Healthy Habits and Skills: Freedom From Diet Rules


The above quote is on the back of my business card. In my work with clients at One By One Nutrition, we focus on healthy habits and skills, NOT rules.

There are a lot of people out there who decide to start a journey towards healthier eating and assume they need someone to give them a meal plan or tell them exactly what to eat. That’s not necessary at all!

People thrive on the autonomy of making their own choices. So we meet them where they currently are and work with them to make SMALL changes to their current eating habits that help them to be healthier and to reach their goals. We don’t do diet rules.

Here is the bottom line truth:

Any diet that gets you into a calorie deficit AND is sustainable in the long-term, will work.

Yes, paleo can work.
Going vegan can work.
Eating low-carb, or low-fat, can work.
Cutting sugar can work.
Drinking shakes can work.
Getting through a Whole30 can work.

BUT, the key part of changing your eating in order to lose weight and keep it off is the sustainability piece. A person can do just about anything for a short time. If I put my mind to it I could certainly choose to drink all of my meals, or eliminate gluten, go full paleo (been there, done that!), or cut out sugar, etc.

But what happens when it starts to suck, or keeping up with it becomes unrealistic, and I go back to how I ate before? You’ll easily guess… the weight comes right back.

New healthy habits and skills mean a healthier lifestyle

The best way to change your lifestyle isn’t to make a drastic overhaul all at once. Slow and steady wins the race.

Instead of a set of diet rules, which make people feel bad if they ever “break” them or “cheat,” we help people to learn new SKILLS that they can use in their real lives. I’ll never tell a client to give up their favorite food, or to cut out all their sweets, or restrict themselves to a ridiculously low calorie count, or do a freaking detox of any kind. They’d never stick to it!

We need to be realistic and reasonable. Forget diet rules, they're overly restrictive and ultimately backfire. Learn new skills instead - ones you can actually use in real life!

Thank goodness we don’t need to eat “perfectly” to be healthy or lose weight. We simply need to eat well most of the time. And as a recovering perfectionist, I can tell you it feels good to let go of perfectionism and thinking I need to be 100% flawless in my eating habits (whatever that even means!).

Building healthy habits that you follow MOST of the time means that when the time comes that for some reason you didn’t do it, it’s not that big of a deal and you just roll with it. There’s no “falling off the wagon”.

You wouldn’t say “OMG I forgot to brush my teeth last night! Might as well stop brushing for good now.” Right? Likewise, a couple of deviations from your habits to accommodate this thing called life don’t need to result in a feeling of failure. We’re all human.

And while habits are wonderful, I’d argue that SKILLS are even better. Yes, it’s a slight shift in wording, and it doesn’t look like much at first. But to go back to the teeth-brushing analogy, if you chose not to brush your teeth for long enough that it doesn’t feel like a habit anymore, it’s not like you UN-learn how to do it. All your practice that has built up over the years doesn’t go away. It’s a skill you always have once you’ve learned it, so when you choose to start brushing again, you know what to do.

Eating healthfully is the same way. Once you’ve practiced the skills to eat well, you have them always in your back pocket. They don’t disappear even if you choose not to do them for a while.

This helps us mentally to just “get back to practicing” after a hiatus, rather than feeling like total failures that are starting over from scratch.

Mindset is huge when it comes to a health journey

Start to shift yourself away from a strict rule-based diet mentality and embrace the fluidity that is real life. “Rules are made to be broken.” They bring out our inner rebel because on some level we realize someone is telling us what to do, or what not to do, and human nature means we respond by pushing back!

Developing healthy skills and habits helps you to navigate the ups and downs with less rebellion, more resilience, and therefore, more freedom!

If you need help getting away from a strict rules-based diet mindset, my Diet Mindset Makeover course may very well be the answer you’re looking for! Check it out here to request a free lesson from the course!

What can you do today?

What is one small change you could make TODAY to your current habits that would move you a step towards healthier eating?

You are absolutely capable of learning to eat well in real life without driving yourself crazy trying to stick to a set of miserable rules. Find one small thing to change today, and keep practicing. If you need help, reach out! I’m here to help you, after all.

Not sure where to start? Check out my Healthy Skills and Healthy Mindset Resource Pages!

Please share this post with your friends, so we can start to cut through all the dieting/detoxing noise out there together!

My Book is Finally Here!

I've found that the biggest hurdle most clients have is the Diet Mindset that's taken hold of them. They've been stuck hating their bodies and fearing "bad foods" for so long that they don't know any other way!


So I took all of the important mindset work I do with clients and compiled it into an epic resource of a book for you. It is a complete guide to repairing your relationship with food, so you can finally get rid of those diet-mindset shackles and find peace with food for good!

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