Full disclosure upfront: I am not a dietician or a nutritionist, but I do get asked every day what I eat, what diet I follow and what should other people do. I am a firm believer in one size does not fit all, especially when it comes to taste, lifestyle and personal beliefs. But I do think there are some underlying principles that can apply to everyone on a whole, which then also got me analysing my own relationship with food.
This is what I have discovered.
- Most people still want to take a magic pill to lose weight. While the thought of dropping a few extra pounds is great, no one wants to really change their eating or lifestyle to do so.
- You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Going for a 10km run does not mean you can eat junk food all day, or cancel out the five beers you had the night before.
- People are in denial. What people think they eat, and what they actually eat are two very different things, and not in a good way.
- We all eat too much. We don’t need as much food as we think we do to function well, and this includes people who actively participate in sports or train a lot.
- IT IS HARD! No one is “lucky” to look good, or be healthy. It takes dedication, discipline and stands as a daily commitment to choosing this lifestyle. It’s all the behind the scenes work you don’t see that counts.
- Don’t “go big”. Small steps work; trying to change everything in one day or one week does not. Pick one thing each week to focus on that then becomes a habit and a win, and suits your lifestyle.
- Short-term satisfaction. Are you going to regret eating something straight after you have finished it? Everyone is guilty of doing this, so before you take that bite, think about whether that five minutes of indulgence is worth the aftermath.
So what is your relationship with food? Do you eat it out of habit? Is it to fuel you, is it your source of happiness or do you eat based on emotion? Whatever the answer, if you really want to make a change then you need to step up, as you are the only one who is capable of doing so.