How Healthy is Your Relationship with Food?

By Sara Butler

Some relationships are healthy and some are not, and that includes relationships with inanimate objects! How healthy your relationship is with food can directly impact the quality of your life. So, how do you judge your relationship with food? Take a look at these indicators to see if you can tell how healthy or unhealthy your connection with food may be.

Are You Preoccupied with Food?

It’s normal to think about food, but it’s not normal to obsess over it to the point that the preoccupation with it drives your eating behaviors rather than your actual appetite. True hunger is something that is driven by physical cues and is resolved when you satisfy that hunger by eating. If your hunger is something that is psychologically motivated, then even after you’ve eaten and are full you may continue to think about food or feel the need to keep eating.

Do You Hide Food?

If your eating habits make you feel ashamed because you’re struggling, it may motivate you to hide food or eat in secret. Often, if you feel embarrassment about overeating in public or eating foods around other people that appear unhealthy, and you hide your eating, then that may mean your relationship with food is one that is based on shame -- and that’s not healthy.

Do You Feel Guilty After Eating?

Everyone overeats (hello Thanksgiving!) or even eats something that they wish they hadn’t and regrets it. However, if you find those feelings happen to you a lot and they start to turn into feelings of guilt or anger, then you are at risk for damaging your self-esteem. Guilt can also drive unhealthy behaviors such as chronic dieting or excessive exercise to compensate for feeling bad about eating.

Do You Eat When You’re Stressed?

This is a very common occurrence because your connection with food and stress pretty much starts at birth. When you’re an infant, you cry and you’re soothed by being fed. As you grow you, may receive food as a reward or a distraction when you’re upset or hurt. These things set the stage for stress eating as an adult, and because stress is a daily part of life it can turn into a very chronic and unwanted behavior that results in weight gain and health problems.

The first step to fixing your relationship with food is identifying what is not right about it. As you get in touch with your feelings and emotions surrounding food, you can then begin to take positive steps to have a healthier relationship with it.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Centennial, Colo.

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