How to create a healthy relationship with food

If you struggle with eating in a healthy way, it can seem like an uphill battle. But there are steps to improve your relationship with food and learn how to nourish yourself positively. An online emotional eating coaching course could help you. Here are some tips to get started:

An online emotional eating course could help you acknowledge your emotions when eating.

Emotions are a natural part of life. Whether positive or negative, emotions are neither good nor bad. Negative emotions can be expressed in many different ways, including through eating.

Being aware of how you feel is the first step towards making healthier choices around food and eating behaviours. If you find yourself reaching for food when you’re feeling anxious or stressed out, remind yourself that there might be more going on beneath the surface—and that it’s okay to acknowledge these feelings before deciding how to move forward with them.

Eat when you’re hungry.

You may have heard yourself telling yourself that you’re not hungry, but if your body is telling you otherwise, take its advice and eat something. Eating on a regular schedule can help prevent overeating later in the day. 

The course can guide you to focus on your body after eating.

If you’re full, stop eating. If you’re still hungry, eat more. If you feel sick, stop eating. If you feel bloated or tired, stop eating. This is a good way to understand what your body needs at any given time based on how it responds to food intake.

Stop when you’re full.

The key to this is to cease eating before you feel full, which might seem counterintuitive initially. But if we look at our instincts, we’ll see that it makes sense: when we’re hungry, our bodies will let us know by making us feel hungry and then (ideally) prompting us to eat something. When we are well-fed, our bodies tell us it’s time to stop eating because they are satisfied with their current level of energy intake—they don’t want any more food right now. So instead of listening to your stomach and filling up on empty calories as soon as hunger sets in, try listening to your body’s signals: When do they come on? How intense are they? Do they go away after a certain time has passed? It doesn’t matter how much or little food you’ve eaten throughout the day; if your body feels like it has had enough nutrition, for now, take the hint and stop!

Avoid relying on exercise to counteract what you eat.

Avoid using exercise as a reward for eating well or punishing yourself for overeating by not working out. If this sounds like something that you do, try breaking the cycle by focusing on other ways to reward yourself (e.g., reading a book) or simply acknowledging that overeating happens sometimes and letting go of any guilt associated with it so that you can move forward in building healthy habits around food rather than continuing along an unproductive path of self-criticism or guilt over past behaviour patterns.

Food isn’t bad; the relationship with food is what makes the difference.

Food isn’t bad; the relationship with food is what makes the difference.

Food can be used as a crutch, especially when you’re feeling unhappy or anxious. The problem isn’t food; it’s how one thinks about and use it. For example:

  • When you eat something that isn’t good for you, like a bag of chips or an entire pint of ice cream, please don’t see it as an exception to your healthy eating habits and then continue to eat that way. See it as part of your new normal.
  • Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve had an indulgent meal—get back on track immediately after.

Eat for nourishment, not for comfort.

Eating for nourishment and eating for comfort are two very different things. Eating for comfort often involves bingeing on foods you know are unhealthy, like cookies or cake. If you’re feeling stressed out, depressed or anxious, this can trigger a craving for something sweet—often in the form of junk food. The behaviour is often driven by guilt around eating “unhealthy” foods, resulting in further regret and more binging.

When we eat with intentionality—mindfully considering what hunger signals we need to listen to at specific times throughout the day—we will naturally eat less overall.

Taking time to practice mindful eating can help establish a healthy relationship with food. An online emotional eating coaching course can guide you on the right path to prevent overeating. The most important thing is to remember that you’re doing this for yourself and your body, not for anyone else.