To Improve your Daily Life, Do This
Stop eating food that makes you feel like crap. Period.
This isn’t a hack, or a magic remedy supposedly guaranteed to improve your health overnight, like drinking kombucha or doing a juice cleanse or eating kale.
Following this principle takes thought and introspection – and often the restraint to slow down and listen to your body rather than dismissing its signs.
Food is supposed to energize you, make you happy, and fuel you to meet the demands and desires of your life. If you’re not having this experience with food, it’s time to make a change.
We live in a culture that lives and eats by a set of rules. Diet culture and fast food culture alike come together to create two detrimental attitudes toward food: a “good vs. bad”attitude that leads us to eat foods we think we should eat, avoid foods we think are bad for us, occasionally crack underneath the restriction and binge on those bad foods, then we feel guilty and try to make up for it by eating good foods obsessively in the days following. A really defeating cycle. Even doctors and registered dietitians, in their good intentions, tell us what foods we should and shouldn’t eat, and that becomes gospel.
As Americans, we also operate under an attitude of convenience toward food. We’ll grab the same breakfast bar as we’re heading out the door for work every morning even if it leaves us feeling bland and hungry going into our work day. And we’ll do it for years.
There is a better way to eat for your health. Thankfully, over the past decade or so, there has risen a movement in the world of dietetics toward “intuitive eating” – letting your body’s cues dictate what you eat. According to Sarah Schlichter, RD, eating intuitively leads to feelings of satisfaction and a better experience with food both personally and socially.
Eating healthy for your body and your mind involves much more individualization than looking at a food pyramid or counting calories or macros. It first requires you to slow down and pay attention to your body’s cues. Here are some basics:
- If you have consistent indigestion or gastrointestinal issues
- If your skin is excessively breaking out
- If you’re feeling sluggish throughout the day after adequate sleep
- If you’re having trouble focusing on tasks at work or school
- If you experience stomach pain or uncomfortable fullness after meals
- If you don’t look forward to meals
- If you feel unsatisfied after meals
- If your body is not adapting as expected to training stimuli
…all of these can be signs that the food you’re eating isn’t doing for you what food is intended to do. Figure out what specific foods are making you feel bad, and experiment with different foods, different structure, a different eating schedule.
Food shouldn’t make you feel like crap. Listen to your body – it will tell you what it needs – and eat accordingly.
— Coach Emily