How to Begin to Get a Better Relationship with Food

It's getting closer to the summer period now, and I've already started noticing the rise of the 'Summer body', '12 week shred plan' 'want to lose weight for summer'. 

That's all fine, if that's what you want to do, but the fact that they call a lot of these plans a 'diet' will mean that most people will fail, or put the weight back on when they finish. But if you are not in a good mindset in the first place, then you are setting yourself up to fail.

I joined the group 'Team no BS' on Facebook created by Lucy Mountain who is the Fashion Fitness Foodie (And a proper girl boss!). The group is a non judgemental open community to post any fitness and foodie topics you like. The thing I noticed most is that there are so many people want to have a healthy relationship with food, but don't know how. 

It has taken me months and months to get into a healthy mindset when it comes to food, after years and years of battling with my own brain.

Here are 5 tips that have helped me,I hope they can help you too. 

1. You are normal

This is probably the most important rule. If you do not see yourself as normal, you will never have a good relationship with yourself or food. Cellulite, bingo wings, stretch marks, bloating… These are all normal and more women have them! And plus, do you ever look at your friend and think 
‘OMG her bingo wings are really offending me today, I don’t think I can be friends with her’.
 You don’t…which means that no one else does with you! You are a normal human being, and understand that you are perfect the way you are. And I’m sorry but a six pack is unrealistic for most women, if I had the choice between doing an ab workout or eating chocolate eggs and hot cross buns over Easter, I know what 99% of people would choose.

2. Don’t demonise food

There is no such thing as ‘Good foods’ and ‘Bad foods’. Yes, some foods may contain more nutrients or have some health benefits, but that does not mean that they are the only thing you should eat. Sanity is important when it comes to food too, and if you make a food naughty then you will always feel guilty for eating it when you eventually cave in! (And you will).
A good way to make sure that you enjoy your meals is to give yourself a structure (But know that it is okay if this doesn’t work all the time – 80/20 rule). If you ensure that you have a portion of carbohydrates, a portion of protein, a portion of fats and 2 portions of veggies then that’s a good start and you will have a good balance of nutrients.  

3. Go for nutrients over numbers

How many people do you hear say ‘I can’t have that, its got too many calories’. Well I don’t think that calories are an accurate measure of food. The calculation of calories was actually invented in the 1800’s, so how can food possibly still follow the same rules it did back then.
Also, if you follow the new guidelines and have 600 calories for your dinner, if doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be getting a good level of nutrients. 
For example, a Cheeseburger and fries from McDonald's is 638 calories, whereas a portion of brown rice, chicken, veggies, pitta and hummus comes to around 500 calories. And I know which one I would rather eat and which would keep me fuller for longer.

4. Food is fuel

Food is not something you should use/restrict to lose weight. Yes, the foods you eat can influence how much weight you will lose, but ultimately that shouldn’t be the goal. If you are feeding yourself in a balanced and nutritious way, then you should not be calorie counting. If you exercise, make sure that you exercise to feel good and get your muscles moving, not to punish yourself because you ate that whole bar of chocolate when the portion size says it’s a family pack.  

5. Understand that you will have good and bad days

Maybe not a rule as such, but just something to be mindful of. Getting a better relationship with food is great, but it will not mean that you are then set for life. There is a very good chance that you will slip up and the guilt will set in from time to time, I’ll admit that sometimes the little voice in my head does creep in, but you just need to remember, food is a good thing, we have to eat it to survive. So see if as fuel for your body, without it, you wouldn’t be able to run.

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