We all have a relationship with food, even though we often don’t think about it like that, sometimes it’s a guilty affair, sometimes it’s abusive and sometimes it’s healthy and loving relationship that’s nourishing and rewarding.
For many people who struggle with their body image and weight, food serves other roles in their life than just nourishment. They use it to soothe, comfort or distract themselves. There are times when this can then feed into a guilt cycle, where people eat because they are unhappy but unhappy because they eat (the wrong things or overeat). These choices can sometimes cause unpleasant emotions to take over.
Usually, the problem is not really about the food, but the way we use food in our lives.
Food is so woven into our identity, our upbringing, and how we live life.
When we eat it is important to know why we are eating, view food in a positive way (rather than negative, food is life sustaining… it’s good to eat to nourish). Be aware of any emotional attachments you may have to food and reassess the purpose of the food we are eating.
Here are 10 simple ways to improve your relationship with food:
- Know WHEN to eat. Eat when you're hungry, honour your body.
- Know WHAT you’re eating. Eat food to nourish, honour your body.
- Know when to STOP eating
- Always make time for breakfast – never deprive yourself of a meal
- Don’t compare your plate, your food choices or your body to others
- Know the difference between real hunger and emotional hunger
- Eat for energy and health, not to suppress emotions
- Stop putting junk food on a pedestal and over emphasizing it’s value in your life
- Be present! Avoid eating with distractions, chew slowly and enjoy the flavour
- Get back in touch with the pleasure of eating food, whether it's a peach, a bowl of oats, a salad, a steak or an ice cream. Eating to nourish your body can (and ideally should) be a really pleasurable and nurturing experience.