I am about to briefly explain a concept to you. This concept may change the way you view your nutrition forever. Let me explain.
If you have been following Flex Success lately, you have probably seen us talk about Informed Eating. But do you really know what it is?
Informed eating isn’t just one thing, it’s not the newest named diet. In fact, it has been around in various forms for a while but nobody has really known how to qualify it. Some people would describe their methods as intuitive eating while others would describe the same methods as mindful eating or untracked eating but one of the many things these categorisations are lacking is education. This is where Informed Eating stands above the rest.
Informed eating combines:
● Knowledge and understanding
● Autonomy and control
● Rejection of the diet mentality
● Healthy attitude towards eating
I’ll expand on these below.
Knowledge and Understanding
Informed eating relies on a foundation of knowledge. Knowledge of nutrition to at least a basic level and an understanding of how to apply that knowledge to your personal circumstances while taking into account your health and preferences.
This could be obtained over a long period of time through successfully dieting for different goals but the process could likely be sped up with the assistance of a knowledgeable coach.
Continued education should pretty much happen automatically.
Autonomy and Control
Eating should be like driving a car. You don’t have to think about it, it just gets you successfully from point a to point B.
Informed Eating is exactly that. You apply the knowledge and understanding for long enough that it becomes second nature, just like driving a car.
Maybe your goals change and you need to learn something else to support them but you apply the know;edge and understanding until it becomes autonomous. Like upgrading your drivers licence to a truck licence.
Flexibility in nutrition is important, you should be able to eat a little excessively sometimes and be able to reign it back in when appropriate. Flexibility is also important for food selection and when learning how to diet and track effectively, you should be learning how to be effectively flexible with foods based on nutrient profile and preference.
Rejection of the Diet Mentality
Informed eating isn’t a diet, it doesn’t feel like a diet. It is like driving a car or riding a bike, it is autonomous and relatively effortless. There;s no restriction or list of foods or macros you can’t eat. It is complete dietary freedom where you are informed enough to make your own decisions on what and when to eat to support your current goals or lifestyle.
Healthy Attitude Towards Eating
You should control food, food shouldn’t control you. If you are finding that you are showing signs of a disordered relationship with food, this needs to be addressed before considering a diet.
This being said, Informed eating may be a good way to avoid the binge restrict cycle as there is no restriction but if you have an overpowering preoccupation with food, forget it, the priority need to be fixing your outlook on nutrition.
I bet you are thinking to yourself that you already employ some or even all of the elements of Informed Eating.
If you are already implementing some of these and would like to make your way towards Informed Eating then you simply need to become educated in an area that you are currently lacking in and practice it until, like driving a car, it becomes autonomous and you no longer have to think about doing it. Once you have done this for all of the elements above, you are Informed enough to step away from dieting and move forward with eating.
Already a master of all the elements?
Then you are practising informed eating. Even if you don’t know it.
I genuinely believe that this should be the end goal for everyone. No matter your lifestyle.
To quote Coach Shannon from the previous flex blog...
At Flex Success, we practice Informed Eating.
Informed Eating is not a diet. It is having the knowledge to manage your nutrition in a way that leaves you physiologically and psychologically healthy throughout life. It is eating in accordance to your goals, no matter what they may be, and understanding how to adjust.
Informed Eating is a learned skill.
It is empowering. It is control. It is autonomy.
Diet Smart Not Hard