Is Your Relationship With Food Bad?

Over the years, I have found that many people who want to lose weight already KNOW what they need to do, but they aren’t doing it! Why?

Why is it that you already know what you need to do, but you’re not doing it anyway?

Truth be told, there are many reasons why, but one of the reasons that pop up in conversations with new members is because they have a relationship (what they call addiction) with food or certain foods.

I don’t mean romanticizing relationships, but in today’s world, I wouldn’t be surprised (aka foodporn); what I’m referring to is resorting to food to solve a psychological or emotional need.

Such as feeling sad, bored, lonely, to name a few.

Side Note: I’ve written about this several times in our email newsletter and in a few blog posts (HERE is one).


Relationship With Food.

How can you tell if the food your eating you’re eating more out of emotion they physiological hunger and a need?

Right off the bat, I want you to say that just about everyone has a relationship with food to some degree; not all are bad.

I’ve seen members that have what some will call ‘will-power’ and can say no to their favorite meal, snack or dessert and move on with their day.

In this context, will power just means they have a healthy enough relationship with that food; they don’t let it consume their thoughts and actions such as someone.

Such as the other end of the spectrum where all they would think about is their next meal/snack and schedule everything around that.

This can get pretty deep.

I’ve seen some individuals have better relationships with food than they do with friends or family; some would rather eat than have sex with their spouse. (some of you may be shaking your head at this)

To piggyback off that, I remember reading a study that showed how certain ingredients in some foods can stimulate the same part of the brain that cuddling does with a loved one after sex.

Gives new meaning to the term comfort food, huh.

There is quite a bit of science to this that I won’t go into, but studies showing some foods can alter the brain’s chemical balance that can affect your mood. Some foods make you feel energized, while others make you feel lethargic or even irritable.

Some extreme examples of this are sugar and alcohol. How many times have you seen those affect someone’s mood or day?

Anecdotally I’ve seen foods such as wheat alter a person’s mood and how they feel physically and psychologically.


Is Your Relationship with Food Healthy?

I don’t want to make it sound like all relationships with food are harmful and unhealthy, but how can you tell if your relationship with food is cusping on the unhealthy level?

When you would rather eat food than make progress to your goals, I would say this is where the relationship becomes unhealthy. 

Another way to look at it is when you begin to look for food to solve a perceived emotional or psychological factors. These don’t have to be big factors either. They can be simple ones, such as being tired or bored.

When you seek food to treat an emotion, you’re using food as a form of medication. Which in that context, it was not intended to do.

For most, food should be used as medicine for the body and soul; fuel to make you healthy and get you closer to your goals, not further.

Here is a task that can help you figure this out.

Keep a food journal for three weeks, BUT you don’t have to track your cals and macros for this one; instead, track your reasons for eating what you’re eating.

Whenever you eat or snack on something, write down what you ate, and answer these TWO questions:

  • “Why am I eating this?”
  • “Will this get me closer to my goal?”

Then later that day, when your done eating, answer this final question.

  • “How did what I ate today make me feel?”

Don’t overthink those questions, write.

You’d be surprised at what you will learn.

You may realize that you have a relationship or habit that you were never even aware of. The great thing, though, is once you are aware, then you can change it.

Side Note: Very few people will do this task, and that’s fine! Not everyone needs to, but keeping these questions in the back of your mind will help you start to realize IF (I stress IF) you have an unhealthy relationship with food.

After doing this, if you feel you do have an unhealthy relationship with food, and this is something that you’re having trouble with controlling, then talk to a professional and get this fixed.

You’re not broken, I know you’re trying, and it will be ok.


Moving Forward

I know that was a heavy topic but something that many people don’t realize that they should be talked about when it comes to continually failed diets.

Yes, there are many reasons why people fail at a diet. From my experience, when you can identify what you are eating and why you are eating it, you are aware. Once you become aware, you can begin to make a conscious effort to change; you’re well on your way to your transformation and weight loss goals.



In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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