“You are what you eat” – the old adage has been used and abused over and over. With the “clean eating” trend, eating the “right” things has not only become a health issue but a moral issue as well. Does not “eating clean” mean what we’re eating is “dirty”?
It is understandable that people get excited about food. It plays an important part in every culture and in many countries, food is part of their national identity.
With new trends such as #cleaneating, consuming the “right” foods becomes a badge of honour. You have to follow the certain rules and if you deviate, you are looked down upon. This results in guilt and shame for many. People with already low self esteem often strive to achieve perfection. They jump on the bandwagon and preach together with so-called experts about how clean eating has changed their lives to fit in. What they often don’t realise is how removing whole food groups from their diet is impacting their overall health.
Some people from certain socioeconomic groups are told that their food is “bad” resulting in a feeling that they’re stigmatised because they don’t adhere to certain values. It is, however, important that the message around food needs to be positive in order to have a positive impact on health.
Extreme behaviours, be it indulgences on food-centric holidays or radical detoxing are unhealthy. A well-balanced nutrition, on the other hand, is healthy. If this is punctuated with the occasional treat, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
What “clean eating” is really all about
The “clean eating” trend came out of a desire to reduce the amount of processed foods we eat, to go back to basics with food, to eat more like our ancestors did. It was not created to shame people who don’t conform. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, quality proteins and healthy fats, together with unrefined carbohydrates is what it’s all about. Nothing needs to be expensive or difficult to create. It’s simply about stepping away from food that comes in tins, pouches and layers of packaging with a multitude of artificial additives. This has been the advice of governmental bodies for years. Keep it simple. As a result, you’re keeping it healthy for the most part.
Healthy heating should also be about being flexible and having, whatever you’re having, in moderation. Then you almost can’t go wrong. Stop letting social media tell you what you should and shouldn’t eat and especially don’t listen to any “food shaming” messages. Enjoy your food, enjoy the company you eat it in and listen to your body.
This is where mindful eating comes in as well. By slowing down and savouring every bite, you will automatically eat less and be less reliant on food additives to make things tasty. You will start to enjoy your food for what it is, fresh and natural.
How the Live Well Practice can help
We work with people’s current eating habits and don’t give people a diet as diets generally don’t work. We get you into an 80:20 balance which you can keep doing forever!
If you would like to find out how mindful eating can help you lose weight and how hypnotherapy can help, why not get in touch with me, Samantha Culshaw-Robinson. I’m a hypnotherapist and an NHS trained Mindfulness Practitioner and I have been helping people lose weight since 1988. You can call me on 075 222 777 22 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For a full range of programmes please visit my Weight Loss page.