The relationship between food, our mind and our body is a complex one. Every individual’s relationship with food is unique. Our eating habits are influenced by many different factors. 
Why are you eating? 
What has influenced your food choice and amount of food? 
How are you eating? 
When are you eating? 
Where are you eating? 
How do you feel yourself when you are eating? 
All questions are important as our eating behaviour is predominantly habitual. We often eat same type of food at same time and same way because it is learnt behaviour. 
Common examples of eating habits are: 
- Adding salt to food at table without tasting it 
- Eating at same time every day 
- Having same meal on a certain day, for example: Sunday roast or takeaway on a Friday 
- Wine or fizzy drinks with an evening meal 
- Having a dessert after main course 
- Snacking front of the TV 
Habits are mainly unhealthy: easy to form them, difficult to break them. Many of our habits can be traced back to our childhood and upbringing while others are formed as adults through necessity. 
One of the most important influence on our eating habits are our parents. 
They are the first influences on the way we eat, how much we eat, which type of food we choose. 
Very often we find ourself to clearing plates even if we are full, because we were taught as a child that we shouldn’t leave food on the plate, we need to finish all of it, we shouldn’t waste food. 
Or we tent to like the same kind of food as our parents. 
An other big impact on our eating habit is the necessity. Our working and living environment lead to habits as an adult. 
For example if you work in an office and you haven’t got lunch break or canteen in your office building, most probably you will eat a quick sandwich at your desk which is not the most ideal way and choice to have your lunch. 
And there are so many other factors are shaping our eating habits individually like: 
Religion: Many religions have rules governing what foods can and can’t be eaten. These rules depends on how strong their belief is and how strictly they follow them. 
Culture: culture covers everything from dressing to attitudes to family and also eating habits. 
For example French people enjoy snails or some countries eat horsemeat. 
Morals and ethical beliefs can derive from religion, but often can be the matter of personal conscience. Many people not eating meat is an ethical rather than a healthy choice or some people prefer to eat organic food that has been grown without the use of pesticides or artificial chemicals. 
And also there are challenging beliefs which influences habits like if the individual believe that a bottle of wine every night is beneficial for their blood. 
Economic determinants such as cost of the food, our income and the place where we live , the availability of different type of seasonal products also affect our food choices. 
People with lower income eat less fruit and vegetables and they have more processed meat then fresh. 
Food availability and the area where they live is also an important part of the healthy eating. 
If we live in a town or city we have got plenty of choices of supermarkets , but there are less healthy local products. In villages there are more fresh products from farmer’s market and village shops. 
On other thing to consider if someone hasn’t got a car getting to a supermarket is a trouble. There will be difficulties to get to a large supermarket where are wide range of economical food choices. 
Most probably these people without car will do their shopping in local shops which are more expensive. This will lead to buying the cheaper products rather than the quality products. 
Our social life has a big influence on our eating too. More people tent to eat bigger portions and not optimal choices if they eat with someone else. They tent to copy the other’s food choices to fit into the group, not to be judged about our food choices. 
That is why family’s and friend’s support is so important when someone want to change lifestyle. If the people who surround us not supportive , it is difficult to stay on track. 
And lastly the Tv with advertisements doesn’t help us to go for the right choice always. 
There are so many habits, influences behind our food choices as we see and sometimes it is not easy to change them but I believe that if get the right advices and right support everyone take little steps towards a healthier life. 
If you need more help with your nutrition or have a question, ask our Nutrition Coach here! 
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