Why do you have a bad relationship with food(s)

  • Rigid rules about food (times you eat, amounts you consume, specific foods)

  • Binge eating

  • This could lead to feeling guilty or shame

Tips to improve your relationship with food(s)

  • Mindful eating – being present and in the moment when you eat.

  • Avoid distractions whilst you eat – tv, computer, technology

  • Don’t eat in a rush

Look at what the foods you consume are doing to you

Is food a coping mechanism for you? Do you turn to foods when stressed, upset, feeling anxious? If this sounds like you, then you need to be aware of it. Once you understand this, you can develop other ways in which to cope with your emotions. Sad? Can you speak to a friend? Overwhelmed? Can you make a plan of action to control it? Stressed? Can you go for a walk to clear your head?

Strategies for maintaining a healthy relationship with food;

Don't label specific foods 'good' or 'bad':

Labelling moral qualities to food gives them unjustified power. If you stray off course with your diet it doesn't make you a bad person. Don't beat yourself up as this may lead you into a sense of defeat. Understand that some foods are better than others, but no specific food/potion will ruin your progress.

Don't get too restrictive:

There is no need to cut off foods completely, allow yourself one day a week to consume your favourite foods/treats. To never eat a specific food for the rest of your life is stupidly unrealistic and rather than beating yourself up if you fall off track, which at some point we all do (after all we are only human), incorporate and enjoy these foods in moderation within your routine.

Minimise opportunities to make bad decisions:

It is perfectly OK to have the occasional take away or that slice of cake at a party, it comes down to balance. But keeping certain foods (biscuits, chocolate, crisps) close to hand can lead to bad habits. Restrict these amounts to stop yourself from over indulging

Cook for yourself:

Keep it simple and don't overcomplicate this. Instead of picking up the quick and easy ready meals or ordering take out, write up a list of fresh and healthy ingredients, this makes you and helps you appreciate the foods you are putting into your body.

Keep a food diary:

Keep track of the foods/drinks you consume. On top of tracking your calories, write down how you feel at the time. From this, you will detect patterns and it will help you maintain structure.

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