Food is such an integral part of our existence. We celebrate with food, mourn with food, bond over food, even fall in love over food.
Food has the capacity to nourish us, make us feel energetic and happy; lethargic and sad (check this out if you think I am kidding); or anywhere on that spectrum, depending on what and how we choose to eat.
Yet so many of us feel like we are slaves to our food and get trapped in a cycle of comfort-guilt-shame or the like around our food choices.
How can we take this power back in our hands and treat food as the ally rather than the enemy? By making tiny tweaks to the way we eat, like the ones I have listed below:
1. Slow down and enjoy your food.
Just ENJOY IT! When it comes to food (or anything really), a little bit of mindfulness goes a long way. How? If you pay close attention to how your body feels after eating a certain food- you’ll start noticing the feedback that you get from your body.
This might not happen the first time you try to do this, but keep at it. Its amazing when you start tuning into how your body ACTUALLY feels after eating certain foods. You will also start noticing when you’re full, which will help control your portion size and avoid mindless eating.
Slowing down and chewing your food properly also means you digest it in a better way. Triple-win, innit?
2. Pay attention to your cravings.
When you crave for a certain food that you know isn’t particularly great for you, what do you do? Do you choose to ignore it and wish really hard for it to go away? Or do you take a moment and try to understand what it could mean (and then go and have a piece of dark chocolate anyway 😉 )?. I have tried both and in my experience, the craving doesn’t really go away unless I address it in one way or another. I find my cravings to be caused by a mix of behavioural and nutritional reasons. I crave desserts mostly when I am either sleep deprived, tired or stressed. Getting some rest or even just taking a few minutes to relax generally helps with this. Craving chocolate on the other hand might point to a deficiency of
chocolate magnesium in your body, which can be addressed by increasing your intake of foods rich in magnesium.
Next time you have a craving, instead of ignoring it or caving in, try to dig a little deeper. You might be surprised at what you find.
3. Focus on adding rather than removing.
Wait, what?!! Have you ever been on a ‘diet’ aimed at not eating certain foods when all you can think about is eating those exact foods (fries, cakes, chips, sodas, you name it)? Has it ever worked in a sustainable way? I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t like it when I tell it that I can’t eat certain foods. It starts thinking about them even more! If instead of ‘going on a diet’ (strange term if you ask me, but I digress), I focus on adding more healthy foods to my diet, like fresh fruit, vegetables, green leafies, nuts, seeds etc., I slowly end up feeling less drawn towards the unhealthy foods.
Bite-Size Tip #1: Do NOT try to change everything all at once. Start with something small and achievable to slowly boost your confidence.
How is your relationship with food? Are you tempted to try any of these ideas? Or do you have some other tricks that have helped you improve your relationship with food?
Share your thoughts below.