I used to know the calorie counts of every single item of food. Not only did I know the calorie content, I would think about the 550 calories in the burger I was eating, while I was eating it, and feel guilty about it. Even though I happen to like math, counting calories sure took the fun out of eating.
After moving to Europe, I realized I wanted to enjoy pasta in Italy and chocolate soufflé in France without thinking about calories. I wanted to enjoy my travels to the fullest, and that included enjoying the food of the region to the fullest, without guilt. So I learned to change my dieting mindset. I got rid of the calorie counting and the guilt and starting eating what I wanted, when I wanted.
It turns out, when I started eating what I wanted, when I wanted, I started craving healthy foods. Once I stopped forcing myself to eat broccoli, I realized that I actually wanted to eat broccoli. I actually wanted healthy food because I realized how good it made me feel. Because no foods were “off-limits” anymore, I gained a whole new appreciation of food, and started cooking up a storm in my kitchen to create deliciously healthy meals.
And now I’ve found what works best for me. I eat real, whole, unprocessed foods that nourish my body most of the time. And the rest of the time? I eat the unhealthier foods that keep me happy and healthy in other ways than the nutrients they provide. I can now eat whatever I want, whenever I want, but I find that what I want is to feel great, and real food helps me feel that way. But, a chocolate chip cookie every once in a while makes me happy too.
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