It seems in our diet heavy world, people lose sight of how important a healthy relationship with food can be. They only focus on low-carb or gluten free and losing weight. But eating healthy is more than just losing weight. It is the way your view the food you are putting into your body and the food choices you make. While it can seem hard to look past the diets and the food fads that bombard our everyday lives, these steps will bring you closer and closer to fostering a healthy relationship with food.
1. Don’t Create Groups
If you classify foods into good groups and bad groups, it will be a lot harder to create a healthy relationship with food. When you group foods into bad and good groups, you will feel guilty when you don’t abide by only eating “good” foods. If you do end up eating a “bad” food, you will feel horrible about yourself and try to punish yourself to compensate. Rather than classifying foods into groups, try to labels some foods as “foods to eat more often” and others as “foods to eat on special occasions.” That way you will still eat healthy and not feel guilty for enjoying a slice of cake at a birthday party.
2. Eat Three Meals a Day
All too often, people will skip a meal, thinking it will help them lose weight. Skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do for your body. It slows down your metabolism in an effort to not burn off your body fat too fast. And it leaves you starving for the next meal. People who skip meals tend to actually gain weight because they eventually binge eat resulting in a high intake of food with a slowed down metabolism. Try to eat three regular meals a day with small healthy snacks in between each meal to curb cravings.
3. Follow the Food Pyramid
This pyramid has been endorsed for years for a good reason. While you don’t have to follow it to a tee every day, it is still a pretty good guideline for how to eat properly. Some people cut out entire portions of the food pyramid in an effort to lose weight. Rather than limit your options, enjoy all parts of the food pyramid in the appropriate portions. Carbs, fruits, veggies, and proteins should all be an essential part of your daily diet. Sugars and fats can be sprinkled in throughout the day within reason.
4. Enjoy Your Food
When was the last time you actually enjoyed a meal without think about how many calories were in it? A great way to create a healthy relationship with food is to take the time to actually taste the food. What does it smell like? What does it look like? Spend more time chewing your food and less time worrying about if it fits into your diet. You will not only be fuller quicker when you enjoy your food, you will have a greater appreciation for how incredible some foods can be.
5. Be Flexible
Some diets can be so rigid you have every meal planned down to the hour. But what if you get a sudden craving or don’t want the meal that is planned for you? You are stuck. Be flexible with your eating if you want to foster a healthy relationship with food. If you are craving a burger, eat a burger without the guilt. Try to eat healthy 90% of the time, and give into your cravings the other 10%. By being flexible with your food, you can listen to what you body needs and eating won’t be so much of a chore.
When you eat a food that might not be the healthiest, the worst thing you can do is go spiriling off of healthy eating and either binge eat, or try to overcompensate by burning off the food. Instead of stuffing your face with more junk food, or spending hours at the gym in a frantic effort to burn calories, just forgive yourself and move on.Drink some water, get some sleep, and get back on track with your healthy eating the next day.
7. Learn More about Food
We think we know what foods are best for us. We follow the recent trends in dieting and add strange food and cut out certain food groups. But how much do we actually know about the food we are putting in our bodies? I have heard tons of things about high fructose corn syrup. Is it bad, is it okay, what exactly is it? With these kinds of things, do your research to find out the facts? You may be surprised at what you find. Some of your health kicks might be terrible for you, and some of your junk food might not be that bad.
8. Don’t Call It a Diet
When you are changing your eating habits, cleaning out your pantry, and shopping for healthier options, don’t consider it a diet. A diet implies that you will be losing weight and a return to your previous eating habits. We don’t want that. Instead, consider the changes you are making as a revamping of your lifestyle. You are not only going to eat healthier, you are going to live healthier. When you view in that manner, it will be easier to make permanent changes and foster a long lasting healthy relationship with food.
9. Why Are You Making These Changes?
When you are creating a healthy relationship with food, think about why this relationship is important. Are you trying to lose weight? Are you trying to eat healthier? Are you detoxing your body? When you put reasoning behind your lifestyle changes, it will help motivate you to create a great relationship with food. Your body is a temple and you should be aware of what you are putting in it. It will be the best thing you can do when fostering a healthy relationship with food.
Food isn’t just something to enjoy, or something to feel guilty about. Food is the way we power our bodies. Our health and happiness all come back to the food choices we make. By fostering a healthy relationship with food, you will bring everything full circle. What did you think of these steps to foster a healthy relationship with food? What are some other ways to build a strong and healthy relationship with food? Why is it so important for you to view food in a positive manner and not in terms of counting calories?