Sometimes, an underlying medical problem makes us gain weight. And that’s why the first step to a medical weight loss plan is to come see us for a screening, so that we can rule out that possibility. But for the rest of us, addressing the root cause of weight gain often boils down to repairing a certain dysfunctional relationship.
If you had a relationship problem with your partner, you would attend counseling or read books to learn more about the underlying issues. But what if you had a troubled relationship with food? Many of us do, and we don’t even realize it.
Here are 4 ways to keep your relationship with food positive:
Don’t label foods as “good” and “bad”. For many of us, labeling a food as “bad” just makes us crave it more. Instead, consider that all foods are allowed within certain limits. Focus on the nutritional value each food offers your body, and fuel up on those that nourish you and prevent disease. Those with empty calories aren’t “bad”, but they just don’t offer you much. So prioritize them accordingly.
Don’t view exercise as a punishment. Try not to equate certain snacks with a need to exercise more then next day. You’ll end up in a cycle of bargaining with, or punishing yourself. Exercise should be fun activities that you enjoy. Focusing on how much stronger and healthier you feel during a workout is motivating, too.
Stop shaming yourself. If you slip up and don’t follow your medical weight loss plan precisely, guess what? You’re in good company, because exactly zero of our clients follow their plans perfectly, either. You’re just human. No, the day or the week isn’t ruined now. Just get right back on track and keep working toward your goals.
Learn your triggers. Some people overeat when they’re sad or lonely. For others, stress is the trigger. And some people even indulge in more treats when they’re happy! Ever hear of people who get into an exciting new relationship and gain 15 pounds? Seek to understand your emotions and how they’re connected with your eating habits, and you will learn to change your responses.
Ask for help. And of course, it’s always a good idea to ask for help when you need it. Let’s discuss your relationship with food at our next appointment, and we can refer you to a nutritionist or counselor if needed.