Friday, 30 May 2014

"Food is fuel" or is it more complex than that?

I have seen mottoes written on the internet such as "Eat to live, don't live to eat" and they always make me feel uncomfortable. These one-liners just don't sit right with me. That concept that "food is fuel" and nothing more is I think simplistic and unrealistic and certainly doesn't reflect the way I live. Sure, some people see it that way, but for the vast majority of us, food is more than just fuel. 

Food can be a source of nourishment and pleasure, a social activity, a celebration, a tradition, a reinforcement of culture, a religious ceremony, a creative outlet, an expression of love, giving and sharing.....  and for some of us also a reward and a punishment. For many people who are overweight or obese, or who have an eating disorder, their relationship with food is one of the fundamental problems hampering their eventual recovery. 

I believe it's perfectly fine to enjoy your food, to love your fuel and take pleasure from your nourishment. But make your relationship with food a positive one.  If food makes you sad, angry, guilty, stressed, anxious, obsessed, depressed or hateful then this is not good for you, your health or your weight.  If you reward yourself with food, or punish yourself with food, perhaps you need to look at alternatives.  If your relationship with food is less than positive its time to examine it, and consider doing so with the help of a qualified professional such as a psychologist, a dietitian or a doctor. Like any bad relationship, don't be afraid to seek help and improve it, for your own health and happiness.

Lyndal @ Lean Green and Healthy