Working to improve your relationship with food isn’t something you can achieve overnight. Rather, it’s something that requires conscious effort and determination. It’s one thing to hope for change and it’s another to actively try to make the change happen.
Depriving your body of the food it wants and need is anything but healthy. A good relationship with food has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of your diet or the types of food you eat, but rather having unconditional permission to enjoy the foods that make you feel good physically and mentally.
Many people are battling disordered eating habits under the guise of toxic diet culture. It’s high time we started talking about our attitude towards food.
Though it may seem impossible to work towards improving your bond with food, be rest assured that the tips explored in this article will help develop and nourish your relationship with food.
Create A Vision Of Your Future Self
As with all relationships, it’s valuable to start with a self-evaluation. Ellie’s first pearl of wisdom on improving your connection with food is to “paint a vivid picture in your mind of the ideal version of you” and what you want your relationship with food to look like. She suggests asking yourself three important questions, “in the present tense”:
How will that person self-nourish?
How will that person feel about themself?
What positive habits does that person have?
“Each morning, connect with your vision. As you’re met with challenges throughout your day, reconnect to your higher self. Simply question, ‘what would my ideal self do?’” Ellie said.
Practise Mindful Eating
When you eat mindfully, you will get to know the reasons for your food choices. Why you eat certain food and avoid others.
Mindful Eating has become one of the key players in getting your food relationship game right.
Dedicate enough time to eat. Sit down and engage your senses with every meal; smell your food, admire it and taste it with appreciation.
Trade Perfection For Uplevelling
Let go of the need to be perfect by remembering you’re exactly who you need to be. Instead of focusing on making every choice perfect, ask yourself, ‘how can I up-level this?’
Choose a higher-quality protein breakfast instead of a sugary option. Swap out a Snickers bar for dark chocolate. Swap a sweet cocktail or a beer for a vodka soda. Consistent up-leveling over time leads to massive yet achievable transformations.
No one eats perfectly since perfect does not exist. Resist the urge to be under any pressure
Internal and external stress plays a role in how we approach our meals. “Overeating or impulsive eating is often a result of eating in a state of stress or eating too fast, Ellie Rome. Before you eat, try to take some full, deep breath cycles to allow your nervous system to calm down.
This can help you become more mindful over what you put in your mouth and if you truly want what’s on your plate or if you’re using it as a coping mechanism.
Turn Off Autopilot
Many of us live in a state of autopilot when it comes to examining our connection with food. We are mainly reactive, rather than being proactive, in our challenges and we reach mindlessly for food in search of comfort or distraction.
It’s important to start becoming aware of what triggers you to reach for food when it’s not intentional. Every time you reach for food, ask yourself:
Am I actually hungry?
What triggered me to reach for this?
“If it’s not true hunger, find non-edible forms of nourishment instead. For example, make a hot tea, take a cold shower go for a walk amongst other ways.