3 nutrition myths that make me want to scream (and that can mess up your relationship with food and your body)

Note: It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I want to raise awareness about this problem that affects so many of us and the people we love. You probably heard of eating disorders like binge eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia BUT you might not be aware that there are many more forms of DISORDERED EATING that touch the millions of us struggling with our relationship with food and our body.

I’ll be posting a short 5-min video every single day this week to help you see whether YOUR relationship with food and your body might need some healing. 🙂

Watch the whole series of video here.

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After 10+ years of being a dietitian and many more years of being a dietetic student and studying nutrition on my own, here are the 3 nutrition myths (that I BELIEVED WERE TRUE FOR YEARS) that now make me want to SCREAM!!! Argggggh!

Here’s a quick recap of these 3 nutrition myths:

  • Food can either be medicine or poison
    • Labels like “good” vs “bad” or “healthy” vs “unhealthy” or “clean” vs unclean???” keep us stuck in a black-and-white mentality, that is very unhealthy for our body, heart, and soul (life is all about the GREY!)
    • The way food affects us is very INDIVIDUAL and can even vary from day to day
    • The way food affects us also depends on whether our food decisions are based on FEAR (of weight gain or fitting in or judgement from others or wedding/reunion approaching) vs LOVE (trusting and respecting our body)
    • The way food affects us also depends on whether our food decisions are based on EXTERNAL (shoulds and shouldn’t, nutrition gurus, that actress latest’s diet) vs INTERNAL factors (I want to feel good before, during, and after eating that food and I want that food to nourish all levels of my being: body, mind, heart, and soul)
  • You have to keep your weight in check
    • If you are not careful, your body will BETRAY you and pack on hundreds of pounds = MYTH
    • The body is an amazing machine and is an expert at regulating your weight with all the different conditions it faces (voluntarily or involuntarily)
      • If you restrict your food, it can change your appetite and make you hungrier, it can decrease your desire to move and burn calories, it can slow down your metabolism to preserve your fat stores, it can change how many calories you absorb from your food (that’s why some people like their body gain weight at the sight of food because their body is THAT smart!)
    • The body likes to stay at its set point (within a 10-20 lbs window) and it is IMPOSSIBLE to lower that set point 
      • The ONLY way to change your weight set point is by dieting and going through an (usually imposed) famine, which will then reset that set point HIGHER (that’s actually very smart from your body, it is not betraying you but rather protecting you!)
    • In the Women Health Initiative study (20,000 women), decreasing calories by 360 a day for 8 YEARS didn’t cause them to lose a single pound (but they had an INCREASED waist circumference) compared to the control group
    • Weight cycling (which is what diet does) causes inflammation and is absolutely not healthy for anyone
    • Diets are not the solution, they are THE PROBLEM.
      It’s NOT your fault if it hasn’t worked for you and you have the power to put a stop to it now (unless you want to cause further damage and bring your weight set point even higher). 
  • Thinness = health
    • This is a myth that is spread by society and even health professionals
    • The picture of health we see in the magazines and everywhere in the media is NOT healthy
    • Most women and men are photoshopped and/or have such low body fat that they lose their period and their fertility (I’m talking about women here of course)
    • It’s more dangerous for your health to be 5 lbs underweight than it is to be 75 lbs overweight
    • Weight cycling (which is what diet does) causes inflammation and is absolutely not healthy for anyone
    • Obsessing about what you should or shouldn’t eat, how much you should eat, when you should eat, whether you’re losing or gaining weight, and how your body look is very unhealthy for your mental health (and we all know how big of a risk factor stress is for our health… do I really need to remind you of that?)
    • Your body size doesn’t’ say ANYTHING about your HEALTH
    • This myth of thinness leading to health and a better life is distracting all of us from the things that TRULY matter both in our life and in the rest of the world (maybe we could figure out how to solve real problems like world hunger and wars if we weren’t so distracted by trying to lose weight, don’t you think?)

Book recommendations:
* The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
* Body Respect and Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon

Watch the whole series of video here.

So how do you feel? And what do you think?

Let me know what food for thought these four questions are bringing for you (below in the comments).

Loves,

Aglaée 

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p.s. Do you need help with your relationship with food? 

If any part of what I wrote here resonates with you, I personally invite you to check out my FREE Whole Batch Syndrome Online Training. 🙂

It includes the 5 biggest mistakes I made when trying to heal my own relationship with food and my body and how to turn these 5 stumbling blocks into 5 stepping stones you can use for your own healing today.

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And if you’re RIPE & READY to embark on your healing journey to improve your relationship with food and your body, I invite you to check out my Radicata SEED Protocol (private coaching or group classes).

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