Ok so time for me to have a rant again-I know it’s been a while!
I was watching TV last week and a guest on Lorraine (lads in the gym watch it don’t judge me!) was a former British Bake off Contestant talking about her new book. Apparently she wrote it because we have all forgotten how to enjoy food? Have we? She states that we are obsessed with extreme diets and it is causing eating disorders. Now whilst Orthorexia is a very real eating disorder (it is an obsession with only eating “clean”/healthy food” we also still have an obesity crisis in the UK and it certainly hasn’t been caused by our obsession with restrictive dieting has it???? That’s an eating disorder we need to tackle! Anyway I digress…
She goes on to talk about her own eating disorder, to be honest I don’t know her or even normally follow her, but she describes it as sometimes eating very little and only clean food and sometimes over eating lots of junk food. Erm, I actually consider that pretty normal! To say that people who eat like this don’t enjoy their food or that they don’t eat intuitively seems to me to be entirely missing the point. If we want to eat really healthy, lots of vegetables, lean protein and no refined sugar etc. then that is eating how we want to at that time; and if we then follow that with a day or so of eating all the sugary carbs then that is also eating how we want at that time is it not? She also said that we have forgotten how to seek pleasure in a microwave meal or a takeaway. Honestly I know lots of people that don’t eat microwave meals because they don’t enjoy them not because they think it will kill them!
It appears to be vilifying a person’s choice to choose to avoid processed food etc. How dare you want to provide your body with nutritious food and not want to eat food that maybe makes you feel bloated and sluggish. I don’t think we should start making people feel guilty for eating this way as much as we shouldn’t with people who have the odd takeaway, bar of chocolate, glass of wine etc.
There is no right way to eat for everyone. There is of course the fairly solid science that whole, unprocessed foods are best for us nutritionally and a diet lacking in nutrients from vegetables, fruit and protein will not enable your body to repair and function well so basing your diet around this whether we like it or not is the way to go if we want to be healthy.
This has nothing to do with weight as you can overeat with “healthy” foods just as easily if you want to – watch me near a jar of pure peanut butter and you will see!
We should always eat to fuel our bodies and feel energetic and well, if you can do that whilst having the odd takeaway, glass of wine then that’s great but if post Pizza you look 6 months pregnant and take 3 days to recover (yes that’s me!) then don’t eat it-unless you really want to feel like that.
I don’t call either of these things disordered eating, I call them eating the food that makes you feel the best.
So, if you are what would be termed “a health freak” don’t feel like suddenly you need to start adding in a microwave meal and a couple of pints of lager to your week to avoid having an eating disorder.
At the end of the day yes we should enjoy our food, it is often the centre of social events and has the ability to change our moods but it is whether we like it or not food is a fuel for our body and the quality of output from that body depends on the input it gets from food.
A healthy relationship with food is eating food that you like and that makes you healthy and feel good; whatever that food may be is down to you and you don’t have an eating disorder because you eat differently to the person sat next to you.