My first blog post is dedicated to the psychological aspect of eating for a reason.
With my solid experience in counseling patients, I have observed that the root to
long-lasting change begins with creating a healthy relationship with food.
No denial, food is ever-tempting and a primal part of my job includes devising creative methods to communicate that we do need to experience the joy of fine dining on a Thursday night and casual take outs on a Saturday night whilst staying in shape and maintaining the balance we always aim to reach.
Unfortunately the diet culture has enforced us to correlate food to dieting and weight loss, we now associate food to weight gain and restriction, healthy food items are being labeled as "non-healthy" as means of accelerating fat loss and eliminating more and more food items to make weight loss faster and easier.
By definition, food is a substance consumed by living organisms to provide nutritional support for growth, and is essential for survival.Hence, our body NEEDS food but the question is, what percentage of the food you have is actually, healthy? (Keeping in mind that un-healthy food is part of balance)
Changing our perspective towards why we need food could help in establishing a new healthy relationship, regardless of what your health goal is.
When you see food as an element that is meant to fuel you, you become more selective and conscious with your choices, you give it a second thought when choosing what meal to have, you un-consciously begin to learn the art of eating, you understand the need to have wholesome food but at the same time, balance it off with occasional junk food.
Here are some tips on cultivating a healthy relationship with food:
1. Think of food as a source of nourishment, not punishment.Your body & energy systems need it.You can still match your health & fitness goals whilst consuming the right balance of an array of foods.You don't have to restrict your self to reach your goal weight.Set SMART goals instead: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, & Timely.
2.Plan your meals ahead, this will help in making better choices.Once you have an idea of what's planned for your day, it gets easier to navigate through your meal options, even if it was mentally without having to jot it down!
3. See what works best for you.A treat once a week? once every two weeks? or once a month? We all have different bodies, what works for you might not work for someone else.Understand what helps you stay on track.
4. Acknowledge emotional eating habits through patterns.Do you have a jumbo size pack of crisps when you're feeling down? Do you skip meals through the day because of being depressed? We often tend to indulge or restrict food purely out of emotions and state of mind.Understand that these patterns are part of the journey.
5. Be kind to yourself.Eating does not equal guilt or lack of self control, we all have improptu moments when we feel like the only thing we want to do is just eat, eat and eat.There are plenty of external factors that affect our appetite on the daily, however, the good news is we have control over what we can do next.
My simple takeaway message here is to see food as a source of nourishment above all, yes, counting calories and controlling portions is essential however, let us not forget the main reason why we eat.
It is in finding that fine balance of nourishment and cherishment! x