No diet, no detox: how to relearn the art of eating
Here’s an excerpt of an excellent article which was just published in the English quality newspaper The Guardian which I highly recommend you read for I am sure you will find it very interesting as well:
Let’s start with the sub headline:
“Our relationship with food has become disordered and obsessive. As the new year brings diet madness, it needn’t be such a struggle to learn good eating habits”
So many of our anxieties around diet take the form of a search for the perfect food, the one that will cure all our ills. Eat this! Don’t eat that! We obsess about the properties of various ingredients: the protein, the omega oils, the vitamins. But nutrients only count when a person picks up food and eats it. How we eat – how we approach food – is what really matters. If we are going to change our diets, we first have to relearn the art of eating, which is a question of psychology as much as nutrition. We have to find a way to want to eat what’s good for us.
Our tastes follow us around like a comforting shadow. They seem to tell us who we are. Maybe this is why we act as if our core attitudes to eating are set in stone. We make frequent attempts – more or less half-hearted – to change what we eat, but almost no effort to change how we feel about food: how well we deal with hunger, how strongly attached we are to sugar, our emotions on being served a small portion. We try to eat more vegetables, but we do not try to make ourselves enjoy vegetables more, maybe because there’s a near-universal conviction that it is not possible to learn new tastes and shed old ones. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
All the foods that you regularly eat are ones that you learned to eat. Everyone starts life drinking milk. After that, it’s all up for grabs. From our first year of life, human tastes are astonishingly diverse. But we haven’t paid anything like enough attention to another consequence of being omnivores, which is that eating is not something we are born instinctively knowing how to do. It is something we learn. A parent feeding a baby is training them how food should taste. At the most basic level, we have to learn what is food and what is poison. We have to learn how to satisfy our hunger and also when to stop eating. Out of all the choices available to us as omnivores, we have to figure out which foods are likable, which are lovable and which are disgusting. From these preferences, we create our own pattern of eating, as distinctive as a signature…