Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food by the Co-Creator of the Whole30

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9780544838291: Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food by the Co-Creator of the Whole30

End the yo-yo dieting cycle... forever. Welcome to the Food Freedom plan.

Millions of people have successfully completed the groundbreaking Whole30 program and radically transformed their energy, sleep, cravings, waistline, and health. Now, Food Freedom Forever offers real solutions for anyone stuck in the exhausting cycle of yo-yo dieting and the resulting stress, weight gain, uncontrollable cravings, and health complaints. In her newest book, best-selling author Melissa Hartwig defines true “food freedom” as being in control of the food you eat, instead of food controlling you. Resets like the Whole30 can jump-start the process, but as anyone who has dieted knows, holding onto that freedom and creating healthy habits that last is the hard part. In her detailed 3-part plan, Melissa will help you discover food freedom, no matter how out of control you feel; walk a self-directed path that keeps you in control for months on end; gracefully recover when you slip back into old habits; and create the kind of food freedom that stays with you for the rest of your life.

Food Freedom Forever shows you how to design your reset, making your short-term protocol maximally effective. You’ll learn how to spot your specific triggers before they’re pulled and strategies for dealing with temptation, strengthening your new healthy habits, and boosting your willpower. Melissa also shares advice for retaining your food freedom during holidays, vacations, periods of life stress, social pressure, and criticism from friends and family. By the last page, you’ll have a detailed plan for creating the perfect diet for you, finding your own healthy balance, and maintaining the kind of control that brings you real food freedom every day.

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About the Author:

MELISSA HARTWIG is a Certified Sports Nutritionist who specializes in helping people change their relationship with food and create life-long, healthy habits. She is the New York Times bestselling co-author of It Starts With Food and The Whole30 and has been featured by the Today ShowDr. Oz, the Wall Street JournalOutside, and SELF. Melissa has presented more than 150 health and nutrition seminars worldwide and shares resources with, writes articles for, and provides support to more than 2 million people a month through the Whole30 website and social media feeds. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

I like cupcakes.

Cake is fine. Ice cream is not my thing. Whoopie pies just don’t bring it, and cheesecake is damp and squishy and reminds me of the “M” word (moist, ew). My favorite go-to yummy treat is, very specifically, a cupcake. It’s the frosting-to-cake ratio that seals the deal, and there has to be a generous heap of dense, gritty, so-sweet-it-hurts-my-teeth frosting on top. Like, inches of it.

Maybe I should have just said, “I like frosting.”

Every year on my birthday, I eat a cupcake (or two). It’s been a tradition for as many years as I can remember. This year, on a gorgeous late-winter Saturday, I rode my motorcycle over to my favorite cupcake shop, fully intent on taking something (maybe two things) home with me. I got there, practically skipped inside, gazed at the huge variety of cake and frosting combinations, and . . . meh. I stood there debating every sugary-sweet option with the intention of celebrating my favorite day of the year with my favorite decadent food, but when I really thought about it, I just didn’t want one.

So I went home.

Turns out, my birthday was just as awesome as usual. I celebrated just as hard. I didn’t feel deprived, because it was my decision. I knew that if I wanted a cupcake the day after my birthday, or the day after that, or every day for a week the following month, I would just have one. Because grown-up, money, motorcycle, and free will.

That is food freedom.

Not the part where I scrounged up every ounce of willpower just to deny myself a cupcake on my birthday. That didn’t happen. Not the part where I walked away just to prove how “strong” I was, or because I was terrified of the calories rocketing toward my waistline. None of that happened. Not the part where I raided the pantry later that night because it was my birthday and damn it, I deserved a treat. That didn’t happen either.

Food freedom happened when I took the time to ask myself what I really wanted and made a conscious, deliberate decision in the moment. I wasn’t swayed by the false promises of sugar, salt, and fat; held hostage by the tradition of birthday cupcakes; or enslaved to a Sugar Dragon who started roaring the minute I told myself I could have a treat on my birthday. I just thought about it, happily made my choice, and got on with my life. The end.

Food freedom is realizing I can have anything I want, any time I want it . . . and in the moment, simply honoring whether or not I really want it.

Fast-forward to Easter, a few weeks later. If you follow me on social media, you know I have a passionate love for the processed, foodlike products that are chocolate crème eggs. I LOVE them. They’re not “special” in the sense that you can pick them up in any old convenience store or pharmacy, but they’re special to me. Growing up, my mom would make me and my sister these amazing Easter baskets, overflowing with the usual suspects—marshmallow chicks, ankle socks, jelly beans, dental floss (See: jelly beans)—and tucked away at the bottom, one glorious chocolate crème egg. Candy was a big deal in our house, reserved only for very special occasions, so this egg was my most prized possession. I always saved it until everything else was gone, and ate it in the tiniest bites to make it last.

To this day, my mom sends me a pack of three crème eggs before Easter every year. It almost makes me want to heart emoji. Almost.*

This year, on a random Thursday at 2:30 in the afternoon, I decided I wanted one. I unwrapped it, sat down on the couch, sighed contentedly, and savored every tiny bite. I made that egg last a solid 20 minutes, then I texted my mom to say thank you. (“I knew U couldn’t wait 4 Easter!” was her response.) It’s the least healthy food I’ll eat all year, but it was 100% worth it in that moment. And I didn’t need it to be Easter Sunday to relive that warm childhood experience.

I only ate one, because that’s all I wanted. In fact, as of the time of this writing, the others are still sitting on my kitchen counter, not because I’m strengthening my resolve or proving to myself I have willpower. I’ve just been too lazy to move them to my pantry.

Guys, if I wanted another one, I’d just eat it.

This is also food freedom: The realization that eating something that makes me happy is what makes the occasion special, and that “because it’s delicious” is a good enough reason to indulge all by itself. I’m the one who gets to decide what’s worth it, special, or delicious. I get to make that choice on a moment-to-moment basis. I can think I want one, then decide to pass. I can take one bite, then abandon the rest. I can reach for one, then choose to eat two. I can indulge three days in a row, or not at all for a week.

I get to decide.

You can have this, too, with whatever foods you decide are worth it, special, and taste as good to your mouth as they do to your soul. You can have it without punishing yourself after you eat them, feeling guilt or shame for your indulgence, or spiraling out of control once your brain registers the first hit of sweet, salty, fatty reward. You can feel confident in your decisions, satisfied with your choices, and in control of your own health and happiness. You can free up all that energy you used to spend obsessing over food to focus on more productive things. Like how you’ll celebrate your birthday this year: the first year of your food freedom journey.

This is your forever lifestyle.

You can have this. I’ll show you how.
Welcome to food freedom.

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