Instead of learning about the right and wrong foods to eat, let’s learn instead about the many different foods and diets each compatible with healthy living.
Instead of learning to change what we eat according to a new diet, let’s learn instead to modify what we eat according to our internal hunger.
Instead of learning to stop eating the foods we love, let’s learn instead to eat them in the amounts that provide us with long-term enjoyment and satisfaction.
Instead of learning to eat by following all of these rules and restrictions, let’s learn instead how to eat with freedom and by following our intuition.
Instead of learning that eating is a practice done primarily to lose weight, let’s learn instead that it is a practice done primarily to nourish the billions of cells that contribute to the optimal functioning of our mind and body.
Relearning food and nutrition matters.
It matters because eating within the context of diets, judgements, rules and restrictions is highly stressful. This stress is not just damaging short-term, it too has long-term impacts on our hormonal, neurological and digestive systems.
Eating in a stressful state can:
- up-regulate hormones that promote weight gain,
- increase our appetite, encouraging cravings and overeating,
- impact, in a negative way, the actual metabolic effects foods have on our body,
- damage our healthy gut bacteria, likely impairing our immune function and body weight regulation, and even
- increase our likelihood of developing intolerances to nutritious foods.
When we approach food and nutrition with a different mindset, we can help to undo these physiological effects. Research shows that eating more mindfully and with self-compassion – being aware and attentive to our eating, without judgement – promotes healthy weight management.
Indeed, our eating mindset is proposed as a better predictor of weight management than any specific combination of foods or nutrients is.
The most common question I get asked as a nutritionist is, “Is this food healthy?”
My most common answer is, “That depends, largely, on how you eat it.”