Diet: Are meal replacements the right choice?

    Diet: Are meal replacements the right choice?

    The quality of the foods we eat, weight control, the need to feel adequate and normal, the desire to make the best choices for one's health have found, at least apparently, an easy solution: to feed on meal replacements, bars, pills and sachets which seem to offer a winning strategy combined with many certainties.

    Actually this way of feeding reveals many insecurities. Let's see which ones.


    There are people who consider it essential avoid as much as possible "contamination" of any kind and they decide to feed on pills and sachets because obsessed with fear of the dirty, the bad, the rotten. A fear that often has deep roots in personal history, and which can also manifest itself in the search for “sterilized” foods.

    These individuals often they need to check, not to leave freedom to emotions and relationships. And they consider the idea of ​​being able to eat only "safe" foods as a way to defend themselves from the invasion of what they cannot dominate and thus guaranteeing a long life without dangers. For this reason, they take refuge in an aseptic dimension, in which the food element becomes a simple nutritional value, divided into calories and components, which it guarantees an apparently balanced diet but which, on the contrary, impoverishes the immune defenses and exposes to dangerous food imbalances.

    If you recognize yourself in this category, it is important to do, or rather review, one evaluation of the shopping cart. Safe foods? Surely. But this it does not mean only pre-packaged sachets. All-round hygiene? Sure, but this can also be achieved washing or cooking food adequately.


    By eating freeze-dried, prepackaged, presumably source-controlled and delivered in sealed bags, there are those who think that there is no risk of contamination by mold or bacteria of various kinds. And he convinces himself that this is a great way to safeguard their health and also ensure a balanced and correct diet according to different needs.

    In reality, with an "artificial" diet we do not help our body to work well. We know, in fact, that one of the ways to lend a hand to the immune defense system is precisely to expose ourselves judiciously even to the presence of certain types of bacteria not overly virulent or dangerous.

    In fact, if we are healthy, doctors and numerous scientific studies on the subject say, we should be able to survive the fact that others also touched the food because the more we expose ourselves to this "risk" the more our body trains itself to defend itself.


    Behind the choice of a "packaged" diet there is the whole category of who is perpetually on a diet without ever being able to truly lose weight. People who, after having searched in a thousand possible ways for the solution to lose weight (a solution which, as I always say, is above all one choice of motivation and behavior, and not food restriction) rely on the sachet in an attempt to eliminate the food factor. They hope to forget and cancel the existence of perfumes and aromas, thinking that this is the best way to lose the much hated extra pounds. Using some kind of non-surgical equivalent of gastric resection, or the balloon for weight loss.

    Here then is the temptation of an aseptic strategy presents itself as a possible hope: we get rid of the hated-loved food, a medicalized scheme is followed, made of freeze-dried foods, prepackaged sachets, herbal teas and pills. In short, you are immersed in one sort of food shelter at home. A choice that, however, does not affect dangerous habits and emotions at all. It only serves to attempt to eliminate desires and pleasures.

    Actually the question of being able to lose weight it is not that easily resolved. The desire for food, the desire to eat are based on different motivations. The basic ones: eat and stay healthy. However, in the modern Western world, no one goes hungry to the point of dying if they don't eat right away. To stay healthy qualified doctors and dieticians provide us correct indications on the use of different foods also as a health remedy.

    The secondary reasons: feel pleasure and boost your life. Pleasure is a founding element of existence. So taking it off, just like restrictive diets do, doesn't last long. Why the vital drive tends to always take over, at least in healthy people. Literally sending leftover pills and sachets to the trash, for regain the right sense of eating.


    Then there are the substitute motivations: if you use food as filler of psychological needs, which must be satiated, when the desire to put something in the mouth arises, in theillusion of not gaining weight we throw ourselves on bars & Co.

    Often overweight people suffer from this very problem: they use food to deal with emotions, negative or even positive, failing any attempt to diet. Because if things go wrong, the need to eat is triggered. And if things go well, you have lost a few pounds and you feel better, take the one to put something in your mouth. Not to mention that, too often, diets don't work because they don't educate people to eat. But they just remove this or that food creating a regime of deprivation which adds further problems to those who are already feeling miserable.

    If you feel that food is consolation for you, represents a moment of relief, however limited and temporary, in your daily life, the solution is not to resort to sachets or pills, but it would be important understand what is really wrong, and learn, or relearn, to eat only at meals, in the right quantity. Because everything that is touched is "out of a meal" at the service of emotions, and not of the body.


    The decision to feed on envelopes & co. it can also be dictated by the conviction of making an ecological choice, perhaps in the wake of some public figure who has adopted this lifestyle. Wrong, however.

    In fact, modern food science tells us it's important eat varied, fresh, respecting the rhythms of nature and our territory (i.e. seasonal and local products). While feeding on packaged "non-food" foods, they have suffered industrial treatment and packaging processes it seems to be the least ecological, and therefore beneficial, imaginable.

    In this case, it is important to work on the ability to feel responsible for their choices, and about taking back moments of your day trying to take care of yourself. In fact, we know that the basis of a correct diet are precisely time and awareness. The awareness of being the main, if not the only, protagonists of one's life. And the time to choose the products, prepare the dishes, eat them and then allow yourself the opportunity to digest and assimilate them.

    This is also one of the best ways to stay fit: a food savored consciously, it fills much more than anything quickly swallowed.

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