This is a very basic concept, and I was reminded of it by a comment earlier this week, but it’s an important point I have made many times in the past that should probably be reiterated: food is fuel.
When you are changing your relationship with food and adopting a new lifestyle in regards to your health, it’s important for you to see food for what it is: fuel. Many of us have seen food as something to take comfort in, to be entertained by, or to be eaten as much and as often as possible. I was in this last group: I used to eat as much as I could as often as I could because it made me feel good. I actually enjoyed feeling full. Of course, this caused my weight to balloon up to past 312 lbs. I had to make a change or risk serious health consequences.
There are many who seek comfort in food. I get it; some of our warmest memories are often tied to foods we ate as children or with loved ones. The smell and the flavor of foods can bring back those warm memories and make us feel good. Nothing will ever change that, but we can control how often we turn to food for comfort. I no longer allow myself to partake in comfort foods that aren’t Paleo. Fortunately for me, there are many foods I ate in abundance in my childhood that I can consider comfort foods that were made from whole and natural ingredients. If you are not one of those people, then it will admittedly be more difficult to cut out the comfort foods, but perhaps looking for an analogue made with Paleo-friendly ingredients may be a solution.
Many of us eat for entertainment. Whether it’s eating at social gatherings, in social settings, or just plain eating for the sake of experiencing new things, eating is very often used for entertainment. This is something we can easily curb and limit as there are many foods that can be eaten in social settings that are Paleo-friendly. I find myself being able to mitigate any negative impact on my health quite easily, and only rarely do I find myself having to partake in foods that are not healthy for me.
Food is fuel, plain and simple. As my grandmother used to say, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” It’s a simple little quote, and I remember hearing her say it often when I was a child and even a young adult, but it never quite hit me until I was having to change how I looked at food. It’s a good mantra to remind yourself that while we like eating food that is tasty, it is, in the end, nothing more than fuel.