If we're in the right mindset, we are likely to be more successful in achieving goals, living a healthier lifestyle and having a better relationship with food. What we eat is only half the story when it comes to good nutrition. Who we are can also influence how we digest food and burn calories.We assume if we eat something healthy, we will absorb all the nutrients it contains. We believe if we eat something fattening we will put on weight. In reality, this can be down to the state of mind of the person eating the food, as well as what's being consumed.You can eat well, but if you are stressed, you are unlikely to gain the full nutritional value of the meal.We are aware of stresses such as finances, relationships and work, but we often miss hidden stressors. Stress comes from real or imagined danger, and how the body responds to it can affect your weight.If we eat ice cream and feel guilty, the brain sees this as a stressor. This causes a chemical reaction, resulting in the ice cream not being fully metabolised, causing a decrease in healthy gut bacteria and raised insulin and cortisol levels which reduce calorie burning.On the other hand, if we eat ice cream and feel good about it, the chemical reaction is positive, leading to a fuller metabolic breakdown of the ice cream and more effective calorie burning.Having a positive relationship with food is therefore beneficial to the way our bodies process food and you can improve your relationship with food by...1 - Eat real food and remove artificial and processed food from your eating plan. This rewards you with a healthy appetite, a true natural weight and optimal health.2 - Eat regular meals. Appetite is hugely influenced by the timing of meals. If you skip meals, the body asks for more food, increasing the likelihood of eating more.3 - Feed your body with the amount of food it needs. Undereating slows down metabolism, as the body responds to starvation by holding onto body fat and burning calories slower.4 - Breathe deeply. Breathing maximises digestion and metabolism. The greater your capacity to take in oxygen, the higher your metabolic burning power.5 - Slow and steady is the best way to make any changes in your life. There are no quick fixes that will work in the long run, so focus on the journey ahead. Trust that there is light at the end of the tunnel, whatever challenges you wish to overcome.6 - The numbers on the scales are just numbers! Learn to love yourself.7 - Teach your children the importance of healthy eating. If you eat well, your children are more likely to eat well too. Be a role model.8 - Be kind to yourself, move more and eat well. That's the key to a happier, healthier and longer life.