In a world where fad diets and quick fixes dominate the conversation around food, it's crucial to shift our focus from restriction to fuelling our bodies. Developing a healthy relationship with food is not just about what you eat; it's about the mindset and behaviours surrounding food. In this blog, we'll explore ways to create a positive relationship with the food we consume, promoting overall well-being and a sustainable, balanced lifestyle.
What is an unhealthy relationship with food
To overcome these unhealthy relationships it is important to actually understand what we mean. An unhealthy relationship with food isn't eating junk food as such, it is more over limiting yourself to the point where it is negatively affecting your daily life. These unhealthy relationships are usually caused by trying to be too perfect with your nutrition every day.
80 / 20 Food split
For the everyday person, we enjoy eating sweet treats every so often, however we can sometimes go overboard by labelling it as a 'cheat day'. Cheat days usually come people being too restrictive from Monday - Friday to the point they feel the need to binge on a weekend and put the cheat day label on it to make it seem better. The 80 / 20 food split is an approach where you have 80% of your daily diet as whole foods that provide you with a high macro nutrient value and then the final 20% are your favourite foods or treats. By taking this approach you are likely to enjoy your diet more meaning it is more sustainable for a longer period of time. This is one way to build a healthy relationship with foods however, depending on the person and their goal their can be other ways.
Food is fuel
It might be surprising but one reason a lot of people don't reach their goals is because they are eating too little. Food contains calories which is energy and that energy is needed to improve not only training performance but daily life performance. Even if your goal is fat loss, you should look to gradually reduce your portion sizes and calories instead of over limiting foods. If you are someone with more muscle on your frame, having a healthy relationship with food and seeing it as fuel is the best way to maintain this muscle or build even more.
Is tracking calories and foods obsessive? This is a question that is commonly asked and it is for a good reason. If you track what you eat on a daily basis, you will see results quicker and get more of an understanding on the foods and nutritional values that you are putting into your body. The problem with tracking is that is can become quite obsessive which then leads to having an unhealthy relationship with foods. If you find yourself falling into this, one thing you can do is track your foods in stints. For example if you track your food over a 12 week period, this is enough time to get results and get an understanding of portion sizes. You can then start to eat intuitively because you will have a good understanding of nutritional values. After doing this for a while if you are struggling to see more results or your performance is lacking, start to track foods again and become a little bit more strict with it. Tracking foods is a very useful tool however it shouldn't be something that negatively affects our relationship with foods.
At Warrior you can find many more blogs like this and many sports nutrition supplements to help you reach any fitness goals you may have.