I just love food!
I’ve been asked before if you still have your love of food after you lose weight. “I just really enjoy food” is a reason people give for why they weigh more than they would like. I’m pleased to tell you that yes, you still love food after you lose weight and that enjoying food doesn’t have to be a barrier. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy it more than you do when you are overweight.
Other explanations I’ve heard for being overweight are:
“I just really love the taste of wine”
“I just really love the taste of Pizza”
“I’m just a foodie person”
I promise you that's not it. Here’s three reasons why:
1) If it was just a case of liking the taste of wine you could taste it with only one mouthful. One sip of wine would tell you everything you need to know about the flavours. That’s why professional wine tasters just take a sip and spit it out again. If you’ve not been spitting your wine in a bucket your wine consumption is not simply about enjoying the taste.
2) It can’t be about fuel either. There are 2000 calories in a large pizza. If you ate a whole one, in theory, the average woman would not need to eat anything else for the rest of the day. However most people can happily consume more than what they need. If that’s the case it isn’t about needing to feel full.
3) Slim people really love food too. Even the slimmest of people might also consider themselves to be foodies but they aren't overweight. They aren’t trying to be nauseating when they talk about how much they love their food, they are being sincere. You can really love your food and be slim.
So if it’s not about just enjoying food what is it then?
The question to ask yourself is do you love food and drink or do you love how they make you feel?
I've written in previous blogs about understanding what food means for you and about when we use it to self-medicate. If enjoying food and drink is a way of self-medicating then you love what food does for you and probably not the sensation of tasting it.
I loved food before I lost weight. I'd say I love it even more now although I'm much eating less. Why?
I eat when I want
There’s no food regret or a feeling of “I didn’t really need that”. 9 times out of 10 I eat because I’m genuinely hungry and when you’re hungry you really enjoy your food.
I feel better in myself
I used to aim for a couple of healthy meals a week. Now healthy cooking is the default and quick meals are the exception. This means I’m eating foods which gives me energy, don’t take forever to digest and I feel great. These foods genuinely make me feel good. I can honestly say I prefer avocado toast to a fry up. Much better flavours, better nutrition and it makes me feel good.
My taste buds have changed
Your palette changes and once you dramatically cut down on sugar you’ll crave sweet things less. You start to appreciate different things.
I eat less so I appreciate food when I do eat it
Now that I only eat cake/chocolate/dessert every now and then, I’m only going to eat it when I’m presented with something I really fancy. Otherwise it’s not worth it. I make sure I really enjoy it too. I still enjoy meals out. I like beer. Once in a blue moon we’ll have a takeaway. Because these things are the exception rather than a regular occurrence (usually with family and friends) I appreciate them more. They feel more special and I don’t need to worry about the health impact because one meal out isn’t going to do days or weeks of healthy eating.
I eat out of kindness to my body
I eat things that make me feel energised. I avoid things that weigh heavy on my digestive system.It’s my way of being nice to myself. I deserve that much. I have exercise goals and I eat the things that are going to help me get there. Healthy food feels more like nourishment rather than punishment.
So there you have it. Even if you’re not a binge eater, even if it’s just the little over indulgences (by your definition of the word) which are keeping you from where you want to be, understanding what food does for you can dramatically change your relationship with it.
The first step is to understanding what those foods or drinks you can’t resist really mean to you. What are they giving you that you don’t want to be without? Understand that and you can change your relationship with food and that means that you really can have your cake and eat it.
If this is a subject you'd like to explore further look out for my forthcoming webinar series.