With the hype of social media promoting the ‘healthy and balanced’ lifestyle each and every day it got me thinking just how healthy and balanced one’s lifestyle really is. Have we all gone a little too healthy? In today’s society we have been taught about what foods are good for you, what foods are bad for you and what foods you must avoid and consume in balance. Really though, we should be considering just how much of those foods you eat.
Say for example, you want to eat a chocolate bar. Eat that chocolate bar – but in moderation. Is there really any point in restricting yourself from the things you really love in life? Is that a healthy relationship – getting rid of the things that make you happy? (Yes food makes us happy and actually provides happy endorphins – google it.) However, if you eat a brownie everyday or binge on it at the end of the week and ruin your weeks progress then I’m afraid that isn’t healthy. It’s all about that ‘balance’ that everybody preaches.
Do you ever find yourself counting down the days until your next ‘treat’ meal? Yes? Then you’re also possibly restricting yourself too much from the finer foods in life. This is something that I, myself have been doing lately. I eat clean throughout the week, avoiding the chocolate, pizza and ice cream until the weekend and then BOOM I end up over indulging because “Hey, this only comes once a week… Treat yo’ self, Hannah’. This however, is not healthy. Not only am I restricting these foods from my diet but I’m also restricting myself from being happy. Getting rid of your favourite foods will make you miserable and hey, sometimes you need a night in bed with your favourite pint of ice cream. Again, it’s called ‘balance’.
So, my tips for creating a healthier relationship with food are as follows:
– Stop referring to your indulgent foods as ‘treats’ or ‘cheats’. Refer to it simply as ‘food’. Stop giving it labels – this way you’re actually separating your favourite foods from your meal plan and this probably makes it worse. Your brain knows it’s not as healthy and nourishing as other foods and it categorises it as ‘bad’.
– If you count macros try incorporating your favourite foods into your plan. I see many girls doing this on Instagram and they preach about how much it truly works to keep them over obsessing about their treat meals.
– Actually listen to what your body is telling you, and I mean really listen, not just to the stuff you want to hear. More often than not your cravings are telling you something. If you’re a low-carber and after a workout all you can think about is something sweet, maybe your body is trying to tell you it needs a few more carbs. Or perhaps that coffee hit you want so desperately is actually just leaving you with an upset stomach and has you craving your next hit in a few hours.
I certainly don’t believe there is one perfect human diet out there that everyone should be following. We are all individuals. Our bodies are different and what we ask of them is different. Some people may be able to eat clean, 7 days a week and that’s fine. However, not everyone can do this, including me.
Create that balance, see what works for you and stop restricting yourself from your favourite foods and overall, your happiness.