A healthy attitude to food

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There is no magic formula


How to have a healthy attitude to food

There is no magic formula or one “superfood” when it comes to eating a nutritious diet. The body needs a wide variety and balance of different foods eaten over days, months and years.

What we need is a healthy attitude to food. This can be a real firecracker of a weapon in the war against weight. Yet most of us have become entrenched in our eating habits and don’t eat a big enough selection of foods.

Many of us always follow the same route when shopping and pick up the same goods. If you don’t think this applies to you, just imagine what you would do if your local supermarket changed its layout – would you suddenly feel lost? Would you walk around and around until you found the brands you always buy? If the answer is yes, it might be worth looking at your eating habits.

The problem with habits is that they are comforting, but often not helpful, especially when it comes to food. For example, do you automatically reach for a snack during the TV ads? Or always pour yourself a large glass of wine to help you relax after a hard day at work? These habits can wreck our intentions of healthy eating, but the good news is that they can be broken.

Break bad habits

A key way to breaking them is to look at the reasons why we hold on to them. Very often, we’ll find our habits have little logic and do us no good. For example, it can be quite tempting and easy to munch through a family-sized tub of ice cream if you’re stressed or feeling low about the state of your finances, your relationship or work problems.

In the (very) short term, this action may help, but when you’ve finished the problems will still be there, only now you will feel sick or bloated and have a tighter waistband. Worst of all, you might start to feel guilty about using food as a comfort blanket.

Now we can start to see where there’s room for improvement and make the right changes.

The most important change we can make is to start listening to our body’s needs – not just our mind’s desires. But it’s easy to go deaf to the signals our bodies are sending us, or forget how to understand what they’re telling us.

If you’re wondering if this applies to you, ask yourself the following questions:
  1.     Do you always wait until you are really hungry to eat and then eat to bursting?
  2.     Do you always know exactly what you want to eat?
  3.     Do you always stop eating when you are full?
  4.     Do you know what your hunger score is each time you eat?
When you’ve done that, perhaps it’s time to improve your relationship with food.

As with all relationships, the key is striking a healthy balance. Remember making small, permanent changes to your eating habits will make a much bigger and longer-lasting impact on your life than a short-term blitz. This is because the small changes that you can build on day-by-day are much more likely to become habits.

Here are a few tips to get you started
  •     Listen to your body a bit more – if you’re hungry, eat! If you are not really hungry, what would satisfy you instead?
  •     When you do eat, slow down and really taste the food. If it’s not hitting the spot, why keep eating it?
  •     Do something just for you every day, so that food will stop being a “comfort blanket”.
  •     When you go to the supermarket, start your shopping at the opposite end! It will make you look harder for foods and you might find some new ones along the way.

By examining your eating habits and motivation – and making changes where needed – you can AND WILL become the person you want to be in the future.

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