HealthMental Health5 Signs You Have A Toxic Relationship With Food (& How To...

5 Signs You Have A Toxic Relationship With Food (& How To Fix It)

Love for food is one thing and taking up centre stage in your life is quite another. Most of us love eating. So when does it overstep the healthy boundaries and become a toxic influence? It’s when eating goes beyond the realms of being a happy experience and becomes the sole pick-me-up in your life. Far too much dependence is what sets the toxic relationship apart from an enjoyable food experience.

Here are 5 instances that will tell you that you share a toxic relationship with food.

1. Food Is The Only Good Around You

While one is perfectly healthy, the other one is an unhealthy obsession that only does you harm and no good in the long run. The immediately feel-good factor that you get on digging your fingers deep into the most unhealthy varieties of food is unparalleled. It is the only solution to all your problems (or so you believe) and your BFF that always looks out for you. If you find yourself incessantly nodding your head to all these, you definitely share a toxic relationship with food.

5 Signs You Have A Toxic Relationship With Food (& How To Fix It)

2. Your Life Revolves Around Food

You live to eat rather than eat to live. Everything about your life and all that you do in a day is solely centred around food – what, when, and where you’ll eat. You think about what’s for breakfast the moment you wake up in the morning, plan your lunch after breakfast, and look forward to an exciting menu for dinner when you’re just done with lunch. Not to mention the innumerable snack breaks (read unhealthy) you take throughout the day and keep craving them all day.

3. Healthy Foods Don’t Appeal To You

Healthy food makes you pucker up your nose and look the other way. You say a BIG NO to all the healthy sources of food – a few almonds walnuts, or fruits. In fact, these options meet with a huge frown on your face, even before the words have been entirely pronounced. They blow your fuse off to the extent that you can’t put up with anyone suggesting these healthy foods to assuage your hunger. 

4. You Peek Into The Fridge In The Middle Of The Night

Not once, not twice but an uncountable number of times. Not that heading for the fridge once qualifies for anything else than a toxic relationship with food. And when you do so, you aren’t looking for something healthy. It will invariably be a hunger pang for junk food – most likely to be the most unhealthy food you can find in the fridge. Deep fried, maida-laden, et al. If there’s nothing that you find appealing, you always have a packet of your favourite noodles handy to cook up in a couple of minutes.

5. Food’s Your Only Escape From Reality

You’ve far too many things on your to-do list today. Or, you’ve just got some bad news. What’s the next thing you do? Head to the kitchen. Duh! And rummage through all the junk you can lay your hands on and help yourself to the unhealthiest packaged snack you can find out there!

5 Ways To Fix Your Toxic Relationship With Food

1. Eat Without Setting Restrictions

Eat, but in restricted quantities, so that you don’t gain weight unnecessarily that will snowball into a flurry of health concerns. When you have a strict list of do’s and don’t, you are welcoming feelings of deprivation, hunger, and fear of food. 

2. Listen To Your Body

Your body will let you know when it’s hungry. Don’t ignore that because this way, you’ll be setting yourself up for deprivation yet again and overlooking your body’s need for nutrition. And when you do that, you will end up bingeing on food the next time you eat, which is more harmful.

5 Signs You Have A Toxic Relationship With Food (& How To Fix It)

3. Eat Mindfully

This implies enjoying your experience with food by focusing entirely on what you’re eating, without letting your mind get distracted. No watching your favourite TV show, listening to music, reading, and even talking while you’re eating. Instead, concentrate solely on the texture of the food in your mouth and its taste. This way, you will truly enjoy eating and not share the time with other visual and auditory experiences. 

4. Stop Giving Weight-Related Compliments

You are so much more than the way you look and so do the others around you. So, restrict yourself from complimenting yourself and other people around you in terms of their shape and size. Keep the compliments more positive like “You have a beautiful voice”, “You have amazing handwriting” and the like. 

5. Stop Being Apologetic With Your Food Choices

Eat what you want, when you want – without going overboard! Most of us are in the habit of giving an explanation behind our food choices – “I want a yummy cookie because I haven’t had it for ages”, “I’m planning to skip dinner, although I’m hungry) because I had a heavy lunch”, “I should stick to a salad diet for the next few days because of the amount I ate at my sister’s wedding”, etc. 

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