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I’ll be honest…you’re relationship with food isn’t very healthy. You find food to be both your best friend and your worst enemy which means that you use food to cope with emotions but giving into this coping mechanism leaves you with feelings such as guilt, shame, and anxiety. You often find yourself categorizing foods as either good or bad, or healthy and unhealthy and are hard on yourself when you eat foods that you consider to be “bad” or “unhealthy”.
You give yourself food rules but punish yourself for not following them. You let the number on the scale determine your happiness – meaning it can either make or break your day. You likely spend a lot of time counting and tracking calories and believe that being in a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight. You have difficulty saying no when someone offers you a treat, and you have a very tough time stopping when you’re full. You don’t ever feel satiated or satisfied.
Having an unhealthy relationship is not your fault and you are not alone in this. Due to marketing campaigns, access to convenience foods, advances in food science that manipulate the taste buds, and a vast amount of conflicting information o the internet, modern society encourages an unhealthy relationship with food.
Recognizing that you have an unhealthy relationship with food is the first step to establishing not only a healthy relationship with food, but also a healthy relationship with yourself. I would encourage you to do your own research and get curious when it comes to food. Why do you have the rules that you do? Why do you choose to include or avoid specific foods? Does science back what you believe to be true or did you read a post about it on Instagram?
You hold the reigns pretty tight when it comes to your diet which makes your relationship with food difficult. Eating and thinking about food brings you anxiety. You might not know what to eat or believe that eating certain foods will make you fat. You avoid delicious foods, count calories, or obsess about sticking to a weightless diet plan. You are often back and forth between a period of letting yourself eat whatever you want, and then dieting to try and lose the weight you gained.
I would recommend starting a mindful eating diary to establish exactly what food means to you and begin to identify areas where you can give yourself more freedom and eat more intuitively.
Your relationship with food is: you eat to survive.
When it comes to eating, you just do it because you know you have to. You don’t often search for pleasure in the form of food, you don’t often seek out food that will nourish you, and you often eat the same foods over and over again because it’s quick and convenient. You also might be the type that gobbles down your food and don’t realize you’ve overeaten until you reach the point of being uncomfortable.
I would recommend finding the joy in eating and choose foods that nourish your body. You could also try incorporating some new recipes.
You have a healthy relationship with food. Yay!
You find pleasure in eating and eat foods that you know will nourish you. You allow yourself to indulge but also have enough control to stop when you’re satisfied. You don’t often follow a specific diet and believe that your nutrient needs are different than everyone else’s. You tend to have a high self-awareness around food which means you can tune into the signals that your body sends you after you’ve eaten a particular type of food. You choose foods that will make you think, feel and look good rather than choosing foods because of how they may change your body composition. You enjoy balanced meals, rarely feel guilty for eating something that might not be healthy, and believe that food has the power to heal, nourish and fuel you. Go you!
Do you eat when you’re hungry?
Do you stop eating when you’re satisfied?
How often do you choose to eat certain foods because you know they will make you feel good?
How often do avoid choosing certain foods because you they will ruin your diet or make you fat?
Do you feel that your food choices include a mix of healthy foods and indulgence foods?
Does the exact time of day determine when you eat a meal?
Do you eat the same number of meals per day?
Do you believe that if you eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied, that you will not gain weight?
Do you believe in having food curfews? (not eating after bedtime, no snacks after dinner, etc.)
Do you feel guilty when you eat a food that you know isn’t healthy?
How often do you think about food?
Do you think there is one perfect way to eat?
Do you choose what to eat based on what someone else is eating?
Do you choose foods based on their total number of calories?
Do you choose foods based on their ingredients?
Do you find it difficult to turn down sweets when offered?
What is the primary reason for choosing the foods that you eat?