My children are experts in knowing when they’re hungry and asking for food, they can judge how much to put on their plates and recognise when they feel full, at which point they stop eating. They don’t worry about whether something is a good or bad food, although my son at age 6 is aware of what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet. They don’t get hung up about clean eating, how many calories they’re consuming or feel guilty about enjoying a small piece of cake, a few sweets or an ice cream, on occasion. And, that’s how it should be.
At some point in our lives we lose the skills that my children have; food is feared, eating becomes a guilty pleasure, dieting and watching our weight become the norm as we believe we have to look a certain way, we feel we have to clear our plates and lose touch with our sense of satiety, we prohibit certain foods then binge on them since we crave them so much.
What if we could re-learn those skills, so we can recognise our hunger and fullness signals? What if we started listening to our body, which is telling us when to eat, what and how much? No more yo-yo dieting, no more feeling guilty, no more restricting foods on account of them being ‘bad’. All foods are allowed and by listening to your body, you may have a small amount of something less healthy on occasion and that’s OK, because the rest of the time you’re following your body’s cues to eat the fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins it needs.
I’m a firm believer of eating ‘everything in moderation’ and that a little bit of what I fancy, every so often, isn’t going to do me any harm because I know that, most of the time, I’m eating well and listening to what my body needs.
How liberating would it be not to restrict certain foods? Wouldn’t it be lovely not to feel guilty about enjoying your food? Wouldn’t it be great to be in tune with your body’s needs?