14 Things You Can Do To Have A Healthier Relationship With Food

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14 Things You Can Do To Have A Healthier Relationship With Food

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Ever starve yourself or severely restrict your diet to lose unwanted pounds? Or are you an emotional eater? A binger? Often, we accept misleading beliefs about food, even make food our enemy – it’s what causes us to feel or look less than ideal in our own eyes. But have you ever examined those belief systems that haven’t served you in the past? Have you ever stopped the hamster wheel and gone within to understand how you see food and how you manage your own nutrition? Here are 14 behaviors people with a healthy relationship with food routinely do. Our Registered Dietician Nutritionist in St Louis offers 14 tips to help you maintain a healthier relationship with food.

1. Eat mindfully. Our bodies have their own built in cues that tell us when to eat and when to stop, but we don’t always listen. Are you putting off eating because the day is just too jammed packed and then binging later? Are you continuing to finish your meal because you don’t want to waste food, even though you feel comfortably full. Engage your senses and use them as a guide for eating-related decisions.

2. Everything in moderation… everything. “No foods are forbidden” and “foods are not intrinsically ‘good’ or ‘bad’,” says Dr. Edward Abramson, a clinical psychologist and author of Emotional Eating. Rather, it’s about your experience. A healthy pattern of eating that allows at times for perhaps less nutritional foods that you enjoy is a better way to go.

3. Timing must be right. So if you do crave those less nutritional but high calorie foods, satisfy the craving when you’re less hungry as opposed to on an empty stomach. Don’t approach those foods when you’re starving or you’ll eat more… way more.

4. Eat when you’re physically hungry. People with a healthier relationship to food will eat when they get hungry, and not in response to loneliness, sadness, stress or some other uncomfortable emotion. Dr. Abramson notes that when we attempt to use food to soothe an emotion, we distract ourselves from what that emotion is trying to teach us. We replace it with regret and food guilt. Gain awareness and ask yourself when you eat, “Am I even hungry right now?” If the answer is no, reconsider your choice.

5. Stop eating when comfortably full. Hunger and fullness change after every bite. Are you deaf to hunger or fullness until it’s screaming in your ear? Pay more attention… listen harder and let your body tell you when you’re full.

6. Eat breakfast. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast results in more energy, better memories, and lower cholesterol. In fact, breakfast eaters are typically leaner than those that skip.

7. Don’t keep low nutrition/high calorie foods in the house. According to Dr. Abramson, once you know your pattern of emotional eating, begin to redirect them. Don’t keep particularly tempting food in the house and insulate yourself from binging. Instead, go out for a single serving of ice cream, or get a cookie from a bakery as opposed to keeping those in your freezer or pantry.

8. Don’t sit with the whole bag… or gallon container. This point ties in with the one above. Single servings! Siting in front of the TV with a bag of chips or cookies, or a large container of ice cream is way too tempting for most of us to actually stop when we should. Don’t put yourself in those sorts of situations. While you’ll derive some pleasure from the buffet, the soon ensuing guilt and self-loathing aren’t worth it.

9. Snacks vs. Treats… Know the difference. Snacking is a healthy way to address hunger so you’re not ravenous at dinnertime. But snack choice is crucial and has purpose. A treat on the other hand is nothing but enjoyment. Nuts and fruit or cheese is a snack… chocolate is a treat.

10. Give yourself permission to enjoy eating. Are you worth the 10 minutes it would take to simply have a seat and actually enjoy and savor your meal? Do you routinely eat in the car or eat standing up because you just can’t find the time? Allow yourself time to sit and relax while you nourish your body and become more aware of what foods you’re consuming.

11. Tit for Tat eating is unhealthy. If you went overboard at lunch, don’t then starve yourself at dinner… or overdo it at the gym! You’ll end up in the pantry at 11pm binging away the starvation! Instead, just make the next meal lighter or healthier… maybe lots of veggies!

12. Eat to feel good, not to shift the scale. Ideally, you want to select foods that nourish you… that provide nutrients your body needs to operate at its best. Don’t become a prisoner to the approval of your scale. If you eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly, the pounds will come off with our without your scale’s approval.

13. Don’t be afraid to feel hungry. Whether or not you’re an emotional eater, hunger is the body’s way of telling you something. If you’re an emotional eater, ask yourself what’s the emotion driving this hunger and take the opportunity to learn more about your inner workings. Maybe next time, you won’t react the same way. If there’s no emotion behind the hunger, then eat with the knowledge that you’re being a healthy steward to your own temple, your body.

14. Food Worries Shouldn’t Interfere with Daily Life. Stay balanced. Obsessing over “nutritious eating” can also cause problems like disordered thoughts or behaviors. Remember, the key is balance and food is not “the” enemy.

To learn more about nutrition, diet, and weight loss, contact us here to speak with our Registered Dietician Nutritionist. From nutritional coaching to diet management, our professionals can help!

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, please call the National Eating Disorder Association at 1-800-931-2237.

Read 3726 times Last modified on Sunday, 05 April 2015 15:41

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