Steps to Break Unhealthy Relationships with Food

What may begin as an innocent intention to eat healthfully can get out of hand, leading to guilt and shame when we break our self-imposed rules. Sometimes we need to mend these relationships. Your need to build trust, which is the key to any good relationship. Here are four steps to guide you in trusting yourself enough to enjoy food, rather than micromanage it.

Be Kind to Yourselfno stress pic

Try to notice the situations that cause you to overeat. There is no need to judge or shame yourself. Just pay attention to the way you are feeling when you are tempted to stray from your normal eating behaviors. More than likely your physiological or emotional state has a lot to do with it. Most of us are more likely to overeat when we are stressed or tired. Being kind to yourself can go a long way towards preventing triggers for overeating. Recent research has suggested that we are more likely to overeat when we do not get enough sleep. With a good nights sleep, reliable eating schedule, and regular exercise, you can limit the overeating due to fatigue or stress and prevent yourself from shaming and judging yourself unnecessarily.


Stop Shaming and Judging

Have you ever judged or shamed yourself after eating the “wrong” thing? This type of behavior is a sign that your relationship with food is rocky. It is OK to feel a little guilty if you have broken one of your dieting rules about what to eat, but please stop the shaming. When you have strict rules about what foods are off-limits to your diet, you find yourself not only breaking the rules but feeling terrible when you do.

Try to avoid labeling your foods as “Off-Limits”.  For most individuals, labeling certain foods only creates unnecessary anxiety and shame. Instead of focusing on what you shouldn’t eat, redirect your focus to what you can eat. When you balance out your calories with the right amount of physical activity, you can have a small treat here and there. A personalized, balanced approach to eating assists you in consuming the calories you need while keeping the splurges in check.

Mindful eating can bring the enjoyment back into the table. Eat your food slowly, savor it, and try to pay attention to your body’s fullness cues. With these steps, you may actually eat less.



Set Yourself Up for SuccessSmart Goals Pic

Do not set unrealistic goals for yourself. This is a surefire way to end up feeling defeated. When diet goals are too hard to meet, self confidence becomes damaged and we stop trusting ourselves around food. Try setting “SMART” goals.

  • Specific: What behaviors do you need to change in order to reach your goal?
  • Measurable: How long will it take for your goal to be accomplished?
  • Achievable: Is it possible to reach this goal in a reasonable time frame?
  • Relevant: Is the goal related to the area in your life that you would like to improve?
  • Timely: What is the deadline?


Ask for Help

If you feel your stress with food is getting our of hand, you can always seek help. If you think you or someone that you know may be suffering from an eating disorder, please seek help.








Atlas Mens Health Institute

2650 Lake Sahara Dr. Ste. 100

Las Vegas, NV 89117


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