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Don't read this article

Whether you're a natural born rebel or a rule follower by nature, when someone tells you not to do something it will likely spike your curiosity.

"Don't eat sugar," "don't eat anything white," "don't eat bananas," "don't eat after 7 p.m.," etc… there is no end to the list of food rules you're bombarded with each day.

When someone tells you that you can't eat something you're likely to spend more time thinking about that food than you normally would. Here are some things that you might notice when you tell yourself that you can't eat a certain food.

  • More frequent cravings for the forbidden food
  • Fear that you will gain weight if you eat even a small portion
  • Fear that you won't be able to stop eating, if you taste the forbidden food
  • Feelings of failure if you eat the food
  • Eating the food triggers you to give up on other health goals
  • Feeling superior to people who eat the food you are avoiding
  • Resenting people who eat the food you are avoiding

Setting strict rules about food can cause unnecessary stress and make you feel bad about yourself. Instead of setting rules, make peace with food. Your food choices are about much more than nutrition. They are related to tradition, memory, religion, culture and person taste.

Nourishing your body requires eating nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, nuts and seeds and dairy. It also leaves rooms for eating foods that you may not consider healthy, but that you enjoy for other reasons. When making changes to improve your health, focus on your overall eating pattern and habits rather than any one food or meal.

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