“Dieting” can start to feel challenging when we begin to associate healthy behaviors with “punishment.” Too often, we overlook the real reason we eat food. It’s not only meant to be enjoyed, but also to provide basic fuel for our bodies.
Learning to see food as fuel can help you find balance in your journey with weight. It will teach you about the primal purpose of food, the effect certain foods have on health, and how to listen carefully to what your body is trying to tell you.
It Starts with Cells
Did you know your body has more than 35 trillion cells? Each one serves a purpose.
Once a cell has completed its purpose, it dies. Your body replaces dead and worn-out cells with new and energetic ones. It also depends on this ongoing cell cycle to keep you healthy. And guess what? The foods you eat help shape this process.
Seeing Food as Fuel
Eating the right foods helps build and repair cells to be stronger than before. It does this by getting nutrition from whole grains, vitamins, minerals, fats, protein and other nutrients.
These essential nutrients matter greatly to every single cell in your body. They make up your:
- Cell membrane
When cells join together, they make tissue that brings life to your bones, brain, skin, nerves, muscles, etc. The health and lifespan of your cells depend on the nutrients you get from food. That is why healthy food choices are so important.
Once you can start to see food as being fuel for your body, you will get better at making the healthy choice the easy choice. Food will be less about rewards or punishments and more about supporting your overall health and happiness.
Building Blocks of Good Nutrition
A diet without enough fiber, protein and healthy fats can cause your cells to become brittle, leaky and tired. When cells can’t do what they are designed to do, problems like inflammation, cancer and other difficult health conditions start to arise.
Foods that Support Healthy Cells:
- Unsaturated Fats – Fish, nuts avocados, olive oil, flax seed, etc.
- Protein – Poultry, lean beef, yogurt, eggs, seeds, beans, etc.
- Antioxidants – Fruits, dark green veggies, sweet potatoes, tea, etc.
So, the next time you grab something to eat, ask yourself how that food helps or hurts your body. This is a part of living mindful and being knowledgeable about what you consume regularly.
When you start to see food as fuel, not just a tasty treat or the solution to a bad temper, you will start to make healthier choices more often. Making new habits is one of the building blocks to successful long-term weight management!