Focusing on all the wrong things when it comes to food

How to ignore the noise and find a sustainable and healthy practice with food

Kaki Okumura

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Illustrations by Kaki Okumura

Our health is a tricky subject. It’s deeply personal, but often outwardly visible. It influences every aspect of our life — our work, our family, our social life, our interests, and our happiness. It’s natural to spend a lot of our time thinking about it.

When something is so integral to our quality of life, there is a human tendency to want to optimize it. We try to do this with a lot of things in our life– like our finances, our education, our time– as we often want to do the most with the least. What is not optimized is often packaged as wasteful: could you be living a better life?

While optimizing our health seems like a reasonable endeavor, this lens often leads to misguided priorities when it comes to food.

Things I no longer focus on when it comes to food

  • Counting calories
  • Counting macros
  • Eliminating certain types of food
  • Trying to time my eating to certain hours.
  • Eating lots of a certain kind of “superfood”
  • Eating too little​

When we focus on these things, we may be more optimized for weight loss/muscle building/body toning/etc., but we have to pause and think to ourselves: is this the better life?

A focus on the wrong things when it comes to healthy eating can often leave us feeling disconnected from food and the joy of eating mindfully. We become stressed by the presence of food, and often feel a loss of control over our bodies and consequently, our lives.

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Kaki Okumura

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱