Did you know that blueberries can help reduce the effects of stress and provide relief for anxiety?
I didn’t, until recently. I have two nutrition certifications and while they both taught creating healthy habits and eating a diversified diet they still measured success by a shrinking waistline and decreased body fat percentage. This obsession with weight loss is a distraction from the importance of a nourishing diet.
For so long the goal of nutrition has been to decrease body fat and increase muscle mass and we have ignored all the other systems in our body that food affects. This perspective on nutrition is killing us. We must start looking at wellness with a larger lens.
After all, research is calling bullshit on the notion that obesity is the cause of many health problems. And research has proved that restrictive diets do not result in long term weight loss and improved health.
I’ve taken a year-long break from coaching and studying nutrition because I was exhausted by the never ending message that we must lose weight. I’m tired of the consuming and tedious strategies of counting macros, counting calories or eliminating food groups.
I needed this break so that I could make peace with food and find a way to coach nutrition outside of diet culture.
I recently read a book, This is Your Brain on Food, that has helped me put into words the broader importance of nutrition. What we eat affects our body in many ways from digestion to mood. What we eat has the ability to increase focus and happiness. It has the ability to decrease anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and achy joints. Foods can also work against us and increase stress and inflammation.
Eating patterns are an important part of wellness! But we must stop focusing on body weight.