Understanding yourself and why you make the food choices you do, is the first step to being able to create a better relationship with food. Here are our top 5 tips to help you get on the right track...
Restrictive diets aren’t good for your body or your mind. Research suggests that you are likely to end up regaining the same or more weight than you lose when you are overly restrictive. When you follow a plan that is too limited, it is likely to make you crave and want the foods you can’t have and if it is hard to keep up long term it won’t help you reach a healthy place that you can maintain.
There is food that our bodies need much more of, and food that our body needs less of but labelling things good and bad is really unhelpful! When you are able to look at what you eat, why you eat and how you eat, it will be much easier to make choices which feel good to you and help you feel healthy, without the guilt.
It can be all too easy to compare ourselves to others, especially in the social media world where people are just posting the best bits about their lives most of the time, and often not sharing the real ups and downs behind the scenes. You are your own person, find a way of eating that works for you and your body.
So often when we have chocolate, cake, ice-cream or whatever it might be that we really love eating, we feel guilty about it before, during or after eating it. Being healthy doesn’t mean you have to banish all the foods you love and is certainly not what we encourage at Mission Nutrition.
Having them in small amounts and REALLY enjoying them is the goal. Next time you sit down with your favourite food, first look at it. Smell it, take one bite then close your eyes, feel the texture, enjoy the aroma, really TASTE it. When you eat food slowly, without guilt and mindfully enjoy it, it is a lot easier to avoid overeating.
If you find yourself eating in response to your emotions when you aren’t really hungry and feel guilty or annoyed with yourself afterwards, then it is time to make some changes. This type of eating although very common, can be soul destroying. You need to find other ways to manage these feelings without using food.
Try going for a walk, having a bath with some essential oils, listening to your favourite music, taking deep breaths, having some water, dancing or even talking to a good friend. They will help you even more than eating a whole bar of chocolate or a whole bag of chips which would just give you 5-10 minutes of false “relaxation” plus the guilty feeling.
In a nutshell, we all have to eat, so relax and enjoy your food by choosing to eat what nourishes your body and allow yourself the occasional treat without guilt. Enjoy being you, stop comparing yourself to others and you will find life so much more enjoyable!
Dietitian Erika runs her clinic in Ponsonby and is available to help you with a range of things such as emotional and dysfunctional eating, to managing health issues like diabetes, cholesterol, PCOS, food intolerances and gut health problems. Click here to find out more.