If losing weight were as simple as eating right and exercising, many of us would struggle far less than we do. Your attitude plays a massive role in your efforts, more than you may realize. If you are subscribing to a "good food vs bad food" philosophy, you may be infusing your day with negativity, stress, and pressure that is taking you even further away from your goals.
Eating should always be a positive experience. If you are worrying obsessively about every morsel you eat, you will not be able to listen to your body's hunger cues and develop healthy habits that align with your body's natural rhythms. The problem with dieting, or being restrictive in your eating habits, is that it isn't sustainable over time. If you go off your eating plan, the weight will come back. To achieve weight loss that lasts, you have to dig a little deeper!
Here are 5 things you can do to start building a more positive relationship with food and reach your weight loss goals:
1. Adopt an "all foods fit" philosophy.
Virtually all foods provide your body with some level of nutrition. This nutrition comes to us in different amounts based on the composition of the food and how much we consume. If you tell yourself that all foods are okay, you are teaching yourself to consume things in moderation, preventing yourself from feeling restricted or deprived.
This does not mean you can eat anything and everything in sight -- you still have to be reasonable. But understanding that eating one meal that is less than pristine won't throw you completely off balance, is important. If you need a little extra guidance when it comes to adopting a healthy, balanced, approach to eating, we can help. The BodyRock Meal Plan can get you started. More than just a menu planner, this meal plan includes an informative nutrition guide and a recipe book with over 70 tasty, healthy meals! Get your copy of the BodyRock Meal Plan here
Science is constantly revealing new, and sometimes contradictory, information about the human body and what it requires to function at its best. There is no one size fits all solution to being healthy or losing weight but we do know that doing anything to extreme can be unhealthy. Err on the side of caution and aim for moderation in your diet. Be aware of the foods that leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed and those that spike your blood sugar and leave you craving more. Be mindful in your eating habits.
2. Use neutral food language.
Foods are not "good" or "bad," "clean" or "dirty." If you remove these words from your vocabulary, you go a long way to eliminating the guilt and shame that can be associated with eating the foods you've labelled as "wrong." The feelings of failure you associate with eating foods you've banned do far more to damage your weight loss efforts than the foods themselves. It is easy to give up after one perceived slip. Remember this one thing: foods are just foods. Some provide more nutrition than others, but they are all just food.
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3. Listen to your body.
People often get down on themselves if they go over their daily calorie totals or if the number on the scale has crept back up. But the truth is, these numbers don't determine your worth and value as a person. Change your focus. Try, instead, to honour your body. Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are full. If you choose to listen, your body will tell what it needs to be healthy.
4. Don't use foods as "treats."
Once again, food is food. It provides your body with the nutrients and fuel it needs to function. It is not a rewards system. If you consider something to be a treat, or a reward, you are far more likely to overeat it. Instead, treat yourself in other ways. Buy yourself some flowers, take yourself on a mini vacation, go get a mani/pedi. You can, and should, reward your accomplishments -- just don't do it with food.
5. Make friends with fat.
The fat in your food and the fat on your body, it is time to embrace it and stop judging it. Getting healthy fats from your food is absolutely essential. For your body to function as it should, you need the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, oils, fatty fish and avocados. As for the fat on your body, you know you can have fat and still be beautiful right? And accepting your body as it stands today does not mean that you can't also desire a trimmer and healthier you. When you look in the mirror and see beauty, your weight loss efforts become a way to improve upon this beauty -- not a way to "fix" something that is "wrong" with you. There is nothing wrong with you. It is time to remove the negativity from our language! A little positive thinking will go a long way!
Do you have a difficult relationship with food? Share your story with us!