Yep. I've been there. I've struggled with it, and I know many girls do.
I know what it's like to be completely consumed by numbers. To worry about an extra 10 calories of carrots. To worry about what your next meal is going to be.. trying to make it "perfectly clean". But that's no way to live. That's not healthy.
But! You can find freedom from food. Here are my tips to finding food freedom:
1. DON'T COUNT CALORIES!
Calories are simply a unit of energy. They are not a fat cell or an evil little molecule. Calories simply gives us fuel to convert to energy. Energy is a GOOD thing! Sometimes we need more, sometimes we need less! Your body knows when it needs calories, and it will let you know! Our bodies are not a math equation. We burn a different amount of calories everyday depending on what we do, (amount sleep, stress, hormones..) so why try to control the exact number we take in every day? Those pesky nutrition labels can be useful, but they can also be harmful. Just because something is high calorie does not mean it is bad for you. And on the other hand, just because it's low calorie does not mean it's healthy.
2. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
Going along with my first point- your body is smart. It knows what it wants. Sometimes you'll be more hungry, so eat! If your not as hungry, eat less. Listening to your hunger cues is how nature intended it. Let go of rules like "eating on schedule" and "no carbs after dark". Our bodies don't run on a clock. Eat when you're hungry, stop when your full. It seems like common sense, but we tend to complicate things. When your truly learn to trust your body, you'll know when you need certain things: like more protein, carbs, or fat- but you won't have to obsess over a certain amount. If your scared of "eating too much", think of it like this- you'll balance out the times you eat more with the times your not as hungry. :)
3. DON'T DEPRIVE YOURSELF!
The more you cut out food groups/certain foods- the more likely you are to crave them. For example is I tell myself "no chocolate today!", guess what?? All I can think about is chocolate. Then when you do have that food, your more likely to over do it. If you let yourself have this certain food whenever you want, you won't feel the need to over indulge. Having treats help keep you mentally sane. Having a "cheat meal" will keep you motivated to eat healthy the rest of the week. If your craving chocolate, fine. Have one piece of chocolate. Not the whole bar. Know that it will be there tomorrow. And move on.
This..... leads to this.
Don't drive yourself crazy!
Go, ahead. Eat the chocolate. You'll be way happier.
I hope you found these tips helpful! I will continue doing posts on this topic if you guys would like- because I think it's very important. Remember- the amount of calories do not equal a food's quality of health. Let go of the rules. Find food freedom.