Have you ever thought about the relationship you have established with food? Food, nutrition, weight loss and dieting are ever- present topics in our culture. As a Holistic Health Counselor, some of the people I see have very troubled relationships with food. Some regard it as the enemy. Some see it as having power over their happiness. Some see it as the sum total of calories and miss out on all the wonderful facets food can offer – nourishment, energy, disease-protection, strong bones and muscles, and so on.
Are you someone who looks at food and does an immediate calorie count? Have you had a history of limiting the number of calories you consume through the guidelines of a fad diet, only to see yourself in a gain-loss-gain again cycle? Is there a better way to have a relationship with food?
Most certainly there is a better way. Calories are only one measure of food. Each calorie generates a degree of heat in the body, and the source of the calorie is what is most important. You may count your calories and stay within a certain prescribed limit, but if the source of those calories is poor-quality food made of refined carbohydrates and simple sugars, you will not be nourishing your body, and you probably will not have much energy.
You are not a bunch of calories. You are a human being with a unique body type, genetic history and a specific lifestyle that is always changing due to climate, age and activity level. All of this needs to be considered in determining the best forms of nourishment for you. Of course calories are a factor in your overall nutrition plan, but in a healthy relationship with food, thoughts of quality, taste, aroma, volume, variety and satiety should always precede thoughts of calories. When your mind is only on calories you do your body a disservice and possibly deprive it of needed nutrients and the pleasure of eating good quality foods.
Talk to your friends. See where their focus is. Chances are those who have had lengthy struggles with weight will first discuss calories and diet drinks. Those who have little or no issues with weight will talk with you about food and quality.
If you are ready to break out of calorie prison, start with learning the difference between quality food and processed foods and build a repertoire of satisfying delicious meals for yourself, starting with a good breakfast. I can promise you as you break out of the calorie cycle you will establish a much healthier relationship with food that truly nourishes your body.