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  • Writer's pictureAlexa

Food is more than just calories

It's the time of year where running and sport social media still seems awash with meme or tables showing you how far you have to run to "burn off" the calories from a mince pie, Christmas dinner etc. It annoys me every year...!

Why do I get annoyed with this?

First and foremost food is so much more than the calories; it's not hard to realised that different foods of the same amount of calories can have very different nutrient values. Foods that have a balance of carohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals are far higher in value for our bodies and our training.

Secondly, food isn't just about it's energy and nutrients. Food is the way, across every country and culture, that we connect with others, celebrate, get together and socialise. This connection and social contact is hugely valuable to our societies and us as individuals.

Finally, this way of thinking about food only in terms of it's calories can be dangerous for those with eating disorders or disordered eating (something that isn't a diagnosed eating disorder but that can still negatively impact our health. With disordered eating more likely in those individuals who do more sport we really do need to be careful about the messaging used, especially only, around food and calories.

I've attached this picture from The Dumb Runner ( ) as whilst it was written for Thankgiving in the USA this very much applies to Christmas and really echo's my thinking...!

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