How to spot the red flags in your relationship with food | Sunday Observer

How to spot the red flags in your relationship with food

14 February, 2021

We’re reclaiming February 14 in the name of heart-health. Is it just us, or are you strangely psyched for Valentine’s Day this year? In previous years, many of us rolled our eyes at the cheesy so-called “Hallmark holiday”.

But, if ever there’s been a time to ramp-up V-day, it’s after the year we just had. If last year gave us anything, that was plenty of time to re-evaluate the way we live our lives. Our relationship with food plays an important facet in our emotions and our actions, which gives us all the more reason to celebrate the good break-ups.

The average time to anchor a specific eating habit varies, while this may be bad news if you are trying to reduce your evening junk food consumption, eat breakfast every day or pack your lunch, the good news is that you don’t have to feel like a failure if it takes you over a month to anchor a habit. Give yourself more time.

Here are some of the red flags and how to get over it!

Eating out of boredom

Tip: Try to keep busy rather than slumping in front of the TV, but if nothing works and you know you’re a snacker, save some calories for the end of the day. Prepare some vegetable crudités and make dips such as healthier hummus or salsa.

Habit 2: Skipping breakfast, not having regular meals and grazing rather than eating proper meals

Tip: If you’re not trying to lose weight or if missing meals is not impacting on your other health issues, this might not be a big issue if that’s how you like to eat.

If you find yourself hungry and making unhealthy choices, then it is. If time’s short in the morning, grab a piece of fruit or take cereal pots to work.

Switch unhealthy snacks for packets of nuts, an apple, crackers with garlic spread, reduced-fat with a few cherry tomatoes and veggies.

Habit 3: Ordering a takeaway because it’s easier than cooking

Tip: Try batch cooking so you’ve always got something in the freezer. Cook double the amount, separate portions into boxes and freeze.

Have a handful of fail-safe recipes from that you can turn to when you need a quick meal and keep your store cupboard stocked with the ingredients you need to make them.

Habit 4: Snacking on cakes and biscuits in the office or work

At work, swap the biscuit barrel for a bowl of fruit. Speak to your colleagues – you never know they might want to join you in eating more healthily and will probably be relieved that the temptation is being removed. While you’re at it, make it fun! No carb Monday?

Habit 5: Tip: Eating too much bread and sweets

Take baby steps towards your goal, cut down by half a slice a week. Replace bread with something else while reducing the amounts, for example oatcakes, crispbreads, crackers or bread sticks are all different types of carbs to experiment with as swaps.

Try to replace sweets with fruit – fresh, frozen, dried or tinned. Why not pop grapes in the freezer to nibble on or dried unsweetened dates – they come out chewy, just like toffees.

Habit 8: Spreading butter on thickly

You may already know that butter contains saturated fat, which is not good for your heart health. A better option would be an unsaturated fat, containing Omega 3 and 6. Unsaturated fats are called “good fats” because they have a beneficial effect on (heart) health. Unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, have a beneficial effect on the heart when used to replace saturated fat (SAFA) and trans fat (TFA).

The “good fats” are needed as part of our body cells and play an important role in the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. “Good’’ fats are typically found in plant oils and products made of those, such as soft-spreads and liquids. They can also be found in nuts, seeds and fatty fish. ‘’Bad’’ fats are typically found in higher amounts in full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, cakes, biscuits, savory and snacks.

One of the easiest ways to fulfill the daily need of Omega 3 and 6 goodness is through food that contains it. – Press Release