The human body can withstand between eight and 21 days without food. We need food to get the energy to function properly, but the relationship between the body and food is far more complex than that. Our bodies react differently to different types of food, and naturally, quantity plays a role. These factors impact weight and health, so many people decide to take on a specific diet to lose weight or improve health. Showing that you love your body through the food you eat shows that you care about your health and express love for your body. But how can you do that without undergoing a strict diet and refraining from delicious food? Let’s have a look.
Related: 4 Ways to Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Listen to Your Body
When you’re hungry, your body sends you signals you learn to recognize from a young age. The signals are telling you that your body needs to be refueled. When you ignore them (maybe because you’re too busy or on a strict diet), your body gets confused, and the signals become stronger. The signs you should pay attention to are lightheadedness, irritability, and lack of focus. All of them can impact your mood and, later on, your general health.
The bottom line is that you should eat whenever you feel hungry. Your body tells you when to eat and when to snack. If you know that it is not the time to take a full meal, consider grabbing a healthy snack until lunch/dinner. If you experience cravings right before bedtime, don’t ruin your sleep with junk and sugary foods – instead, grab some healthy late-night snacks that support good sleep.
Are You Really Hungry, or Is It Something Else?
While you should eat when you’re feeling hungry and trust your body when it tells you it needs fuel, it’s also important to ask yourself why you want to eat. Are you really hungry for food or just trying to keep yourself busy? Maybe you’re feeling sad and trying to find some comfort in delicious snacks. The bad news is that comfort food rarely provides that. In most cases, it even causes regret and more sadness.
Look for the causes behind your cravings. Maybe your body or mind is trying to tell you something.
Your Meal Requires Your Attention
Our whole life has become a series of multitasking, and even when we’re eating, we try to squeeze in another activity. We watch TV, we read, we talk, we work. This can often result in overeating because you’re not paying enough attention to the amount of food you are consuming. Also, it can stop you from enjoying your meals.
Instead of multitasking, try to look, smell, and actually taste the food you’re eating. You will experience more satisfaction, and you’ll be sufficiently aware of the feedback your body is sending you when it is finally full.
Take Your Meals and Your Snacks Slowly
Speaking of appreciating your food, you cannot do that when you’re shoveling food into your mouth while rushing to move on to the next activity. An important factor for getting feedback from your body is taking your time while eating. This way, the message will come before your plate is empty or before you pour yourself another portion. Eating slowly and mindfully is also imperative for treating both your food and your body with respect.
Get to Know Your Food
Think of your meals as life partners. If you look at the surface and feel attracted by appearance, it’s a one-night stand that can end up badly. If you study your meal, get to know its properties, and understand its nutritional value, it can bring you happiness for life.
Think about what you are eating and why. Does it contain enough vitamins? Will the amount of protein be enough to keep you full? Maybe some of the ingredients of your meal can harm your health. Preparing meals on your own is the best way to learn about your food and appreciate it more.
Satisfy Your Cravings
This may sound like controversial advice, especially considering the previous tips, directing you towards eating healthily. However, running away from your desires for a long time can be frustrating. Of course, if there is a healthier alternative to your craving, try to go for that. For example, if you feel like eating chocolate, take a bar of black chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. If you want cheese, choose the one with a lower percentage of fat, and so on. That way, you’ll satisfy the craving and also get to feel good because you’ve made a healthier choice.
To Sum It up
People need food to survive. But food is much more than just fuel for the body. It is also a source of enjoyment, and our attitude towards it is an incredibly important part of self-love. This is something you might have to work on, but the goal is worth the effort.