Tips for Ensuring a Lifelong Healthy Relationship with Food

Tips for Ensuring a Lifelong Healthy Relationship with Food

Developing a healthy relationship with food starts when you are born. By the time you’re 20, you may have gotten a few mixed messages that have harmed your relationship with food in ways you may not even realize yet.

A poor relationship with food can lead to poor nutrition, weight issues, and serious health problems. A good relationship with food means that you are optimizing your chances of a lifetime of good health. You’ll also enjoy food more.

Eat More Natural Food

The more food you eat that comes from the ground and is unadulterated with additives (like concentrated forms of sugar, salt, and fat), the better. The great thing is that these foods taste wonderful. Eat more plants, whether they’re sweet or savory, and your health will naturally improve.

Eat All Food Groups

Your body needs all food groups and nutrients. You need protein, fat, and yes, carbohydrates to ensure that all your bodily functions work at their highest capacity. For most people, a ratio of around 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates, 20 to 30 percent fat, and 10 to 35 percent protein is a good way to start.

Understand the 80/20 Rule

According to the 80/20 rule, you’ll experience 100 percent of the results with only 80 percent of the effort. Therefore, you don’t have to be perfect to get the results you want. You just need to be perfect 80 percent of the time to reap the health rewards of eating well.

Eat Food Mindfully

People who have a good relationship with food eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. The only way to do that is to ignore the clock and eat only when you have true hunger and only until you don’t feel hungry anymore. Then feel free to do that anytime you want to.

Don’t Eat Only for Entertainment

It’s super-tempting to turn food into its own entertainment, since the entire world has done this with all the YouTube videos and cooking shows. But, while you should enjoy your food and eat what you love, don’t make it the only reason to eat. Eat because you’re hungry but prepare to be hungry at the celebrations you want to enjoy the food at.

Stay Hydrated

Most people are walking around dehydrated, and because of that, they’re overeating – even if they think they’re eating only when they are hungry.

Your body needs a certain amount of hydration to perform properly. It will get it one way or another and if you don’t drink enough water, it will signal hunger to get moist, hydrated food in you. Start with 64 ounces of water a day but you may need more if you’re heavy, sweat a lot, or live in a dry climate.

Allow Yourself Time to Eat

Don’t try to eat in 10 or 15 minutes. You really need to try to set aside enough time to truly enjoy chewing your food and eating the food. You want to be able to smell it, taste it, and savor it. If you can shoot to give yourself 30 minutes to eat, you’ll be able to enjoy it more and truly be mindful.

Let Real Hunger Be Your Guide

It’s so tempting to eat just because the clock says it’s time. However, your metabolism tells you when to eat, not the clock. You can judge by how you feel in your stomach. Is it feeling empty? Do you have a gnawing feeling inside? Has it been a few hours since you ate? Have you eaten enough calories to be healthy? Eat when you are hungry until you are full.

Don’t Multitask

When you eat, eat. Don’t watch TV and do a lot of other activities while eating. You’re not going to enjoy it as much, and you’re going to overeat things that don’t even taste good when you do that. Enjoy your meal without distractions when you can.

Eat Food That Tastes Great

If you don’t like something, guess what – you don’t have to eat it! Yes, that includes broccoli. There are so many good things to eat that offer the same nutritional component that you don’t have to force even one morsel of food into your mouth or your kids that they don’t like. Just try something else.

Even if you have developed a few bad habits by your 20s, you can improve your relationship with food and make it healthy by learning as much as you can about the science of food and health and how it all works together.

If you tend to hide what you’re eating, diet all the time and are having issues enjoying life because of your diet, it’s imperative that you work toward fixing that problem while you’re in your 20s so that it doesn’t affect you later in life. You can get away with a lot more now than you will be able to later simply due to age. If you need to, seek professional help via your doctor with a counselor and / or nutritionist.