Often times, behaviors which dominate in one area of our lives can create a ripple effect to impact another. Understand how food restrictions can limit us from fully experiencing all that life has to offer.


Restriction breeds restriction. You may be unaware or just oblivious to it, but it holds true.

Any time we place a restriction on something – whether it’s out of true necessity or not – we inevitably restrict ourselves in other ways. 

Other facets of life become restricted, too.

And in our health and wellness culture, one that we find ourselves commonly restricting is food. 

When we restrict food, it can be due to a number of factors. It can be a new diet program, our own food rules (also a diet), a food allergy (a necessity, but a restriction nonetheless), a moral obligation (due to a faith or belief system), or because we’re trying to eat clean (read: another term for a new diet). 

That’s when the restriction dominoes begin to fall, because as we restrict food, we start to restrict life.

We restrict the time spent with family and friends.

We restrict opportunities.

We restrict joy.

We restrict comfort.

We restrict convenience.

We restrict our thoughts because so much time is consumed by what we can and cannot eat. 

Or on what we want to eat, and what we “should” eat. 

We restrict our time because time is spent worrying about following that restriction. Then more time is spent feeling consumed with guilt and shame if we “slip up” and fall out of line with the restriction.

Because you see, when we restrict our food, we restrict what we say yes to. 

We restrict the bounds of experiences we can have, and the memories we can make. We constrain our happiness, and our valuable, limited time on something that can and should be simpler.  We limit our ability to fully experience life as it’s meant to be lived.

And because we’ve continually restricted that inner wisdom and trust in our own bodies, it has become much more difficult to pull away from.  So what can be done?

Lift the unnecessary restrictions that are no longer serving you.

Will it be easy? Probably not. You’ve used the restriction as a tool and a method of control. It has been used as a guiding light. But it has served its purpose, and now it’s time to let it go.

Start small. Break an easy, but unnecessary rule. Ask for support from trusted family, friends, or a health professional. 

And take the steps towards a life lived fully.

Adapted from the original article.


Amanda Boyer MS, RDN, CD, CPT is the wholehearted dietitian and owner of Wholehearted Nutrition located in southern Indiana. She strives to help others live life without holding back (her definition of what it means to live wholeheartedly), by walking with them in their journey to better their relationship with food, practice joyful movement, and settle into body peace. To learn more find Amanda at www.wholeheartednutrition.org, watch for her contributions on NASM’s blog and the Limestone Post, and follow her on Instagram and facebook @wholehearteddietitian.

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