One of the biggest misconceptions around food freedom and body acceptance is that it's unhealthy.

If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone in the Instagram comments whining about people 'promoting obesity' or saying that it's not healthy to be allowed to eat all foods, I'd be living on superyacht being fed grapes by an unnaturally attractive man.

I'm here to bust that myth! You CAN live a healthy lifestyle without restricting food and without needing to lose weight.

Here are 7 ways to live a healthier lifestyle, that have NOTHING to do with losing weight.

1. Focus on adding things in to your diet, not taking things out

This is one of the biggest things you can do to eat a healthier diet. Add more nutritious things in, instead of focusing on cutting things out and trying to stop eating things or controlling how much of them you're eating.
When you add more nutritious foods in, sometimes you find that it eventually crowds out the less nutritious foods. When you're bulking up a bowl of pasta with plenty of vegetables, you don't need to eat as much of the pasta to be satisfied and have a delicious meal. When you're eating fruit and yoghurt as part of your snacks, you might not eat as many of the biscuits that someone left in the tearoom.


2. Make space for connection

This one might be less obvious to you, but connection is SO important for a healthy lifestyle. Spend time with the people you love! As well as helping your mental health, this actually helps your physical health too. The Blue Zones are the geographic regions that are home to some of the world's oldest people with the highest life expectancies. One of the factors that these places have in common is that they focus on social connectedness. They place importance on having a healthy social network and putting loved ones first, and it's helped them to become the longest living people in the world.


3. Move your body in a way that feels good for you

The benefits of regular exercise include improved mental health, improved sleep, reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and other diseases, strengthened bones and muscles, longer life-span, improved fitness (duh). Yet many people only exercise because their trying to lose weight or change the way their body looks. That's NOT the best reason to exercise! It's not motivating at all, it makes it seem like punishment and makes us not want to do it. Instead, focus on moving your body in a way that you actually enjoy, that feels good for you, and exercise for the right reasons.


4. Stop dieting

If you're going to do one of these things, do this one. The side effects of dieting include:
o Eating disorders
o Mental health issues like depression and anxiety
o Poor body image
o Slowed metabolism
o Whole host of negative physical effects on your body
Yo-yo-ing in weight has a whole heap of negative effects on your body, and that is what most people who diet do, because 95% of people who intentionally lose weight through dieting put it back on within 2 years, and 99% put it back on within 5 years.


5. Heal your relationship with food

Dieting is the number one cause of disordered eating. It's a HUGE risk factor for eating disorders. So, if you've ended up with a bad relationship with food, healing it will be one of the best things you can ever do for your health. It's not healthy to feel guilt, anxiety or shame around food. It's not healthy to feel the need to count every morsel of food that goes into your mouth. It's not healthy to see food as something to fear, rather than something to enjoy. If you don't know how the heck to do that, it's something that I cover in my online program, The Confidence Code, and with my 1:1 clients. Book a free mini coaching session if you want to learn more about how I can help you to heal your relationship with food.


6. Live intentionally

A lot of the time, we're just running on autopilot without really thinking very much about our choices. We think about chocolate so we go and eat chocolate, we choose to hit the snooze button instead of getting up and going to the gym, we lie on the couch letting Netflix just start playing the next episode, we scroll Instagram until it's 2 hours past bedtime. Bringing conscious awareness to what we do and being intentional with our actions and behaviours can have such a big impact on our health and wellbeing.


7. Find the joy

Your mental health directly affects your physical health, so focus on bringing as much joy, fun and pleasure into your life as possible. This relates to stopping dieting and healing your relationship with food – make food fun and pleasurable again! Enjoy food, instead of feeling it. Same with exercise – come back to joyful movement, movement that you love to do and makes you feel good inside and out. Find joy with your friends and family, spending time with the people you love. Make your day-to-day more joyful – maybe that's working at a café, taking breaks to get outside into nature, treating yourself to an iced latte when you go to do your grocery shopping, listening to music and having a boogie while you clean your house. I'm such a big believer in joy being the key to living our healthiest and happiest lives, despite it never appearing on any of the 'top 10 ways to be healthy' lists – except this one.


If you're looking for more support to live a healthier lifestyle, get in touch about 1:1 coaching today.

I'm an online Body Image & Food Freedom Coach and I'm here to burn diet culture to the ground.

I'll transform your life through food and body freedom, so that your days are full of fun and pleasure.

You can love your body, feel confident, create sustainable healthy habits and become your best self without diets and their BS!