Multiple factors drive eating behaviors. Food is social and cultural. It’s connected to our upbringing, economic status, and individual preferences. For some, it’s a culinary craft and communal. For others, it may be a source of stress, anxiety, and isolation. You may be wondering: what is a healthy relationship with food?
What is a healthy relationship with food?
A healthy relationship with food acknowledges all factors driving eating behaviors. It honors eating not only for biological needs but also for mental and emotional well-being. It supports health without compromising pleasure and satisfaction from food.
What does this look like in real life?
A healthy relationship with food will look different for each individual, but it typically includes:
- Adequate amount and variety of foods to meet nutritional needs
- Connection to internal cues of hunger and fullness
- Permission to eat ALL foods that sound good and are pleasing to the tastebuds
- Flexibility in meal patterns and timing of meals, whether that be a few meals a day or more frequent snacks
- Freedom to eat when hungry and stop when full
Examples of what it’s not:
- Creating a “forbidden” foods list
- Blaming yourself for what you did or didn’t eat
- Fighting off hunger
- Skipping meals to limit calories
- “Making up” for a meal through exercise
Food For Thought
With these ideas in mind, I invite you to compassionately explore your relationship to food. Here are a few journal prompts to assist:
- What factors currently drive my eating behaviors?
- When has my relationship to food been at it’s best? At its worst?
- What would a better relationship with food look like to me?
If you are looking for support in improving your relationship with food and learning how to best take care of your health, schedule a free discovery call.