In the Nourishing Routes Philosophy we talk a lot about ditching dieting / aims for weight loss, and how you can alternatively learn to love yourself while developing life long positive relationships with food and body.
But, what does this actually mean in context? Well let me show you right here by comparing dieting to the Nourishing Routes Philosophy.
- Aim is to lose weight or alter appearance
- Being overweight or obese is viewed as unhealthy and to be avoided
- Aiming to meet others' or society's expectations
- Should only eat when physically hungry
- Emotional eating is given a 'bad' name
- Driven by insecurity, low self-esteem and poor self-compassion
- Avoiding guilt, shame and negative judgement
- Good/ Bad/ Forbidden Foods
- Counting Calories and/or nutrients
- Ensuring food is 'clean'
- Following rigid routines
- Focus on specific quantities of food
- Aim is to eat less and/or reduced variety of foods
- Eating occurs at specific times or according to certain rules
- Exercise is pursued to lose weight, fat or alter appearance
- Individuals engage in compensatory behaviours and either feel
- deserving or undeserving of food depending on what they have/have not achieved or previously eaten
- Involves feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness if goals are not met
Nourishing Routes Philosophy
- Developing a positive relationship with food and body is important
- Value placed on eating in line with physical, social and psychological needs
- No good/bad/illegal foods
- Eating a wide variety of food without feeling restricted
- No counting Calories or macronutrients obsessively
- Focus on nourishment of mind and body
- Enjoying food, even when physically full/not hungry, without feeling guilty, ashamed or wanting to punish yourself
- Aim is not to not lose weight
- Loving your body as it is no matter its size or appearance
- Focus on how body feels and what it can achieve
- Exercise is engaged in because it is enjoyed and helps you feel more energised- no punishing regimes
- No compensatory behaviour (e.g. being sick or obsessively exercising after eating)
- Aim is to develop a greater sense of self-compassion with food, mind and body
As you might find when reading these two lists, the stark difference between dieting and Nourishing Routes philosophy is about compassion.
In other words, whereas dieting arises from feeling a need to gain acceptance/approval from others, eating food with a Nourishing Routes philosophy in mind involves appreciating that we deserve to love ourselves are while catering to our physical, psychological and social needs.
It does not simply view eating as an input - output model with an aim of restriction or weight loss.
Instead, if values that food has a deeper meaning within all of our lives, and that is is to be enjoyed in abundance in a way that allows us to feel energised enough to go out into the world and reach our full potential.