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How to unlearn your food rules

Whether we are conscious of them or not, most of us have certain "food rules" that dictate our eating habits. These rules often stem from the pervasive influence of diet culture and may lack any scientific basis. Unlearning these food rules and developing a healthier relationship with food is crucial for our physical and emotional well-being. But how do we do this?

Here’s our 3 step guide to help you break free from these restrictions and forge a healthier connection with food!

Step 1: Becoming Conscious of Your Food Rules

  • The first step in unlearning your food rules is to become aware of them
  • These rules can be both conscious and subconscious, so this step is easier said than done
  • Many of these rules have been internalised over years of exposure to misleading information from the diet industry

To break free from these constraints, you need to recognise when and where these food rules influence your choices. Start by asking yourself questions like, "What are my negative food rules?" For instance, do you believe you cannot eat carbs after 6 pm? Do you label certain foods as "good" or "bad"? Acknowledging these rules is the first stride toward change.

Step 2: Getting Curious About Your Food Rules

  • Once you've identified your food rules, the next step is to get curious about them
  •  Challenge their validity and explore the reasoning behind your beliefs
  • To assist you in this process, here are some journal prompts:
    • What is a negative food rule I have? (e.g., I cannot eat carbs after 6 pm)
    • Is there any scientific evidence to support this rule?
    • Why do I feel guilty for eating this food or breaking this food rule?
    • Does eating this food or breaking this food rule make me a bad person?
    • How will unlearning food guilt and food rules change my life for the better?

By addressing these questions, you can begin to deconstruct the foundation upon which your food rules are built.

Step 3: Challenging Your Food Rules

  • The final step in this journey is to actively challenge your food rules
  • This means deliberately breaking the rules that have been restricting your food choices
  • For example, if you've always considered chocolate as a "bad" food, practice including it in moderation
  • Initially, this may feel uncomfortable, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

You'll likely discover that nothing bad or scary happens when you break your food rules. Food is just food. Remind yourself that these rules are not serving you; they are holding you back from enjoying a fulfilling relationship with food.

Your journey to a better relationship with food starts with the conscious recognition of your food rules and the willingness to replace them with self-compassion and a balanced perspective on nutrition.

Love TWS Coach Bronte x