Five ways to evaluate your relationship with food

What’s your relationship with food like?

Maybe you’ve never considered it! Check out these questions and take some time to chew on them (we love a food pun). A healthy relationship with food can impact so many areas of your life, and it might just set a good example for someone around you.

1. Do you label foods as good or bad?

Of course some foods are more nutritious than others, but that doesn’t mean the less nutritious foods are bad. Labeling foods as bad often leads to restriction and cravings that can build up and lead to overindulgence. What foods do you currently label as bad? I challenge you to start incorporating them into your diet more often. You may just start to see them differently.

2. Do you label yourself as good or bad after a meal?

Phrases like “Oh I can’t eat that, I’m trying to be good” or “I’m being so bad, I got fries.” imply that the foods you eat inform your character. Maybe you feel ashamed or guilty after eating certain things. Diet culture is to blame for this. Instead of labeling your choices, think about how eating them makes you feel: Energized? Satisfied? Groggy? Eat foods that make you feel good!

3. Are you using food as a coping mechanism?

If you tend to feel extra snacky when you’re stressed or sad, you’re not alone! Eating something tasty gives us an instant hit of dopamine and a quick escape from our state of stress. Unfortunately, these snacks won’t take away the stress – it’s still going to be there when you finish the bag of chips. Work on finding other ways that help you decompress. Going for a walk, petting your dog, calling a friend, etc.

4. Do you actually like what you’re eating?

You have to eat to live, so you might as well enjoy what you’re eating. If you’re only eating chicken and broccoli because you think it’s good for you but you don’t actually like it, it’s time to take a step back and think about how you can eat foods that you DO like. Eating nutritious foods doesn’t have to feel like a punishment, so find some that you genuinely enjoy and look forward to eating.

5. Do you see the value of food beyond calories?

What you put on your plate is about more than hitting a particular calorie goal or fueling your activity. Food brings people together, creates memories and celebrates culture. Are you able to see food through that lens? To zoom out from the calories and macros and instead focus on the memory being made? It’s not all about the calories all the time!

Which of these do you struggle with the most?

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