Adjusting to a new diet can be difficult.
There can be many reasons for changing your diet including:
· Cutting out a food group because of an allergy, intolerance or auto-immune disease like coeliac disease.
· Making changes towards a plant-based or vegetarian diet.
· Including more fresh food, fruit and vegetables in your meals.
· Reducing the amount of fat, sugar or salt your diet.
We may be making changes because we want to, or because we have to (for medical reasons).
It can be far too easy to put pressure on ourselves to achieve goals quickly, or berate our-selves for not staying on the wagon and being 100% on the ball, or for not doing everything "correctly".
Here are some different ways of looking at what you eat and how you eat.
If you have an allergy, coeliac disease, or a severe reaction to a food, please do not eat anything that would knowingly make you ill or cause a reaction. See full disclaimer at the end of the article.
Break the meal-time rules
Who cares what time of day it is. Have the food you want to eat at the time you want to eat. For example: Have salads and stir-fries for breakfast. If it means you can have a healthy meal over something devoid of nutrition, do it! Eat Breakfast for dinner.
Have Garlic breath
If you want to eat something that smells a bit pongy, do it. If it tastes good, and you enjoy eating it. Eat it. Invest in some chewing gum, mints or take your toothbrush with you if you need to.
Don’t be afraid to cook from scratch
Cooking really is easier than you think. Find simple recipes to start with. Be brave with herbs and spices. The worst that can happen is you end up with something that tastes too strongly of something, or too bland, or is burnt. But, hey, it’s still food. We learn from our mistakes (especially when we have to eat them).
Learn how to eat
Maybe you have spent your life eating quickly, on the go, with no time to enjoy your food, or perhaps you need to cut out dairy because of an intolerance. Changing your diet for any reason takes time.
Learn how to make changes, read blog posts, join Facebook groups and forums. Ask for help and advice.
Treat it like learning a new hobby or subject. If you were learning French you wouldn’t expect to go from Bonjour to fully fluent in a week – treat eating food, and changing your food lifestyle in the same way. One step at a time.
Buy nice food
Food should be pleasurable. If you can afford to eat nice food, please, eat nice food.
Know that EVERYONE slips up and eats the wrong thing sometimes.
You might be trying out a plant-based diet and eat a bacon sarnie because you’re craving it. Or a chocolate bar when you are trying to loose weight. Everyone does this!! EVERYONE craves things that they think they shouldn’t be having. Most people give in sometimes. It’s OK. Accept it has happened, move on.
You aren’t BAD
Know that you are still a good person even if you eat an animal-based product when you are trying to go vegan. You are still a good person if you binge eat. You are still a good person if you have cravings. Don’t let the moment, and the things you have eaten or drank define who you are.
Learn to change your taste buds
Your taste-buds and cravings can change. It takes time. Take it slowly. You might be coeliac and be gluten-free and stuck in a rut with the same foods – jacket potatoes and chips and so-on and wishing for something more. Try new things little by little, and gradually edge out the old stuff.
Flavours come from Fruit Vegetables, Herbs and Spices
You can get the most flavour for your buck by using herbs and spices with vegetables and fruits. This is where the real flavour lies, with maybe a touch of sugar or salt to bring it all out.
Try everything three times
The first time you try something you might think it’s horrible. Try it again another time. It might be that it was an under-ripe piece of fruit, or a badly made pasta sauce. Try it again in another time or place, you might be surprised.
If you are struggling with food anxiety in its many forms, try seeing a therapist. It might seem a bit expensive to go but it can make the world of difference to your relationship with food. Hypno-therapy and NLP can be great options. Look for therapists on-line, check out their credentials, speak to them before booking and make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Make it a way of life - one step at a time
Slowly adapt to your new way of eating and incorporate it in to your daily life. Maybe you will cook from scratch one day a week to start with, or look at a different food aisle in the supermarket and try some new ingredients or a new recipe every week or so. Perhaps you want to be more present when you eat.
Start doing it one day a week, and make more time week on week. Make gradual changes.
Think about your long-term goals.
Do you want to loose weight – think about the future you as well as the current you. Loosing the weight will make your life easier later in life. Even if you haven’t hit a target or goal this week, every step taken towards a healthier diet is a step towards a healthier you in the future.
If you want to go vegan, think about the long-term goal of eating sustainably, or for the animals. Even if you can’t manage to go 100% vegan now, make the steps you can when you can. If you end up eating a Greggs pasty, don’t hate yourself, recognise your long-term goal.
If you are coeliac and are struggling to eat gluten-free because you don’t have symptoms, think about the long-term damage that can be happening to your body – do you really want bowel cancer or osteoporosis later in life?
Join a group
There’s every group imaginable on-line these days, find other people with shared interests. Check that the group or forum prohibits bullying, hate speech and advertising etc. Find groups that are positive and support each other even though they make mistakes. Follow people online who admit to making mistakes, and being imperfect on their journey.
Be kind to yourself, it’s OK to slip up.
Treat your new diet as a gradual learning process that you will adjust to at your own pace.
Be brave and try new foods
Eat the foods that you need to at the time that suits you.
Learn to enjoy your food.
All information presented and written within dosalove.com are intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with your GP or a registered Dietician.
The writers and publishers of dosalove.com are not nutritionists or registered dietitians.
You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. The reader assumes full responsibility for consulting a qualified health professional regarding health conditions or concerns, and before starting a new diet or health program. The writers and publishers of this site are not responsible for adverse reactions, effects, or consequences resulting from the use of any recipes or suggestions herein or hereafter.