Whether you’re an emotional eater or just feel out of control with food, you are not alone in having an unbalanced relationship with food. This relationship could have developed from childhood experiences or from recent events, but the end result is the same – letting food control you and using it to find comfort instead of fuel and nutrients. While there is always room to enjoy our food and indulge in what we love, it is important to start building a better relationship with food in order to improve our health. I wanted to start with some small things you can consider:
Focus on Healthy Food You Like I don’t care what they say about kale – it’s not getting on my plate! I don’t like the texture, the taste or even the look of it so why would I force myself to eat it? Yes, it’s filled with nutrients and great things, but it tastes like dirt to me and it’s just not going to happen. Instead, I focus on filling my plate with vegetables I actually like that provide just as many nutrients. Find the ones you like and roll with them, don’t force what you don’t like just because it’s healthy. (This also goes for string beans, broccoli and most seafood for me – yuck!).
Remove “Good” and “Bad” Labels This mindset tends to put in you a restrictive eating style where you forbid a lot of your favourite foods. But it’s been proven that the more we deprive ourselves of something we want, the more likely you are to give in to that item and overindulge which then can lead to a cycle. It’s time to shift this mindset. Healthier eating does not mean restricting yourself, it’s means teaching yourself how to portion food and how to treat yourself.
Forget About Dieting Unless you are under doctor’s orders or using a specific diet under guidance of a professional, there is no use for a “diet”. There is yet to be one created that people can sustain and most include hefty price tags and heavy restrictions. For long term success, you will want to focus on lifestyle changes – and small ones at that. You’ve spent years eating poorly and developing your habits, give yourself some patience and time to create new ones.
Your relationship with food is an important one and if it's not a good one right now, start working on making it better!