This topic is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. It’s easy to fall into the trap of judging what you eat: comparing your food choices to others’ and criticizing yourself for what you consume. I’m sure most of us, at one time or another, have followed some diet or eating plan. Usually, with these rules comes that feeling that we must follow them perfectly. On days when we reached our goals – whether that was 1,500 calories, or five servings of veggies, or skipping dessert – we felt amazing. Proud, accomplished, euphoric. But on the other days, when we slipped up or ate the wrong thing, we felt not-so-great about ourselves: sad, depressed, even guilty. We often find comfort in a diet because we believe that if we could only follow it to a T, we would have the body we’ve been wanting, and we’d be happy, too. But I wish that we could all give up this notion of perfect eating.
Because the truth is, there is no such thing as perfect eating. Each of us is different: our shape and size, how we spend our time, and what makes us feel good, satisfied, and strong. There’s no one perfect diet that will work for all of us. More than that, you are constantly changing, so the foods you need will change, too. Thinking that one strict plan will satisfy you, day in and day out, ignores the complicated and unexpected path of life. The only way to really eat well is to listen to your body. To eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. To nourish yourself with tons of nutrient-rich produce, lots of high-energy carbs and satiating fats, and plenty of treats too, because they’re good for the soul. No eating plan can stand in for this type of intuition. No day of eating will be perfect, because each day looks different – that’s what your body needs. So, let’s stop eating for a diet, and start eating for ourselves. Don’t let food rules dictate your mood, and instead, find happiness in respecting your body and feeling good.