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Are You On A High Fact “Diet”?

The High-Fact Diet

Do you ever feel burdened by the fact that you know so much about nutrition? This is what is called a “high-fact diet”.

Many of us are almost too well educated about what we eat, and this is actually creating stress in our bodies. And yes, I am speaking from personal experience. If we overthink every morsel we eat, we can be causing more harm than good.

Knowledge can nourish us. It can open our minds and make us feel empowered. But as with anything we consume, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. (Source)

Take me for example…

There are these peanut butter crackers. I love them. They’re just so delicious! BUT they have high fructose corn syrup in them. I used to eat them occasionally and really enjoyed them. However, when I learned how to read nutrition labels and learned that HFCS is “bad”, I started to avoid them altogether.

One day while I was still in nutrition school, I went on long hike in the middle of nowhere and didn’t bring enough snacks. I was, however, near a gas station where I saw my beloved peanut butter crackers. I was starving, and they were taunting me. But I got so stressed about eating a package that after devouring them, I was consumed by guilt because I knowingly ate something that wasn’t health promoting.

I believed the saying “you are what you eat” and so I believed that I was choosing to “poison” myself with HFCS. Of course, I now know that this is ridiculous. But when your mind is full of nutrition facts about how certain foods affect you, you begin to believe that you shouldn’t ever have these foods.

I can’t stress this enough – all foods can fit into a healthy diet.

We Don’t Need to be Perfect

No matter what the media or your nutritionist says (as I used to practice this way), we don’t need to be “perfect” eaters. Today, I focus on eating healthy foods for the most part – but I no longer categorize foods as either good or bad. I am more aware of how I am nourished by how I am living my whole life.

Right now, I am on vacation with my sister’s family and their three kids. I eat what I am served. Period. I am relaxed. I don’t have to cook. Instead, I focus on the joy of being around my family. I am nourished by far more than the food. Our metabolisms are fired up by more than what we eat. It’s also affected by what we think and how we feel about our food (and life).

If you missed my blog post about how your mindset affects your metabolism, you can check it out here.

Do You Have a High-Fact Diet?

  • So, how do you look at ______? (Insert your gas station peanut butter crackers equivalent.)
  • Can you eat _______ without a side of guilt or self-judgement?

Your answer to this question will tell you whether or not you’re living a high-fact “diet.”

If you are indeed way too knowledgable to approach your plate without guilt, then please – breathe. Take that weight off your shoulders.

Nutrition facts are everywhere (and my head is full of them) but we need to remember what we’re not reading on the internet and magazines, and hearing on podcasts and other media. There are many people who have less healthy food and exercise habits but somehow avoid getting diseases and live to ripe old ages. How is this possible? Our metabolisms and health are affected by far more than what we put in our mouths.

Eating healthy food is wonderful and is part of good health. But what you eat doesn’t define your whole health. Notice if you’re on a high fact diet and how it’s affecting the health of your mind and spirit.

Need some support in becoming a more relaxed, flexible healthy eater? I would love to chat!

  • Tanya

You are more than what you eat + [what you think and feel about it matters more]

Metabolism and the Mind

The satiated man and the hungry man do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread.

  • The great poet Rumi

It’s true. We all come to the table with different perspectives and life stories. I like to think of this as a direct reflection of how everybody’s metabolism functions differently. No two people will metabolize a slice of pizza in the same way. One person may see the pizza as a delicious treat while another who struggles with how she feels about food and her body may look at it with fear and guilt. The former will metabolize the food completely while the latter’s body will struggle to process it.

The brain doesn’t distinguish between a real stressor or an imagined one…Any guilt about food, shame about the body, or judgment about health are considered stressors by the brain and are immediately transduced into their electrochemical equivalents in the body. You could eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if you’re thinking toxic thoughts the digestion of your food goes down. Likewise, you could be eating a nutritionally challenged meal, but if your head and heart are in the right place, the nutritive power of your food will be increased.”

The Power Belongs to Our Minds

In my studies to become an Eating PsychologyCoach, I learned about a fascinating medical study that took place in 1983 to test a new chemotherapy treatment. One group of cancer patients were given the actual drug while another group was given a placebo, a standard way to test whether a drug is effective or not.

About 75% of the patients lost their hair. This wasn’t a big surprise to the researchers. What WAS a big surprise was the fact that 31% of the patients who received a placebo ALSO lost their hair. Why? Because they expected to lose their hair. Like many, they associated chemotherapy with hair loss.

So, how healthy is your mindset? Are you empowering your metabolism or putting strain on it?

The New Metabolism:

the sum total of all the chemical reactions in the body, _plus the sum total of all our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences

Toss aside that old saying “you are what you eat”.

My work as an eating psychology coach emphasizes exploring your unique thoughts, feelings and beliefs about food and your body. Often we need to re-train our brains to have a happy and healthy relationship with food. And when we make a commitment to improve this relationship, we can feel relaxed around food and our bodies and re-purpose this energy to give our unique gifts to the world!

It’s liberating.

I’d love to hear about your unique beliefs about food and body and how they’ve impacted your life.

  • Tanya