Getting nutrition facts and judgements confused

This is what nutrition science can tell us:

  • The average nutrient content of a particular food, and the average effect a food or nutrient has on particular health biomarkers for a group of people under experimental conditions.

This is what nutrition science can’t tell us:

  • That a food or nutrient is good or bad.
  • How you should and shouldn’t be eating.
  • That you can’t eat a particular food or nutrient if you want to.
  • That not eating a certain way means you have failed or are wrong.
  • That physical health must be your most important life value.
  • That a lower body weight is superior to a heavier body weight.

[Note: Overeating, food cravings, meal skipping, eating disorders and feelings of stress around food often start to resolve, once we stop confusing the two.]

The problem with dieting

Is that it very often causes overeating. The restriction, stress and deprivation associated with limiting what your body desires can leave us eating more calories and gaining more weight than before we started.

The alternative is to allow ourselves to enjoy the foods we want in moderation. To be aware of how hungry we are, how much we’ve had and what we really feel like eating.

“I can have this if I want, but do I really feel like it?”

The irony of giving ourselves the total freedom to eat what we desire is that with time we end up desiring it less.

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