June 27, 2022
Changing a relationship with food: It’s common to see people blame junk food or other foods for their weight gain. They use food as a source of emotional comfort to celebrate, relax, and deal with stressful and sad situations. It’s pretty obvious that you’ll gain weight when you eat without any control and balance, so should you blame the food for that? You had your favorite meal when you were happy or depressed; this food did not require you to have it. So your weight gain and weight loss is entirely up to you, not food.
By considering and changing your relationship with food in a healthy way, you can live a healthy life without worrying about losing or gaining weight. Here we will discuss the healthy and bad relationship with food and how you can improve it to achieve your desired weight goals.
Understand your relationship with food
A good relationship with food will make you feel better mentally and physically. You won’t need a specific list of foods to have a good relationship with food; instead, you should be guilt-free no matter what you eat. Improving your relationship to food is essential, as it allows you to eat more and freely, without worry or guilt.
Before discussing how to improve your relationship with food, you need to understand your relationship with food. It can be good or bad, and the following signs will help you identify it:
Signs of a bad relationship with food
- You feel guilty before and after eating.
- You try to avoid foods labeled as “bad” for you.
- You make a long list of foods you can and cannot eat.
- You use calorie counter apps to check the calories you can consume daily.
- You are ignoring your body’s natural hunger cues.
- You have followed Yo-Yo diets or the latest diet trends in the past.
- Your stress and anxiety levels increase in social settings due to the fear of being judged for your food choices.
To note: You don’t need to experience all of these signs to confirm a bad relationship with food. If you feel any kind of stress, fear, shame, or guilt about your food choices, then you have a bad relationship with food.
Signs of a healthy relationship with food
- You allow yourself to eat the foods you love.
- You are not ignoring your body’s natural hunger cues.
- You eat when you are hungry and do not overeat.
- No foods are listed as “off limits”.
- You don’t let other people decide what foods you can eat.
- You don’t bother to explain your food choices to others.
- You have all your favorite foods, but in moderation.
- You don’t count calories when making food choices.
- You understand that your food choices do not define you.
If you’re reading this list and wondering about your relationship with food, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to develop a healthy relationship with food because of the tons of dietary advice they get from everyone at a young age. Keep reading to find out how you can ditch diets and improve your relationship with food.
How to change a relationship with food to lose weight
If you want to live a healthy life without restricting your movements and having chronic diseases, you should reconsider your relationship with food for weight loss. Here are some ways that can help you change your relationship with food to lose weight:
Examine your attitude and eating habits
Before changing your food choices, carefully consider your attitude and eating habits. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you eating because you’re feeling emotionally depressed from a bad day at work or an argument with a loved one?
- Do you want to eat when you are bored?
- Do you consider food as a reward every time you achieve something?
Give up unhealthy habits
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, you need to change your attitude and eating habits to improve your relationship with food for weight loss. Mindful eating is the key to weight loss. You need to know your state of mind before, during and after making food choices. Here are some tips that can help you lose weight while having a good relationship with food:
- If you plan to eat something, ask yourself about your last meal. What did you have, and for how long? If your previous meal contained more calories, try to consider something healthier with fewer calories.
- If you crave a food when you’re emotionally depressed, try opting for something that’s sugar-free and lower in fat. Cravings aren’t bad; your food choices make them look bad.
- Avoid eating your food too fast, it will slow down digestion and most of your nutrients will be wasted. You will soon be hungry and eating more than you need to stay healthy while losing weight. Additionally, eating too quickly can cause inflammation and digestive issues. With more and more nutrients accumulating in your body and not being digested, you will only gain weight, not health.
Changing a relationship with food to regain weight after bariatric surgery
Losing weight with bariatric surgery is a hectic process, but keeping that weight off is even harder. Most people worry about regaining weight after undergoing bariatric surgery. Of course, you wouldn’t want to gain the weight you lost the hard way. But you will gain weight if your relationship with food before and after surgery remains the same.
For example, if your obesity is due to the fact that you consider food as a means of emotional comfort, this state of mind will still be there after the operation. You need to work on changing your mindset as you eat to get energy, not because you had a bad day.
You need to control your eating habits; your eating habits should not control you. You can decide how to pass a stressful situation and celebrate a happy movement, not your food. To get rid of emotional addiction to food, you should find comfort in other things. There are many things you can do for this purpose, such as:
- Keep a diary
- call a friend
- take a hot bath
- To take a walk
- Hit a punching bag
- Cry well
- Learn a new hobby
- and much more
Changing your relationship to food after bariatric surgery is essential to staying healthy and maintaining the weight you have lost.
Food is fuel that provides the energy you need to survive. Many people use food for comfort, and their eating habits deteriorate over time. A bad relationship with food will get you nowhere; you will feel stressed, anxious and unhappy with yourself. To get rid of it, you need to improve your relationship with food in order to maintain a healthy weight. A good relationship with food will help you maintain the results of bariatric surgery. If you can’t change your eating habits and attitude, there’s no point in having bariatric surgery because you’ll gain weight, if not immediately, but eventually!
Tammy J. Colter is an OH Staff Writer and has proudly served the ObesityHelp community since 1999, helping members and professionals alike. Tammy wears many hats at ObesityHelp, working as an author, editor and account manager. Read more articles from Tammy!