It seems a bit strange writing a blog about how to enjoy your favourite food. Surely its something that just happens automatically right? Eating tasty food should be enjoyable, simple. But it’s staggering just how many people don’t. It’s a travesty in fact. Not that it stops people from eating treats mind you, and often in large amounts. But without enjoyment the whole thing kind of seems pointless.
The reality is that we live in a society become so obsessed with dieting and restriction, that many people can’t treat themselves without feeling an overriding sense of guilt. And far from being protective, guilt has the potential to be the single most destructive force in our diets. You see its guilt that prevents us enjoying our favourite foods because guilt stops us thinking about food.
It causes us to gorge ourselves on chocolate or cake so quickly that we barely have time enough to register what going on, let alone appreciate the incredible flavours.
Guilt is a symptom of the dieting mindset, and who can blame anyone for falling victim to this. As mentioned above we have become obsessed with dieting in Australia, with the latest figures revealing that more that half the population are on some sort of diet to lose weight. For the dieter sugar has become poison and carbs are the devil. And how can anyone enjoy treats with that in the back of his or her mind?
Unfortunately guilt is harmful rather than helpful. It causes weight gain rather than weight loss. And most importantly it stops people from getting full enjoyment from their favourite foods.
So how can you get rid of guilt and start enjoying food again?
The solution is by allowing. Allowing yourself to enjoy food, even if the only good thing about the food is taste. This doesn’t mean tricking yourself into believing it’s healthy for you, but rather acknowledging that treats can play an important role as part of a healthy diet. They provide mental nourishment. Initially, give yourself the “green light” to enjoy as much of your favourite foods as you want. I know it sounds crazy but when the forbidden aspect of food is removed, it loses much of its appeal. The only rules are to stop yourself when you are no longer enjoying it, and to eat slowly. You might be surprised how little you eat before you feel truly satisfied.
Finally, be patient. It can take some time before you start feeling completely comfortable around certain foods. But what you should notice immediately is that your enjoyment for food grows. And instead of eating more, like many fear, without guilt we have far more control over when and how much we eat.