If you are really interested in eating healthy, one thing you will need to work on is changing your relationship with food. That means you need to change the way you think about food.
How you view the food you eat greatly affects your food choices. When you start to have a healthier view of your food, you will make healthier eating decisions.
Eating healthy is not a punishment
One of the bad parts about being on a “diet” is that most of them restrict what you are allowed to eat. Instead of enjoying your meals, you begin to view meal time as a drudgery that you have to endure.
Meals are meant to be enjoyed. If you don’t enjoy your diet plan, you won’t stick with it.
Food is not a reward
Don’t treat your food as a reward for accomplishing something (especially if it’s something you’re supposed to be doing anyway).
Food is often treated as a reward for doing almost anything. You walked a couple of miles, so you’ve earned a bowl of ice cream. You worked on a project for 50 minutes, so now you can stop for a cookie break.
While there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a between-meal snack, at least make it a healthy choice. When you reward yourself with junk food you distort the real purpose of food.
Food is fuel
There is a saying that says “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”
While it’s perfectly alright to enjoy your food, the ultimate purpose of food is to provide fuel for your body. The better the fuel you use, the better your body will function.
Think about your car. You put gas in your car as fuel for the engine. What do you think would happen of you added a few tablespoons of sugar into every gallon of gas? How far do you think you will make it before the engine stops working?
Our bodies respond much the same way. You energy level, how well your brain functions, how well you sleep, and so much more, are all affected by the type of foods you put into your body.
Focus on enjoying what you can eat
It’s human nature to focus on the things that you don’t have. If you allow this tendency to go unchecked it can sabotage any healthy eating plan you try.
Most dietitians and nutritionists will agree that cutting white sugar from your diet is a healthy idea. However, if you allow yourself to focus on not being able to have sugar, you’ll begin to obsess over sweet indulgences. Eventually your will power will crack, and you’ll go running to high sugar junk food.
A better option would be to look at all of the sweet things that are on your meal plan. A piece of fresh fruit will provide sweetness, but it has more of the nutrients you need to be healthy.
Eat Real Food
More and more people are recognizing the benefits of eating whole foods. There are components in whole foods that allow your body to process and use the nutrients that are in that piece of food. When food is processed your body doesn’t get the same nutritional benefits.
There are also a lot of additives in processed foods, even those that market themselves as healthier choices. Author Michael Pollan in his book “Food Rules” has a great piece of advice. He says, “ Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”
There are many things in processed foods that the average person can’t even pronounce. It takes a chemist to even begin to understand what they actually are. Read the ingredient label. If you don’t know what is in the food your considering, put it back and grab something that contains real food.
Eating healthy meals is not that hard, but it does require you to change your relationship with food. Begin to look for ways you can enjoy providing your body with the proper nutrients. You really will enjoy the way you feel