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Intuitive Eating Principle 4: Challenge the Food Police


So many of us have a running commentary on every food choice or thought we have throughout the day. And more often than not this commentary is judgmental, fear mongering, and even cruel. We tell ourselves:

  • “You’re really going to eat that second helping?”

  • “That cookie has too many calories.”

  • “You stopped for fast food?! You’re such a failure!”

Have you ever stopped to think about where this commentary comes from?


It can be hard to have a peaceful, intuitive, healthy relationship with food if we always are passing judgement on the choices we make with food. Our goal is to replace those negative and judgmental thoughts with neutral and supportive thoughts.


Here’s how to reframe the negative examples from above to be non-judgmental and more positive ones:

  • “I feel extra hungry today, and one serving didn’t fill me up. It’s okay to have seconds.”

  • “My daughter baked homemade cookies. Having one after lunch sounds delicious.”

  • “Today I worked late- the cupboards were bare and the only place that was open was a fast food drive through. I know that one meal doesn’t make me “healthy” or “unhealthy”, and can’t make me a success or failure.”

When you start to have negative thoughts about your food choices, take a step back and challenge those thoughts. Think about the bigger picture, why did you make the food choice you made? What were the emotions that it caused? How can you learn from this experience and apply it to your future?


Start keeping track of what types of negative thoughts occur by journaling or keeping a note on your phone. This can be a simple way to bring more awareness of all the negative food dialogue we have in our heads. We can then start reframing those negative thoughts into more helpful, positive statements.


Our team of dietitians can support you with this process. Reach out to us and set up a consultation with one of our Registered Dietitians today, or click this link to sign up for our 6-week online Intuitive Eating Program!


Author: Becca Sprague, MS, RD, LD