The Food Police

They’re everywhere. In the grocery store, peering into your cart. On the covers of magazines and on the radio. We are constantly being judged or reminded about our lack of a ‘perfect’ diet.

The fact is that we as a nation are more obsessed than ever about food. Ironically, rates of obesity are skyrocketing and there is a general anxiety about food.

We need to make a change and stop attaching morality to food. Food isn’t ‘clean’ or ‘dirty.’ It’s just food.

Think about it. The only reason you should have guilt about a food is if you stole it!

Do you know what feeling guilty about your food choices does? It makes you feel ashamed, desperate and out of control. It makes you less likely to pay attention to your body about what it is telling you it needs to feel nourished. Assigning moral value to food and labeling your choices as good and bad starts to permeate your very being and leads to fixation, and can zap the joy out of life. That translates either into severe deprivation, bingeing, or a cycle that includes both.

The better plan is to pay attention to your hunger and satiety cues. Take a moment to reflect and feel what is going on in your body, and if you are in fact hungry, think about what will satisfy you at this very moment.

Then, take a moment to sit down in a distraction-free area, take a deep breath, and enjoy it. If you’ve been on and off diets for longer than you can remember, this will feel like a radical and foreign idea.

Try it. Journal about it. What do you have to lose? Nothing. What do you have to gain? Your health and your sanity.

This I Believe

In honor of one of my favorite NPR segments/podcasts, I thought I’d start my blog with my beliefs as they relate to food and nutrition.

 

Food is Medicine. Nature has provided us with most of what we need to keep our bodies healthy. We are fortunate to have an abundance of foods from which to choose, and we are healthiest when we choose from a wide variety of foods.

There is no nutritional ‘magic bullet.’ If I had a penny for every time someone asked me about the latest superfood…….. The truth is, our knowledge is only at the tip of the iceberg. Scientists are discovering compounds that keep us healthy nearly all the time. The best strategy is to eat what you like, try some new foods, and strive to have your plate look like a rainbow. But, above all, sit down, relax and ENJOY your food!

Diets don’t work. I know. This one hits the hardest. It’s a bitter pill to swallow. However, study after study has demonstrated that the greatest indicator of future weight gain is having previously being on a restrictive diet. Diet companies continue to reap record profits while their success statistics are dismal. They might be the first field to repeatedly convince their consumers that failure is the consumers’ fault and not the diets themselves! Amazing, isn’t it?

Diets cause cravings. In studies dating back to the 1950s on men, restricting food intake causes people to obsess about food and increase the amount of food that they eat!

Listening to your body does work. Yes, I know that sitting down to a meal and paying attention can initially take more time and effort than following a set meal plan, but in the long run, this practice can help your body find it’s natural weight and free yourself from preoccupation with food, without feeling deprived.

Negative self-talk doesn’t translate into positive change. Evidence shows that we don’t make improvements in our health by bashing our bodies or our habits. Quite the opposite happens as we tend to rebel against that inner voice. Think of how you would talk to a beloved child, or to a colleague that you wanted to encourage…..And start to use that same language with yourself!

You can make positive change in your life and your health. Whether you know a little or a lot about nutrition, my goal is to help you work with your personal knowledge and personality strengths to empower you to become your best you.

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