How to Have a Better Relationship with Food
What you put in your mouth plays a huge part in how your body looks and functions. If you eat junk food majority of the time, you’re going to feel lethargic, sick and unhealthy, and all the excess calories you are eating will be stored as fat. If you eat healthy foods majority of the time, you will be feeding your body the nutrients it needs, causing you to feel energized, happy and healthy; which will result in a body that you can be proud of.
It can be difficult knowing exactly what you should be doing with your diet to optimally meet your goals. Many aspects come in to play with nutrition, making things confusing and difficult leading you to feel uncertainty in just trusting the process. Creating a healthy relationship with food isn’t always easy, but the best thing you can do is go back to basics. Eating shouldn’t be a complicated chore or a hard thought out process for every meal, this thought pattern is unnecessary and makes your life stressful.
Instead, keep things more simple and try to limit the amount of processed foods you eat and mainly eat wholefoods, as these are full of the nutrients your body needs. There is such a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and wholegrain carbohydrates, so find the ones you enjoy eating and maybe even experiment with some fun recipes to help keep things exciting. Once you have been eating this way for a period of time, you will even find you start craving bad foods less.
This approach to eating should allow your life balance, which is an important key to staying consistent. It allows you to have a piece of cake at someone’s birthday, and allows you to go out to dinner with your friends occasionally. It allows you to eat your favorite foods in moderation, so that you can still live your life.
Once you find a healthy way of eating that you can sustain for the rest of your life you will find that you feel so much healthier, happier, and as a bonus fat loss will happen naturally over time without you forcing it.
Here are 12 ways on how to keep healthy eating easy and simple:
1. Simplify things.
Don’t stress about counting calories, measuring your food, or counting your macronutrients. If you have had trouble with healthy eating in the past, one of the best things you can do right now is just focus on picking wholefoods of different colours and variety. Pick fresh yummy foods you love and try a new recipe for something different and exciting.
2. Change your eating habits over time.
If your usual diet is full of processed foods containing saturated fats and sugars, rushing into your new healthy way of eating is probably not the best idea. You will be more likely cheat or quit since you will be finding the big change difficult. It is best to change one bad habit at a time, that way it is more achievable and once you have mastered one good habit it will be a permanent change and you can move onto the next.
3. Focus on how healthy food makes you feel.
When you eat bad food you feel sick, lethargic and guilty. When you eat healthy food you feel energised, happy and healthy. Wouldn’t you prefer to feel the latter each day?
4. Take the pressure off yourself.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating perfect. You are human and you are allowed a piece of cake every now and then! As long as your favourite unhealthy foods are eaten only every now and then and in moderation, there is no problem. Even if you end up eating something bad when you weren’t planning to, that’s fine, just get straight back on track.
5. Feel satisfied after eating, but not stuffed.
Just give your body the amount of food it needs. Listen to it, if you’re starting to feel full stop eating. Try going by the 80% rule, stop eating when you feel roughly 80% full.
6. Don’t ban certain foods from your diet.
Banning foods will only make you crave them more. When you cave to eating them you will just feel guilty and full of regret. Don’t put yourself in this position. You are allowed your favourite bad foods as long as you are having them infrequently and in moderation. Help stop the cravings by having a healthier version of your favourite food available.
7. Have a smaller portion when dining out.
Restaurants often serve meals with enough food on your plate for two people, especially with meals such as pasta. If you know the restaurant you’re heading to serves meals like these, counteract this by ordering one meal and sharing with a friend (just ask for a spare plate) or eating half the meal and asking for the rest to be put in a takeaway container. Another option could be to order an entree as your main and maybe even go halves in dessert with someone to help cut those extra calories.
8. Fill up on veggies, fruit and water.
If you are still hungry after you’ve just eaten, try having a big glass of water then waiting 5 minutes. Water can be a great appetite suppressant because it gives you that full feeling in your stomach. If you are honestly still hungry after having a meal and big drink, just grab some fresh fruit or veg to finish off the meal.
9. Don’t drink your calories.
Calories don’t just come from food; they also come from a lot of drinks that aren’t water. Some people forget this, drink five cokes in one day, and wonder why they are eating healthy but still putting on so much weight. Think about what you actually drink during the day and make sure you aren’t making this mistake.
10. Eat breakfast.
Skipping breakfast will have you starting the day with no energy and will increase your chances of binging at your first meal for the day. Prevent this by kick-starting your metabolism for the day with a decent sized healthy breakfast. Some perfect breakfast foods are porridge, fruit smoothies, and eggs on rye toast.
11. Prepare your meals in advance.
Do you ever find yourself out and about or at work with no healthy meals available when you get hungry? Or you get home at the end of the day and making a healthy meal just seems too hard because you’re so tired? When you find yourself in these situations, sometimes you are so hungry that junk food just seems that much more appealing. These times are detrimental in having healthy food prepared previously. Buy a bunch of plastic containers and prepare a salad to take to work for lunch or cook some vegetable soup in bulk, separate it into different containers, and freeze it for those nights you get home late and can’t be bothered cooking.
12. Don’t keep unhealthy food in the house.
If it’s not there – you can’t eat it. While you’re watching TV, that temptation to cook a pizza is gone, because it doesn’t exist!
Practice these steps and be gentle on yourself while your work on your habits. It won’t all change over night but if you aim for progress each day you can look back in 12 months and see how much better your eating habits are.