Introduction Healthy Eating For Life
There is a story that circulates around nutritionists’ offices, schools, as well as thousands of other places, and it goes like this:
A group of children were given a two-week exercise in eating. They were provided free and unrestricted access to tables full of all kinds of foods for each meal of the day and told that they could eat what they wanted. For the first few days, it was the proverbial “free for all” as the kids gobbled up sweets, crisps, sugary drinks, and all of the normally “forbidden” foods. After only a few days, however, many of the children had returned to their more traditional eating patterns, and after a two-week time span, almost all were eating a relatively “optimal” diet.
Many people referring to this tale will call the children’s pattern of returning to normalcy “intuitive eating”. Whether this study (or the many others that people refer to) actually occurred is not the point, what is the point is that there is a lot of basis in fact that humans are intuitive eaters. This means that we have the ability to instinctively eat a diet that is nutritionally adequate for good health and/or growth.
So, why is it that so many people have a difficult time practicing this so-called intuitive eating? After all, we all know that modern human beings are less healthy and more prone to being overweight now than ever before!
There are many reasons for this strange phenomenon, including:
• Eating for a reason other than actual hunger;
• Severely restricted or limited access to certain foods in childhood:
• A lack of training in choosing the right foods (usually because we are programmed to listening to outside information); and
• Eating outside of the “present” moment and focusing on what we have eaten and/or will be eating at another time that day.
While these are not the only reasons that people are failing to eat properly, they are among the worst of them. In this guide we will address these skewed interpretations of how, what, and why to eat and identify the most appropriate “mindset” for truly healthy eating.
Knowledge as Power
When we know how the body works, how it processes foods and beverages, why it needs fats and some other foods often deemed “inappropriate” or “bad”, and how much exercise is necessary, we can begin to see that intuitive eating is a really great goal to aim for.
The focus of this book is to help you learn how to enjoy truly healthy eating for life. It includes learning how your body uses food, the basics of proper nutrition, how the body uses and stores energy in the form of fat, how much you need to exercise, and how to develop a healthy attitude about food.
When you train yourself to ignore all of the outside messages that might include fad diets, “ideal” body weights, and the flood of images that come from media and entertainment, you will start to see how easy it is to eat in the “best” ways imaginable.
We’ll begin with learning how your body functions, and then take an in-depth look at good nutrition, the optimal diet and eating choices, body fat, and tips for exercise too.