In this article, I am going to break down the 6 ways to improve your relationship with food.
With so many diets and “experts” out there, It’s super easy to get overwhelmed with all the information saying “eat this” and “stay away from that”. It can get extremely overwhelming, and I don’t blame you for feeling lost.
If you are looking to improve your relationship with food, feel better, get results on your weight loss journey without the overly restrictive and unsustainable fad diets, then this article is for you.
I want to dive in a little bit to tell a story about my online coaching client Talie. She came to me absolutely ready and willing to make a change, and she put in some tremendous work to absolutely transform her body, mind, and relationship with food.
This is from a podcast episode that I did with her:
“My eating habits have changed completely. No foods are off-limits. I no longer binge and restrict! I feel like a TOTALLY NEW PERSON!“
Here’s 6 of the methods that I used with Talie to improve her relationship with food:
1. The 80/20 Rule
You are told by fitness “influencers” and diet “experts” that you should eat clean in order to lose weight right?
The 80/20 rule says that you should include 80% whole foods on your fat loss journey (fruits, veggies, grains, lean proteins), and the rest of the 20% can come foods you actually enjoy.
Let me say that again: FOODS YOU ACTUALLY ENJOY
This means that you can fit pizza, tacos, cake, and even ice cream into your fat loss regime and not feel guilty about it.
Not only that, but you are much less likely to binge and overeat on the weekends when you have a more balanced approach to your diet.
2. You Can Always Get Back On Track
You are always only one meal away from getting back on track.
This means that if you have a birthday, super bowl party, or just an overindulgent weekend, one day of mindless eating does not have to turn into 2 or 3.
As long as you get back on track, you will mitigate any negative effects from overeating or binging. Just keep reminding yourself, no one got fat from one day of overeating, the same way that no one got shredded from one day of perfect eating habits.
The main thing is not to beat yourself up over it, be kind to yourself and realize that no one is perfect and even the most disciplined people in the world have off days.
Brush yourself off and get right back on track.
3. Look at what food can do for you, not to you
Food is your friend.
When you start looking at food as ENERGY to fuel your workouts, to help you feel vibrant during your work day, and to even optimize your mood, you will want to eat foods that you know are going to make you feel AMAZING.
Let’s look at how each macronutrient can help you in various ways:
- Carbs- Recovery, fuel for workouts, brain function
- Fats- Hormones, satiety, flavor
- Protein- Building blocks of muscle, satiety
Let’s also look at micronutrients, and how eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps with energy production, immune function, bone health, and growth.
Making sure you are eating a wide variety of whole foods is going to set you up for success with your health and fitness journey.
Just make sure to throw in a couple tacos every now and then 😉
4. Have performance-based goals
Having a weight loss goal is totally fine, but having performance-based goals may be a much better approach to improving your relationship with food.
Food is fuel, not something that will hinder you or make you fat.
When you start looking at food as something that is going to propel you to hit that 2-3x bodyweight deadlift, or get your first chin-up, you are going to need enough calories, energy, and micronutrients to make that happen.
Pre-workout nutrition before lifting is actually pretty dang important.
Here’s what I recommend:
- 30-40g of high quality protein around 30-45 minutes before training
- 30-40g of carbs around 30 minutes before your workout
Some pre-workout meal examples:
- Banana + Protein Powder mixed with rice milk
- Oatmeal + Protein Powder with berries
5. Make small changes
If you want to make some healthy changes to your diet, you gotta start with small changes first.
Too often folks jump into extreme challenges, fad diets, and unsustainable methods to try and get their body to change as fast as possible. This can lead to a poor relationship with food, and you will most likely gain the weight back that you lose because there is no exit strategy to the extreme methods.
Start with just adding vegetables to every meal, or drinking enough water, or making sure to get enough protein with every meal.
Making small changes each month will eventually lead to creating the habit to be able to sustain your way of eating for the rest of your life.
If you don’t see yourself eating this way for the rest of your life, you may be following something a bit too restrictive.
6. Stop comparing yourself to others
Now more than ever, we are comparing our journey to what we see online. We are logging on to see the most perfect looking people, with the most perfect lighting, in their most perfect poses on your IG feed.
Here’s the truth: It doesn’t matter what someone else is doing, or how someone else looks, you are not them.
It may be time to take a break from social media and really focus on improving your relationship with food and your body. Start chasing that deadlift PR, or get that first chin-up!
You may never look like an IG fitness influencer, but you can still look like the best version of you, and feel like the best version of you. Your confidence is not dictated by a number on the scale, what you weighed in high school, or if you have six-pack abs (overrated).
You are not perfect, nor should you be. As a matter of fact, it’s probably the reason your loved ones love who you are—because you are YOU.
So here’s my soap box moment for the day:
Be unapologetically you. You are amazing the way you are, and with the right training and nutrition program, you are only going to keep getting better, stronger, and more confident in who you are as time goes on.
If you need a little extra push or accountability, you can apply for coaching with me personally. I would love to work with you on your relationship with food, and watch you become the strongest version of yourself 🙂
Hope you enjoyed these 6 ways to improve your relationship with food, here are the main points to remember:
- The 80/20 rule. Have a balance between mostly whole foods for optimum health and include some foods you actually enjoy to help you adhere long term.
- You can always get back on track. Don’t let one day of mindless eating turn into 2 or more. You can always get back on track the next day. Don’t beat yourself up, just move on.
- Look at what food can do for you, not to you. Food is fuel, each macronutrient and micronutrient has a specific purpose to help you perform your best. Food is not your enemy, it is your friend 🙂
- Have performance based goals. Having goals other than weight loss may help with your relationship with food. When you chase performance and not aesthetics, you will eat the foods that help you perform and recover from your workouts. This in turn, will help you make better food choices.
- Make small changes. Stop always looking for the most extreme fad diets and challenges. When you do this, you are looking for a quick fix. Eating and nourishing your body is not a temporary fix, it is a lifestyle. Make small changes progressively over time, and you will be able to sustain it longer.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparing your insides to others’ outsides will only keep you stuck. You have to appreciate the small progress you are making over time or you are more likely to give up. This is YOUR JOURNEY. Not anyone else’s. Stop switching up your program, second-guessing yourself, and not being committed to the process. You will never do this thing perfectly, but strive for progress not perfection and you will win 🙂
Thanks for reading!