Proper nutrition is one of the most heavily debated topics in the health community.
There’s so much conflicting information about what’s “healthy vs. unhealthy”, it’s enough to make your head spin.
This causes many women to become overwhelmed when trying to form healthy eating habits.
It can seem impossible for them to know where to start.
Especially when every new fad diet is fighting for the top spot in the market.
Let’s talk about what this war on food looks like for the average woman.
Then, we’ll dive into what aspects of nutrition you should be focusing on.
And which you should leave alone.
To the unaware eater, a focus on nutrition can seem like a noble cause.
All of the articles, recommendations, and nutritional metrics act as rules that every well-intentioned eater wants to aspire to.
Even the healthiest individuals on the planet feel that there’s always a “next-level” to their healthy eating habits.
Since new research on nutrition comes out every year.
This will cause you to pick up healthy eating habits and put them back down shortly after.
Because all of the information and rules being thrown at you will be too much to comprehend.
And rightfully so!
How can you know what food rules to follow when so many are being thrown at you – all the time?
This emphasis on nutrition also further promotes black and white thinking around food.
Which means, food is classified as either “good” or “bad”.
This causes eating to become a constant, moral dilemma.
You’ll feel pride after eating something healthy.
And feel ashamed after eating something unhealthy.
This creates an on-going war between food and your body.
By creating this toxic relationship with food, you make it impossible for your body to tell you what food she really needs.
Therefore, while a focus on nutrition can seem like the answer, it actually leaves you in a worse place than you were before.
I want you to think if this sounds familiar to you.
You’re hungry when you wake up in the morning, so you have a piece of fruit to satisfy your hunger.
You feel good about this choice since that apple is on the list of “healthy” foods.
About an hour later you’re still hungry and craving something more satisfying.
You internally criticize yourself for feeling hungry, since you already ate.
So, you practice willpower and vow to not eat again till you get back home and eat some chicken and veggies.
You get home, see the chicken and veggies, and instead proceed to ravenously binge on everything unhealthy in your fridge.
This causes you to feel frustrated, incapable, and hopeless.
So, you continue eating unhealthy the rest of the day since you “messed up anyways”.
If so, it’s not your fault.
The reason this happens is because you’re still trying to fit yourself into a healthy eating box.
And this box was created by someone who knows nothing about your bodies’ needs or preferences.
The truth is, many diets use nutrition as a way to justify restrictive eating methods.
They’ll tell you to count your calories, cut out carbs, or only eat fat-free food items.
Basically, they’ll tell you to engage in restrictive eating – all in the name of health.
This is nutrition, the wrong way.
And, unfortunately, this is how most of us practice nutrition in our culture today.
As mentioned, focusing on nutrition can seem like a noble practice.
You just want to feed your body all the “right” stuff, right?
Well, the problem is, all of the nutritional rules that come out every year don’t have your personal food preferences or needs in mind.
They were created by a small group of people (or one person) who determined what was healthy for them.
Which doesn’t really work out the same way for the rest of the population.
Basically, what’s nutritionally healthy for one person, won’t be for another.
This is why some will experience success with a fad diet and others will fail miserably.
You can’t create a lasting relationship with food based on rules written by someone else.
Understanding what your body needs to feel healthy only comes from self-reflection and experimentation with food over time.
You can’t use a cookie-cutter meal plan to achieve this for yourself.
I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again:
You have no business focusing on the metrics of nutrition if you don’t have healthy eating habits that feel effortless.
A nutrition focus is for individuals who want to fine-tune the healthy eating process.
They want to optimize their eating so they can optimize their bodies.
To be clear, these individuals should have no issues with emotional eating, body image, or a diet mentality.
With these boundaries, this means most women shouldn’t be focusing on nutrition at all.
That part comes way, way later.
After you’ve healed and nurtured your relationship with food and body.
So you can eat healthy effortlessly based on your bodies’ natural hunger signals.
Which means, a focus on nutritional metrics never has to be necessary.
Yup. That’s right, sister.
If you choose to do so, you can go for a lifetime without ever having to count your calories, measure macronutrients, or step on a scale.
You can learn to eat healthy mindfully without obsessing over the numbers.
Which is exactly what the big diet companies won’t tell you.
I encourage you to place more trust in your own body.
This is something I work on with my clients on a deep level.
You need to learn how to relearn your bodies’ natural hunger signals.
Which requires you to develop a nurturing and loving relationship with your body.
While this is simple, it is a process that takes time.
But once you do this for yourself, you will never have to rely on food rules written by anyone other than yourself.
And that’s real food freedom at it’s finest.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.