February 5, 2015
Here is a fantastic guest post from our resident dietician Fiona Pring.
I’m often struck by the amount of people who tell me how ‘good’ they have been with what they have eaten over the past few weeks. They assume the moral high ground and talk of how they’ve resisted the ‘bad’ foods they adore and assume are off limits only to return weeks later with tales of guilt, shame, lack of willpower and despair when the diet has been broken.
Dieting has that effect on people, a constant battle between the ‘good’ and ‘evil’ on their plate which, if they win, believe will ultimately lead to a more slender, healthier and happier self. It’s true that the food we eat impacts on health, there is plenty of research to back that one up but does denying ourselves the foods we enjoy really lead to the slender and happier person we work so hard to be?
Research has shown that diets, in the long term, don’t work and in fact the relentless cycle of weight loss and weight regain is detrimental to our physical and emotional health. So what can we do to achieve peace with the food on our plate and a confident serenity in the body we inhabit?
Think back to childhood.
Food was just food. As long as it tasted good, looked good and satisfied hunger that was all that really mattered. Eating a bowlful of ice-cream didn’t arouse those feelings of shame or guilt, but was just enjoyed for its total deliciousness. We ate intuitively, unconsciously regulating just the right amount for our unique selves. Often the futile pursuit of weight loss can become so ingrained that we lose sight of this along with the wider value of food. Social, cultural and emotional needs can all be met by the food we chose to eat.
By adopting a non-diet/mindful approach to eating alongside meaningful and enjoyable activity can, in time, lead to improvements in our relationship with food, our health and emotional wellbeing. Normal eating is flexible, satisfying and enjoyable. There are no rules, no avoidance, no vowing never to eat that sinful food again. In reality all food on our plate is morally equal, nothing is out of bounds and we can meet our needs without the internal dialogue associated with the dieting mentality.
When we learn to mindfully tune in to our internal hunger and satiety cues and start to notice our true likes and dislikes, trusting that our bodies can tell us what, when and how much to eat we can, without judgement, return to an enjoyable, balanced and healthful way of eating once again.
What do you think guys? Is it possible to move away from our good vs food way of thinking? Can you train effectively and mange your weight goals without driving yourself mad?
Why not join us for an exclusive webinar this weekend where Fiona will talk in more detail about this approach and you will get to ask specific nutrition/fuelling questions.