Do you hide the unhealthy foods in your trolley?
I often get called out by members of the public when seen either shopping for or eating what some people would class as unhealthy foods. Its usually all in good humour and doesn’t normally bother me but every now and again it gets me thinking.
Being in a position where you provide health and fitness advice doesn’t necessarily mean your whole existence comprises of going to gym, eating fruit and vegetables all day and never touching alcohol- as much as people may think it does!
The whole idea of eating a balanced diet is that it will by definition include sugary foods, processed foods, alcohol and some takeouts. As long as these sorts of foods are balanced out by more nutritious ones and within a sensible calorie limit theres no real problem.
Without context though its very easy to look at things in isolation (like when glancing in someones shopping trolley). Without knowing what the rest of their diet and exercise routine looks like you’re only getting one piece of the puzzle- you don’t know if what you’re looking at is part of a more balanced picture.
One of the problems this can lead to is a sense of secrecy and guilt surrounding certain food choices. Even when you know your diet overall is very good, you still feel the need to hide the pizza under the frozen bag of peas to avoid judgemental eyes and comments.
Slowly over time, what was once a conscious decision as part of a larger balanced picture becomes a subconscious habit to only eat unhealthy foods in secret, away from anybody who could cast judgement on you- this is a very unhealthy behaviour when it comes to eating and influences how you view food in general.
No longer something enjoyable but rather something else to be displayed and critiqued by other people. This can be the start for a lot of people of a ‘binge’ style approach to dieting.
As coaches what we try to do is promote a lifestyle that is inclusive of all types of food & drinks, just not at a level that would negatively effect either your mental or physical health.
The fact you see fitness coaches eating ‘unhealthy foods’ or drinking alcohol should be proof that it is possible to strike that balance and allow for these types of foods and drinks in a well rounded healthy lifestyle. The proof is in the pudding should we say.
So when shopping or eating out remember that strangers on the outside looking in don’t know your eating habits, they don’t know your exercise habits, they don’t have the complete picture.
Don’t let them influence how you view your diet.
Enjoy your ice cream, you’ve probably earned it!
July 18, 2018