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Should I Expand My Restricted Diet?


Updated: May 2020

Sara, a lady I met at a social event, inspired this article. She wanted my opinion about reintroducing corn.

Sara had been avoiding corn for the previous year. As a result, she had to reduce her processed foods and make meals at home.  Fortunately, she discovered that she loved cooking! These changes helped her to lose weight and have more energy. Overall, the restriction had a positive impact, so she decided to continue with it. 

Do your restrictions impact your life?

If you are struggling with this dilemma, think about the impact that the restrictions have on your life. Do you:

  • enjoy your meals/snacks?
  • eat a reasonable variety of healthy foods?
  • feel comfortable in food-related social situations?
  • have the time (and desire) to prepare special food?
  • have enough money (if the restricted diet is more expensive)?

You may also want to consider how your restrictions impact other people (e.g. someone that cooks for you). If you answered “no” to all or most of these questions, consider expanding your diet.

How much variety do we need?

Clients often worry that their restricted diet is not nutritious. Dietary variety is ideal (for enjoyment and to get a wide range of nutrients), but it is not essential.

Consider the typical diet a few generations ago. I live in the Canadian prairies, and common foods were root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, turnips), beef, chicken, bread, coffee, milk, and cheese. There was little day-to-day variation. 

My great-grandfather survived on turnips for a few weeks when he was a teenager. He travelled north from the United States in 1905 to claim a homestead. His dad left him and his brother and went back to get the rest of the family. Toward the end, the only food left they had left was turnips (understandably, my great-grandfather never ate another turnip). In summary, a repetitive diet is not ideal, but many generations lived well despite it.

In summary, a repetitive diet is not ideal, but many generations lived well despite it.

What is the best way to expand your diet?

The key is to widen your food-tolerance zone with slow, steady steps.

If you would like professional guidance and caring support, please complete the FAST Freedom Program Needs Assessment.  

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