Much of my work will look to what is normal eating. Whether my client has binge eating disorder, anorexia or obesity I will often discuss what is considered a normal way to eat. So below I list what dietitians will look to when working with individuals who seek their help.
Normal Eating is
- Eating regularly e.g. 3 meals per day, or maybe 6 smaller meals, or maybe 3 meals and 2 snacks
- Occasionally under-eating. Maybe you didn’t have time to grab breakfast before work. Perhaps you had a super big lunch. you might have a smaller lunch as you are going out for dinner
- Occasionally over-eating. Because the food at that dinner party was really good, or you love when your Dad makes his famous pizza
- Eating foods that you like… because you like them
- Choosing less of the foods you like sometimes because you know you can eat them another time, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps next week
- Choosing to eat foods that you know are ‘good for you’ because good health is important
- Not always worrying about your weight but maybe being concerned if your doctor has advised you
- Occasionally counting calories or grams of protein but not always, and always having a good reason for doing so
- Not feeling guilty when you eat certain foods
- Being flexible with food and being able to eat differently when faced with things you don’t usually have
- Not always choosing the healthiest offering
- Not pretending to yourself that you are choosing to eat a certain way for ‘the planet, or because you have an allergy when you do not
- Sometimes eating certain foods because you are sad or upset, but not always turning to food on these occasions
- Being able to eat like others when in a group
- Being able to say ‘yes’ to pudding or ‘no’ to pudding according to how you feel, and not because of an unhelpful voice in your head
- Not feeling shame when you eat – no matter what it was, or how much you ate.
Normal eating is complex as above, as we try to find balance in the midst of so many opportunities to eat all the time. And our desire to be perfect can sometimes override our realisation that no-one is perfect all of the time, no matter what you might think. Don’t let your ideas of perfect eating or the perfect body get in the way of normal eating.
And if you would like help on that journey, please get in touch.