What is the difference between a healthy person and an unhealthy person when it comes to eating?
Aside from the amount and quality of food they eat, they have different motivations and reasons when it comes to eating. A healthy person eats to improve the quality of life and health, while an unhealthy person eats to satisfy desires, the senses, and even to please other people.
I often hear some exercise buffs say, “I am working out so I can eat whatever I want.” Then I try to figure out if I still stick to my old belief, “I eat so I can exercise to stay fit and healthy. I eat so that I can move more and therefore, do more things and maximize my day.”
If you associate food with everything you do, to find more and more reasons to eat—for instance, you train for a marathon so you can pig out after training, or watch a movie so you can eat unlimited popcorn—then it will really be a great challenge to improve your weight and health in the long term.
You can resist food obsession and temptations if you associate food mainly with being healthy and having a good quality of life.
Think about your health so you can end your obsession or issues with food.
Set your health goal/s: Your goal can be to improve your health and lifestyle by eating sensibly, increasing your daily movement and getting enough rest and sleep. If you have these sensible lifestyle goals, it will be easier to find the right reasons to eat.
Recognize that the following examples should not be considered as main reasons for eating:
You eat to satisfy your cravings and emotions, such as comforting yourself with a box of all-meat pizza after an argument with your boyfriend.
You eat just because the food is readily available and accessible, like you can easily grab a chocolate bar because you have a stock of food in your bedroom.
You eat something as a habit like eating chips while watching TV after dinner.
You eat to please others, to show love, or to conform—like finishing a huge amount of high-calorie dinner prepared by your wife just to please her.
The right reasons
Eat mainly for right health-related reasons (and make other reasons as secondary).
These are the health- and fitness-related reasons you can always think of when eating:
You eat so you can have enough energy to move more and exercise so that you can improve your fitness level, sports, manage weight, burn extra calories and fat.
You eat because you want to have a good recovery that will help build muscles and improve your metabolism.
You eat so that you can satisfy your hunger and so that you will not overeat in your next meal.
You eat because you want to improve your health and strengthen your immune system.
You eat because you want to improve the quality of your lifestyle so you can live longer.
You eat to make sure you have the most needed nutrients that will help improve your daily function at work and at home.
Develop self-awareness and think of health-related reasons for your eating:
Try your best to write down everything that you will eat starting today and at the end of the day, identify your usual reasons for eating each food or meal.
For example: Fried chicken and white rice. Reasons for eating: available, craving for crunchy chicken skin, stressed at work.
After a day or two of writing and analyzing reasons for eating, go back to your health goals.
Find health-related reasons for eating each of your meals.
You can also think of secondary reasons like enjoying the meal with the whole family or getting excited to try a new restaurant with your spouse so that you can make each meal a pleasant experience.
Breakfast—To be able to physically and mentally function well at the very start of the day.
Morning snack—To avoid hunger pangs.
Lunch—To continue to function well at work.
Snack—To have pre-workout snack that will energize me during my run training this afternoon and to avoid overeating at dinner.
Dinner/post-workout meal— To have an effective recovery after the exercise and complete my daily food requirement.