This is the second blog in a series delving into the 8 Pillars of a Nutritious Life, the support system I incorporate into my nutrition coaching because good nutrition includes more than just what we eat.
What does Empowered Eating even mean? Well, in a nutshell it means focusing on what you can eat and not on what you can’t. In other words, seeing the glass half full instead of half empty.
Eating with an empowered mindset reframes our approach and outlook on food. And it doesn’t employ willpower which data shows doesn’t help promote lifelong healthy eating behaviors. “The idea of willpower is innately negative,” says Keri Glassman MS, RD, CDN and CEO of Nutritious Life. “The scientific consensus on willpower is mixed and even though there are plenty of people still pushing the idea of willpower for behavior change, it’s clear that it just doesn’t work.” Here is an interesting article about willpower and willpower depletion for those of us who like to geek out on the science!
Focusing on the foods you can eat and their nutritional benefits, is an abundant mindset that will EMPOWER you in the short term and create lifelong supportive habits. This is a much more sustainable way of thinking because it uplifts, encourages, and replenishes your mood as opposed to the “lack of” or “glass half empty” approach. That view just plain feels bad and continued bad feelings will deplete you over time, zapping energy, and can lead to depression.
What can you look forward to eating? Nutrient dense foods, in the right portions and proportions. And FEEL GREAT about putting those foods in your body because they are making you healthy by keeping your blood sugar balanced, your gut happy, and helping your body fight disease!
Empowered Eaters support themselves by planning meals ahead of time and packing snacks, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and having conscious indulgences. Do you really love that glass of wine with popcorn? (hint, my fav) Or is it pizza night with the fam? Plan for it and eat it with joy. Planning an indulgence does not have to mean a slippery slope. Eat slowly, chew, and savor!
Focusing on what you can eat, including your conscious indulgences, may take practice. That’s ok! You can treat every meal and snack like it’s a Monday and begin again knowing the journey is as important as arriving.