There is a close relationship between food and our emotions. When we are happy, we tend to eat more, and when we are sad, we may lose our appetite. Certain foods can also trigger memories, both good and bad.
For example, the smell of baking cookies might remind us of our childhood, while the sight of a certain dish might bring back memories of a cherished vacation.
Food is also a central part of many social gatherings, such as parties, family dinners, and holiday celebrations.
Sharing a meal with others is a way of bonding and showing love and care. In some cultures, food is even used as a way of showing respect, such as when elders are given the choicest pieces of meat.
So, as you can see, food plays an important role in our lives, both on an individual and cultural level. It can comfort us when we are sad, make us happy when we are celebrating, and even help us to connect with others.
We usually connect our food with our emotions and tend to gain weight sometime. For the last 5 years, I was struggling to maintain a healthy relationship with my food. But I got failed all the time and resulting in weight gain.
I had been in a toxic relationship in my life and food was the only thing that gave me joy. Whenever I felt alone, I tend to order junk food or indulge in overeating. This habit made me gain 10 kg extra.
But after a few months of practice, I realized that food is not the culprit but the way I eat, how I eat, and the mental state in which I eat wrong.
Then I decided to work on my emotions and develop a healthy relationship with my food.
Here I am sharing some ways from my personal experiences, to improve your relationship with food:
1. Being Mindful what your intake
Whenever you eat or drink something, apply this 3 steps mindful process:
Step one: How do you feel when you choose any particular food?
Step two: How do you feel after eating that food
Step three: How do you feel after 1 hour of eating that food
Let’s understand with an example.
Step 1: I want to eat pizza because I love it.
Step 2: I am feeling very heavy after eating pizza.
Step 3: I am feeling bloated and I think I should not eat it next time or eat less.
If you apply this 3 steps formula to your food choice, you can mindfully avoid the food which makes you uncomfortable. This is the approach I follow every time.
2. Avoid overeating when you are extremely happy or sad
These 2 are the most common emotions which trigger emotional eating. When you are excited, you express your emotions by overeating and when you are upset or sad, you take the way of overeating.
Even if you are mindful with your eating, you forget the mindfulness when these two emotions are triggered.
in those situations, try to hydrate yourself. Hydration helps to calm down extreme emotions. And then have your meal.
3. Focusing on the power of your stomach
Our body is designed in a way that it gives us signals. When you are hungry your body tell “please eat something” and we eat. In the same way, when our stomach is about to full, it gives us a signal where to stop.
Listen to your stomach and stop where it signals you to stop.
4. The purchase of your food
If you have a healthier relationship with what you eat, your food purchasing depends on that. If you are mindful with your eating your food choices will be more healthy.
5. Keeping a food journal
Try to maintain a food diary to help you to improve your relationship with food. Try to keep those emotions written in your food journal which compelled you to eat unhealthily or overeat.
Writing your own emotions and working on them, could be the highest reward we can give ourselves.
So, next time you sit down to eat, take a moment to think about all the different ways that food affects your life.
Let me know in the comment section if my approach is helpful to you.
Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!