What is most important to you in life? Most people will answer this question with “my loved ones” 🤗. And how do we often bond with others? Through sharing food… Next to it’s function to nourish our bodies, food is such an important component of our daily lives in other ways. It represents our culture, is part of celebrations, comforts us, brings back memories, gives us joy and we bond over it by preparing food for others and sharing meals. Children also learn from their adults how to eat. For example, an adult rejecting carbs, because they are “bad”, teaches a child that those types of food are unsafe what may lead to restrictive eating from a young age.
In my practice I often get questions about so called Lifestyle Diets. These diets often prescribe to cut out certain food groups (e.g. carbohydrates), fearmonger certain ingredients (e.g. grains), prescribe to be guided by external factors (e.g. the time) when to eat rather than listening to the body’s internal cues, and make it sound as if without their “health supportive” supplements you can’t be your very best. While on such a lifestyle diet people often feel very restricted, anxious around foods, guilty when they do eat something that is not according to their plan and generally speaking a bit weird around food. They feel like food occupies too much of their mind space and that they can’t relax around social occasions anymore. After all, food is a major part of our lives!
When we cut the basic sharing of foods out of our lives, we risk also cutting out social experiences. Sure you can replace that catch up at the cafe with a beach walk, but if your latest “lifestyle” diet attempt makes you feel restricted and miserable because you start to avoid social occasions, you may like to rethink whether it’s worth it. Of course if you have food sensitivities or allergies there is no way around eating differently from those around you, but if it is a “lifestyle diet” it should fit into your real life!
But how can you be healthy and maintain your happy weight if you still eat those delicious but “forbidden” foods? In my program people uncover why they eat what they eat. They learn to enjoy these fun foods in the right context again and tune into their body to recognize what they really need. This way they start to eat well for their body and can relax and enjoy fun foods for pleasure and social occasions. This fits into looking after your physical health AND is good for your mental health ❤️.
So let’s say NO to silly food rules and celebrate food and life again! 🎉
PS: do you need guidance in changing your eating habits so it fits into your life and helps you to achieve your health and weight goals? Visit www.CoastNutrition.co.nz to read more about my coaching programs 🙂