I always love getting new clients and not just for the obvious reasons. As part of the consultation process I ask that they fill in a food diary for a week with every single thing that's passed their lips written down in black and white. Quite a daunting, scary exercise to some! And very revealing to me!
It's human nature to push aside things that we don't want to focus on for whatever reason. It's easy to 'forget' the couple of biscuits with morning coffee, or the extra slice of white toast at breakfast, and very easy to lose track of the number of glasses of wine by the end of the night out! This tends to be most people's downfall where diet is concerned.
Most of this additional,forgotten food is laden with sugar, caffeine, or refined carbohydrates (same thing to your body). The following fictitious food diary, may ring some bells with you. Are you in denial where sugar/carbs/stimulants are concerned? Are they keeping you going? Are they giving you quick bursts of energy for you then to 'slump' and need another?
Ok here goes - is this the average British persons daily diet? :
6.45am - alarm goes off, you feel groggy, got to have that strong coffee with milk and sugar, maybe two cups!
8am - need to leave for work,quick breakfast; bowl of sugared cereal with milk, and a slice of white toast with butter and jam.
9am -arrive at work and grab another coffee before you start
10am- someone's birthday today and they've brought cake in, how kind! How can you refuse!
11am - client meeting, more coffee,and a plate of biscuits; don't mind if I do!
12.30 - lunchtime, no time for anything substantial, so you pop to the nearest sandwich shop and grab a ham and cheese in white, a packet of crisps and a Flapjack. That should keep you going, right?
3pm - bit jaded, need something to give you a lift? How about a can of coke and a snickers bar from the vending machine?
6pm - phew that's the working day over. Few colleagues going for a quick drink, that would be nice and sociable. Couple of glasses of wine ok.
7.45pm - bit late to start making dinner from scratch now, maybe pick up a pizza or a ready pasta meal on the way home.
10pm - totally wiped up but you still feel hungry. What's in the fridge? Cheese and crackers? Sugar laden yoghurt? Or maybe it's the biscuit tin that's calling you. Washed down with another coke.
I really hope that this doesn't sound familiar to you, but I do know that this is how lots of people exist on a daily basis. This kind of eating, long term is dangerous; it throws your blood sugar totally out of kilter, spiking it and then plunging it into the depths and then spiking it again. You become reliant on stimulants to keep you going. All the time this is stressing your organs. Eventually, and this may take years, there will be signs of dis-ease. Disease is a result of continued poor choices, not something that happens over night. Your body is very resilient, it will always attempt to right itself, but given enough CRAP (caffeine, refined, alcohol and processed foods) it will eventually be overwhelmed.
Do the challenge and see how you fair. For one day take out all stimulants, all sugars, all refined carbs and eat pure and simple real food. If you start to get cravings, headaches, feel lethargic, anxious, sleepy, bad tempered, and really not yourself , you're probably relying too much on artificial 'pep you ups' to keep you going.