Some weight loss experts propose that eating what you love can be a step towards the solution of weight management. You might think “Well if I only ate what I love, then I would only eat chocolate, fries, chips, ice cream and mac & cheese.”Eat what you love” is problematic because essentially we don’t value our bodies. We don’t love ourselves and therefore what we want to eat is different than for people who value themselves. Our motivations to eat are different. We don’t eat to live, we often live to eat.
We’ve all heard the advice to “treat your body as a temple,” but what we think we love to eat is tied up with feelings of inadequacy, boredom, loneliness, and deprivation, to name a few. No I don’t mean that people who value themselves don’t have the occasional chocolate; I mean that the choice of what they put into their bodies is different overall. People who value themselves will have healthier results with “eat what you love” since mostly they eat the equivalent of “eating what makes my body work better.”
How do we “eat what we love” in a healthier way when our inability to deal with life’s difficulties has aimed us towards eating substances that contain sugar, fat and/or salt? For many of us “Eat What You Love” is like telling an addict, “have the substance you want, but in moderation” This advice is flawed and makes people who struggle with food just feel guilty. Unfortunately for many, our addictions of sugar, fat and salt have been wired into our brains and we experience a neurotransmitter dump when we ingest certain types of foods. We actually get dopamine and serotonin hits and feel better momentarily. Then we “love” that food because in the short term, we feel better.
“Eat What You Love” has to involve serious work with your deeper self to really understand how your food and your emotions get gnarled up. Otherwise “Eat What You Love” could be slippery slope of triggers and addictions.
Perhaps we have to change the statement to “Change What You Love to Eat.” When you pay attention to the after affects both physically and emotionally to what you eat, the desire to eat what makes you feel well, changes. When you eat, notice if you feel guilty or overwhelmed or if it leads to more self-loathing. Notice afterwards how your body feels. Are you sluggish, stomach upset, and over-full? These are the clues to changing the wiring. Focus on the desire to eat foods that make you feel well.
Lastly, “Eat What You Love” should perhaps change to “Eat What Your Lovely Body Loves,” or “Eat, Because You Are Love,” or “Eat and Be In Love With You,” or…
“Fall Deeply, Hopelessly in Love with Yourself, then Eat.”