Over the past few years the 'clean eating' phenomenon has really taken off and in some cases I'd say it's become more of a fashion statement than a way of life. Don't get me wrong, I love that so many people are embracing healthy eating, but my concern is that while some might be eating healthy, the other habits they have picked up along the way are not!
Here are my top 5 reasons why you're healthy eating may not be as healthy as you think:
1. You think about food all. the. time! This is not healthy people! Of course we need to think about food when we are planning and preparing what we are going to eat but thoughts about food should not be taking over the mind, producing feelings of guilt and shame. It will begin to consume you and before you know it you can't work, function or socialise as well because your mind is so obsessed about what you're going to eat next instead of being present in that moment.
2. You cut out food groups, because you heard it's healthier. If you have an intolerance or allergy then yes cutting foods out may be the only option but otherwise, all foods groups should have a place in one's diet. For example if you find yourself bloated after eating legumes find out why instead of just cutting them out. You may be intolerant to them (a food allergy test can confirm this) or it may be that your gut isn't in tip top shape and finds it hard to digest them. In this case, instead of cutting them out forever, work on building your gut health to be able to digest them. Or like me you struggle with canned legumes but cooked from scratch they are okay. So cut out the canned varieties and always cook them from scratch. Legumes are a nutrient packed food and unless we are intolerant of have an allergy we should all be enjoying them regularly.
3. You worry about how many calories are in your food. Hopefully you have heard it enough now but for those that still need some reminding, it's about NUTRIENTS not calories. If anyone has seen That Sugar Film it is a great example of this. Damon swaps from a wholefood diet to a processed, sugar laden diet for 60 days but eats the same amount of calories as he was before. After the 60 days he put on 8.5kg, 7% body fat, 10cm around the waist and develops fatty liver and manic mood swings. Enough said, look for nutrients not calories!
4. You exercise just to burn off what you've eaten. There are so many benefits of exercise including, muscle toning, improving everyday functionality and flexibility, improved circulation, improved brain activity, increasing happy hormones, improving digestion and reducing stress just to name a few. Exercise begins to feel like a chore when you're only doing it to burn off kilojoules and your motivation to continue will spiral downwards very quickly. Think of some other benefits of exercise that apply to you and start using them as your motivation to get outside and get moving instead of guilting yourself into it because you ate a burger last night!
5. You see other people eat a 'bad' food and wish you could too. You can! Healthy eating does not mean depriving yourself of food. When healthy eating becomes a habitual part of your lifestyle you don't feel like your depriving yourself because although that food might taste nice, your body doesn't feel great when you have it and there's so many other options that also taste nice but do make your body feel great.
So if you're on a clean eating journey, firstly I commend you for wanting to look after your health but I urge you to ask yourself, are you trying to do 'clean eating', or is the food you eat just clean?
In my eyes a healthy relationship with food is one that is one that does not erratically restrict, deprive, or take-over the mind. It is consistently relaxing, enjoyable and wholesomely nourishing.
Think your relationship with food could do with a make-over? Book an appointment today.