of an effect of stopping me feeling tired than coffee.  I haven’t given up coffee totally – and doubt I ever would – but replacing some of it has helped.  At certain times it is vastly easier to keep the water intake up than others – on a cold day I do like having something warm to drink.  It took me ages, but I finally managed to find some herbal teas that I enjoy.  Every cell, organ & tissue in the body need water to function effectively. Maintaining hydration can reduce fatigue, help concentration and is needed to keep joints lubricated.  My awareness over my hydration has increased – you can guarantee if I haven’t drunk enough over the day, I’ll get a real energy slump around 3.30-4.00pm, which now if it happens, I recognise it straight away.  

Take Your Time

These habits all tie in with the principles I aim to employ – nourishment, self, consistency & simplicity. (read more here) It’s essential to remember that habits take time to form – the more you consistently practice, the easier they become. Focus on one thing for a couple of weeks to build in the habit before thinking about another. 

The most important thing I’ve changed though is the removal of any guilt or shame about what I eat, when I eat and how I eat. These aren’t rules per se, but habits that have helped me break the restriction cycle. As above, there are times we eat when we’re not hungry – going out, wanting to try something, social occasions – these are all fine and part of the enjoyment of life. This is part of nourishing the self. It’s building an awareness and making conscious choices rather than impulsive choices – whatever that choice may be.

To find out more click here to receive my ebook Find Your Food Freedom: an introduction.

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