Physical Reasons Your Body Might Be Chaotic Around Food
You've probably heard "food is fuel," but if you're human (which as far as I'm aware, 100% of my readers are), you've likely experienced food as a source of distraction, a way to numb emotions, an area of restriction or depletion, and sometimes a huge gateway to guilt.
Food isn’t JUST for fuel, and it isn’t JUST for pleasure - it’s both. We’re unlike other animals in that we can enjoy a gooey brownie or a juicy peach because of our sense of taste. And yet, that gift of pleasure can quickly become a source of frustration, and suddenly food becomes the enemy.
So how can we honor our bodies so that food is a source of fuel and pleasure and not chaos, distraction, or guilt? There are A LOT of emotional reasons why we can feel chaotic and out of control around food, but today we’re going to talk about the physical reasons. What might your primal body be needing?
Some Physical Reasons for Food Chaos:
1. If you’re consuming too much of what your body doesn’t need.....
Your body will have to expend extra energy trying to digest and detox from foods that aren't as easily converted to fuel. This would be things like an abundance of sugar, processed foods, etc, rather than plants, whole grains, and healthy fats. This leaves less energy for your body to do basic functions such as keeping your immune system strong, your metabolism healthy, and your organs functioning at top notch. This may result in feeling like your body is never fully nourished which makes you more likely to feel chaotic around food.
Your body will also become increasingly desensitized, meaning that the more sugary and processed foods you eat, the more you’ll need in order to feel satiated. Have you ever fasted from sugar for a season? Once you eat it again it tastes WAY sweeter, because your taste buds have dialed down. If you start filling your diet with more processed/sugary/sodium heavy foods, you’ll crave more and more in order to meet those specific expectations of your taste buds.
Another reason for feelings of chaos could be that your body is literally searching for nutrients in things that aren’t delivering them. Say your body needs protein and you go for a bag of potato chips instead, next thing you know you’ve eaten the whole bag because your body was in search of protein and those little fried taters just couldn’t deliver it.
2. If you're not consuming ENOUGH of what your body DOES need, your body will act ravenously in an attempt to get proper nourishment.
This means eating things like healthy fats, protein, plants, and a few sweet or savory treats, etc. Your body wants to work on your behalf and it WILL rebel against restriction.
Imagine your cells are like balloons. If you fill them with nutrient rich foods, they become inflated and taught, happy little cells. Picture these scenarios….
-Scenario 1: You haven’t been eating enough to compensate for your energy expenditure, so you see a pan of brownies and suddenly feel the overwhelming urge to eat the WHOLE thing because your cells are deflated, hungry, and just want to be filled up.
-Scenario 2: Now imagine that you’ve been eating “enough” food but it isn’t nutrient dense…chips, white bread, candy (all which might be fine in moderation, but leave your cells longing). Your “balloon” cells get inflated and filled when you eat, but they’ll very quickly deflate and shrivel because the food was more like papier-mâché nutrients, making you ravenous for more as your body searches for the core nutrients that it needs.
-Scenario 3: Now imagine that you’ve been eating nutrient rich foods…lots of plants, proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and sweets in moderation to satisfy cravings. Your “balloon” cells are full and content. So now you see that warm brownie and you can have a piece without feeling like you need a straight jacket to keep from eating the whole pan.
What's the bottom line?
Feeling chaotic around food isn’t rooted in matter of willpower. Ask yourself if you might not be getting enough of what truly nourishes you, or if you might be getting too much of what doesn’t nourish you (this goes for both physical and emotional nourishment).
Tuning into dysfunction without judgement will allow you to address the root issues of what your body is trying to tell you so that you can have your peace and calm – and your brownie too.
You aren’t a victim of brownies or pie or pasta, and your body is not your enemy. You were made to be fueled and to enjoy!
If nourishment feels confusing or hard, I SO get it and you aren’t alone. Click here to book a free Discovery Session and we’ll chat about what your body is needing so that you can have the peace with food that you truly crave.