Improve Your Relationship With Food

Tucson Nutrition Coach

In honor of Valentines Day yesterday, let’s talk about relationships. More specifically your relationship with food. After all it’s is one of the most important relationships you have in regards to your health.

Food is life- literally, you have to eat to survive. But our relationship with food is so much more than just consuming calories. Food impacts our mood, our self-esteem, our emotions, our body composition, and our overall well being.

Food should NOURISH you.

Food should not control you. Food should not make you feel anxious. Food should not make you feel guilty. Food should not be feared or demonized.

Educate yourself about food and why choosing real, whole foods is SO amazing! Learn how to cook food. Learn how to read ingredient labels. Learn about what kinds of foods best fuel your body. Learn how to emotionally navigate food. Let food be a source of empowerment, nourishment, and enjoyment.

Ok, rant over!

One of the ways you can improve your relationship with food is by eating mindfully. Ever had dinner with someone that is totally distracted on their phone, not engaging in conversation, and totally ignoring you? Doesn’t feel so great right? Well food feels the same way when you eat distracted ;)

I get it, you just got home from a long day at work, you want to chill out, not talk to anyone, and just watch TV gosh darn-it! Scarfing food in your face while checking out the latest Insta stories might save time but it definitely doesn’t allow you to cue in with important hunger and fullness cues. Ever eaten a giant meal in less then 5 minutes and somehow you’re still hungry? Well, you didn’t let your body fully process the food you just ate. Your body needs a chance to properly digest, convert, and send important signals from your food to your brain. This allows your body and brain to know when it’s time to eat (gherlin) or when it’s time to stop eating (leptin). Fun Fact: Leptin is stored mainly in adipose tissue and is your body’s energy sensor as it helps control appetite, regulate fat storage, and metabolism in the body..

When we eat while distracted (TV, phone, work, in the car etc.) we create the habit that we should be eating when doing those things. Can’t watch a movie or go to the movies without a big ol’ bucket of buttery popcorn? Have you noticed that every time you sit down on the couch in front of the TV you get a craving for ice cream no matter what time of day? Ever notice that when you feel rushed, you also feel the need to scarf down a snack? Constantly eating while distracted creates a habit of mindless eating.

Break the chain eat more mindfully:

- Take breaks in between bites: Put your fork down, take a deep breath, sip some water, or count to three between each bite.

- Chew your food slowly: Start to notice the texture of your food, the taste of your food, and how that food makes you feel. 

- Eat without distraction (duh): No phones, no tv just delicious food and some engaging conversation (even if it’s with your dog).

- Pace yourself to the slowest eater: We all like competition right- who can eat the slowest?!

- Start to notice to situations that make you eat fast: Maybe it’s certain people or certain emotions. 

- Download a mindful eating app like Am I Hungry or Mindful Bite.

- My personal favorite: Take a moment to give thanks for your meal. For the fact that you have food on your plate. For the hands that made the food. For the nourishment the food will provide you. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Take some time this week to pursue your relationship with food, it’ll be worth it.

Come see Kelly to not only improve your relationship with food, but learn how to use nutrition to improve your performance, gain energy, and fuel your life. Click below to get started.