#nzgirlhacks: 5 Common Food Traps For Your Health, From Dr Libby

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Spring cleaning your house and life? Why not spring clean your health with Dr Libby as well!

Australasia’s leading nutritional biochemist Dr Libby tells us what the top 5 things people do that damage their attempts to be healthy.

Plus, win tickets to see Dr Libby in real life and a copy of her best-selling book What Am I Supposed To Eat?Just comment below which food trap you fall into the most!

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Five common food traps that lead us away from good health

1. Inhaling your food

So many people inhale their food these days, whether they’re eating on the run, in a rush to get back to their to-do list, or simply distracted (ever eaten an entire packet of crisps in front of the TV without even noticing?). We need to slow down and chew our food properly – there are no teeth beyond the mouth! Aside from breaking down our food, chewing sends a signal to the stomach that food is on its way, allowing it to prepare for optimal digestion.

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2. Thinking you can burn off poor food choices

No amount of exercise can burn off the effects of a poor-quality way of eating.

I have met thousands of people who exercise frequently (and with intensity), especially after making poor food choices with the intention of ‘burning off’ the calories they consumed the day before. But the calorie equation (calories in versus calories burned) doesn’t take into account the biochemical and hormonal effects of our food choices. There is nothing in the world that can replace a highly nutritious way of eating.

3. Drinking water with meals

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For the most effective digestion, we need the pH of our stomach acid to sit at around 2. Water has a pH of 7 (neutral) or greater so drinking water with your meal has the potential to dilute the stomach acid. If the stomach isn’t acidic enough, you may not be able to extract all of the nutrients from your food optimally and you may also experience digestive symptoms such as bloating. Drink water between meals rather than with your meals.

4. Listening to external sources rather than your own body

With so many nutrition experts sharing information and the rise of social media ‘influencers’, we are exposed to so many (often conflicting!) messages about what to eat and what not to eat. Experts play a role – of course. Yet, when you look for answers externally and take someone else’s well-meaning, but possibly inaccurate nutrition advice as gospel, you are essentially disregarding your own inner wisdom. I have seen this time and time again with people continuing to eat foods they have been told are “healthy”, despite their body sending them clear signals that these foods aren’t right for them. I’m not for a second denying that many people would benefit from nutrition education and guidance, but at the end of the day, know that your body is your best barometer when it comes to what best nourishes you.

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5. Using unhelpful food language

Food isn’t ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘healthy’, ‘unhealthy’ or ‘clean’. It is nutritious – or not. Humans are healthy, or they aren’t. And the more nutritious food we eat, the healthier we will be. When we talk about food in terms of nourishment, we look at what we’re getting from our food and how it’s feeding our cells. It’s an entirely different conversation and helps to establish a great relationship with food.

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Dr Libby just released her new book, What Am I Supposed to Eat? and is will be bringing her live event Food Frustration to 17 centres around New Zealand.

Comment below which food trap you fall into the most and you might be one of 3 winners of a copy of What Am I Supposed to Eat? and a double passes to see Dr Libby LIVE!

Winners will drawn September 16th so tell your friends!

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Lidya loves stories, which is why she's such an avid reader! Chances are you'll see her reading, knitting, watching videos or eating, pretty sure she doesn't do anything else. Flick her an email at lidya@nzgirl.co.nz.