One thing often discussed in session with a dietitian is why do we do the things we do. Are there barriers involved to making a change? Is a certain behavior happening because of stress? Work schedule? Lack of energy? Sometimes the “why” behind what we do or don’t do is really rooted in no reason at all.
Insert “arbitrary food rules”
To some extent all food rules are arbitrary – but some can be rooted in medical conditions or deeper issues that take some time to work through. The truly arbitrary ones, however, tend to be those rules that go unsaid that everyone seems to follow without question. If the why is “just because” or “that’s just not what I/we do” or “I guess I don’t really know” – it might be an arbitrary food rule.
Here are some versions of what clients have expressed in the past:
I don’t eat after dinner even if I’m hungry.
I don’t eat before X time in the morning.
Even though I wake up at 5am I wait to have lunch until 1pm.
Leftovers are only for meals.
Traditional snack foods can’t be used to make a meal.
This side goes with this main.
Why should you break up with food rules?
Because they can get in the way of making life so much easier when it comes to food. Busy parent prepping nice meals and snacks for your kids but not yourself? Can you make a little more and eat what the kids eat? Do you wake up early in the morning to work out but still follow traditional time frames for meals? Can you shift your eating pattern to accommodate the hours you’re awake? Do your work days consistent of back-to-back meetings and you feel like you “can’t” eat? Can you drink something instead? Maybe have a smoothie with protein, carbohydrate, fat, and produce to get you through.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to food. Reheat leftovers as a snack if that’s what you have on hand. Combine snack foods for lunch to create an easily thrown together “Bento box” for yourself. Add rice to your salad if that will make it more satisfying and help you power through a work day.
What are your arbitrary food rules? Sign up for a discovery call with one of our Dietitian’s to help you figure out what may be holding you back.