Rules are meant to be broken…

December 29, 2017 BY: LISA

…so why are you still making them?

Diets are comfortable as they provide a clear set of rules to stick to. As a dietitian, many people come to me to get a diet or a meal plan that will tell them what to eat. Too easy…no thinking. The problem is there is also no learning and what’s that thing we say about rules? Rules were meant to be broken so once you mess up one piece of the carefully laid out plan you are no longer following the rules which means you are bad or hopeless …but you are also off the hook for a while.

By nature, we, as human beings are meant to break rules- especially rules imposed on us to lose weight. Because how many diet rules do you have that allow you to eat or drink the things you like? Most often rules take away things you like and yet most people blame themselves for breaking the rules, then feel guilty. But really how are supposed to go through the rest of the week, let alone the rest of the year without eating chocolate or having a glass of wine?

 

If you get right down to it, putting rules in place really just make self-sabotage more inventive! If you haven’t heard of self-sabotage before that is the things you do or say to make it okay to break your own rules…even though you really want to be healthier or lighter or fitter.

 

The more rules the crazier people get in their justifications and self-talk and self-sabotage!

 

What’s the alternative?

 

Decisions are the alternative to rules. It may seem crazy to hear that, particularly if you have been trying to follow rules for a long time. It’s likely that you have very low trust in yourself from all those years of rule breaking and dieting. But even if you don’t believe it..  believe that you are still capable of making a rational decision and if you think about other areas of your life I reckon you will be able to find examples everywhere where you make decisions just fine. The thing that gets in the way of a rational decision is rules.

 

So, the new plan, if you are looking for a new way of doing things, is to make decisions and ditch the rules. Trust me…it works.

 

The critical piece?

 

The most important bit of decision making is weighing up both sides of the argument, not just the one that says “Yes, I want it now!” The other side of the argument is why might you say ‘No’ on this occasion?

 

Things to consider:

  • When did I last eat this?
  • How many ‘extra’ or ‘sometimes’ foods have I had this week?
  • What am I trying to achieve? E.g. weight loss, betting healthier?
  • Why is that important? E.g.. I’ll feel better about myself, increase energy levels, improve confidence…

 

Once you give careful consideration to whether you really want this particular food at this particular time then go happily with that decision. That is, if you said ‘Yes’, then enjoy your decision without feeling guilty. If you chose to say ‘No’, then feel empowered by moving toward your goal.

 

Bottom line- rules stop you from enjoying your food and making rational decisions. Rules also try to make you perfect and we know the saying about perfection…’Nobody’s perfect.’

 

Enjoy!

Lisa APD

 

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