Is It Just Gluttonous?
Is it just gluttonous?
I know this word doesn’t come with great connotations, but it’s something I’d love to discuss, and it’s a thought process I have quite often.
Someone recently asked if I had tried “insert latest low-calorie fake food product”.
This time it was a low-calorie ice cream, you know the ones that have plastered across the tub “ONLY 300 CALORIES IN THE WHOLE TUB”.
And I get why these are popular.
But they really do not fit with my personal food and life philosophy.
And while this is partly because they are normally made of crap non-food ingredients, there is actually another layer to it that is far more important.
But first an overview of why ingredients matter. I believe in a whole food approach, not because it’s a fad, but because I believe that eating is just one way we connect to our earth and our ecosystem. I also believe that the choices of what to put in our bodies are reflective of how we feel about ourselves.
And I know there are many people that feel that calories are all that matters. Well those people are not my people!! And I imagine that is not you either.
Food is information. Whatever we ingest we are coding our bodies on how to run. Calories are a small part of the information we give to our bodies. But additives and thickeners and stabilisers and whatever else is in these highly processed low calorie foods do not make for good information we are sending.
The question stands. Is that really how we feel about our bodies and our selves? That we are happy to turn a blind eye to where that food came from and how it was made. And simply that it doesn’t matter what goes into our body, as long as it fits a specific calorie number. Is that really what makes a food worthy of being consumed by us? A calorie count?
Eating food is my connection to earth, to self, to the sun and to source.
So no I don’t want to eat food filled with all these additives to just make it taste like regular ice cream, for the sole purpose of saving calories, when calories is only a very small part of what makes a food a specific communicator.
When I see a person saying “can you believe this is only [number] calories”, I really feel like they’ve missed the point of eating, and certainly of eating healthy.
I wish those people the best, but sadly I know there isn’t much good to come from that kind of attitude.
And the reason is my second point – this attitude breeds gluttony and desperation.
And this doesn’t lead to a positive food experience, or one that anyone should desire to have.
Instead it leads to a mindless relationship with food and a disconnection with the body, our internal locus of control and our decision making.
And what this looks like is a desperation to gorge on a whole tub of ice cream, to eat a giant bowl of calorie-free jelly, to smash three packets of fat free popcorn… Only to leave still feeling dissatisfied, undernourished and desperate for the next chance to repeat it.
This way of eating unfortunately is not unique only to the low calorie foods, but transfers to all instances of eating too. You can’t be mindless eating one thing and mindful eating another. And what this leads to is lack of control, bingeing, emotional eating and desperation for face shovelling.
This disconnection also leaves one feeling very confused about what to eat in any given moment, because they’ve squashed their ability to listen to internal signs.
Occasionally I’ll get a question which essentially asks me for the best option where you can feel that munching feeling without sacrificing health or weight loss goals. But that fact that they’ve asked this in the first place, they have already sacrificed their health goals by having this desperate mindset.
And this is just one of my issues with the calorie obsessed approach that diminishes all foods to be a comparison of calories alone.
I don’t know how people can’t see that 100 calories of wild blueberries is not the same as 100 calories of Oreos. If you think about it, it’s pretty obvious. But the “calories in calories out” method of weight loss (which is so far from the truth) has led people to believe that it doesn’t matter what you eat, it only matters how many calories are in it. How sad.
While there may be a place for some of these food items, that are made perhaps without sugar or dairy or gluten or whatever you are looking for, ideally you are choosing consciously made items, what really matters is the intent and the internal locus of control.
I believe that no matter what you are eating, you must eat with intention and mindfulness. With this, it is far less likely you will binge or over consume, even if it is something low calorie you are eating or it’s just plain old regular ice cream.
When you are in this mind frame, you feel:
- Grateful for what is on your plate and your ability to access it
- Grateful for the privilege it is to actually choose food and have a surplus of it available
- Grateful you can achieve health outcomes with the food you eat like mental clarity, happiness and energy (how lucky we are!)
- The desire to honour your body with good quality food that is made and grown with care.
- Connected to your body, your intuition, your environment
And you can see how when you feel like this, you don’t overeat, you don’t choose shitty food, you aren’t desperate and you aren’t gluttonous. You are content and grateful for what is on your plate and you are not desperate to shove your face to the point of discomfort which truely is just self destruction.
It should go without saying that of course I am not advocating restriction or eating less than your body needs to thrive. This is also self destruction.
The good side of this looks like consuming an abundance of high vibrational good quality food, and I don’t mean expensive, I mean food that is made with loving intention. It looks like sitting down to a nourishing meal and feeling satisfied afterward, not hungry and not overstuffed. It looks like indulging where desired, but from a place of love and happiness, not desperation or unfulfillment.
Do you see the difference?