While it’s important to nourish our bodies with nutritious food, there’s a fine line between eating well and becoming obsessed with following the “perfect” diet.
People who suffer from orthorexia, an unhealthy obsession with healthy food, constantly agonize over what they should and shouldn’t eat. For some, it reaches a point where it starts to affect their mental and physical well-being.
Concerned about your own relationship with food? Here are seven ways to avoid getting lost in the pursuit of dietary perfection.
1. Be open to trying new foods.
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There’s a world of culinary masterpieces out there waiting to be explored! Don’t let your fear of eating the “wrong” things keep you from enjoying life to the fullest.
2. Follow simple rules for eating.
Food author Michael Pollan boiled down everything he has learned about food and healthy eating into the short but effective phrase: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Following these simple guidelines will help you stop overcomplicating your diet.
3. Indulge your cravings every so often.
Remember your favorite childhood treat? Take a walk (or taste) down memory lane by basking in those familiar flavors — guilt free! Eating should be a pleasurable experience, not just a means to survive.
4. Be flexible.
Following rigid rules can make you lose sight of what inspired your principles in the first place. We are constantly changing, as are our interests, tastes, and values. Remember, it’s perfectly OK to change your mind!
5. Ask a loved one to cook for you.
Nothing tastes better than a meal lovingly prepared by someone you care about. Knowing they put in the time and effort to support you will make you feel cared for too!
6. Enjoy your meals.
We’ll say it again — food is meant to be enjoyed! Whether you’re sitting down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, give yourself enough time to savor it.
7. Change the way you think about food.
As we mentioned above, eating isn’t just about survival. Food is a diverse cultural expression and a way to connect with other people. It nourishes the body and soul.
Staying healthy doesn’t mean we have to stress over everything that goes in our bodies! Take a breath and evaluate your relationship with food today.
Share these tips with your loved ones to pass along this important reminder.
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