AXA Health Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr), Gina Camfield, lifts the (biscuit tin) lid.
The diet struggle is real
Two thirds of UK women are on a diet at any one time. That’s more than 20 million women. With obesity figures rising faster than you can say donut, it’s not surprising that women (and men) are deciding to improve their health by starting to take a good look at the food on their plates. But 20 million women aren’t obese (classed as having a BMI higher than 30), so this stat is probably more indicative of the aesthetic standards many of us have come to accept as the new norm, when people who aren’t overweight feel the need to be on some sort of ‘diet’
For anyone who knows what it’s like to repeatedly try and ‘fail’ to shift ‘excess’ weight, unwanted ‘wobbly’ bits (fact – we all wobble, it’s what skin and flesh do) it can be a minefield of conflicting ‘do’s and don’ts’, cycles of restriction, emotional eating and irrational self-loathing. Add to that the well-meaning bombardment of messages about what constitutes ‘good’ and bad’ foods and it’s no surprise that many of us are overwhelmed with what we can/should/best not put in our mouths. It’s not unusual to find ourselves going around in circles, avoiding foods we enjoy, using punishing exercise to ‘earn’ meals and then despairing when our attempt to reach the Promised Land of another unsustainable diet falls flat.
It needn’t be like this…
Science tells us that fad diets aren’t the best solution. Even if we succeed in losing weight in the beginning, we often end up piling it back on further down the line, affecting our physical and mental health as we start to build an unhealthy relationship with food.
So what if we could stop fretting about every meal? What if we could avoid the associated guilt that comes with eating what we enjoy but is classed as ‘bad’? What if we ditched the notion of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, of trying to ‘out-exercise’ what we’ve eaten, and instead, learn to eat according to our body’s natural appetite and physiological cues? This skill, which can be learned over time, is otherwise known as ‘intuitive eating.’