There are a lot of misconceptions in nutrition and it seems like every year it gets more and more difficult to sort through the diets, health claims, food products, and everything else this world is trying to sell us about our health. And sell us is an appropriate word. If you added up how much profit was made off of these things you may be looking at hundreds of billions of dollars if not hitting the trillions. The weight loss industry itself grossed over $20 billion (that’s with a B folks) last year alone. The truth, there is a lot of money being pumped into lies they want you to believe to sell their product.
The word ‘healthy’ has got to be one of the most over used and wrongly used words in the English language. If we call something healthy or put food claims on it, then it has to be true, right? WRONG! Let’s take for instance the Eat This, Not That books. Not to degrade anyone, but these books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and they have been smeared across the TV. Lets take for instance a comparison mentioned in the book. It is better to eat a McDonald’s quarter pounder without cheese or fries over the premium grilled chicken breast. The reasoning, a reduction of calories by 30%. Is that really how we determine what is healthy and what isn’t? That is like saying smoking 5 cigarettes is better than 10. Sure it may be better to smoke less, but you are still ingesting toxins.
I recently ran across this article, The Eleven Most Destructive Nutrition Lies Every Told, and found that it was helpful that the author nailed down some things we shouldn’t believe as true. And that’s just it, when we are developing true food values, we need to let go of the diet schemes. We need to recognize that healthy food was once alive, living foods! We have never been able to nor will we ever recreate what one can find naturally in nature. Real food is where real health begins. But do you value it as truth?
What are your food values? When starting this process it is easy to get overrun by “if I can’t eat X than what am I suppose to eat?” I’m here to tell you, if you are new to this health journey you can eat well. So well in fact that your body will start to crave true health foods like vegetables! But nothing will change unless you change your food beliefs.
Lets take for instance vegans or vegetarians, for the most part these people are extremely successful in the way they eat. Rarely would they sway from their food beliefs. Why? Because it is just that, they believe in that way of life so much that they live it. And that is just an example. The bottom line: In order for you to be successful first and foremost you have to develop your own food values. What do you believe to be true about food and why?
Losing weight alone is not a food value, that is a personal value you have given yourself and a low one at that. There is no denying the fact that if I asked everyone of you if broccoli was healthier than a cookie, you would all agree. That is a given. So why can’t we seem to make the behavior change for the better? Because you need to establish food values first. You need to live it.
My challenge: Begin by thinking about what it is you want and what you really believe about food. Do you really believe the processed food claims are better than the produce section? Start living your food values. Proclaim it, let others know, you will succeed but you have to trust the process.
Keep asking why until you get to the core emotion that motivates you. Because while you can rationalize the reasons eating healthy is a good idea, at the end of the day it will be a feeling, an emotion that motivates your action, not logic.