Change Your Relationship to Food – How to Get Food Freedom
Health is a birthright and a responsibility. But when we look around we see many people who are not healthy. There are many factors contributing to this but the one thing we do have control over is what we eat.
What we eat can totally affect our health. When people eat a diet based on highly refined foods, they tend to consume too many calories and too little nutrition, which leads to excess body weight and nutrient gaps. Our diets today tend to be too high in calories and too low in good nutritional value. Many people fall short on essential nutrients in their diets. Studies show that people with healthy dietary patterns including whole grains, fruit, and vegetables – rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre – have a lower risk of developing chronic conditions.
Because we are complex beings, we have many associations with food. Food may have been used as a reward or punishment as we grew up. We develop emotional connections to food. We can eat to reward ourselves, to soothe ourselves, because we are bored, to please another person or simply for the pleasure of eating, To get food freedom in this area would require looking at these emotional connections and work on developing different associations. It would require paying attention and eavesdropping on our subconscious self-talk dialogue.
What many people are unaware of is the impact the food industry has on our health and our food choices. When food production became a business it became a profit based food industry. Profits are the goal of that industry, not our health. They work on advertising to present food or even “pretend” food in the best light. Sugar is in many foods, even unexpected ones like organic, hormone-free, antibiotic free, and nitrate free bacon. When we see natural flavorings, it means they have added just a little of the natural ingredients to artificial flavorings so they can label it in a way we would think it is good. They find “feel good” images and then associate that good feeling with what brand of food they are advertising. Most people are unaware of this hypnosis by the food industry when they are shopping. These less-than-healthy food choices are often lacking in vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients.
To get food freedom in this area would require looking at food labels. Ingredients are sorted by volume, so be aware of the main ingredients. Many times a form of sugar is near the top of the list. People consume 70 kilograms of sugar a year on average. Since it is addictive, the food manufacturers add it to just about everything. Read the labels and look at the ingredients of everything you eat.
We must make it a goal of deprogramming ourselves from the food manufacturers “programming” and getting a handle on emotional eating. This will entail getting conscious about food decisions and eating consciously and mindfully. It will involve aiming for healthier foods, eliminating non-foods, staying hydrated and making a lifestyle transformation focusing on “clean eating”. Not only will this be significant for our health but for the health of our future generations so that their ‘wants’ will already be right and they will be free from the start.