Switch From “Diet Eating” to “Healthy Eating”

by tinareale on January 19, 2012

In my vlog on the first steps I took to overcome my binge eating struggles, I mentioned the importance of losing food rules and the all or nothing approach. Part of this also included another mental shift. Before, my eating efforts always cycled between “diet eating” and “I-don’[email protected]%#$” eating patterns. Then I took value in fueling myself and treating my body with respect. It was no longer about “Diet Eating”. It was all about “Healthy Eating”. How do I go about “healthy eating” now? What’s the difference between the two? Let me show you with a typical day in my eating life.

Caught Up In All The “Rules” vs Eating What Satisfies

IMGP3269-1
Breakfast = Plain Oats cooked with Unsweetened Coconut Almond Milk topped with sliced banana, blueberries, and natural peanut butter + coffee & splash almond milk on the side

I researched all the different diet plans. I knew all the weight-loss rules and followed many of them. I knew what I “should” and “shouldn’t” eat and in what quantities. That dictated what I chose to put in my mouth each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What followed “the rules”.

Now, I go for what I know satisfies me. I go for food combinations that are flavorful, fresh, filling, and enjoyable to eat. Healthy eating should be delicious. There are so many wonderful options out there. All it takes a little effort to find healthy foods and the preparations you enjoy; then, you must regularly incorporate them.

Fearing Food vs Finding Balance

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Lunch = Mixed Salad with olive oil based dressing + 1 egg & 2 egg whites on bakery fresh whole wheat and seed bread

I did low-carb. I did low-fat. I did eat-everything-in-sight. Food controlled me. It was all I could think about and I didn’t feel comfortable with food. I didn’t trust myself with food. I put certain foods off limits and made things way too complicated.

Now, all I shoot for is balance. Each meal, I try to include some form of whole grains, at least 1-2 servings of produce, a protein source, and also incorporate healthy fats through the day. That’s it! I don’t fuss more than that now. I go back to eating what satisfies, with balanced choices, and it never fails to round out a nice meal.

Eating Highly Processed “Low-Calorie!” “Low-Fat!” “Lite & Fit & Healthy” Foods vs Natural Foods

IMGP3285-1
Snack = Basic green smoothie (unsweetened vanilla almond milk, spinach, and frozen banana) with Clif Bar

I lived on 100 calorie packs. And not the 100 calorie pre-portioned (ripoff!) almond packs. I’m talking the 100 calorie Reese’s Piece Snackers and Oreo Crisps and other such nonsense.

Now, I tend to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with one afternoon snack. I still have processed things on occasion – for example my snack yesterday included a Clif bar and 1/2 scoop protein powder – but I still try to limit the processed items and choose ones with as natural ingredients as possible. I much prefer the real treats anyways and still fit them into my “healthy eating” ways.

Eat To Max # of Calories vs Eat For Fuel

IMGP3264-1
Dinner = Quinoa, Edamame, Pineapple, Broccoli, Bell Pepper, and Zucchini mix

Before, I had a set calorie goal for each day. It usually fell in a range way too low to support my activity level and left me ravenous with no energy. “But, I can only eat unrealistic X number of calories!!!” I would end each day cranky, tired, and HUNGRY.

I learned that in order to achieve a healthy weight, I must eat enough to fuel my body well and still within a balanced range. I made myself learn my body’s hunger signals and needs. I paid attention to foods that gave me the most energy, left me feeling good, and nourished my body. Now, I don’t wrap myself up in counting and limiting calories to X amount. I check myself for proper portion sizes and a reasonable amount for a meal…after checking myself for what I plan on putting in my body and if it will fuel me properly.

“All Or Nothing” and “Cheat Days” vs 80/20 Balance

I would be game ON or hardcore OFF the wagon. It was night and day. Black and white. 2 dozen doughnuts or a pile of broccoli with flaxseed oil sprinkled on top and six egg whites on the side.

Now, I make sure I regularly include small treats such as a piece or two of dark chocolate, in my regular day to day life. I plan ahead and expect to have 1-2 larger treats through the week, but know to keep it to a reasonable portion and balance it out with my favorite wholesome foods at other times. I don’t strive for perfection. The 80/20 guideline keeps me accountable to myself, but in a realistic way.

In the end, “healthy eating” should be a LIFESTYLE. It should be something you can do for life and feel good about. It should give you vitality and energy. It should taste good so you can consistently make those choices. It should fit your eating habits. If we have any chance of sticking with a healthy eating lifestyle, we sure as heck better find a way to make it satisfying, realistic, and delicious. I promise it’s possible. And so much better than diet eating.

Do you think there is a difference between “diet eating” and “healthy eating”? How have you experienced the two in your eating choices and life?

{ 70 comments }

1 Miz January 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

it took me so very long to come to this as well.
For me it has resulted mindful or intuitive eating.
I LOVE THIS POST.

off to tweet tweet it.

2 Barbara January 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

I love this post. I spent years letting food consume me. I finally figured out how to eat for health while at the same time learning that occasionally something fabulously sugar laden will be on the menu. The trick was learning that those occasions need to stay rare yet enjoyed guilt free getting right back to quality eating the next meal. It only took me ten years to figure that out. :)

3 Lauren January 19, 2012 at 7:21 am

Amen girl!! So well said. :)

4 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

I need to bookmark this. Thank you for this post. I watched your vlog yesterday and then had, well, a bad evening. I realized that although I don’t binge on donuts and things like that, I do have a “mini binge” on healthier food (greek yogurt, pumpkin, protein cupcakes, etc) in the evenings and I’ve realized it’s because I restrict myself all day and try to be perfect and then I just loose it some evenings. I am not perfect! I need to stop thinking about food ALL THE TIME. It’s been driving me crazy for years and it needs to stop!

5 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

A lot of bingeing in my opinion is the emotional sense of lack of control and eating past comfort or to drown out something internal. It takes time to find that balance, but I have faith you can. :)

6 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thank you Tina, I appreciate that!

7 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) January 19, 2012 at 7:32 am

Gosh, this is the subject I live for! People have a preconceived notion that when you eat healthy, your dieting. That gets under my skin. Then they see how much I eat and how often and are completely shocked. The things is, if you eat a balanced diet and exercise (and I’m not talking killing yourself), you can have the occasional treats. The best part, is when you realized that there are sinful and luscious foods that are good for you. It’s really more about satisfying your senses and your body at the same time. I love it when that happens. Love this post Tina!

8 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 19, 2012 at 7:39 am

great post. I wish more people realized this. I eat the way I do as a permanent way of life, not a temporary diet.

9 Lori Lynn January 19, 2012 at 8:06 am

I try to do a “healthy eating” approach, with not being restrictive, and then I get to a point where I can’t take it any more (usually from stress), and I guess “fall off” with overdoing it. I know that the more sugar I eat, the more I crave it, so that’s partially what sets me up. (I guess old habits haven’t exactly died ‘hard,’ yet.)Still a work in progress…

10 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I still have my moments as well. The key is getting back into healthier choices as soon as possible and moving forward to keep as much balance as possible. :)

11 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes January 19, 2012 at 8:45 am

Great post! I used to think that diet eating and healthy eating were the same! So wrong! Haha :)

12 Jess January 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

Oh man, Tina – this post SO resonates with me. Even though I haven’t struggled with binge eating or disordered eating per se, I have definitely had an unhealthy relationship with food in the past – the going all out, not giving a sh*t mentality to the low carb/fad diets galore and it wasn’t fun. Now? I’m ALL about eating healthy – because eating healthy tastes freakin’ delicious if you do it right. I am literally DYING to get home to a steaming bowl of fresh made oatmeal with chopped apples, cinnamon and all natural peanut butter. That to me is heaven in a bowl. Nothing processed, nothing fake, all wholesome and SO SO SO YUMMY! Like you said, healthy is a lifestyle change, not a moment in time thing, not something that should be difficult or painful. Awesome post. I clearly totally agree on all counts!

13 jobo January 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

ditto ditto ditto to what Jess said!! Your post puts it so perfectly, and it took me awhile to get to this point too. Eat real food. Eat foods that are whole. Eat a good balance of proteins and fats. Yes! This way of eating is so no-duh in so many ways yet WHY was it so hard to grasp, ya know? Anyway, glad we are all on that same bandwagon! It’s a goodie, a lifelong one!

14 Carissa January 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

Awesome post! I agree with this whole heartedly, yet sometimes it’s so easy to begin slipping back into the diet food mentality without even realizing it. Thanks so much for the great reminder as to why healthy eating is so much better than diet eating!

15 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

So so similar to my change!! Hit the nail on the head with the “food as fuel” one!

16 Kelly January 19, 2012 at 9:47 am

It took me a long time to find my way of eating as well. After a lot of trail and error I have found that a diet in quality fats, protein and minimal fruit works for me. I never give out diet advice on my blog because I firmly believe that someone will then try to immulate me and how I eat may not work for them. For example, fruit. I know fruit is super healthy but for me one fruit a day is more than plenty. The fruit sugar doesn’t really like me so much. But I make up for it but eating lots and lots of veggies and quality fats. I also realized that understanding that there are no bad foods is essential and that no one food or one meal makes someone fat. So that pizza once a week doesn’t hurt me at all. If I want a PB&J sandwich I need to know that I can have that every day of the week if I want and don’t need 2 or 3 in one day. I refuse to give food power.

17 Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves January 19, 2012 at 9:56 am

I love this post! I really struggle with the “on” “off” stuff. I eat really healthy during the week, then fall off the wagon on the weekends. It’s hard for me not to think of certain foods as “bad”. I’m working on it. :)

18 Parita @ myinnershakti January 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

I used to be a diet eater – everything was low fat this and low calorie that. And it helped me lose weight, but I honestly felt horrible and had no energy. Now I focus on more wholesome foods, drink tons of water, and treat myself daily (small pieces of chocolate at the end of a long day do wonders :) ). Great post!

19 Cheryl @ eatplayluvblog January 19, 2012 at 10:21 am

I can totally agree with this!

I am really trying to work on the last part…finding a balance that doesn’t make me feel “bad” or “guilty”…my latest step is to have dessert on a daily basis and rather than “saving” it for late at night (which actually makes it more likely for me to feel guilt around it), I’m enjoying it whenever I want it (chocolate for breakfast is a viable option). I think having a “cheat day” really made my bingeing seem likes less of a problem. Sure, being healthy is awesome but thinking about food as “cheating” or “indulging” puts those connotations that give it too much power back into things and that is NOT where I want to be.

One other thing, and I’m not sure if you ever noticed this: now that I’m not “dieting” I can SHARE food. Before if someone wanted a bite of something, I’d feel like I was losing out giving even a taste of it away. Now I am all about sharing, because I know that just because I finish something doesn’t mean I can’t have another serving. I know that I will eat again soon enough whenever I feel hungry/ready for food (whereas before I’d have to wait til my next pre-determined meal or snack). Thoughts?

20 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I have noticed that too with sharing. Before it was like it was MINE and my only shot at having whatever “cheat food” so I couldn’t let up a single nibble for someone else. I so get what you’re saying there!

21 Beth @ Beth's Journey January 19, 2012 at 10:29 am

Great post Tina! I’m still majorly struggling with the all or nothing mentality, and my eating is black or white like you used to be. I’ll either eat 3 cupcakes at the office party, or none, (and probably more if no one was looking). Do you have any tips on starting to overcome the mentality or is that coming in a future post?

22 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I’m going to try to do that in a future post. Although, in all honesty, it boiled down to making myself stop labeling things. At first, I went overboard and I just kept having to forgive myself and go back to balance. I would sometimes have to make myself have a treat when I planned to “be good” and then make myself be okay with it. It was kind of like staring exercise or starting healthy eating in the first place. I had to get myself into those habits and then just keep them up until they became more natural. Does that make sense?

23 Mish January 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I TOTALLY get that. I think that is where it maintains itself. I actually think it goes back to the idea of letting go. In those moments when you think black and white..why are you thinking so strakly? That’s what I ask myself. If I say “only vegetables for the next week!”..what am I really saying. If I say to myself “well, I’ll start tomorrow and I’m gonna have my second huge bowl of ice cream” what am I actually saying? For me, and I have no idea if this resonates with Tina or yourself..it’s the emotional ques, the emotional foundation for boxed thinking…that I was trapped in. I find that when I go back into those places or start thinking down those lines it’s something else. If that make any sense at all?

24 Ari @ Ari's Menu January 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

I feel like I just read my same exact discoveries with food. So often what you say is spot on with my feelings/journey. PS: The low carb is the very worst in my opinion. Nothing makes you want 2 dozen donuts more than telling yourself you will NEVER eat them again! I even bought low carb cook books legitimately thinking that’s how I would eat for the rest of my life–gross!

25 Tina January 19, 2012 at 11:03 am

I totally think there is a difference. I’m finally getting that now : )

I used to be like you, Now I focus more on treating my body well. Naturally that just ends up being more healthy foods that I’m choosing.

26 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 19, 2012 at 11:05 am

I love the idea of the 80/20 rule. I don’t “diet,” but I do try to eat more veggies than anything else, and get a lot of protein (especially on weight days). On the weekends I know I’m going to have a couple of meals out, but I try to order consciously… and save room for dessert and a glass of wine (or 2… or 3…). :)

I was talking to a woman this week whose son is doing a fitness competition. She said he once ate oatmeal with tuna IN it because he needed carbs and protein. LOL! I could NEVER be that hard core.

27 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Oh…GAG!

28 Heather @ Better With Veggies January 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

This is a great post – I couldn’t agree more!! Striving to make healthy, nutritious choices to fuel your life is a lifelong approach. No one wants to count calories for the rest of their lives, so what happens when you stop. I think it’s key to stock up on lots of delicious, flavorful, and healthy whole foods so that you have what you need to make nutritious meals & snacks. If that’s what I have in the house, that’s what I eat instead of less nutritious, highly-processed choices.

29 Rachael @ Happy Healthy Runner January 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

all of those meals you posted look incredible! healthy eating is so much more delicious and fun then diet eating!! give me peanut butter and apples over 100 calorie oreos any day! it truly is a lifestyle choice and not just a “i’m going on a diet for now” choice! :)

30 Michelle January 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm

EXACTLY.

I definitely think there’s a difference – not just in terminology but in mindset! I don’t diet. I have and it’s never stuck around long term. Instead, I make healthy choices — sometimes. I negotiate good for bad — sometimes and I kick up my workouts when I’m feeling blah or have negative thoughts about myself. My lifestyle choice is moderation – it’s taken me many years to discover what that means to me, how I need to balanced my food/exercise, and accept the healthy weight my body WANTS to be at but it’s a struggle that’s been worth it.

31 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm

You eat very much like I do! I personally just feel so much better when I eat nutritious, healthy whole foods. I hate to say it, but when I initially lost a bunch of weight, it was from being a Splenda addict and eating the processed version of everything. However, I think that severely screwed up my hormones. I completely changed my way of eating about 3 years ago.
My biggest issue is with a ‘little handful of this or that’ and lying to myself that it doesn’t add up. It sure does!

32 Alyssa @ Life of bLyss January 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I agree with EVERYTHING in this post. I used to be all about the non-fat products, 100-calorie snack packs, and I would do all-or-nothing days. I would so often feel like once I “cheated,” there was no point in being healthy for the rest of the day. I’m so thankful I’ve come out of those habits, I now know what to eat to keep me satisfied and healthful, and make healthy eating a lifestyle rather than a come-and-go habit.

33 Katie January 19, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Why are you always reading my mind? I love this post and it aligns so well with my goals for 2012!

34 Sara January 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Great post! I just had a small piece of sheet cake with a tiny bit of ice cream on the side and I don’t feel bad! Usually I’d feel terrible about it, but it’s rare and I wanted to celebrate w/ my co-worker for his birthday. Amen! I try to do the lots of produce + protein + grain at each meal too. So much easier to remember than “food rules.” And treats are essential. I don’t want to live without a few treats in life.

35 Rebecca January 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

My dad commented last time I was home that diets don’t work. And really, your diet is just the food you eat. Fads and such aren’t going to last; you get sick of them after a while and go back to the way you ate before. It has to be a consistent lifestyle thing, like you said.
That said, my dad is sometimes TOO worried about the food he eats. He scolds himself for eating two or three scoops of ice cream once a month or something dumb like that. I hate it. I know he’s trying to be healthy, but I’m tired of him sounding guilty for certain things. He eats pretty healthy, and I know limiting sugar and whatever is smart, but I feel like he’s too hard on himself for treats sometimes. If that makes sense.

36 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries January 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

oh boy, i’ve definitely been on the “diet eating” road before… let’s just say i’m SO happy to be on the “healthy eating” road now! it’s SO SO SO much better! great post!

37 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions January 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I absolutely love this post. I really, really appreciate your focus on the need for balance in eating. Like you said, it’s not about all or nothing, it’s not about what “they” say you should or should not be eating: it’s about finding that happy medium between what you need, what you want, and what’s best for you in your situation (which differs from person to person). Thanks so much for posting this. It’s seriously amazing.

38 Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine January 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm

These posts the last two days were exactly what I needed…I felt myself slipping back into my “food rules” mindset. I have lost all of the baby weight, but am not toned in places as I was before, so rather that set realistic goals I started to doubt my efforts and beat up on myself in the eating department. I DO eat healthy, but instead I sat down and started to write down a specific menu plan with specific calories in mind. I know from the past that this is way too stringent and I end up driving myself crazy with it all. So after reading these posts and hearing “get rid of the food rules” once again, I threw out the menu plan and instead am going to focus on listening to my body, eating good for me foods with some treats, and fueling for my needs and my lil’ ones. Thanks again for saying exactly what I needed to hear, I feel like I need it every couple of months haha, but I hope I get better about it!

39 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hey, sometimes I write these posts because I need the reminders myself. We all can slip into old habits. The key is recognizing its not what is best for us and going back to what we know leaves us healthy and happy. :)

40 Mish January 19, 2012 at 6:44 pm

When I get like that, and it can creep up without any warning and I totally get it, I try to ask myself..what is causing this.

“I saw a photo where I didn’t like the way I looked”
Then I try to bring peace into it, commit to peaceful changes and find ways to affirm how far I’ve come.

Good on your for recognising it. It’s so easy to slip back into. Congrats on how far you’ve come. You’re teaching your children invaluable lessons.

41 Katie @ Pop Culture Cuisine January 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Thank you for the kind words…I agree it is most important for the kids, I never want them to feel inadequate or stressed about food! I want them to enjoy it and learn to trust their own intuitions.

42 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

You hit the nail on the head with this post. It’s funny because my post today talked all about the low carb, high protein diet I did for almost 2 years back in college. Writing about it made me realize just how ridiculous it was at the time. Eating for a “diet” and eating “healthy” are very different things, too bad it took me until 28 to figure that out.

43 Leonor @FoodFaithFitness January 19, 2012 at 3:03 pm

That’s what I like about the “Eat Clean Diet”, it’s not a diet. You don’t count calories or anything. In order to see results, it has to be a lifestyle change. There isn’t a magic pill or quick fix. I also agree with indulging a little when you feel the need for a reward.

44 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health January 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Um, I could say so many great things about this post…but to sum it up, I’ll just say- AMEN :D . Totally loved it!

45 Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm

“Black and white. 2 dozen doughnuts or a pile of broccoli with flaxseed oil sprinkled on top and six egg whites on the side.”

This is why you’re so popular. You’re relate-able.

one donut and one pile of broccoli for the win.

46 STUFT Mama January 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Tina- love this post. I am right there with you friend. I have been on both extremes and have FINALLY found what works for me and what is best for my body. Thanks for inspiring so many others. Off to tweet this goodness! :)

47 Tamara January 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Thanks for a thoughtful message about finding the middle ground. Well, 80/20 is actually above ground but you know what I mean!

48 Mish January 19, 2012 at 6:41 pm

can we get an AMEN?

I think that A LOT of the time I was AFRAID to eat healthy. Even when I was eating healthy foods, I would binge. BECAUSE I didn’t think I could trust myself and I still had rules. Learning to eat for health is also about finding the healthy peace in your mind, the calm in your being whereby you’re able to trust your own sense of hunger, emotional needs, and food choices. It does take time. It does include slip ups. It does include being honest with yourself. But when you find that calm…the let go…and peace with food and ENJOYMENT with eating, it’s amazing. Ironically, it is what I was searching for in the dieting, but never found it.

Thanks for writing this.

49 tinareale January 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Couldn’t agree more. The peace and calm around food makes it all worth it – even the slipups and challenges.

50 CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com January 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I absolutely needed this today. I am in recovery from an eating disorder and struggle immensely with breaking food rules, guilt and attempting to find balance. You are an imputation and I can’t wait to reAd more. Thank you!

51 Samantha January 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Love this post! I think it’s the perfect approach to eating, I do the same thing as you! I wish we could convince more and more people to go this route!

P.S. That quinoa looks AMAZING!

52 Hilary January 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Thank you so much for this post…I totally agree with everything you have to say! As someone who’s struggled with weight my entire adult life (and trust me, I’ve NEVER been a skinny one), I find it really hard to balance the diet mentality/ vs. healthy eating. I want so much to eat like a normal person, and treat myself more (in smaller ways) on a day-to-day basis, but it’s like you said – I don’t trust myself with food! I guess I just never realized that!

53 Lindsay @ FuelMyFamily January 19, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I agree completely. Most people seem to have an all or nothing approach. So what if you just had 5 pieces of pizza for dinner, that doesnt mean you ruined the whole day and have to eat a carton of ice cream as well. Eat an apple for an evening snack and move on.
And I feel like I eat a very well balanced healthy “diet”. People always put a negative connation on the word “diet”.

54 sarah January 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

what do i do if I’m now binging …but am underweight?
I need to gain…so I count cals…..if I don’t count cals, i don’t gain..but i’m drove nuts…

the binging is not physical…its emotional + sleep deprived…

like last night…after a full day of solid eating and snacks (big)…i binged on an entire box of crappy granola bars…i woke up feeling like crap..but still ate a breakfast…i feel like my body needs to be “reset” or “cleansed” cause i keep binging on crap-food way late at night…

the thing is that i want to start gaining…so i’m in a big bind….since i can’t see a therapist or RD,,,how can one slow down and learn to honor their body, meditate, calm, things like that?

and what does one do after a few months of binging…i’m not binging once a week..i’m binging every night…so how do i “fix” it the next dday, but start my weight gain….i dont want to gain “all wrong”…i can’t exercise (at all) to make me feel better about it either…sucks…

55 tinareale January 20, 2012 at 10:46 am

Hi Sarah!

I can only speak from my personal experiences, but I know that for me overcoming the emotional aspect relied a lot on finding other things to turn to besides food when I felt stressed/sad/lonely/etc. I also did a lot of journaling and prayer to really see the triggers and find better ways of coping with them.

Being able to return to normal balance following a binge took practice. I just had to force myself to do it at first until it became more of a habit. I would know my standard meals and intake and even if I wanted to adjust for the binge, I would have to forgive, return straight to my norm, and try to learn from the triggers and what I could do differently.

I wish I had more advice than that, but that’s what I experienced personally.

56 sarah January 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

How do you approach it if underweight ? I have to gain like 15 lbs and calorie counting is driving me crazy. But I am not gaining, so something has to change. I feel stuffed to the gills all the time and can’t just be “free” because I have to eat alot. Its awfully hard to eat alot + deal with binging when you don’t exercise. Big guilt and shame. Especially when I eat sweets and grains to extreme.

I wish I could just gain with time au naturel. But I desperaately need to gain,that it is impossible. Therapists are not realistic for me, so its hard to sort it out. I’ll try journalling I guess.

57 Emilia January 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

Great post, it really sums up the difference between eating for rules and eating for health, for fuel and for yourself. It’s interesting because even though these rules are so easy to say, they are a lot more difficult to put into practice. I agree with the statement that ‘healthy’ is more of a lifestyle than a way of eating. I’m bookmarking this post and coming back to it when I need inspiration to stay on the healthy eating track :)

58 Caitlin January 20, 2012 at 10:21 am

GREAT post! I am still at a point where I am struggling to get out of the diet mentality and into healthy eating. I don’t consider myself to be “dieting”, yet I feel often like I actually am because my line of THINKING is the “diet” way. For example, eating to a max calorie amount vs. for fuel. I will sometimes feel hungry at the end of the day and want a snack before bed, and I think, but I already ate X amount, how can I want more?! I shouldn’t question what my body wants, I should just…well…listen to it and fuel it! I used to do the “cheat day” thing…so silly. I definitely think I’ve gotten to an 80/20 point, but am struggling with other categories you mentioned like I said above.

Came to this post from Paige’s Friday Link Love post on Running Around Normal!

59 tinareale January 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

Thanks for coming and it’s defnitely a balance and takes work. I still have to work at it. But it comes more naturally with time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

60 Mattie @ Comfy and Confident January 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

Great Post! I can relate to so many of your comments. I am finally coming stopping diet eating and trying to eat to fuel and eat healthy. Once I got over the fear of eating so much more food than I normally did, I feel so much better, have a ton of energy and feel so much more confident in my body and lifestyle!

61 Hillary January 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Love love love EVERYTHING about this post. Like everyone else who’s commented, I’ve dealt with many of the same patterns that you have, and am still struggling with breaking my bad habits. I’ve been on a good track for a few years now, but it is bizarre to look back on where I was just a few years ago and how far I’ve come. Thanks for writing this!

62 Anne P January 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

Wonderful post – agree 100%. I think before people can change their mindset, they will have a hard time maintaining a healthy lifestyle… because it will always be an all or nothing challenge vs. just what they do normally!

63 Tanisha November 20, 2012 at 12:40 am

I am guilty being an eoamiontl eater. And all that you have mentioned, were all the characteristics that I have ever since. Like you, I also have cravings for sweets to munch every time I am depressed or had another break-up. I just don’t know but I felt more complete every time I do that on those occasions. But, thanks to you, I was aware of it. It’ll take time though to finally get over from such habit. Maybe that’s the reason why I keep on gaining weight lately. I’ll try to keep track of my diet from now on eoamiontl or not.Florida Speeding Ticket Attorneyb4s last [type] ..

64 Heidi January 22, 2012 at 1:15 pm

This was well written and I couldn’t agree more. Everyone I know is on some sort of crazy plan and when you hear them talk about it the first thing I ask is can you eat like this the rest of your life? Constantly letting some diet control you…letting food control you. The moment you make the decision to live healthy…the moment you stop letting food control you that’s when results happen. I truly believe in 80/20 I live it…life is for living not being controlled by food.

Also I love those dark choc sea salt bars! :)

65 Lisa January 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I used to eat “diet” everything. I was counting my calories in order to lose 100 pounds and for me it was all about the math. Now that I’ve lost the weight I’m learning more about eating HEALTHY instead of DIET food. My body needs good fuel!

66 workinprogress45 January 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm

This is all so true for me as well I just relized EMOTIONAIL EATING was me…..STRESS will kill me if I let it.I take my meds daily here they are….. 1st thing eat healthy & supplements , 2 nd get out get to the gym, 3 rd keep my good spirt. Love you all

67 Jassy February 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

i like this post…this makes me think, the problem is i don’t know what a balanced diet is :)

68 Sky May 18, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I loooovvveee this post and your blog! Tina you are such an inspiration to me! I feel like I can really relate to you! I struggle with eating healthy. Like you said it was for you, I’m struggling with it being black and white for me. I’m on the slow track to really eating healthy and your blog is one that I go to for motivation, encouragement, and inspiration. Thank you so much!!

69 tinareale May 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks so much, Sky. Keep focused and remember the goal is health. :)

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