Many people struggle with food. What can I eat? It this healthy? Is that food bad or good for you? Food is fuel, entertainment, comfort, a source of stress, anxiety, and even disease. Diets, weight loss programs, eating disorders. Stop the madness!! How do we make peace with food in our daily lives?
Fast food commercials, weight loss commercials, glamorizing food- demonizing food. No wonder we are confused, stressed, and obsessed with food. Food is fuel for our body; it provides the nutrients we need to function. Our lives revolve around food.
Make peace with food by changing your mindset. Guess what? The number one purpose of food is to provide energy and nourishment for our body. We need the proper nutrients such as lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables for our bodies to perform properly. Your food choices can help heal your body or it can fuel inflammation and disease. The key is to tune your awareness to the main function of food.
All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from the food we eat.
Our bodies digest the food we eat by mixing it with fluids (acids and enzymes) in the stomach. When the stomach digests food, the carbohydrate (sugars and starches) in the food breaks down into another type of sugar, called glucose.
The stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and then release it into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, glucose can be used immediately for energy or stored in our bodies, to be used later.
Eating healthy is not a sacrifice. Without food we can’t survive. I’m not saying you can’t splurge and enjoy food, but once you realize its key purpose, it becomes easier to make peace with your food choices. It begins by increasing awareness of our bodies signals. Are we hungry or are we thirsty?
Learn to determine the difference between physical and emotional hunger. It’s all about balance and giving our body vitamins and nutrients to function at optimal levels rather than going on a binge because you had a bad day at work.
Many times our emotions fuel our hormones and lead to strong cravings for junk and/or processed foods. Learn the difference between your physical and emotional cues to help develop a healthy attitude regarding your food choices.
Here are 10 Steps Towards Making Peace With Food. Learn to enjoy your meals. Take the stress and guilt out of your food choices.
May and Schilling offer these 10 tips for breaking the eat-repent-repeat cycle:
- Eat what you love. All foods can fit into a healthy diet using the common sense principles of balance, variety, and moderation to guide your eating.
- Love what you eat. Slow down and eat mindfully, without distractions.
- Value quality over quantity.
- Small, sustainable improvements in your eating are more effective than a drastic, temporary overhaul.
- Use nutrition information as a tool, not a weapon.
- Choose the healthiest option that won’t leave you feeling deprived.
- Don’t expect yourself to eat perfectly — it’s not possible or even necessary.
- When guilt is no longer a factor, common sense will prevail.
- Accept that you’ll sometimes regret the choices you make. Learn from your experiences.
- Exercise for healthy and energy, not to earn the right to eat or pay penance for eating a “bad food.”
Take the labels off food. Increase your awareness of what your body need for energy and to fuel it properly with healthy food choices. Balance your life with occasional splurges without the guilt. If you want a piece of cake. Buy the richest, most calorie laden piece you can find. And savor each bite. It all about balance and finally making peace with food.