Updated: Oct 15, 2020
The body can survive on a diet of fewer calories than it’s used to, but does that mean you're eating a healthy amount?
There’s a difference between eating a base minimum and nourishing the body for optimum health. If we've not giving our bodies enough sustenance it can show up in:
🌱 Depleted energy levels
🌱 Mood swings- anyone get hangry?
🌱 Disrupted sleep
🌱 Reduced cognitive functioning
🌱 Lack of creativity or drive
🌱 And reduced desire to be out and about socialising
At least these are the main ones I have noticed in the past, insomnia being the main culprit!!
(I feel) we live in a society that puts pressure on looking a certain way to fit in. That intertwines indulgence with shame or guilt. If we're craving a treat we’ll say “let’s have something naughty” as if it is a sin. In the past I’ve tried too hard to "be good" and eat sensibly, and ironically the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction taking the joy of food (and life) with it.
And where’s the sense in that eh?
It’s remarkable how long we can survive with a limited food intake. The body is intelligent so fires up the fight-or-flight response fuelling us with adrenaline in place of missing fuel from Glucose production. This adrenaline is what leads to sleepless nights, lack of appetite, blurry focus, and feeling unfulfilled both physically and emotionally. The body shifts gear into survival mode shortcutting any ‘unnecessary’ bodily functions such as menstruation, libido, and can even affect digestion (oh poop!).
The more we restrict ourselves, the hungrier we feel
And when we're running around on an empty stomach there's this nagging undercurrent of discontentment that can fuse up from the gut into the brain. Leaving us feeling unfulfilled and always craving more, seeking for contentment if not in food, in other ways.
Fact vs. Fad
Around 25% of energy generated from food is used for brain power, the rest goes to muscle and red blood cells. There’s also something called the thermic effect of food, which simply means that a proportion of the calories our bodies consume are used up in the processing and digesting of certain foods.
So before our bodies even start physically burning off the cals with physical activity, we’ve already burnt through a fair bit of of our Glucose reserves. There’s so much advice around diets these days, what’s good for you, which oil is healthiest for frying, which fruits have the lowest sugar content, what time of day your digestive fire is most active...
Yada, yada, yada...
I for one can find it overwhelming, at the end of the day, your body knows what is best for you but it also takes some common sense (I'm talking from experience here). If you start feel warning signs such as getting hangry or poor digestion, maybe you need to schedule your meals so your body gets regular nutrition. If you wake up in the night hungry or struggle with insomnia, maybe it's time not just to reassess what's on your plate, but how much you're eating. And when it comes to bodily reactions to certain food types, keep a food journal and monitor how it affects you so you can make an informed decision based on facts not dietary fads.
Listen to your body and nourish it with foods that feed your soul. There’s so many ways to indulge in fresh healthy meals, and by healthy I mean balanced: good carbs, proteins, fats, and natural sugars. That’s what is working for me anyway.
Your body is a temple, so nourish it like the greek goddesses laden across their Chaise Lounge indulging in grapes.