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Our Mental Relationship to Food

The mental approach that most people take when trying to change how they eat is a negative one, which focuses primarily on what they shouldn’t have. This is no surprise as most nutrition systems that people look to for guidance over-emphasize the reduction of calories and pay too little attention to the quality of food. Fewer calories may or may not be the answer in your unique situation and it can easily lead to a mindset, which in my experience working with clients oftentimes prevents success.

The vast majority of individuals I know who look good, feel energetic, and enjoy the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle don’t count calories at all. They don’t go out to eat or to the grocery store thinking, “I shouldn’t have this,” or “I can’t have that.” They don’t approach things from the negative mindset of what they shouldn’t be doing.

They focus on eating natural, whole foods that they enjoy. Foods that in turn also make them feel energetic and work well for their unique metabolism. Their mental approach comes from the positive viewpoint of focusing on what they like and what they know will make them feel good. This often changes the all too common perception that there are no healthy foods that they enjoy, which is one of the major stumbling blocks to change. This subtle shift in mental approach makes all the difference in the world.

As a mental exercise, I want you to play close attention to your thoughts and your “mental approach” when it comes to food. If you find that you are focused primarily on what you can’t have, write down all the foods that you like that you know are good for you and truly give you a boost of energy, and focus on working them into your day. Before you know it, you will look back and see how much your nutrition has changed “without even noticing it.”

Craig A. Morgan is a co-owner of Tru Health and Wellness. He is a N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist as well as a Certified Metabolic Typing Practitioner. His interests include golf, tennis, basketball, skiing, and cooking.