If you find yourself worrying more about what your meal will do to your body rather than enjoying it for what it is, it’s time to do a rain check on your relationship with food. Other signs that you should be rethinking the way you approach food include compulsive eating habits and negative feelings towards eating. While you might not necessarily have an eating disorder, you may be suffering from disordered eating instead. The following are some practical ways to build a better relationship with your food.
Work on your oral health
Negative feelings towards food and eating may stem from poor oral health. If jaw or teeth issues are preventing you from eating your food correctly, you may begin to associate pain and discomfort with eating, which will eventually lead to disordered eating. You’ll need to get your teeth checked for cavities, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, impacted teeth, or loose dentures. A dentist can clean out any holes and fix any sliding dentures. Meanwhile, an oral surgeon can address issues caused by TMJ disorder so that you can start eating your food comfortably and confidently.
Be grateful for your food
Not everyone has the privilege of eating the same delicious food that you do. When you’ve got a meal before you, think about the process of how it got to your plate, and be thankful that you’ve been allowed to eat it.
Allow yourself to eat what you want in moderation
The more you deprive yourself of a particular food, the more likely you’ll crave it and feel ashamed about eating it. That can have a very negative impact on the way you think about food. Rather than avoiding particular foods, you should allow yourself to indulge in them every once in a while and in moderation. Satisfying your craving for these foods means you’ll be more inclined to eat it in moderation in the future.
Maintain a food journal
A food journal isn’t a place where you should record every single thing you eat, but rather, what you feel when you crave certain foods. That helps you determine eating patterns so you can be more mindful of what your body wants. Paying attention to your body when it’s hungry and when it’s full will allow you to adjust your habits accordingly. Sometimes, cravings are triggered by certain emotions. If you noticed in your journal that you’ve been reaching for soda or chips when you’re feeling anxious, then learn to address these emotions by doing something healthier and more productive instead.
Think about nourishing your body
Food is a source of energy and sustenance. The best kinds of foods nourish your body and maintain optimal performance. Focus more on the positive effects that food can have on you rather than the negative. For example, food is necessary when it comes to building strong muscles, ensuring you a good night’s sleep, healing injuries, putting you in a good mood, fighting against disease, and growing long, shiny hair. The more you think about all the good things that food can do for you, the better your relationship with it will be.
Fostering a positive relationship with food is the first step to better health and wellness. These suggestions will help you get there quicker.