Making peace with food – what does this even mean? Well let me ask you, what do you think of when you think about being at peace with food? What thoughts or images come to mind? If you were able to feel more neutral about foods, how do you think your speech around certain foods would change?
When I think about being at peace with food, I think about being at dinners with friends and not being worried about what I am going to eat. I begin to feel more satisfied as I stop making my cravings wrong. The way I talk about food with my kids, about how to eat in a way that nourishes, begins to change. Would you agree? What else would you add?
Making peace with food, improving the relationship we have with food, can be a challenging yet oh so rewarding process. It’s challenging because we are inundated with messaging that calls our morality into question if we eat anything that contains more than 5 ingredients on the food label or that doesn’t serve a purpose beyond satisfying our hunger or taste buds.
What making peace with food does not mean –
- that you are going to start eating in a way that will harm your health
- you will gain weight as you are controlled by your cravings
- that you aren’t intentional
In fact, I believe it means quite the opposite. I believe that when you begin to make peace with food, you will improve your health as you stress less, you will build trust with your body, and begin to find the joy in eating as you nourish with grace.
Here are three of the most important steps you can take to get started –
- Allow yourself to eat what you crave: Whaaaaaat? I know. This takes practice. You will feel shifts in your physical body as you go through this process but it will level out. And when your forbidden foods have less of a lure, your cravings and occasions of overeating will begin to subside as well. So, give yourself unconditional permission to eat the foods you enjoy, without guilt or shame. This may be a difficult step, especially if you’ve been dieting or restricting your food intake for a long time, but it’s essential to break free from the cycle of deprivation and overeating.
- Listen to your hunger cues: Start paying attention to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re comfortably full. This can help you tune in to your body’s needs and reduce the likelihood of overeating. If you want to learn more about this process, I did a whole blog post on it. Read it here.
- Challenge negative self-talk: Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself about food and your body. Instead of berating yourself for eating a “bad” food or not sticking to a diet, practice self-compassion and kindness. Challenge negative thoughts by asking yourself if they are true, and try reframing them in a more positive light.
For example –
- Instead of: “I shouldn’t have eaten that cookie. I have no willpower.”
- Say: “I enjoyed that cookie, and it’s okay to indulge. One cookie won’t make or break my overall health and well-being.”
- Instead of: “I can’t believe I ate that whole bag of chips. I have no self-control.”
- Say: “I ate more chips than I intended to, but that doesn’t mean I’m a failure. Next time, I can focus on savoring each chip and paying attention to my fullness signals.”
These three steps may seem simple, but they can be powerful in helping you make peace with food. Remember that it’s okay to take things one step at a time, and progress may come slowly. But with patience and persistence, you can develop a healthier relationship with food and your body.
If you want more practical tips to implement in order to find peace with food, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter HERE. That’s where all the juicy conversations take place ;)
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