The experience of eating is dreaded by some.
Have I eaten too much? Have I eaten too little? Is this food ‘clean’? Guilt surrounding food is a growing concern and needs to be nipped in the bud before it gets worse.
What’s the purpose of eating? Why does it exist?
To sustain life. Eating gives the body nutrition to function.
For those aspiring to perform at their best, their nutrition to reflects this. They eat foods – mainly whole foods – that provide the best fuel for their goal.
There is nothing wrong with this approach but it can leave people with a limited range of foods they deem healthy creating unhealthy habits.
Is it healthy to eat the same meal of chicken and broccoli all week? Is it healthy to avoid social encounters to keep a ‘perfect’ nutrition plan intact?
Disregard the media when it comes to nutrition. Their goal is better ratings which thrive on over-dramatisation and fear mongering.
Spend time learning nutrition basics rather than carefully measuring every ounce of food. Forget the notion that fats are bad and that you should avoid carbs after 3.02pm and learn the facts. What differentiates saturated fats for unsaturated? What role do they play and in what foods can they be found in?
What did our ancestors – free from modern ailments like diabetes and heart disease – eat? Whole foods like fruits and vegetables with the occasional feast.
It’s OK to splurge from time to time. Feasting in ancient times was necessary as food security was low before to the dawn of farming.
In modern times, eating more than necessary on occasion plays a different role. It allows you and me to enjoy social gatherings, like birthdays, and indulge in foods that are not ‘healthy’ and that satisfies our cravings.
It allows us to be normal, intuitive eaters.
Intuitive eating is not a new term. In fact, a book has been written on the subject.
The idea – to eat like a child.
Think back to when you ate spaghetti with your hands. Were you tediously counting the calories in each handful?
For much of our youth, eating was a simple activity. We listened to our bodies and ate to satisfy our hunger and stopped when we were full. Some weeks we ate more, devouring whole loaves of bread after school, while at other times our appetite was diminished.
With age, our natural eating tendencies changed. We overheard stories that pasta makes you chubby or you should limit your fat intake, and these weaselled their way into how we ate.
What we need is a memory-erasing device (Men In Black anyone?). Let’s approach food simply – eating based on feel coupled with a good understanding of the nutrition basics.
Simple enough right?