Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

It’s okay to love your food

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So I’m reading this article in a magazine entitled: Eat as Hard as You Train. Let me share a couple of quotes from it with you:

“Do you believe in a cheat day…?” Sure, provided you don’t mind if your husband or wife cheats on you once a week. If you are disagreeable with such an arrangement, then whatever reason you give is the same that I will give to you. Cheating is cheating. If we cannot be trusted with a little, we cannot be trusted with a lot. If your diet is truly correct, there’s no need or desire to cheat. 

The primary role of food is first and foremost to sustain the body… Taste and culinary satisfaction – although an important feature of nutrition – is secondary to the necessity of biological supply and demand. 

In part I like the point that the author is trying to make. Another part of me is just shaking my head. Yes, we undoubtedly need to invest more time and thought into what we eat. I’m also opposed to cheat days, although not for quite the same reason as the author. I don’t like cheat days because they mean that you’re depriving yourself of foods that you enjoy the other six days of the week. They imply that the foods you’re eating on those six days are not delicious and enjoyable. While I’m not advocating for us all to eat ice cream every day, I don’t believe that we should save up all of our cravings and go wild one day a week. I think that it’s far healthier, and more sustainable, to allow yourself to have a small amount of a “treat” food to satisfy a craving.

This article made me feel like healthy eating should be hard work. Personally, I don’t want to think about my supper like I do about burpees. I want to enjoy my food (not that I don’t love burpees). Biologically, the primary role of food may be to sustain the body. Practically, it’s a pleasurable, and often social, activity. If you don’t enjoy what you’re eating you’re not likely to continue eating it. It’s the same thing with the gym (or where ever you exercise). If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you’re probably not going to stick with it. There doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between something being good for you and something being enjoyable. There are so many delicious foods and recipes that are also jam-packed with the nutrients we need. There is nothing wrong with enjoying your food and there is nothing wrong with enjoying a less-than-nutritious food on occasion. Considering that eating is something we should do about 3-6 times a day we may as well enjoy it!

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

4 thoughts on “It’s okay to love your food

  1. It’s scary that this author seems to think that healthy eating needs to be bland and boring. Cause I’m sure people would stick to their diets if that were the case.

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  2. I’m not sure she thinks it needs to be boring but she sure didn’t make it sound like it could be fun (which it should be)!

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  3. Cheat days just cause people to having consuming thoughts on food. Which leads to binging, dieting, unhealthy relationships with food, and even eating disorders. There needs to be a big societal change towards food. Yes, healthy eating is important. But shaming ourselves for eating the ” wrong” foods is no way to live either. As soon as the stigma is gone between ” good” foods and “bad” , so will all the problems, worries and anxieties that people have towards food. You only live once;fuel your body properly, and enjoy the sweet things in life too ( pun intended).

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