I have noticed lately with the anti-diet movement that a lot of people are promoting eating sugar on social media. I love the essence of taking a step away from diet culture and negative talk around food; I think this is really important. However, it needs to be balanced by learning to listen to your body and eating intuitively. Then you will make the right choices for you; based on how those foods affect your health and mood.

Personally I haven’t been having a lot of sugar lately, and particularly at night, because I know it affects my sleep. I am a busy mum with a 2 year old, I have swimming lessons and playgroups to attend, endless washing and general clean up after a toddler, grocery shopping, food preparation and I’m working two days a week. My days are full, and I need energy to show up as my best self for them.

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and I thought, “why not get some special chocolate to celebrate”. I had about 2 rows, an hour or so before bed. I found that; when I tried to sleep I was restless, and had a lot of issues actually getting to sleep.

My daughter wakes up at least once a night; so my sleep is broken enough without adding the effects of sugar.  The next day, I almost felt hung over! I was overall sluggish, unmotivated and really cranky.

I agree that food isn’t “good” or “bad” we use it to nourish our body, mind and soul. My goal is not to demonise sugar. However, I invite you to observe how you feel when you eat different foods. This knowledge can empower you to make the choices that work for you.

What if we focused on how food made us feel not obsessing about calories and weight gain!

I almost always prioritise how I will ultimately feel when I eat a food. I ask myself these simple questions:

  • Will this food nourish me?
  • How will I feel ½ hour after eating this food (will I feel bloated, tired, sick)?
  • How will I feel for the rest of today after eating this food (will it make me wired and tired)?
  • How will I feel tomorrow after eating this food today (will I feel hungover)?

I often reflect if it is worth it? Is it worth feeling tired and cranky the next day?

Once you connect with how food makes you feel and you realise it’s not worth feeling crap and cranky. It is then easier to make healthy nourishing food choices. Don’t get me wrong I do still have sugar from time to time but most of the time I am in tune with how I feel on the day. It is all about choice, you are in control and you can consciously decide which consequences you want and which you would rather avoid.

This is what I can teach YOU in our Love Your gut program or in one to one consultations. How to connect with your body, and learn how food makes you feel; so that choosing a healthy lifestyle feels simple and effortless. I also discuss this topic in the video below.

Rebecca Varcoe is a Nutritionist and Healthy Food Expert at Informed Health.

 

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