Are there instances when you find yourself restricting your food intake and starving yourself as a form of diet, but then you find yourself looking for food in the refrigerator at night?
For you, there is food that has a label of good and bad, and as much as possible, you restrict yourself from consuming that “bad” food. And if you do ever consume bad food, you punish yourself. You feel guilty, and you starve yourself some more.
Building a good relationship with food takes time, especially when you have been doing this habit for so long. You should appreciate the purpose of food in your body is to fully understand that it goes further than calories.
Starting a good relationship with food requires:
1. Mindful eating
Eating is a call of nature that we often don’t think of doing. Hence, when we eat, we do not pay attention to it. Putting your full attention to this activity, you can identify your triggers of hunger, like emotional, physical, and actual hunger.
Emotional hunger pertains to food that brings you comfort. Physical hunger responds to the smell and visuality of food that makes you hungry. Actual hunger, on the other hand, is the true call of nature that answers to your body’s needs.
Try to eat slowly so that your body will be able to distinguish if it’s already full or needs more food. Stop if you are full, and avoid distractions when eating, like watching television. If you find yourself eating with distraction, try to put in the right amount to avoid binge-eating.
2. Stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad”
No food is good or bad. It is a common mistake for people who diet to label foods that are not essentially nutritious as bad. That automatically stops you from eating those foods like Ice cream, pizza, and more but the more you restrict yourself from eating those you labeled ‘bad’ the more you crave them.
And because you have deprived yourself of this food for so long, when you give yourself a chance to eat it, you actually eat more than what you are supposed to consume. It’s counterproductive.
Instead of depriving yourself of eating those foods, try to eat them in moderation.
3. Avoidance of scale focus
Weighing yourself is not harmful in itself. It is actually beneficial to keep yourself at a normal weight. However, if you check yourself almost every meal or several times a day, it is a sign you need to stop. Especially if the number on the weighing scale scares you or gives you anxiety.
If you are not under any restrictive goal weight, then you shouldn’t focus on what the number on the scale tells you. If you are on a fitness journey, it is better to have a concrete goal. Is your goal to be fitter or lighter?
Only check your weight once a week every morning, and keep a record of it to track your progress.
4. Avoid thinking that “comfort” is not always found in foods
Binge-eating is common for people who are often under a lot of stress. Whether you are stressed or not, before snacking, be aware of your emotions. Just like mindful eating, being attentive to your emotions will allow you to be mindful of your triggers, so that when you think of food the next time you can successfully identify that it is a trigger.
Other ways of addressing these emotions and how to deal with stress so that you can eliminate food.
5. Seek help
This healthy habit is not easy to overcome. Try to seek professional help to help you deal with this problem. Because the solution is not one size fits all, one trick may work for others, but when you try it, it doesn’t work for you.
Consult with a dietitian so that they can give you a strategy to fit with your lifestyle.