Counting calories and focusing on this is detrimental to ourselves but more importantly to our kids.
The fact is our body and mind cannot function for longevity by consistently living in deficit.
The human body is not complicated. The human body is simple and looking after it is easy. You only need to do three things. Yet some people want you to think it’s complicated so they can take your hard earned money. They will quote the word ‘science based’ however experience based is what we all require.
We all need real, purposeful balanced wellness for longevity and this is both physical and mental.
Over the 25 years I have seen in my daily role as Health and Physical educator (at ground level teaching) as well as my role as a personal trainer and writer the dangerous effect the ‘diet culture’ has bought upon our children’s bodies.
I want you to teach your family the value in eating nutrient loaded foods meaning whole foods that have also been a living being. Eating from the earth. If it has also lived and breathed it will be good for your body too. Choose to eat more plants as opposed to meat which has as high amounts of fat and hormones compared to real plant food which is high in vitamins and minerals.
Do not count calories. Eating in deficit will produce initial results but eating quality nutrients will enforce an enduring body health without damaging mental health of self and your children. When we track macros or calories to give food a numerical value meaning we forget how is makes us feel. If we feel our body after eating we can become more in-tune with its performance and become an intuitive eater. The danger of counting calories and macros is especially detrimental to our children. They will follow in our parenting footsteps of placing a value upon food. This can cause further issues in self worth and eating. Avoid packaged food especially the ones stating calories on them. These foods are highly processed and dangerous. Another tip is stop weighing yourself this action cannot determine your health. Throw away the scales and instead feel your body. Notice how food and movement makes you feel. These basics are imperative for our kids to see you do. Our greatest mistake as a parent is to see food as a judgement of our body or measure our food and weight it as a mathematics equation. Living our life in this ‘diet culture’ is an unbalanced way to learn to live. If a person is an athlete and they are consuming upon performance this an entirely different set of circumstances. As an ex athlete I personally lived by a strict set intake of food to create a performance level. However the average person, parent or child requires real strategies of eating for mineral intake NOT counting calories to hinder their relationship with food. By adding meaning to food by eating and speaking of the vitamin and mineral content and why these food are good for us as opposed to it has … how many calories? as this is the opposite of what we want our children to take notice and how to feel their own body.
The best way to ensure physical and mental wellness is these three simple steps:
- Move the body celebrating its mobility and the feeling of movement. Get outside, breathe in the sunshine and greenery. Complete a three sets of bodyweight or alignment weight training weekly. Be proud of looking after your body, tell your body you are proud of it. Look into your eyes in the mirror. Say I am proud of you …(insert name) I love you …(insert name)Avoid the focus of body comparison especially with others (it is like comparing apples and oranges). Avoid the comparison with others your ‘today status’. We are all in different lanes for a reason. We all have a varied pathway to walk. HOW: Complete a walk daily with the family. Early morning or after dinner. Stretch often.
- Eat nutrient loaded foods. Cook at home. Avoid takeaways. Choose to cook at home as a family being the treat. Make food together and celebrate the joy in the nutrient loaded food. I personally understand all time constraints of family however making these valuable changes will ensure better body and mind health for longevity.
- Maintain Technology/TV limits. This will ensure a present mind and body. It will also increase the level of incidental movement in the body improving gross motor skill. These primal body skills improve the overall mobility of the body and they are being lost. By using less technology and instead using the skills of the body – gross and fine motor skill, our focus and our children’s cognitive development will improve dramatically.
To gain motivation for body health (mind, body) it comes from a celebration of daily growth. It’s comes from seeking 1% of improvements or small steps daily. Just try to do better daily. That’s all you have to do.
Health and Happiness,