Let’s face it: according to how it mostly gets presented in social media, eating isn’t sexy at all. Take for example food pictures on Instagram. Even if the photo looks quite appetizing, you mostly loose your appetite as soon as you read the comment below. A plate of thai curry with rice is decribed with by a girl who says she just had to „quickly carb up“ before „hitting the gym“. There are many more examples, mostly from so-called „fitness accounts“. Scrambled eggs for breakfast = „I felt so much like protein this morning“. A photo of an avocado = „getting all those healthy fats in“.
When did food stop being food? When did we start complicating things and categorizing it in micros and macros? In nutrients and calories. In carbs, fats, protein and vitamins. In good and bad foods. I guess, nutrition simply has a different significance today than it had for former generations. We probably even think that we have an advantage today, because we have a far wider knowledge of incredients and their effects on the body. I guess, food somehow became kind of a magic cure. Drink lemon water every morning before breakfast, and your skin will glow. Eat nuts and you’ll get shiny hair and strong nails. Eat low-fat curd regularly and it will help increasing your muscles.
These equations may even be true up to some point. The far bigger problem is that it all takes part in the general obsession to be perfect. Having the perfect way of eating, the perfect, most nourishing foods, the perfect body. FInally, it leads to the same thing that people with eating disorders constantly do: controling. The problem is that when it comes to our bodies, control has its limits. You won’t get an ass like Kim Kardashian just because you avoid carbs and go to the gym five times a week. We can’t shape our bodies like wax figures, because our bodies are already naturally shaped.
So why did we become so obsessed with fitness, food and changing the appearance of our bodies? I mean, if you look at the biological side, controling isn’t necessary at all. A healthy adult with a normal weight can trust his hunger cues. His body tells him through appetite and craving what it needs. And (it may sound silly to even point this out, but I think it’s important to remember): it isn’t your body’s intention to make you fat! By regulating your appetite, it simply wants to make sure that you get all the nutrients you need. TOf course, he doesn’t send the signal that he needs x grams of carbs and x grams of fats right now. But you may feel like eating a plate of pasta with olive oil for dinner instead. This is what we often forget: eating is more than getting certain nutrients in. Eating can be a pleasure.
Another aspect I’d like to add is the cheat day. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept: it basically means that people restrict six days a week by following a strict meal and mostly also exercice plan, waiting for the cheat day to come when they can indulge in everything they crave. Can this be healthy? No. You treat the body and its needs as the enemy. People practicing the cheat day actually „cheat“ on their body six days a week by not giving it what it craves. To be accurate, they „cheat“ on the seventh, the actual cheat day, as well as they mostly eat tons and tons of junk food and sweets, that they don’t allow themselves normally, because the next days they won’t be „allowed“ to eat this kind of foods anymore.
So whats the message of this post? It’s very simple: Don’t „get your caffeine fix“, but drink your cappucino. Don’t have a „sugar overkill“, but enjoy every bite of your chocolate cake. Don’t treat yourself with „liquid calories“, but with a delicious glass of red wine. Listen to your body and give them the foods it craves. Food should be enjoyable, not an obsession.