Exploring Food Freedom [Guide By NZ Dietitians]

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Demystifying Food Freedom & The Benefits

Many of our clients tell us that they are 'addicted to food' and that they are obsessively thinking about food, calories and food rules all the time.

We talk about Food Freedom a lot here at Nutrition & Life. However, it's an industry term that you may not understand. Let's help demystify what food freedom is and how you can achieve it.

What is Food Freedom?

The term seems to vary depending on who you speak to. However, from a NZ Dietitians perspective food freedom is about healing your relationship with food and minimising the damage of diet culture.

This includes:

  • Eating without guilt
  • Permission to enjoy all foods in moderation (excluding allergies etc.)
  • Listening to your hunger cues and body
  • Inclusive cultural and food history approach

Why you should care about Food Freedom

Achieving food freedom isn't achieved overnight. It's a gradual process that requires reframing your thoughts and behaviours around food and eating. Eating behaviours are often established when we are young and can be challenging to overcome. Did you mum tell you 'finish everything on your plate or you're not leaving the table'? 

Improving your health and nutrition can lead to:

  • More energy
  • Better health
  • A positive relationship with food
  • Easier movement
  • Improved body image
  • Greater alertness

Food Freedom is connected to eating behaviours and emotions

Clients with a poor relationship with food often experience the following thoughts, behaviours, and emotions around food and eating:

  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • All or nothing thinking
  • Food rules
  • Lack of control
  • Labelling foods as good or bad
  • Restriction (e.g. eating at particular times, no carbs after a certain time etc.)

A Dietitian can help you with identifying when you say these things during your session. They can then help you talk about and change these thoughts through nutrition counselling. A mental health professional may be recommended in some cases as some of these behaviours can be a sign of anxiety or other mental health conditions.

Another way you can address a poor relationship with food on the road to achieving food freedom is to focus on self-compassion. You can read more about this food freedom blog.

Getting Started With Food Freedom

Do you feel like food occupies your every thought, dictates how you go about your day? We want to help you to heal your relationship with food and one way to do that is to work towards food freedom. Your first step is to complete our Eating Behaviours and Food Freedom Checklist. Once you've completed this you'll understand if you would benefit from review your approach to food and eating behaviours.

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Nutrition & Life NZ Dietitians have done the hard work for you and studied nutrition at a tertiary level. They're experts at better nutrition for long-term results. Stop struggling and book your 45minute consultation with a NZ Dietitian today.

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