Food is always there for us. Food never makes us sad. Food is always there to cheer us up. For some of us, these are just facts of life. But when you look at what food actually is meant for, it seems silly to also view it as a therapist. We need to consume food for nutrients, fuel, and energy; not as a coping mechanism, our personal counselor, or a bad habit. We came up with some tips on how you can improve your relationship with food today.
Healthy Ways to Feed Your Body
1. Find an actual HEALTHY coping mechanism.
We eat when we’re bored, sad, and stressed. What if instead of turning to food, we could find something that could relive ourselves from our suffering that was actually good for us? Find a hobby such as a form of exercise, writing in a journal, or something else that you love to do. When you feel sad or stressed and want to turn to food, turn to one of these instead.
2. Don’t focus on counting calories; focus on feeling GOOD.
Congratulations! You’ve consumed x number of calories today; the goal that you’ve set for yourself. The bad news is…most of the calories you consumed had no nutritional value. It’s better to eat a food that is actually healthy for you and has more calories, than a food that is worse for you and has less calories. Opt for a healthy snack or a good meal, and chances are you will be fuller and not need all of those empty-calorie foods.
3. Watch out for the fake stuff.
Some foods that are labeled as “diet foods” contain ingredients that you can’t even pronounce, and they can be even worse for you than the real thing! These ingredients such as fake sugars, fake fats, and added colors and preservatives are extremely harmful to the body, and can cause a variety of health problems. It’s better to just eat the real stuff in the right portion sizes!
We reward ourselves with food; for birthdays, graduations, reaching milestones. We can bond over food, and food is a part of our cultures that formed us into the people we are today. Food is a wonderful thing and our bodies obviously need it, but when it started to be used as a therapist, it can become dangerous. To have a healthy relationship with food, only eat the healthy stuff only when you’re actually hungry.