Throughout the last couple years, I gathered a lot of experience – both with myself and with my clients – online and at my IFS gym. I observe that most people who are keen on healthy eating, have a pretty vast knowledge about how they are supposed to eat and combine foods. Still, very few manage to achieve their goals. A paradox or something else?
We are all great at knowing what we should do. Yet, there are those little details and fine tunes, that we often ignore, because we are always in a rush for somewhere or something – even for achieving our goals.
I wish that most people could ignore most of the information that is poured on us daily and start tracking and analyzing their own self. The more we know something, the more we can foresee its reactions in a particular situation. This is true for the body – the more we know our body, the easier it is to know what to expect from it. It is only in this case that we can be prepared to give it what it needs.
You’ve happened to be there, haven’t you? You apply what you have learned. You start eating healthy foods, you start combining them properly and the first week everything is perfect. Then, the second week something happens and even though you are doing the same thing – things are not going well. You eat more, you serve yourself second helpings. You open the pantry on every hour and you grab a handful of raw nuts – a minor quantity, but if you multiply it by 5-6 for the whole day, the calories add up.
In my opinion a person is hungry for something new, because it is only the new things that challenge us, return us to the present and make us more conscious – for our thoughts and actions. Every time when we do the same thing on a daily basis, with time we stop thinking about how we are doing it – it becomes on autopilot. Our brain starts ignoring it and what used to give birth to emotions and excitement, is not even getting close to us anymore. We need more stimulus, which provoke similar emotions. We are hungry for more…
This is true for nutrition. When we eat the same thing over again, our mind gets used to it. The coconut pancake with banana, which used to fill us up and bring satiety, and that we were eager to eat, is now leaving us with the feeling that we need something more.
In this post, I wrote about the Hedonic diet and what happens when the body is exposed to a new stimulus and how the variety in nutrition, matters in how consistent we can be with a certain diet.
The main mistake that we all make is to eat the same thing every single day. Sometimes out of a habit, sometimes because we are afraid to try something different – because we might get the macros or the quantities wrong and so forth.
Being challenged to prepare a variety of foods, has a good outcome in many aspects. First, it challenges us to be conscious about what and how much we eat – even because of the uncertainty we have if we are overdoing it or not. This is a way to unconsciously eat less, yet enough.
Second, when we eat a variety of foods, they stimulate our taste buds and our senses and as I wrote in this post, satiety is a subjective feeling. The more senses are “touched”, the more satiety we feel. And if on the other hand, we eat the same thing on a daily basis – our senses get used and we need bigger quantities in order to feel the same.
Third, by eating a variety of foods, we give our body more nutrients. Actually, food is information and a structure block for our body. The more building blocks the body has, the better it functions and the more complete is the result. Physical hunger is actually the hunger of the body for those structure blocks, which help it function properly. If we deprive it out of the material it needs, even if we give it bigger quantities from another one – the body will be still hungry.
Forth, by eating the same foods, we exhaust the enzymes that digest that food. It is no coincidence that if we make a test for allergies, usually we will have a certain amount of allergy towards the foods we have on a daily basis. This on the other hand, leads to digestive problems. You know that the stomach (our second brain) is linked to the way we feel and act. The stomach and the brain are constantly communicating with each other and stomach issues, reflect on the way we feel, on our mood and thoughts. The way we feel, reflects on the way we act and it becomes an enchanted circle inside of which we spin.
Nutrition is like life – it is easier and more secure to do the same thing over and over again, but after all this doesn’t take you far and it turns you into a hamster of life.
If you are trying something new, sometimes you risk not doing well, but this is still information and experience, which leads you forward and gives you a stable base to develop your own self.
I also have favorite foods, that I crave on a daily basis. But there are moments, when I don’t really feel their taste as I used to. I eat out of habit and I feel hunger for something more. Then, I know that it is time to challenge myself and change my nutrition. To switch up the fruits I eat every day; to add new spices; to try different veggies; different meat or fish or to experiment with the cooking method. To try foods I haven’t tried and to find its place in my type of diet.
Eating is an art. Every new day is a white canvas. A canvas that we fill up. The artist never draws the same painting every day – he creates a new one.