Often times in discussions about nutrition and diet people tend to take a very narrow view of the role of the food we eat. We tend to view food as good vs bad. It helps us lose weight, or makes us gain weight. It cleanses our body, or leads to toxins building up. I like to look at food slightly differently, and try to get my clients to do the same. We "hire" our food to do a job and it's rarely for the reasons above. Food can be hired for, but not limited to the following reasons:
- Stress Relief
- Social Interaction
It's important to recognize all the roles food plays in our life. When we make food all about nutrients and calories and ignore the other psycho-social roles that food plays in our life is short sighted. This often leads for frustration and failure in our attempts to lose weight or become healthier.
Many people take a "white knuckling" approach to diet, thinking if they just try harder, or want it more then they will succeed. This tends to lead to extreme approaches that ignore some of the vital roles food plays in our lives. If we ignore the pleasure, stress relief, and social aspects of food for example we often create a huge void in our lives when we implement an overly restrictive diet. If we are going to fire food from it's position of emotional support, pleasure, and stress relief, then you'd better make sure you have something else ready to fill those roles. If not your setting yourself up for a cycle of failure and frustration.
Sometimes food does need to be fired from some of these roles in order to reach certain goals. It's just important that we find a suitable alternative to fill that role, and that we do it in a gradual and incremental fashion that is doable for us right now, and sustainable long term. Interested in more info on our behavior based approach to nutrition coaching?
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