A healthy relationship with food is an approach to eating that emphasizes enjoyment and the balance of different foods. It also involves paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
An unhealthy relationship with food can lead to weight gain and disordered eating behaviors such as binge eating. To break free of these bad patterns, work on healing your relationship with food and restoring the joy you once felt when indulging.
1. Listen to your body
The body is constantly providing you with feedback on what’s working and not. This feedback comes in the form of sensations and emotions, from pleasant to unpleasant.
You can learn to tune into these messages without thinking or feeling judged. It takes practice, but as you do this regularly, you’ll start getting an intuitive sense for what your body needs from food and the world around it.
Take a few moments throughout the day to assess how you’re feeling. Pay attention to whether you’re hungry, tired, tense, or restless.
2. Enjoy your food
Many find eating healthily an elusive goal. But with the right balance of high-fiber carbohydrates, lean proteins and plenty of produce like fruits and veggies – as well as high-quality fats from red meat or nuts/seeds. A nutritious diet should include both highs and lows – making it the ideal way to go!
Maintaining a healthy relationship with food and your body is the key to living an abundant life. Aside from exercise and nutritious nutrition, there are other ways to stay on the path towards wellness: mindful eating, avoiding social comparison, and finding balance between your ego and inner critic. Health is more than just what you eat – it takes patience, persistence, and lots of self-compassion along the way to reach optimal wellbeing. With patience and some self-compassion along the way you can reach your personal best!
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
Comparison can be a destructive habit that has an adverse effect on your mental wellbeing. It often leads to feelings of envy and jealousy, which in turn increase stress levels and fuel self-doubt.
Instead, focus on your strengths and accomplishments. Create a list of what has made you proud that is meaningful to you, then post it somewhere where you can see it daily.
As Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “Comparition is the thief of joy.” To avoid comparison traps and maximize your happiness, limit your exposure to media and social media outlets that promote idealized representations of beauty and success.
4. Practice self-compassion
A healthy relationship with food and your body involves moderation, letting go of guilt or shame after certain meals, and acknowledging that your body is an integral part of who you are.
Self-compassion is the act of treating oneself with the same kindness, common humanity and mindfulness that you would extend to a friend in distress. It consists of three components: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.
Researchers have observed that people who practice self-compassion tend to avoid negative emotions such as anger or guilt and are less likely to dwell on their problems. This could protect them from developing depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
5. Learn to say no
One of the best ways to stay on track with your dietary goals is learning how to say no. Although this may not come naturally, finding a way to express your boundaries without hurting anyone else is essential for success.
Repeat yourself if necessary, but keep the tone light and polite. Eventually, they’ll realize you aren’t a fool or liar and stop pushing you.
It is beneficial to practice saying no before attending a social gathering. Doing so can boost your confidence and demonstrate that you value your health and dietary choices.