This year I started prioritizing working out and eating healthier. However, up until this month I wasn’t really taking it seriously. I would work out once or twice a week, but I would still eat anything that I wanted. I’ve always had a really negative view around the word “diet.” I don’t think it’s healthy to put yourself in a mindset where you’re purposefully depriving yourself of things you want to eat. In my opinion, depriving yourself only leads to binging and cravings and it’s not sustainable. I’ve learned how to create a healthy relationship with food and recently I’ve really loved how I’ve been feeling. I’ve started going to the gym 5-6 times a week, and eating only what makes me feel good, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been suffering. Here are some tips on how to create healthy relationship with food.
Create a plan that’s sustainable for you
Just because the keto diet isn’t sustainable for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you! If you find something that you know will be easy to manage and you don’t feel deprived, then go for it! Intermittent fasting is another “diet” that is popular and may be easier to manage. I listened to this podcast where I learnt more about it and how fast the results can be. Again, I tried doing it and realized I was starving and I would not be able to maintain it. For my plan, I only eat complex carbs (which is really easy for me because I prefer whole grains in almost every instance) and I’ve cut out most refined sugar, as well as sugary drinks like juice and pop. I also drink A TON of water. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything and it’s simple for me to maintain.
Shop mainly on the outside aisles of the grocery store
Processed foods that are in the inside aisles on the grocery stores may have longer shelf lives, but that also means they have more additives and preservatives. I would say 90% of our groceries are fruits and vegetables and meat/protein. Of course, there are things like peanut butter, rice, and pasta that we eat regularly as well, but I try to stick to whole foods. I always get whole wheat pasta, rice and bread as well. Going down aisles that have candy, chips and processed food will only tempt you and cause you to buy unnecessary calories. With Pinterest and the internet there are so many great recipes you can make with whole foods that taste great and make you feel awesome as well.
Don’t have “cheat days”
Cheat days create an unhealthy mindset that when you eat a burger at McDonald’s, you’re straying from your diet and you’re being bad. If you tell yourself it’s okay to have fries or a milkshake every now and then, you won’t feel guilty about it! Treat yourself every once and a while, but don’t feel bad about it! Avoid having 10 chocolate bars in one day, but maybe order pizza once a month or go out for dinner on Friday’s. Moderation is key when developing a healthy relationship with food in my opinion.
Pay attention to calories, but don’t let it take over your life
I track everything that I eat on this app, but I only do it because I like to see how much carbs, protein, and calories I eat in a day. I have a goal of a certain number of calories per day, but if I go over it by 50, I don’t freak out. I think being aware of how many calories you consume and what you’re putting into your body is important. It allows you to be more mindful of what you buy at the grocery store and how much you should eat per day. I don’t think it’s healthy to obsess over calories and try to ALWAYS stay below the recommended number of calories per day. I just think it’s important to be self-aware in this area and in the long-run it will make you a more conscious grocery shopper.
Don’t cut things out of your diet just because you heard it’s “healthy”
I remember a few years ago all of my mom’s friends were going gluten-free. None of them were celiac, but it was really trendy at the time so all of them hopped on the band-wagon. In some cases, cutting things from your diet suddenly can actually be harmful and your body will have an adverse reaction. For me, I shouldn’t have dairy because it does make my stomach upset, but I still need to get the nutrients that dairy products provide. I would recommend talking to a nutritionist or dietitian before you drastically remove anything from your regular diet.
That’s all the advice I have for today! Please remember that I’m not a doctor or nutritionist! In fact, I can’t even handle the slightest mention of blood, let alone the sight of it! I am not meant for the health care industry in any way. This is just what I’ve found works for me, and how I’m able to eat cleaner while still feeling good. If you follow these tips I believe you won’t be craving anything or feel like you’re missing out. I’ve struggled with creating a healthy relationship with food so I know it can be difficult, but it’s easier than you think! I would love to hear any other tips for long-term healthy eating.
That’s all for now, peace-out.