Does this statement sound familiar? “I will be extra good in January and lose the weight I put on over Christmas and the extra pounds I have wanted to lose for so long.” This then gives us free rein to eat and drink whatever we’d like for the few weeks over Christmas. I have absolutely said this to myself in the past.

Please read this first before deciding to go on that path.

I am a firm believer in enjoying our food and not feeling deprived. I aim to teach my clients and students that it’s about understanding our bodies and the effect foods have on our bodies. The ‘diet’ and food industry is a billion dollar industry that has educated us in a way that suits them. Low fat and low calorie is one path they encourage. They know what foods and chemicals increase our appetites. I have heard that they have even worked out how many times we chew on average so that on the 7th chew, for example, certain chemicals are released to make us want more of that food.

It’s time we learnt the real and unbiased information about food and our bodies. Fat is vital for our organs to function optimally and to feel satisfied after a meal. And it’s important to learn which fats are the ones our bodies need. Butter and eggs are certainly back on the menu! If a fat has gone through a factory to become the end product we get, then these aren’t the optimum fats for our cells to use. Some of these fats are fine but just in general aim for the natural occurring fats.

The food pyramid tells us to eat 6-8 servings of whole grains. A little knowledge around modern grains will tell us that actually they can be hard to digest and even whole grains often stimulate too much insulin, the fat storing hormone.

I could tell you more misconceptions about food and health. It’s extremely frustrating hearing confusing information about health. This confusing misinformation goes beyond our physical health and into our emotional and mental health. The guilt that can be created around food is exhausting. I said at the beginning of this blog post that people decide I’m going on a ‘diet’ in January so I don’t care what I eat now. I don’t blame people to want to not have to think about what they ‘should’ eat for a few weeks. At the same time guilt is created, and to make up for being ‘bad,’ we tell ourselves we will be extra ‘good’ in January.

This situation makes me so so sad. What an emotional roller-coaster people find themselves on. I want to help people get off this roller-coaster. By understanding that food is so much more than calories and fats but that it’s about nourishment and information for our bodies. I like to see it this way: we have switches all around our bodies that need to be switched on or off. Learning how to switch the right ones on and the ones to switch off, we would be able to make more educated choices around food, start appreciating our bodies more and getting the pleasure we deserve from food.

Awareness and kindness are the first steps.