Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Our love affair with food may be our longest, most precarious relationship to date. Our tug-of-war with food is a two-way street: sometimes you “give in” to food and other times your food works for you. To get the most of this relationship, figure out what you want with food at any given time, and use our cheat sheet to eat accordingly.

Foods That Curb Hunger:
Solids Foods are More Filling
I have tried the “liquid diet,” and it does not work. Eating solid foods rather than drinking liquids can help you feel fuller and make you less likely to snack later on in the day because (surprise) it actually stays longer in your stomach.

Eat Mindfully to Feel Fuller
When your stomach is physically stretched thanks to food, it sends a signal to your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. But whether or not you listen to that signal is really up to you. It’s important to stay in tune with your body’s signals. We’ve all been guilty at one time or another of watching T.V. or checking our emails while we eat, but multitasking can distract us from our body’s signals . Next time you sit down for a meal, try to eat slowly and consciously, and you might find dinner more enjoyable.

Foods That Give You Energy:
Food can boost energy by providing sufficient calories And let’s face it, energy (whether we have it or lack it) affects our mood, so it’s important to learn what types of food can positively affect us.

Eat nuts
Almonds, hazelnuts and cashews are all great sources of energy. Brazilian nuts are also natural mood boosters.

Lean meats
Lean pork, lean beef, skinless chicken and turkey are all healthy sources of protein and can help you feel more alert and focused. They can even fight insomnia, so you can finally get rid of those dark  circles under your eyes.

Whole grains
Foods like whole-grain bread, pasta and rice are full of fiber. Eating whole grains can help slow the absorption of sugar, unlike candy or sugar which can give you a sugar high before your energy level drops severely.

Some extra tips:
Tea is a good alternative for coffee. The caffeine in tea can improve alertness, reaction time and memory. As nourishing as caffeine can seem, the old saying still rings true: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” so don’t skip it! Eating breakfast every morning can give you more energy and put you in a better mood throughout the day. Another tip: eat small meals frequently, supplemented with snacks, instead of a few large meals. Eating a little something every three to four hours can help you better sustain your energy.

No more guilty relationships with food – have it work for you for a change!