With Halloween just ending and the holiday season right around the corner, this month's newsletter is all about the dreaded "S" word - sugar. Sugar is often demonized as the root of all of our health issues, but is it? It's easy to get swept away blaming one thing for all that ails us, but in reality, it's your diet as a whole that needs to be examined. In fact, it's often argued that when we try and remove a single nutrient like sugar from our diet, it actually increases our desire for it. Then when you do "give in" and eat sugar, you may not be able to control yourself.
People who allow themselves to eat sweets when they want without shame or judgement are often better at managing their intake, being satisfied with less because it's always available. They don't need to gorge themselves on the sweet stuff because it's not the only opportunity they have to get their fill.
Looking to improve your diet feel more in control around sugar:
Don't restrict your intake. Keep sweets in the house for those times that you want them. When you are craving a treat, eat it, and then move on with your life.
When you do have sugar, don't try to compensate later as this will contribute to a restrict and binge cycle.
Monitor the way you talk to yourself. There should be no moral value attached to the way that you eat. Eating a "bad" food doesn't make you a bad person. In fact, there are really no good or bad foods, so be kind to yourself.
Eat a well-balanced diet that includes a high intake of fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. More often than not, it's your diet as a whole that makes the most difference in your overall health and well-being. Not sure where to start? Pick one food to add at first and go from there.
If you feel out of control eating sweets at first, this is normal. When your body gets used to the idea that sweets will be available whenever you want, your desire for them will decrease. Sometimes it takes a bit of time and patience to knock sugar off its pedestal.
If you’ve been on multiple diets during your lifetime and have vowed with each one that this diet will be the last one, only to have it end with guilt and shame and a vow to do better next time, you may be stuck in the diet cycle.
If you follow my work, you know that I am a huge believer in Intuitive Eating and making eating decisions based on how your body feels. That being said, I find that having a basic framework to build balanced meals can help take some of the pressure off meal planning, while still providing the opportunity to make decisions in the moment based on what your body needs right now, and what you have upcoming in your day.
It's no secret that the way I practice Dietetics and the work I do with my clients changed A LOT when my daughter was born. Last week I recorded my first ever podcast with Marie-Pier from The Balanced Dietitian Podcast where I talked a little bit about my journey towards intuitive eating and weight-inclusive care and how becoming a mom played a large roll in my journey. We also chatted about the challenges that new moms can face and how intuitive eating can help support your postpartum journey.