5 ways to develop a healthy relationship with food
If you struggle with weight and your body then you likely have a poor relationship with food. In order to develop a healthy relationship with food you need to learn how to change your mindset about food. Its easier said than done, Take it from a recovered dieter. In this post im going to share with you the top 5 ways I recovered my realationship with food and developed a healthy relationship with food and my body.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be as these are solely based on my experiences. Please consult your family doctor before considering any recommendations listed in this post. Thanks!
Table of contents
How did we develop an unhealthy realationship with food?
I got 2 words for you – diet culture. Thats how I got to an unhealthy relationship with food and how most of us do as well. Seeing our mothers, aunts, and friends “diet” to get “skinny” is a recipe for disaster.
It creates a divide between food and our bodies where we develop this idea that food is the enemy. Or eating one meal out will ruin all our progress. News flash: it wont. The diet industry is a billion dollar industry that makes money because DIETS DONT WORK so you try different ones hoping the outcome will be different. Its never different.
weight loss and getting fit should come out of a place of love and abundance. A way to take care of yourself, not deprive yourself of the things you love. You may just end up in a binge/restrict cycle if you cut out foods or food groups…
make peace with food and your body
What did food ever do to you anyways? you may be screaming “it made me fat” at your phone or computer screen right now and to that I say…NAY NAY! Overeating may have caused some excess fat gain but we are only as healthy as our mind allows us to be. Emotional eating is such a common habit for people (especially those with anxiety and depression).
If you did overeat yesterday, or binge, or go out to dinner and had one too many slices of cake. Its ok. Forgive yourself, this one day will not ruin you and all food is fuel for your body. Some foods serve our bodies and some foods feed our souls. Its ok to have both and the quicker you realize that, the quicker your guilt will go away after eating a large meal.
Remember: food does not have morals! its just food.
Change your internal dialog
You know that voice inside your head giving you all the reasons to not eat something…you need to break up with that voice, or at least silence it from time to time.
I am all for dicipline and I believe that is such an important skill to practice in day to day life BUT. Yes, theres a but. You cannot deprive yourself of everything all the time. You will build resentment.
Part of the process of how to change your mindset towards food is changing your internal dialog.
do you say things like:
“UGH, Im so fat I shouldnt eat today”
“I was so bad today I need to run an extra mile to make up for it”
“A slice of cake? oh no, im on a diet”
“Im intermittent fasting”read this article if you want to know more about what I think about fasting!
Instead of being so religious with it, losen the reigns up a bit because life is going to happen and youre going to have to addapt to situations. You may go on vacation and not be able to prep food. You may go to dinner and not know the calorie content of the food you eat. THAT IS OK.
Respect your hunger and fullness levels
Another key factor in developing a healthy relationship with food is respecting your hunger and fullness levels. Do you find yourself drinking coffee or chewing gum to fend off hunger? or maybe you forget to eat then find yourself starving and out of control with food later in the day.
When you are hungry, eat something that sounds good and tastes good to you but will also make you feel good. Whole nutrient dense foods give you stable energy levels throughout the day and help us feel energized!
On the flip side. Respect your fullness. If you are out to dinner and the portions is too big for you to handle, dont feel the need to finish it. Get a to-go box and have the left overs another time:) Its about abundance and allowing food, not making yourself feel deprived and that food is scarce.
follow an 80/20 rule
80% of your diet should come from whole nutrient dense foods that fuel your body. 20% of your diet should come from “fun foods” so you dont feel deprived.
Everyone’s idea of healthy foods is different, but here is what I would suggest to make up the majority of your diet:
- grass fed meat
- seafood (salmon, halibut, prawns)
- Eggs and Egg whites
- greek yogurt
- cottage cheese
more on Protein in this article – If you are vegan or vegetarian I suggest your read this!
- brown rice
- whole wheat bread
- olive oil
- natural peanut butter/nut butter
- grass fed butter
- coconut oil
And of course, plenty of fruits and veggies!
Fun foods are foods like: cookies, cakes, deep fried things, ice cream, and fast food. “sometimes foods” I like to call them.
a great tool to monitor your food intake is a food log (you can get one that doesnt include calories if that is triggering for you). Use it as a data point to see where you can improve and where you may be lacking in terms of nutrients, protein, fibre, or total calories.
a healthy relationship with food takes time
Rome was not built in a day and neither will builting a healthy relationship with food. Its going to take time, its going to take grace, and its going to take a support system. So, if you take anything away from this article today – be it this- Be kind to yourself<3
Wrapping it up
implementing these mindset shifts to improve your relationship with food will be life changing. You will never have to embark on a fad diet again because health is already a part of your life. Plus, if your body has some extra weight to shed, it will do so naturally when you change your mindset towards food:)
until next time xx