Diets, both new and old, tend to be regularly flung at us from all corners of the media. Some are questionable, others backed by science, but there’s no doubt the word ‘diet’ has picked up a negative connotation.
What should we be seeking instead? A healthy relationship with food.
Unfortunately for many, eating ‘healthy’ also means berating yourself for enjoying a treat or diet restricted foods every now and then.
This shame can drive down our mental health, inducing anxiety and driving depression. You’ll be far healthier and happier if you’re able to change your behaviour in relation to food, and break the cycle of unhappiness relating to dieting.
How can I get to that level?
Forming a healthy relationship with food isn’t easy, especially if you’ve been in the habit of shaming and guilt-tripping yourself for an extended period of time.
Liz Sanders, from the International Food Information Council, offers a few tips:
- Avoid labelling certain foods as ‘off-limits’
- Get enough sleep – research suggests we’re more likely to overeat when sleep deprived
- Set SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely
- Ask for help if necessary
We’ve got an extra tip from us here at LIV if you are trying to avoid a certain food for health reasons. This is mostly applicable with smaller things such as sugary treats rather than restricting large food groups or cutting down on something for allergy reasons. Don’t tell yourself ‘I can’t have it’, try saying ‘I don’t need it’ instead.