7 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Food – Part 1
Have you ever had friends who only called you when they needed something, like when they had a problem, or wanted someone to party with, or wanted to borrow your hair dryer? It’s like they take you for granted and it can make you feel like you’re being used.
If food had feelings, it would feel the same way. We often mindlessly eat food to make us feel better after a bad day, or we ‘chow down’ at parties, or we can think of little else but heading to the ‘all-you-can-eat’ on the weekend. And, through it all, we might never think about what we’re eating.
(Just in case you think there’s no way that food can have feelings, after Britain’s Prince Charles famously revealed that he enjoyed “the odd banter” with his vegetables, British scientists found that in addition to responding to sounds, plants actually talk to each other!)
The analogy of the ‘relationship’ we have with food is to help us start to consider food as we might consider a friend, to think about how we interact with it and try to improve that interaction, instead of mindlessly consuming it and making it the villain that makes us put on weight.
When you start to think of food as something that can give you energy, stop you from having so many colds, and, ultimately, keep you alive, you can start to appreciate what healthy eating habits, and a healthy relationship with food can do for you.
How to Improve Your Food Relationship
The following are some of the habits of people who have a healthy relationship with food.
1. Mindful Eating
One of the things that frustrates anyone trying to lose weight is, after the initial weight loss, they wonder why the pounds don’t keep falling off, even though they’re eating so little. But they don’t realize that, instead of just having a couple scoops, they went through an entire tub of ice cream last night during the finale of ‘The Bachelor’.
It’s important to pay attention to when you feel hungry and when you’ve eaten enough. Eating mindfully means engaging all your senses, like enjoying the aromas as you cook, and the texture and flavours of each mouthful. If you’re more aware of food and eating, you can start to have a deeper appreciation of it and transform to a healthier, more rewarding diet.
2. Everything in Moderation – Including Moderation
Again, one of the reasons for trying to adjust your approach to food is to stop thinking of it as the enemy. No food, not even chocolate cake, is the problem. But how much of that chocolate cake you eat can be a huge problem, both for your weight and your health.
Moderation is the healthy eating habit that ‘keeps on giving’. If you eat lots of sweet and salty snacks, and you start using a little moderation to improve your health, you might still be hungry when you close the package. And you might eat some almonds to fill the gap. The almonds will make you feel fuller, faster, and you’ll eat less. They are also full of healthy nutrition, including lots of protein. And next time, maybe you’ll go for the almonds first or at least sooner.
The “moderation even in moderation” thing doesn’t mean you lose your moderation and go crazy on your cheat day. That wouldn’t be in moderation. It means that you can eat just about anything you want, any time, cheat day or not, as long as you don’t eat so much that you harm your health and/or weight loss program.
We’re just getting started. In Part 2 of ‘7 Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Food’ we’ll look at when you eat, what you eat and how fast you eat to find more opportunities for a healthier relationship with food.
In the mean time, if you want to start having a better relationship right now, call or visit your local Herbal One Centre and speak to a nutrition consultant.