Recent events have highlighted how important maintaining your health and wellness are. Aside from getting enough exercise, another important cornerstone of staying healthy is eating the right food.

A survey discovered that 63 percent of consumers are trying to eat healthy foods most of the time. However, while many people agree that the standard American diet has too many fats, sugars and calories, this could lead to an unhealthy relationship with eating.

If you find yourself asking questions like “how many calories in a slice of pizza” or worrying about croissant calories during breakfast, you need to redefine your relationship with healthy food.

Below is a guide on how you can establish a healthier relationship with eating and not obsess over the calories in a croissant.

Why is Obsessing Over Healthy Food Bad?

weighing scale
Obsessing over the calories in a slice of pizza can lead to self-image and weight problems.

Although being aware of how unhealthy most food in the United States can be is helpful to your journey to physical fitness, you may overdo it. A fascination with antioxidant foods can make you eat healthy, but you may forget to eat anything else.

Here are a few compelling reasons you need to have a healthier relationship with eating.

  • Weight Obsession

Focusing on how much you eat can lead to worrying too much on your weight. Remember that being a little heavier than other people does not mean you are unhealthy.

For example, for many years people thought that the body mass index was an appropriate way to correlate weight with health, but this is not the case. BMI does not account for body fat percentage and is skewed to operate for Caucasians.

  • Body Image Problems

Without a good relationship with food, you can become obsessed over the way you look. This can become a gateway to developing an eating disorder.

Because of psychological events and societal pressure, millions of people in the United States have eating disorders associated with body image issues. You can prevent developing these conditions by redefining what healthy eating and food means to you.

  • Nutrition Issues

Not eating enough or following fancy diets like the paleo diet can lead to nutritional issues. Not eating enough in general can lead to undernutrition, which is an overall loss of nutritional intake caused by limited food intake.

If you followed a diet that reduced specific but essential food in your diet, you could experience malnutrition, which is when your body lacks needed nutrients.

  • Health Complications

Finally, the human body requires certain food that you could suddenly not eat if you fall victim to diets and unproven eating trends because of an unhealthy relationship with food. Or you can eat too much of a certain food and develop a problem.

For example, the popular paleo diet can lead to calcium deficiency because it contains no dairy while the Atkins diet can lead to oversaturation of protein.

How Can You Redefine Healthy Food?

close up photo of croissant
Healthy eating isn’t avoiding the croissant calories but learning its nutritional value

Eating healthy doesn’t revolve around you constantly asking friends “is grilled chicken healthy?” If you want to start eating healthier, you don’t exclude food at random. It’s much better to replace rather than reduce and substitute food rather than just eat less often.

If you don’t want to worry about whether Spam is healthy but you still want to become fitter, here is how you can build a better relationship with food and eating.

  • Look at Nutrition

The nutritional information provided on the packaging of most food can act as important guidelines to everybody interested in eating healthy. When shopping for food, be sure to check how many servings are contained in a single packaging.

A cereal that contains only 10 percent of your daily sugar needs per serving may seem like a great product until you realize that a box contains five servings. Learn how to understand nutrition facts labels to build a better diet.

  • Calories Aren’t Everything

Counting calories is a technique used by people trying to lose weight to stay healthy. While there is merit to keeping an eye on how many calories you consume, it isn’t the only metric you should consider. It works better when you also factor in the nutritional value of the food in question.

For example, croissant calories are mostly derived from fat and sugars because of its ingredients, whereas the calories of a hamburger can be from carbohydrates and protein. Depending on your needs, one may be preferable to the other regardless of caloric value.

  • Mind Your Portions

The trick sometimes is to eat reasonable portions instead of eating nothing. For example, if you are worried about the calories in a slice of pizza, then perhaps you can eat only one or two slices per sitting. This can be useful in ensuring you can still eat what you want without going overboard. Eating smaller portions more slowly can also lead to heightened enjoyment and satiation.

  • Listen to Professionals

Too often people believe unqualified individuals over medically trained experts when it comes to their health. If a diet or eating trend is promising dramatic results, you better do your due diligence and see what credible professionals are saying about them.

For example, a recent trend was the snake diet, which promised to help burn fat and cleanse the body. Experts decried the practice as dangerous and untenable because of its extreme requirements and little medically backed research. Pay attention to what health experts are saying, not on what celebrities and influencers are shilling.

  • Avoid Fads

The world of fitness is overrun with fads and trends, many of which are ineffective or even dangerous. Even fads that could start up helpful can be harmful without supervision. The keto diet, another recent dietary fad, can lead to great results but it can also cause complications, such as kidney stones and nutrient deficiency. It would be better to seek out long-lasting and well-established methods of getting healthier instead of rushing headlong into the newest trend.

How Can You Maintain Nutritious Eating?

variety of dishes
Maintaining a healthy diet is difficult but not impossible.

Starting a journey to better health through exercise and a healthy relationship with food can already be difficult but maintaining it can be even harder.

Aside from eating in restaurants with healthy food and not only caring about croissant calories, here are a few methods you can try to maintain a nutritious diet and a healthy relationship with food.

  • Go Budget-Friendly

Price is a great barrier to eating healthy. It can be a bummer if every restaurant with healthy food in your area is also expensive. But eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for places where you can buy antioxidant food and other healthy ingredients such as direct from farmers or in small suppliers. And if you can’t always find healthy alternatives, accept that it’s all right and regulate consumption instead.

  • Ask for Support

Support systems are crucial in accomplishing your fitness goals. If you find it hard to stay on your healthy eating habits, there’s no shame in asking for help from your friends and loved ones.

If you have had enough sugar for the day, ask your friends if they can consider eating sugar-free alternatives. If you don’t want to be tempted by the food in a gathering, explain to the host about your journey and ask if they have alternative snacks.

  • Replace Not Avoid

Many people think that healthy eating means not eating at all, trusting fasting and diets instead of eating right. If you want to be healthier, the trick is to replace less nutritious food with more nutritious alternatives.

For example, you may stop drinking sugary sodas and instead enjoy fresh fruit juices. Substitution can allow you to enjoy frozen yogurt in place of ice cream and still be on track for your fitness goals.

Eating right is not based on deprivation and denial but rather building a healthy relationship with the food you eat. So instead of worrying about croissant calories and whether grilled chicken is healthy, focus on finding nutritious alternatives and establishing scientific methods of achieving your fitness goals.

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