But I Want Food to Be Natural !?!
By Joan Kent, PhD
Several years ago, in a workshop on recovering from food addictions, a participant objected to what she felt were unfair eating restrictions. "I just want food to be natural," she said.
Interesting comment. Let's deconstruct it.
My take on her "wanting food to be natural" was that she wanted to eat whatever appealed to her at the moment, with no restrictions, no control, no resistance, no substitutions, not even any fore-thought.
For what it's worth, she wasn't eating healthful foods very often. The so-called restrictions she objected to were just straight-forward guidelines for good eating habits.
Can Restrictions Really Be Natural?
• What could be more natural than eating when you're physically hungry? Instead of looking at the clock to see when it's lunchtime or dinnertime, you check in with your body to see if it needs food.
• What could be more natural than eating healthful foods? Instead of eating processed junk, you eat healthful foods, for example, foods that grow.
• What could be more natural than avoiding addictive foods? Instead of letting cravings direct you and letting your brain's response to addictive foods control your food intake, you eliminate addictive foods so you can be in control. You control what you want to eat and how much, and then how long you feel satiated before needing more.
• What could be more natural than stopping when your body has had enough? Instead of eating till you're stuffed, you stop when you get gentle signals from your body that it has had enough food.
And you don't go back for more until you feel physically hungry again later.
So What's Up with Food Restrictions?
These days we hear about Food Addiction. As if it's general.
I do understand that some people want quantity and eat in an out-of-control way. I'm less convinced that Food Addicts binge on plain broccoli with sea salt. Rather, they binge on foods that trigger them in specific ways. And almost all the treatment plans call for eliminating those foods! So let's not play word games.
I'm Old School. I studied addictions to particular foods – and sugar's a big one. Once a trigger like that is out of your diet, it can no longer dictate your appetite, food preferences, quantity preferences, or your need to go back for the next meal.
You're in control. And that sounds natural to me.
If you feel as if food addictions keep sabotaging you, and you'd like to regain control, I'd love to help. Just visit www.LastResortNutrition.com and grab your free Empowered Eating Consult. Find out how easy it is to make food feel natural! It works, and you can do it.
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.