Kia Ākina

Working towards lifelong recovery from obesity

What Foods Should I Eat?

It is known that weight loss can occur through greater activity levels alone, but for the majority of successful weight losers a combination of increased activity and consuming less food is required. Eating a little less is therefore a primary weight-loss strategy. But “eating less of what?” is a vital question.

Some weight-loss philosophies do not particularly differentiate one food from another in terms of advice on what to eat. Others are very prescriptive and certain foods are viewed as forbidden. Kia Ākina aims to strike a balance between these two philosophies.

A list of so-called NEEDNT Foods has been developed as a guide. NEEDNT stands for “Non-essential, energy-dense, nutritionally-deficient” (see following list). The foods on this list are virtually all of the cleverly engineered processed food of the food industry with just the right amount of sugar, fat and/or salt, to make the food “moreish” and therefore an excellent product to market to an unsuspecting population of people who have a strong natural enjoyment of eating, many of whom also derive considerable emotional comfort from food. Most importantly though, all of these foods are known to be nutritionally deficient, and are not necessary to our survival or to having a nutritionally balanced diet.

These “moreish” NEEDNT foods, “treats”, have been shown to have the capacity of developing and driving compulsive eating so that people begin to lose control when they even start thinking about a particular favourite NEEDNT food. Maybe this is something you have experienced.

On beginning to consume these foods have you found yourself ending up eating more than you intended to? Over time consuming these foods (and drinks) can become an “everyday” occurrence rather than remain “special occasion only” foods. People can become ensnared by this pattern of eating significant quantities of their favourite NEEDNT food everyday. Compulsive eating patterns are not just restricted to NEEDNT foods but NEEDNT foods certainly are some of the more common foods associated with compulsive overeating.

Kia Ākina encourages you to experiment with establishing guidelines around the consumption of these various NEEDNT foods – by developing new “food rules” around these foods. For some, this may mean complete abstinence from the majority of the foods on the NEEDNT food list long-term. For others it may mean short periods of abstinence from just a few of the foods which are particularly problematic. Abstinence from certain problem foods that are not NEEDNT foods may also be a useful tactic for some people, either on a short-term or long-term basis.

To help you work out which of the NEEDNT foods cause you the most problems check out the Difficulty of Abstinence from NEEDNT Foods Questionnaire.