Do you tend to overeat after a long day? Do you eat emotionally? Do you lose control around specific foods? Feeling out of control when it comes to food is a common feeling that most women struggle with, and a big reason why clients seek our guidance.
There are many reasons why you may be feeling out of control around food and there’s likely not one single trigger that’s responsible for it. However, it’s never too late to make positive changes and regain control over your diet. But in order to do that, you need to work on creating a sustainable, positive relationship with food. In this article, we will explore practical strategies to improve your relationship with food and create healthier eating habits.
1. Ditch unnecessary restriction
Restrictive diets can lead to an unhealthy and unsustainable relationship with food and cause you to feel out of control when it comes to your diet. Instead of cutting out entire food groups, going on extreme diets or labelling certain foods as “good” or “bad”, it’s important to find a sustainable approach to nutrition. A healthy, balanced diet is one that includes ALL foods, without guilt, and that caters to optimising your health while feeding your soul.
2. Keep a food diary
The single most effective tool in helping you to understand and mange your eating habits better is to keep a food diary. Keeping a food journal can provide valuable insights into your eating habits. Record what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel during and after meals. This can help you identify emotional eating patterns and make positive changes. Most people have situations, times and activities that stimulate eating. By separating eating from other activities we remove the ability of those activities to stimulate eating, allowing you to respond to actual physiological hunger instead.
3. Follow a meal schedule
A lot of women feel out of control when it comes to food at certain times of the day due to erratic eating patterns. When you skip meals or over-restrict your calorie intake, you are more likely to overconsume food as a result. By setting a meal schedule that aligns with your work schedule and preferred eating times, you can help to prevent this and feel more in control over your diet. When planning your meals, make sure they contain a decent amount of calories in them, relative to your calorie budget, and that you aren’t saving all of your calories for the night. If you are someone who forgets to eat, try setting yourself an alarm or reminder to eat. Following an eating schedule helps you to move from erratic eating/snacking, to a routine that supports your body physically, physiologically and psychologically.
4. Listen to your body
Your body is an amazing source of wisdom when it comes to food. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. Avoid eating out of boredom, stress, or other emotional triggers. By learning to tune into your body’s signals, you can establish a healthier and more intuitive relationship with food.
5. Educate yourself about nutrition
Knowledge is power when it comes to making informed food choices. Instead of relying on fad diets or the latest food trends, take the time to educate yourself about nutrition. Learn about the importance of balanced meals, the nutrients your body needs, and the impact of food on your overall health. Understanding the nutritional value of different foods can help you make choices that align with your health and well-being goals, without falling victim to restrictive or unrealistic diets.
6. Seek support
If you find it challenging to improve your relationship with food on your own, don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. You’re not alone in your journey, and sometimes, talking to someone you trust can provide valuable insights and encouragement.
Additionally, if you suspect you have an eating disorder or struggle with disordered eating patterns, consider seeking professional help from a registered dietitian or therapist specialising in eating disorders. They can provide you with tailored guidance and support to heal your relationship with food.
Improving your relationship with food is a crucial step towards regaining control over your diet. As you work towards a healthier relationship with food, you’ll not only nourish your body but also feed your soul with self-compassion and a greater sense of overall well-being.
If you need help regaining control over your diet, we’d love to help you! We’ve helped thousands of women transform their relationships with food while getting the results they want through our coaching. Click here to find out more.