Maybe you feel the same way I do: you want to eat healthy food to do something good for your body. To be and stay healthy. But how exactly do you do that? What should we focus on and what does healthy eating actually mean?
Since I have the feeling that many people ask themselves these questions, I would like to share my thoughts on the topic of healthy eating mindset with you and try to find answers to the questions. However, I would like to emphasize that this is all very subjective and only reflects my experiences. I am not a nutritionist, doctor or expert on anything. But maybe this post serves as a little inspiration or just to know that you are not alone.
What does healthy eating mean for us?
Healthy eating has become more than a trend. Many feel a kind of compulsion to eat as healthy as possible. The positive intention to do something good for your body has now developed into a delusion to do as little wrong as possible. Sugar? It is best to cut sugar out of your diet altogether. Instead, add more protein and only "low carb", please.
Unfortunately, however, we are losing more and more the true relationship to our body. We have to remind ourselves what food actually is for us: Food provides our body with the energy it needs to do what it does every day, every second. Our cells need certain substances to be able to work properly. And most of these substances we take in through food.
So food is the fuel for our bodies. Everyone is aware of that. But in today's world, food seems to be much more than that - an escape from negative thoughts, for example, a leisure activity, an expression of social role or even part of our identity.
If we are aware that nutrition means intake of nutrients, we quickly ask ourselves what is the best thing to eat. Which diet is healthy? Which foods are harmful to our body?
Which food is "healthy"?
Of course we are all aware that vegetables are healthier than fast food. But what exactly we eat, when and in what quantities is very individual. Furthermore, every healthy diet is defined a little differently. For some people, healthy eating means eating lots of greens, for others, avoiding industrial sugar if possible, and for others, eating what they feel like eating. For me, for example, healthy eating means not only providing my body with the necessary nutrients, but also doing something good for my soul. And that also includes building a healthy relationship with food.
Especially the internet and social media are a great way to learn about nutrition. But often you feel exhausted by all the posts and articles and you don't know who to believe. Some information contradicts itself - is coconut oil healthy or actually bad for us? Are Superfoods really super or just another attempt to take money out of our pockets?
However, this wealth of information about healthy eating often makes us feel bad about what we eat or feel that we are not eating well enough. We begin to rack our brains over our eating habits and give this topic more space than is actually necessary. Although this overthinking is based on a good intention - doing good to the body - it puts a strain on our relationship with food and makes life difficult for us. Before I go into how to get out of this and how to build a healthy "food mindset", I would like to discuss why it can be difficult to eat healthily under certain circumstances.
Why do we find it difficult to eat healthy food?
A well-known reason that makes it difficult for us to avoid high-calorie and sugary foods is that sugar acts like an addictive substance. The chemical processes in the brain address our reward centre, which triggers a feeling of wellbeing in us.
But I would like to focus on another aspect here: When we only want to eat healthy food or are on a diet, we often forbid ourselves to eat certain foods. This contradicts our natural "urge" for freedom of choice. In addition, bans also often make the very foods we want to avoid more attractive to us The problem is that we feel that we are not free to decide what we can eat.
What is the solution to this problem? We need to understand and give ourselves permission to eat everything, but not to do so immediately. Then we do not think from a point of view of prohibition, but know that we make conscious choices each time. We do not follow certain rules that allow or forbid us to do something, and against which we then "rebel" inwardly. We then understand that we can make different decisions that have different effects.
Make your own choices and understand that you can decide for yourself what you eat, how much you eat and what diet you follow. The more freedom you give your diet, the more self-control you can develop. It will become easier and easier for you to make healthy decisions - whatever "healthy" means to you personally.
How do I develop a food mindset for healthy eating?
We have just discovered that knowing how to make your own decisions is an important first step towards healthy eating.
Furthermore, I think it is important not to be too hard on ourselves. As I have already said, health does not only mean taking in important nutrients, but also doing something good for the soul. This includes treating yourself to sweets when you really feel like it or not to get down immediately when you go out for pizza with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Enjoy these things, because they nourish your soul and thus your well-being. As many say, balance is key.
Inform yourself, but don't drive yourself crazy. Try yourself and try to find out what healthy food means for youme means. Be inspired by other, "healthy" people and their ways of eating, but don't compare yourself too much with them. Because every body is different, and different life situations require different diets.
And be aware that you can decide for yourself what you eat and how you want to feel after eating.
After all, eating should mainly be fun and enrich our lives, rather than being a burden, right?
If you want to learn more about the topics of healthy nutrition, mindfulness or sustainability, take a look here over.