The Relationship With Food goes far deeper than many of us would expect. Working with thousands of clients on their habits, traveling overseas and being part of a family myself, have shown me how varied people’s relationship with food is.
Food, the most complicated addiction: Unlike other habits food is linked to a large number of things that influence our psychology. Food is social which means there are expectations from others; in some families you are ‘expected’ to eat too much, or too little; or its expected you eat unhealthy foods (at Xmas, Easter, birthdays, holidays, weddings, or even because it’s Friday).
Food can be associated with body image, so food is linked with guilt in many cases. Having awareness of the guilt pattern and clearing that, makes a big difference to changing your food habits. Is guilt letting you know you’ve been judging yourself unfairly for too long?
Comfort food eating is linked to emotions. Stress, anxiety, worry, boredom, anger. If your primary way to deal with emotions, is to eat, this will cause problems for you in the long run. It is important to find positive, healthy ways to nurture yourself, that don’t involve food at all.
These are the 5 critical things you want right with your relationship with food:
How much you eat: Reducing the amount you eat is one of the top things you can do to reach your ideal weight. You want to be satisfied, however not stuffed. Eating 3-5 small, proper meals per day is far better than having 1-2 big ones and resorting to unhealthy snacks to fill the gap.
What you eat: The ‘type’ of food eaten can help balance your weight, your emotions and energy levels. It is wise to eat real foods that are also light. Avoid heavy meat, white potatoes, dairy and processed sugar. There are healthier alternatives for all of these food types.
For detailed information on light vs heavy foods, provided by the Mudita Institute:https://inspirehypnotherapy.com/2018/03/weight-loss
When you eat: The timing of meals is overlooked by many, especially those who are experiencing stress. I would follow these 3 advices on timing.
i) It is ideal to have 3-5 meals per day (1-2 meals per day is often worse as it leads to unhealthy snacking).
ii) Always eat breakfast in the first 60-90 minutes of waking.
iii) Avoid eating any food within 2-3 hours of bed time.
Who you eat with: What sort of food patterns does your household have? Consider what your food patterns are at home and whether they are working. Who you live with, will either be a good or bad influence on your food choices. Select the most important change you need to make when eating with others. Perhaps what you eat at home most nights? How much to eat at restaurants?
Why you eat: As mentioned at the start of the article, the reason for eating can be extremely varied. If you have a problem with overeating or emotional eating, can you work out the reason behind it? Is the reason you eat unhealthy food or drink;
- To feel comfort?
- To gain pleasure?
- An energy boost?
- Because you enjoy it?
- Because its quick and easy?
- Because everyone else is and you don’t want to ‘miss out’?
I specialise in working with people on their relationship with food. We address overeating and emotional eating to help you lose weight. With practical strategies and hypnosis, your relationship with food can become a healthy one.