By Lauren Denos: 11/4/2014 (Nutrition)

In our society there is an increasing rate in having a bad relationship with our food. We eat junk that is not good for us because we "deserve" that "treat food," but then we berate ouselves inside or verbally afterwards. We have enough pressure with many other things in life, the last thing we need is to be freaking out about our food 24/7. We need to make peace with this in one way or another.

So what can you do to make peace with your food?

  • Don't let yourself get to a ridiculously full point. If you tend to be one of the people who binge and then regret it later, then one thing you can do is eat at regular intervals before you get super hungry. This way you are less likely to binge, and if you do decide to have a piece of pie after you are done with your meal you will be much more likely to savor one piece, rather than inhaling the entire pie.
  • Keep healthier foods on hand and keep the junk out. When you keep your house stocked with healthier options you will not feel as bad about eating something not as good for you when you go out. The point is not that you will always avoid the bad food, but that you make the good food more accessable so that will be what you reach for more.
  • Be grateful for your food. Many people get so hung up on the guilt of what they are eating that they tend to forget to be happy that they can afford food. After all, food is a neccessity for human survival. So when you find yourself stressing out about what you are eating and you do not know what you should be doing, just be thankful that you have food.
  • Never compare yourself with others - ever! Comparing yourself to others is a major part of many of the insecurities many people have, and not just with food. You are on your own journey. You have had different struggles and you have different strengths. Besides when you look at someone else‘s life, all you are ever seeing is their highlight reel. You are not seeing the full movie of their life and what they are going through. When you realize this, you will understand there is no way to really compare yourself to someone else.
  • Enjoy what you eat. Including that piece of cake you are eating, and then let it go. If you decide that you really want a dessert then eat it, enjoy it and move on. You do yourself no favors by eating something less than healthy and then berating yourself for it afterwards. If you really want it then savor it, do not sarf it down in one bite. If you take the time to actually enjoy your food, you are less likly to need huge amounts of that junk food to satisfy you. But if you do the move of "quick eat it before anyone sees me," then you are much more likely to eat as much of it as you can.
  • Relax while you eat.This goes along with enjoying what you eat. You also need to relax enough to enjoy it. I understand that many times you are hard at work, but do what you can to relax while you eat. Remember that you also need time to register when you are full. Many people wind up eating far less when they relax and really enjoy the food they are taking in. It gives them full satisfaction from their meal, and really much of the overeating people do is to get additional satisfaction from it.
  • It is not all or nothing. Many people believe that when they eat something bad they might as well just keep going since they messed their diet up anyway. This is not true. Understand that a bit of moderation is needed. If you ate something you are not proud of, so what? That one piece of dessert does not ruin everything else. Give yourself a break. Understand that even some of the most hardcore health enthusiests have these moments.
  • Plan healthy meals that you can enjoy. As a result, you will want to eat healthy verses wishing you had something else. This goes for your regular meals as well as desserts. Create better options for your "junk food." Tasty and healthy options can exist at the same time. You can make healthy lasagne and enchiladas. Instead of going for your typical refind sugar-laden dessert, go for something that is a little more natural and that will not cause as much havoc in your body. For instance, you can make your own chocolate creations with Stevia, or you can bake a fresh apple with some cinnamon. Still another option is making homemade ice cream with ingredients that will help to nourish your body rather than hinder it. This is very easy now-a-days with all the recipes available on the Internet.
  • Be realistic. No one is perfect so stop beating yourself up for it. No one is flawless. We can always improve. Instead of thinking about whether you are being perfect on your eating, start to look at if you are improving. Just improving a little bit is cause for celebration. One small step at a time makes a huge difference.
  • Do not put anything off-limits. When I say this, I mean what you are telling yourself about the food. If you are allergic to a certain food, should you stay away from it? Yes. But you still have the choice of eating it and dealing with those consequences. Many times, when we know we have the option to have something we lose some of that driving need to have it. Our willpower gets boosted a bit because it is not something that we will never eat again. When you tell yourself you can not eat desserts, you are making yourself crave it more. If you know you can have those foods, then when you are presented with situations with these foods you can ask yourself, "do I really need this right now?" Because you can always get something later, it is not as big of a deal.
  • Challenge your idea of what treating yourself good is. There is this prevalent idea that giving ourselves chocolate or some other dessert is treating oursleves good. But really, when you look at what that does to your body, are you really treating yourself good by eating that? You would be showing yourself more love by making something that is better for you. Start to think about that when you are looking at eating out or grocery shoping. What food is really going to show myself that I am treating me well?

Be mindful of how you are treating yourself in relation to your food. Start to treat yourself better. Getting healthy is something you are doing because you care about yourself. When you berate yourself, you are not only being very bad to yourself, but you are also making your health journey not very fun either. If you treat yourself better, you are far more likely to stick with your healthy lifestyle. It is a journey not an instant trip so keep that in mind.



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