In this solo episode I cover a range of topics relating to HOW we eat, and the morality we place on food, and emotional eating.

Do you think you’re a bad person for what you stick in your gob?

Are there certain foods you just can’t trust yourself to be around?

Do you label foods as ‘naughty’ or think healthy foods are ‘boring?

Then you might wanna wrap your ears around this episode, as I give some tips for dealing with this, as well as how to maintain your new version of healthy once you achieve it.

Getting to a healthy weight is just the beginning!


Hayley Food Ninja:

Welcome to the next episode of the Rude Health podcast with me, Hayley Food Ninja.. And today I'm going to talk about a subject that I'm q uite passionate about, surprise, surprise. So I'm going to talk about the concept of clean eating, if you wanna call it that. And how I get my clients to experiment with amount, or percentage of processed foods that they have in their diet, so called good and bad foods, which I fucking hate. Cause there's no morality around food. There's no such thing. You're not a good or bad person for what you're sticking your gob. I'm sure there's exceptions to that rule. But for now I'm talking about food, right? There are all sorts of reasons why your relationship with food can get really fucked up. And I will use my go-to example. I know people hate me talking about is Slimming fucking World and the way that they call their foods that are more processed syns. That is something that is guaranteed. To really fuck up your relationship with food. So I try and explain to my clients. Food that is on a sliding scale, there are going to be more nutrient dense foods. Or there are going to be foods that don't have as many nutrients, but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't eat those foods or be able to enjoy them in. Relatively decent quantities or quantities that work for you so that you can still achieve your goals. So talking of quantities.. When I first start working with a client, I generally get them to eat 80% of their calories in foods that are nutrient dense that are going to fill them up. They're going to make them feel better and have more energy. And then 20%. On foods that might not necessarily be optimal for their health. But might be optimal for their mental health or their social health, or, just meaning that they don't feel like they can't have a social life and stuff. So the 80% food. Obviously, it's going to be things like single ingredient stuff, right? Chicken, beef, fish, grains. Vegetables. All of the good shit. And everyone knows what 20% foods are. So they're going to be things like cake crisps, chocolate ice cream biscuits. All that kind of stuff. Very calorie, dense stuff. That it's really easy to overeat. But not necessarily nutrient dense. So even though you might have eaten a large volume of calories in these foods, Your body might feel like it hasn't actually got all of the nutrients that it needs. So it doesn't really fill us up in any way, because let's be honest, it's really fucking easy to eat 800 calories of Ben and Jerry's I'm sure we've all done it. I've done it. Definitely. But it's quite hard to eat 800 calories worth of broccoli and brown rice and chicken. You can try it. Good point actually go off and try that. Let me know how you get on. Send me a photo of the size of the plate!. 800 calories worth of chicken and broccoli and rice. I'm sure. That will be quite an amusing experiment Most of my clients. I get to start off on this kind of 80 20 rule, because I know that generally they'll start to feel a bit better. They might feel a little bit more energetic, a little less sluggish. They might have kind of less mental fog, all that kind of stuff. And just those small changes can give them enough capability and capacity to feel like they want to make bigger changes. So Generally where I start people off. Then guess what happens? When people first come to me, they're like really excited and their up for the change and stuff. So they're like, hold on a minute. I don't want to eat any of these 20% foods. Like why is the nutritionist telling me to eat chocolate and crisps and whatever. So they might decide that, you know what? I think I'm just going to eat a hundred percent in all of these unprocessed foods So they eat clean cause that's probably what they've heard in gym speak So generally when that happens, I know what's going to happen next. At some point there's going to be a spectacular kind of binge of some description, right? Where they eat 5,000 calories in a day, because they've been so restrictive for weeks and weeks on end, even though I've been encouraging them to, try different foods and things, that they decide one day. They wake up and they've got an overwhelming urge for a sausage and egg muffin. So they have the sausage and egg McMuffin and they go to McDonald's and then they decide later on at lunchtime. Do you know oh, there's five guys. I'm going to go get five guys. And then by the time they get home, even though they've eaten a lot and they feel a bit sluggish. They're still quite hungry, but they're too tired to make any dinners. So they get takeaway. And there you have it, that sausage and egg Mcmuffin craving has turned into 5,000 calories of food, which is quite frightening, made them just feel a bit shitty because not only is it making them not feel great, physically because the contrast. So if they've been eating unprocessed food only for say four or five, six weeks, it's a restrictive diet probably physically going to make them feel like they've got a bit more energy and they feel better. So the contrast between actually physically they've been feeling really good but they have a day where they eat 5,000 calories of burgers and McDonald's and takeaways, they're gonna feel shit. Cause that contrast between how they have been feeling and how they feel now is going to be that much more pronounced. So they've now made themselves feel terrible. And then what happens is they wake up the next morning and they still feel shit and they feel mentally shit because they feel like they've eaten food they're not supposed to. Even though I am at great pains to tell everyone. Every time we have a coaching conversation is you can eat whatever the fuck you like. I'm just going to show you how to do it so that you can still achieve your goals at the same time. But that's quite a learning curve for some people because they have been exposed to this culture. They're like a slimming world kind of diet club culture, where those foods are called naughty and sins and bad. Or if they know a little bit about fitness, they might have heard about clean eating and then cheat days. You can eat clean six days a week and then have a cheat meal or a cheat day. Which is essentially the fitness industry normalizing binge-eating because that's what it is. It's not fucking normal to be super strict for six days a week and then suddenly eat three pizzas, like in one sitting. That's not a normal eating pattern. So it's quite hard for people to get their head around the fact that they've been told that there's this group of foods that they should always restrict and cut out completely. To then tell them that actually it's quite normal to eat those foods in smaller quantities. But anyway. Regardless of kind of what split they go for, whether they do eat 80, 20, or whether they end up eating fewer processed foods because they think that's what they should do. At some point during our coaching relationship. They are going to have an episode where they eat emotionally. And that's fine because everyone eats emotionally. But I know that when this happens, they've generally been doing really well for kind of three or four weeks, and then like shit happens. Life happens and they get home and they're just like, oh, Fuck this shit I want to take away or a bottle of wine or whatever. But they always go to the trigger food. So everyone's got this food, that. They find difficult to restrict or they find difficult to stop eating when they start eating it. I've got one of these foods. You may be surprised to know. My trigger food is crisps. In particular Tesco, finest, mature cheddar and onion crisps, which I have renamed crack crisps because believe me. They are as addictive as crack. I basically cannot stop eating them sometimes. So what do you do in that situation? Do I try and live my whole life restricting crack crisps? Do I think, oh my God, I must never been the presence of these crisps ever again. Or maybe yours is bread. Oh my God, I can't have bread in the house. I can't buy bread because if I buy it, I'm going to eat the whole loaf and all that kind of stuff. To say that you're never going to be in the presence of bread in your whole fucking life. It's really not sustainable. And I can't go through my life avoiding Tesco, crack crisps either. It's really unrealistic. What we do is all along this process is I try and get people to eat to little bits of these foods. So when I work with clients and we get them to where they want to be with where they're happy with, how they feel, how they look, how much energy they've got, all of that kind of stuff. We do a transition month. So we look at how we can transition out of these temporary behaviors, because believe it or not, losing weight or periods of fat loss should always be temporary. You're not supposed to be on a diet your whole fucking life. I don't know if anyone's ever told you that before some people are like, I've been trying to lose weight my whole life. Losing weight should always be temporary. When somebody comes to me and says, I want to lose weight. I'm like, that's great. That's actually pretty easy. Or, I can make that easy for them, but the difficult bit is learning how to maintain that. And that is something that not many people do. I've got an actual process and protocol for maintenance for my clients. So we get them to where they want to be, and we then have to go through this transition protocol so that I can feel confident that I've left them exactly where they wanted to be and they can maintain it forever. Because that is where the hard work comes. The hard work is not actually losing the weight. And I understand a lot of you will be listening now and going actually it's really fucking hard work and I can't seem to do it, but believe me. That is the easy bit, because when you come to maintaining that's when the difficulty starts, because if you haven't confronted things like. How not to avoid crack crisps or hobnobs or bread for the rest of your life, you're gonna have a really hard time. If we don't address these behaviours during that temporary period of fat loss, you won't be able to sustain it. I use a variety of methods with my clients. I have an emotional eating checklist that we go through. We look at the number of behaviours that display what we call mindless eating, rather than mindful eating. We look at the frequency of when they do that. And then we have a tick list of mindful eating behaviours, and we get them to identify how often they do those, how we can incorporate more of those into their daily routines. We identify trigger foods. We identify situations that the trigger foods appear in.. We use distraction techniques, replacement techniques. There are lots and lots of different tools and strategies and methods that I used to enable people to trust themselves around food again, right? Because a lot of this does come down to trust. If you feel like you can't trust yourself to make good decisions around food. You're never going to be able to maintain any kind of decent fat loss. Things like forward planning and all of those other techniques that I've talked about will help you normalize all kinds of foods and normalize, being able to eat whatever you want. Something else, I hear a lot, which again, is like super fucking unrealistic is that you shouldn't attach emotion to food. Like you shouldn't make decisions about food when you're emotional, when you're feeling stressed out, because that's so unrealistic because food is emotional. We use it to comfort ourselves to sooth ourselves. At the end of the day, it's just a coping mechanism. Yes, we can replace it with more helpful coping mechanisms. Around managing stress and during recovery activities and stuff like that. But in terms of trying not to eat emotionally at all, that's another restriction that you're placing on yourself. One of the strategies that has worked quite well for a lot of my clients is for example, If your trigger food is chocolate and you're always eating chocolate when you're in this highly emotional either distressed state or stressed. You start to associate that food with a really heightened, emotional state. So if you really love chocolate and that's when you're eating it, I would suggest buying little packs, finger of Fudge, anyone. Small chocolate bars, right? Fudge or even those little packs of like Twirls and stuff like that, and just eat one every day as part of your normal diet, right? Because. If you're eating that when you're in more of a normal state, that food becomes less special to you. Cause if you're always eating it to comfort yourself or in some kind of heightened emotional state. You end up putting that food on a pedestal, right? It becomes like a special food to you. But if you eat a little bit of it every day, It stops that reaction to it. It helps you to be more in control around that food. It helps you to choose that food in situations where you have a little headspace to think about whether you really like And it also allows you to actually enjoy that food because a lot of people who eat emotionally tend to cram the food in without really thinking about how it feels, how it tastes, whether you like it. And many of my clients can actually not remember eating a lot of foods when they're in that kind of state. So Those are my top tips for trying to normalize foods, these slightly more processed foods and make them a normal part of your diet. That's it for this week. If you've got any questions around emotional eating around food morality, if you want any more tips or you'd like me to do another episode on maybe some strategies and things for this, let me know. And also I'd be interested if you have any questions that you'd like me to answer here on the podcast, or if there's something that you'd like me to talk about or someone you'd like me to interview. Yeah, just let me know, send me an email, [email protected] and I'll get your questions answered. That's it for this week. Thanks for listening. And until next week, take care of yourself.

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