A seemingly pervasive cycle forms in society – fun is eventually annihilated and myths take over. We too readily accept ideals such as “healthy” food, which equates to tasteless, joyless fuel for our bodies. Individuals have gone from treating food as a pleasure to an enemy of health and well-being. But what if there was another way? Reframing the way we think about the idea of food can bring immense freedom, both mentally and physically, when it comes to the world of nutrition. In this article, we’ll explore why conventional wisdom dominates despite its flaws, before suggesting ways to tackle them differently.
It is surprising how many of these so-called “facts” have been misinterpreted or distorted, leading to widespread beliefs that are in fact false. How many times have you heard someone say that eating pasta makes you gain weight? Or seen someone take butter off their plate for fear it will raise bad cholesterol levels? Whether it’s claims like “rice causes constipation” or the idea that starchy foods “make you fat,” it’s clear that some of the most popular advice needs a closer look. Is it actually true?
Why do we find it difficult to get rid of these received ideas?
After all, it is not just an individual’s own understanding of nutrition that has formed these opinions, but often a cultural narrative that has been passed down from generation to generation. To understand why these misconceptions persist, we need to look at underlying elements such as historical information, traditional knowledge, economic influences, and even media portrayals.
All of these aspects contribute to people’s perceptions of food and nutrition, leading them to form opinions based on what they have heard rather than actual facts. Additionally, there is a lack of education regarding nutritional science and its technical details, which makes individuals vulnerable to misinformation. It is this combination of factors that makes it so difficult for us to free ourselves from our preconceptions about food and nutrition.
Having fun is also linked to weight gain!
Many of us have the idea that low-calorie meals lack flavor compared to junk food, which is high in calories but has overpowering flavor nuances. This makes it possible to weave a link between pleasure and overweight or chronic diseases. However, this is only one false idea among others deeply rooted in our society. All of these mistaken beliefs can lead to many negative consequences if we don’t take charge of our food choices.
First, these misconceptions can cause us to avoid certain foods altogether, resulting in a lack of nutritional balance in our diets. Studies have shown that restricting yourself from certain foods often leads to gorging on them later. This type of behavior is an important red flag for possible eating disorders such as bulimia or binge eating.
Second, these misconceptions can cause people to equate pleasure with guilt or shame. When we eat something that makes us feel guilty or ashamed, we lose the pleasure of the experience and can create an unhealthy emotional response to food. It becomes difficult to enjoy meals and snacks when we constantly worry about whether or not we are “allowed” to eat them because of their healthiness or caloric content.
Finally, this wrong mindset can prevent people from making the changes necessary to achieve a healthy weight and maintain it over time. Eating should be enjoyable and even fun; however, if people are convinced that any pleasure related to food will lead them straight to weight gain, they will be less inclined to make lasting changes and more likely to give up quickly in the face of difficulties.
It’s important for all of us, regardless of our size or shape, to recognize that pleasure plays an important role in our relationship with food. Eating should give us pleasure, both physically and emotionally, not guilt or shame, so we can strike a healthy balance between nurturing ourselves and allowing ourselves to indulge when it sings to us.
So, how to get rid of it?
Do some research:
A good way to start is to seek out accurate and reliable sources of evidence-based nutrition, health and mental wellness information. By keeping an open mind when reviewing food and nutrition studies, one can avoid jumping to conclusions without knowing all the facts.
Start by adopting mindful eating habits:
Mindful eating is about paying attention to the food you put into your body without judgment, restriction, or guilt.
- By noticing its texture, aroma, colors and flavors.
- By being aware of the degree of satiety or satisfaction you feel after eating.
- By chewing slowly.
- By recognizing hunger cues and viewing them as cues to eat rather than emotions.
- By paying attention to what satisfies you rather than depriving yourself of food for fear of gaining weight.
- By listening to internal signals that it’s time to stop eating rather than external messages such as “clean your plate!”
Seek advice from a nutrition expert:
Finally, it is important to understand that there is no one size fits all when it comes to adopting a healthy lifestyle. Everyone’s dietary needs vary based on age, gender, genetics, activity level and other factors. Consulting a nutritionist or dietitian can help determine which foods are best suited to individual needs. Additionally, connecting with peers who are adopting similar healthy practices can foster support during the transition period away from restrictive diets or tendencies.