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Do you have an unhealthy relationship with food?

Is Your Relationship with Food Unhealthy?

We all have to eat. From birth, our bodies are designed to turn the food we consume into energy to fuel our bodies in every way. Unfortunately, many women have unhealthy relationships with food that are causing significant stress on their bodies and emotions. There are many things that can cause someone to form an unhealthy relationship with food. Some common causes are: history of trauma around food, history or current state of poverty, food scarcity, diet culture, family upbringings, anxiety, depression, minimal/poor coping tools, low self-esteem, body image issues, and exercise culture. Have you ever thought your relationship with food may be unhealthy?

Having an unhealthy relationship with food can look like:

  • Spending a lot of time thinking about eating and what is in your food (calories, fat, protein, carbs, additives, etc)
  • Restricting your food intake due to eating “more” or “treating yourself” the day before
  • Counting calories
  • Fear of eating too many carbs, calories, sugar, or fat
  • Over-eating to the point of discomfort
  • Intentionally throwing up after eating a meal
  • Fear of eating certain foods due to worry about gaining weight
  • Limiting self to eating less calories than your body needs
  • Setting strict rules around when/where/what you can eat
  • Not feeling comfortable eating in public
  • Ignoring hunger cues
  • Weighing yourself frequently and thinking about weight often

Individuals who identify with one of more of the above symptoms are more likely to experience negative impacts to their physical, mental, and emotional health as a direct result of their relationship with their food. There are many negative impacts to this, including but not limited to: malnourishment, loss of menstrual cycle, hair loss, developing an eating disorder, poor concentration, changes in sleep, difficulty regulating emotions, and more.

Having a healthy relationship with food looks like:

  • Eating when you are hungry and listening to your body’s natural hunger cues
  • Incorporating a well-balanced diet of healthy fats, carbs, protein, and natural sugars
  • Allowing yourself to eat what you are craving in moderation
  • Not avoiding any specific food or food groups due to fear of gaining weight
  • Viewing food as nourishment to fuel and energize for your body
  • Continuing to eat as usual despite how you are feeling emotionally or what your stress level is
  • Not feeling guilty about eating fun foods (cookies, ice cream, snacks, etc)

So let’s take a personal inventory. Are you someone who feels your relationship with food is healthy or has room for improvement? If you said “healthy”, you’re on the right track. If you said “unhealthy”, there’s likely room for improvement or change, and doing so may help alleviate other symptoms you are having as well, from mood regulation, to sleep, and more.

If you feel your relationship with food is unhealthy, reach out to us today. Let’s talk about how we can support you during this time in your healing journey. For more information on eating disorders, please visit: