I overheard one of our Breakthrough members telling another member that she had dieted almost her entire life (she is in her retirement years) and has never really gotten the results she wanted. I know she’s not alone. Maybe many of you reading this can relate. As a coach, I know we have a responsibility to do better than what mainstream diet culture offers.
Many years ago my father-in-law was in town for a visit, and had made himself a lunch while Caleb and I were at work. I believe the meal consisted of a hard-boiled egg, a can of beans and some raw veggies we had in the fridge. After hearing of this lunch we sort of laughed about this not being a very appetizing meal. My father-in-law just shrugged and said, “It’s just food. It sustains life”.
For the vast majority of us, food is much more complicated than that. Food has a social component, as we often eat meals with family and friends. The big events of life are centered around food. Eating can involve a wide array of emotions and feelings - pleasure, comfort, shame, guilt. Food is very rarely just about satiety and getting the proper nutrients for optimal health. In fact, many of us have had years of being conditioned to ignore hunger signals while dieting, or skipping meals because we are overworked, or eating to the point of being over-stuffed rather than just full, and we have lost touch with true appetite and satiety signals.
Because food is much more than just calories and macros, we need eating skills that support us during the ups and downs of life. Guidelines that we can rely on during the celebrations and vacations, as well as times of stress and turmoil, when following a specific meal plan is unrealistic and unlikely. Skills and guidelines are so different from rules. Chances are you’ve heard a lot of “rules" about food, and probably tried some at some point: Never eat after a certain hour. You should eat 6 small meals a day. You should do Intermittent Fasting and only eat 1 large meal a day. Certain foods are “bad” and you should never eat them. Keto. Paleo. Vegan...
Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent a considerable portion of time evaluating how we can do a better job of helping people where nutrition is concerned. As a Precision Nutrition Coach, I’ve offered a variety of approaches: 6 week challenges where food guidelines are followed, reviewing food journals, creating specific calorie and macronutrient targets, specific meal plans… It all works in the short-term, but what happens afterward? What will you eat when you stop following a strict meal plan? What will you do when you get tired of journalling your food, or showing up for accountability meetings?
The truth is, any "diet" or short-term fix is, frankly, BS - unless you are also learning to build habits, develop eating skills, and create your own values about food. Saturday 1/28 I’ll be doing a brand new presentation at Breakthrough called "Never Mind the BS, Let's Talk Nutrition." I'll be sharing the most important habits that have worked for our members in getting long-term results, and those habits aren't counting calories or committing to journalling for the rest of your life! I'll be giving ideas on how to develop skills, guidelines and values when it comes to food. I will NOT be selling anything - no supplements, meal plans, or short-term challenges.
The presentation is free to attend, and open to everyone - you don't have to be a Breakthrough member. Whether you have a weight loss goal, want to improve your relationship to food, or make nutrition simpler, I promise you will walk away with a couple inspiring ideas and action items!
For more details and to RSVP, head over to our Nutrition Seminar page.
Strength and Love,