Do you believe that restricting your food is the only way to lose weight and be “healthy?” Do you keep yourself from eating “unhealthy” foods or foods you love? Or maybe you eat ALL of the foods you love because you’re tired of being told you have to eat healthy?
A lot of us grew up or have been conditioned by diet culture to believe that we can only eat “healthy” foods in order to reach our health goals/be healthy.
Some of us still believe that and don’t eat “unhealthy” foods or foods we love because of it and then some of us got so tired of hearing this that we eat ALL of the “unhealthier” foods and foods we love. No matter whether you restrict your food or eat all of the “unhealthier” foods, it’s important to find a balance. Balance when it comes to the foods you eat is one of the most important parts of having a good relationship with food! If we’re restricting our food or eating “unhealthy” foods just for the sake of going against the diet culture, it doesn’t allow us to focus on our relationship with food.
Restriction is NEVER the way to build a healthy relationship with food. When we restrict our food we are keeping ourselves from eating foods we love; we are following unhealthy food rules, and we are viewing food as bad for us rather than good for us. Most times this leads to a lot of unhealthy food patterns, but it also leaves us craving those foods we’re restricting even more. A lot of times when we restrict our food, we end up binge eating that food at some point. We keep ourselves from eating certain foods, even when we crave them, and then at some point we break down and eat all of those foods in large quantities.
This doesn’t help us build healthy food patterns or a healthy relationship with food. It also doesn’t help our physical health either! Our bodies are better off eating “unhealthy” foods in small amounts frequently then large amounts infrequently.
On the other hand, eating just “unhealthy” foods doesn’t allow us to build healthy food patterns or a healthy relationship with food either. When we’re just eating those foods, we’re coming at our relationship with food from a place of either resisting diet cultures or we don’t have a healthy view of what food can do for our bodies. It’s important to not follow those diet culture patterns/unhealthy food rules, but it’s also important to view food as fuel and eat the foods that are good for your mind and body as well.
When you’re working on your relationship with food, remember that it’s okay for it to take time. It’s okay to struggle and fall back into unhealthy patterns as you’re working to build healthy patterns.
A healthy relationship with food takes time, and you’re not the only one who struggles. You’ll also have good days and bad days, and that’s okay too. No matter what, remember that you’re not alone, you CAN have a healthy relationship with food, and food is your friend!
*Disclaimer: The views expressed by the writer are in their personal capacity only and aren’t to be replaced with medical advise.
A podcaster, wife, health/wellness coach, beach lover, and musician. She specialises in nutrition education, meal planning, and developing sustainable habits. She passionately works with her patients to help them build healthier and happier relationships with food, exercise, and themselves.
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