There are loads of fad diets out there and, unfortunately, they can often cause people to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. Eating healthily is extremely important for your health and wellbeing, but we should all try to cultivate a healthy relationship with food. Here are a few tips that I have found help with developing a healthy relationship with food:
1. Eat the rainbow
Eat a wide variety of whole, plant based foods that will nourish your body. The different colours of different plant foods mean that they contain various different phytonutrients that your body needs. Try to eat a range of different colour foods every day in the forms of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, pulses, etc.
2. Eat mindfully
How many of us actually stop to savour our food? I’d guess not many, and I know I’m guilty of it. I never stop to enjoy my food and just eat. I know this won’t always be possible for everyone – I multi-task through most of my meals – but if you are able to sit down at a dinner table and not watch TV, check your email, scroll through social media etc you might find yourself noticing and enjoying your food more.
3. Eat slowly and stop when you’re full
Eating mindfully will help with this, but pay attention to your body’s response to food! Our bodies are designed to let us know when we are full, but all too often we ignore it! Eating slowly helps a lot with letting us tune into our bodies and pay attention to what it is telling us. Why not try chewing your food for longer and putting your utensils down between bites? These small tricks can help you prolong your meals, giving you more time to respond to what your body is telling you!
4. Snacking is fine, but make them nutritious snacks
Snacking is not inherently bad, no matter what we have been led to believe. If you are looking to get healthier, you might want to avoid high fat, high sugar snacks but that doesn’t mean you should avoid snacking all together. Depending on your goals you will either need to be in a calorie surplus or a calorie deficit, and depending on that you will know how and what you should be snacking on. Try to focus on nutrient dense snacks that will nourish your body and eat in accordance with your goals.
5. Don’t punish yourself if you eat something unhealthy
We all eat unhealthy foods from time to time – it happens! You will cultivate a much healthier relationship with food if you don’t beat yourself up about it. What matters is what you eat the majority of the time, not what you eat every now and then. If you have that vegan burger and chips every now and then, think of it as part of a balanced diet! Above all, be kind to yourself!