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3 unexpected ways your diet is impacting your health…
You already know your diet is important. It keeps you healthy, gives you energy to play with the little one’s and of course do the million and one tasks that seem to fill up your day.
So why does it feel that food is *always* on your mind? And even worse, the more you try to eat ‘healthy’ the more you find yourself sneaking the kid’s biscuits and snacks.
My name is Lydia, I'm an intuitive eating coach and I help women stop the yoyo dieting cycle to finding their balance in eating again.
Becoming a mum is the most magical thing, creating a whole human being in your own belly. But so often it comes with an unspoken fear. Your body changing, growing. Cravings. For lots of the women I work with - the majority of their life has been spent trying to lose weight, become smaller, more toned. Throwing a growing belly into the mix with the concoction of hormones and the worlds opinions, no wonder it feels overwhelming.
Not only that, after you birth this amazing little being, the pressure to ‘ping back’ can feel a huge burden.
There is no denying that food, your body, and your health are all related - but have you stopped to think about whether what you are doing is actually negatively impacting your health?
Here are some of the common causes why you may be getting stuck and how to identify what’s actually going on.
1.) You're trapped in a yoyo cycle. Running around after children can mean their meals take priority but a yoyo cycle is the extreme. There's that sneaking satisfaction in the back of your mind that you're 'too busy' to eat a proper meal, thinking maybe it will help shift a few pounds, yet come to the evening you are sat down feeling out of control with a box of chocolates, or pack of biscuits unable to stop until you finish the whole thing. The next morning you wake up in the hope that you'll be too busy to eat properly, until the evening comes and the pattern repeats.
Not only do these constant fluctuations make it really hard for your body to balance itself, meaning energy levels are out of whack, but more importantly your mood is constantly changing.
2.) It is making you unhappy - mood is hugely effected by your energy, which as we just found out can be effected by your eating patterns. When you feel out of control around food frustration, guilt and shame are just some of the emotions you may feel.
The other side to eating of course is relying on food as a comfort blanket. Emotional eating is *such* a normalised reaction, think eating a tub of Ben&Jerrys when you're down or going ham on the children's pick and mix if they're stressing you out. The thing is, if you don't learn to listen to those emotions they will keep coming back louder and louder until you do, while in the mean time you lean to food more and more for comfort - which works in the short term but in the long run leads to what we spoke about above; guilt, shame and frustration.
3.) You learnt how to eat from your parents, and your children learn their eating habits from you. Think about the relationship with food your mum had? Did she always have to hide the sweets to stop herself picking or was eating effortless - she could eat when hungry and stop when satisfied? The evidence shows a majority of eating habits are set between 12-24months.
Going on a diet to feel better in your body may feel the most logical thing to do, but if you have spent years dieting, always 'falling off the wagon' you have to ask - is it really working for you... and what is that teaching your children?
Despite what the diet industry tells you, eating should be effortless. Your body knows what she needs, and when. It's when you start trying to control that, your body and mind will crave all that you say it can't have. Consuming as much as possible because it may not be allowed again.
The solution? Eating intuitively. Think of it as two pillars - trust + respect. You can learn to trust your hunger cues again (whether they are psychological or physical), and you can respect your bodies wants again. Working out because it feels good, eating foods you enjoy, being able to stop when you are actually satisfied.
Being a mum has so many wonderful opportunities but also challenges. Finding your balance with eating shouldn't have to be one.
If you are determined to find balance in your diet, be able to eat intuitively or just to have those foods in the cupboards and not eat them all in one go - KNOW that you can overcome it. Head to my instagram @iamlydiaclaire for more support x