In a recent podcast, I talked to Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities, about diets, diet culture and how to overcome eating habits and beliefs that don’t align with our body’s needs. Dieting is a huge part of our society, and unfortunately, it can lead to disordered eating and food obsession.
We can fall into habits, especially when it comes to diets or ways of eating, that cause us to place our values second to everything else by not honoring our bodies. So, if you’re ready to ditch diet culture and want to know how to stop obsessing over food, then here are some tips for tuning back into our bodies and out of the internal and external noise.
Listen to your body
Intuitive eating is all about listening to your body and eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. When food becomes a reward or a punishment, then we stop listening to our bodies and establish an unhealthy relationship with food. Hunger is natural and our bodies need nourishment to survive, so instead of fighting your hunger or overindulging, honor your body and fuel it when it needs it.
Ditch the notion that certain foods are bad
While there are certainly healthier foods than others, it’s okay to find joy and pleasure from food. In fact, taking the time to enjoy what you’re eating is crucial for avoiding food guilt. When you label certain foods as “good” or “bad” then you’ll automatically judge yourself for eating certain foods. When you allow yourself to enjoy “forbidden” foods, then you’ll stop obsessing over them.
Turn guilt into compassion
If you find yourself feeling guilty after eating, then the best thing to do is to notice how you’re feeling. Once you’re able to acknowledge your feelings of guilt, you can learn to let them go. Instead of striving for perfection, try to find appreciation for your body and all the things it does for you. Having self-compassion can help you overcome perfectionism and counteract shame. It’s incredibly beneficial for our overall mental health by helping us overcome self-criticism.
Look at nutrition as a form of self-care
Chances are, if you’re making heathier choices and taking care of your body, then you’ll feel better. If you base all your food choices based on calories or macros, then you’ll likely feel deprived or live in food fear. Rather than focusing on how you’ll look if you restrict certain foods or exercise a certain amount, turn your attention to how you’ll feel.
So, are you ready to ditch diet culture and leave food obsession behind for good?