Overfed and Undernourished

altWith 24/7 access to nutritionally depleted, technologically created, chemically treated “food,” many of us are taking in thousands of calories that do little to sustain us, let alone nourish us and encourage us to thrive.

With so many of us existing this way today, is it any wonder why we struggle with our weight and health?

It’s so easy to grab prepackaged, convenient vending machine, drive thru or shelf food, but what price are you really paying for all that “convenience?” Larger sized clothing, higher medical bills and a decreased quality of life are just a few. Why? Our bodies are designed to eat fresh, natural, whole foods that supply us with an endless array of vitamins, minerals, fibre and incredible nutrients. Denying yourself of what truly healthy food provides robs you of your health, youth and vitality.

Here’s what also happens when you eat this way. Foods that don’t nourish you also don’t truly satisfy you. So, we overeat in a search to find that satisfaction that those unhealthy food choices simply can’t provide. Of course all of this overeating causes weight gain and when our weight starts to impact us enough, we may severely restrict ourselves believing that deprivation and discomfort is the only way to achieve lasting health and wellness.

When we simply can’t endure the deprivation any longer, we go right back to eating the way we were eating, only to feel we have somehow failed because of a lack of willpower or compliance. These emotions often encourage self-soothing behaviours and, if we typically use food as our drug of choice, we’re looking at an ongoing cycle of mental, physical and emotional upset that could largely be avoided by changing the choices we make and the way we look at food.

Not only does this pattern chip away at our confidence and self-esteem, it keeps us on a rollercoaster ride of blood sugar, mood and weight fluctuations. It lays the groundwork for insulin resistance (a pre-curser to diabetes) and other chronic illnesses while keeping us frustrated, discouraged and exhausted. It impacts our digestive health, our adrenal glands, fertility, our skin, hair, immune system, sleep, our ability to heal and so much more.

Now, before you get frustrated with yourself and think that your current eating behaviour is simply the result of laziness or bad habits, give yourself a break. For many, this eating pattern causes intense cravings, so your desire for these high sugar, empty food feels almost drug like. The sense of temporary numbing and calm you feel after overloading yourself with these foods floods your body with hormones and chemicals, which offer temporary relief-similar to a drug like state. Unfortunately, eating this way only further depletes and desensitizes your body; making it more and more difficult to achieve a healthy hormonal balance, taste sensitivity and sense of freedom as well as preventing your body from achieving a natural, healthy weight.

Can this be changed so you feel a sense of peace and calm around food? Can food be used to nourish your body and mind without fear? Can you change eating behaviours that have left you overweight, undernourished and frustrated for years, even decades? Of course! It starts with awareness and then a plan.