5 Ways to Change Your Relationship with Food
Do you want to improve your relationship with food?
Do you want to look, feel and perform better?
Each person is unique and therefore requires a custom program of food and exercise in order to accomplish their goals. These are guidelines – NOT absolutes.
1. Raise Your Standards
By far the most important of the 5, raising your standards is key if you want to make any long-lasting change in your life. This doesn’t just apply to nutrition. You MUST raise your standards. Think about the most important things in your life today and your highest priorities. Things like spending time with your children and family, making money, eating and sleeping. These things are your MUSTS.
Now think of the other priorities in your life, the ones with slightly less importance (like hanging out with friends, eating healthy, exercise, reading). These are your SHOULDS. In life, we will ALWAYS make time for our MUSTS, but we will not ALWAYS make time for our SHOULDS.
What would happen if you raised your standards regarding food and turned a “should”, into a must?
2. Eat Meats and Veggies
This isn’t earth-shattering information but EVERYONE would have the body they want if the majority of their meals consisted of meat and veggies. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on which meats are best or how much you should be eating or the difference between a sweet potato and a regular potato.
From my experience, no one gets an undesirable body from overeating meats and veggies. Your goal is making 80% of your weekly meals consist only of meat and veggies. Vegetarians should focus on getting protein from legumes, seeds, nuts and dairy.
Let’s talk briefly about carbohydrates. I like to break carbs down into 5 categories:
- Veggies (broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, peppers, kale)
- Fruits (berries, melons, apples, grapes)
- Starches (potatoes, sweet potatoes)
- Grains (wheat, oats, rice)
- Super-Refined (flour, sugar)
The idea is to eat more Veggies than Fruit, more Fruit than Starch, more Starch than Grains and more everything than Sugar.
Another rule of thumb is to have the majority of your carbohydrates for the day during your post-workout meal.
Last thing about carbs – the more active and lean you are, the more carbs you should eat. The less active you are, the fewer carbs you need.
Eat meats and veggies for the majority of your meals and you’ll be good to go!
3. Drink Water
Everyone knows that they should be drinking more water. Water gets overlooked as an essential element in a healthy diet far too often. There is no magic number here, but a good place to start is by drinking 40-50% of your bodyweight in ounces. I weigh 205lbs; therefore I drink 80-100oz of water per day. The easiest way to stay on track is to purchase a reusable water bottle and figure out how many times you need to fill it up per day. Then, do that! There are numerous benefits to drinking enough water including increased energy and mental acuity, improved performance and recovery, proper digestion and satiety.
4. Be Prepared
One of the biggest things affecting my nutrition client’s ability to make good food choices is that they don’t always have good food pre-prepared to eat. When their blood sugar gets low, they go for a quick/easy option.
The quick and easy option for meals is very rarely meat and veggies unless you’ve already prepped and prepared ahead of time.
If you travel for work, invest in a cooler. If you like excitement in your life, research new recipes – there’s a ton of good websites out there.
My suggestion is to schedule 1-2 hours twice weekly where you can cook and prep food for the next 2-4 days. Pack your freshly prepped, healthy meals in Tupperware and you’re golden!
Don’t have time to do that? BS. We all have the same 168 hours in a week – it is how we CHOOSE to spend them that makes us different. If you want to be in control of your food, raise your standards and make time to do it!
Which brings me to my last point…
5. Take Full Ownership
I’ve spoken on the concept of “ownership” before but it bears repeating.
Taking ownership is just as important as raising standards, however, raising your standards must happen first.
At the end of the day, if you want to change your relationship with food, you HAVE to take full ownership and responsibility for making the changes in your life that will lead to achieving your goals.
I am very fortunate that my parents taught me the value of hard work, responsibility and consequences. I understood at an early age that if something didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I had no one and nothing to blame other than myself.
If you want to make change, man the F up (or woman the F up), take responsibility and start to make changes. If you mess up, don’t get down on yourself and quit – instead, figure out what went wrong and try something else. Try to fall in love with the process rather than only focusing on results.
Taking ownership means making letting go of blame and excuses. Did you know that if a co-worker brings a box of donuts to work you do not HAVE to eat one? Did you know that if you CHOOSE to eat one, it is NOT your co-workers fault? Did you know that if you go to a birthday party you have the CHOICE to eat a piece of cake or not?
I’m sure by now you’re shaking your head saying, ‘okay I get it, I have the choice.’ But I hear all the time how someone’s situation was responsible for him or her eating a certain way.
You don’t need to resist donuts and birthday cake all the time; you need to recognize that when you eat something, you’re making a choice that only you are responsible for. Being solely responsible for your life can feel scary, but it will also make you free.
I don’t know very many people who enjoying feeling controlled by someone or something else. It’s about time to take control of your eating and quit letting circumstances dictate what you eat.
You don’t need to add supplements to your diet, you don’t need the fat burning 5000 pills and you don’t need to do 20 hours of ‘cardio’ a week.
You need to raise your standards, eat meat and veggies daily, drink plenty of water, prepare your meals and take full responsibility for the choices you make!