Food, glorious food! Thankfully the problems of Dickensian orphans are far removed from most of us. We have access to all the food we want, and obtaining it needs only a trip to the shops or a few clicks of the mouse.
We are designed to find food pleasurable and seek out high energy foods to encourage us to survive. This works perfectly with an active lifestyle and limited access to food, but modern life can disturb the balance. The results? Obesity, poor nutrition, disordered eating or worse.
It's important to understand what your body actually needs - and why - to develop a balanced, healthy attitude to food.
We all need food, and we all need the right food in the right portions. When it comes to fuelling ourselves, the nutritional requirements for a healthy body are fairly straightforward.
If food is just fuel, eating becomes a chore. Think what happens when you have a cold and can’t taste properly – your appetite falls away. Alternatively, if the pleasures of food get out of control, our waistlines and health will suffer.
Food should be part of life, not the reason for living. Red flags include:
Try these three mantras:
Food is for both nutrition and pleasure, so savour it. Bon appetit!
I'm so glad I've finally reached a point in my life where I have a sensible attitude towards food. As a teenager I yo yo dieted, I have tried endless fad diets, yet now I am a stable healthy weight through just eating healthy, wholesome food, with regular chocolate thrown in without guilt!
My motto is 80% healthy, 20% doesn't matter so much. I do stick to this, mainly in terms of unprocessed and processed. For some people that's still too high a percentage of processed food, but I am not just talking about junk, but also processed food such as bread and pasta.
I am interested in the 'Orthorexia' obsession. I believe it's an anxiety which we have created with all the knowledge we now have about food. We micro-analyse it too much, it's too sciency, and we forgot it's the overall picture that matters.