We all love food! But are you aware that exploring the relationship between what we eat can help improve our diet and give us positive feelings, clearer thinking and more energy?
Looking back, I had a vague relationship with food. When I was younger, I satisfied myself with only tasty food. Then, when I started my fitness journey, it was all chicken breasts, broccoli and brown rice just because I discovered a few articles related to that. Although my body transformed after using the restrictive “clean” meal plans in a few months, it was a struggle, mentally.
Banning food may lead to binge behaviour and it is not effective
As I wanted to educate myself and increase my knowledge, I attended the LDNM’s Nutrition Coaching course. The course covers the topics such as macro calculations, flexible dieting, carbohydrates cycling to name a few. Thanks to the team for sharing knowledge and insight because it has completely changed my relationship with food.
So, how to create a healthy relationship with food that sticks? You need to…
- Distinguish between hunger and habit.
- Stop punishing yourself for what you ate yesterday.
- Replace habits before you remove them.
- Let go of the need to be and eat perfectly.
- Enjoy your food.
Clean eating is the process of avoiding any food deemed bad. People who follow this diet stick to fruits and vegetables, whole grains, non-fat dairy, and meats that are straight from the butcher. They avoid “bad” fats like saturated and trans fats, as well as sodas, high-calorie juices, and other drinks that provide a lot of unnecessary calories. They also refrain from eating processed and refined foods.
Although it leads to weight loss for many, it can be hard to follow for some people because you must eliminate certain foods.
Flexible dieting is a system based on calories. It is also called If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), it allows you to choose any food, as long as it fits within your macro-nutrient needs. It is flexible and easier to stick to – and the easier your diet is to stick to, the more likely you are to stick to it.
You can calculate your macros by clicking here.
However, flexible dieting / IIFYM places emphasis on macro-nutrients and not enough on micro-nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and nutrients) which are crucial for optimising your body composition and improving overall health.
From my personal experience, flexible dieting with 80/20 rule has completely changed my relationship with food.
The basic idea of the 80/20 rule is very simple. In order to gain health benefits, you don’t always have to make 100% healthy food choices. 80% is enough. The remaining 20% you can choose less healthy food and indulge yourself.
I no longer obsess about a food’s sugar amount. Now that I eat carbs, I have more energy! No longer punishing myself for what I have eaten and I still keep my body fat percentage low. Overall, I feel happier.
Now that I have been following flexible dieting for a year and a half, I know the value of every food and how my body responds to them. Flexible dieting taught me there are no “good” and “bad” foods. It takes away my need to binge and allows me to enjoy my holidays, my time with friends without preventing me from reaching my goals.
Flexible dieting eventually becomes a lifestyle which I think it’s the key to success in any diet plan. The better your relationship with food, the more you are able to sustain a better lifestyle, physically and mentally.