Food is not meant to be something stressful, food is meant to be something enjoyable and fun not something that makes you feel bad about yourself. We can learn to have positive attitudes and feelings toward food.
Food is yummy! Food is healthy! Food is good for me!
The sad part is that not all people feel like that about what they bring to their mouths.
Lori Lieberman, RD, MPH, CDE, LDN and co-author of “Food to Eat: guided, hopeful & trusted recipes for eating disorder recovery,” shared with TheHuffingtonPost 10 tips to have good relationships with food.
It is okay to eat!
1. Give yourself permission to eat–whenever you need to, regardless of the hour. It allows you stop when you’ve had enough–knowing that you’ll have another chance, that it’s not now or never. And you’ll learn to honor your hunger–which is the first step in learning to honor your fullness and knowing when to stop eating.
Be careful with what you drink
2: Cut back on fluids, so you can learn to distinguish your hunger from other eating triggers. At least, don’t start drinking non-caloric drinks when you’re feeling hungry!
Set up realistic goals
3: Mix in realistic goals that match your readiness for change. Taking on more than you’re prepared for only sets you up for failure, making it more challenging to get back on track.
Enjoy your meals
4: Spice up your diet with foods you really enjoy and see as forbidden. Otherwise, you’ll continue to long for what you feel you can’t have, and overeat when you finally do have a “weak moment.” That’s what happens with deprivation. And why would you stick with a way of eating you don’t enjoy?
5: Add patience as you shift your approach and relearn how to eat again. It took many, many years to develop your unhealthy behaviors, so be kind and patient as you relearn how to eat mindfully, and to distinguish your physical need for food, for fuel from all the other reasons we find ourselves eating.
Don’t deprive yourself from food, you need it
6: Don’t rely on willpower. Rather, avoid going more than 3.5 to 4 hrs without eating to increase control around food. It will help your energy level and make you less vulnerable when confronted with food. And it will allow you to better meet your needs without getting uncomfortably full.
If you plan your meals, everything becomes easier
7: Pre-plan–even if you don’t pre-prepare, allow for flexibility and spontaneity. Having a mental plan for what you’re going to eat, or having snacks on hand can help and make mealtime less overwhelming.
Don’t compare yourself
8: Stop comparing yourself–your size, your food intake–with others. Everyone’s needs are different so comparing is dangerous. Our needs depend on height, muscle mass, our activity levels, whether we are growing in pregnancy, whether we need to be gaining weight or not. Everyone seems to be an expert on what you should be doing, but you know what’s not working for you, and when it’s time to change direction.
Be kind with yourself
9: Let it go and strive for a clean slate versus a clean plate. Compensating for overeating with restricting, or with continued overeating. Try to be as compassionate to yourself as you’d be to your best friend.
Get support and be careful with the excessive information
10: Add supports, such as friends and loved ones. Too much information, including the wealth of misinformation we’re bombarded with, may make you feel like a deer in headlights, unable to make any change. So be selective about where you go for nutrition information and who you call on for support. Bad information can be more damaging than no information!
Do you find them difficult to follow? Do you think they work?