Real Talk about Diets
I overheard one of our Breakthrough members telling another member a couple of months ago 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, that 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 year, 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: short-term challenges where food guidelines are followed, reviewing food journals, creating specific calorie and macronutrient targets, specific meal plans… But what happens after all this? What will you eat when you stop following a strict meal plan? What will you do when you get tired of journalling your food? The truth is none of this really works UNLESS you also develop eating skills and your own values about food.
Saturday 11/13 I’ll be doing a presentation at Breakthrough for our More Magic Plan. I’m taking what’s worked for our members in the past, and combining it with some new ways of developing skills, guidelines and values when it comes to food. And I’m especially excited to share this information because it doesn’t just apply to nutrition! I’ll be sharing ways to get more of what you want out of life in a variety of areas, so even if you feel great about how you are eating, there will still be cool stuff to apply. The presentation is free to attend, and open to everyone - you don't have to be a Breakthrough member! If you can’t make it in person, you can also join us via Zoom!
For more details and to RSVP, head over to our More Magic page.
Strength, Love and Magic,