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How To Create A Better Relationship With Food

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How To Create A Better Relationship With Food

How would you describe your relationship with food? Do you eat when you’re hungry, make sure you’re consuming a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, good fats, unrefined carbs and treats? 

Or do you label foods “good” and “bad”, attach guilt to food (whether healthy or unhealthy) or limit your intake all day only to hungrily binge later on in the evening and then have a bad conscience for the rest of the night and repeat the process again the next day? 

If you’re the latter, then the chances are, you have a relationship with food that could be improved. And you’re not alone. Many of us label, avoid or restrict certain foods, have a long and complicated list of dos and don’ts and apply “I’ve eaten this so I can’t eat that” rules around the way we eat. 

But what if we were free of all these restrictions and were able to enjoy food for what it is – nourishing, delicious, sociable and pleasurable? What if we could ditch the calorie counting apps and listen to our own internal hunger cues and stop the cycle of restricting and bingeing? What if we could feel relaxed about eating in social situations rather than stressed or anxious? 

We can! Here’s our tips for forming a better, and healthier, relationship with the food we eat…

  1. Eat when you’re hungry – this might sound obvious, but learning to listen to our own hunger cues will help to stop us from overeating or eating “for the sake of eating”. It can be hard not to be dictated by set meal times if you’re at work or cooking for the family. But where you can, think about the physical feelings of hunger and are they really present when you’re opening the fridge – or are you bored or even thirsty instead?
  2. Learn portion control – as much as we like to clear our plates to avoid food waste, we should only be putting enough on our plates to make us feel comfortably full. If there are leftovers, then they’ll make a perfect snack or lunch for the following day! 
  3. Eat slowly and mindfully – chew each mouthful and put your cutlery down between bites rather than getting ready for the next mouthful. We’re more likely to notice a feeling of fullness earlier this way than when we eat quickly without thinking. Put down the phone, TV control or book, and concentrate on eating, tasting, enjoying and recognising when you feel full. 
  4. Give yourself permission to eat what you want to eat and you’ll be surprised how healthy your choices become. Taking control and thinking about what you actually want to eat can work wonders. And always remember, you deserve to eat when you feel hungry, it doesn’t matter what you ate or didn’t eat the day before – today is a new day.
  5. “Everything in moderation” might be an old phrase, but it’s so true! This who have a positive, healthy attitude towards food will know this, and no foods are off limits as long as a diet is balanced overall. 

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