Life hack: Don’t diet.
Kate Bubacz / BuzzFeed News
And there are even dietitians out there whose mission is to help people have better, less weight-loss-centric relationships to food and eating. BuzzFeed Health reached out to some of them to ask how people should go about changing the way they think about food and eating without specifically focusing on trying to eat less or lose weight.
Here are their ideas:
Buy one new food each time you visit the grocery store.
“If you feel like you’re in a rut and bored with your standard food choices, one way to branch out is to resolve to buy one new food item, something that is either brand new to you or that you have not had in a long while, each time you visit the grocery store. Peruse the aisles for something that piques your interest: a new ice cream your friend recently told you about, an exotic melon that is in season, or maybe edible flowers you recently enjoyed in a restaurant entree.
If you are not immediately sure how you will utilize the new food and you do not want to risk that it will expire before you put it to use, leave it on the shelf and resolve to go home, look up uses and recipes, and buy it next time you are at the store. Remember, everything you see in the grocery store is there because your fellow humans eat it, so be brave, have fun, and experiment. Who knows what will come with you!”
—Jonah Soolman, RD, Soolman Nutrition and Wellness LLC, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Nonnie192 / Getty Images
And approach new eating experiences like a curious toddler would.
“Some of my clients were labeled ‘picky eaters’ in their childhoods and were never given a chance to grow their food acceptance skills, or a lifetime of restriction has left them with food fears. Try experimenting with one new food at a time, giving yourself permission to do the following: cook it but not eat it; describe the smell and appearance to yourself; and maybe even taste it but then spit it into a napkin if it doesn’t appeal right away.
Sounds a little crazy, but this is the way toddlers approach new foods, and it sometimes takes up to 20 exposures to a certain food before they’ll accept it; adults only give themselves one or two tries before they reject it permanently. Try the new food in different preparations, too, but always give yourself permission to not eat it if you don’t want to. Once you’ve had a few exposures to a certain food, you can do this with more foods you’re curious about — the key is to have patience with yourself!”