Finding the Nutritional Truth
In honour of national nutrition month, I want to bust a few common myths that some people believe when trying to eat healthier. Let’s explore why these myths are making your life harder, as well as some much more enjoyable healthy eating behaviours.
Myth #1: I must restrict to experience results. It’s understandable why you believe our first myth. Everywhere you look there’s a nutrition article asking you to ditch a whole food group! But here’s the thing – forcibly controlling your choices and depriving yourself of the food you desire is often the gateway to overeating, emotional eating and exhaustion.
So instead of equating healthy eating to living in the lack, I encourage you to start by adding feel-good foods. This might look like topping your cereal off with nuts to help you feel fuller for longer, or including an afternoon snack so that you’re not ravenous and reaching for whatever is the most convenient by dinner time. If ditching your favourite foods in the pursuit of “healthy” eating has failed you in the past, here’s your invitation to try a new approach.
Busted: Keep doing what you’re doing, and begin adding in more nourishing foods.
Myth #2: A one-size-fits-all fad diet or detox is a smart starting point. Trendy diets are sooo tempting – I get it! They hold a lot of hope in their (false) promises. Let’s fast forward a couple of weeks, when your progress is paralyzed due to an impromptu dinner (that wasn’t accounted for in your meal plan) with friends. Or, when you eat outside the rules and you’re left stagnant, steeped in feelings of shame.
While generalized programs may motivate you in the short term, what I’ve found is that they move you further away from your body’s signals. And I believe becoming more attuned with your body’s communication is critical to cultivating sustainable healthy eating habits.
Busted: Turn inward, right from the get-go, to discover what your unique body needs in order to feel nourished for the rest of your life.
Myth #3: If I’m not perfect, there’s no point. You’re either juice cleansing or overdoing it on take-out. Sound familiar? This is because we’re led to believe that healthy eating is an “all-or-nothing” experience. One way that I work on busting this myth with my clients is to remind them that “every clean plate is a clean slate” and a brand new opportunity to make choices aligned with how they want to feel.
I encourage you to be gentle with yourself in this process and know that every eating experience holds information to help you achieve healthier eating habits.
Busted: A healthy relationship with food is one that is flexible, curious and compassionate.
Claire LeGresley is a registered holistic nutritionist on a mission to empower people to food freedom. She graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and runs her private practice in Toronto and online. Visit clairelegresleyrhn.com to learn more.