If you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you you’ve come to avoid certain foods. You think of certain foods as good and others as bad. Bad foods must be avoided at all costs.
The problem with this type of mindset is that it forms negative associations with food. These negative associations can lead to eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and orthorexia.
It is possible to maintain a healthy relationship with food while dieting and losing weight. Here are a few tips to help you keep a healthy relationship with food.
Think of Foods as Healthy or Not Healthy
Instead of thinking of foods as good or bad, think of them as healthy or not healthy. This shifts your perspective and allows you to focus on positive health benefits instead of negative “bad” foods.
Eat the most nutritious foods you can find. They may or may not be low in calories, but they will be the most healthy foods to eat and will help you reach your overall health and weight goals.
Plan to Cheat
Even better, don’t call it cheating at all. Just because you are trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you shouldn’t allow yourself occasional indulgences.
Dieting can be stressful. “Cheat” meals give you psychological relief from following strict diet and exercise plans. It will also help your mindset to see that eating an occasional treat doesn’t automatically negate all the hard work you’ve done.
Plan for a “cheat” once a week or every other week.
Don’t be afraid to get help if you’re struggling to lose weight and maintain a healthy relationship with food.
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Get a diet buddy. We all know at least one person who is trying to lose weight and get healthier. Pair up with them to help keep each other motivated. Work out together, share recipes and celebrate your wins.
Take a Break
Most people reduce their calorie intake when they’re dieting and trying to lose weight. The longer you stay on a restricted calorie diet, the more likely it is for your metabolism to slow down.
Taking periodic breaks from low-calorie diets will help reset your metabolism and teach you that you can eat more calories while still maintaining your body weight. This is important both physically and psychologically.