Episode #28: When Healthy Eating is Unhealthy

July 26, 2019

Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey everybody, what's going on? Doctor Chad Woolner here and Dr. Buddy Allen, and this is episode 28 of the health fundamentals podcast. And on today's episode, we're going to be talking about when healthy eating becomes unhealthy. So let's get started.

Speaker 2: (00:12)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm Dr. Chad Woolner and I'm Dr. Buddy Allen. And this show is about giving you the simple but powerful cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.

Speaker 1: (00:32)
So, hey everybody, hope you guys are having a great day today. We have a really interesting topic that we want to discuss today. Uh, and that is this idea of when healthy eating becomes unhealthy. That sounds blasphemous. It does, doesn't it? It's kind of crazy to think about. Um, but there, there was an article that was published, uh, at York University and this is what they said. They said, researchers say those who have a history of an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive traits, dieting, poor body image, and a drive for thinness are more likely to develop a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only healthy food known as Orthorexia Nervosa. Although eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. For some people, this preoccupation with healthy eating can become physically and socially impairing. So although important as far as this research is what they have, what they say here, I think for most people who hear that I don't think that's necessarily going to come across as all too shocking or surprising.

Speaker 1: (01:37)
It should make perfect sense. Right? So, so where do we begin with this? Uh, Golly, this is, uh, we see people all the time when it comes to, um, have an issue with, you know, most people, I would say it comes down to weight loss. I, I'd say the biggest thing that most people freak out about or it's their image, you know, it's like, yeah, we put on weight and we're not happy with it. And, and we don't like what we see in the Mirror Mirror. We don't like how we feel, there's just all these different things or we compare ourselves to others. So that's probably where most people have the issue. The problem being is most people don't understand food correctly. Right. All right. They, they underwrite food is like, Ooh, you know, like, what am I gonna eat today that's going to be delicious? Or what am I, I mean, I've done it myself.

Speaker 1: (02:21)
I don't, I don't say this without guilt because I've done it plenty of times where I'm like, Ooh, what sounds amazing. And, um, and you know, and we eat more for pleasure. But, um, I would say the big rub here comes when people start. Um, they started thinking like, well, I'm eating healthy. So I, you know, if one avocado or a half an avocado is good, if I eat three Avocados or a whole bowl of Guacamole, um, that's going to be amazing for me. Right, right. Well, you know, forget all the chips and all this stuff that's coming with it. Well, not, and not even that, but exactly what you just said though. You know, that's one of the things that I've noticed in my personal journey. Uh, you over the past year I would say in terms of improving my health. Um, and, and hopefully you realize that whenever we teach anything we teach on this podcast, we try and practice what we preach.

Speaker 1: (03:10)
We try, we try our best to walk the walk. And part of that walking of the walk is transparency of helping people understand we're in this journey too, like anybody else. Um, but what I was going to say is one of the biggest things, in fact, I had this conversation with my wife this morning is that I think one of the biggest fallacies that we've talked about is that a lot of the various fads and trends in terms of health, in terms of diet is, is throwing calories out the window like they do not matter. And it's very comforting for people to kind of pretend like that doesn't matter. You know? And, and the truth is, is that it's, it should be obvious that, uh, 150 calories from a soda is going to be different than 150 calories from Broccoli. I get it, I get that part of it.

Speaker 1: (03:53)
But nonetheless, like you said, eating for Avocados instead of just one is going to dramatically increase your calwork intake. Can I saw this awesome little picture, uh, like a, um, just a cool little picture that had two comparisons. It says, um, you know, both of these said healthy, healthy snacks and one of them was like, it had some celery and carrots and, um, I don't know, some sort of a, uh, like a chick pea dip of some sort, right. Just something that was the, that looked yummy and, and people eat it all the time. And then someone had, and then the other picture was a bunch of nuts and, and other avocado and nuts and other whatever it was, you know, and it said, you know, one of them was like 150 calories, the first one with the celery and uh, and, and that, and the other one, which again was healthy was like 600 calories.

Speaker 1: (04:43)
Right? And it was just a, as far as quantity, it was, it was a comparable quantity, right? But the caloric intake was very significant. Quantity matters, absolutely as part of this. Right? And so I think that's the, the idea that you're trying to talk about here that we kind of keep coming back to is not deviating to one extreme or the other. You know, the extreme, like you said, of just eating solely for pleasure. But there is a flip side to that. And the flip side of that is the, this unhealthy obsession with quote unquote clean eating, right? Where we demonize food and we give it some sort of like, you know, like the, the, uh, we emotionally charge it unduly, right? Food is food, right? Uh, it's a, it's a tool. Um, and just like any tool, it totally depends on the context and, and, and the, the purpose for which you are using that tool.

Speaker 1: (05:38)
Right. And so we need to kind of have a, a massive paradigm shift in the way that we look at food in that, uh, the thing that we've discussed prior to this episode is that food needs to be, you are viewed as fuel. Absolutely. And, and at the end of the day, it all depends. The context of the conversation is what is the outcome that we're looking for when we use that fuel? And it's, and, and, and immediately, I think most people when they hear it in that context, they're thinking, well, the outcome needs to be improving our health every time. And that may may be in some instances the case, but in some instances the outcome may be pleasure. And that's okay. Every now and again. Sure. That's okay to recognize and acknowledge that, that when we do that, when we say, okay, you know, this evening, uh, we're going to be going out to, um, we're going to be going out to dinner and we're going to be enjoying a night out.

Speaker 1: (06:33)
And so we are going to enjoy the meal and it is going to be delicious and we're going to have dessert and we're going to do that thing. Now doing that every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, probably not inappropriate, you know, um, use of that tool of the, of the fuel, um, that we're doing. Right. And again, it's because what is the outcome that we want? If you want pleasure, pleasure, pleasure, all the time, uh, you know, the, the, you can't have too much of a good thing, right? But on the flip side as well, again, on that other side of the coin is that if you're, uh, if you're developing this unhealthy obsession with food can only be healthy and you can only eat clean all the time and it's just so rigid and so restrictive. Um, that's not necessarily a healthy approach either.

Speaker 1: (07:18)
Oh, not at all. In fact, you know, when we, when we look at ourselves, I mean really we need to be looking at ourselves. First of all, we shouldn't care what other people are doing. Obviously we can, we can offer, uh, encouragement or advice or direction. But really we need to, when you said using food as fuel, what are our goals? What are we trying to accomplish? Because going back to the title, when can healthy eating be unhealthy? It's like it's unhealthy. If your goal is you're trying to cut weight and you're eating healthy stuff, but it's not allowing you to lose weight, you know, because fruits are wonderful for us. But if you're trying to cut weight and you are eating a ton of carbs because of the pee, it's peach season or cherries or whatever, you know, all of those are wonderfully healthy and yet they will, they will not allow you to accomplish a goal which messes with your head, which again, it just creates a whole, uh, conflict.

Speaker 1: (08:11)
And you're in your mind and your physiology will. And the thing that I would say to that point too is that if you're wanting to lose weight, but you're not giving yourself any laxity or wiggle room in terms of, uh, the ability to deviate on occasion, uh, I think there's something to be said for being wound too tight in that sense. You know, you had said, I think it was in episode number one of our podcast, the example of the, of the Gal that you were coaching who has had a single bowl of clam chowder after she had lost a hundred pounds, and that single bowl was enough to, to create in her mind this colossal sense of failure. And that's not okay. Nope. You know, because that's taken out of context. That's completely blown out of proportion in terms of what actually happened. That's not reality.

Speaker 1: (09:01)
You know, uh, having a, you know, sometimes they'll, they'll talk about having a cheat meal on occasion. I think there's good sense to that. I think there's good logic behind that, of understanding that once in awhile. But again, I think the idea too that we have to be considerate of and take it really, really step back and look at the reality of it is that, um, one of the things that I, uh, love about that book, uh, the willpower instinct is she talks about this whole idea of moral licensing where if you're really quote unquote good for awhile, I've been eating clean for while. So now I deserve this thing. She said, the problem with that is that at its core it's an identity crisis. And basically what you're telling yourself is that the real you deep down inside is not the healthy you, it's the you that wants to uh, go off of the reservation and off the plan and just indulge and go crazy.

Speaker 1: (09:54)
And so the reality I would say simply again, is starting with a clear sense of identity. And what I mean by identity is the identity you want. Right? And again, we've talked about this before, but, but starting with who do you want to become? And I think that would really allow you to, to frame out the right appropriate steps that you would then take after that. Right. Who Do you want to be and then that would allow you to dictate and it would allow you I think, sufficient wiggle room to deviate every now and again because you would have a clear sense of purpose of knowing that. Okay, I know I, you know, went off the reservation here, but I did that intentionally because we wanted to celebrate or I enjoyed this treat every now and again. And so moving forward though, I still have a clear sense of purpose in terms of who I want to be.

Speaker 1: (10:43)
So therefore, you know, I'm getting back on track and I'm going to continue and I'm not going to let these deviations last weeks and weeks and months and months before I kind of pull back, you know, so, well, yeah. You know, in general it's, we, we really do just have to look at what our goals are, you know, fuel yourself for what your outcome is going to be. Um, people, it's, you know, you look at, we talked about earlier, you and I, a Michael Phelps when he was competing in the Olympics, was eating like 12,000 calories a day. Yeah. All right. And I'm sure not all of that was a health food. You know, I'm sure it was good food, but not all health food. Um, same with, um, uh, there was that program that was called born strong where it followed for strong men, you know, for guys that were competing in the strong men competition and they eat obscene amounts of food, right?

Speaker 1: (11:28)
Because they need that caloric intake to, for their, for their body to recover and for their out, for their, their results. Right. So, you know, it's like if, if we make those mind shifts of like, look my, what are my goals, what am I, you know, cause a lot of people lose, want to lose weight because they think that us or get to a certain number. Cause I think that certain number is gonna make them, um, feel amazing. In fact, there's, there's an amazing little, um, uh, image that you can find online that shows like it showed like four or five, six different women, all that weighed the same weight. All right? And they all had completely different builds on tight, exactly. Different body types. So we'll, you know, they go from Chisel to like not looking super healthy. And so it's like, what is your, you know, we need to know and have a, a true and, and a correct picture of what we're shooting after cause otherwise that's where these, these mental, um, uh, stressors really these disorders that we talked about, this Orthorexia Nervosa, um, you know, these things can be every bit as um, paralyzing as being obese, bright.

Speaker 1: (12:32)
So the, the idea is like, look, we want to live for a reason, you know, live healthy for a reason. Cause you know, this life is better when we can experience it and get out and do the, the wonderful things that are out there for us to experience. Right. So, and that like you had mentioned also part of that awesome experience is experiencing yummy food and different neat, you know, neat concoctions of, of uh, you know, whether there'll be desserts or other meals, you know, so I'm just, you know, having a healthy, a healthy, um, relationship with you know, who you are, who you want to be, what you want to accomplish, and then learning to use fuel or the food as fuel for your outcomes. Yeah, absolutely. And I would say underlying all of that is having a healthy sense of purpose with your life.

Speaker 1: (13:20)
You know, identity and purpose I think go hand in hand. And I think that's where people will find the greatest sense of fulfillment and happiness and meaning in their life is, is through the purpose. Right. And so I think that's the thing is that if you don't attach purpose to the goal, meaning if, if, if your weight loss journey is, is as shallow or as superficial as a number, that's all that's going to be, you know, you, you may achieve that goal. Right. I think it was Tony Robbins who said, you know, there's a science of achievement, but there's an art to fulfillment, right? That achievement without fulfillment is, is virtually a waste, is what happens. And so what will happen a lot of times is people will achieve these goals, whether it be a weight loss goal or a health goal, maybe it's a financial goal, um, you know, uh, or some other accomplishment.

Speaker 1: (14:12)
And, and what happens is a lot of times you'll find people, this is especially true, uh, with Olympic athletes, a lot of times where they're, their entire life purpose is tied to something as superficial. And people might not think it's, hey, think of it as superficial, but it is, if that's the only thing, meaning like that, that one achievement, right? Getting the gold medal in blank, you know? And then what happens a lot of times just people experience a significant and oftentimes debilitating bouts of depression after that because everything that they had up until that point in time of their life was pointed to that one pivotal moment rather than a more expansive life purpose and mission and vision. And right. And so, uh, I think the point of what we're trying to say here is don't get so tied up into something as superficial as the specific number or, or a moment or a blip on the radar, but rather tie your purpose to something more expansive, uh, in terms of who you want to become, what you want to do as a result of becoming that thing.

Speaker 1: (15:16)
Right. Um, and I think ultimately what we find is that our greatest senses of purpose are typically achieved and realized outside of ourselves. Um, and without trying to sound too preachy here, uh, really understanding, I think most people can agree that our relationships are a great source of purpose and fulfillment in our life. Uh, and those relationships can be with our family members, can be with people in our community, people at our work, uh, people who we serve, people at Church, um, any number of different things, but really ultimately finding greater sense of purpose than just a number. Um, because that ultimately doesn't have, I think, sufficient staying power emotionally for us to really propel us forward. Absolutely. So anyways, hopefully this has been a useful and valuable to you guys. Um, and uh, if you know others who could benefit from, uh, maybe this paradigm shift that we've hopefully shared here in terms of the way we view food and our relationship to it.

Speaker 1: (16:14)
Um, this is such an important concept, especially for people who have struggled to lose weight, um, or struggled to keep weight off. Uh, I think this is just yet again, one more piece of the puzzle that if people can kind of, you know, get this piece in trace I think could, could only help further, um, change your life. Honestly, this is one of those mind shifts that can truly just change your, that, that sense of fulfillment and happiness in your life. You know, just cause it's a simple like again, changing your paradigm. Yeah, absolutely. So, all right guys. Well thanks for listening. Be sure to subscribe if you haven't already subscribed and we'll talk to you guys on the next episode.

Speaker 2: (16:52)
Thanks for listening to the health fundamentals podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you stay in the loop and in the note with all of the cutting edge health information that we share, if you know other people that could benefit from this information, please share it with them as well. Also, be sure to give us a review. These really help us to ultimately help more people. Last but not least, if you have questions that you want answered live on the show, or if you have ideas for topics that you would like us to cover, please shoot us an email and let us know at info@thehealthfundamentals.com.

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