Always Thinking About Food?
Change Your Mindset,
Change Your Health
Thinking About Food
Our relationship with food and drink can swing massively from positive to negative within hours, especially if we have an emotional attachment to eating.
And, knowing which foods to eat (and which to avoid) for healthy eating can be difficult, as the information on food and drink, and eating, changes on a near-constant basis. However, simply thinking about the way you eat and drink (and ignoring the mass media’s cries of “DON’T EAT THAT, EAT THIS – NOW THIS!) can help to drastically improve not only your relationship with food but your health too.
Here’s how can improve your emotional and physical health by changing your mindset when it comes to food.
Think About The Language You Use
Food is not “good” or “bad”- it is neutral. Humans have placed labels on meals and snacks, deeming them “good” or “bad”, based on the zeitgeist of the times. These labels can be harmful and can cause emotional stress on people who have anxiety when it comes to eating.
These labels also mean that foods become “allowed” or “forbidden” which makes them all the more desirable for those who want to lose weight healthily. Using negative language leads to negative emotional eating, and a focus on food throughout the day.
Rather, think that all food can fit your needs, and all food choices are good ones – fuelling your body is more important than following the media.
Consider Whether You Are Feeling Deprived
The relationship between restricting food and food cravings is a strong one. If you restrict a certain food or deprive yourself of enjoying certain meals and snacks, you are more likely to think about those foods throughout the day.
And, you are more likely to make food choices based on these cravings, and not when you are feeling really hungry. Strict rules about eating (what to eat and when to eat) can make your brain feel deprived, which could lead to overeating when you do eat.
Instead of relying on depriving yourself of “bad foods”, listen to your body’s natural cues for hunger and satiation. Even less healthy foods can be part of your daily nutrition intake when considered carefully.
Stop Judging – Yourself And Others
While you might have a filter on what you say out loud to people, there is a lot of judgment happening internally about yourself and others for their eating habits.
If you are always judging your food choices, setting out food and eating guidelines for yourself, and placing value on the nutrition content of your food (not your enjoyment) this could be leading to negative thoughts about food, rather than any weight loss success.
Stop judging yourself and those around you for what they eat, and rather learn more about the facts of foods. Speak to a nutrition expert about the makeup of food, investigate the truth behind your food cravings with the help of a dietitian – research and advice are better than anxious thoughts.
Don’t “Diet”, Eat Mindfully
If you want to lose weight for whatever reason, thinking about your goal as part of a diet is likely not going to help you.
Eating habits that focus on weight and weight loss can do more harm than good, as you may often miss the triggers from your body that tell you you are hungry or full. Mindful eating shifts the focus onto eating only when really hungry until you are full.
This type of thinking and eating forces you to be in the moment when you eat, allowing you to properly enjoy the food and the action of eating and drinking, instead of feeling stress about how much you are eating, what you are eating, and what other people think about you.
Identify Your Triggers
Understanding your triggers and patterns when it comes to eating habits can help you to change your relationship with food and manage these patterns.
Your triggers might be stress from a high-pressure job, boredom on the weekends, strong emotions after a fight or event, or simply being around delicious foods.
Keeping a journal of your eating and drinking patterns can clearly identify your triggers, helping you to change your behaviour and thought patterns to ones that are more positive for your overall body and brain health.
Changing your mindset about food can do more for your weight and health than you think!