Five Tips to Creating a Healthy Relationship with Food

 

 

What comes to mind when you think about a healthy relationship?

How would you describe your current relationship with food?

 

In this blog I am going to share with you my top tips to creating a healthy relationship with food that I implement into my client’s programs.

 

Why not just diet?

Well, focusing on creating a healthy relationship with food leads to long term change and overall a better understanding of food.

Diets tend to eliminate or restrict certain foods or food groups, which leads to disordered eating and higher stress. This study explored the physiological effects of tracking food intake and restricting intake. The results found that individuals who monitored and tracked daily caloric intake had increased perceived physiological stress. Individuals who restricted daily caloric intake had increased total daily cortisol levels. (2)

No thanks, I would rather keep my stress levels as low as possible.

 

Okay, so what does creating a healthy relationship with food look like and mean?

“Healthy eating isn’t perfection, it’s doing your best with what you have” Ryan Andrews

This study detailing nutrition coaching and it’s benefits, reported a decrease in body weight and fat mass, and an increase in muscle mass in individuals who participated in 12 weeks of nutrition coaching. The study also reported an increase daily energy expenditure and increased frequency of physical activity. (1) The goal of nutrition coaching is to guide clients in creating a long-term healthy relationship with food to improve overall well-being.

A healthy relationship with food is about valuing making smart, healthy choices that fuel without feeling restricted or guilt.

Creating this healthy eating relationship is sustainable long term, provides consistency, and takes practice.

 

5 Healthy Eating Tips:

 

1.Limit ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset

    • You do not need ‘cheat meals’-
      • Cheat meals encourages black and white thinking and that you need to cheat on your diet
    • Avoid placing foods in black and white categories like ‘good’ or ‘bad’
      • Instead mentally set foods on a sliding continuum of nutritious and energy dense
      • The photo below is an example of a sliding continuum and shows whole wheat toast, avocado and eggs with veggies, therefore it hits all macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats) and is the most nutritious of the 3 options.
    • If you do overeat, you have not fallen off track and your goals are not ruined
      • No one person if perfect, pick back up where you left off, and learn from the experience

2.Have a plan

    • Create a weekly menu
      • Identify a day of the week to plan breakfast, lunch, and/ or dinner
    • Create a grocery list based on the menu
      • Creating a list of groceries from your menu ensures you purchase all of the necessary foods
      • This also helps prevent you from buying unnecessary foods
    • Order your groceries
      • Grocery delivery and pick up services are so easy and convenient
      • This saves you precious time (so you can get that daily training in)
      • Personally, I have found that I save money when I avoid physically going into the grocery store

3.Allow Balance

    • Be honest with yourself and your coach
    • Be forgiving when you stumble
      • When you stumble, remember you are only human, you are learning, and take a second to grow and learn from the situation
    • Still enjoy foods you love
      • Sticking to healthy habits 80% of the time is great adherence so it’s okay to enjoy your favorite take out meal in moderation

4.Choose foods based on how they make you feel

    • Food is fuel
      • Consume foods that make you feel good and energized MORE, and LIMIT foods that make you feel tired, bloated, and cruddy
    • Calories should not be the primary deciding factor for food
      • 600 calories from a burger and 600 calories from quinoa, veggies, and chicken sausage are VERY different

5.Listen and identify your body’s natural hunger cues

    • Consider hunger levels before and following a meal
      • Mentally identify WHY you are eating prior to eating
      • Rate your hunger levels on a scale of 1-10 and track this in a journal
    • Strive to avoid boredom eating
      • Boredom eating for most people can be a slippery slope
      • When bored, drink water or snack on vegetables
      • If you do end up eating out of boredom, identify a small bowl as your snack bowl to avoid eating directly out of the bag or package

GREAT! This sounds easy right?

But when you go to prepare for the week and fit these healthy habits into your busy schedule you feel stuck actually implementing it. That’s normal.

This is where hiring a certified nutrition coach is beneficial. A coach can help you navigate through the abundance of information on the internet, stay accountable, adjust energy needs, provide you with a personalized plan, and so much more.

Fueled to Perform offers:

  • 1-time Nutrition Coaching calls which provide personalized nutrition guides with macros, calories, and portion recommendations, a 30 minute 1:1 coaching call, a 4-phase habit plan, and actionable takeaways.
  • Personalized Nutrition Coaching with daily accountability, goal setting, and follow up coaching calls plus nutrition guides, journals, and more resources

Want to lean more? Let’s chat!

Stay fueled and train to perform

-Coach Court

 

References:

  1. Lancha AH Jr, Sforzo GA, Pereira-Lancha LO. Improving Nutritional Habits With No Diet Prescription: Details of a Nutritional Coaching Process. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016;12(2):160-165. Published 2016 Mar 1. doi:10.1177/1559827616636616
  2. Tomiyama AJ, Mann T, Vinas D, Hunger JM, Dejager J, Taylor SE. Low calorie dieting increases cortisol. Psychosom Med. 2010;72(4):357-364. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181d9523c