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Nikki Rees Shows the Wonderful Thing That Happened to Her Body When She Gave Up Dieting

Diets were once seen as necessary evil for a fit body—thankfully, those days are gone. More and more people are realizing that healthy eating is all about balance, and that means not counting calories, villainizing certain foods, and cutting entire food groups.

Instagrammers are a huge part of this movement, posting photos and captions that prove dieting isn't all it's cracked up to be. The most recent? This one from fitsagrammer Nikki Rees.

 

Let me tell you about my Food/diet/nutrition/healthy eating... whatever you want to call it. Most of you already know that I workout most days .. and that I do so at home. But I get lots of questions about how I eat because it's not something I talk about or photograph that often. . I know It's not what you want to hear but the reason I don't really talk about it .. is because there's nothing really to tell. I don't follow a plan, I don't count anything (not macros not calories) I don't try to cut out food groups or stop eating carbs after 5pm.. I dont do intermittent fasting or flexible dieting or even clean eating (anymore, I did for a while in the beginning) ... I still eat cake more days than not... I still drink prosecco I still can't seem to resist stealing snacks from the kids junk food cupboard. I still love a takeaway curry... eat pizza, burger and fries and love to eat sweets... The difference between the two pictures is NOT what those foods do to my body it's what those foods do to my head. 2 years ago eating sweets and takeaway and junk all day would send me into a downward spiral of feeling bad about myself. All that yummy food would actually fuel my EXCUSES to quit exercise, to not bother balancing the treats out with nutritious alternatives. Now these same foods (and my passion for them) fuel my AMBITION to condition my body. I know the difference between eating well and eating poorly... And if a day happens where I binge eat cake and a tub of butter .. I leave it at just that ... a day that happened. It doesn't de-rail my goals like it used to ... I don't see it as a reason to give up ... but a reason to continue ... I don't workout out of guilt - I workout to be GUILT FREE. Healthy bodies start with healthy minds. So balance the food books like the intelligent rational human being your are... eat what you love every now and then And what you NEED more often than not... and on those days when it all goes horribly wrong.. as it inevitably will... just remove your face from the tub of butter... replace the lid and continue on exactly as you were.. motivated, goal orientated and #healthyAF . Love Nikki xx #transformationtuesday

A post shared by Nikki Rees (@activelyrees) on

The photo is split into a before and after, two years apart, both labeled at the same weight. The difference between the two: When the "before" photo was taken, Rees would feel guilty if she ate something unhealthy, and the guilt would derail her motivation to eat well and exercise, she explains in her caption. By the time she took the second photo, she had given up dieting and started eating a more guilt-free, balanced diet.

As a social media fitfluencer, Rees posted this Insta after getting a lot of questions about her eating habits. "I know it's not what you want to hear but the reason I don't really talk about it ... is because there's nothing really to tell," she wrote. In reality, she doesn't track her macros or rely on fasting and eats cake "more days than not." 

Rees has joined other Instagrammers who have used transformation photos to show that staying fit doesn't mean putting yourself through dieting hell. Others have shown how trading cardio for weights can lead to better abs. In her post, Rees emphasized that there was an important mental transformation beyond the physical one. Healthy eating absolutely has an effect on your health, but harboring guilt if you're not perfect does too (that's why we love the more sustainable 80/20 rule). Here's to more transformation photos that promote balance over restriction.

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