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Food is more than Fuel

I may be gently hammering down that eating good food is critical. And as a matter of fact, I may well be. 

Throughout their coaching journey, clients shoot away what they eat and drink. They tend to get deeply worried if they are losing their foothold with one single misstep. It is human nature to find oneself on the edge of one’s seat waiting for a comment when they see that I received and read their submissions.

It is like an all-seeing eye watching cautiously (read: me) over their oeuvre of daily food snaps. As if I am the type of coach nit-picking on the flaws of what is loaded on their plate and replying “blasphemy!”, attuning with our weekly call summary and tasks clearly outlined.

Disappointment, comments like “I know I can do better, give me another chance”, and ferociously apologizing back to me on what they did not do. And it is me going back to the drawing board, diggging through my assessment, their portfolio of nutritional intake and just tightening the disciplinary screws a bit tighter.

The list of “don’t eat” expands rapidly. Pointing fingers to “this is wrong” and “What in the name of Lord Buddha came into your mind eating that stuff” when analysing their caloric intake with a comb. Sorry, you’re on the road to total failure unless you do exactly what I tell you to do.

Nothing of the previous paragraphs is accurate. 

That may well be what’s on your mind when making that sound decision that something needs to change to see their scale needle moving in the right direction. 

But the truth is far from it because food and drinks are more than fuel.

We all believe that an overdose of so-called unhealthy food kills the slender body we want to see appear when standing in front of a mirror. And on that level, there certainly is a uniform consensus that this is true. There is no scientific report out there that says eating loads of deep-fried foods, washed away with a well-tapped lager while staying seated during the day is the solution for dropping those kilos. And have this set on repeat seven days a week I believe the term ‘nuff said’ says enough.

Do you have to make some concessions when hitting the motorway to get thriving again?

Maybe.

Hard to judge when I just have had a 10-minute resume of your daily life through a free consultation call. We are all individuals with personal goals to achieve. We may not know why we want to achieve this but that’s something we can figure out together. Losing weight is not a one-way street. Health coaching is not a generic strategy. It does not work when sending a PDF to a client and off you go. 

Controlling your nutrition is an important part of the journey. It is not the definitive end of how you are connected to your preferred food choices. The end of the road of your favourite meals is not something I enforce upon you. 

What we do forget is that, again, food is more than fuel. And as a health coach, this is crucial for me to take this up with you. Just a few examples as there are many more.

Food brings people together. 

A good meal strengthens the bond between family members after a long day’s work. They sit around the dining table, sharing their stories and experiences without outside distractions and blinking screens when yet another email enters one’s inbox. A home-cooked meal or a quick pick-up from a local restaurant complements this connection of getting together. Finding time to relax and vent out what one wants to put on the table before it is shoved away in their minds.

Friendships can be build around food. 

Ever had an evening where you realize that time flies? Sitting outside, BBQ fired up, a cooling box with mixers and soft drinks stacked to capacity, and a plethora of self-made salads, starters and desserts adorn the table you now share with your BFF’s. Jokes, smiles, and talks about the worries of today’s society fill the air, resulting in the release of many happiness hormones.

Cultures can be defined by what one is eating.

Nostalgia reigns supreme when grandma’s recipe hits the dining table. A taste of traditional dishes from your native region (just like me when I am heading back to The Netherlands – I go wild!) bring back that what you value, what defines who you are and what flowed in abundance through your childhood and gave you that smile from ear to ear. Ask anyone what their favourite food is from their country, and you see that person light up.

Do I really want to take all this away when you want to lose some weight? The pleasure of eating and drinking? An intangible connection to what you value the most when food is the talk of the town?

I guess not. 

We may decrease certain aspects of what may be better to head in the right direction. But going all gung-ho is not the way. It is the main reason why internet diets fail in the long run; they do not take all this into consideration because they often are not sustainable; they don’t know what matters to you, and why certain foods have a deeper meaning.  For them, it is calories in, calories out and burn sh**t amount of calories in record time.

The happiness and joy factor in health and nutrition coaching play an immensely important role. Nobody can sustain long bouts of these methods. 

Nobody.

Finding the right balance is what matters. It is why the overall concept of Deep Health must be integrated into any weight-loss journey.

Laughter is brightest where food is best | Irish Proverb

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