Intuitive Eating Principle 3: Make Peace with Food
Our relationship with food can be complicated by our emotions, the diet culture that’s all around us, our past, and even trauma we may have experienced.
One of the ways we can create a more positive relationship with food is to make peace with it. What does that even mean? It means that we give ourselves permission to eat any food- no food is off limits.
This might sound a bit scary; all you have heard for your adult life is that foods are either good or bad for you. But did you ever think how putting those labels on food changed the way you think about them? Or even how you behave around them?
Often when someone tells us we can’t do something, we start to want to do that thing. So when we tell ourselves “you can’t have ice cream” what do we usually start craving? Ice cream.
This phenomenon is often seen when starting a new diet. If you are starting a diet the next day that doesn’t let you have any desserts, the night before you go out and get a gallon of your favorite ice cream and eat it all just because tomorrow it won’t be “allowed”.
Making peace with food means that we remove the labels from food (such as “good” or “bad”) and we give ourselves permission to eat the foods we really want to, without guilt. This might be difficult or scary at first. We highly recommend working with a dietitian who can help you navigate this process while giving you encouragement and support.
Over time, you will find that when you are giving yourself permission to eat whatever foods you want, the foods you used to crave have less power over you. You will find yourself able to enjoy the foods that were “off limits” when you crave them, and stop when you feel satisfied- even if previously you felt out of control around those same foods.
Remember that no one food or meal is going to make or break your health. Eating one salad doesn’t make you “healthy”, and eating one cookie doesn’t make you “unhealthy”. Welcome all foods back with open arms, and take back the power from food!
Our team of dietitians can help you on your journey to make peace with food. 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