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What is positive nutrition?



Imagine this scenario: Recently, you've been focusing on eating well. You're eating a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates with plenty of fruits and vegetables and have been feeling great. You finally feel like you're on top of your diet. You feel confident and nourished. But, then someone offers you a cookie. With slight hesitation, you accept and eat the cookie. Suddenly, you're consumed by the guilt of eating this cookie. Think about the sugar and fat you've just had - and how many carbs are in this cookie? You've blown your streak of eating well and might as well have never started in the first place.


Relate to this scenario? Don't worry if you do - you aren't the only one. I know that this was exactly how I felt once. I promise that this doesn't have to be the only way to think about food. I often practice positive nutrition when reflecting on the food I eat and this has helped change my mindset around food.


What is positive nutrition?

The idea of positive nutrition is to focus on the benefits a food can offer you. Positive nutrition removes the centre of attention being around the negatives. Take the cookie from the scenario at the start of this blog. It's easy to sit and say that cookie is high in fat and sugar. However, if you were to take a more positive spin, that cookie provides you with carbohydrates, which help fuel your body. Not only this, but the flour in that cookie also provides you with micronutrients, such as calcium.


Positive nutrition can also include the impact of food on your mental and emotional wellbeing. When looking at overall health, you must consider your mental and emotional health, as well as your physical health. This means enjoying the foods you love. If we go back to the example of the cookie, eating this cookie will also provide you with satisfaction and pleasure.


How to practice positive nutrition

You didn't build your habit to focus on the negatives of a food overnight. Unfortunately, as a society we are surrounded by diet culture, where many foods are demonised. The key to developing a more positive outlook towards your food choices is through time, patience and consistency.


Start simple at first. The next time you're eating, think about one positive factor from your meal. This could be:

  • I'm eating carbohydrates, which provides fuel and energy for me to go about day to day life.

  • Protein helps to maintain my muscles and support the cells within my body to work properly.

  • The fat in my meal enables me to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which are crucial to my health.


The journey to a positive nutrition outlook may take time, but this shift in mindset will help nurture your relationship with food and help build your confidence in your food choices.


In Summary

Remember that food exists to fuel your body and nurture your health. By finding and reflecting on the positives of your diet, you'll start to create a healthier relationship with food, ultimately leaving you feeling more confident.



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