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Remember, ‘I eat to be well, not to be thin’. My favourite quote of all time, and one I remind every client that comes to me about their weight. I stop them in their tracks and remind them just this. It means to put your health first, not the number on the scales, it means to eat with a smile, not with guilt, it means to eat foods your body is intuitively craving, not for the influencer online or Susie down the road.
Building a healthier relationship is critical for long term, sustainable health and happiness.
Here are my top 5 tips for building a better relationship with food:
Eating real, wholesome foods doesn’t deprive you of delicious foods. Eating well is something to be excited about, not saddening or tortuous. You are able to achieve great health and still enjoy healthier versions of your old favourites. Some of my favourite foods still today include ice-cream, chocolate mousse, brownies, pancakes and much more, they are just made from whole, real food versions. Just because the ingredients change, it doesn’t mean the menu has to!
Once an individual begins counting calories and/or macros, it is easy to become extremely obsessive and create an unhealthy relationship with food. For example, an individual may choose a Snickers Bar over a healthy salmon salad sprinkled with toasted almonds and drizzled with olive oil – as they may have the same amount of calories but we know which one is going to bring us health and vitality. When the amount of calories in your food becomes the forefront of your goal, we lose the interest in the quality of the food, what your body truly needs, and the goal of creating health and happiness becomes less of a priority. This comes back to the saying, ‘eat to be well, not to be thin’.
This is to ensure you are remaining satisfied and not getting to the point of being absolutely ravenous that you jump on an unhealthy cycle of binging. It happens to the best of us! A way to ensure it is avoided, though, is to include with each meal and snack a sufficient amount of protein (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes etc) and fats (egg yolks, olive oil, avocado, ghee or butter, nuts etc).
It is normal to fluctuate in weight, particularly women! Like counting calories and macros, weighing yourself can become an addiction and lead to an extremely unhealthy relationship with your food. Of course this is not the same with all people, but it is certainly worth considering for some. I have had clients confess that they need to throw out their scales! Your weight can fluctuate around your period, when you’re sleep deprived, stressed, coming down with the flu and much more. Aside from this, if your body is constantly fluctuating, it can be something you’re consuming that is causing you inflammation regularly, so if you have accompanying symptoms then it is a great idea to rule out a potential intolerance. The most common intolerances include gluten, dairy, corn or soy. A simple food intolerance individual to you could be causing an immune response and therefore inflammation. Food for thought!
What you eat can really impact your mood, and when we are in a low mood, it is easy to utilise the wrong foods to try and lift our spirits. Whilst treats here and there can be well tolerated, sometimes it can bring down our mood even more and create a vicious unwanted, unhealthy cycle. Foods like delicious greens, starchy vegetables, omega fatty acids, homemade liver pate, berries, probiotic rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir, cacao and more are all whole foods that will support your mood for all individual reasons.
I hope these quick little tips help you celebrate food and be excited about it, because remember, beautiful, wholesome food and your health shouldn’t involve deprivation.