Over the past couple of weeks I have been involved in a few discussions with people regarding all things food related. This, along with my own messy journey have prompted me to put finger to keyboard with the aim of sharing some information, hopefully give some peace of mind and take some confusion away.
There is so much fear and misinformation about food out there, as well as somewhat of a distrust of our own bodies. I believe we all inherently know what is and isn’t good for us, we are just fed so much information from the outside world that we have forgotten the art of listening to our own bodies and trusting that they know what is best for us.
So many of us are after a ‘quick fix’, or the fear of gaining weight is so deeply ingrained in us by society that we become easy targets. We are marketed products and ideas in such a way that makes us feel like ‘xyz’ diet or supplement must be the answer. Or that certain foods should be demonised and we are ‘bad’ if we so much as think about letting it pass our lips…..
Is it any wonder many of us don’t trust our bodies anymore?!
Think back to when you were a child, or of your own children. You knew when you were hungry and when you were full. Most of us were naturally active, ate when we needed to and stopped when we’d had enough. Somewhere along the line, many of us have lost this knack and I feel need to be reminded that it is ok to eat!
We need to get rid of the idea that we are required to survive on as little as possible and instead change that narrative to one of seeing food as a way of fuelling the lives we want to live.
I dare say most of us want to live a life of happiness, energy, abundance and ability. Our bodies need to be nourished well for this to be possible!
We NEED food!
Every single cell and process in our body requires energy. Where does this energy come from? The food and drinks we consume! Even if you spent the day lying in bed doing nothing at all, your body still needs energy to function. Think about it - your heart never stops beating, your organs are constantly working and cells constantly regenerating and repairing. It’s all pretty cool really. The amount of energy required differs from person to person (it’s called your BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate), but your body doesn’t care that you haven’t exercised today - IT STILL NEEDS FOOD!
Food is fuel - but it is so much more than that…..
As I’ve mentioned above, food is the fuel that keeps us going but there is more to our meals than that. Food is also enjoyment, celebration, socialising, indulgence, experimentation and a way of showing love. We celebrate birthdays with cake, Christmas is a meal shared with family and friends, social occasions often involve eating out or cooking for others and we show love or compassion with food. Let’s continue to celebrate and enjoy these moments together ❤️
Constant deprivation leads to obsession.
Think of it this way, if you tell a child ‘not to press the button’, what’s the only thing they want to do?! Same goes with our brains and food. If we’re constantly depriving ourselves of something we need/want, it will begin to consume us and become all we can think about. This can lead to binging or eating more than you would have when you finally give in. No food is bad and no food is good. Food is just food, and when consumed mindfully, everything can have a place in a healthy diet.
Long term under-eating can have major consequences.
Your body needs food to keep you alive. If it’s not getting enough food, it will begin to conserve energy as a survival mechanism. This can mean it begins to store fat and it can also start down-regulating any 'non-essential’ bodily processes. Things like digestion and menstruation can be impacted due to long term under-eating. Also, if you aren’t eating enough, there is a high chance you won’t be getting enough nutrients. Therefore there is a risk of osteoporosis, anaemia among other problems related to nutrient deficiencies.
Focus on nourishment.
Rather than making the focus consuming as little as possible, or taking things away, try to think of every meal as a way of nourishing your body. Feeding it what it needs for it to be able to perform optimally, allowing you to live the life you want.
Think lots of colour, variety and whole foods, along with a few treats here and there. Try to eat regular meals to avoid energy crashes and drink plenty of water. If you’re doing this, you can’t go too wrong!
Learning to trust yourself again can be hard. Be kind and know that you can’t get it wrong! Everything is a lesson and if you’re willing to learn, you’ll get there.
I need to make it clear that I am not a nutrition expert, but am sharing my personal experiences and learnings. If you feel you need help regarding anything related to nutrition, please get in contact with me and I would love to help you find the right person to get you back on track.
Let’s get out there and live our lives feeling happy, healthy and nourished and do our best not to let the outside world make us doubt ourselves!!!