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Letting go of a “perfect” diet is necessary to help your body to heal, here’s why

I'm Anindita!

I am a Functional Medicine certified Health Coach and AFMC Practitioner. I help women with autoimmune conditions I help women with autoimmune conditions reverse their symptoms with their body as their guide

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Changing their diet by focusing on foods that support their body’s healing process is difficult for most people.

Do you have any of these doubts or ask any of these questions when it comes to changing your diet to heal from a chronic condition?

Will I be able to successfully implement all these dietary changes? 

I was on a gluten free “diet” (or dairy free/vegan) before and it didn’t work, what am I missing here? 

What can I do if I have “diet fatigue” or I find the diet to be too restrictive?

Can I really sustain this diet in the long run?

Choosing the right foods on a daily basis is difficult even when I am following a meal plan

What keeps us stuck

Over the years of coaching clients, I have found that when it comes to changing their diet, there are a few things that hold us back from seeing the results that we want

Some of the reasons are because…

  • we believe that we need to make all the changes at one go
  • we don’t prep our kitchen (and pantry) or plan ahead by stocking on food substitutes and alternatives
  • we are not clear on WHY we are changing our diet
  • we are not connected to our own internal motivation for change

This is why once you become aware of the need for making these changes you need to also ensure that you are following a step-by-step approach to making the changes. This way it will become much easier to make these changes and then sustain them in the long run.

Food as a powerful drug

Food is the most powerful drug on the planet.

Dr Mark Hyman

As you may know already, when you are dealing with any kind of chronic illness, food can play a significant role in the healing process.

Unfortunately, as per the conventional medicine protocol, we are usually told that food has no role to play in our body’s healing and recovery process. The foods that we eat and their impact on our health are routinely ignored by modern medicine.

However, many of us do realise that food can harm us, that junk and highly processed foods and sugar-laden beverages are harmful to us.

But how many of us really believe that food can heal us?

Research shows that food has a much bigger role in our lives much beyond providing fuel.*

I have written about the role of food as medicine in an earlier post.

Why we just don’t do it

We know that we should avoid certain foods and add others to our diet, but it does not make it any easier for us to make better food choices. It doesn’t make it easier for us to stay off foods that we know are causing inflammation and that our body is unable to tolerate.

Having the knowledge is certainly not enough for us to feel good about staying off foods that we are used to and love.

One of the biggest challenges that many people face when it comes to changing their diet is a lack of intrinsic motivation (internal).

As a result, we put off what we know is beneficial for us even though we are suffering.

In my own practice, I help my clients uncover their own reasons for change. This empowers my clients to take charge of their own diet and their overall healing process

You see, when you are driven by intrinsic motivation which is inherently self determined, it is far easier to sustain these changes.

At the same time, there can also be several other reasons for people can struggle with making changes, things like

  • Overwhelm, if it’s too hard or there is too much to do all at once

  • Convenience, since we are used to doing things in a certain way. For example, eating in a certain way, having difficulty in making changes that work for all the family members

  • Taste, because it takes around 12-15 exposures to certain foods to get used to them and cooking them in a way that makes us feel that the food is pleasurable and interesting

  • Hunger, because we are not consuming enough healthy proteins and fats to keep us satiated

  • Community, where it becomes hard to be a “deviant”;  it takes courage and a different mindset to opt for different foods in a social setting

These are just some of the common challenges that you may face when it comes to making dietary changes in your life.

Letting go of perfection

So what does work?

One of the most effective ways of dealing with this challenge is by allowing yourself to let go of perfection when it comes to your diet.

In my own practice, I give my clients permission to be messy. I encourage them to experiment with the foods in the diet plan. We put down some ground rules such as no gluten or dairy, no junk foods, sugary beverages.

This way they start taking baby steps forward by making small but necessary changes.

I teach them to let go of any expectations of what this process should look like. I show them how to use the dietary guidance that is provided to support them even as they experiment with new and different recipes.

And while I do provide a sample meal plan, I strongly believe that having the flexibility to create their own menu and food plan is key for sustainability.

It is a different experience for each person with their unique requirements and bio individuality.

And while I do provide a sample meal plan, I strongly believe that having the flexibility to create their own menu and food plan is key for sustainability.

My clients find as they are able to let go of their need for a “perfect” outcome, they are able to make progress and keep moving forward in spite of any setbacks.

With this kind of approach, they are able to overcome any challenges and see the results that they want.

As Michael Hyatt had said

“Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination”

*Research

Modulation of Immune Functions by Foods

Role of Personalized Nutrition in Chronic-Degenerative Diseases

From Food for Survival to Food for Personalized Optimal Health

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Health Coach, author, blogger, podcaster, mom of two and avid reader

Before you get any further....
Hi, I'm Anindita!

I am a Functional Medicine certified Health Coach and AFMC practitioner. I help women with autoimmune conditions reverse their symptoms with their body as their guide

I work with women who want to go beyond symptom management, reconnect with their bodies and learn how to get well and stay well by tuning into their body's wisdom 

Learn more

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