5 Reasons Why You Should Allow Yourself to Eat All Foods

Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN
by Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN
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5 Reasons Why You Should Allow Yourself to Eat All Foods

You may think eliminating certain foods from your diet is the way to shed extra pounds, but is it the best option for long-term weight loss? The truth is, for most people, restrictive diets are not sustainable, and weight lost on these diets tends to rebound within a few months. One of the culprits for rebound weight gain is that a healthy relationship with food was not established.

“All foods fit” is a motto to embrace because it’s the best approach to achieve and maintain a healthy weight for good. Instead of categorizing food as “good,” “bad” or “off-limits,” reframe eating in a way that allows you to enjoy all foods in moderation. The key is giving yourself permission to eat anything that you desire or crave. And no, this is not giving into the temptation to overindulge!

One bite of chocolate cake will not make a person overweight or unhealthy, but overindulgence of said food could over time. Sure, if you have a poor relationship with food, setting strong boundaries with trigger foods may help until you’re ready to enjoy them in moderation. But there are strong reasons for you to consider changing your behavior for the long haul versus going on another restrictive diet. Here are five reasons why you should allow yourself to eat all foods:

1. GUILT-FREE EATING

Putting foods on a “do not eat list” isn’t wise for long-term weight loss and happiness. Swearing off a particular food or food group often creates powerful cravings that, not surprisingly, lead to indulgence followed by guilt. Instead, choose the “all foods fit” motto, and allow yourself to eat any food, guilt free.

2. CURB CRAVINGS

Rules are made to be broken, right? When rules get too strict we naturally want to bend and twist them in our favor. “I’m going to eat my crave food just this one time, and I’ll get back on my diet tomorrow,” is a common thought for the chronic dieter. Giving yourself permission to eat any food means you’ll have fewer cravings because you know you can eat all foods anytime you want. Food loses its power. Say goodbye to overindulgence and “all-or-nothing” eating.

3. WEIGHT LOSS

Yes, weight loss is a common side effect of eating foods in moderation. Shifting your focus from losing weight to eating foods that are enjoyable and satisfying might actually cause you to consume fewer calories! People who savor their food eat less of it, and they are satisfied with less. This satisfaction is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight in the long run.

4. SUSTAINABILITY

When it comes to eating well, it’s all about creating healthy lifestyle choices. Diets are not meant to be followed forever, so allowing yourself to eat all foods in moderation forms a realistic and sustainable approach to eating and keeping a healthy weight.

5. BALANCE OF NUTRIENTS

Each macronutrient performs a different function in the body. Proteins are necessary for growth, maintenance and repair. Fats are necessary for vitamin and mineral absorption, hormone regulation and formation of cell structures. Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of fuel. By restricting or eliminating any one of these food groups, you’re preventing your body’s ability to perform these vital functions. Eating foods in moderation provides balanced nutrition.

Rather than eliminating a food completely, try listening to what your body needs and enjoying all food in moderation. This isn’t an easy fix. It will take hard work and lots of practice, but the results of eating this way are well worth the effort. Becoming attuned to your body’s hunger and satiety cues allows you to push those feelings of guilt aside for good, which often leads to that sustained weight loss you aim to achieve.

About the Author

Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN
Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN

Kristina is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida where she specializes in intuitive and mindful eating. She is the author of the food and nutrition blog, Love & Zest where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life. As a new mom, she knows that eating well and living an active lifestyle isn’t always easy… but it’s always worth it!! Kristina loves spending time outdoors with her family, sweaty workouts, and a good cup of coffee. Get in touch with her for one-on-one nutrition coaching (virtually or in person), or connect with her on PinterestInstagramFacebook  and YouTube.

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8 responses to “5 Reasons Why You Should Allow Yourself to Eat All Foods”

  1. Cassidy S. says:

    What’s the dish in the picture?

  2. Catt Neal says:

    This really did help. I, at some point, was binge eating every night after Christmas because I let myself free on Christmas and ate as much as I want. My body wasn’t used to all that food. In fact, I was restricting way too much. I let myself go every night saying ‘I’ll go to the gym and restart 2016’. In fact, I still continued to restrict and I kept binging every night beyond my goals. Then I tried getting help in all sorts of ways. YouTube videos, book ‘Brain Over Binge’, specializing Doctor in eating disorders, & many more. I then said it was over and found this app. I researched on how to properly diet. I slowly learned ‘iifym’. It stands for ‘If It Fits Your Macros’. I’ve been tracking my foods for 15 days now (only because it tells me :)) and I thoroughly love this lifestyle. I feel more happier and I haven’t binged since then. This app has really helped me.

  3. ctdancer says:

    Great article. Maybe that’s why I lost 13 lbs. in two years. I did not forbid anything. I did have a preference (rice, vegetables and fish), but ate what I wanted.

  4. Bianca lynn says:

    I love this article! I had someone yesterday morning ask me,” So what all do you not eat?” I told her that I eat everything really. I don’t deprive myself of anything that I like. I try to keep my healthy eating 90% of the time that way when we have birthday parties or other special occasions I can still indulge in what I like. (note: not overindulge) I have lost 69 lbs since last March, and from my heaviest I’ve lost 103 lbs. It’s not easy but it is doable and as time goes on you adapt it as a lifestyle. Don’t quit because you’ve reached your goals because guess what? If you go back to your old lifestyle you’ll end up right back where you started.

  5. mssandiego says:

    I was stricter when I was losing weight. But now I have maintained my weight for at least 4 years this way. Mostly balanced meals and snacks..6 times a day ..try to stay with my calorie range 1800-2000 depending of what my fitbit says I have burned that day

  6. apricot says:

    You don’t mention vegetarians or vegans. If you eat properly you don’t need to eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs to get all the nutrients you need. As a matter of fact, non-vegan and non-vegetarians often pay much less attention to proper nutrition. And there are no cravings for omitted food, it is very sustainable, less guilt, and since they are lifestyles and not diets weight loss comes naturally. Plus the risk of many diseases can be eliminated entirely or at least dependence on medication can be greatly reduced.

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