What is a Healthy Food Mindset?

Healthy lifestyle. Good life. Organic food. Vegetables. Close up portrait of happy young woman making a salad in her kitchen.

It is so common for us to look at certain foods as though they are the bad guys. After all, if potato chips were never invented, they would never tempt us and we wouldn’t eat the whole bag, right? Well, true — but is it really the chip’s fault? No.

Food is not our enemy. It can be full of nourishment, giving us energy and life. However, it is up to us to change the way we see it so that we may change the way we approach it. This requires having a healthy food mindset.

Here are a few ways you can adopt one.

Understand Your Why

It is important to understand why you are taking steps to improve your health. Keeping this in the forefront of your mind makes it easy to make better choices and develop a healthier relationship with food.

So many people try to lose weight and improve their health because someone else says they should — such as trying to fit into societal norms or wanting to be viewed a certain way by others.

Unfortunately, efforts to get healthy in these instances usually fail.

Take some time to make a list of your ‘whys.” Make it your goal to eat better and exercise. When you begin to take these steps for yourself and understand why you are doing it, your healthy mindset will follow.

View Healthy Eating as a Form of Self-Care

We tend to view food in negative ways — especially if it has been used as a form of comfort, as a reward, or even as punishment. For instance, maybe you will reward yourself with a day of gorging after restricting yourself all week long. Or, maybe food has become your way of dealing with stress. Then again, maybe you withhold food from yourself when you eat something you think you shouldn’t have.

Instead of negative interactions with food, adopting a healthy food mindset means seeing food as a form of nourishment. Choosing foods that are full of goodness for your body can provide you with the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

When you see food as fuel, you will be more likely to make good choices and care for your body.

Give Yourself Grace — Not Guilt

Ready for a news flash? No one is perfect. No one. If you crave a donut and go get one for yourself, you have two choices:

You can beat yourself up, tell yourself you are a failure, feel guilty about eating the donut, and go eat more donuts to get you through the sad emotions you have. OR, you can enjoy the donut and get right back on track when it comes to your next meal or snack.

A healthy food mindset knows that restriction cannot lead to long-term success. So, give yourself grace and ditch the guilt.

Stop the Comparisons

We seem to always be comparing ourselves to others. Everything from how well we did in school and how successful we are in our career to the home that we live in and the family we have. We also compare body sizes and diets, too.

Stop the comparisons. Your road through life — including your health journey — is not going to look like anyone else’s. This is perhaps one of the toughest aspects of developing a healthy food mindset since we have usually been ingrained in monitoring how we measure up to those around us since childhood.

When you find yourself making changes in your own life based on what you saw someone else do, stop. Re-focus your attention on yourself and let any thoughts of comparison fall by the wayside.

Step by step, you will slowly begin to adopt a healthy food mindset.

The nutrition coaches of Beyond the Box Nutrition take you beyond dieting, helping you to create a balanced lifestyle and a healthy relationship with food with a plan designed to fit your life.