For some, eating problems stem from childhood while for others, it starts later in life as a result of societal pressure. Furthermore, an unhealthy relationship with food can be either a psychological or emotional thing.
An unhealthy relationship with food is any sort of imbalance when it comes to food intake and is not limited to people that overeat. A perfect balance is when the when the number of calories you take in per day is balanced out by the amount of physical activity you do.
- Seek Help for Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can get out of hand quickly. Breaking from your eating plan now and then is not an eating disorder. But if you find yourself or someone you know constantly binge eating or you’re constantly stressed about eating you should ask for help. Read more about eating disorders on quitmyeatingdisorder.com.
- Mindful Eating
You don’t just eat because something tastes good. Food intake is an essential part of your daily life and without it, you will starve. Your body needs the nutrients but your brain craves the sensory
satisfaction. This is why you should practice mindful eating.
Don’t just swallow your food out of hunger, rather take your time and savor it. Chew slowly and appreciate the tastes and smells of your dish. Appreciate everything that is on the plate in front of you. This will keep you from overeating because your brain will signal sooner that you are full. When eating in a hurry the brain does not get to process properly and by the time you realize, you’re full you’ve already overeaten.
- Be Aware of Yourself
If you are, are prone to overeating take some time to think what are the triggers that make you overeat. Keep a diary and write down what you feel every time you overeat. Don’t feel shame or judge yourself too harshly. Your psychological and emotional state has a big influence on your eating habits. Stress is one of the major triggers of overeating.
Looking after your emotional and psychological wellbeing can curb overeating. Research has shown that people are more likely to overeat when they don’t get enough sleep. Managing stress or avoiding stressful situations along with enough sleep and regular exercise can prevent overeating.
- Set Realistic Goals
When making new year’s resolutions most people put dieting, exercising or losing weight at the top of their lists. Often diet plans are too strict. The rules and goals are sometimes unrealistic. This may leave you feeling defeated and damage your self-confidence. You end up not trusting yourself around food.
Set SMART goals for yourself. Your goals must be Specific, Manageable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. This will help you figure out whether your goal is realistic or not.
- Do Not Punish Yourself
Stop beating yourself up if you stray from your diet plan and eat something indulgent. Enjoy it and let it go. This is not a reason to start overindulging either. Your body won’t have a reaction to that one cheat snack but it will be affected by all the other extra calories you are piling in because you’ve already broken your diet.
- Stop Shaming Yourself
If you feel shame about eating it’s a sign that you have an unhealthy relationship with food. Often times people make their own unrealistic rule with regards to eating. When they break these rules, they berate themselves which results in them feeling defeated which causes stress which then leads to stress eating.
Try not to label any food as bad or sinful. This will only lead to anxiety when you are craving that food. You can eat any and all as long as you balance out your calorie intake with exercise.
- Enjoy Your Food
Eating should be an enjoyable experience. Do not cloud it with negative thoughts about food. Your body turns negative thoughts into stress which can manifest as indigestion. That is why it is important to practice mindful eating so that you can enjoy your meal and digest your food.
Healthy eating shouldn’t be something that gives you anxiety. If you have an unhealthy relationship with food it impacts your health negatively so enjoy your food in a healthy way.