Your relationship with food is one of the longest connections you’ll have in your life. Much like human relationships, your experiences with food can affect your daily life, your mental health, and your happiness.
In fact, Psychology Today points out that many people have rocky relationships with food, which is illustrated by the rise of people going on fad diets and experiencing undesired weight changes. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for people to approach food in a healthy manner due to the messages that they heard about their bodies or even their critical inner voices regarding food.
However, it’s worth it to work on your approach to food because it can improve your quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of your connection with food:
The Powerful Impact of Your Relationship with Food
UNICEF explains that having a healthy relationship with food is crucial because it is the key to lifelong health. Unfortunately, other people struggle to eat well because they view food either as a reward or punishment. Meanwhile, others don’t understand how to become in tune with their body’s needs, so they don’t pay attention to their hunger or their satiety. These can have profound effects on people, making them either eat a lot or a little.
In fact, a study on ‘The Impact of Interpersonal Relationships on Dietary Habits’ highlights that your perception regarding food can also have an effect on your connection with your family or your partner. Children view their parents as their role models, so they usually adopt their parents’ food habits and preferences. Likewise, your perspectives and behaviors towards food can also influence your partner, especially if you have a more inhibiting relationship style.
How to Build Healthier Food Habits
Pay attention to your language regarding food
If you’ve never noticed how you talk about food, it may be time to start paying attention. Though it may seem unimportant, the words that you associate with food can make an impact on how you eat.
To illustrate, you may call fatty food “forbidden” or “fattening,” even if there are food sources of it that can help lower your risk for heart diseases, such as avocados or nuts. You might also stick to a certain food group because they’re “superfoods” or “clean” without remembering that your diet should be well-balanced. With greater awareness, you can learn to overcome any apprehensions about certain foods.
Work with a professional to improve your habits
Expert advice can go a long way in improving your eating habits and helping you reach your health goals. In fact, the nutrition and behavioral science experts on WeightWatchers have made weight loss plans more effective by developing a program that changes people’s relationships with food. These experts noted that weight loss could be healthy and lasting, especially if people learned how to master portion sizes and be mindful in eating.
On top of that, you can also work with therapists to help you understand the root causes of your relationship with food. By seeking the help of these experts, you will be able to address your negative thoughts and learn how to eat better.
Surround yourself with people who can support you
Apart from working with experts, you can also improve your eating habits by surrounding yourself with people who can motivate and inspire you. These people could be family members that eat thrice a day or even friends who are good at making well-balanced meals.
You can even date people who can inspire you to eat better. The dating website Same Plate can help you achieve this because it encourages people to share meals, cook, and eat dinner together. You can also sign up for Paleo Connect, which connects you with CrossFit enthusiasts and health nuts who are excited to share their eating and exercise habits.
It’s never too late to change any bad eating habits. Before it’s too late, it’s important that you learn how to eat healthily to enjoy better relationships and a better quality of life.