For some, the word “diet” is enough to trigger anxiety, fear of failure, and wistful visions of the queso dip and Nutella-filled doughnuts you’re not supposed to eat while on one. And even if you’re not the type to say you’re on a diet, you’ve probably tried to watch what you eat or cut back on sugar before—then felt pangs of regret after coming down from the rush of eating a slice of yet another coworker’s birthday cake. That unhealthy pattern of guilt is what Melissa Hartwig, cocreator of the Whole30 program, wants to help you beat in her book Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food.
Here’s the thing: You should be able to eat the occasional doughnut and love every single fluffy bite without shaming yourself afterward. It’s great to have weight loss goals and hopes for a healthier you, but mental health is just as important as physical, so finding peace with your eating habits is key to long-term success. In Food Freedom Forever, Hartwig outlines exactly how to reset your eating habits and regain control of your food choices in the process. Here are 6 of her tricks that you can use to stop stressing over everything you eat—and start enjoying it.