There are millions of individuals who have this “love/ hate,” “back and forth” relationship thing with foods.

An unhealthy relationship with foods is nearly compared to as having a relationship with that one particular person you need to get rid of but always get ‘suckered’ into falling short for their sweetness, sugary kisses, and delicious romance.

And, once that romantic night ends or you are done over-indulging in that person’s company, you immediately get this intense feeling of guilt, shame, embarrassment, and sometimes being sick to your stomach.

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Why do you get these feelings?

You know well that one particular person isn’t right for you. That person is not good for boosting your self-esteem, happiness and importantly, overall health.

As the adage says, “Everything that looks good ain’t good for you.”

That’s exactly how some foods make you feel.

Some foods simply look good, taste good, but ain’t good for you

It’s those foods which are labeled as ‘comfort foods’ high in fat, sugar, and calories.

For example, everyone loves to over-indulge in desserts, ice-cream, chocolate, eat cheeseburgers, greasy French fries, fried foods, potato chips and cupcakes.

You know, all of those foods that aren’t good for you, but you cheat on your diet to savor it taste once awhile; and made a vow not to eat again. Yes.

Those foods, ‘comfort foods’ cause us to break personal food and nutrition rules; cheat on diets and then make us feel guilty, shameful, yet brings memories, comfort, and delight all at the same time.

Healthier relationship with my food

What intrigued me to write this article was during a counseling session, I was asked by a client, “how can I have a healthier relationship with my foods.”

She further stated, “I don’t want to cheat on my diet.” I don’t want to feel deprived of my favorite foods anymore.

I simply want to eat healthier but enjoy my favorite foods without feeling ashamed or guilty.

I immediately replied to my client, you can. You can enjoy your favorite foods. As the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ suggested that healthy individuals can fit all foods in their diet.

However, we are cautioned that our comfort foods should be eaten in moderation and shared, and lean meats, lower-fat dairy products, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables should be consumed more.

Don’t deprive yourself

I build upon this message in mostly all my medical nutrition counseling sessions with clients by providing simple recommendations on how to include “comfort foods’ into their diet while living life.

After all, food is that one ‘thing’ that gives us the opportunity to share pleasurable moments with family and friends; and therefore, let’s enjoy it!

healthy relationship with food_3So, below are 10 simple recommendations that I share with my clients on how to have a healthy, long-lasting relationship with their foods and ‘savor the flavor of eating right’!

Here’s my tips for a healthy relationship with food

10 Healthy Ways to Improve Your Relationship with Your Food:

1. Non-reliable information: First and foremost, stop looking on the internet for advice from non-reliable sources to help resolve your food and nutrition concerns. Look for advice from industry Experts, such as here on WatchFit, to resolve your unhealthy food relationship. You should always consult with a registered dietitian, food and nutrition professional or your doctor on the best food options for you.

2. Food is good for you: Understand food is not here to harm you but to give your body energy and replenish the nutrients it need to sustain the daily biological processes.

3. Stop dieting! Dieting leads to the dieters “Yo-Yo” effect, causing them to constantly lose and gain weight over again. Yo-Yo Dieting may lead to weight disappointments, depression, inconsistent body metabolism and weight, food deprivation, additional weight gain, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

4. Stop food depriving yourself: If you have a taste for something, then by all means, have it! If not, you will build this love/hate relationship with foods once you enjoy. It’s like, you will love yourself for enjoying a food you craze, but hate yourself for enjoying it. Simply, have small portions or share them to reduce calories.

5. Fill up on the ‘good stuff’: For example, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats including beans and lentils, low-fat dairy products, an occasionally, enjoy low-calorie desserts.

6. Nutrition guides: Use the MyPlate as your food and nutrition guide when in doubt.

7. DIY: Always, always, always try to enjoy home cooked meals at least 3 times a week.

8. Plan ahead: Plan your meals throughout the week to stay on track with your diet.

9. Add new flavor: Either “Spice It Up” or “Make It Saucey” with fresh herbs such as rosemary, basil, thyme, cayenne pepper, turmeric or olive oil, fresh fruit or vegetable juices/broth, and low-sodium meat tenderizers.

10Workout! Don’t forget to exercise.

Cheers to a Healthy Relationship with Your Foods!

Connect with Expert Charmaine Jones

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