Let's face it - we're a society that's obsessed with food, and many of us have a hard time establishing a healthy relationship with food. Whether planning time with family, arranging a meeting at work, or catching up with friends, chances are good that food will be involved - and it's often food that's filled with fat, sodium, and sugar.
If you're like most people who struggle with being overweight or obese, one of the keys to achieving long-term success following weight loss surgery is learning how to have a healthy relationship with food.
Understanding What Food Means To You
Here in the United States, high-fat, sugar-filled foods are often used as 'rewards' for good behavior, especially among children. Unfortunately, this has led many people to relate 'junk' food with good feelings, starting at a young age. As adults, they often turn to unhealthy foods when they are feeling sad, depressed, anxious, or as a celebratory reward.
If you find yourself seeking 'comfort foods' when you're emotional, try to step back and recognize why you want to eat. Are you really hungry, or are you looking for relief from an uncomfortable emotion or feeling? Once you begin to spot your emotional eating triggers, you'll be able to better control impulse eating that can lead to excess weight gain.
Tips On Making Your Relationship With Food Healthier
If you want to reduce your emotional dependence on food, start by planning activities and events where food isn't the star of the show.
Instead of meeting with friends for dinner, why not go for a walk in the park? You'll still enjoy their company - without feeling pressured to eat foods that are high in fat, sugar, or salt. If they still want to eat out, suggest going for a meal after you've gone for a walk or a bike ride so the entire visit isn't focused on food.
You can also take control over your relationship with food by learning how to prepare and enjoy foods that are good for you. Consider treating yourself to a new healthy cookbook, or taking a cooking class that focuses on natural, healthy foods.
Learn to see food as fuel for your body - not just a source of pleasure or satisfaction. Think about how the food you eat makes you feel in the long run, and remember how hard it is to shed those extra pounds from 'comfort foods'.
Establishing a healthy relationship with food is a lifelong goal for most people, but by being aware of what you eat, focusing on alternative activities, and remembering your commitment to leading a healthier lifestyle, you'll become less dependent on food over time.
To speak with our dietitian about learn how to work with food during your weight loss journey, call Olde Del Mar Surgical. We are here to support you!