How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food
What Is a Healthy Relationship with Food?
Humans are very different from most other animals because we don’t just eat because we’re hungry. We eat to celebrate, we eat to commemorate, we eat to bond, we eat because we enjoy it, the list goes on.
This means our relationships with food happen on a very deep level. Sometimes this is even on a subconscious level where we don’t realize it’s happening. Naturally, this can make it difficult to manage your relationship with food.
It’s not uncommon for people to feel negative emotions such as shame, worry, and guilt as part of their relationship with food, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
A healthy relationship with food is possible and with work, you can develop these healthy habits:
Accepting that food is not black and white - there’s no definitive good vs bad
- Following your natural hunger cues
- Mindful eating
- Breaking free from punishing restrictions
- Enjoying the process of cooking as well as eating
- Having to rationalize all your food choices
How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food: 4 Steps
One of the great things about relationships is that they can be turned around. When you focus on the right things, harmful relationships can be transformed into highly beneficial ones.
Move Away from Good vs Bad Labels
What happens when you tell a child they can’t have something?
It just makes them want it even more - you’ve put it on a pedestal. To put it in relationship terms, it’s like in the movies when the parents forbid two teenagers from seeing each other.
It’s the same thing when you label foods as “bad” and off-limits - it just gives them more power.
Foods aren’t inherently good or bad, it’s not that black and white. Instead, it’s more about moderation and balance, and this should mean you’re allowed to eat the foods you want as part of a balanced diet.
Break Free from Punishing Restrictions
Counting calories and limiting your food choices doesn’t represent a healthy relationship with food. Instead, it creates doubt, worry, and guilt.
A positive relationship with food should remove restrictions and stop you from constantly having to rationalize your decisions.
Wellory wants to put you in a relationship with food, and that relationship should be a happy and healthy one. You’re not counting your calories and punishing yourself for eating “bad” foods, instead, you’re learning to enjoy food with the help of your own nutritionist.
Follow Your Natural Hunger Cues
Your body knows what it needs. It tells you when it’s hungry and it tells you when you’re full.
Often in the modern world, we lose touch with the natural connection we have with our body. This contributes to our unhealthy associations with food and is why it’s helpful to begin to see food as a relationship and learn to savor it.
Make meals a pleasant event, put away your phone, and just enjoy the taste of food on your tongue. It’s a way to connect with your body, and when you’re listening to the feedback it’s giving you, you’re more likely to notice the signals that it’s full, or that it’s time to eat.
Enjoy the Process
Modern lives demand convenience and too often this seeps into our food choices. Many people are drawn towards fast food or ready-made food that you stick in the microwave. When this happens, you miss out on the process.
Preparing your own meals is something you can get great satisfaction from, and it allows you to really understand what you’re putting in your body. This allows you to explore different meals and find new favorites (like these spicy buffalo cauliflower bites).
When you enjoy the process of cooking, it helps you to establish a healthy relationship with food, rather than just grabbing something from the freezer for an immediate fix.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just eat healthier, it’s difficult to do so unless you have a healthy relationship with food. One reason people find diets so difficult to follow is because they often encourage an unhealthy relationship with foods.
Wellory wants you to rediscover your relationship with food, helping you to achieve your goals by forming healthy habits. We will give you all the help you need to enjoy food again, and do so in a healthy way.
We’ve got a personal nutritionist waiting to help you, so start your 1:1 nutrition coaching today!