7 Tips for a Balanced Mindset with Eating
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore or bore. It shouldn’t be about the latest fad diet or newest celebrity craze. By developing a balanced mindset with eating, we can ensure a more sustainable approach to achieving our health goals. It is important to be consistent and realistic with creating healthy habits in your lifestyle. Qualified nutritionist and health coach Harriet Lidgard has something to help us – 7 tips for a balanced mindset with eating.
- Re-learn to listen to your body
Honour your hunger – eat when your body tells you you’re hungry. The feeling of hunger is the body indicating that you need more fuel to continue to perform your daily activities. Don’t wait until you are starving and feel like you want to eat everything in sight. Pay attention to the early signs of hunger. You are far more likely to reach for a more nutritional snack option at this point than if you let it get out of control.
Feel your fullness – Think before you eat and learn to stop before your plate is finished. Tune into hunger levels by pausing during a meal to assess how full you are. This is something you may need to practise and relearn the feelings and cues.
Discover the satisfaction factor – Enjoy the experience of eating! Be mindful of eating, don’t eat on the go or while distracted. Concentrate on your food while you are eating to appreciate and enjoy it. There are a number of healthy wholefood recipes you can try out.
- Make peace with food
To make peace with food means that no food is off limits! Get rid of the food rules that you constantly tell yourself. Remove the labels from foods that you ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ eat. By not allowing yourself to have a certain food, you will only cause yourself to want it more. When a food is no longer forbidden, the food may not seem so appealing.
When you deem a food as ‘bad’ or ‘can’t eat’ it doesn’t mean you will never eat it again, and when you do eventually eat that off-limits food, the likelihood of you going overboard is far higher.
If you feel like chocolate, have a piece of chocolate. Don’t try satisfying that craving with 100 other alternatives to then also end up giving in and eating the chocolate.
- Challenge the inner voice
Beware of negative inner thoughts around ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, what you ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be doing / eating. These internal negative thoughts and rules will lead to feelings of guilt and destroy self-trust when you do eat something that is deemed ‘bad’ or what you ‘shouldn’t eat’.
They can originate from all sorts of places – throwaway comments from the past, things you have seen people on social media saying or doing, or friends or family members’ actions or words. It’s important to recognise these and realise they aren’t beneficial to you, even if they once did serve a purpose. The only person they are holding back is you.
- Exercise to feel good
Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do – not a punishment for what you ate! It should make you feel good and be enjoyable, so create a healthy habit of it.
Learn to exercise intuitively. Focus on how exercise makes you feel, rather than the calories you are burning, the steps you are getting or closing all your watch goals. Choose something you enjoy rather than forcing yourself to do something you dread. Focus on how you feel from being active, such as being energised after a run or feeling strong after a gym workout. Thismindset change can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm.
It is also important to distinguish between when your body needs to rest versus laziness / lack of motivation. If you need to rest, exercising won’t result in that post-workout feel-good feeling. If it’s just laziness stopping you, working out will make you feel great and energised afterwards.
- Respect your body
We are all different shapes and sizes. Letting go of unrealistic body image expectations will help you to not only feel better about yourself, but also allow you to make better choices about food and exercise that are logical rather than emotional.
After years of trying to fit into a certain ideal and negatively criticising our bodies, it will take time to learn to appreciate and celebrate all that your amazing body can and will do for you! Be mindful of how you are talking to yourself and what you are saying. Would you say the same things to your best friend? 🤔
- Eat food you actually enjoy
Learn what foods make you feel good but that you also enjoy eating! Don’t force yourself to eat or drink something you genuinely don’t like just because you think or have been told it’s what you should be eating.
Learn to make your favourite foods with extra added wholefood nutrients. For example, add in extra vegetables, add greens to your smoothies, make your pasta sauces from scratch or substitute plain white rice for brown rice or quinoa. Daily foods can also be boosted with natural dietary supplement powders that provide both health benefits and flavour. Each time you eat is an opportunity to learn and work out what works best for you and your body. Have fun with it!
- Get support & guidance
Reach out for support and guidance from a health coach. Not only can they share more tips for a balanced mindset with eating to benefit you in the short and long term. They can help you through the process of making sustainable, long-lasting changes and healthy habits to reach your goals.
New Zealand-based Harriet Lidgard is a qualified nutritionist and health coach who is also a passionate foodie! She believes that a healthy and active lifestyle is quite possibly the best investment one can make. She enjoys ACTIVE CORALS Ayurvedic powder in her porridge or overnight oats. See how she makes her creamy oats here and try her delicious breakfast loaf recipe. If you would like to gain more tips for a balanced mindset with eating and learn more from Harriet or you would like support to become your very own food, mind and body expert, feel free to get in touch through her website, Instagram or by email: email@example.com