A lot of people struggle with overthinking about food. Some of this comes from the diet culture in our society, the obsession with food around social events, food being everywhere you turn, or an unhealthy relationship with food. It can be hard to find a balance between thinking about food enough but not thinking about it TOO much. For example, if someone is struggling with an eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food, they probably think about food MUCH more than they should be – then what is healthy. This is a situation where we want to work on not obsessing about food. On the other hand, someone who doesn’t think about food at all, but is trying to be more intentional with their food choices should probably start to think about food a little more. There are also scenarios where people are trying to reach health goals and are thinking about food more because of that, but it starts to become an unhealthy obsession.
See how this can be tricky?You’re not alone! Food is a hard thing to navigate for a lot of people. There are a lot of unhealthy situations that people find themselves in – including thinking about food TOO much and NOT thinking about food at all. Neither of these are healthy, and so we want to work at finding a balance. I want you to think about which one of these resonates with you the most. Do you think about food ALL the time? Or do you hardly ever think about food? I also want you to think about WHY this is. Why is it that you obsess over food? Why is it that you try to ignore or not think about food? One of the hardest parts about healing is thinking in depth about these hard topics. However, it’s really important and brings a lot of growth and healing.
But where do we go from there? What do we do if we think about food too much? And what do we do if we don’t think about food at all?
Let’s start with thinking about food too much. If you struggle with this obsessive behaviour/ thinking around food, please have grace for yourself and know that you are not alone. When you struggle with over-thinking, it can be helpful to have other things to focus on. Instead of trying NOT to think about food, have other things that you focus on thinking about instead. Think about how you’re feeling, what you’re looking forward to, etc. It can also be really helpful to have a PLAN when it comes to food. Maybe you’re constantly thinking about food because you don’t know what/ when/ where you’ll eat throughout the day or week. It’s OKAY and even healthy for some people to plan this out so that they don’t have to think about it. Make a meal plan for the week or a meal plan for the day if that’s something that you struggle with.
Now let’s tackle not thinking about food at all. If you need to start thinking about food for health issues or reaching health goals, I want you to make it a priority without it turning into an obsession. A few things that can be helpful: make reminder notes; make meal plans; find recipes/ meals that fit your dietary needs/ health needs; and figure out which restaurants you can go to without having difficulty finding something that works for your food plan. If it ever starts to feel obsessive or like it’s becoming too much of a focus, step back for a bit.
No matter where you’re at in this journey of a healthy relationship with food, remember that your body deserves the best from you! It takes such wonderful care of you, so take good care of it! Eat good foods, eat foods you love, and take care of your mind. No matter what, remember that there are resources if you need help. And food wants to be your FRIEND!!
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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