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Understanding and developing a food relationship

Shanu Shashank
Shanu Shashank
Just like every human relation gets built up with a number of parameters like right set of values and ideologies, some common grounds for perception and actions, or the mutual likes and dislikes; similar is our emotions and attachment with food, just that that food might not equally think the same for us as we’d do!

Yeah, the analogy might sound funny at one place, however we humans do tend to have a strong emotional connect with a number of food items, which might have been there with us since we were born.So they can be multi pronged like the culture we belong to, upbringing, socio-economic status or even our own prejudices that evolved with time. This feeling exacerbates when one gets into a strict diet with restricted choices and options.

With the motivation and the desire being at peak in the initial stages, we seem to be more than ready to give up all our delicacies and favorites to see those results, while it  takes time to understand how difficult would it be to miss those delicious recipes served during late night house parties and social gatherings that we are been to until now.

The fact is we all love food and there is nothing wrong with this idea (the degree might vary though). The problem occurs when we start treating it as a solution every time, mostly the psychological ones, rather than respecting it enough to be treated as a source of energy that makes us feel positive and healthy, overall.

So, how do we deal with this food relationship? Do we really need to control ourselves or continue to be what we have been? As much as it sounds, the food relationship is way too complex a subject at an individual level. It’s not just the overweight  population that have an unhealthy relationship with food, even the healthiest and fittest of us could have this issue.
On one side a few might live life easily without even realizing the need to have a certain kind of food, while there could be others who find a hard time living a single day without their favorite food items in the list. On the same note, there could be still others who enjoy everything as it as and live with much ease. So, how do we come to a consensus on this ?

At a core level, life is all about being happy, if the food and exercise routine you adapt to doesn’t let it happen, then you seriously need to reassess either your idea of dieting and living a healthy life or the strategy and techniques you follow (talking mostly in terms of general fitness and wellness, not the pro bodybuilding and sport). I know you would be wondering where is the solution to this never ending question.
Okay so let’s not waste time and check in:

- The first and foremost important thing is the mindset, yeah ever heard - it’s all in the mind? Rightly so. Rather than making it too difficult a journey full of guilt, why not make it one where you learn to grow through your mistakes. Its okay to fail a day of diet, it’s okay to miss on completing the calories one day.What matters is how you overcome those mistakes and work upon them to develop a better habit, how you take initiatives to come out of your comfort zone to improvise.

- Following the above point, it’s important that we keep a log of our overall plan and have a tendency to look into it every 3-4 days. This helps in reassigning the things in a  better way.

- Whether you come for weight(fat) loss or your goal is to gain weight (muscles), one needs to understand that it is way above than just manipulating the calories, it's behaviors and the changes you make in your lifestyle which help you lose or gain weight that is sustainable enough.

- Not getting swayed away with the myths - There have been multiple occasions where people leave off certain food to lose weight. Eg- Eliminating rice and roti from plan and being disguised by the numbers on the scale. Ask yourself - did you gain the weight just by eating rice and roti or was it the overall eating pattern in those last few years that led you to this state!

- Making yourself aware is another most important thing to consider. There are people who still believe that adding lemon and honey will help them lose weight, well, nothing to demean anyone, however this cites an example of why it’s important to educate ourselves when it comes to basic health and fitness. The degradation of health that has happened in the last 20-30 years won’t improve in just a go, it will take time and improve as we keep on learning and inculcating the right ideas in and around us and with the lives to follow us.

- Fear of food- Following the above point, it’s important to understand that we need to stop being afraid of a certain kind of food. No, sugar simply won’t make you fat as long as you are mindful enough to incorporate it within the plan and stay in control.(5-10 gms of sugar might just take up around 20-40 odd calories). No, am not encouraging to keep adding sugar to your plan, but if you can stay in control with a certain variety of food that you love, there is no need to eliminate it out completely to such a level  that one fine day you give up all just for those cravings.

- Not limiting to just one variety of food- At one point when its important that we try keeping things simpler, its equally crucial that we don’t end the food relationship and keep introducing some alternatives and varieties from time to time so that the diversity and tolerance is maintained.

- Lastly, one very important point is to understand your lifestyle, your food choices - likes and dislikes along with feasibility of dieting with respect to it. Jumping onto a diet without carbs just because it shows quick results won’t be sustainable if i am a person who has been brought up being fed with carbs all around, in fact most of us have been in our country.

Make wise choices.
PS: Will try covering more in the next topic - body image. Please put your doubts/ queries in comments section.