What comes to mind when you hear the words Food Freedom? If you picture yourself eating only donuts, pizza, and ice cream for the rest of your life…think again.
Posts with the hashtag #foodfreedom are trending on Instagram. But you might still be curious: What is food freedom? Is it for me? Is it here to stay? These are some of the questions that I’m hearing from the Everglow Nutrition community.
In this post, I walk you through what food freedom means to me personally and professionally as a non-diet dietitian who helps women ditch diets and find food freedom.
What is Food Freedom?
Food freedom means no food rules. No more diets telling you what and when to eat. NO MORE:
Waiting until noon to eat even though you’re hungry at eleven.
Ordering a salad for lunch even though you really want the sandwich.
Counting calories and saving up for “treats” only on the weekend.
Trying Intermittent Fasting because it’s the next “big thing” and your friends are doing it.
Can you relate to any of the above?
Food freedom is saying “yes” to the foods you love and “no” to the foods you dislike. It’s making food choices from a place of ease and nourishment versus fear, fixation, and deprivation. It’s rediscovering the joy of food before it became intertwined with diet culture. Examples of Food Freedom:
Eating at 11:30 because you’re hungry and you don’t have strict timelines for lunch.
Ordering a sandwich because you really want the sandwich. Also, ordering the salad because you really want the salad.
Enjoying ice cream on a Wednesday (or a Saturday), the day doesn’t matter.
Saying “thank you…next” to the next fad diet because YOU know your body best.
The Honeymoon Phase
If you’re thinking, “but Rachel, if I don’t have any food rules, I’ll eat too much and only bad foods” STAY WITH ME HERE.
When you first allow yourself to eat foods that you’ve been restricting, you might find yourself wanting them more and only wanting those foods. This is a natural response to restriction.
Think of a toddler. When you tell a child that candy is off-limits, what food do they end up wanting to eat? CANDY! The same goes for adults. It’s a natural response to want what has been forbidden.
But this phase doesn’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll want something else.
Dylan Murphy, RD, LDN, explained this on the Food Freedom Podcast with the “new clothing” analogy. Think about when you get a new piece of clothing. You might find yourself wearing that dress or t-shirt for days in a row. It might be ALL you want to wear. It’s new and shiny, and it makes you feel AMAZING. However, after a while, you’ll end up picking out something else from your closet. Your new item of clothing goes back into your closet, there for you when you want to wear it again. You might wear it once a week instead of every day.
The same goes for food! When you reintroduce food, it feels new again. It might be ALL you want to eat. But eventually, your body will gravitate towards variety.
Food Freedom is about more than just food.
It’s about trusting yourself. It’s about getting quiet and listening to your body. Even though it may feel uncomfortable to approach food this way (especially after years of dieting), it’s knowing that there’s more for you than counting your almonds.
Food freedom reminds us that food isn’t the end-all-be-all of health. Sleep, stress management, relationships, and inner-peace matter, too!
A pattern that I notice with my 1:1 clients is that when they take the pressure off food choices alone, they learn to nourish their bodies in ways that actually feel good to them.
How do I know if Food Freedom is for me?
Are you obsessed with eating healthy?
Is nutrition complicated and overwhelming?
It doesn’t have to be!
When you’re “on a diet” do you find yourself more irritable and hungry all-the-time?
Does a “bad” food choice make you feel “bad” about yourself?
It doesn’t have to be this way!
If you’re currently feeling stressed and overwhelmed when it comes to food, food freedom might just be the key that unlocks your path to TRUE health and happiness.
Food freedom is for ANYONE curious about living a life with more abundance.
Take this post as your permission slip to never diet again.