Be Positive About Food
Food is a family affair.
And experts agree that how you and your family think and talk about food and bodies can have a big impact on your health now — and in the future.
Unfortunately, some of the most well-meaning practices — like restricting food or focusing on body weight — can end up being harmful. They can actually promote the behaviors and poor self-image they aim to prevent!
What to do?
Support each other in healthier attitudes. Do your best to adopt habits 7 and 8 with the ideas presented here.
Ideas to make it happen
Forget "forbidden foods."
Being overly restrictive about certain "bad" foods can really backfire. The pressure to be perfect can lead to all kinds of unhealthy behavior. So be moderate. Plan for treats from time to time. If you make good food choices and have reasonable portions most of the time — you're doing great.
Don't use food as a reward, bribe, or punishment.
This can lead to "comfort eating" — overeating when you're stressed — and other unhealthy behaviors. Instead, reward or motivate yourself (or your kids) with an activity: a trip to the park, a hike with a friend, a matinee.
Stay away from fad diets.
Beware of eating plans that promise to help you drop weight, build muscle, or lose (or gain) inches in a "quick and easy" way. Such diets rarely work in the long-term — and they can be unsafe. Instead, build life-long healthy habits for eating and activity.
Learn about nutrition.
Take a class or read a book on nutrition. Find out how different foods nourish your body. Be food-friendly, not food-phobic!
Grow it yourself.
Start a garden in your yard — or in containers on your porch or windowsill. Growing your own vegetables is a fun way to get some exercise, bone up on biology, and share time with your family. It's also a great reminder that food is healthy and nurturing, not harmful.
Sometimes you just want to eat something cool and refreshing, like cold soups and crisp crunchy salads — your body will appreciate the lighter food because it is healthful and incredibly delicious.
Every time you eat and before you put anything in your mouth "eek out" your reason for eating and make sure you are making the right choice.
Chewing food correctly is an important part of healthy eating and makes your meal more satisfying, so you are less likely to overeat.
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