Food is something we all enjoy. It brings people together, we use it to celebrate occasions, and we need it to nourish our bodies each and every day. However, with so much contradictory information we get on the subject, food can be a point of confusion for many.
Aside from the confusion, we have also learned to accompany guilt and shame with food choices. It’s no wonder many of us fear food, but it shouldn’t (and doesn’t) have to be this way. Food is there to give us energy and enjoyment and nourish our bodies to function our best. Here are some tips to help you improve your relationship with food so that you can eat your favorite meals guilt-free.
Avoid Calling Foods “Good” or “Bad”
The moment we place restrictions on our food, calling them “bad” or “good,” we immediately allow guilt to take over when we eat these so-called bad foods. Try to change your dialogue around food. No foods are bad or good; they are just different. When these thoughts come up, ask yourself where this idea of “bad” or “good” food came from.
Does this food make you feel unwell? Do you get bloated, uncomfortable, or sluggish? Make decisions based on these identifiers. Eat what makes you feel good, and don’t feel as though your favorite foods have to be off-limits. Honor your cravings and listen to what your body needs.
Slowly Try Introducing Trigger Foods
Specific foods, especially those high in empty calories or fats, can be triggering for many people. These foods can set off negative emotions and immediately make you feel guilty for eating them. We know it’s hard, but try to introduce some trigger foods into your diet slowly. You don’t need to eat an entire pizza at once— start with a bite or a slice, whatever you’re comfortable with doing. When you eat these foods, notice that you don’t automatically gain weight or become unhealthy. A lot of the fears we have around food are just that— fears!
Try to change the entire atmosphere around eating. Instead of mindlessly eating your lunch while browsing your phone, take some time to sit and enjoy your food. Taste the ingredients and become more mindful of the experience. Not only will this help you listen to your body and eat more intuitively, but it will also make the experience of eating more enjoyable.
Remove All Negative Influences
Pay attention to how you feel when you browse through someone’s profile or when you watch your favorite television show. Do those feelings of guilt come up, or do you feel more pressured to restrict your foods? Begin to be mindful of these negative influences and reduce or banish them from your life, even if you do it in baby steps.
Speak to a Professional
You know yourself best. Breaking this negative relationship with food is no easy task, and if you ever feel like you can’t do it alone, remember that you don’t have to. There are many professionals out there that are trained to help you.
I would love to help you!!
Would you love to learn even more manageable ways to accomplish your health goals and feel healthy and energized?
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Contact Alicia at Health Matters Nutrition & Wellness LLC to schedule your FREE
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Health and happiness,
Alicia Williamson RN, BSN, MSNW, CHC
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