The time has arrived to stop blaming food for all your wrongdoings. The simple fact with food and weight is – energy in must not exceed energy out. If you eat too much and don’t burn it off, you will gain weight.
However, the power of the mind has a way to hold onto weight when you have made food your enemy.
For many years food was my enemy. I ate because I had to eat. I didn’t enjoy what I ate. I fought every mouthful that I consumed and hated myself on a daily basis because I was letting my skinny body down by not allowing her to show up. For a few years in my teens I suffered from bulimia and it has had a profound affect on the rest of my life. I still have days where I am fighting with myself over food but these times are getting fewer and fewer.
Here are 9 ways to help stop making food your enemy
#1 Emotional Eating.
Sometimes it is not the food that makes you gain weight, it is the relationship you are having with the food. Be aware when you are eating emotionally and not because you are hungry. Write down these times to determine if there is a pattern in your eating. Don’t be hard on yourself if you do sit and emotionally eat. The first step in making your relationship with food healthier is to admit that you eat under certain pressures.
#2 Understand your food.
Learn about where your food is coming from. Pick one of your favourite foods to eat and research it. Know what it is made of and how it is made. Sometimes when you understand your food better and realise what it is doing to your body, steps to eliminate certain foods from your diet can occur and it’s a great way to build a stronger relationship with food.
#3 Stop eating on the run.
How many times have you grabbed a snack as you race out the door but then have no memory of actually eating the ‘so called’ snack? You don’t remember the taste, the enjoyment, the emotion of eating the food as you were too busy to take the time to eat it for you. If you are going to have a chocolate biscuit, you might as well take the time to actually enjoy it. When you allow yourself to stop while eating, all the flavours come to life and often less is eaten in that one sitting.
#4 Eat slowly.
This one elaborates on the previous point of taking time when it comes to food. To stop making food your enemy it is important to make food your friend instead. Savour every mouthful by eating slowly and allowing your body to digest the food as your go. The sensation of feeling fuller often occurs when food is eaten in this way.
#5 Try eating without distractions.
If you are sitting to eat a meal but you are on Facebook at the same time, the food no longer takes centre stage in the eating process. Food should be the main focus when eating a meal as this can help avoid over eating when given your full attention. An easily distracted brain will not send signals to the stomach quick enough when it is feeling full.
#6 Take in all your senses.
An important part of eating is allowing all the senses to join in the party. Smelling the food, feeling the texture of the food and seeing the colours of the food. Take in every aspect of the food you are about to eat so the taste, texture and smell all become over sensitised and the experience is one of enjoyment.
#7 Stop punishing yourself with food.
No one is perfect and everyone is allowed to treat themselves every day. If you are having a bad day and this reflects in what you have just eaten, don’t throw the rest of the day away and punish yourself with more food. It’s OK to have a bad day – EVERYONE has them.
#8 Learn from experiences. Not everyone is meant to be skinny (thank god or we would all be boring) and there is a big difference between health and weight. Don’t define yourself by your weight, define yourself by your health. Learn from your experiences with food and take small steps to change what you don’t like.
#9 The less you worry, the less it becomes a worry.
This one is easier said than done but it is important to try. Wake up each day with a positive mind on eating. Eat because you enjoy it and because it is for your health. Understand that losing weight doesn’t happen overnight (well, did you put weight on overnight?) and it should become a natural part of your every day.
The longest relationship you will EVER have in your life is with food, make it a healthy one.