How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food
Dieting has become a dirty word. While I thing the stigma has been greatly over exaggerated, for many it means fad diets, or starvation diets, etc. And neither of those things are good. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, your first inclination may be to go on a “diet” which often means depriving yourself of entire food groups or drinking your meals or whatever else the latest fad has you doing. Following a super-restrictive diet isn’t realistic, and more importantly, it isn’t healthy. Deprivation diets also do a number on your metabolism, encouraging your body to store the fat you’re so desperate to lose. While I do want you to be mindful of not overeating -- because calories are simply units of energy and fat is nothing other than stored energy, starving yourself (eating anything under 1200 calories a day) is very bad. This includes intermittent fasting, liquid diets, master cleansing, etc.
I want you to redefine food. It isn’t the devil. It isn’t a reward. It’s fuel, as previously mentioned, but it’s also information. It talks to your DNA and tells it how to express itself. Once you truly understand this you know that food can help boost your immunity, fend off aging, give you energy etc. So, I want you to follow the below steps to help you eat in this most optimal way for your health and your sanity! This means getting away from the “temporary” mindset, and vow to make changes to the quality and quantity of foods you eat as part of your new healthy lifestyle.
Eat real food in its most natural form. Avoid overly processed foods that are loaded with chemicals like preservatives, fake fats, fake colors, fake sweeteners, etc.
Don’t ditch a macro nutrient (protein, fat, carbs). Many fad diets over the years have espoused banishing a critical category of food: fat free, low carb, vegan, etc. If you are vegan for ethical reasons, I totally get it. But I am a firm believer that a healthy diet consists of healthy fats, clean proteins (meat in moderation), and complex carbs.
Follow the 80/20 food rule.
You’re not going to eat the best foods all the time and that’s OK – as long as you eat great foods for 80 percent of your daily calorie allowance. The remaining 20 percent can be treat foods like a piece of cake or scoop of ice cream. When you allow yourself small indulgences, you eliminate that sense of deprivation that can cause you to mindlessly binge on junk foods.
Health isn’t about perfection. It’s about progress and when it comes to nutrition it’s about balance. A more moderate and relaxed approach about clean eating is not only the key to weight loss but also weight maintenance.