Trying to change our food choices and diets can be really hard.
Here are some of the reasons why...
Tradition- We eat what our families ate and what we grew up with. These powerful social connections to food are very strong and help us to identify who we are. Food is part of our identity from family to ethnic and cultural heritage. We can have positive or negative memories and emotions around food, meals and rituals related to food.
Pleasure- Sometimes we eat only for pleasure. Taste, texture, color, temperature, presentation, mouth feel and sensuous effect are all good reasons to eat. Food should be pleasurable but pleasure alone can lead to bad habits that are detrimental to health. Sometimes people eat for emotional gratification. This is kind of like addiction in that food only for pleasure usually has bad consequences on the body mind, as the things we eat only for pleasure are usually not good for us.
Social pressure / social environment- Like tradition- sometimes our peers and friends can influence our food choices. Sometimes we want to partake to share and be with friends and family or peers in the way of breaking bread together to communally partake. Social sharing of food is a nurturing and a nourishing aspect of humanity for centuries. Peer pressure can be good or bad. Sometimes we feel we have to eat certain things so as to not insult our hosts or not to stick out or be separate. These kinds of issues can bring people lot of stresses but eating communally can also bring us joy.
Emotional eating- sometimes we feel the need or instinct to eat something to make us feel better. Sometimes it is to satisfy an emotional hole in our hearts. Sometimes food calms us down. Sometimes food excites us and gets us going. Coffee, alcohol, sugar, chocolate, dairy are common choices. These foods are also known to be like drugs and have strong effects on our moods and energy. Sometimes we want comfort food, something that Mom gave us when we were sick. Sometimes food brings back memories for good or bad. Food can change our energy. Sometimes we are conscious of it, other times not.
Sustenance- sometimes people just eat to survive or eat just to put calories in their bodies without much thought to what or why they are eating certain things. This ascetic relationship to food can be beneficial or not.
Ideology- sometimes we eat or refrain from eating certain things because of ideology, religion or philosophy. Vegetarianism, vegan, kosher, halal, Ital, paleo, and more. Sometime we humans devise rules and recommendations for eating for health or other values.
Medicine- Sometimes people eat for strictly medicinal reasons- to heal, cleanse, nourish or rebuild the body. Food can change your energy and therefore your body, mind and spirit. It builds you from the inside out cell by cell. Subtle changes in body chemistry can send cascades of chemicals throughout your body influencing you physically, mentally and emotionally.
Being aware of why you are eating is the first step. Just being aware of why you eat and recognizing your ability to make choices is the second thing. Remember your food does build you from the inside out. I tell my clients it’s like the story of the three pigs. You can build your house out of straw, twigs or bricks.
You want to have a brick house rather than a straw house to keep the big bad wolf of pain and disease away.
I hope you can recognize these common reasons why we eat. Hopefully you can recognize why you are eating and hopefully this will help you to make good food choices. Bon Appetite!
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