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Is your relationship with food hurting your life?


 

Throughout my many years of coaching and talking to people about their diets, I have discovered there are three basicand polarizing attitudeswhen it comes to food, and none of these types of relationships are generally helping my clientslives.

Do any of the following sound familiar?

Relationship Type 1: The Obsessives

This group accounts for a very small percentage of people:

These are the people who have become so strict and neurotic about their diets, theyre just not that cool to hang out with anymore. They become visibly stressed out when they might be forced to stray momentarily from their perfect diet, so much so that they start to look resigned and disinterested during any social function with food (which is most social functions, of course).

They cant go a meal without pulling out their food scale and weighing and measuring their macros, even at the family Christmas dinner, making everyone eye-rollingly uncomfortable in the process.

Enjoying a drink or Happy Hour with a friend no longer happens for the Obsessives, and they tend to avoid being around others when its time to eat. In the end, their obsessive diet habits serve to strain their relationships with family and friends. Seeing as connection is the source of happiness, it goes without saying their happiness starts to suffer, too.

Relationship Type 2: The I dont want to be an obsessiveso I choose to enjoy food instead. All the time!

This group makes up the bulk of the people I come across:

These are the people who claim that they dont want to become obsessive and neurotic and socially awkward like the Obsessives, so the only other option must be to let themselves go and enjoy food whenever they get a chance, they argue.

Sometimes they pretend theyre going to start making better food choices, but theyre easily influenced by whatever social function filled with crap food comes their way, so every night becomes an opportunity to indulge in the greatest feast of their lives!

Their excuses to indulge include:

Food is social. I dont want to be the awkward guy in the corner not eating and enjoying himself.

Food is comforting and makes me happy.

Food brings people together.

I dont want to deprive myself of good food. You only live once.

The result: Their diet get derailed more of than it stays on track. As a result, their health suffers. Their body composition isnt what they want it to be. They dont see the performance gains in the gym they otherwise could, and they ultimately become discouraged. All of this results once again in a less happy life.

Type 3: The Lazys

These are the people who claim they want to eat well, but they dont have the timeor energyto shop for good foods and cook healthy meals. The term food prepis a foreign one to them. So, they find themselves picking up ready made foods filled with all sorts of processed ingredients, or eating out multiple times a week.

The result: See above! Health, performance, happiness tanks!

What if I told you theres a fourth relationship you can have with food that takes the best of each of the polarizing examples above, and ditches the worst of each prototype?

Type 4: Food is Fuel 90 Percent of the Time

These people recognize that food can be social and fun and a creative outlet for those who enjoy cooking, but everyday food”—which should make up 90 percent of your eatingis just fuel to help their bodies function optimally.

Seeing food this way takes the emotions out of eating and motivates you to prioritize finding the time and energy to shop, prep and cook the best foods you can for your health, wellness and performance.

And just like training, youre allowed to take a rest dayfrom the Food is Fuel attitude (10 percent of the time ish), where you get to loosen the reigns. This means you get a day, maybe once a week, to enjoy whatever your dinner party host is serving, or to order a couple drinks or a carb-heavy meal.

The result: You become at peace with the role food plays in your life. You start to feel healthier. Your performance at the gym takes off. Your body composition changes and your start loving the way your body looks. Your emotional connections with others remain intact, and your happiness starts to sky rocket!

As always, just some food for thought. Ask yourself: What type of relationship do you have with food, and could it be improved?