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HomeHealth & DietSnackfax Guide: 8 Strategies to Maintain a Healthy Relationship with food

Snackfax Guide: 8 Strategies to Maintain a Healthy Relationship with food

Philadelphia-based dietician Lisa Jones argues that, like any other relationship, a good one with food takes effort and is essential to your well-being.

Chicago-based wellness consultant Erin Clifford notes, however, that many people face challenges related to an unhealthy connection with food and weight-reduction plan. Some people do this by sneaking unhealthy foods like chocolate chip cookies, muffins, ice cream, fried chicken, and fatty hamburgers into their diets.

Keep in mind that there is no “one diet fits all” approach that would be ideal for everyone. If pizza is your favourite food and your diet forbids it, “that might be hard to handle,” as Jones puts it.

3 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship With Food

Hiding Food

“I’ve worked with people who would bring me their food journal, and it looked perfect, but they weren’t losing weight,” Clifford says. “I (would) ask, what’s really going on? And they’d admit they ate food they didn’t put in the journal. I had one client who had a drawer hidden in her bathroom that her husband didn’t know about. She used it to store things like cookies and potato chips. If you’re hiding what you’re eating, that’s not a healthy relationship with food.”

Yo-Yo Dieting

One symptom of an unhealthy perspective on food is the practice of going on and off diets. Some people can be on top of their weight-loss diet game for weeks or months at a time, then relapse and put on weight by consuming sugary, fatty, and high-calorie things.

Emotional Eating

Some people use food as a crutch to avoid dealing with their emotions, which can have serious consequences for their health. Stress, sadness, boredom, and loneliness can all trigger emotional eating. When people are feeling down, they often turn to harmful “comfort foods” like ice cream and french fries, which can have serious health consequences down the line.

8 Tips to Avoid Compulsive or Unhealthy Eating

“Some people (are compulsive) about food, the same way some are about alcohol or gambling,” Clifford says. “There are parallels.”

But consuming food compulsively is different from substance use disorder or gambling problems. There are 12-step programs to help people abstain from drinking or using drugs, but everyone needs to eat. Fortunately, there are strategies to maintain a healthy relationship with food.

Diet and nutrition experts and a physician offer these tips to achieve and maintain a healthy relationship with food:

1. Take into consideration maintainability.

Think about your long-term commitment to any diet or exercise plan before starting one. If you answered “no,” Jones advises making adjustments to your strategy in order to lay the framework for a healthy relationship with food. Most people would benefit from consuming a diet high in plant-based foods (such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy), moderate in protein (such as beans and fish), and low in sodium (such as table salt).

The risks associated with: can be mitigated by following such a diet.

Some of the risks are;

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
2. Seek support.

As a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, many people have adopted unhealthy eating habits, leading to the creation of the phrases “the quarantine fifteen” and “the quarantine nineteen,” which allude to weight gain experienced by those quarantined.

Seeking help from a professional, such as a certified dietitian, who can offer methods based on your lifestyle and dietary choices is the best approach to keeping a healthy relationship with food.

Find a nearby registered dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ referral service. Having loved ones behind you as you work to develop a more positive and healthy relationship with food may be a tremendous help. Make sure to enlist a few members of your support system to help in reaching the diet relationship goals desired.

3. Don’t label specific foods as good or bad

There is no supernatural healing power in a cup of broccoli, and no evil in a slice of pizza. According to Anne Lewis, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Indianapolis, while some foods are better for your well-being than others, no food is inherently good or bad.

According to Lewis, giving food items moral status is like giving them weapons. You are not a bad person because you strayed from your diet and ate junk food; beating yourself up over it will just make you feel defeated and cause you to overeat.

4. Minimize your opportunities to make bad choices

If you’re on a low-sugar diet, Lewis says you can still enjoy a small piece of cake on your birthday or at a social gathering with friends.

Try to save cake for exceptional occasions only. Do not keep the cake in the house on a regular basis. Lewis claims that having certain meals readily available can lead to compulsive overeating. If you host a birthday party and there is cake left over, you should either give it away or throw it away.

5. Don’t get too restrictive.

If you’re trying to lose weight, instead of cutting out certain foods altogether, give yourself permission to have a small serving of your favourite treat once a week. Clifford recommends limiting yourself to one donut once every seven days rather than trying to eliminate them entirely from your diet.

It may be unreasonable to try to abstain from a certain food forever. Avoid binge eating by including treats in your diet moderately rather than feeling like a failure if you indulge in one.

6. Keep a food journal.

Not only should you record what you consume, but also how you’re feeling. Clifford suggests keeping a food and mood journal to help you identify patterns.

When you’re feeling down, you could find that you consume more chips, cookies, and other unhealthy snacks than usual. As an alternative to reaching for that bag of chips, try breathing deeply or going for a quick stroll.

7. Try cooking.

To avoid the hassle of reheating a meal in a microwave or stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way home, try preparing a homemade dinner instead.

A high level of culinary expertise is not required. What Clifford means by saying, “Cooking can be incredibly simple,” is that anyone can do it. One option is to simply purchase a steamer and use it to cook your greens. Indoor grilling is as nice as it gets. If you’ve gone through the trouble of shopping for and preparing your own meal, you’ll enjoy it that much more. The result is increased awareness.

8. Set yourself up for success at the grocery store.

In the words of Dr Michael Russo, a general surgeon specialising in bariatric surgery at Orange Coast Medical Center’s MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center in Fountain Valley, California, “the battle to maintain a balanced relationship with food begins at the supermarket,” where what you buy will greatly determine whether or not you will maintain healthy eating habits.

Conclusion-

If you want to eat healthier, Russo recommends sticking to the supermarket’s outer aisles where things like fresh vegetables, lean meats, dairy products, and baked goods can be found, and staying away from the supermarket’s inner aisles where things like snacks foods and sugary desserts can be found. Instead of picking up cakes, muffins, and cookies when you’re at the bakery department, go for the whole-grain bread.

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