We know so much we are totally confused…
I was speaking to a young woman the other day who made the comment that a few years ago she was maintaining a healthy weight, eating intuitively, and enjoying her food. She then started to get “scientific” about nutrition and weight loss and her relationship with food changed for the worse and her weight started to yo-yo up and down.
She began to have food rules, and started to avoid carbs on the advice of others, her energy levels plummeted and she was feeling guilty most of the time when she wasn’t following the strict diet.
After chatting she realises the ‘error’ of her ways, but her confusion as to what is healthy is really understandable given the amount of information that is available these days.
However to change back to simpler times is not so easy when you consider in the work environment most women are talking about the latest diet or what they are currently doing to drop some weight, a lot of the time!
This young woman is making great gains in her journey back to sensible healthy eating but is often plagued by her food rules or bothered by the fact that she is not on a diet (because if you’re not on a diet, you aren’t trying is a common way of thinking) . Trouble is, the talk in the office never stops so the newest diet will be the topic of office discussions particularly if the person on the diet is visibly losing weight. To top it off the local gym is coming in to discuss “Which is better, the Paleo diet or the New Atkins diet?”
It seems weight loss has become so desirable that we will do anything- even make ourselves sick in order to be thinner. Fed by the media and office chatter women are questioning what they know about food and following these fad diets without any question of longer-term consequences.
We need carbohydrates in our diet for energy; we need them for dietary fibre to prevent constipation and bowel cancers and give our gut bacteria great fertiliser. They are part of our food supply and part of most family’s way of eating. They are the lowest contributor to calories when we consider fat, alcohol and protein with carbohydrates. Does that mean we have to eat heaps? No- but small amounts of high fibre low GI carbohydrates should be part of a healthy diet.
Moderation used to be the keyword around eating- somehow it’s been lost. Our common sense has been overtaken by our belief in everything we read on the internet and our pursuit of thinness. What this all leads to is unhappiness and guilt and what those feelings lead to is rebellion and overeating. Sound familiar?
There is definitely another way – this young woman I helped recently is clawing her way back to common sense and moderation and starting to feel good about herself and food again.
Lisa is a Dietitian, behaviour change coach, mentor, speaker and author. She has been practicing over 23 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and a healthy relationship with food. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner, as they have no guilt around eating and have successfully changed the way they look at eating well and losing weight.