Food is fuel, plain and simple. It can be delicious and it can be delightful, but at the end of the day, it must nourish your mind and body. Therefore, you need a strategy to have a healthy relationship with food. Otherwise, you can fall victim to weight issues, diseases, and low energy. It’s important to focus on eating foods that make you feel good physically, but mentally as well. There is a fine balance between being careful about what you are eating, but allowing yourself to enjoy a piece of birthday cake. Here are four tips that you should know about building a healthy relationship with food:
1. Plan Your Meals in Advance
A healthy diet consists of things like leafy greens, fruits, legumes, nuts, and plenty of water intake. Even if you know this in theory, it is harder to sit down and actually prepare these items in the midst of a busy day.
One great strategy is to set aside a cooking session one day per week. Go shopping, grab healthy food, and cook them up into pre-made meals that you can simply grab and go. This works whether you are in school, a full-time job, or at home most of the time. If you are incorporating healthy meals during your day that provide you with plenty of vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables, you will be less likely to beat yourself up for having treats from time to time. You can feel the reassurance that both your body and mind are being fueled.
2. Get Input from Experts
Don’t try to go on this journey alone. There are nutritionists, eating disorder treatment facilities, and other expert resources that can help you get on the right track if you struggle with either overeating or under eating. Getting help will give you confidence that your relationship with food is backed up by real data and experience, not just guesses. You can’t afford to take risks with your food choices. It’s not uncommon for people to experience toxic relationships with food and eating. Diet culture can make us obsessed with the nutrient content of food and can sell us foods that might not actually be the most nourishing for us. That’s why it’s extra important to seek advice from research and professionals so you know how to eat for your specific body type as well.
3. Take Pictures of Your Meals
Your meals are like works of art. However, if you don’t capture them then you will lose them forever. This will also encourage you to prepare meals you are proud of. It will make the entire process of cooking, plating, and eating more enjoyable and connected. You can share pictures of meals you are proud of on social media. It can help you connect with like-minded people and find new recipes from others as well. Taking pictures of your meals can also help you remember what you have made in the past. You will be more aware of your diet habits and where you can make improvements. You may also find that you create a new meal you love, but end up forgetting about it. Having a picture to look back on will allow you to recreate that meal.
4. Build up an Appetite for Healthy Foods
When you get plenty of exercise each day, you will naturally crave the right foods. A body that is working out consistently wants protein, nutrients from veggies, and plenty of water. Make sure you are priming your body to crave the right things on a daily basis. Gradually eating less sugar each day will make you crave it less as well. Your body will love the way it feels when you are giving it the right fuel, so you will then notice you don’t feel as good when you are eating junk food. You can keep making it a habit to opt for healthier options by keeping your fridge and pantry packed with snacks and treats that will actually fuel you. You will then be in the habit for reaching for those foods and your body will become accustomed to it.
The way you eat will determine a lot about the quality of your life. If you want to live a full, healthy life, then you need to have a great relationship with food. You not only need to eat the right foods for your body but for your mind as well. Don’t fixate too much on being perfect and understand that you are always on your own journey to health. This is easier said than done, however. So use the tips above to help you cultivate your own good habits and a healthy diet. They will help you unlock the true potential that your diet has to give you the energy and confidence you want.