Food for Thought
Food. This 4-lettered word comes with pleasure and fear. Fear from eating too much of it, eating too little of it, not eating the right type, not including the right type, not checking all of the nutritional value or the many categories on the packages. Whether is more beneficial to try Paleo or Keto. Or if you should delve out hundreds of dollars buying pre-packed food or counting points and carbs.
Society is constantly changing the diet rules while simultaneously increasing people’s food anxieties. With everything, there has to be balance and only you know what type of food and serving size that works for your body. The first step with altering your eating habits is changing your views about food. I have 5 tips that have helped decrease my food anxieties.
1. Stop Ignoring the Fact That Food is Great
I have heard from countless nutritionists and personal trainers how food is fuel and not to be enjoyed. To that I say “Poppy Top!” If food was not to be enjoyed it would not taste as good as it does. It is good to eat the devilishly decadent food that makes it much harder to cut out all the goodies when making a health change. The focus should be more towards eating all types of food whether bad or good in moderation. A slice of cake is a nice treat but maybe not a good idea to consume right before bedtime. I find the more I deny myself from my favorite foods, the more I find myself 3 days later feeling liked I am on punishment. Most likely this will cause me to binge a few days later and it is really not helping me change old habits but rather worsen them.
2. Food is not a reward or a punishment…it’s just Food
When I was a kid I was mostly awarded with my favorite meal for an accomplishment. When I had a bad day my Mom or grandmother made my favorite meal. When I was lonely my mom took me to McDonald’s for a happy meal. Or if I completed a enough book reports a program at my school awarded us with pizza. The point I’m driving at is over time food became my reward. As an adult, no matter the day I am comforted by my favorite meal. And because food is my band-aid it pretty much pacified all of my emotions. This behavior can also cause food to be my worse enemy as I am punishing my physical body in attempts to feed my emotions. These emotional binges have caused me to eat inappropriate things at inappropriate times which in turn made me feel bad about my choices.
Although I am not throwing out the tasteful attributes of food. It is dangerous to try to feed insecurities and emotions with a physical thing.
Just with any addiction food is a temporary fix and afterwards you are still left insecure and emotional. It takes time, but reconditioning yourself to inedible rewards can reverse this habit. When having a bad day maybe write in a journal or go for a walk. When feeling insecure maybe plan a spa day or a friend day out. Basically you are changing a negative habit into a positive reinforcement. This takes time so be patient with yourself if you surrender to your cravings at first. Over time your body will begin to crave good food for physical pleasure rather than emotional healing.
3. Be Creative
Fruits and veggies are like the party poopers to enjoying a meal, at least to me. My husband almost have to bribe me to eat veggies. I for real revert back into a toddler when I am made to eat them. The fact of the matter is, fruit and veggies have to be consumed because we need the nutrients. I turned to my favorite social media unit Pinterest and found so many different health-ish meals. I now like roasted veggies and bacon wrapped anything is always a delight. Also I eat cauliflower rice over actual rice. I place shredded chicken in a bowl of cauliflower rice and I’m satisfied. It’s all about tricking the mind. If you have trouble with how veggies and fruits look…find recipes that can manipulate the texture or the look of them. Initially we eat with our eyes and then with our mouths. Also, don’t be afraid to try different foods, you don’t know if you like it until you try it.
4. Fact: A Happy Plate is no Longer Required
As a child a happy plate in my house was a clean plate. If I ate all of the food then I saved world peace. Another saying is “you know how many starving people are in the world?” I never was bold enough to say “me finishing this plate will not cure this issue.” Eating when you are stuffed only leaves you with a terrible belly ache and ill emotions towards self. You want to save world hunger donate to a charity, volunteer to feed the hungry but never in a million years will over eating remedy this world issue. Another way is wrap half of your meal up and give it to a homeless person when leaving the restaurant. The gist is reconditioning your brain to stop when you are full.
5. Research Trend Diets
There are so many trending diets it is hard to keep up with them all. I am not saying these programs don’t work but some are unhealthy and plain unrealistic. She people jump on these trend diet programs without researching them first. I tried Paleo and it does work but if you don’t have the mindset or ready to make certain sacrifices it’s not for you. This goes for any beneficial diet. With anything it will work if you work it.
If you are looking to fit in a bikini and lose 20 pounds in 1 week…you are shocking your body. It is even more confused when you continue the bad habits a week later.
Also never be afraid to admit if you are not ready for a program. Take it one day at a time and do your research. The more you understand the purpose of the program the less anxious you will become. The knowledge you gain from researching informs you of your gains in the program more than want you are giving up. Research. Research. Research.
Have you discovered ways to gain control of your eating? If so, please comment below.