When it comes to relationships, few are more complicated than the ones we have with food. From a young age, we are bombarded with societal expectations of how our bodies should look, reinforced by billboards, advertisements, and magazines, leaving little space for personal deviation. Moreover, navigating the path to achieving such an idealized body is riddled with ambiguous and sometimes hazardous information. It seems like the odds are stacked against us from the very beginning, making our journey to a healthy relationship with food a challenging one.
Many of us have ventured into the realm of research, only to find ourselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and faced with contradictions at every turn. The landscape is littered with fad diets like Keto, Paleo, and South Beach, as well as enticing get-slim-quick schemes such as detox teas and mono-meals, which can easily distract even the most focused individuals. You almost need another degree to make heads or tails of it all.
Almost is the operative word there though because you have Joy Society and we are here to help cut through the noise! In our most recent Cup Of Joy episode: Episode #63: Making Better Food Choices: It Starts with The Mind. We had the pleasure of speaking with Melissia Schmidt, Master Nutritionist & Health Coach, for an easy-to-comprehend conversation about the barriers we face in pursuit of better nutrition, and tips on achieving a powerful mindset shift around food.
Melissia gave us a great starting point from which to launch our larger conversation around food, health, and the interconnectedness of it all but today we’re diving deeper into how to understand and improve our relationship with food, in an effort to achieve an even better state of holistic success.
5 Tactics to Better Understand & Improve Your Relationship with Food.
Understanding your relationship with food is a crucial step toward fostering a healthier and more balanced approach to nutrition. Here are some helpful, research-based tips on how to develop a better understanding of your current relationship with food as well as how to start to make a positive change today that your future self will thank you for. You can utilize and employ any number of the following 5 tactics in any order but employing them all will provide the best results.
Tactic 1: Practice Mindfulness During Meals.
Pay close attention to your hunger cues, emotions, and thoughts while eating. Take note of any emotional triggers that might lead to overeating or indulging in unhealthy choices. Mindful eating allows you to develop a deeper awareness of your body’s needs and helps you differentiate between emotional and physical hunger.
Tactic 2: Keep a Food Journal.
You can use this food journal to track your eating habits and patterns over time. Record what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel before and after meals. This practice can help you identify any recurring patterns or emotional connections to food. Becoming aware of these patterns can empower you to make positive changes and develop healthier habits.
Tactic 3: Challenge the myths and misconceptions surrounding food and body image.
Be skeptical of fad diets and quick-fix solutions that promise unrealistic results. Instead, focus on evidence-based information from reputable sources and consult with registered dietitians or nutritionists for personalized guidance. Understanding that everyone’s nutritional needs are different and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating can lead to a more sustainable and individualized relationship with food. As Melissia likes to say: “It depends!”
Tactic 4: Cultivate a positive and compassionate attitude towards yourself and your body.
It is important to avoid harsh self-criticism or guilt trips related to food choices. Rather than creating limitations or restrictions, focus on creating better habits and healthier choices. Embrace the idea of progress rather than perfection and celebrate small victories on your journey towards a healthier relationship with food.
Tactic 5: Seek support and surround yourself with individuals who share your commitment to improving their relationship with food.
Engage in conversations with friends, family, or support groups about your experiences, challenges, and successes. Having a supportive community can make a significant difference in staying motivated and inspired along the path to better understanding and nurturing your relationship with food.
Joy Society is uniquely suited to help you with all of these tactics! We offer a fully-interactive goal-setting experience that can help you achieve the daily wins you need to reach your larger goals. Additionally, we offer; weekly group coaching sessions, an ever-growing library of resources, daily accountability check-ins (on-video or in-feed), and a professionally developed GPS to TRU Success program to help you meet and exceed your goals in all areas of your life.
A Healthier You is Possible!
Melissia’s expertise provided us with a solid foundation from which we can continue our exploration of food, health, and their profound interconnectedness. As we continue on this path of understanding, it’s essential to remember that our relationship with food is not just about what we eat but also how we approach it mentally and emotionally.
By practicing mindfulness, being open to learning, and seeking support from a nurturing community like Joy Society, we can gradually improve our relationship with food, making it a source of nourishment and joy rather than stress and confusion.