A lot of people have, or have had, a complex relationship with food.

What you put in your mouth, chew and swallow, seems to be both complicated and simple.

Objectively and from a distance, how can something so primal and basic, be so complicated? The thing is that a person’s relationship with food is entirely subjective, and so are their issues. It’s difficult to understand how elements such as control and self-esteem can be linked to food when you yourself don’t suffer from those problems.

Seeking Comfort in Food

On the flipside of this sympathetic position is the fact that people seek comfort in food too easily. Had a bad day? Eat some chocolate. It’s cold outside? Have a pizza. There’s nothing overly complicated about this other than the craving of a short term fix combined with a lack of discipline.

Portion size has also become a problem.

People feel the need to not only finish what is on their plates (even though they may be full), but sometimes to go back for ‘seconds’ simply because they made too much food. Once again I would argue there’s nothing complicated about this, there’s only a lack of short-term discipline.

As a gym owner, I’m exposed daily to the effects proper and improper diet has on the shape of people’s bodies as well as their performance. Diet, especially in terms of body fat, is without doubt the primary influencer. If you can’t shed fat and you exercise regularly, you’re either eating incorrectly or you’re eating too much. 

I understand that the relationship with food can be complicated psychologically, but the practicalities of it day to day are simple.

It ultimately comes down to taking responsibility for your food decisions. Plan. Be an adult about it.

If you plan your meals, particularly that they consist of the correct balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, together with the actual amount of food you make, you’re a long way to taking the poor food decisions you’d ordinarily make out of the equation.

If you don’t put foods containing sugar in your shopping basket, they won’t be in the cupboard tempting you. If you measure out the correct quantity of food, there won’t be leftovers in the pan that you feel you need to eat.

It’s amazing to me that people can be acutely aware that they’re eating too much or not eating correctly – I’ve had people tell me this all the time over the years – yet they’re not disciplined enough to that the responsibility of changing it.

If you want to control your diet, you need to take control of it. People seem to be able to understand that in order to get a promotion or have a successful relationship, they need to work at it, but the same doesn’t apply to the consistency of good food choices.

Ask yourself every meal (and the snacks in between) if what you’re eating is benefitting you or comforting you. Is it going to benefit or hinder your athletic performance and your long term health?

Ultimately, don’t be short sited when is comes to your meal choices and what you eat. Plan. Be responsible. Take control.