Today I wanted to talk about calories and the calorie myth and how that impacts dieters and emotional eaters. So when I you know, if I think back to when I was emotionally eating and feeling really out of control around food, my hunger, my body, the solution I thought I needed was to try a diet. So I tried many, many diets thinking something was wrong with my body.
Why was I never satisfied? Why was I always eating? Why can’t I just have a normal relationship to food?
When I finally figured out what was really going on and learned about calories and the way we look at calories and food and delve deeper into that, it was such an aha to me. It helped me change my perspective of food. I hope that sharing this is going to help you see food in a different way.
Of course, there are so many different aspects to emotional eating, but if we just focus on calories right now, this will help us see food in a different way. Calories are something that the diet industry really emphasizes or cutting out a certain food, eat less calories to lose weight. It kind of makes sense logically, less calories. Then you work out more and you burn more calories and you lose weight. But we’re not that simple, and especially if you’re a woman and especially if you live in this busy world.
It’s not as simple as calories in and calories out. If we just simplify it to calories, we can look at two examples of foods and really notice there’s a staggering difference.
Let’s say I had 100 calories of broccoli versus 100 calories of a doughnut. We would notice that the 100 calories of broccoli is a bigger quantity of food, has a lot more fibre, water, vitamins and minerals. If we look at the doughnut, it is full of processed ingredients, more additives, preservatives, colouring, sugar etc. Yes, it has 100 calories but it’s a different quality of food.
Quality of foods…
So if we look at the quality of the food, if we were to go by diet standards, 100 calories is 100 calories. That’s all we need to think about. I want to ask you to look at this differently. 100 calories of broccoli is giving you much more nutrients and amazing nourishing aspects versus the doughnut. Yes, it tastes good but broccoli can taste good too 😉 I’m going to argue that when you eventually get past your emotional eating, you’ll really see what your body wants and craves.
The doughnut has chemicals, additives, and preservatives that make us have a type of high. The nutrients in it are really not as great as the broccoli. This is not to say that you have to cut out doughnuts or anything like that, but we really need to see what we are taking into our bodies, what’s nourishing us.
So in that simple example, we can see 100 calories really means nothing. It depends on the food we’re eating. When we are on these diets that are restricting calories we starve ourselves nutritionally. But we’re thinking we ate the “right amount” of calories.
We can be starving ourselves throughout the day because we may need more nutrients. We’re may not be getting it throughout the day. So at the end of the day, we might binge. We stress our body out when we don’t eat enough quality calories, which can trigger emotional eating and bingeing at night.
We are also are creating this lack relationship with food. We are punishing ourselves around food. We are not looking at food in this abundant way and whatever we restrict, we crave more of.
So we’re not doing ourselves any favours when we just look at calories. I have so many clients that when they eat in this nourishing + optimally digestive way they feel satisfied. They’re nourished and their body rebalances (for example can lose weight). Their body needed quality foods because it’s been depleted by all this yo yo dieting.
This is an amazing concept to grasp – to look beyond the calories. We have to look at the quality of the foods that we’re taking into our body. This is something that I cover in more depth in my program, The Emotional Eating Evolution. If this is resonating with you and you’re looking to change your relationship to food, to finally get a handle on your emotional eating and to just ditch dieting and come back to your body, I invite you to reach out.
Certified Holistic Nutritionist + Emotional Eating Expert