It’s time to change your relationship with food – here’s how

Posted on Thursday, 29th April 2021

We live in a society that constantly encourages us to compare ourselves to others – whether that means the people we see on TV or those who appear on our social media feeds. This means that you can spend hour upon hour scrolling through Instagram, wondering why you don’t look exactly like the models on the photographs, or why your hair never looks as shiny, or your make-up as smooth or ‘natural’. This hyper-competitive pressure allows toxic diet culture to thrive, which means that many young people develop a negative relationship with food or at least begin to view it differently than they once did.

As a result, we must find as many ways as possible to challenge damaging perceptions of beauty alongside diet culture – to help people repair their relationship with food. Remember, avoiding diet culture does not mean that your lifestyle will be unhealthy – in fact, it means it will probably be healthier than it was previously.

With that in mind, here are some simple ways in which you can adapt to a healthy lifestyle while changing your relationship with food for bad.

Let go of the idea of certain foods being ‘bad’. While some foods are healthier than others, the idea that certain foods are ‘bad’ can be particularly damaging, particular for those who suffer from eating disorders or related issues. One way in which you can begin to let go of this idea is by not restricting yourself after eating something that has a high-calorie count or planning an intense workout for the next day. Instead, simply view it for what it is – you deserved to have a treat, so you had one. You don’t have to punish yourself for enjoying some ice cream.

Focus on nutrition, not calories. Too often, we fixate on the number of calories contained with certain foods, as we feel as though this can help us lose weight and appear healthier. However, if you genuinely want to get fitter, you should instead focus on the nutritional value of food and what it provides for you and your body. For example, when practicing nutritional eating, eating more fruits and veg means that your diet will be rich in antioxidants, which can fight off sickness and infection.

Try something new at least once a week. Another way you can begin to change your relationship with food is by encouraging yourself to try something new every week. For example, you can start searching online for new recipes, such as the delicious lamb-based recipes from Superior Farms, and try your hand at cooking something new and delicious. Who knows, you may even discover your new favorite dish. Alternatively, you could also try ordering some different than you would usually go for when visiting a restaurant.

Focus on YOU. Though this can be difficult, you can begin to change your relationship with food by focusing on yourself and adopting healthy habits that allow you to bring around positive changes instead of spending hours comparing yourself to others. Avoid diets and New Year’s resolutions, and instead, focus on what makes you feel good.

Note: This is a collaborative post.

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