Primary Foods vs. Secondary Foods - Know the Difference

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

When we say "I need to work on my health", we almost all mean our diet and exercise, and while these are of course fundamental aspects of our health, they don't take into account a whole host of other things that are likely going on in our lives at the time and possibly even in our childhood! Enter the concept of Primary vs. Secondary Foods!


Most people would assume that what we eat and how we stay active comprise our "Primary Foods", however studies show that other aspects of our lives are possibly stronger indicators of our overall health such as stressors in relationships, career, finances, spirituality and so on. A lot of these factors actually have a massive impact on how we have learned to eat and move through the world and without ensuring that these are in order, it's all the more difficult to manage our control over "Secondary Foods" - the food we consume and our levels of physical activity


Therefore, Primary Foods include things like:

- Meaningful, loving relationships

- Self care

- Play / Joyful activities

- Purposeful, fulfilling work

- Spiritual connection (however you define this)

- Stable finances


While Secondary Foods include:

- A healthy sustainable balanced diet

- Regular movement / Physical Activity


It is important to work towards a positive balance of both Primary and Secondary Foods as both categories have a strong influence on each other. For example there could be a childhood trauma associated with food such as deprivation of a certain food group or type that affects how you interact with that food today. Without uncovering the root of your relationship with certain foods or perhaps with physical activity, you will likely always struggle to find balance between overindulging or over-restricting when consuming them.


What is your relationship with food and fitness, and can you link this to any deficiencies in your Primary Foods? Share your experience in the comments below!



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