Running Around Normal Eating

I read an article this week on what normal eating is. I may be in the minority, but I highly disagreed with just about everything the article stated- Starting with the title, “What is Normal Eating?” There’s a “normal” eating? Honestly normal is way too subjective of an adjective when used in this topic (and most things, as you can probably tell by the title of my blog!)

The writer of the article, agrees that this is the so-called definition of normal eating:

“Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it—not just stop eating because you think you should.”

Ok, if I ate until I was satisfied, every time I stepped up to the table, I’d be packing on the pounds. My satisfied is not your satisfied.

“Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food.”

Give some thought? Can you elaborate? And what if I *gasp* enjoy this nutritious food? Then what am I missing out on?

“Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good.”

Ok, this one I don’t mind, because it says sometimes, however, what if someone is an emotional eater and tends to do this multiple times a day because they can’t help it? Yeah, probably isn’t the best decision to just “give yourself permission, then.” I also hate the word permission used in this sense.

“Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful.”

What if I feel like grazing all day long? Am I abnormal? The horrah!

“Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be undereating at times and wishing you had more.”

I actually strive not to be uncomfortable most times I sit down to eat believe it or not. Also, I’m pretty sure that when I under eat, I simply go back for more, not sit there in agony.

“Normal eating is trusting your body to make up for your mistakes in eating.”

I guess I don’t have trust in my body. I’m not going to starve myself one day just because I over ate the previous day. Also, I don’t like hearing them termed “mistakes.”

“Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life.”

WHAT?! So, all food bloggers are abnormal. Sorry, folks, Margarita Tartakovsky says so.

“In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.”

I actually agree with this one. It could because this one is so vague, though.

There’s more to the article, but this is pretty much the gist of it. I understand that she’s also trying to point out that one doesn’t need to be obsessed with eating perfectly, and following a rigid, self-restricting diet all of the time, but she could have gone about it by making better points.

What’s “normal eating” to you? Do you think there is such a thing as “normal eating?”

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8 Responses

  1. well the one point about how many meals does say that if you want to munch along the way (ie graze) it is okay. i like doing that too. i think there is no normal eating because everyone is unique. the only "normal" that everyone can strive for is to try and listen to their body but also have the knowledge to know what is okay and what isnt.
    -muffy

  2. oh I totally agree with you on 'mistakes'! Fluctuations might be a better term.

    To me normal eating is not stressing about a diet. You eat balanced meals – including some 'bad' foods. But my version of normal eating for me, could be very different than someone elses!

  3. def no such thing as normal! just normal to you and normal to me and normal to him and normal to her. but the norm can all be different! have a great weekend xoxo

  4. Haha, I totally agree with you. Where is this person even getting all that stuff anyways?

  5. I think normal eating depends on you and your body alone. I agree with you completely!

  6. I thought some of the same things when I read that article. I definitely agree, normal eating is different for everyone!

  7. I think the word "normal" in itself is flawed and that may be what's trippin' a lot of us up. I wrote my own review of this article a couple days ago here, if you're interested: http://www.feedmeimcranky.com/2009/08/26/what-is-normal-eating/

  8. Ellyn Satter is an author with MS, RD, LCSW and BCD after her name, but I would not buy any of her books after reading that article.

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