Do you know why you eat?

Do you know why you eat?

Do you know why you eat?

Do you eat to lose weight?

Because you’re hungry?

For good nutrition?

Because it’s there and it tastes good?

To procrastinate?

All of the above?

March is National Nutrition Month and in a world of keto fanatics and carb-phobia, I appreciate grounded advice on reading nutritional labels, home food safety and being a menu-savvy diner.

But you probably know all the info, don’t you?

As Michael Pollan says in his eater’s manifesto, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Understand that and everything is simplified.

But, our relationship with food is more complex. Like my client who admitted “I eat for all the reasons.”  My clients want to eat to lose weight, which in theory should be simple. But their relationship with food complicates things.

Do you know why you eat?
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Consider what food means to you. If you want to lose weight, are you looking at food as a means to an end? (And what happens at that “end”?) Maybe you’re choosing foods to help lower cholesterol or blood sugar. Do you eat to nourish your body and provide energy for what lies ahead? Are there foods that trigger you? That you say you’re addicted to? (I used to say that about chocolate.) Is food comfort when you’re feeling anxious? A treat when you’ve had a hard day?

See what I mean? Complicated.

You know my philosophy: you can enjoy food and lose weight. Which requires a healthy relationship with food.

For me that means acknowledging that while vanilla butter cream frosting tastes freaking amazing, I choose not to eat it because I know how it makes me feel physically and how it only increases my desire for more. It also means I’ve learned that I can be hungry without having to eat immediately. I remember how often I employed the phrase “I’m starving,” which is comical, really. And not a good message for my mind to ruminate on.

If your weight loss is on-again-off-again, delve into your relationship with food. Ask yourself questions about why you eat and what food means to you. Take a look at your language around food (e.g., are there foods you say you LOVE?). What feelings come up for you around eating and meal choices? Write these things down so you can really see what this relationship looks like.

For instance, are thoughts about food and what to eat taking up more head space than you want? Are you more attached to certain foods than you realized? Do you have shame around food? Do you, too, eat for all the reasons?

Once you identify your thoughts and feelings around food you can begin to unpack them one by one. And decide which ones stay and which ones you want to retrain. And develop a relationship with food that includes enjoyment and weight loss. For good.

Need help to do the work? Let’s talk.

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