As you already know, All Foods Fit means there are no “good” or “bad” foods. We eat many different foods for many different reasons because food supports us in a variety of ways, such as providing nutritional balance, allowing the opportunity to explore other flavors and cultures, and giving us the chance to create long-lasting memories and enjoy the dining experience.
So far, we’ve discussed the fuel, culture, togetherness, and exploration components of our All Foods Fit nutrition philosophy. The last — but certainly not least — component of SAGE’s All Foods Fit philosophy is enjoyment.
Enjoying eating and feeling satisfied from food are natural occurrences. Our bodies know how to tell us when we’re hungry and alert us when we’re full — this intuitive instinct is essential to our well-being.
However, because of the diet industry, it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves overly concerned with eating, exercise, or body image, which can create an unenjoyable eating experience. You may have heard a friend say they’re practicing “clean eating” or planning their “cheat day.” Perhaps a family member has suggested they need to exercise immediately after eating by saying something like, “I’m going to have to burn this off in the gym later.” These behaviors, whether intentional or not, can lead to food-related guilt and shame, making it difficult to have a positive relationship with food.
Food is and should be fun! Here are some ways you can form an enjoyable relationship with food:
- Approach your eating habits with curiosity instead of judgement. This helps you connect with your body’s needs.
- Don’t label foods as “good,” “bad,” “clean,” or otherwise. All foods have a place on your plate!
- Practice mindfulness while eating. Put away your phone or turn off the TV when you’re eating. Create a relaxing, inviting environment as you dine.
- Allow yourself to slow down and really taste your food to enjoy it. Bring awareness to your meal by using your senses — is your food savory or sweet? Hot or cold? Crunchy or chewy?
- Reframe negative thoughts about food when they come up. Instead of telling yourself you shouldn’t eat after 8 p.m., you could say, “My body is telling me I’m hungry and I’ll honor that hunger.”
- Eat foods you love with the people you love! What better way to enjoy a meal than with your family or best friends?
If you struggle with finding positivity around food, know that that’s OK. Shifting your mindset about food and eating won’t happen overnight. It takes time and regular, intentional practice. Be patient and give yourself compassion. Reach out to a professional if thoughts of food or your body are interfering with your well-being.
Because of food, we’re able to celebrate, enjoy others’ company, and create long-lasting memories. At SAGE, we want our community members to enjoy food and the dining experience! We inspire fun through our Educational Seasonings program, holiday celebrations, trendy recipes, and so much more. So, tell us: what are your favorite foods?