One of the most confusing topics in the health industry is the concept of what “normal eating” actually is.
Mainly because it’s so vague and non-specific!
We’re bombarded with a ton of information regarding the subject.
I mean, what is healthy eating – really?
Many sources online define normal eating differently.
Which unfortunately means you have to be careful with who you trust.
Some claim it means restricting calories.
Others insist it means cutting out carbohydrates.
Then, you have a rare few individuals on the side (like me!) who wish to shed light on healthy eating and what it means to truly eat normally.
Here, you’ll get a heavy dose of truth and learn what our society has defined “normal eating.”
I’ll also open you up to the possibilities of what normal eating could mean for you!
So, let’s dive right in.
According to the Googles, the word normal can be simply defined as “conforming to a standard.”
It’s important to remember this when we hear the word “normal” since we tend to subconsciously give the word a positive connotation or meaning.
And there’s a solid reason for this.
When we crave to be normal, it’s simply our brains wanting to be accepted by our peers.
Back in the caveman times, this was crucial for survival.
Not being accepted by your tribe likely meant you were stuck without food, shelter, or anything else that you needed to stay alive.
Now in present day, we don’t need this fear-based method of thinking to survive.
We are perfectly capable of following our own path without having to worry about staying alive.
The problem is, since our brains desire to be accepted, it will gravitate towards what society deems as “normal”.
Which is often out of line with our goals.
This is overwhelmingly true when it comes to how we see food.
And it’s happening all around us…
What We See as Normal Eating
When you truly brainstorm what society considers normal eating, you’ll find yourself utterly shocked.
It’s fascinating what our society considers acceptable and mainstream in terms of food.
Examples of Normal Eating Habits – Right Now
- Having dessert every night
- Drinking coffee every morning (guilty!)
- Having snacks throughout the day
- Eating preserved food items that don’t spoil
- Energy drinks
- Drive-thru meals
- Eating high amounts of sugar
- All you can eat buffets
- Sticking to 3 meals a day
- Protein bars as meal replacements
- Frozen dinners (a.k.a. astronaut food)
- Going back for seconds
- Buying processed food
- Routine alcohol consumption
The Ultimate Example
Now, let’s talk about the number one socially accepted method of “normal eating”.
That is following a diet plan.
Diets have become the new favorite method of “eating normally”.
If you get to the nitty-gritty, this becomes really difficult to wrap your head around.
Let me explain why…
Here’s the truth.
Healthy eating isn’t complicated.
It’s very simple and can be achieved in an easy, cost-effective manner that puts very little fuss in your life.
However, diet plans on the market will lead you to believe that THEY have the secret formula of healthy eating that will get you the results you want.
It’s purely so they can make money off your desire to eat healthier.
Think about it, if any of these diet plans truly found the solution to eating healthy, why is there a new popular diet fad out every few years?
If you really consider how far we’ve come as a society scientifically…
…you really think we haven’t figured out how to eat healthily?
Really, it comes down to the fact that simple solutions that are cost-effective and allow you to do it yourself in a sustainable manner aren’t SELLABLE to the masses.
Society wants a quick fix, and diets claim to provide that.
When in reality they’re taking your money and guaranteeing 1-2 weeks of sustained weight loss.
Which means 4-months later you’ll likely find yourself in the same place you were before.
Also, if these diets truly worked, do you realize how fit and healthy we as a society would be?!
Are we missing the obesity dilemma we’re dealing with right now?
What is selling is not working.
We need to take a different approach.
What Is Normal Eating, Actually?
What’s crazy about conforming to the norm, is that it’s constantly changing!
It can never be depended on to stick around and create valuable change in your life.
Here are a few things that were once classified as “normal” that have since been disproved in society.
- Tobacco – it was even advertised as ‘physician’ tested and approved! (1)
- Cocaine – used to be considered useful medicinally (2)
- Sugar – was once seen as an effective means of losing weight – if only! (3)
Anything in this world that is deemed “normal” doesn’t mean it’s valuable or longterm.
Society doesn’t always have it figured out, especially when it comes to healthy eating.
There’s a reason why people in society are currently the unhealthiest they’ve EVER been.
It’s because the threshold on what’s considered normal eating has gone up…and it doesn’t appear to be coming back down to earth anytime soon.
So, don’t conform to society.
You need to decide what normal eating is to YOU and what makes you feel healthy.
If you observe a variety of people, almost every person has different standards for what they consider healthy eating.
It varies so much! There can’t possibly be the same solution for every person.
So, always be questioning what healthy eating means for YOU.
Healthy eating is fluid.
There are no real restrictions, rules, or regulations to follow.
We have the luxury to decide what we consider healthy to us.
This starts by paying attention to your bodies’ needs and examining how it feels every single day.
Take note of how you feel when it comes to your body weight, energy, emotions, etc.
Ask questions like, “Will this way of eating get me the result I’m looking for – whether it’s how I feel, the weight I want to be, or just my overall long-term health?”.
Write it down. Keep a journal.
Practicing this is the key to understanding how your body adapts to certain foods.
By doing this, you CREATE your “normal”.
When you’re in line with what makes you feel good and how food can truly nourish you – then you’ve created your new normal when it comes to eating healthy.
To Wrap Things Up…
I hope this article gave you some insight as to what “normal eating” can mean to you.
While I didn’t intend for this to be an anti-society rant, I think how we view food culturally in general needs a lot of work.
Which ultimately starts with us!
If we can focus on what “normal eating” means to us individually, we can better educate others so they can make the same healthy decisions.
Which would be ah-mazing. 🙂
Founder, A Next Level You