Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food Through Self-QuestioningMay 12, 2021
Do you have a healthy relationship with food? Check out how you can develop a healthy relationship with food: Everyone has thought about their weight and body image from time to time. During the past year, under the pandemic restrictions, many of us have become even more familiar with ourselves.
In the process, you may have learned that there is really no one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness. It’s important to have an exercise program that works for you and fits your needs. It is equally important to have a healthy eating plan that works with your stomach, mind, and soul. And yes, I am talking about food!
The way we perceive food is impacted by a number of factors: lifestyle choices, how we were raised, stress, and even geographical location. Over the past year, I have found a new appreciation for food. Food is great! I have found myself cooking more than ever, and delicious meals at that! It’s important to enjoy the food we eat. It is equally important to make sure the food we are putting in our bodies will support us.
So, how can you develop a healthier relationship with food while taking care of yourself, honoring your hunger, and eating well? Check out the questions below that you may consider asking yourself while preparing/ordering a meal for yourself or a loved one.
Self-Questioning for a Healthy Relationship With Food
1. Is it time to eat?
Oftentimes we eat for a number of reasons. I find that some of these times are when we are; bored, anxious, celebrating, or stressed. It really only is time to eat when you are hungry! I’m not talking about waiting until your stomach moans and groans for more, but I am talking about waiting until you feel the need to put more energy in your body because that’s what food is: our energy source!
It is important for our minds and bodies to remain sharp and stop letting your stomach call all the shots.
By practicing this exercise of only eating when you are physically hungry, you are honoring your body and its needs. Recognize when you need fuel, not when you want a distraction. It’s like charging our phones. Who plugs in their phone at 80%, even 60%? We wait until we need more charge to plug it in. Try treating food the same way!
2. What is going into my body?
When ordering food or making a meal yourself, it is important to ask the question, “What am I consuming?” I hope most of us consider this question already, but sometimes we lose sight of it. You know, the old reminder that your body is a temple, not a trash can.
When cooking food, we put various items that we enjoy on the plate. I have found in my cooking experience that often, my meals are simple. By asking this question, I have added more to my personal menu and bumped the healthiness up in some simple meals. By adding a shallot or spinach to a stir fry, I am getting more nutrients than I would otherwise (and shallots ARE absolutely delicious!).
It’s really the little things that go a long way over time.
Getting (or sneaking) in the right nutrients can make us feel more full and fulfilled and better throughout the day.
3. Do I respect the food and process?
I have found increased happiness by asking this question to myself. The other day, I made Pad Thai at home. As I was chopping and prepping, I looked onto the counter to see the beautiful rainbow of vegetables. I felt a moment of appreciation for having access to such an array of produce.
Eating is such an enjoyable process (especially when it's time to eat!), and it’s important to slow this process down a bit, to take the time to acknowledge the pleasure and privilege.
This is eating mindfully. It’s almost like treating every meal as a mini thanksgiving, simply taking a moment to be grateful for the food in front of you. Being in this mood normally makes me more joyous and excited for the meal I am about to eat.
Enjoy Having A Healthy Relationship With Food
These questions are really quite straightforward. Asking them to ourselves in the cooking process or before eating allows us to practice being more mindful and building a healthier relationship with food. Enjoy eating! Love eating!
ABOUT THE AUTHORDr. Candice Seti, Psy.D., of Me Only Better is known in the community as "The Weight Loss Therapist." Dr. Seti is renowned for her expertise in applying cognitive therapy to weight loss and weight management and extensive knowledge of nutrition and exercise applications to a weight management program. This is an area Dr. Seti has been passionate about for many years after her own weight loss experience. Read more articles by Dr. Seti!