Fitness & Healthy Lifestyle

Why You Actually Fall off the 'Wagon'

Why You Actually Fall off the 'Wagon'

Have you ever set a goal to eat healthier, only to find yourself derailed a few days or weeks later, indulging in foods you swore you'd avoid? If so, you're not alone. The concept of "falling off the wagon" is all too familiar to many of us. But what if I told you that there is no wagon to fall off in the first place?

Let's delve into the heart of the matter: Are you truly eating the food you want to eat? I'm not referring to restrictive diets or deprivation here. Instead, I'm talking about honouring your body's need for both nourishment and satisfaction from your meals.

True satisfaction from eating encompasses more than just filling your stomach. It involves a delicate interplay of factors:

  1. Volume: Eating enough to satisfy your hunger and fill your stomach.
  2. Nutrient Balance: Consuming a balanced array of foods to signal to your brain that you've received the necessary nutrients.
  3. Sensory Feedback: Enjoying the sensory experience of your meals, which helps signal to your brain that you're satiated.

It's this last point that often gets overlooked. Many people underestimate the importance of enjoying their meals, opting instead for foods they perceive as "healthy" or "good," while ignoring their true cravings. This leads to a gradual buildup of dissatisfaction, eventually culminating in a binge or a complete abandonment of their healthy eating intentions.

The problem often lies in the misconception that certain foods are inherently "better" than others. Salads are deemed virtuous, while sandwiches or pasta are relegated to the realm of guilty pleasures. But here's the truth: there are no inherently good or bad foods. All foods can fit into a balanced diet when consumed mindfully and in moderation.

I encourage my clients to move beyond the narrow confines of "should" and embrace the wisdom of "what do I feel like eating." It's about finding a middle ground between nutritional requirements and personal preferences.

Let's break it down with an example:

"Should": 30g of protein, a generous serving of vegetables, and a portion of carbohydrates.

"Feel like": Craving pasta.

Solution: Grilled chicken breast seasoned with pesto, served with a medley of mushrooms, spinach, and peas, alongside a moderate serving of pasta.

By honouring both nutritional guidelines and personal cravings, you can create meals that satisfy both your body and your soul. And in doing so, you dismantle the notion of the elusive "wagon" altogether.

So the next time you find yourself teetering on the edge of dietary derailment, remember this: there is no wagon to fall off. Instead, focus on nourishing your body with foods that bring you joy and satisfaction, one mindful bite at a time.

Phoebe x