How many of us struggle to have a positive relationship with food? I’m sure most of us do, myself included. Many of us turn to food to comfort and console us, when in reality we need to see food as only a way to nurture our bodies, and find other forms of comfort. So now the big question is, how do we create a positive relationship with food? No worries! Check out these 7 steps to change your relationship with food right now.
1. Understand Emotional Eating
If you are trying to eat healthy and lose weight you need to identify emotional eating. Before you sit down to eat anything you need to check your emotions. Are you eating because you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed? Are you really hungry or just emotional? This is the first step to creating a positive relationship with food.
2. Identify Physical Hunger
Many of us have been emotional eating for so long that we no longer know what physical hunger feels like. The reason is because we have learned to stuff our face every time we start to feel something. Our bodies never get a chance to hunger for food. Physical hunger is felt in the stomach and can be uncomfortable if ignored for too long. In fact, physical hunger can lead to feeling irritable and dizzy.
Describe to yourself, or write it down in your journal, what a positive relationship with food means to you. Go into detail. Describe the types of food you want associate with this new relationship and how you want it to affect your body. Don't forget to include thoughts of how you want the foods you eat to nourish and strengthen your body. Many of the foods we turn to out of emotion do the exact opposite.
4. Measure Hunger
Before each meal or snack stop for one second and gauge your hunger level. Ask yourself if you are really hungry or if you are eating out of boredom, stress, pressure, or guilt. Or are you thirsty? Thirst can feel a lot like hunger, too.
5. Talk about It
Don’t be afraid to talk to other about your emotional eating. You aren’t alone. So many people, women especially, deal with unhealthy food relationships. It is also important for you talk about your commitment to change the way you eat with friends and family. Mom or Grandma might be less likely to force their buttery creamed potatoes smothered with gravy or delicious desserts on you if they understand what you are going through, and the changes you are making.
6. Find Another Comfort
If you have discovered that food is your comfort and stress reliever, then you are going to need to replace the habit of eating your feelings with a new healthier habit. Reading, journaling, crafting, talking to a friend, or working out are all excellent alternative.
7. Don’t Give up
Making changes can be difficult. You might mess up a time or two. I promise that it will get easier the more you do it. The key is to keep going even after you have given up. Don’t let one mistake throw you off.
Do you think these 7 steps to a positive relationship with food will help you? Which ones do find most helpful? What are some of the things you have done to change your relationship with food for the better?