Ghaida AlMatary – Yemeni Dietitian
The internet will tell you various definitions of nutrition, let me explain to you what nutrition truly is. Nutrition is the dinner table where you are sharing how your day was with family, it is grabbing coffee with friends and enjoying your day. Nutrition is your every day self and all that comes with it ! This is nutrition. Do not let any dietitian or nutritionist tell you that nutrition is the “low in fat” or “low in carbs” kind of lifestyle, as it is important to nourish yourself. If you open Google and type nourish, this is what you will see ( verb: provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition), I think this is exactly what we should keep in mind and follow by heart. It is absurd to feel guilty while eating because literally it is essential for surviving !!
Let’s dig a bit deeper, in my 3-year college experience while studying nutrition, we were never taught to deprive ourselves or to follow the keto diet. We were taught to fuel our bodies because it is an act of self care, because when you do your body wrong and not listen to it, you can end up having an eating disorder. When you step on your weight scale and see a number you don’t like, and feel awful about yourself then be like “why bother anyway?” and end up binge eating! This is how many people develop bad relationships with food.
Allow me to tell you how to have a healthy relationship with food (without the need of going to a dietitian). Firstly, you should eat the three main nutrients to function :(carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) these are very important for your physical and mental growth, if any person tells you to lower your intake of any of those nutrients then they wish your body and brain harm. Minerals and vitamins are also important and you should have a fine portion or fruits and vegetables to gain them, and make sure you do a blood test every once in a while to see if your deficient in any of them. Now let’s talk about HOW to eat, did you know that mindful eating is the most important secret in nutrition? It is the the act of focusing on your meal, not being distracted with the phone or television. Eat slowly so you can be in touch with your satiety cues and know when you are comfortably full, also; you finish your meal and be satisfied and full of energy. Listening to your body Is the most important aspect that you should follow, our bodies and hunger cues are never the enemy. Secondly, physical activity is the secret of maintaining a balance between what you eat and what you burn. It is important to move through out your day because it reduces the risk of various diseases, it improves your sleep quality, keeps you fit, reduces stress and it strengthens your muscles and bones. However, make sure you drink 8-11 cups of water per day and always stay hydrated. Last but never the least, your mental health is the key of being healthy physically. The best way to heal your body is to heal your brain, never feel bad for craving a burger because your body needs a burger, if you eat a salad instead then after 2 hours eat a burger because you say (why bother ?) then you have gained calories of a salad and a burger, so listen to yourself and eat what you want moderately. Quality of food is not as important as the quantity, if you feel full from the 4th bite of your burger then stop eating don’t force it down your throat.
I hope I have made it clear to you what nutrition is and how to better deal with your body.
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