Keto and Low Carb Success

What Does Food Freedom Mean?

June 29, 2023 Miriam Hatoum Season 2 Episode 56
Keto and Low Carb Success
What Does Food Freedom Mean?
Show Notes Transcript

Episode #56 : Food Freedom

In this episode, I explore what Food Freedom means for us, as people caught up in the multi-billion dollar diet industry, with – at best – it’s rules and requirements, and with – at worst – it’s tendency to drive people into disordered eating and towards other emotional issues. I give you tips for finding food freedom with any eating plan you are following  and give you the components for food freedom so you can move forward with getting healthy and losing weight. I also show you how to take charge of your health with the doctors you pick.
Your Actionable Coaching Advice this week is a full assignment!

2:07.       What does Food Freedom mean for the dieter?
4:02.       Tips for Food Freedom
7:39.        Take Charge of Your Health
9:50.        Components of Food Freedom
12:45.      You have to be healthy to lose weight
15:53.      This week's Actionable Coaching Advice
18:44.       Next week's episode

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Episode #: 56 Food Freedom

You’re Listening to the Keto and Low Carb Success podcast, Episode # 56, Food Freedom. 

Did you know that you don't have to spend money on a diet program or weigh, measure and track your food? What if you could learn to have success by following an easy roadmap that takes you on adventures from learning how to change your mindset so that you can believe in yourself, to learning about what foods work best in your body and why? Join me, Miriam Hatoum, health coach, course creator and author of Conquer Cravings with Keto, as I give you actionable coaching advice that is sure to empower you so that you will finally find peace with food and learn to trust your body’s signals. You’ve got this, girl! 

Be sure to go to to get all the free guides to help you along the way. I am in your shoes, my friends, and I wrote these guides for both of us. The link is in the show notes and transcripts.

Oh, and before we start, I want to let you know that the primary purpose of this podcast and the course is to educate and does not constitute medical advice or service, and I’m keeping up with the science as fast as I can so I can share with you the latest breaking research in this area to help you achieve your dreams!

Now on to today’s episode:

The term food freedom has political roots, where it means freedom from industrial food production. The “Food Freedom Act” finalized in December 2018, recognizes the right of individuals to produce, procure, and consume homemade foods of their choice free from unnecessary and anticompetitive regulations; and to foster small businesses, innovation, and economic growth. 

2:07    What does Food Freedom mean for the dieter?

For this episode, however, I am not talking about the politics of food freedom, but rather what it means for us, as people caught up in the multi-billion dollar diet industry, with – at best – it’s rules and requirements, and with – at worst – it’s tendency to drive people into disordered eating and towards other emotional issues.

·       Food Freedom has become a popular buzzword in the health industry and media. With food freedom you learn to be in control of your food choices, rather than letting them control you. It is learning to allow all foods in your diet without guilt, rules, or any other negative associations. 

·       Living with the spirt of Food Freedom goes hand-in-hand with the recent episode on gentle nutrition, and refers to rejecting dieting culture and restrictive diets and giving yourself permission to enjoy most foods in moderation. At its core, food freedom has very little to do with the nutritional components of the food, and much more to do with our mental and emotional state surrounding your food choices. 

·       However, if you are going to follow the path of successful food freedom, you must have an awareness and knowledge of the gentle nutrition that I talked about in Episode #54. You can eat in response to hunger by stopping at 12 cookies instead of 15, but that type of food freedom does us little good if it keeps our insulin high, keeps unwanted fat on our body, makes us feel unwell and hungry and tired all the time, and causes us to lose hope that we will never lose weight and feel better.

4:02    Tips for Food Freedom

·       Food freedom is not another diet with its own set of diet rules. There are, what I would call “tips” that can be construed as rules, but I prefer to look at them in a more kindly way as they are gentle themselves. Some of these tips would be:

o   Tip #1: Listen to your hunger and satiety cues. No news here – I have been talking about this since my first week of podcast episodes!

o   Tip #2: Avoid labeling foods as good or bad – The way I put it is that there are foods that will get you to your goal or move you away from it. There will be times that your priority in that moment is not goal-oriented, and that’s okay.

o   Tip #3: Enjoy your food. In my course I talk a lot about savoring your food. 

§  There are so many ways to accomplish this 

·       Eat your food with as many senses as you can, 

·       Slow down to eat and that includes chewing and swallowing 

·       Ground yourself with a few deep breaths before eating

·        Have gratitude for the food in front of you.

o   Tip #4: Learn to cope with your feelings. 

§  Feelings are only thoughts and cannot hurt you. 

§  Sit with them a bit. 

§  Don’t reach for food in response to a trigger – otherwise that food still will control you.

o   Tip #5: Respect your body. 

§  This is not just in terms of the food you put in it to bring about health and feeling well. 

§  It also means not to have contempt for your body no matter what shape you are in.

§   You can never lose weight by hating yourself.  You can never hate yourself thin. 

§  Think of your body as a work in progress, the progress being that you are here right now listening to this podcast and learning how to move forward. 

o   Tip #6: Stop looking to the next diet as your solution. 

§  Instead learn about foods so that you can make your next-best decisions about what to eat.

§   Learn the lessons in this podcast – 

§  how to set up a safe homebase food environment; 

§  how to break goals into small manageable steps that actually make sense for you and your lifestyle;

§   how to handle food pushers; 

§  your feelings about wasting food; 

§  how to do sensible grocery shopping.

§  The answers for you are not in the next diet. They are in exploring your mindset, finding your whys, and learning to keep things simple.

7:39    Take Charge of Your Health

o   Tip #7: Take charge of your health. 

§  We lose weight by getting healthy. We don’t get healthy by losing weight. 

§  Learn about your hormones and how various foods affect them. 

§  Learn about your lipid numbers and what you can eat to bring them into health range. 

§  Find a healthcare provider who doesn’t just throw drugs at you and calls it a day. 

§  This can be a hard and difficult search. 

§  The best doctors and nutritionists for this are usually in the field of functional medicine and they are often not covered by insurance because insurance could never, in a million years, compensate them for what they do for their patients. 

§  Look into integrative medicine, which insurance will usually cover. 

§  These doctors are often more open-minded in the field of nutrition. 

·       With your own physician or nurse practitioner, become a strong advocate for yourself. 

§  Don’t be bullied into being made to believe that all your problems stem from your weight. 

§  They do not, but usually we are too ashamed to speak up. 

·       And on the subject of health care providers, you might also want to look to find a D.O., which is a doctor of osteopathy. 

§  DOs are fully trained and licensed physicians who practice in all areas of medicine using a whole person approach to partner with their patients. 

§  The key words here are “whole person” and “partner”. 

§  They treat the entire person rather than just the symptoms, with a focus on preventive health care. 

§  They help patients develop attitudes and lifestyles that don't just fight illness, but help prevent it, too. 

§  They are trained to be doctors first, and specialists second. 

§  They will be covered by your insurance, unless they are part of a functional medical practice which might not take insurance.

9:50    Components of Food Freedom

·       Food freedom has many components, and they are also similar to Intuitive Eating, which I talked about in Episode #30. 

§  These beliefs and components are that food freedom doesn’t mean ignoring health, it just means not being held to restrictive diet patterns or food rules as a means to get there.

§  This is what I think is most difficult with finding success with intuitive eating. 

§  It is because after so many years of restriction, we really want to dive right in with the desserts, chips, and even cuisines and other foods that have been off limits, like Chinese food or pizza. 

§  They may have not been off limits, but we restricted ourselves because we find it so hard to eat those foods in moderation. 

§  That elusive moderation piece sometimes is because of the food, not necessarily any emotional ties we have to it. 

·       With food freedom, intuitive eating, and the like, eating without restriction, deprivation, guilt, shame or fear of judgment is so important. 

§  You need to give up the strive to eat “perfectly” by recognizing that there is no perfect way to nourish your body because each person is different and even you and your needs are different day to day.

§   You also give up counting calories, macros, numbers on a scale, or strictly portioning food. Instead, your choices are made on internal cues: 

§              What you are really, really wanting. 

§  Whether or not it is what your body needs at the moment even if your mind is clamoring for it.

§              Where you are sitting with your hunger and satiety cues.

·       Every person has their own health goals and eating habits, and everyone deserves freedom and less anxiety with food along the way. 

§  And, although it is true that you can experience food freedom regardless of your current health situation, I do believe that it matters what food you eat regularly. 

·       I believe at any size you deserve to have a positive and judgment-free relationship with yourself and the foods you eat. 

§  I believe that you should never punish yourself after even a moment of unhealthy eating, let alone several meals or several days of doing so.

§   I believe that you don’t have to spend all your time and energy worrying about what you are eating, what you look like, or what people think of you.

§   I believe at any size you deserve to think kindly towards yourself and realize that you are worth any amount of effort and education to really achieve health.

12:45   You have to be healthy to lose weight

·       But remember what I have been saying: 

§  You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to be healthy. 

§  What this means is that you should strive to take care of your body and your body will take care of you. 

§  It will take self-care and experimentation to do this. 

·       Please remember the lessons on how sugar begets sugar cravings and how sugar does light up the pleasure center of your brain (Episode #27 “All About Sugar,” but also discussed in Episodes #19 and #20 on “Urges, cravings, triggers, habits and emotional eating,” and throughout other episodes). 

§  Yes, there is nothing morally wrong with eating a cookie. 

§  What is wrong for you, if you have the least bit of insulin resistance (Episode #51), is that you will have an exaggerated insulin response, and cravings, or inability to feel you have had enough of certain foods.

§  It is actually more important to know yourself rather than calorie counts and carbohydrate grams in a food.

·       This is why moderation is such an elusive thing for some of us. 

§  A cookie leads to 10, a slice of cake leads to half the cake, a serving of chips leads to the bag, etc. 

§  Yes, part of it is absolutely behavior driven. 

§  But be aware that sometimes it is the food itself (Episode #3 “It’s the Food!”) and this is where you might have to SELF-IMPOSE (not diet impose) some restrictions until you either get your insulin under control, or do enough self-discovery work so that you do not respond swiftly to urges and triggers. 

§  It does not make you a bad person or morally bankrupt. 

§  It just means that you have an insulin issue or have more work to do with your responses to triggers and urges. 

§  None of this needs to permanent, devastating, irreversible or catastrophic. 

§  It just means you have to step away from the food and figure out what is best for you at the moment.

·       You need to be your own expert – which is really the basis of food freedom – not whether you eat all the things in all the quantities. 

§  What it means is that you need educate yourself about what foods have responses in your body other than filling your belly. 

§  (Shameless plug here for my course – giving you this education about food and behaviors – is exactly what it does, whether or not you ever have the intention to eat Keto or Low Carb.) 


  • Eat within the bounds of what you can medically eat (in other words, if you are battling insulin resistance, try to stick to the Keto food list, or if you have a sensitivity or intolerance, stay away from that food), 
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy pleasurable foods regularly. 
  • Build at least two of these foods into your plans this week. 
  • And remember, there are Keto substitutions for almost any food out there. Craving a vanilla pound cake? Yep, there are Keto recipes for that!
  • Do give equal airtime to health-promoting habits such as staying hydrated and engaging in fun physical activity. Remember, Health is not the number on the scale – it is your body’s condition.
  • Go back to Episode #19 on urges and cravings, and Episode #20 on Triggers, Habits and Emotional eating if you need to. Journal. 
  • Tune in to your fullness and hunger when deciding when and how much to eat.
    •  Don’t pay that much attention to external cues such as eating because it’s a specific time of day or because you feel you must clean your plate.
    • These topics are all through the podcast, but specifically, the hunger scale podcasts are #6 and 53.
    • Eat slowly, without distractions, and savor your food. This is in Episode #29, Mindfulness Practices.
    • Focus on how a food makes you feel, and choose more foods that make you feel good. 
    • Feeling Your Best is the last lesson in my course, Keto and Low Carb Success, because it sums up the entire point of eating what makes your body sing. 
  • Every bit of advice I have given you this year in the podcast strives toward helping you with this one concept: Eat so you feel your best.  

Now, let me remind you. If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like me to cover on a future episode, don’t be a stranger! I always look forward to hearing from listeners like you. You are welcome to email me directly… And don’t forget to leave a review wherever you listen to this podcast. I would SO appreciate it. Leaving a review makes it easier for other people who are looking to listen and learn about Keto and Low Carb.

18:44  Coming up in the next Episode 

So folks, this brings us to the end of Season 2. I can’t believe that I have been podcasting every week for a full year since I started with my first six episodes on July 7, 2022. Today’s episode brings us to Episode #57 next week. WHEW!!!!  I never stuck with anything so long that was voluntary except for my belly dancing!

I have written and recorded these last five episodes in May, and the reason I am telling you that is that I cannot wrap my head around Episode #57 just yet, so I actually don’t know what is coming up next week! 

This is where I really need to hear from you all: What would you like to hear about next? I am thinking of revisiting a few episodes and tying them specifically into Keto and Low Carb, maybe Homebase and Course Correcting, Protocols and Good-Better-Best, and Habits, Goals and Systems. So, you will have already heard what is behind these concepts, but now will get some practical applications for them. What do you think? Please email me at with your thoughts and requests.

Please share this show with your friends and invite them to tune in with you and learn how to become free from diet prison with my Keto and Low Carb Success podcast. Especially share this podcast with anyone you know who is struggling with their weight or eating plan. This podcast and my course can be game changers if you take the information and coaching advice that are in them, they really are. It will help so many people transform their lives – not just with food but with how they feel about themselves, how they approach the food they eat, and how they make decisions about any area of their lives.

Until the next episode, go live free from diet worry — I’ll see you back here next time.
Get all my free guides
Take a look at this great course
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And don't forget my book!