Food is one of life’s pleasures. We all have our favourite dishes, which we can relate to a social event that we enjoyed. All celebrations seem to involve food, we give and share food as a symbol of our love for others.
Food 1. any substance containing nutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, that can be ingested by a living organism and metabolized into energy and body tissue adjective 2. nourishment in more or less solid form as opposed to liquid form: food and drink.
Food is seductive, it gives us pleasure and we are hardwired to go for it and eat all the food. When we go way back in history, food was scarce for our ancestors, when we found food we would eat more than we needed as we wouldn’t know when we would be eating next. Today, for most of us, food is in abundance, and throw in the extra bonus of it being scientifically designed to make us want more and more. Food is no longer only about function. We eat for fun.
I have a love/hate relationship with food, when my mental health is off I abuse it to make myself feel better, its my last remaining vice. My weight has fluctuated throughout my life, I had a period where I dieted hard and got awesome results, then exhaustion and injury lead to the inevitable bounce back. In the past year or so I have been working on portion control as well as concentrating on my hunger and fullness scales. I have been dropping weight in a slow and sustainable way, it’s not been easy getting out of the restrict/binge mindset, I’ve had to relearn how to feed myself without a food plan and to let go of my food control issues.
All of my clients constantly ask me about food, what they shouldn’t eat, what they should eat, how to eat. It can be really stressful for a lot of us, I know I went through a stage where I would have preferred to take 3 food pills a day rather than eating food.
Food should be enjoyed, in the right amounts yes, though still enjoyed. I like the 80/20 rule, have nutritious foods 80% of the time and save 20% for your sometimes foods. Nutritious foods being your whole, nourishing foods and sometimes foods being those that may give you more satisfaction than nourishment. (*Idea from Dr Libby)
Have a think into what foods you find seductive, what gives you pleasure? Is there a reason these foods evoke those feelings? Try and get into the psychology behind why you are eating. Is there a way you can make these foods less palatable so you consume less of them?
Food is not the enemy, we need food to thrive and live long, happy lives. I no longer believe dieting is the answer, I recommended looking at a way of eating that you can stick to for the rest of your life, if you can’t sustain what you are doing then that is a diet and you will more than likely rebound at some point.
“People who love to eat are always the best people. – Julia Child”
Food for thought (ha ha)
- Eat slowly and without distraction
- Look at why you are eating, are you trying to satisfy an emotion?
- Try and stick to the 80/20 rule
- Enjoy food
- While improving your nutrition, aim to not have a diet mindset, think of making constant and sustainable improvements
- Choose nourishing foods
I am not a qualified nutritionist/dietician, the above is my findings from my experiences, if you are looking to change your diet or need extra support please contact a registered nutritionist/dietician.