Food… Good food is nice to eat and whoever tells you otherwise has a special case! Aside the primary reason of satisfying hunger, food is eaten for different reasons and how you relate with food could be either to your advantage or not.
There are people with some psychological and/or emotional attachments to food: those who either eat when they are happy or sad or both. There are also those that eat to kill boredom, as well as people who eat to deal with nervousness or tension. This is called comfort eating. Comfort eating is unhealthy and makes one eat when they are not supposed to. They therefore result in the accumulation of excess calories in the body.
Comfort foods are usually but not exclusively sugary, fatty or salty (junk). They trigger the production of a chemical called dopamine, which gives some sort of addictive effect. Eating them brings a temporary calm or satisfaction, leaving you wanting more. That is one side of the relationship with food.
There is also another side where some individuals develop some sort of phobia or dislike for food just because they have been programmed to think that they’d look their worst with every little thing they eat and so resort to deliberate/extreme starvation or even develop a psychological disorders as bulimia, just to mention a few.
Consider food as a person you have a relationship with. What would be your expectations? What role would you play to ensure it is a healthy relationship? How do you want food to affect you in your relationship?
Just like in every relationship, you complement each other, our relationship with food should bring out the best in us. Then again, let’s ask ourselves if we can ever do with or without (comfort) food? If you can, then I guess it’s a healthy relationship. If not, then it is about time you took back your power from food. Being in a relationship should not diminish who you are, as well as your power.
I have been an emotional or big eater. I love pastries but I realized that I didn’t have the control or limit of how much to eat. I simply succumbed to every craving and want but then again I realized that I had to learn to exercise self-discipline through my food choices. I therefore, came up with a plan that has helped me have a healthy relationship with food and I hope it helps you too. In no particular order please take note to:
- Be self-conscious
Eat when you feel perkish but also pay attention to what you eat and drink and when you feel satisfied. Learn to stop eating when you feel the hunger vanish. You do not need to stuff yourself! It will only make you sluggish.
- Be disciplined around food
Inasmuch as you (may) enjoy food, make the effort not to eat or snack when you are not hungry. Before you munch anything, be sure you are really hungry and that the food is very much needed. Practise self-restraint!
- Not overeat
Most times we only stop eating when we feel very stuffed to our discomfort. As mentioned earlier, the basic goal of eating is to satisfy hunger but even when that goal is achieved we are normally tempted to continue, especially when there’s more of the food on our plates. Your satisfied hunger simply tells you that your body’s needs have been satisfied. You will survive when you stop eating. Overeating only floods your body with excess and needless calories.
- Engage yourself and your mind with something productive
Once your mind is set on achieving a goal – once you are obsessed with a goal, the tendencies of cravings are reduced.
- Always have a healthy snack available when busy
Inasmuch as I speak against snacking, there are times that we need the quick fixes to keep us going. When busy, we tend to make use of a lot of nutrients, especially glucose but we do not want to spike our insulin levels. My suggestion therefore is for you to get some portable whole foods with you. They could be nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and water. Water keeps you hydrated and relaxed.
- Always plan what and when to eat and be sure to abide by it.
Paying attention to yourself and your eating habits is very important. Based on that you develop a healthy meal plan around your schedule. Planning your meals saves time and money when followed to the letter. Self-consciousness and discipline are very key to having a healthy relationship. You may also contact a certified dietician to help with your dietetic needs.
Feel free to comment and let me know what you think! Suggestions are also very welcome. Share this article with friends and family to help create a world of healthy people!
Always remember to live your best life!