The Silly Nutrition Undergrad

Five Thoughts that Transformed My Relationship with Food

Posted on: October 17, 2009


Photo by christyscherrer

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I’ve always loved food but I never really had a healthy relationship with food. However, getting into the Dietetics Major and meeting other people who are also food lovers has really helped me to explore the world of food through new eyes.  Looking back at what I’ve learned, I can really boil it down to five fundamental ideas:

1. Balance it out.

It’s all about making choices. When you have a little more here, than go light on the next meal. Let’s face it, there are so many delicious foods out there and you’ve only got so much limited space in your stomach…which means if you want to enjoy the things you truly want, you’ve got to make sacrifices here and there. If you know you will have a big meal planned tomorrow, then go light today – balance it out! Keep in mind that when you eat less now, you are leaving room for the foods that you will want to enjoy later on! Don’t be tempted to think that you must eat certain amount at certain times – you are flexible to choose what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat! Just remember, balance it out!

2. You can eat anything, but not everything.

There are so many opportunities in life to enjoy good food, there is always another chance to enjoy good food – you don’t have to have it all now! Always choose one thing or a few things that you want to enjoy at one sitting and really pay attention and enjoy every bite. Don’t get distracted and think about all the other options that you could have had, focus on what you are enjoying right now and feel good about your decision! Cherishing every bite of your food will make food ten times more enjoyable than if you keep thinking about the choices that you’ve missed out on! Feel excited that you are not filling up your stomach right now, which means that you will get to enjoy good food later on, and you won’t have to let that chance pass by! Just remember, choose what you really want.

3. Eat until you reach maximum pleasure, then stop!

The first few bites of food always taste the best! Then, as you continue to consume it, the eating pleasure diminishes, bite by bite. At that point, it’s important that you learn to put down your fork because even if you finish the whole thing, you won’t feel as satisfied as you would have wished. Thus, it is actually smarter to save some food for the next meal or next day because the heavenly pleasure of indulging into delicious food will come back to you when you save something really good for next time. So, when you enjoy a food only up to the point of maximum pleasure, you will not only get the full enjoyment, you will also get delicious food saved to enjoy it at another sitting, and get double the pleasure (what else can be better that yet!) Just remember, enjoy it until you reach maximum pleasure, then save it!

4. Do you really want to eat it? Or do you want it just because it is lying around?

When you really want something, you keep thinking about it right? But then when you see something, or smell something, or gets reminded of something, you seem to want that too! But does that mean you actually want it, or you just want it because someone or something reminded you of that food’s presence? It’s important to know why you crave something because then you will be better able to determine how real your craving is. If you truly want to eat it, then go ahead! But at times when you are not so sure why you want to eat, then perhaps it’s a sign that you should stop yourself from gulfing it down and instead save the eating opportunity for a later time, for when you encounter something you truly want. Just remember, be honest with yourself and answer: “What is it that I really want?”

5. You don’t have to finish everything! You can share it, save it, or leave it.

When you eat anything, there is no obligation to finish all of it. Only have the amounts that satisfies you and really ask yourself, do you actually want it or you want to finish it just because it’s sitting there on your plate? It really makes a difference knowing that you don’t have to finish everything, and knowing that you can save it for later – which most likely will give your more pleasure than if you stuffed yourself right now! Just remember, there is a difference between eating until your plate is empty and eating until you are satisfied!

These five ideas are no rocket science. In fact, they are pretty much common sense, but until I truly pondered on these thoughts, I couldn’t escape the evil wrath of food temptation! But now, I can finally say that I’ve got rid of my love-hate relationship with food and instead, I can truly embrace food and know that I’m in total control of myself!


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