“Yup,” I nod, “you were born knowing what foods your body needs. Why don’t you see what that voice has to say?”
“Yeah, right. If I listened to THAT voice, it’d say eat chocolate sundaes…… TEN of them…… right NOW!’”
My client was getting snippy.
Confusion and frustration hummed down the phone line.
Here’s what I shared with her.
In a fascinating experiment performed in the 1930s, scientists gave a group of toddlers unlimited access to a range of foods from ice cream to spinach, and everything in between, with the purpose of allowing the youngsters to create their own diet based on nothing more than their individual sense of what they wanted to nibble on.
The results may surprise you.
Despite the variations in when, what order and how often they ate, every child in the study choose what was considered to be a balanced healthy diet. All the children maintained their happy weight.
And you assumed they’d scoff only the ice cream!
Here’s the thing.
Our bodies are an incredible source of (constructive) feedback. They’re constantly nattering to us.
And, we are all unique. While a particular food might be heaven on a platter for me, it might be an injudicious choice for you and your body.
How To Be Your OWN Guru
Any weight loss programme that tells you specifically what you must or mustn’t eat is doomed to fail.
Taboo foods become VERY attractive, don’t they. Deprivation leads to rebellion. Entire contents of the fridge….demolished.
The fact is this: some foods increase your vitality and energy. Other foods diminish it.
You need to learn to listen to the wisdom of YOUR body, so you can experience the benefits of optimal health.
Here’s a great little exercise from researcher, Dr Gay Hendricks, to help you determine which foods are YOUR personal high-energy foods.
1. Eat the food you like.
2. Notice how your body feels about 45 minutes later.
Easy aye. If you feel ready hit the dance floor or take the woofer for walkies, that’s a high-energy food for you. If you want to collapse on the couch, laze around and watch telly, it’s not.
If you actually listen to your body (not your mind) you’ll discover that you DON’T want those chocolate sundaes. At least, not 10 of them anyway.
As soon as you give yourself permission to eat the sundae you’ll find the desire for it lessens…as it is no longer taboo.
I encourage you to practice this delightfully simple technique for as little as a week and notice how your food choices start to change for the better.
You’ll feel energised, vital, alive. You might surprise yourself at the healthy foods you start to crave because your body responds so positively. Can you imagine being addicted to feeling great?
Gradually, the cravings for the low-energy foods will give way to contemplation, and you’ll start to listen to your body’s own innate wisdom. It has been longing to speak to you, but you’ve always been too busy listening to someone else’s version of what you ought to eat.
Be your own guru.
Eat to nourish.
Come home to your body’s own natural wisdom.
With nourishing love, Avril
Strauss, S. (2006) Clara Davis and the wisdom of letting children choose their own diets. CMAJ November 7, 2006 vol. 175 no. 10