June 24, 2013
Food as Fuel and as Pleasure

Food has both the qualities of being the fuel to your body, yet also being enjoyable and tasty.  Finding the right balance between the two of these qualities in your relationship with food will help you to find a realistic healthy lifestyle.

If we view food only as fuel and neglect our likes, dislikes, variety and flavor, then the temptation is to become too restrictive and rigid with food. The problem with extreme restriction is that we can only keep this up for so long and then we are likely to rebound the other direction into overindulgence or the opposite of restriction. Restriction is just not realistic forever. Fueling our bodies appropriately with food is extremely important for weight loss and long term health, yet we don't want to neglect the fact that food is pleasurable and tastes good too.

If we only view food as a source of pleasure and neglect the need to fuel our bodies appropriately then it's likely that we are eating unhealthy or overindulging. If food is only a source of pleasure then this lifestyle is likely to lead to being overweight. This lifestyle does not provide enough limits to maintain health.

The ideal situation would be that we could find a balance between using food as our fuel for our body while also enjoying the food that we eat. One way to do this is to experiment more with cooking. There are so many amazing recipes out there that are healthy and low calorie but very enjoyable and full of flavor. You may also get assistance from a dietician to help you balance the two qualities in a realistic way that still helps you work towards your health goals. Remember weight loss is not the end goal, maintaining your weight loss is! In order to successfully maintain long term you want your habits to be realistic and moderate.

Another thing to consider might be that there are times or periods in your life where one element is more important than the other. What I mean is that using food mostly as a fuel to your body will be helpful for weight loss while incorporating both will be helpful for a long term healthy life. Think about what is the right balance of fuel and pleasure with food is for you!


Written by Cassie Kinson

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