People’s 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, and how difficult it can be to change.
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 caries a lot of expectations from others; in some families you are ‘expected’ to eat too much, or too little; in some families you are expected to eat unhealthy foods (at Xmas, Easter, birthdays, holidays, weddings, because it’s Friday).
Food can be associated with body image, so food is linked in 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 there is something important, you have been ignoring 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 to get 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 don’t want to eat too much, or too little. You want to feel full, but not stuffed. You want to be hungry from time to time, but not starving. Eating 3-5 small, proper meals per day is far better than having 1-2 big ones and resorting to snacking.
What you eat: The type of food you eat can help to balance your weight, your emotions and energy levels, when you get it right. 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: www.muditainstitute.com/articles/ayurvedicnutrition/losingweightwithayurveda.html
When you eat: The timing of your meals is overlooked by many of us, especially those who are experiencing stress. I would follow these 3 advices on timing. 1) It is ideal to have 3-5 meals per day (1-2 meals per day is often worse as it leads to unhealthy snacking). 2) Always eat breakfast in the first 60-90 minutes of waking. 3) Avoid eating any food within 2-3 hours of bed time.
A poor timer of food eating, would often do this. Skips breakfast and drinks coffee. Maybe has lunch and snacks throughout the day. Has a big dinner too close to bed time, because they are over-hungry. They sleep with a full stomach, meaning the body wastes energy digesting food at night and stores the extra calories as fat.
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. Is it the amount you eat, what you eat, or when you eat?
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 relieve stress?
- To gain pleasure?
- 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 becomes a healthy one, and ideally where you don’t have to use willpower to maintain it. Call for a free 30 minute consultation. Phone 1300 089 099