There’s a fine line between having a healthy relationship with food and taking things too far. I know this all too well because I have struggled with finding a balance between the two and being consistent. Recently, I chatted with the amazing ladies of Black Balance Podcast about 4 habits that helped me to form a healthy relationship with food (take a listen to the podcast here). It may seem overwhelming at first, but you may be surprised at how just a few changes can improve your relationship with food and how good you’ll feel once you’re able to do it.
Take a look at the 4 habits below to start forming a healthy relationship with food today.
Practice Mindful Eating
If we listen to our bodies, then they often give us cues as to when we should eat and when we’re full. People with healthy relationships with food pay close attention to those cues. As a result, they tend to feel better about their food choices and overall eating habits. Most of us get these warnings and cues from our body, but the problem is that we don’t give them enough attention.
Paying attention to these signals is called ‘mindful eating’. Try being more in tune with what your body might be trying to tell you. Eat when you are hungry and as you’re enjoying your food, don’t stop paying attention to those cues. As you start listening to what your body has to say, you’ll likely be able to eat less and make better food choices overall.
Don’t Deprive Yourself
We live in a world where fad diets grab the attention of a lot of people. Unfortunately, these diets often include cutting out certain foods or an entire food group. While that may work for awhile, and can help you shed a few pounds, it’s not a realistic long-term plan. When you want to focus on a healthy relationship with food, it should include all foods. Yes, even most healthy eaters won’t deprive themselves of their favorite indulgences now and then.
A good rule of thumb is to enjoy everything in moderation. Eating gives you an opportunity to nourish your body, and nurture your mindset. If you deprive yourself of the things you love, it can have a negative effect to your approach on healthy eating and you may end up self-sabotaging if you feel as though something is completely ‘off limits’. Eat with complete nourishment in mind and you’ll be less likely to overindulge, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the foods you love.
Make Sure You’re Physically Hungry
One of the biggest problems many people face with food traces back to emotional eating. How many times have you grabbed a snack because you were bored, sad, or angry? Eating should not be tied to emotions of any kind. Instead, a healthy food relationship should be dependent upon what your body has to say. Make sure you are physically hungry before you eat, and it’s not just your mind playing tricks on you.
Know Your Healthy Portion Sizes
Most people who have a healthy relationship with food don’t sit down on the couch with a family-sized bag of potato chips. They, also, don’t stick a spoon in a gallon of ice cream and eat nonstop. Instead, they serve themselves portions. This isn’t deprivation because you are still enjoying the things you love just in the way they were meant to be served. If you find that you can’t stop eating your favorite snacks, purchase them in smaller portions. Try buying single-serving bags of chips or go out for an ice cream cone instead of buying a big container for your freezer.
Small changes like this can make a big difference in how you see portions. You’re likely to find that after you’ve finished a single portion, you’re satisfied and you won’t feel the guilt that you might have had after indulging in that family-sized snack bag!
There are dozens of tips you can utilize to form a better, healthier relationship with food and make a change that fits your lifestyle. It all starts by listening to what our bodies are telling us about what we’re putting in on a daily basis.
By being more mindful overall, and making the choice to see food as nourishment, we can all walk that fine line of a healthy food relationship with ease and feel great about the choices we make in our daily diets.
I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on podcast I did with Black Balance Podcast (check it out here)? What tips have helped you form a healthy relationship with food?